Retro Wednesday: The DDT Heard 'Round The World


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It was 1986. After spending some time wrestling for the NWA, Ricky Steamboat made his WWE debut a year prior under his new "Dragon" persona. Steamboat was purposed to make an indelible impression for the company, and his successful initial feuds with Don Muraco and Mr. Fuji helped the cause. It appears as if Steamboat, with the adulation of the fans, was going to quickly move up the WWE rankings in hopes for a singles championship.

However, Jake Roberts had other plans.

After successfully defeating Hercules at WrestleMania 2, Steamboat commenced a feud with Roberts that went on the be one of the most heated rivalries of the year.

The pace was set on an episode of Saturday Night's Main Event on May 3. Before the match even started, Roberts attacked Steamboat, not allowing him to get any form of leverage, entering the match at a disadvantage. However, in this attack, something happened that did not go as planned.

After a short-arm clothesline to Steamboat that set him out on the floor, Roberts decided to stoop to his villainous tactics and DDT Steamboat on the non-padded floor. The DDT was already one of the most dangerous moves in wrestling at the time, and Steamboat learned the hard way. Whether it was a miscue of timing, too much passion on behalf of Roberts, or a misplacement of Steamboat's arm to soften the blow, Steamboat took the full effect of the DDT, causing him to be legitimately knocked unconscious.

Throughout the career of Jake Roberts, this DDT is known to be one of his most memorable. On his Pick Your Poison DVD, Roberts commented about the incident, stating, "It sounded like a watermelon bursting. I went to pull him up, and that's the heaviest thing I've ever picked up in my life. He was out. It was horrible. Lucky it didn't kill him."

Fortunately, Steamboat recovered from the DDT, and they had many fantastic matches afterwards. Moreover, they both had amazing careers, with Steamboat becoming a world champion and Hall of Fame inductee, and Roberts becoming one of the most recognizable names in WWE history as well as a sure-fire future Hall of Famer.

Classic rivalry. Classic moment.

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