WWE Hall of Famer Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat recently spoke with Riju Dasgupta of Sportskeeda to promote his special referee appearance at Friday PCW Ultra show in Wilmington, CA. Part one of the interview is at this link and below are highlights:
Did you ever think that Stunning Steve Austin would become the biggest star of all time when you were working with him?
"I was working with him in the early to mid-90s when we were both with WCW. I knew then the young man had the 'It' factor. This man had everything to be the main event guy. Although WCW never pushed him as a top guy, I thought that he was ready for main event status. Then, when he transferred himself to the other company and became Stone Cold, the rest is history."
Who would you say is the next Ricky Steamboat among the wrestlers of today?
"That's hard to say. I remember Seth Rollins when he first came to the training school (Steamboat trained many of today's superstars like Reigns and Rollins). When you used to talk to Seth and you knew that he understood what we were trying to say. There were wrestlers who would nod their heads like they would understand but you knew that he hasn't got a clue of what you're trying to teach or what you're trying to describe to him. Rollins to me always had it.
"Another one is Roman. He needs to work a bit on his speaking skills. But I do like the way he works in the ring. I'll tell you another guy that totally gets it. After experimenting with three characters before the last one took hold, Bray Wyatt is great. He is great when he's talking. A lot of the young talents today ask me how would we get a heads up in the business. Today, it's to find that character.
"If you're a C+ worker in the ring but your character on the mic is what captivates the audience...we can teach you the physicality part of it in the ring, but it's the character that the fans gravitate to. They like the character whether it's a good guy or bad guy. The Undertaker to me is the greatest character of all time. You have to find what makes you different from the guy you're standing next to. Understand that the physicality can be taught, but the character is something special."
Why do you think Roman Reigns gets so much hatred from fans?
"I think in the very, very beginning, he almost appeared like a shadow of The Rock. Maybe that started the ball rolling on him being disliked by fans. Whether you are liked or disliked, either/or is required to make a match. You got guys that are booed and you got guys that are cheered. You hook the two of them up and there's the match. It's just a matter of time before something happens. Something special on TV or on pay-per-view and Roman Reigns is going to be cheered. The longer he is booed, when they make the switch, the better off he'll be."