As previously noted, Wrestling Inc. President Raj Giri spoke with WWE Hall Of Famer Ricky Steamboat prior to ‘The Dragon”s scheduled appearances for PCW ULTRA tonight in Wilmington, CA and Saturday in Pasadena. Among many other things, Steamboat talked about the HBO documentary on the late great André The Giant as well as his relationship with the big man. Steamboat weighed in on the alleged heat between André The Giant and ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage. Also, Steamboat spoke about the importance of referees in pro wrestling.
During the interview, Steamboat put over HBO’s André The Giant documentary and mentioned that he was not aware of any alleged heat between André’s and Savage till hearing Hulk Hogan mention it in the documentary.
“I thought it was put together very [well], very nice.” Steamboat said, “to tell you the truth, I didn’t know anything about that until I saw the documentary, André’s feelings towards Randy. I don’t know if he developed that prior to our [WrestleMania 3] match or did it come after? I don’t know. They didn’t give a time frame for André’s feelings towards Randy [in the HBO documentary]. I do know Randy liked to break out the baby oil [as referenced by Hulk Hogan in the film]. I know he liked the shine. He liked to look good, but most of us did [use baby oil] anyway, put on a little bit. It accentuates your tan.”
According to Steamboat, André The Giant was a “special” person and that they got along well.
“I first met André, I believe, in the late [1970s]. He was the kind of guy that was featured in different territories around the country, so he would come in, and have a short run, and then, move on to another territory, like a special attraction type [of] guy. And, of course, he would come in and work with the biggest heel in that territory or the heel that was over the most. So yeah, André was a very special guy.” Steamboat recalled, “oh yeah, him and I got along well. I gave him a lot of respect. Back when he was working, respect was a big deal. Even thought I might have been the main event guy or the main event babyface in the territory, but when André came in, we all knew we were in second place, and in most cases, a pretty distant second. With André on the card that night, he was the man.”
Apparently, out of respect, Steamboat asked André before WrestleMania 3 whether he and Hogan were planning anything in particular for the main event.
“Well, I don’t know [whether there was any heat for stealing the show] because I didn’t hear anything from Hogan.” Steamboat remembered, “I went to André before the match, before the show started, and I asked him was there was anything him and Hogan were doing special because they were the top main event and you do that out of respect. We were going on before them and we didn’t want to do anything they wanted to do to just make sure they had their moments and André simply said that they weren’t and that because of his back, he was very limited as to what he could do. He gave both Randy and I carte blanche for putting our match together.”
Steamboat will be appearing at PCW ULTRA’s “May The 4th Be With You” show tonight as well as participating in a pro wrestling training seminar with PCW ULTRA the following day on May 5, 2018.
“There will be an autograph signing, and picture taking, and meet-and-greet at the wrestling show.” Steamboat continued, “I will be doing that all prior to the show, so fans come on out. If you haven’t had a chance to meet me, and shake my hand, and take a picture with me, you have an opportunity now.”
On the subject of the role of the pro wrestling referee, Steamboat, who will be the special guest referee in the PCW Ultra Light Heavyweight Championship match between Shane Strickland and Douglas James, said the ref was as important as the pro wrestlers in his day. ‘The Dragon’ went on to say that he will not be afraid to get physical with ‘Swerve’ and ‘DJ’ if need be.
“The referee was very important to us.” Steamboat added, “he was the third guy in the ring in a single’s match and he was the fifth guy in the ring if it was a tag. And he was just as important as [the pro wrestlers]. And I will explain that to [the performers] in the match that I will be overseeing. And we have rules: we have a five-count on the ropes and a 10-count on the floor. And I will use this word, if you prostitute me, the finish is going to change and there may be a disqualification, but understand that there are rules and abide by the rules. And why would they bring me in as a special guest referee if they stomp all over me like all of the other guys? Hopefully, they will understand that and other guys watching the match backstage will remember how important the referee is.”
Source: Wrestling Inc.