Recently on The Jim Ross Report, WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross caught up with fellow WWE Hall Of Famer Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat aboard Chris Jericho’s Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Rager At Sea. Among many other interesting professional wrestling topics, Steamboat discussed his recovery from hip replacement surgery, his legendary trio of matches versus two-time WWE Hall Of Famer Ric Flair, and working hourlong ‘broadways’ with WWE Hall Of Famer Harley Race.
According to Steamboat, he is recovering from surgery nicely and is already working out again.
“Well, you find out when you get older that it gets harder. It certainly does. I’m just coming off about, what, three-and-a-half months ago, I had total hip [replacement] surgery on the right side and that worked out well. It’s working out well. I’m back in the gym doing squats.” Steamboat added, “I still do the old school stuff. I’m just not concerned about putting the weight on as much as just going through the motions to keep things lubricated and stretched out.”
On the subject of the iconic Steamboat/Flair trilogy, ‘The Dragon’ shared that they only ever planned out the finishes of the matches and the rest was called on the fly.
“When I worked with Flair and 90% of the heels at that time, we would be going into a match knowing the finish, which is maybe the last two or three minutes of the match. So me and Flair averaged 40 [or] 50 minutes every night, so they’re asking, ‘well, how did you guys put together the first 40 minutes?’ and that was everything on the fly. Yeah [instincts], and nothing sat down for hours upon hours, which I see a lot of talent today [doing]. I’m not knocking that, but that’s just the way it is today. And going over the match and every P and Q, but Flair and I, and like I said, 90% of the heels, we would go in knowing the last couple of minutes of the match.”
Also during the interview, Steamboat recalled working Race in the former Intercontinental Champion’s first hour long match.
“My first one-hour broadway, that’s a [pro] wrestling term, was with Harley.” Steamboat remembered, “yeah, in the late 70s, in the Carolinas, George Scott the booker just came down to the locker room and we were in Raleigh, North Carolina. He said, ‘you’re working with the Champ.’ I was the United States Champion at the time and when you’re in the Mid-Atlantic region and US Champ, which is the number one contender to the World Champ. And back then, the World Champ is making his rounds to all the towns in the territories and it was, ‘you’re going to go an hour tonight, Ricky.’ I said, ‘well, George, I’ve never done an hour,’ and he said, ‘you’ll be alright. Just listen to Harley.’ So that was my first one-hour [match].”
Moreover, Steamboat said that Race let the four-time United States Champion call their second hour long match.
“A year later, Harley still being the NWA Champ came back into the Carolinas, making his rounds.” Steamboat continued, “we’re in Raleigh, North Carolina. I don’t remember the dates, but I remember it was the same month, and George says, ‘you’re going to do an hour with the Champ just like you did last year.’ Yeah, and I’ll tell you something that not too many people know. When we locked up, for the second time that we met for the hour, Harley looked at me and he says, ‘you call this one tonight, kid. I’m tired’ because everywhere he goes, he does one-hour broadways. Oh man, my legs turned to rubber, and Jello, and I just about went down to my knees, and I got back up, and I said, ‘what did you say?’ He said, ‘you call this one tonight, kid. I’m tired.'”
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Source: The Jim Ross Report