PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 01:  WWE Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat attends Philadelphia Comic Con 2013 - Day 3 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on June 1, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)
The Ricky Steamboat moniker was born because his real name sounded too much like a heel
In an interview on the "Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw" podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Ricky Steamboat revealed how his name was given to him by legendary promoter Eddie Graham. Debuting in March 1976 for the American Wrestling Association (AWA) promotion, Steamboat wrestled under the name Dick Blood, but two months later, Graham decided a name change was in order.
"Rick Blood is a great wrestling name but that's for heels," Graham told Steamboat. "I'd like to call you Ricky Steamboat. We had a guy here in the late '60s, through the early '70s, that campaigned here; his name was Sammy Steamboat. He was from Hawaii and I'm going to start putting your name out there. But, I'm not going to call you his son; I'm going to start listing you as a nephew. You're the nephew of Sammy Steamboat."
Ricky recounted his first match after the change, "I'm in the ring, I'm in the corner; they're doing old school announcing in the middle of the ring with the mic. And he announces, 'Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a substitute this evening! Taking the place of Dick Blood, give it up for the nephew of the great Sammy Steamboat, Ricky Steamboat!' And the crowd jumped out of the seats ... they must've loved Sammy dearly."