Re: Official DVD/Match/Show Discussion Thread
Ricky Steamboat : The Life Story of a Dragon
Disc One : Documentary + Extras
This is a DVD/documentary dedicated to one of the greatest performers of all time, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat. So just like Steamboat in his career, this documentary exemplifies the humble persona that he has, not needing a lengthy 2 hour documentary but instead going for a short over an hour feature that never has a dull moment. The documentary on Steamboat's career has very few chapters, but every major stage of Steamboat's career is covered in depth by the man himself plus many other opponents/admirers of his over the years.
We start off talking about Steamboat's childhood and subsequent entry into the wrestling world, where he pays respect to his family as well as the people who trained him such as the great Verne Gagne himself. From there on out we dive into his entry into Jim Crockett Promotions, his tag team run with Jay Youngblood, and early main event run with Ric Flair. Once again, Steamboat pays nothing but respect to people like Ric Flair and Jay Youngblood, who he feels elevated his own in ring work to a higher standard.
The WWF years are covered in great detail, mostly focusing on his early entry and subsequent feuds with Randy Savage and Jake Roberts. the WM III match is covered and talked about in great length as well. His second run with the WWF isn't talked about as much, but Steamboat goes into detail over why he left the second time around and how he couldn't agree with some of the things the company was doing at the time.
His trilogy with Flair and small run as WHC are both documented well, with Steamboat saying that his favourite of the trilogy is the COTC encounter (Fuck Yeah) and AGAIN giving Flair a bunch of the credit for the series being some of the greatest matches ever. What a humble guy, wow. Then his final WCW days are covered with him elevating Steve Austin to a main event standard in WCW although the management didn't know what to do with him.
His comeback and Hall of Fame induction wrap this one up. His comeback was certainly one of the greatest comebacks of all time, and it's talked about in depth with the people who experienced it such as Jericho, Flair, etc. That caps off a very very good documentary from probably the most underrated wrestler of all time in the eyes of the casual fan. Any real wrestling fan will be able to tell you that Ricky Steamboat is one of the greatest in ring performers of all time, which leads us to......
The extras on this disc are an indication of how underrated Steamboat was as a promo/interview guy, as we get various interviews/promos/vignettes on this disc throughout his career that are extremely entertaining, showing why Steamboat is the greatest all around babyface of all time perhaps. We also get lots of deleted scenes and stories from the documentary that are a very good watch. Fantastic stuff all around, his complete HOF induction brings this disc full circle. One of the best combinations of a documentary/Disc 1 extras that I've ever seen.
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood vs Jack & Jerry Brisco Starrcade 83 : *** 1/2
Ricky Steamboat vs Ric Flair Boogie Jam 84 : *** 1/2
Ricky Steamboat vs Cowboy Bob Orton 1985 : ****
Ricky Steamboat vs Don Muraco 1985 : ***
Ricky Steamboat vs Jake Roberts 1986 : ***
Ricky Steamboat vs Randy Savage WM III : *****
Great match selection for the second disc here, as we're treated to nothing but GREAT matches from a man who rarely had a bad match in him EVER. To run this match selection down ; We get a great old school tag team match that focuses on the connection between Steamboat and Youngblood, an earlier Flair-Steamboat encounter that while it lacks what the trilogy offered, was a great match in itself (and with an hour to work with, made for a great commentary track between Striker and Steamboat), a forgotten near classic with Bob Orton that surprised the hell out of me, a pair of pretty good WWF matches that ooze with psychology, and Steamboat's best WWF match and one of the greatest matches in WM history in Savage-Steamboat (that also makes for a great alternate commentary track). Consistency all around, some people may complain about the overly long Flair match, but it's a great unreleased match so who cares ? My personal favourite on this would be the Bob Orton match as I honestly didn't expect the match to be that great. Some good, exclusive content on this disc with the bes match being a repeat from previous sets, but with a new twist (an alternate commentary).
Ricky Steamboat vs Ric Flair 2/3 Falls COTC VI : *****
Ricky Steamboat vs Lex Luger GAB 89 : ****
Ricky Steamboat & Dustin Rhodes vs Arn Anderson & Larry Zybysko COTC XVII : ****
Ricky Steamboat vs Rick Rude Ironman BB 92 : **** 1/2
Ricky Steamboat vs Steve Austin Saturday Night 92 : *** 1/4
Ricky Steamboat vs Chris Jericho BL 09 : *** 3/4
Disc three features all the consistency that was in disc two, except that these matches are even better than the previous disc. Just the fact that we start off the disc with the second greatest match of all time IMO is worth the price of this DVD alone. After that we get 3 amazing encounters that I BELIEVE are exclusive to this DVD, including Lex Luger's best non-Flair match, Steamboat and Arn stealing the show in a tag, and the greatest ironman match of all time. From there we get to see a great Austin-Steamboat match that isn't quite as good as their last COTC encounter but is still great, and the comeback match vs Chris Jericho (in which I probably have it rated higher than anybody else, but I love it so...Fuck it). One of the best discs in terms of match quality ever. Every match on this disc is show stealing material, and if I haven't already stated this before, IT FEATURES THE SECOND GREATEST MATCH EVER.
I never thought in my life that a single DVD could make me look at a particular wrestler in a different light, but this one definitely proved me wrong. Before this DVD, I saw Ricky Steamboat as a consistent worked with not alot of mic skills, and as a matter of fact I would have called Steamboat downright boring (before I saw the Flair trilogy that is). This man is one of the most humble men in the business, giving props to every one of his opponents and deflecting all praise to the people who he feels helped him along the way, one of the true class acts. The doc is concise, but one of the better ones that WWE has produced, and the disc one extras made me realize how much pure babyface charisma Ricky Steamboat actually had, making him more of an all around package in my eyes.
The matches speak for themselves, as we get TWO ***** clashes on this set, and numerous other ***-**** 1/2 encounters on this set, most of them being exclusive and many of them being unreleased classics. One of the most consistent match listings I've ever seen on any DVD, definitely trumping anything that has came out over the past 2-3 years for sure. This in my mind is a must buy for all wrestling fans, as we get to see one of the greatest careers in wrestling history come full circle. Buy this DVD, and pay tribute to the greatest pure babyface in wrestling history, Ricky Steamboat. Amazing.
"He's not the biggest. He was never the strongest. He was never the fastest. He was overlooked. He went in the sixth round. So with that being said, all of the intangibles that a quarterback is supposed to have, they overlooked it with him because it was burning from inside of him" - Ray Lewis on Tom Brady