The legendary Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat was the latest guest on Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw to discuss a number of different topics, including how he got his in-ring moniker. Highlights are below.
How he got the Ricky The Dragon Steamboat nickname:
“When I came down to Florida in 1976, I walked in the office and Eddie Graham says, ‘I remember you kid, you know when you’re in high school you wrestled Mike’. He says, ‘Rick Blood’s a great wrestling name’, but he said that’s for heels, Blood, that’s for heels. He said, ‘I’d like to call you Ricky Steamboat, we had a guy here in the late 60s and 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.’”
Says he saw an instant reaction to his name:
“I’ll never forget the first night I went to the office, on Tuesday or Wednesday night we’re in West Palm Beach. I’m the first match, I’m in the ring, I’m in the corner, they’re doing old school announcing. The announcer’s 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 Rick Blood, give it up for the nephew of the great Sammy Steamboat, Ricky Steamboat!’ and the crowd jumped out of the seats. I went, ‘Holy moly!”
(H/T and transcribed by Inside the Ropes)