The best wrestlers of the 90s usually receive a lot of love and respect all these years later. Rick Steiner is one of the few top performers who does not have the same treatment. Longtime WCW fans know how important Rick was to the rise of the business. The tag run with his brother Scott Steiner and his singles work each showed him to be a valuable asset.
WCW Core of the Steiner Brothers, Ric Flair, Sting, and Lex Luger led the pre-Hulk Hogan era promotion, and they continued to thrive with the Biggest Platform. Rick is the one who stands out among these names for not getting his due for all his accolades and overall entertainment value over others. The influence of Steiner’s style is still felt today as a talent deserving more credit.
Rick Steiner broke out with a new style of pro wrestling
Rick and Scott Steiner both had amateur wrestling backgrounds in Michigan before moving into the professional wrestling world. The Steiner Brothers wearing varsity jackets and delivering the stiff shots in the ring had a different vibe than anyone back then. Although Scott was more successful at the end of WCW, Rick was the biggest breakout star earlier in their career on his own.
The headgear that Rick wore during matches was a small difference, but it helped him stand out even before entering the ring. Rick also used his amateur wrestling background more than his brother as part of his identity. WCW booked him into the Forgotten Varsity Club faction with Mike Rotunda and Kevin Sullivan. Rick’s wrestling style has become a part of his personality, with the amateur wrestling holds and presentation helping him stand out.
Rick’s momentum saw him become a credible contender for Ric Flair’s NWA Heavyweight Championship reign. Fans clearly loved Rick’s job, and it only reached new heights when Scott joined him to officially form a legendary team. The Steiner Brothers wouldn’t have been going so quickly if Rick wasn’t done with the audience already.
Was Rick Steiner half the best tag team of all time?
The Steiner Brothers should be mentioned more often along with the Road Warriors, Rock n Roll Express, Dudley Boyz, and other teams in the great duo talk of all time. WCW fans treated Rick and Scott’s tag matches with the same importance as most main event fights. There were even times when WCW placed main players like Sting and Lex Luger in the tag division to compete with the Steiner Brothers.
Rick and Scott had a somewhat forgotten WWE run because it was so short, but they absolutely dominated as a leading duo for their entire time there in the early ’90s. Both reigns of the WWE Tag Team Championship saw them carry the division before choosing to leave due to disagreements with Vince McMahon.
WCW fans will rate the Steiner Brothers and Harlem Heat as the only two teams with a real argument for the best duo in company history. Rick should be celebrated as an all-time great wrestler for having legendary success in WCW and even making WWE work, despite the general dissatisfaction there.
It’s time to respect Rick Steiner’s legacy
The success of Rick Steiner’s son Bron Breakker in NXT may be the best thing that can happen to Rick in a number of ways. Not only does Rick see his son thrive in the wrestling world, it reminds fans how much he entertained them. Scott, who launched as a singles star to reinvent himself, has created a chapter in his career so memorable it can lead to Rick being overlooked.
Rick’s decision to slowly put wrestling in the past after WCW ended saw him become a successful real estate agent. However, it’s easier for new fans to think of Scott as a singles star and for longtime fans to forget all about Scott’s brother’s legacy. Rick has accomplished more than the average fan successfully achieves in WWE, WCW, ECW, and NJPW.
The reigns of the NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship, the WCW United States Championship and the WCW TV Championship showed just how successful he was in soloing. Only a handful of teams will match the impact and accolades Rick has achieved with his brother Scott.
However, it is the influential nature of Rick’s work that has earned him the most respect. Future legends like Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar might not have had the careers they did if fans weren’t conditioned to appreciate amateur moves. Rick should be talked about more for his impact and importance to the wrestling world.
Rick and Scott Steiner are one of the best tag teams in wrestling history, but they’re also good as singles wrestlers. Where are they better?
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