Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat recently did an interview where he opened up about never turning heel throughout his in-ring career. In an interview with the Post and Courier, the Hall of Famer said he requested to turn heel back in the early 90’s, but then-WWF creative guru Pat Patterson shut the idea down.
“Pat [Patterson] simply told me that it would probably ruin my career,” Steamboard recalled. “I just wanted to experience what it felt like on the other side of the fence. As we all know, the heels have the most fun out there in the ring.
“When you are a face for a long time and you turn heel, your stock value immediately goes up, especially if you’re able to pull it off in the ring and on the mic,” he said.
Steamboat’s most famous in-ring rival during his legendary career was Ric Flair. Steamboat says he learned a lot from “just listening” to Flair, and from repetition.
“I think one of the biggest attributes that helped me and other guys, too, during that era was the fact that we wrestled nearly every night back then,” he said. “Monday night we’d be in Greenville and the next night we’d be in Columbia, so it’s only 90 miles.”