RICKY STEAMBOAT CONGRATULATES RIC FLAIR AFTER FLAIR DEFEATED HARLEY RACE AT STARRCADE '83. BE SURE TO SCROLL BELOW THE PICTURE TO READ THE ARTICLE.
IN J.R.'S (JIM ROSS) LATEST BLOG ON HIS WEBSITE HE GIVES HIS OPINION ON WHO HE THINKS IS "NATURE BOY" RIC FLAIR'S GREATEST OPPONENT EVER AND IT SHOULD COME AS NO SURPRISE THAT HIS ANSWER IS NONE OTHER THEN RICKY "THE DRAGON" STEAMBOAT.
I FULLY AGREE WITH GOOD OLE J.R. BECAUSE I HAVE SAID COUNTLESS TIMES THAT THE GREATEST PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING MATCHES OF ALL TIME IS "NATURE BOY" RIC FLAIR VS. RICKY "THE DRAGON" STEAMBOAT. I HEAR FROM FLAIR FANS ALL THE TIME WHO SAY THAT FLAIR WAS THE BEST EVER AT CARRYING SOMEONE TO A GREAT MATCH AND THAT IS TRUE BUT ONE THING I CAN SAY FOR SURE IS THAT HE NEVER HAD TO CARRY RICKY STEAMBOAT BECAUSE "THE DRAGON" IS ONE OF THE GREATEST PROFESSIONAL WRESTLERS OF ALL TIME.
YOU CAN TALK ABOUT THE CAROLINA AND DUKE RIVALRY IN BASKETBALL, OR THE COWBOYS AND REDSKINS RIVALRY IN FOOTBALL, OR THE RICHARD PETTY AND DAVID PEARSON RIVALRY IN RACING, OR THE MUHAMMAD ALI AND JOE FRAZIER RIVALRY IN BOXING, BUT IN MY OPINION THE RIVALRY BETWEEN "NATURE BOY" RIC FLAIR AND RICKY "THE DRAGON" STEAMBOAT IN PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING TOPS THEM ALL AND THERE WILL NEVER BE ANYTHING IN SPORTS EVER AGAIN LIKE FLAIR VS. STEAMBOAT. READ GOOD OLE J.R.'S BLOG ABOUT THIS SUBJECT BELOW.
I have seen on various wrestling websites that polls and columns have been written about who is Ric Flair’s greatest opponent or "Naitch’s" greatest match. I have read some really entertaining and informative material on this subject, many of which brought back some great memories. After looking at many of the bouts up for nomination as Flair’s greatest opponent or Ric’s greatest matches it’s humbling to realize that I have had the honor of broadcasting more than my fair share of these classics.
In my opinion, Ric’s greatest opponent, as far as match quality and continuing to raise the bar each and every time they competed, has to be Ricky Steamboat. I know Ric feels this way too. There is no doubt that the greats of the game like Harley Race, Dusty Rhodes,Wahoo McDaniel, Terry Funk, etc, among many others, deserve "props," but Steamboat truly brought out the best in Ric and visa versa.
Flair and Steamboat had many classics over the years and some of their stuff in the late 70s was awe inspiring, but their rivalry in and round 1989 was the stuff that most fans will remember and be best familiar with, as it was during the days of PPV and live, cable TV specials. I do not recall in my 30+ years in the business a better and more compelling, dramatically athletic story being told in the ring than between these two artisans in ‘89 while we were all at WCW working for Ted Turner. These two were silky smooth, but don’t think for one second that these two men were not overtly physical with each other, because they were…trust me on that one.
For any young wrestler or wrestling wanna be, I strongly suggest you familiarize yourself with Flair vs. Steamboat in any form you can access it and truly study the chemistry these two had and the philosophy as to why their matches created magic.
Steamboat, for my money, is a WWE Hall of Famer to be, and it would be great to see Ric Flair induct arguably "Naitch’s" greatest opponent.