Ricky Steamboat On Classic Matches With Ric Flair & Harley Race

Jim Ross recently interviewed fellow WWE Hall of Famer Ricky Steamboat for The Ross Report podcast. Here are the highlights (transcript via WrestlingInc.com).

How he and Ric Flair only planned the finishes of their matches:

“When I worked with Flair and 90% of the heels at that time, we would be going into a match knowing the finish, which is maybe the last two or three minutes of the match. So me and Flair averaged 40 [or] 50 minutes every night, so they’re asking, ‘well, how did you guys put together the first 40 minutes?’ and that was everything on the fly. Yeah [instincts], and nothing sat down for hours upon hours, which I see a lot of talent today [doing]. I’m not knocking that, but that’s just the way it is today. And going over the match and every P and Q, but Flair and I, and like I said, 90% of the heels, we would go in knowing the last couple of minutes of the match.”

His first one-hour match with Harley Race:

“My first one-hour broadway, that’s a [pro] wrestling term, was with Harley. Yeah, in the late 70s, in the Carolinas, George Scott the booker just came down to the locker room and we were in Raleigh, North Carolina. He said, ‘you’re working with the Champ.’ I was the United States Champion at the time and when you’re in the Mid-Atlantic region and US Champ, which is the number one contender to the World Champ. And back then, the World Champ is making his rounds to all the towns in the territories and it was, ‘you’re going to go an hour tonight, Ricky.’ I said, ‘well, George, I’ve never done an hour,’ and he said, ‘you’ll be alright. Just listen to Harley.’ So that was my first one-hour [match].”