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/23 September 2000
WCW Classics by Mike Regan




September 30, 2000

Rick Steamboat. One of the great workers of the past twenty years. Tonight, it's three matches from his early years (1981 to be exact). And as a special service for those on the Internet obsessed with Steamboat's love of one specific move ("cough"armdrag"cough"), we will be keeping track of all uses of that move. So let's begin.

October 1981:
Rick Steamboat vs. Ali Bey

And the deep, dark secret of Steamboat's early career is on display: his Wayne Newton-esque mustache. Ali Bey (not to be confused with crappy director Michael Bey) is supposedly from Turkey, and as a "foreign" heel is required by law to kill the crowd dead by applying a nerve hold. When Steamboat escapes he hits an armdrag (that's one) then another (two). "Ali Bey Resthold Theater" continues with a bear hug. Steamboat breaks out with an ear pop, then connects with his trademark chops. Next comes an armdrag (three). Bey goes for a back drop, but Steamboat kicks him, following with a pair of dropkicks and a double chop. Steamboat then goes up top, and hits the cross body block for the pin.

Next, Steamboat faces a man we "never" see on WCW Classics.

October 1981:
Rick Steamboat vs. "Mr. WCW Classics" Jim Nelson

I think this is three straight episodes with a Jim Nelson match. Steamboat does not have the mustache this time. The lock up several times, with Steamboat escaping a Nelson cheap shot in the corner each time. Nelson eventually manages to trap Steamboat and pummel him with knees, forearms, and head butts. Steamboat fights back, hits a shoulderblock, then an armdrag (four), followed by an armdrag (five). Nelson rakes Steamboat's face, then applies a headlock. Steamboat sends him into the ropes, chops him twice, then gets the pin.

And now our main event, where Steamboat teams with a man who just five years later would DDT him on cement.

September 1981:
Rick Steamboat & Jake Roberts vs. Mike Miller and JIM NELSON

I have now concluded that Jim Nelson is the real star of this series, and perhaps the entire network. Back in 1981, Roberts wasn't "The Snake." He just looked like any other generic wrestler with a really bad perm. Nelson gives Steamboat a headlock. Steamboat responds with a dropkick and an armdrag (six). Roberts tags in and hits his famous knee lift. Steamboat and Roberts make a bunch of quick tags. Steamboat is briefly trapped in the other team's corner. He ducks a Miller elbow, and fires back with some chops. Roberts tags in and nails some punches. Roberts whips Miller into a Steamboat chop. In an interesting spot, Roberts lifts Steamboat in a full nelson for an assisted dropkick. Nelson tags back in but is quickly pinned after a Roberts belly-to-back suplex.

Our final tally. Three matches. Six armdrags. I feel cheated.
Until next week.

Mike Regan
Acworth, GA
[slash] wrestling

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