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Tito Santana vs Rick Martel vs Ricky Steamboat

Every Good Guy Has His Breaking Point  

60 members have voted

  1. 1. Mexico vs Quebec vs Hawaii

    • Tito Santana
      9
    • Rick Martel
      9
    • Ricky Steamboat
      42


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How much 77-83 Santana exists?

I have a disc worth of Tito in the AWA from 1981-82, and there is a decent amount of his 79-80 WWF run out there. Only maybe a match or two from before 1979 that I can think of, from Texas.

 

I'm blanking on where he was in 1983 at the moment.

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He was in Mid-South a little in '83 too. Used the Gibson Leglock as his finish. The match with DiBiase from Houston where Watts did a new voiceover for Power Pro was from that run.

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To me, when I think Tito, I think boring side headlock spots, where the heel always gets a few two counts on him. I think Martel and Steamboat trounce him on the whole.

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You need to watch Tito v. Valentine series

You may be right. I have no issues about getting my conceptions of someone changed. What is the date of the first match in the feud?

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This is the 1st one I have. I also want to say Kris Z is much better than I at this sort of thing. Actually Tito does uses the headlock, but in a save me from this beating sort of way.

 

 

03/31/84 Greg Valentine vs. Tito Santana It's from Philly. This is pre Greg messing up Tito's leg. They get better after the injury angle in my opinion.

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Thanks for the subtle shout out shoe even though Von Kramer no sold it.

 

Having said that, as someone who has seen the best all three have had to offer in the 1980s, I went with Steamboat. I think the exception may be Martel in Montreal if that even happened in the 1980s. I am sure purpotsy could set the record straight.

 

Martel - Had the great AWA tag matches and really good title run. In the WWF, he suffered from WWF 80s disease as guys who lost some mojo when they went to New York after a high end run. I like his tag with Tito as Strike Force and the heel turn but I don't know if any of the matches I have seen are super high end enough to trump the classic Steamboat tag feuds from early in the decade.

 

Tito - I was tempted to vote for Tito for the Valentine feud alone. One of the best feuds from any decade. As much as I love the feud, Steamboat has more high end feuds. His AWA tag stuff is super high end but not that much exists on tape. Again, after the Valentine feud, I am having trouble finding much high end Tito. You can probably name a match or two but an entire series?

 

Steamboat - Early on, he has the Youngblood tag team with the Kernodle-Slaughter and Briscoes feuds. Mix in some solid high-end matches against Flair and Tully in this time and he is closing in on Tito early on. Moving to WWF, the Muraco feud was a dud but the Jake feud was classic with at least one great match. He moves into the Savage feud which produced at least 2 or 3 great matches. He disappears for most of 1988 and has a super high end 1989 with Flair, Luger, etc. In terms of volume, I don't think it is even close.

 

As far as doing the things that babyfaces do, they were all pretty great babyfaces. The thing that bothers me about Steamboat is his comical over-selling but Steamboat always defended it as playing to the cheap seats which doesn't really translate well on TV. It can hurt his matches on tape but at least I get the reasoning. In interviews, Steamboat is by far the worst interview of the bunch but none of the guys are ever mentioned in best interviews of all time discussions. I know we had a great AWA bloody Martel interview but I don't think he did anything else memorable on the mic until the heel turn. At this point, I am going purely on volume of high-end matches, and at least on tape, Steamboat wins by a mile.

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Thanks for the subtle shout out shoe even though Von Kramer no sold it.

 

Having said that, as someone who has seen the best all three have had to offer in the 1980s, I went with Steamboat. I think the exception may be Martel in Montreal if that even happened in the 1980s. I am sure purpotsy could set the record straight.

 

Martel - Had the great AWA tag matches and really good title run. In the WWF, he suffered from WWF 80s disease as guys who lost some mojo when they went to New York after a high end run. I like his tag with Tito as Strike Force and the heel turn but I don't know if any of the matches I have seen are super high end enough to trump the classic Steamboat tag feuds from early in the decade.

 

Tito - I was tempted to vote for Tito for the Valentine feud alone. One of the best feuds from any decade. As much as I love the feud, Steamboat has more high end feuds. His AWA tag stuff is super high end but not that much exists on tape. Again, after the Valentine feud, I am having trouble finding much high end Tito. You can probably name a match or two but an entire series?

 

Steamboat - Early on, he has the Youngblood tag team with the Kernodle-Slaughter and Briscoes feuds. Mix in some solid high-end matches against Flair and Tully in this time and he is closing in on Tito early on. Moving to WWF, the Muraco feud was a dud but the Jake feud was classic with at least one great match. He moves into the Savage feud which produced at least 2 or 3 great matches. He disappears for most of 1988 and has a super high end 1989 with Flair, Luger, etc. In terms of volume, I don't think it is even close.

 

As far as doing the things that babyfaces do, they were all pretty great babyfaces. The thing that bothers me about Steamboat is his comical over-selling but Steamboat always defended it as playing to the cheap seats which doesn't really translate well on TV. It can hurt his matches on tape but at least I get the reasoning. In interviews, Steamboat is by far the worst interview of the bunch but none of the guys are ever mentioned in best interviews of all time discussions. I know we had a great AWA bloody Martel interview but I don't think he did anything else memorable on the mic until the heel turn. At this point, I am going purely on volume of high-end matches, and at least on tape, Steamboat wins by a mile.

I agree so much with this. Honestly I don't think this is even a fair comparison. It's almost like Misawa vs. Marafuji vs. Hase. Where the 1st guys(Misawa/Steamboat) is such a legend, a top 5 babyface of ALL time in their country and the other 2 guys are great, awesome workers but are on a whole 'nother level below the 1st guy.

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Tito - I was tempted to vote for Tito for the Valentine feud alone. One of the best feuds from any decade. As much as I love the feud, Steamboat has more high end feuds. His AWA tag stuff is super high end but not that much exists on tape. Again, after the Valentine feud, I am having trouble finding much high end Tito. You can probably name a match or two but an entire series?

The Savage/Tito feud is the bridge between Tito/Valentine and Savage/Steamboat.

 

Santana and Martel were pretty awful interviews. Are you sure Steamboat was the worst of the three?

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Watching the reels of Steamboat and Flair's 70s stuff I as pleasantly surprised by how aggressive Steamboat was. He was even biting the cut on Flair's forehead. Man, the girls in those 70s crowds were hot for Flair vs. Steamboat. In more ways than one, I guess.

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Just finished watching Greg Valentine/Brutus Beefcake vs. Ricky Steamboat/Tito Santana (4/21/1985 - Toronto) and I can't think of a more pure babyface tag team in history than Steamboat/Tito in '85. This match was really just to progress the Tito vs. Valentine feud, with Tito finally locking the Figure Four on Greg to get the win, but it was still a blast. Hell, even Bruti bumps around well in this one!

 

As for the poll, while Steamboat has more classic feuds and matches on his resume, and Martel is fresh in my mind from the AWA set, if I had to choose one of them to buy a comp of it'd be Tito without question. He is so good at fighting from the ground (his punches to the gut from his knees are great) and is really the personification of babyface "fire". Where other 80s babyfaces do the never-ending arm drag sequences, including going back to the arm drag even when the heel starts to cheapshot them to prove what great competitors they are, Tito is quick to mix it up and trade blows and act like a dude who fights for a living. That is obviously a personal preference on my part, but I like my babyfaces to act like badasses when pushed, and Tito has that about him in a way that Steamer and Martel just don't convey.

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I've seen listings with the 77-8 stuff on it elsewhere and more than what Cornette has. shoe might be able to shed more light.

It's the Garbage tapes. Their are like 14 matches out their. No full matches. The footage ranges from 5 to 17 minutes.

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Steamboat and I don't think it's even close. I saw plenty of Martel and Santana in the AWA. Saw Tito's IC Title run. Saw Strike Force. Martel and Santana were actually better as a make shift tag team in the AWA than as we'll strike back with force. I view Steamboat as an elite worker. He could make me believe he was dead. Martel and Santana could not sell like Steamboat could. I'm not really knocking Martel or Santana. I like both of them. I just think Ricky Steamboat is among the best of the best.

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I went with Ricky Martel, to me if you take out Steamboats series with Flair & the wm3 match w/ Savage that he himself doesnt even like because he said they went over it for 12 hours the previous day I think Martels work out shines him, Martel had many, many solid/great performances in Montreal, Portland, AWA, WWF, & even WCW, imo Santana doesn't even come close to either guy but I must admit Ive never seen any of his work except the stuff from the AWA set & his wwf stuff

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Steamboat and I don't think it's even close.

That's pretty much where I'm at too. With the disclaimer that I freely admit not having seen some of Tito's and most of Martel's best stuff. I like Martel an awful lot, and need to see a hell of a lot more of his AWA stuff (and AWA in general) but he's not in Steamboat's league. Tito is a guy I've never understood the hype for. Yes, he was pretty damn good; but he never personally clicked with me.

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