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[1987-12-26-WWF-MSG, NY] Ricky Steamboat vs Rick Rude


Superstar Sleeze
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Ricky Steamboat vs Rick Rude - MSG 12/26/87

 

I often forget that Steamboat stuck around after dropping the IC Title to Honky Tonk Man. The result was a feud with Ravishing Rick Rude, which I have never watched before (it is not as critically acclaimed as their '92 WCW feud). Rude is such a great character. He doesn't quite have that swagger when he tells all the New York Sleazebags to piper down while he shows all the ladies what a real, sexy man looks like but it was definitely there. Steamboat did not look pumped here. Very subdued entrance. I am guessing he took a lot of time off for his newborn and doesn't seem invested. Nice opening shine with Steamboat skinning the cat, but hitting Heenan in his bad neck on the way up and then back body dropping Rude out of the ring who takes a big bump onto a chair. Besides that bump, thought Rude did an excellent job selling the arm which Steamboat worked on for like 10 minutes. Steamboat won wrist control out of a test of strength. Really good, straight wrestling here. Is there anyone better at simple criss cross exchanges than the Dragon. Simply electric. I thought Rude did a good job creating movement for Steamboat to work in armdrags. Nice eyepoke and great selling of the arm while throwing bows with his good arm. Steamboat runs him into the buckles, but as he is charging he runs into them too.

 

Second half of the match is Rude working holds. I thought they worked good hope spots then cutoffs before going back into holds. Rude cant flex his left bicep, but he can his right. Love it! Rude misses the seat drop. Steamboat goes for the slam, but his back gives out. Steamboat gets out of bearhug but Rude hooks the ropes to avoid dropkick. Eventually Steamboat gets the famous Electric Chair spot and then Rude goes up top and Steamboat catches him. Classic Steamboat finish run with a ton of nearfalls for both men. Steamboat gets the big chop off the top and the bell rings calling for the time limit. Heenan gets on the mic to say he could beat the Dragon now but it is a trap and Rude blindsides him and smashes the microphones into his head. Steamboat makes a comeback and throws him out.

 

It was clear they were working a WWF time limit draw with all holds, but it was such a textbook match. I just enjoyed the selling and the beauty of the exchanges. It was simple, lo-fi, but effective. ***1/2

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