Steiner in 2012
|Birth name||Robert Rechsteiner|
March 9, 1961|
Bay City, Michigan, United States
|Alma mater||University of Michigan|
|Family||Scott Steiner (brother)|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Rick Steiner|
|Billed height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Billed weight||280 lb (130 kg)|
|Billed from||Detroit, Michigan|
Steiner is best known for his tenure with World Championship Wrestling (WCW), where he was an eight time World Tag Team Champion (seven times with his brother Scott as half of The Steiner Brothers, and once with Kenny Kaos). In addition to tag team success, he was also a one time United States Heavyweight Champion and a three time World Television Champion. Beyond WCW, Steiner found success in the World Wrestling Federation, where he and Scott won the World Tag Team Championship twice.
- 1 Professional wrestling career
- 1.1 Early career
- 1.2 Jim Crockett Promotions/World Championship Wrestling (1988–1992)
- 1.3 World Wrestling Federation (1992–1994)
- 1.4 Extreme Championship Wrestling (1995)
- 1.5 Return to WCW (1996–2001)
- 1.6 Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2002–2003, 2006–2008)
- 1.7 Independent circuit and sporadic appearances (2013–present)
- 2 Personal life
- 3 Championships and accomplishments
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Professional wrestling career
Rick Steiner was an amateur wrestling standout at the University of Michigan, where he placed second at the Big Ten Championships in 1983 For The Wolverines, became an NCAA qualifier and established the fastest pin record in the school's history at 15 seconds. (It is also noted that at the 1983 NCAA tournament, Rick wrestled against Tab Thacker of North Carolina State. Thacker went on to fame as a Hollywood actor) After earning his bachelor's degree in education, he was introduced to professional wrestling by George "The Animal" Steele and entered the business immediately out of college. He initially wrestled under the name Rob Rechsteiner before he took on the simpler ring name Rick Steiner. He spent time in the American Wrestling Association, Montreal promotion International Wrestling, and the Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF). While in the UWF he formed a tag team with Sting, winning the UWF World Tag Team Championship in 1987. The UWF was bought out by Jim Crockett Jr. in 1988, acquiring much of its roster (including Steiner), for his National Wrestling Alliance territory, Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP).
Jim Crockett Promotions/World Championship Wrestling (1988–1992)
Steiner was a charter member of the faction known as The Varsity Club along with Mike Rotunda and their manager Kevin Sullivan, with the long-term angle being that Rotunda was favored by Sullivan and both of them looked at Steiner as their dull-witted underling. It also started a slow fan favorite turn for Steiner, as he began breaking rules less often and was portrayed as a dim but good-hearted guy who was a villain by association only. Steiner and Rotunda were given a spot at the second ever Clash of the Champions, which took place in Miami on June 8, 1988. The duo faced Jimmy Garvin and Ronnie Garvin in a losing effort. Eventually, this would lead to a break-up and Steiner subsequently became a fan favorite before winning the Television Championship from Rotunda at Starrcade.
In early 1989, his brother Scott began accompanying him to the ring and eventually, the two formed a tag team. They proved they were a serious tag team by defeating the Freebirds for the World Tag Team Championship in November 1989. The pair continued to dominate in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) (as JCP came to be known following its sale to Turner Broadcasting System), winning multiple championships and making occasional trips to New Japan Pro Wrestling.
World Wrestling Federation (1992–1994)
The two jumped to the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), WCW's biggest competitor, in December 1992 after then WCW Executive Vice President Bill Watts lowballed them on a contract extension and then gave them the option for an early release from their present contracts. They found success there as well, winning the WWF World Tag Team Championship from Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase and Irwin R. Schyster) on two occasions.
The Steiners left the WWF in 1994, with Rick stating that he felt that Vince McMahon was not following through with promises made to the team.
Extreme Championship Wrestling (1995)
After leaving the WWF, the Steiner Brothers debuted in Extreme Championship Wrestling on July 28, 1995, defeating Dudley Dudley and Vampire Warrior. A few days later on August 4, they defeated Dudley Dudley and 2 Cold Scorpio. The following day, the Steiner Brothers made their debut in the ECW Arena at Wrestlepalooza, where they teamed with Eddie Guerrero in a loss to Scorpio, Dean Malenko, and Cactus Jack. On August 25, they defeated Scorpio and Malenko and then Scorpio and Chris Benoit the following evening. On August 28, they defeated Dudley Dudley and Dances with Dudley.
At Gangstas' Paradise on September 16, 1995, they teamed with Taz in a loss to The Eliminators (John Kronus and Perry Saturn) and Jason. On September 23, they defeated Raven and Stevie Richards. Rick made his final ECW appearance on October 28, teaming with Taz in a loss to The Eliminators in a tag team match.
Return to WCW (1996–2001)
On the March 11, 1996 episode of Nitro, the Steiner Brothers redebuted in World Championship Wrestling in a losing effort to The Road Warriors. The following week on Nitro, the Steiners picked up their first win since returning after they defeated The Public Enemy. After briefly feuding with both the Warriors and Public Enemy, the Steiners began feuding with the World Tag Team Champions Harlem Heat. On July 24 at a house show, the Steiner Brothers defeated Harlem Heat to win the World Tag Team Championship, although they re-lost the title to Harlem Heat three days later. The Steiner Brothers then reclaimed the title after defeating The Outsiders on January 25, 1997 at Souled Out. Only two days later, they were stripped of the title by Eric Bischoff. Rick then faced Kevin Nash for the title at Spring Stampede on April 6 due to Scott Hall not appearing, but was unable to win the title back.
After starting a winning streak, the Steiner Brothers defeated the Outsiders in a rematch for the World Tag Team Title on August 9 at Road Wild, but due to winning via disqualification, they did not win the title. On the October 13 episode of Nitro, the Steiner Brothers finally reclaimed the World Tag Team Title after defeating Hall and his substitute tag team partner Syxx. On the October 27 episode of Nitro, the Steiners successfully retained the title in their first defense against The Public Enemy. After several successful title defenses, they re-lost the title to the Outsiders on the January 12, 1998 episode of Nitro. Nearly a month later, they defeated the Outsiders for the championship on the February 9 episode of Nitro.
During a title defense against the Outsiders during SuperBrawl VIII on February 22, the Steiner Brothers disbanded when Scott turned on Rick, becoming a villain in the process by allowing the Outsiders to pin Rick and win the World Tag Team Championship. Scott subsequently joined the New World Order (nWo) faction and began feuding with Rick, whilst also trying to get him to join. In addition to Scott, Rick also began feuding with various members of the nWo, facing them in either singles matches or teaming with Lex Luger on occasion in tag team matches over the following months. Rick took several months off soon after this due to shoulder surgery thanks to an attack from Brian Adams, whilst his brother Scott went to Hollywood. Scott would talk trash for months about Rick till Rick finally healed and was ready to return for revenge. After wrestling to a no contest against Scott at Fall Brawl on September 13, Rick teamed up with Scott's former ally Buff Bagwell to defeat Scott and The Giant for the World Tag Team Championship at Halloween Havoc on October 25 despite Bagwell turning on Rick during the match. Immediately after the tag team match, Rick defeated Scott in a singles match.
The next night on Nitro, Steiner nominated Kenny Kaos as his new tag team partner to hold the World Tag Team Championship with due to Bagwell turning against him after winning the title at Halloween Havoc the previous night. Later on in the night, Steiner and Kaos successfully retained their title against nWo members Stevie Ray and The Giant. At World War 3 on November 28, Steiner was attacked backstage by nWo Hollywood, who injured his right shoulder. This would be Steiner's last appearance for several months. On January 7, 1999, the titles were vacated, with a Tag Team Title tournament beginning that evening on Thunder.
On the March 1, 1999 episode of Nitro, he made his televised return as he and Goldberg defeated Scott and Buff Bagwell. After winning several matches, Steiner became a villain and lost to Booker T in a match for Booker's World Television Championship on the April 12 episode of Nitro. On May 9 at Slamboree, Steiner defeated Booker in a rematch to win the World Television Title. After becoming a villain, Rick reunited with Scott on a few occasions and began feuding with Sting, culminating with a successful title defense at The Great American Bash on June 13. After four months as champion, he lost the title to Chris Benoit on the September 13 episode of Nitro, before reclaiming it a little over a month later at Halloween Havoc on October 24. At Mayhem, Scott Hall defeated Booker T to retain his United States Heavyweight Championship as well as win Steiner's World Television Championship, which he had to vacate due to being injured.
On December 19 at Starrcade, Steiner reformed the Varsity Club with Mike Rotunda and Kevin Sullivan to wrestle an eight-man tag team match with Jim Duggan against the Revolution, whom Duggan had been feuding with. However, the Club turned against Duggan, allowing him to be pinned. After Starrcade, Sullivan left the Club as Steiner and Rotunda wrestled as a tag team throughout the rest of 1999 and into March 2000.
After taking a hiatus in late August, Rick returned on the January 15, 2001 episode of Nitro as he helped Kevin Nash fend off Scott after a World Heavyweight Championship match, turning Rick into a fan favorite again. Two days later on Thunder, he made his in-ring return with a victory over Kwee Wee. On the February 5 episode of Nitro, Steiner defeated Shane Douglas to win the United States Heavyweight Championship. Later that night, he teamed with Nash to face Scott in a handicap match, but turned on Nash and allowed Scott to pick up the victory, thus turning into a villain once more and also joining Scott's group the Magnificent Seven. After winning the U.S. Heavyweight Title, Steiner began a brief feud with Dustin Rhodes over the title, which culminated at SuperBrawl Revenge with Steiner being victorious in a title match. On March 18 at WCW's final pay-per-view, Greed, Steiner lost the U.S. Heavyweight Title to Booker T. On the final episode of Thunder on March 21, Steiner wrestled his final match for WCW in a losing effort to Hugh Morrus. WCW was bought by the World Wrestling Federation only days later and Steiner's contract was not picked up.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2002–2003, 2006–2008)
Following WCW's closure, Steiner continued to wrestle in local venues and made several appearances with former fellow WCW superstar Buff Bagwell around the southeast United States and in Japan for Pro Wrestling Noah. He then debuted for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling during the promotion's debut show on June 19, 2002, where he participated in the 20-Man Gauntlet for the Gold match to determine a winner for the vacant NWA World Heavyweight Championship, which was ultimately won by Ken Shamrock. Steiner made a one-night return to TNA in October 2003, brawling with Jeff Jarrett. On the May 4, 2006 episode of Impact!, he returned as a possible partner for Sting at the pay-per-view Sacrifice. He made a second appearance on May 11 in a similar role.
In 2007, Rick and Scott reunited at Sacrifice after Scott and Tomko lost a World Tag Team Championship match, leading to the Steiners attacking Tomko. On the episode of Impact! following Sacrifice, the Steiners busted down the door to Jim Cornette's office and asked for Cornette to have Team 3D meet them in the ring the next week for an opportunity at the World Tag Team Title. However, the match never transpired due to Scott needing emergency surgery after damaging his trachea during a match in Puerto Rico. Scott was then replaced by Road Warrior Animal at Slammiversary, where Rick and Animal lost to Team 3D for the World Tag Team Title.
At Victory Road, he interfered in the Match of Champions by attacking the referee during Brother Devon's pinfall attempt on Kurt Angle. A month later at Hard Justice, Scott returned to the ring following his recovery and the reunited Steiners defeated Team 3D, beginning a feud with Team 3D. In retaliation to their loss, Team 3D attacked the Steiners, ending with Rick being powerbombed through a table.
The Steiners returned to TNA in late September to challenge Team 3D in a two out of three falls tables match at Bound for Glory. Team 3D won the first fall after performing the 3D on Rick through a table. However, Brother Ray would take the first loss for his team after Scott performed the frankensteiner on him through a table. The deciding fall came when Scott lifted Ray on his shoulders and Rick performed his signature diving bulldog on Ray through a table, securing the win for the Steiners. On January 29, 2008, Rick Steiner was released due to budget cuts, splitting up the brothers once again.
Independent circuit and sporadic appearances (2013–present)
On May 31, 2013, the Steiner Brothers won the Preston City Wrestling Tag Team Championships before losing it the following day. On June 23, the Steiner Brothers defeated Eddie Kingston and Homicide at the House of Hardcore 2 event.
Steiner has three sons, whose names are Hudson, Maveric, and Bronson.
In mid-2004, Steiner began selling real estate. He is currently with Rick Steiner and Associates at Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage in the North Metro Atlanta area.
He is also a school board member of the Cherokee County School District. He was disqualified from entering the primary for the 2006 term, due to using the Steiner name rather than his legal name. Steiner could have run for re-election had he presented a petition calling for this with 4,500 signatures; however, he was unable to do so. Consequently, Steiner ran unopposed as a write-in candidate in November 2006 and won.
Championships and accomplishments
- George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
- Class of 2014
- Jim Crockett Promotions/World Championship Wrestling
- NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[a]
- NWA/WCW World Television Championship (3 times)
- WCW United States Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- NWA/WCW United States Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Eddie Gilbert (1) and Scott Steiner (1)[b]
- NWA (Mid-Atlantic version)/WCW World Tag Team Championship (8 times) – with Scott Steiner (7) and Kenny Kaos (1)[c]
- Pat O'Connor Memorial Tag Team Tournament (1990)[d] – with Scott Steiner
- Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling[e]
- New Japan Pro Wrestling
- Preston City Wrestling
- PCW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Scott Steiner
- Pro Wrestling America
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI Match of the Year (1991) with Scott Steiner vs. Lex Luger and Sting at SuperBrawl I
- PWI Tag Team of the Year (1990, 1993) with Scott Steiner
- PWI ranked him #2 of the Top 100 Tag Teams of the "PWI Years" with Scott Steiner in 2003
- PWI ranked him #10 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 1991
- PWI ranked him #88 of the top 500 singles wrestlers of the "PWI Years" in 2003
- Pro Wrestling This Week
- Pure Action Championship Wrestling
- PACW Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Scott Steiner
- Southern Championship Wrestling
- SCW Championship (1 time)
- Universal Wrestling Federation
- World League Wrestling
- World Pro Wrestling
- WPW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- World Wrestling Federation
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
- 5 Star Match (1991) with Scott Steiner, Sting, and Brian Pillman vs. Ric Flair, Larry Zbyszko, Barry Windham and Sid Vicious in a WarGames match at WrestleWar
- Tag Team of the Year (1990) with Scott Steiner
- Most Improved (1986)
- Best Gimmick (1988)
- Match of the Year (1991) with Scott Steiner vs. Hiroshi Hase and Kensuke Sasaki at WCW/New Japan Supershow
- Although it was almost always defended in Florida, the NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship was given to Steiner by Mike Rotunda while working a storyline together in Jim Crockett Promotions in December 1987. Steiner was stripped of the championship so that it could be defended in the Florida promotion exclusively once again in December 1988.
- Steiner's reigns with this championship occurred after Ted Turner purchased Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling from Jim Crockett, Jr. in November 1988 and renamed the promotion World Championship Wrestling. The reigns also occurred prior to the title being renamed the WCW United States Tag Team Championship and while WCW was still an NWA affiliated promotion.
- After Buff Bagwell abandoned Steiner during the championship match, Steiner chose Kenny Kaos as a replacement partner to hold the championship with. After Kaos suffered an injury, Steiner chose Bagwell's mother Judy as a replacement partner to hold the championship with. WWE recognizes this occurrence as one continuous reign for Steiner.
- The Steiner Brothers won the tournament in 1990 when Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling was bought by Ted Turner and renamed World Championship Wrestling, but prior to WCW's withdrawal from the National Wrestling Alliance.
- This Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, while currently operating out of the same region of the United States and having revised some of the championships used by the original Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, is not the same promotion that was once owned by Jim Crockett, Jr. and subsequently sold to Ted Turner in 1988. It is just another NWA-affiliated promotion.
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- "Nitro report on March 18, 1996".
- "Souled Out report on January 25, 1997".
- "Spring Stampede report on April 6, 1997".
- "Road Wild report on August 9, 1997".
- "Nitro report on October 13, 1997".
- "Nitro report on October 27, 1997".
- "Nitro report on January 12, 1998".
- "Nitro report on February 9, 1998".
- "SuperBrawl VIII report on February 22, 1998".
- "Fall Brawl report on September 13, 1998".
- "Halloween Havoc report on October 25, 1998".
- "Nitro report on October 26, 1998".
- "Nitro report on March 1, 1999".
- "Nitro report on April 12, 1999".
- "Slamboree report on May 9, 1999".
- "The Great American Bash report on June 13, 1999".
- "Nitro report on September 13, 1999".
- "Halloween Havoc report on October 24, 1999".
- "Mayhem report on November 21, 1999".
- "Starrcade report on December 19, 1999".
- "Thunder report on January 17, 2001".
- "Nitro report on February 5, 2001".
- "SuperBrawl Revenge report on February 18, 2001".
- "Greed report on March 18, 2001".
- "Thunder report on March 21, 2001".
- "Cagematch match listings, page 1".
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- "WCW World Television Championship history".
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- "WCW United States Tag Team Championship history".
- "NWA World Tag Team Championship (Mid-Atlantic version) history".
- "WCW World Tag Team Championship history".
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- "NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Championship history".
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- "The Steiner Brothers' first World Tag Team Championship reign". Archived from the original on October 22, 2012.
- "The Steiner Brothers' second World Tag Team Championship reign". Archived from the original on October 22, 2012.