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Rick Steiner

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Robert "Rick" Rechsteiner (March 9, 1961) is an American semi-retired professional wrestler, better known under his ring name Rick Steiner, and nicknamed "The Dog-Faced Gremlin".

Steiner is best known for his tenure with World Championship Wrestling, where he was an eight time World Tag Team Champion (seven times with his brother Scott 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. In addition to WCW, Steiner also found success in the World Wrestling Federation, where he and Scott won the World Tag Team Championship twice.

Professional wrestling career

Rechsteiner was an amateur wrestling standout at the University of Michigan, where he placed second at the Big Ten Championships in 1983, 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 stage name Rick Steiner. He spent time in the American Wrestling Association, Montreal promotion International Wrestling, and the Universal Wrestling Federation before going to work for the National Wrestling Alliance in 1988.

National Wrestling Alliance / World Championship Wrestling

He formed an early tag team with Sting in the UWF and 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.

Teaming with Scott

Main article: The Steiner Brothers

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 the NWA (and later World Championship Wrestling, as NWA superterritory Jim Crockett Promotions came to be known), 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-head 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

World Tag Team Champions

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 lost the title back to Harlem Heat only 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 dfense against The Public Enemy. After several successful title defenses, they lost the title back 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.

Split from Scott and feud with the New World Order

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. On January 4, 1999, the title was vacated after Steiner suffered an injury.

World Television Champion and United States Champion

After a few months of recovery, Steiner returned to the ring in February 1999. On the March 1 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, 2007–2008)

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 crown the first World Heavyweight Champion in TNA, 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, 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.

Personal life

Steiner and his wife Jamye have three sons, Hudson, Maveric, and Bronson.

In mid-2004, Steiner began selling real estate, a common career choice for retired and semi-retired wrestlers. He is currently with Rick Steiner and Associates at Keller Williams Realty Partners in the North Metro Atlanta area servicing Cherokee, Cobb, Pickens, Bartow, and Fulton counties. His website is www.callRickSteiner.com

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 reelection had he presented a petition calling for this with 4500 signatures; however, he was unable to do so. Consequently, Steiner ran unopposed as a write-in candidate in November 2006 and won.

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

  • 1-time PWA Tag Team Champion (with Scott Steiner)
  • PWI ranked him # 88 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the PWI Years in 2003.
  • PWI ranked him # 2 of the best tag teams of the PWI Years (with Scott Steiner).
  • PWI Tag Team of the Year Award (1990, with Scott Steiner; 1993, with Scott Steiner)
  • PWI Match of the Year (1991, with Scott Steiner, versus Sting and Lex Luger)
  • 1-time SCW Heavyweight Champion
  • World League Wrestling
  • 2-time WLW Heavyweight Champion
  • 1986 Most Improved Wrestler
  • 1990 Tag Team of the Year (with Scott Steiner)
  • 1991 Match of the Year (with Scott Steiner, versus Hiroshi Hase and Kensuke Sasaki)

References

External links

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