As reported by Wrestlezone.com, Steamboat has recently been working WWE house shows and dark matches.
Like Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase, he is blessed and cursed with having a famous wrestling father.
Having WWE Hall of Famer Ricky Steamboat as a father certainly blessed Richie with fantastic genes and likely gets him a shot at the big time sooner. Unfortunately, his lineage also has him operating under a mountain-sized shadow.
In addition to spending time learning at the Pro Wrestling Noah dojo, Richie was trained by Harley Race and his father himself. His studies have led him to be one of the more technically sound FCW wrestlers. He seems to be improving quickly and teems with potential.
Richie inherited his dad’s quickness and natural athleticism. He performs a spectacular springboard arm drag as well as a crisp diving crossbody.
He moves well in the ring. Richie is quick, nimble and already a proficient technical wrestler.
He can also thank his dad for passing down his good looks—something that definitely comes in handy in a wrestling career. Richie began his career so babyfaced and sweet looking, one had to wonder if that would negatively affect him.
He has since grown his hair out and a beard, giving him a much edgier look.
He’s taller (6’2”) and leaner than his father. In terms of appearance, Richie will fit in easily with this WWE generation.
His current finishing moves are the superkick and the crossbody, the latter being a nod to his father. Richie performs both of them quite well, but it’s his lesser used finisher, the Gory Neckbreaker (known as the Widow’s Peak when done by Victoria) that would make him stand out more in the WWE.
While an excellent ring worker, Richie’s showmanship is just about average right now. That is certainly something he can work on as he learns.
Learning to tell the story in the ring and to work the crowd with gestures and facial expressions isn’t his strong suit now, but it will likely come in time.
The same goes for his charisma and mic work.
Richie has shown glimpses of spark in promos, but he’s a bit soft-spoken and reserved right now. Not every wrestler has to scream to get over, but some added intensity will put Richie on a higher level. Though his kicking skills are good, his hand-based striking sometimes comes off a bit weak.
Whether throwing punches or chops, Richie needs to find the balance between knocking his opponent’s teeth out and giving him love taps. It’s the only element of his ring work that detracts from the realism of the match.
Where He Could End Up
Richie Steamboat will get a shot in the WWE. The bigger question is: How will he fare there and how far can he go with the company?
Depending on his development as a performer, he could end up as a high mid-carder, challenging for the Intercontinental and United States championships.
Starting him off on a tag team would be a wise move, allowing him to develop further as WWE fans get to know him.
WWE needs to find a persona that doesn’t solely rely on references to his famous father. If they can find a blend of Richie’s real-life personality and something larger than life, then he need not become an actor, but merely an amplified version of himself.
His ring work will award him various opportunities. How well he grows as an overall entertainer will determine his ceiling.
As is, he’s like Justin Gabriel—a talented ring worker that fans can’t really get behind. Steamboat has more potential than Gabriel and should have a career more parallel to that of Christian’s.
He has a ready-made rocking entrance song. He has the look and the wrestling ability.
We’ll soon see how the package all fits together.
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