Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat in Intensive Care

All of us who have been thrilled over the years by the brilliant performances of pro wrestler Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat are pulling for his speedy recovery from a brain aneurysm diagnosed Wednesday in Tampa.

Mike Aldren of Wrestling Globe Newsletter reports that hospital sources say Steamboat, 57, is in intensive care, where he is “stable, coherent and comfortable,” but “still has a long way to go.”

Here’s a topical Steamboat memory. In the late 1980s World Wrestling Entertainment (then called WWF) had an NBC show, Saturday Night’s Main Event, which served as an irregular replacement for Saturday Night Live (and by the way, for at least a while did better ratings than SNL).

On one SNME, Steamboat took a “DDT” from Jake “The Snake” Roberts on the concrete floor outside the ring. The move was botched and Steamboat was legitimately knocked unconscious. Later, Steamboat was shown on camera, woozy and incoherent, and it was supposed to be kind of funny. This was decades before Chris Benoit, Dr. Bennet Omalu’s brain-injury studies, and Dr. Joseph Maroon’s hire as WWE medical director.

Irv Muchnick

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