The Steiner Brothers, UM wrestling alums, to enter WWE Hall of Fame
Fittingly, they'll be enshrined together.
Scott and Rick Steiner, the Bay City natives and Michigan alums who went on to form one of the most popular tag teams of 1990s wrestling, are set to be inducted this week into the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2022.
The induction ceremony is Friday at American Airlines Center in Dallas, as the pre-party for WrestleMania 38, which will take place Saturday and Sunday.
Also being inducted are The Undertaker, Vader and Queen Sharmell.
The Steiner Brothers — Robert Rechsteiner, 61, and Scott Rechsteiner, 59 — began their wrestling career in the mid-1980s, and in 1988 (Rick) and 1989 (Scott) joined World Championship Wrestling. In 1992, they moved to what then was called World Wrestling Federation, with whom their Michigan connection was played up. They wore Michigan varsity jackets, and "The Victors" was played as their entrance music. The Steiners, Scott with his long, flowing mullet, and Rick, with a tighter crop, goatee and amateur-style head gear, appeared on the first episode of "Monday Night Raw" in 1993, and eventually won the circuit's tag team championship.
"The most successful of tag teams must be completely in sync and possess an ability to almost read each other’s thoughts," the WWE said in making the announcement Monday. "Arguably, no one can find that level of connection better than family. … (The Steiner Brothers) introduced an innovative in-ring style that helped them fight their way to the top of the mountain."
They won the WWE tag team title twice, and across all companies, they won 11 tag team titles. Their first WWE tag team title came in a match against Money, Inc. — "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase and Irwin R. Schyster (or I.R.S) — at a house show June 14, 1993, in Columbus, Ohio, home of the Steiners' rival university, Ohio State. They still were cheered.
After leaving WWE, the Steiners spent a year with Extreme Championship Wrestling, then returned to WCW, feuding with the likes of the Road Warriors, Sting and Lex Luger, and Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, the latter, like the Steiners, a Michigan native. The Steiners won the world tag team title seven times with WCW, and Scott had a run as WCW heavyweight champion.
In the late 1990s, a story arc created dissension between the two, and eventually led to a split, with Scott turning heel — or becoming a bad guy. He cut his hair, grew a goatee and joined the famously bad nWo (New World Order), calling himself, "Big Poppa Pump," a nod to his massive physique.
The duo stayed with WCW until it shut down operations in 2001, then continued to wrestle for a variety of other promotions, including New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and the National Wrestling Alliance.
Also, Scott briefly returned to WWE in the early 2000s. In 2022, Rick made his first WWE appearance since 1994, when his son, Bron Breakker, won the NXT Championship.
The Steiner Brothers' careers, which spanned more than 20 years, definitely took their toll, physically.
In a 2006 interview with The Detroit News, Scott Steiner explained that wrestling might technically be entertainment and mostly scripted, but the pain is real.
"How would you like your body slammed, just once, on the mat we wrestle on? The mat we wrestle on, it's not soft. You feel it," Scott told The News. "Then do everything else we do in the ring, all the contact every night. You'll probably get slammed more than once.
"Then pack up, and fly to another city that night, get in late, and do it all over again the next night. Get slammed onto the mat, all the physical stuff one more time. Wrestle your match, and fly out of the next city.
"Over and over, each day, you get slammed on that mat. One point in my career I was home for two days in one month. The travel is probably the toughest part about this business. There are no breaks. You're flying from country to country, sometimes overnight. And you keep wrestling."
The Steiners attended Bay City Western before wrestling for Michigan.
Friday's Hall of Fame ceremony will be streamed live on Peacock in the United States, and on the WWE Network internationally.
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