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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Scott Steiner, Or "Why Supplements Don't Always Work"
June 7, 2006 by Alex Gest


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First of all, this is my first article for this site so any feedback, whether positive or negative is strongly encouraged to allow me to improve the contents of any possible future columns. I would like to write about one of my favourite wrestlers of all time, namely "Big Poppa Pump" Scott Steiner.

Although he has lost a lot of his past glory in the eyes of many wrestling fans, he still remains one of my favourites. This article will mostly focus on the recent years of Steiner's career, going from his massive push in WCW before it collapsed to his horrible stunt in the WWE and finally, to his current contribution to the TNA roster.

Scott Steiner is a two-time All-American from the University of Michigan and formed one of the best tag team in wrestling history, namely the Steiner Brothers with his older brother Rick. Along with his brother, they were the WCW, WWF, CWA, WWA and IWGP tag team champions. They had a short stint in the WWF from 1993 to 1994 and then returned to WCW. From there on, they had notable feuds with The Road Warriors and Harlem Heat.

However, Scott was to follow the paths of many fellow WCW superstars and decide to join the nWo. On February 22nd 1998 at Superbrawl, Scott turned on his brother Rick and joined the nWo which then led to a brother feud. The Steiner vs. Steiner feud then continued for months, with Rick winning the tag belts from Scott and the Giant. Steiner has changed his look, now appearing with bleached hair and continually putting on a lot of mass and bulk, especially in the biceps area. He would then go on to create the Big Poppa Pump and Big Bad Booty Daddy gimmicks which still follow him to this day.

During this period, Steiner also managed to get into some trouble. On April 21st 1998 in South Cherokee, he was arrested for threatening a State Department of Transportation worker and then hitting the man with a Ford F-250 Pickup. Steiner would then use his past criminal convictions to his favour in various storylines.

Steiner then shortly teamed with Kevin Nash and in March 1999, he defeated Booker T in the finals of the US Title Tournament after Scott Hall had vacated the title due to injury. Unfortunately, Scott then suffered a back injury, was stripped of the title and was put on the shelf for some time.

Steiner then appeared on Nitro wearing a brace to give his 'retirement speech' but this actually turned out to be a hoax as he seemed in perfect condition and rejoined the nWo.

Scott Steiner was the top performer in Vince Russo & Eric Bischoff's New Blood regime, wining the US Title again and becoming the World Heavyweight Champion on November 26, 2000 at Mayhem where he beat Booker T in a "Straight Jacket Steel Cage" match. He then entered into a two month feud with Sid Vicious which culminated in a match in January 2000 at the SIN PPV where Sid jumped off the turnbuckle and landed horribly, snapping his leg and also ending his career. Steiner took credit for this, claiming that he had now put Sid, Goldberg, Sting and Booker T out of action. Steiner then briefly joined Ric Flair and Lex Luger among others in a faction called the Magnificent Seven.

Vince McMahon and the WWF then bought WCW and at the last Monday Nitro, Steiner lost the World Heavyweight Title to Booker T in a quite lacklustre match. Steiner was not brought into the WWF as a part of the deal and preferred to sit out on his contract and wait until it expired. Some have claimed this was an unwise move as Steiner could have been part of the whole Invasion angle possibly as the reigning WCW Champion and this could have improved the storyline itself.

However, during this time, Steiner worked matches for World Wrestling All-Stars and fought in Japan with his brother Rick as the Steiner Brothers. On October 24th 2002, WWE.COM announced the signing of Big Poppa Pump.

Steiner then made his debut at the 2002 Survivor Series PPV beating up Chris Nowinski and Matt Hardy and received a thunderous ovation from the WWE fans. Little were they to know that this Scott Steiner was far from being the Scott Steiner of the WCW days. On the last Nitro, Steiner actually looked good physically and had a reasonably large move set, hitting a Northern Lights Suplex amongst others on Booker T. Steiner would never perform such a move again to this day. During his time out, he must have gone wild on the "supplements" as he seemed to be even more bulked up than he was during the last WCW days. It seemed as if Steiner had solely focused on building his arms and neglecting the rest of his body. To back this up, one has to look at his chest. On the last Nitro, Steiner has a perfectly normally built chest but when he debuted at Survivor Series, one could see that his pectoral muscles were "moving apart' from each other as he started to have a gap in the middle of his chest...

Anyway, back to the WWE storylines. Steiner was then involved in a storyline where RAW and Smackdown were bidding against each other to acquire his services. RAW and Eric Bischoff eventually won this bidding war. As soon as Steiner joined the RAW roster, he was put in a feud with the World Heavyweight Champion of the time, none other than Triple H. On December 16, 2002, Steiner interrupted the HHH Appreciation Ceremony and after long promos in the ring, HHH accepted to give Steiner a shot at the World Title at the Royal Rumble. In the weeks leading up to the Rumble, HHH and Steiner were involved in arm wrestling contests, pose downs and push-up contests.

WWE Creative was doing everything it could to get the crowd behind Steiner and it actually worked until their infamous match at the Rumble. Rumours were that WWE actually intended to give the belt to Steiner but went against this just before the match. This may have turned out to be the smartest decision they ever made!!!

The match started off OK with Steiner doing an impressive gorilla press on HHH in the middle of the ring. However, as the match went on, the crowd slowly started booing Steiner. The main reason for this is that Steiner's move-set was almost non-existent. At one point, he did three overhead belly-to-belly suplexes and this considerably annoyed the crowd. It seemed that all Steiner could do was punches and suplexes and even when he did the latter, he managed to botch them, as was the case with his attempted butterfly suplex which was a complete disaster when he fell over after performing it in a very weak-like manner. Throughout the match, Steiner seems very weak and experienced considerable difficulty performing his moves. By this point, the crowd had had enough and had realised that this Scott Steiner was only a shadow of his own self. Steiner eventually won the match by DQ when Triple H hit him with the sledgehammer. At that point, it was hard to decide whether the crowd was actually booing for HHH for causing the DQ or for Steiner for having put on such a poor performance. Yet, WWE Creative decided Steiner should get another shot at HHH at the next PPV, No Way Out in Canada.

Steiner won his number one contender match on an episode of RAW, cleanly defeating Chris Jericho who, at the time, was involved in a feud with HBK Shawn Michaels. The match at No Way Out was as HORRIFIC as their previous encounter. This time, however, the crowd was behind HHH from the outset and booed Steiner at every offence he had. When HHH hit Steiner with the belt while the ref was distracted by Evolution, the crowd cheered loudly. It seemed as if throughout the whole bout, Steiner was the heel and HHH the face when this was supposed to be the opposite. Thankfully, WWE Creative realised that they couldn't do much else with Steiner and he was moved down the card, not even getting a match at WrestleMania XIX where HHH defended his title in a match against Booker T (which, actually, was a 5-star match compared to those with Steiner).

After this horrible feud, Steiner was put into a long, long, long feud with Test over Stacy Keibler. The two started off as a tag team but Test slowly got jealous when Stacy continually hugged Steiner. The two faced off at Bad Blood where Steiner defeated Test to win the services of Stacy. This storyline seemed to be never ending until the two faced off again at Unforgiven where the stipulation was that the winner would acquire the services of Stacy and of the loser. Test eventually won the match (enough said). Realising this feud had become very very very stale, Creative decided to turn Steiner heel and put him in the Austin/Bischoff feud over control of RAW as GM. The feud culminated in a classic survivor series type match with Steiner, Jericho, Christian, Orton and Mark Henry facing off against RVD, HBK, Booker T and the Dudley Boyz. Due to interference from Batista, Orton pinned Michaels to put Stone Cold out of a job. The match itself was entertaining however Steiner's participation was not. He was eliminated first when he was pinned by Booker T. In exactly one year, Steiner had gone from being the one of the most coveted free agents to a mediocre mid-card wrestler with no interesting storylines. I don't know exactly how much WWE was paying Steiner over this period but they must have sorely regretted it.

The last time Steiner was seen in a WWE ring was at the 2004 Royal Rumble where he entered at number 8 and was eliminated by Booker T (again) during Kane's entrance at number 12. In other words, we didn't even get to see his elimination. That says it all...

WWE then managed to agree to a contractual release with Steiner after WrestleMania XX. During this time, Steiner had surgery on his right foot which had been supposedly affecting his in-ring performances.....

Steiner then made his TV return at the TNA Destination X PPV where he attacked Sting/Steve Borden aligning himself with Jeff Jarrett's army. On the following episode of Impact, Steiner cut an excellent promo on TNA's newest acquisitions, including Rhino, Team 3D and NWA Heavyweight Champion Christian Cage. He seemed even bigger but at the same time even more in bad shape (see above for his chest shape). Steiner then went on a rampage, viciously attacking Andy Douglas of the Naturals and Norman Smiley, putting them out of action. This lead up to the Lethal Lockdown match at Lockdown last April. Steiner entered the cage second from last and looked reasonably impressive but again limiting his moves to belly-to-belly suplexes and T-bones.

Recently, Steiner has been involved in a feud with Samoa Joe and rumours are that the two will face off at the Slammiversary PPV. If one looks at their confrontation at the Sacrifice PPV last month, this could actually be quite a good match. A win over Scott Steiner would be a good contribution to Joe's career and would definitely move him to main event status as he rightly deserves. From there, one doesn't know where Steiner would go. Apparently, he has a short-term contract with TNA but it wouldn't surprise me if he signed an extension deal seeing how he is constantly in the main event picture.

Now, don't get me wrong, despite this rather attacking stance I have taken, Big Poppa Pump still remains one of my favourites. I am simply disappointed at the way he his character has evolved. There are various reasons for such a downhill evolution (if you can say that) but the main one has to be steroid or supplement abuse. Long were the days when Steiner could easily perform a Frankensteiner. He has now become the main with the largest arms and the shortest fuse. Kevin Nash keeps saying that 'size does matter' but this might not actually be completely true as one's greed to become bigger size wise may considerably reduce one's in-ring wrestling ability. The Big Bad Booty Daddy may be the best example to date.

by Alex Gest


Tazz23JS wrote:
I agree with u 100% if u look at the current state of the superstars in the WWE! u will see that since the steroids stopped the wrestling began. Now I just wish they could find a competent creative team.
Sev M. wrote:
This is a really cool article very comprehensive and helpful in showing Steiner's latest less than stellar run, because I saw very little. When I first saw him in WCW he surprised me with just how "pumped" he was. That many steroids looked absolutely hideously unhealthy; I heard from somehow in 01 that "his muscle exploded" and it didn't seem so inconceivable.... did anything like that happen"
Dartagan67 wrote:
I will agree with you on Big Poppa Pump & his recent stint on TNA. It seems like he can cut a great promo for your nerves but his in ring ability kinda fell off. Back when he was part of the Steiner bros; they were known of the "Master of the Suplex" due to their amatuer wrestling background. They both had a moveset simliar to Kurt Angle's somewhat. The Steiners broke up & Scott started his Big Poppa Pump gimmick in WCW it was cool; he joined NWO & became popular heel with Nash,Hall & Hogan. I think as the years went by he started building his body more; it looks like he put maybe too much emphasis in his arms. He need to have build up his chest more so it wouldn't look that way. As for his in ring ability it's 2 reasons: Too much supplements & the fact that he's in his mid to 40's.. Good column though.
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