Did any wrestler of the 90s and 2000s go through a more dramatic change than Scott Steiner?
Maybe you could make the case for John Layfield, moving from beer-swilling, ass pounding half-cowboy APA Bradshaw to briefcase carrying JBL.
But Scott Steiner began pro-wrestling looking like a long-haired Dave Meltzer that’d been blown up with a bicycle pump to being the, well, the freak, the blond-haired, vein swelling monster that is Big Poppa Pump.
With this physical transformation also came a move from hardworking University of Michigan wrestling alum babyface to one of the greatest heel promos in wrestling.
To be clear, when I say great, I mean so dumb, so far below zero, it comes back around to a 10 for quotability. After all, isn’t that the quality of a truly great wrestling promo? Think about the promos you watch the most, you quote the most: they probably look closer to Lex Luger’s “can you even afford to pay me?” failure to rip his t-shirt at SuperBrawl Saturday (?) than a cleverly spun Jake the Snake web of terror.
Think I’m wrong? Check out this list of the greatest promos from Big Poppa Pump. He has some interesting perspectives on world history and current events, and makes some startling admissions about his (lack of) reading ability while blowing our minds with sophisticated math theory.
5. An“ Educated” Debate on the Iraq War; From Steiner’s debate with Christopher Nowinski about the Iraq War – WWE Raw, April 14, 2003.
” …see, throughout my career, I’ve wrestled alotta countries…
He probably meant, “I’ve wrestled in alotta countries,” but the image of Steiner storming through the streets of Manitoba with Canadian Lumberjacks trying to take him down with mere rifles is awesome.
4. On The Dudleys’ Physical Conditioning; Scott’s promo before the Steiner Brothers’ match with Team 3D – TNA Bound for Glory 2007
“Tonight, we’re gonna beat you atchoo own game! And after iss all sud ‘n’ done, you’re gonna be pickin’ splinters outta your FAAAT ASSES, all night long, ‘cuz you got some FAAAT ASSES! Know what chance you have? You have no chance, but you had a chance, is you could run lickety-split! But you can’t run, ‘cuz you got some FAAAT ASSES.”
I love, love the idea, that though the logic gets sketchy (see #1 below), Steiner clearly pre-writes his promos for symmetry. He makes a point, and he brings it back around. I can picture him hunched over an old school typewriter pounding at the keys, drinking his iced scotch.
Plus, there humor in repetition. Say something stupid enough times in a short enough span and it gets funny. FAAAAT ASSSSESS!.
3. Scott Steiner Goes Animal House…Sort of; Steiner in a backstage interview with the Christian Coalition – TNA, 2005
“Just like at Hirojima, when Pearl Harbor bombed the Germans!”
Okay, benefit of the doubt – this is a reference to Belushi’s rallying speech in Animal House: “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no! And it ain’t over now!” I don’t think he’s trying to do anything more than that.
Of course, he still Steinerized it by fumbling the words around and adding the awesome mispronunciation of the Japanese city.
2. Scott Steiner Observes The Comic Convention; Steiner in 2014 when asked by a Miami Herald Reporter about his big “S” logo at the Florida Supercon, 2014
“Do I look like a little kid to you? Comic books are a big thing. I looked at them when I was a kid. I’m not a kid anymore, so I kind of grew out of that phase. There is obviously a place for them because the movies do so good. The ‘S’ is because my freaks realized they weren’t with a normal man but a Superman. That’s why they called me the ‘Big Bad Booty Daddy.'”
This one fills in a lot of gaps. Scott Steiner can’t read. He says he “looked at” comics when he was a kid. I believe he did look at those things, stared those pictures and scribbly lines in the bubbles down. He may not have picked up the words, but he got the gist. Then he grew out of that looking at words and pictures phase. And that’s why “S” stands for “Big Bad Booty Daddy.”
1. Scott Steiner Maths
“You know they say all men are created equal, but you look at me and you look at Samoa Joe and you can see that statement is NOT TRUE! See, normally if you go one-on-one with another wrestler you got a fifty/fifty chance of winning. But I’m a genetic freak, and I’m not normal! So you got a 25 percent at best at beat me! And then you add Kurt Angle to the mix? You-the chances of winning drasticy go down. See, the 3-Way at Sacrifice, you got a 33 and a third chance of winning. But I, I got a 66 and two thirds chance of winning, cuz Kurt Angle KNOOOWS he can’t beat me, and he’s not even gonna try. So, Samoa Joe, you take your thirty three and a third chance minus my twenty five percent chance (if we was to go one on one) and you got an eight and a third chance of winning at Sacrifice. But then you take my 75 perchance-chance of winnin’ (if we was to go one on one), and then add 66 and two thirds…percents, I got a 141 2/3 chance of winning at Sacrifice! Señor Joe? The numbers don’t lie, and they spell disaster for you at Sacrifice!”
—Steiner’s hyping the three-way match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship against Kurt Angle and champion Samoa Joe at TNA Sacrifice 2008, TNA Impact!, May 1, 2008
Any way you add it up, this is superb. I think it’s important to note that his addition is accurate here. Then again, he did attend a high-end Division 1 university. He also understands thirds and quarters. However, had he committed to actually learning to read as well, he’d know that no numbers spell “sacrifice.”
You can find me on Twitter @gritvanwinkle.