The idea of a wrestler's wrestler is an interesting one. First, it must be determined what qualities make up a wrestler's wrestler (or WW).
Many wrestlers have acknowledged his wrestling ability. (Just because they were all good guys doesn't matter. Acknowledgment is acknowledgment.) While Steamboat was always a fan favorite, it was only due to his kindness and friendly demeanor, not because fans thought he could fight. Most hardcore wrestling fans thought Steamboat was some wussy Asian guy who couldn't do anything other than kick.
This couldn't be further from the truth. Steamboat did have great kicking ability (widely acknowledged as the best in modern pro wrestling history), but the fluidity of his moves, his understanding of how to capitalize on opponents' weaknesses, his combinations of moves, his ability to evade moves that would seriously weaken him, and yes, his destructo power move (usually a cheesy turnbuckle leg drop, sometimes a flying body press), were all at the top level of pro wrestlers. Perhaps the most important wrestling skill of Steamboat's was his ability to evade opponents when weakened, which showed up most often in his matches against much larger opponents who were much stronger and more able to injure him in one blow.
Steamboat knew more about professional wrestling and the sport of the game than any other wrestler ever to come down the pike. He should be admired not for his kindness, but for his true love of the sport.
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