DETROIT, MI — Professional wrestler Rick Steiner (born Robert Rechsteiner) attended a family get-together late last week, and greeted them with a series of “potato” shots that led to numerous injuries by the time the event was over. Authorities are strongly considering pressing charges against the former WCW and WWE grappler.
In wrestling terminology, a “potato” refers to a punch or blow that is real and harmful, as opposed to the usual “fake” punches that are pulled during a typical wrestling match.
Ironically, Steiner himself had built a reputation as being someone who liberally potatoed his opponents in the ring.
Known for working “stiff” and “snug,” Rick, along with his younger brother Scott, was considered a nightmare to work with because he always left his opponents hurting for real.
“I went to shake his hand, as I hadn’t seen the guy in literally ages,” said Dan Rechsteiner, Rick’s cousin. “He shook it back, but he clamped on a death grip so hard that I nearly passed out. He then tagged me in the right shoulder with a vicious left hook, and I went down for the count.”
That first incident led to a few chuckles from relatives, but they soon learned it wasn’t an isolated occurrence. One by one, Steiner stiffed other family members, too.
“My sister lost her two front teeth in the fracas,” noted Rick’s aunt, Beth.
“That woman spent 11 hours in labor giving birth to baby Rick, or Rob as we call him. When she went to break up a scuffle between Rick and his uncle Bill, he popped her one right in the mouth. Blood was everywhere, it was horrible. That’s his own mother.”
Steiner’s nephews, themselves wrestling fans since youth, jumped and ran to greet him as he arrived at the house. Instead of embracing them with hugs, relatives said, he knocked each of them out with “Steiner Lines.”
Coined by former WCW announcer Jim Ross, a Steiner Line is an exaggerated version of the standard clothesline. Witnesses then said Steiner barked in the air and ran in circles as uncles and aunts tended to the young boys.
The lowlight of the evening apparently came when Steiner’s grandmother Agnes, 98 years old, walked out to the backyard with her cane.
John Henderson, a family friend and neighbor, said Steiner “Kicked her cane from underneath her, climbed the fence, and executed a sick-looking top-rope bulldog. Smashed the poor woman’s face into smithereens.”
As family members rushed to her aid, they were relieved to hear sirens from the ambulance that came.
Unfortunately, there was no ambulance. The sirens signified the arrival of Rick’s younger, tougher brother, Scott.
It was straight out of an episode of Monday Night Raw, described Henderson.
“He shouted ‘Holla if you hear me,’ and it was ON. Rick and Scott high-fived each other, and they then both took liberties with each and every relative. Steiner Lines, Frankensteiners, suplexes, belly-to-bellys… it was insane. I ran for my life and escaped, but not before I looked back and saw Rick throw his brother-in-law, who’s a quadriplegic, into the swimming pool.”
Police eventually came and calmed the brothers down. Officer Wertz said the brothers were cooperative, but only because they were so tired from the brawling.
“They wanted to go a few more rounds, but we were able to quell the situation,” Wertz stated.
“They’re not as young as they used to be, so they blew up real fast. They were huffing and puffing, otherwise they would’ve continued the destruction. The brown-haired one even told me that if I wanted some, to come get some. He followed that up by saying if I didn’t like him, I could bite him. The blond one kept saying he was my ‘hook-up.’ I had no idea what that was all about.”
Industry observers, when informed of the incident, were not surprised.
“Rick and Scott have a long history of stiffing the boys,” noted Dave Meltzer, who publishes the acclaimed Wrestling Observer Newsletter. “Rick has bullied opponents for years, and no one over challenged him because he’s so tough. Scott’s even tougher, with legit college credentials in wrestling. He’s a timebomb, and nobody will mess with him, even at his age.”
Detroit police were still contemplating pressing charges at press time, but said they were leaning against it.
“Look at that guy, the one who calls himself Big Poppa Pump,” said Wertz. “YOU try putting him in cuffs.”