Some say Steve Sterling made underground wrestling. In describing Steve's wrestling debut shortly after winning the Mr Teen America title at age 19, Can-Am succinctly describes his initial impact:
There had never been another video wrestler with Steve's chiseled competition musculature, movie star good looks, bodacious bubble butt, or win-at-all-costs attitude. 99 out of 100 video wrestling customers became instant die-hard Steve Sterling fans.
It took me years to join the majority opinion on this because, years ago, I thought he was too short (5'5") and too heavy (207#). I'm past these narrow-minded prejudices now. Though inclined to see history as the product of innumerable influences and variables, not the work of individuals, now I consider myself a die-hard fan and acknowledge Steve's importance as an icon of kink wrestling in its mail-order days.
I like Steve's glowering mug-shot expression in most of his still pictures, but you have to see him in action to get what I get out of him. Always seething, always testy, Steve is a mad dog in the ring and the oil pit. He enjoys hurting his opponents and, more interestingly, he demands that they enjoy getting hurt by him. The man is merciless because he thinks (rightly, I guess) that his opponents want him to put them through the wringer. He's doing them a favor! And they damn well better show some appreciation for it! That attitude, along with an occasional look right into the camera lens (as if to say "You're next, pussy boy!"), is what sells me on the guy.
Top to bottom, left to right:
Photo 7: Steve again in Hollywood Musclehunk Wrestling 3
Photo 10: Steve, in oils