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By Gerry Strauss

As we all know, Professional Wrestling is about so much more than the action that happens within the six-sided ring. Yes, TNA boasts the greatest roster of wrestlers in the entire world, but their athletic ability is truly only part of the puzzle. You see, in the fast-moving, highly competitive world of Total Nonstop Action, it's not only about wins and losses....sometimes, it's about who your friends are. Sometimes, it's about how you conduct yourself. Sometimes, it's about making those hard decisions that inevitably show the world exactly what you truly stand for. Every week...every day.... every minute, TNA stars are subject to choices that could affect their careers, their personal lives, and their public image. Like anything in life, there are two sides to every story, and every week, I will bring you one of those “Burning Issues”…read on, and feel free to talk amongst yourselves:

For the last nine years, Scott Steiner has forged a career based on controversy. Relying on image as much as athleticism, "Big Poppa Pump's" main focus seemed to center on women, bad language, and showing off his gigantic biceps to anyone who might take notice. While his power and experience had made him a force to be reckoned with between the ropes, his mouth has made him even more of a superstar as the world constantly tunes in to see just what he will say next.

However, longtime wrestling fans know that there was a time when the "Big Bad Booty Daddy's" actions spoke louder than his words. There was a time when Scott Steiner was regarded as among the most innovative, physically dominant wrestlers in the world. There was a time when the Steiner name was as feared as any in the sport, not just because of Scott, but because of his brother.

You see, Rick Steiner, like Scott, was a collegiate wrestling standout. Several years older, Rick's age gave him a head start in the pro ranks, and he soon developed a reputation as a true hard hitter, using mat wrestling, suplexes, and his jaw-shattering "Steiner-line" to punish his opponents. Even on his own, Rick was widely regarded as a true superstar-in-the-making...and then came Scott.

Scott Steiner eagerly thrust himself into pro wrestling as soon as he could, spending many months building his skills in regional organizations throughout the country. An athletic phenom, Steiner's natural power and speed, coupled with his amateur background, enabled him to grapple, slam, and innovate from the very beginnings of his career. Like a mad scientist, he constantly invented new ways to suplex his opponents, and his "Frankensteiner" version of the hurracanrana immediately took the wrestling world by storm. There is no doubt that Scott could have been extremely successful on his own...but then came Rick.

When Rick and Scott decided to sacrifice their singles goals for a run as a tag team, they knew they could be tough. But I don't think anyone could have predicted just how dominant they would become. Two hard-hitting, multifaceted, like-minded brothers with amateur wrestling backgrounds, the athletic ability, and a hunger for physicality melded together perfectly to bring the very best out of each other while bringing other tag teams to their knees. Over their nine year run as a team, 10 major Tag Championships came their way, both in the U.S. and Japan. Even more important, however, was the reputation that the Steiner Brothers earned, considered by and large to be the greatest team of their generation...maybe of all time.

Of course, all good things must come to an end, and the Steiner's days as a duo finished up in 1998, a move initiated by an increasingly-arrogant Scott, who wanted to take his career in a different direction. While Rick slowly eased out of the sport, Scott dubbed himself "Big Poppa Pump", dyed his hair, and the rest is history...or is it?

This past Sunday at TNA's "Sacrifice" event, Rick Steiner made a shocking return to pro wrestling at the side of his brother. Rick looked to be in better shape then ever, and suddenly, the once-thought-impossible fantasy became a very real possibility...but should it happen? Should the legendary Steiner Brothers get back together fulltime?

The Steiners should stay separated:

Everyone knows that chemistry is as important to a tag team’s success as any physical attribute. Partners have to truly be on the same page to devote the necessary effort that success requires. Priorities and goals must be aligned if the team is to have any chance to truly succeed.

In the ‘90’s, the Steiners were two young athletes looking to conquer the world together. They had their whole careers (heck, their whole lives) ahead of them, and wanted nothing more then to dominate. It’s all they cared about, all they wanted… all they needed.

For several years, however, things have been different. Times have changed. Priorities have changed. The Steiners have changed. We all know the transformation that Scott has undergone throughout the years. Meanwhile, Rick has left the fulltime wrestling wars to focus on other goals.

Yes, Scott is in the best shape of his life. Yes, Rick is tougher than ever. Yes, their bond of brotherhood has healed stronger than ever, but has the desire? Has the hunger to succeed? If not, the Steiner brothers are better off reminiscing about the past at Christmas time. As for the present, long live Rick Steiner… long live “Big Poppa Pump”… forget about the Steiner Brothers.

The Steiners should reunite:

There was a moment during April’s five-on-five “Lethal Lockdown” war that spoke volumes about the mindset of one of it’s combatants, Scott Steiner. A disgruntled member of “Team Cage”, “Big Poppa Pump” could certainly have rebelled against his captain. He could have played it safe, letting his partners do the dirty work while he opportunistically waited for a chance to steal the win. That didn’t happen. Instead, Steiner was aggressive, nasty, and ready to fight. In the moment in question, he even dusted off the old “Frankensteiner”, a move that he hadn’t used in many years… a move that always signified when Scott truly meant business.

Was that moment a whim, a fluke, or a sign of things to come? For months, Steiner has been stuck playing second fiddle to Christian Cage. The “Big Poppa Pump” of old might not care, but the gutsy fighter that helped dominate tag team competition for almost a decade would never have been content to take a back seat to anyone. Has the pure competitor within been awakened?

Remember, it was Scott’s major personality change that sparked the rift between the Steiners nine years ago. He lost the focus that drove the brothers to success. If he has regained that proverbial “eye of the tiger”, and if Rick still has it, The Steiners could return to greatness. Heck, they might be better than ever. Yes, with teams like Team 3-D and LAX dominating TNA’s tag rankings, a rise to the top could be tougher than ever, but if they are truly united, how can we bet against them?





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