By Al N Jaxson
Four-time WCW Heavyweight Champion, WWE Intercontinental Champion, and WCW United States Champion, and yet Rude still hasn’t gotten the respect and acclaim he so richly deserves. Rick Rude was, simply put, one of the most entertaining guys, both on the microphone and in the ring. If you were in a match with Ravishing Rick Rude, you were going to look like a million bucks.
Rude started his wrestling career in 1982 with Vancouver’s NWA: All Star Wrestling under his birth name Rick Rood. It wasn’t long before he moved on to Georgia Championship Wrestling then on to WCW in 1983. It didn’t take long for Rude to make a name for himself with Jim Crokett Promotions before jumping up north to Vince McMahon’s WWF, aligning himself with Bobby “the Brain” Heenan’s Heenan Family.
It was this time in Rude’s career that he had some of the most incredible feuds with Hall of Famers like “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff and Jake “The Snake” Roberts. The Jake Roberts/Rick Rude feud would start by Rick Rude hitting on Roberts’ wife in the crowd one night. She turned him down for a kiss, so Rude grabbed her by the wrist, angry, as Jake The Snake came out and rescued his wife from Rude. The two would end their feud at the 1988 Survivor Series with Jake Roberts getting the win.
After the Jake The Snake feud, Rick Rude would battle another Superstar: The Ultimate Warrior. Their epic posedown at the 1989 Royal Rumble is something every wrestling fan my age (I’m 29 ,folks) should remember. The Warrior may have won the posedown, but Rude attacked him with a metal bar so HA! Rude would go on to win the Intercontinental Championship from Warrior at Wrestlemania V. Rude would have a brief feud with Roddy Piper before returning to his feud with Ultimate Warrior at Summerslam 1990 for the WWF Championship. Rick Rude lost that match and left the WWF. I must say that I really wish Rick Rude would have won that match. In my opinion, he certainly would’ve been a more worthy champion at the time.
After leaving the WWF, Rick Rude went back to Ted Turner’s WCW in 1991 and joined Paul E. Dangerously’s (aka Paul Heyman) Dangerous Alliance. You’ve gotta think that Rude teaming with Heenan and Heyman did absolutely nothing but help Rick’s career. Rick would defeat Sting to claim the WCW Heavyweight Championship in 1991. Rude then went on to have feuds with Ricky Steamboat and Ric Flair. Rude feuded with Shane Douglas in ECW briefly in 1997 before returning to WWE to be a founding member of D-Generation X with Triple H and Shawn Michaels, acting as the “Insurance Policy” of the group. At this time, Rude was not in full contract with WWE, so he would soon negotiate a deal with Eric Bischoff’s WCW. Rude was rumored to have been in the locker room at the Montreal Screwjob and was angered at what happened so that may have played a part in him leaving WWE.
Rude went on to Nitro, and is the only guy in history to be on Raw and Nitro on the same night. Pretty cool, huh? He joined the NWO with his lifelong friend Curt Hennig but eventually succumbed to injuries. In 1999, sadly, Rude would pass away due to heart failure.
Rick Rude was, by far, one of the true legends of the sport of Professional Wrestling.. Anyone’s list of “All Time Greats” would have to include Rude. His mic skills and in-ring skills were second to none. Study his career if you haven’t. Watch his promos. Get your money’s worth of the WWE Network! He’s worth it. He was just flat out simply “Ravishing.”