Deserving of the Hall of Fame!
July 1, 2006 by Steven Matthews
Rick Rude, born Richard Rood in 1958 was destined for greatness in the world of professional wrestling. With an impressive physique and the power to back it, Rude seemed to have been born to wrestle.
Rick Rude worked from the bottom up. His first wrestling experience took place in Minnesota and Canada, but it was in Memphis where Rude had a very memorable singles
match with Jerry "The King" Lawler. Personally I remember watching this match on tape and the chaotic brawl at the end involving Koko B. Ware, Tommy Rich and many others. From working the various territories, Rude had been managed by Jimmy Hart and
Percy Pringle, who was of course Paul Bearer. He held the Southern Tag Team Championship with King Kong Bundy and had little to no competition in Florida,
winning the Heavyweight and Tag Team Championship multiple times.
From there it was onto World Class Championship Wrestling, working for the Von Erich family. Although Rude's run in the promotion didn't last for a very long time, he went down in the record books as the first ever WCCW World Heavyweight Champion, after the NWA pulled away from WCCW. Rude was able to show his stuff on a higher platform and in July 1986, it was Chris Adams, another classic wrestler, who dethroned
Rude as champion. Rick Rude shortly thereafter left WCCW for the NWA. Rude was thrown into a feud with well known rival, Wahoo McDaniel, before finding himself in a very intriguing situation. With partner, Manny Fernandez, Rude captured the NWA Tag Team Championship. Shortly after their win, Rude decided to sign a WWF contract. Rude was still one half of the NWA Tag Team Champions (see, Bischoff stole that
from McMahon too). Not knowing what to do, the NWA gave the Rock 'N' Roll Express the Tag titles, claiming that they defeated Rude and Fernandez in a match that simply never happened. Now, it was time for Rude to shine.
Rick Rude entered the WWF under the guidance of Bobby "The Brain" Heenan. Rude would begin a controversial gimmick of being the ultimate ladies man, kissing
women who were sitting in the front row. Sometimes, Rude went a little too far, which of course led to several feuds. He had an intense rivalry with Jake Roberts after trying to "convince" Cheryl Roberts, Jake's wife, that he was a "real man." However, Rude's big break in the WWE came at the 1989 Royal Rumble where he absolutely destroyed The Ultimate Warrior in a "posedown" challenge. Rude was being outdone by the lunatic from Parts Unknown and blindsided him with a steel bar used for posing. This would lead to a match at WrestleMania V pitting Warrior and Rude for Warrior's Intercontinental Championship. Before the match, Rude unveiled his tights, with a picture of The Ultimate Warrior right on the front. The match wasn't a technical classic,
but it was entertaining and unpredictable. Warrior dominated Rude and powered him to the outside. Warrior attempted to suplex Rude from the ring apron, but Bobby Heenan tripped Warrior, Rude fell on top and Heenan held Warrior's leg outside the ring for the
three count. The audience at Trump Plaza was stunned.
Until that point, The Ultimate Warrior had never been pinned in a match. Rick Rude delivered The Ultimate Warrior had his first loss in the WWF and took his Intercontinental Championship as well. Rude lost the Intercontinental Championship later that month to The Ultimate Warrior in a rematch, but Rude had already established himself as a serious threat to one of the most powerful and rising superstars in the WWF at that time. Rude was even one of the first challengers to The Ultimate Warrior's WWF Championship run at the 1990 Summerslam inside a steel cage. In the autumn of 1990, problems arose between Rude and WWF management and so Rick Rude packed his bags and headed to Atlanta, where his career would take many interesting turns.
Rick Rude debuted as the WCW Phantom at Halloween Havoc in 1991 and defeated Tom Zenk. After the match, Rude unveiled himself to the crowd and in the upcoming months, he would join The Dangerous Alliance, a faction with rising stars like "Stunning" Steve Austin and managed by Paul E. Dangerously or Paul Heyman. He was even labeled the "cornerstone" of the Dangerous Alliance by Heyman. Rude would be involved in many high profile matches in his first WCW stint. Many of Rude's adversaries were Masa Chono, Sting, Ricky Steamboat and Ric Flair. In fact, in 1993, after an intense feud, Rick Rude defeated Ric Flair for the NWA Championship. However, the NWA withdrew from World Championship Wrestling and Rude's belt was renamed the WCW International Championship. It was in 1994, in a match with Sting, Rude severely
injured his back and his neck and was not seen for quite some time until heading to a northeastern promotion that only a few people heard of.
In ECW, the sole reason of Rude's existence was to make Shane Douglas's life a "living hell." However, his run didn't last very long as he jumped ship back to the World Wrestling Federation as insurance policy for the new group, Degeneration X. Rude would often accompany Michaels and Triple H and even busted his steel briefcase over The Undertaker's head. Then, history was made as something happened that made the
"Monday Night War" one of the most memorable programs in wrestling history.
The "Montreal Screw Job" affected so many people. Some time after the situation, Rude called Eric Bischoff and told him how he felt. Rude was not contracted by the WWF and Bischoff offered him a job. And on Monday night, November 17, Rick Rude appeared on Raw introducing Degeneration X. Seconds later, Rude appeared on Nitro. Raw was taped and Nitro was live, making that possible. Rude didn't have such a huge part in his last stint in WCW, managing Curt Hennig, both members of the n.W.o. In 1998, Rude left WCW abruptly.
Rude was such an active competitor in wrestling and even in martial arts events. Sadly, Rude suffered a heart attack in April of 1999 and passed away. This happened during Rude's training to make possibly his last stand in the WWF. Rude was always in great shape and had the courage to take on many situations in and out of the ring that were enormous. Rude's lengthy career and legendary status should immortalize him in
the Hall of Fame.
By Steven Matthews
Joe Spaz wrote:
I 100% agree as Rude was on of the greatest heels of all time. But Owen Hart must be given HOF consideration as well. Owen did not hold a World Championship, but his accomplishments are equal to Rick Rude and Eddy Guerrero.
You didn't mention the numerous times other wrestlers have mentioned how much Rude helped other guy's careers (especially the Warrior's- he is credited with making the Warrior look great during their matches),
Thomas Bradley wrote:
I agree with you, Rude does deserve to be in the Hall. But the man who deserves it more than anyone, is Bruno Sanmmartino, but we all know why he is not in. Other than him Randy Savage deserves it too, plus Bob Backlund.
I would love to see Rick Rude in the Hall of Fame. It's a shame he's not alive, he should be able to enjoy his moment. Rick Rude was one of my fav. wrestlers. He should have been one of the first ones inducted.
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