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A RUDE CAREER BECOMES A RAVISHING HALL OF FAME: RICK RUDE’S LEGACY SPOTLIGHT

Posted March 20th, 2017 by 1Wrestling News Team

A RUDE CAREER BECOMES A RAVISHING HALL OF FAME: RICK RUDE’S LEGACY SPOTLIGHT
By Travis Voeltz

“What I’d like to have right now…” he would start out with several insults, being echoed loudly over the house PA system. The insult thrower, you ask? It was 2017 WWE Hall of Famer Rick Rude.
Ravishing Rick Rude, much to the delight of long time wrestling fans, was recently announced that he’ll be inducted into the WWE’s highest honored hall this year posthumously, having passed away in April of 1999. Considered by most wrestling fans as long overdue for this honor, Rick Rude’s career spanned World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW), the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), and World Championship Wrestling (WCW) during the sports golden era. Beginning in 1982, Rude became a major personality and player—being present for more than one boom in wrestling.
Rude hailed from Robbinsdale, Minnesota and even went to the same high school with longtime friend and fellow WWE Hall of Famer, Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig. He was trained by Eddie Sharkey and began wrestling in 1982. While gaining experience in the ring, Rude wrestled around various territories before making a splash in WCCW in 1985 under the tutelage of Percy Pringle III; the same Pringle that would become the famous Paul Bearer later in the WWF. While in WCCW, Rude captured gold and even had a short tag team with the Dingo Warrior which would lead to Warrior’s eventual turn to fan favorite, when he’d had enough of Rude’s rule breaking tactics.
In 1986 Rude made his way to Jim Crocket Promotions and teamed up with Manny Fernandez. This team, led by Paul Jones, would go on to capture the tag team championships from the Rock’n’Roll Express. Rude was already making a name for himself when he transferred to the WWF in 1987. “Ravishing” Rick Rude, as he’d now become known as, became the newest member of the Heenan Family led by Bobby Heenan, continuing his career with a manager by his side.
After first taking issue with another chiseled wrestler in “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff, he began one of his most notable issues with one Jake “The Snake” Roberts. By now Rude has become known for calling women out of the crowd before his match and then planting a Ravishing kiss on them in the center of the ring. While up till this point his kissing routine had always been successful, things changed when he called out Cheryl Roberts from the crowd. After turning Rude’s offer down, it was revealed that she was in fact the wife of Jake Roberts.
During the course of his troubles with a vengeful Roberts, Rude began wearing his signature air-brushed tights which often depicted something disparaging to his opponents. In the case of Roberts, it was a picture of his wife that Rude wore on his pants.
After many high profile matches with Roberts, Rude would eventually move on to another now famous rivalry against one Ultimate Warrior. Warrior, who had formerly been “The Dingo Warrior,” had a history with Rude from their days together in WCCW—which was made evident by the in-ring chemistry they always seemed to have. Warrior had garnered a reputation of wild in the ring, but Rude was able to have tremendous chemistry against the Warrior and had a memorable rivalry that included a pose down, Wrestlemania Intercontinental title match, and even a Summer Slam main event.
After frustration grew from not being able to best the Warrior, and perhaps not holding a spot in the WWF he felt he deserved, Rude made his way to WCW in 1991. Having gained worldwide recognition in the WWF, Rude’s sudden presence in WCW was quite a coup for the struggling WCW. WCW made gains in popularity as Rude led a formidable stable of wrestlers. Managed by Paul E. Dangerously (later Paul Heyman), the Dangerous Alliance made up of Rude, Stunning Steve Austin (later Stone Cold), Arn Anderson, Bobby Eaton, Larry Zbyszko, and Madusa (later Alundra Blaze), ran roughshod over the WCW. The group had several matches with WCW flag bearer Sting and his squadron of fellow fan favorites.
After taking Madusa with him and breaking away from “The Dangerous Alliance,” Rude had an impressive career taking on WCW fan favorites, Nikita Koloff, Ron Simmons, and young Dustin Rhodes. His most remembered early 90’s WCW matches though came against Sting and Ricky the Dragon Steamboat. After Steamboat suffered a broken nose, the issues between him and Rude became very personal as they battled over the company’s United States title. Due to their several high caliber matches, it’s no wonder that Steamboat has gotten the nod to induct Rude into the Hall of Fame this year.
While Rude eventually won the WCW International title from Nature Boy Ric Flair, it was his matches against the widely popular Sting that most fans remember him for in WCW, during that period. It was 1994 when Rude was on the receiving end of a suicide dive to the outside by Sting during their match in Japan. Rude landed badly on the edge of the stage and suffered an injury that would spell the end of his in ring career.
Rude disappeared from the sport until resurfacing in ECW in 1997. Appearing as a commentary, Rude had a Lloyd’s of London insurance policy that did not allow for him to compete in the ring, even if he had been physically able.
After getting his name back on the scene in ECW, Rude next appeared back in the WWF in the summer of 1997 as back up to the group of Degeneration X made up of Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and Chyna. Having always been known as a tough guy, despite his ravishing moniker, Rude seemed the gruff old school threatening guy backing up the brash, immature DX group. DX’s antics would prove more than Rude could stand as after the infamous Montreal Screw Job he wanted no part of Vince McMahon’s WWF (now WWE), and jumped to Monday Night War rival WCW.
Due to Monday Night Raw being pre-taped at the time, Rude appeared lived on Monday Night Nitro the same night he appeared on Raw; an unprecedented move still to this day. Having appeared on both the two biggest wrestling company’s biggest shows and rivals on the same night is something the wrestling business will never forget.
Coming full circle from his high school days, Rude began managing his old classmate Curt Hennig as he became member of another top wrestling stable in wrestling history, the New World Order (NWO). It wasn’t long though and Rude was suffering from some personal illness and he left the sport in 1999—passing away from heart failure on April 20th of that year.
Cited as a devoted family man by Bret Hitman Hart, Rude left behind a wife and three children. Rude was known for never taking his wedding ring off and simply covered it with tape during his matches. Several stories of Rude being a man’s man have filtered out over the years since his passing as many considered him among the sports truly tough men. Known for being blunt and telling people directly what he thought about something, Rude never wavered from a fight if the situation called for it. Despite being famous for his Ravishing moniker, between Rude’s history outside of the ring in being able to handle himself and stories of knocking people out with a single slap to the face, Rude will always be remembered as someone folks didn’t trifle with.
Spanning all the notable wrestling organizations of both the golden 80’s era and wrestling’s other boom time in the late 90’s…was Rick Rude. Being a part of wrestling’s biggest factions of the Heenan family, the Dangerous Alliance, DX, and the NOW…was Rick Rude. Not to forget, the man spotlighting main events against legendary figures in the Ultimate Warriors, Sting, Ricky Steamboat, Jake Roberts, and Ric Flair…was Rick Rude. There are few in history more worthy a place in any hall of fame, than Ravishing Rick Rude.

Travis Voeltz
Twitter.com/TravisVoeltz

Category: Wrestling.

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