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Rick Rude dies
By JOHN POWELL -- SLAM! Wrestling

Rick Rude  According to a source at World Championship Wrestling, former wrestling superstar - commentator and manager "Ravishing" Rick Rude (Richard Rood) has died at the age of 41. Reports say Rude died on Tuesday, April 20, 1999 but the details surrounding his death remain unknown at press time. Unconfirmed reports say that he may have had a heart attack.

Known for his neckbreaker finishing move "The Rude Awakening" and gyrating for appreciative female fans in the ring, Rude began his wrestling carrer in 1983 at a card in Vancouver, British Columbia.

A former World Class Heavyweight Champion in the southern United States, Rude's popularity skyrocketed when he was hired by Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation during the eighties wrestling boom. He had a successful run as the WWF's Intercontinental Champion while engaged in a bitter feud with the popular Ultimate Warrior. Their series of bouts culminated in a World Title - Steel Cage match at SummerSlam in 1990. Rude lost.

After his stint in the WWF, Rude went to work for the rival World Championship Wrestling and held the United States title there beating a mid-card wrestler known as "Stunning" Steve Austin. Austin went on to become "Stone Cold" Steve Austin in the WWF.

A serious neck injury in Japan forced Rude to hang up his tights. Rude was regulated to a role of manager - commentator in Extreme Championship Wrestling and as a bodyguard to D-Generation X in the WWF.

Rude's recent role in WCW was that of a manager to his hometown pal, Curt Hennig.

Rude leaves behind his wife and a nine-year old son.

Rick Rude Biography

REAL NAME: Richard Rood.
NICKNAME: The Ravishing One, Ravishing Rick Rude.
HOMETOWN: Robbinsdale, Minnesota.
FINISHING MOVE: The Rude Awakening (neckbreaker).


 A Herculean body chiseled out of stone. An arrogant attitude. Ravishing Rick Rude had it all as a heel until a back injury put him on the sidelines. His career piloted by the cruelest of wrestling minds, Rude's new-found role is that of bodyguard and manager to his hometown pal, Curt Hennig.
  • Idolized Verne Gagne and Larry Hennig (Curt Hennig's father) as a young fan.

  • National arm wrestling champion in the United States.

  • Graduated with a physical education degree from Anoka Ramsey Junior College.

    Rick Rude
  • Worked as a bouncer.

  • Eddie Sharkey, a trainer, saw potential in Rude and enrolled him in a wrestling school.

  • His first match was in 1983 at a card in Vancouver, British Columbia.

  • Minor stints in the NWA and WCW.

  • Moved on to Mid-South, aligned with Randy Savage and King Kong Bundy in Jimmy Hartis "First Family" gang.

  • It was Jimmy Hart's idea to change "Rood" to "Rude".

  • Won the Mid-South Tag Team titles with Bundy. Lost the belts to The Fabulous Ones. Hart blamed the loss on Rude and gave him the boot. Rude and Bundy feuded.

  • Packing his bags, Rude headed to Florida and managed by Percy Pringle. Pringle would go on to great fame in the World Wrestling Federation as Paul Bearer. Also under Pringle's guidance were The Missing Link and Pretty Young Things (Koko B. Ware and Norvell Austin).

  • Won the Florida World Heavyweight Championship twice...once from Pez Whatley and once in a championship tournament. He also had success in the tag team ranks with his partner Jesse Barr.

  • Pringle's bungled interference cost Rude many titles.

  • Went to World Class Wrestling still managed by Pringle winning their world title.

  • Fired Pringle when his intervention cost him the title in a match against Chris Adams.

  • Split for the NWA finding a new manager in Paul Jones. Rude and his partner "Raging Bull" Manny Fernadez won the NWA tag belts from the The Rock 'n Roll Express. Rude and Fernandez held the titles until the Express won them back approximately six months later. Rude headed to the WWF to be managed by Bobby "The Brain" Heenan as part of his stable of wrestlers.

  • Portrayed as the ultimate ladies man, Rude did a strip-tease in the ring as part of his entrance and belittled the male fans as "fat, out-of-shape, sweat hogs" wherever he wrestled. Celebrating his victories by kissing women in the audience got him into trouble as he laid one on Jake 'The Snake' Roberts" wife, Cheryl. It touched off a fierce feud.

  • A "pose down" at the 1989 Royal Rumble brought about a feud with Rude and The Ultimate Warrior.

  • Won the Intercontinental Title from the Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania 5. Bobby Heenan tripped up the Warrior and held down his legs so Rude could get the pin fall.

    Rick Rude
  • Three months later, Warrior re-gained the title.

  • Failed to win the WWF World Title from The Warrior in a steel cage match at SummerSlam in 1990.

  • Hired by WCW and won the United States title there defeating "Stunning" Steve Austin and joining Paul E. Dangerously (Paul Heymen) in his "Dangerous Alliance" stable. Feuded with Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat in several mat classics including an Iron Man contest.

  • Forced to hand over the title as a serious back injury put him out of wrestling.

  • Left for the WWF as D-Generation X's bodyguard. In an astonishing turn of events, Rude went back to the WCW. A member of the New World Order managing hometown bud Curt Hennig, Rude's jump had him on the live Nitro broadcast and the taped Raw show on the same night. This unique twist embarrassed the WWF.

Title History

Mid-South Tag Team Champion
  • Date unknown.
  • Partnered with King Kong Bundy.
  • Lost them to The Fabulous Ones, date unknown.
  • Florida World Heavyweight Champion
  • Defeated Pez Whatley on January 16th, 1985.
  • Lost it to Brian Blair on April 10th, 1985.
  • Florida World Tag Team Champion
  • Defeated Mark and Jay Youngblood on April 16th, 1985.
  • Partnered with Jesse Barr.
  • Lost them to Billy Jack Hayes and Wahoo McDaniel on July 9th, 1985.
  • Florida World Heavyweight Champion
  • Defeated Mike Graham in a tournament on July 21st, 1985.
  • Lost it to Wahoo McDaniel on October 2nd, 1985.
  • World Class United States Champion
  • Defeated Iceman Parsons on November 4th, 1985.
  • Lost it to Chris Adams on July 4th, 1986.
  • NWA World Tag Team Champion
  • Defeated the Rock 'n Roll Express on December 6th, 1986.
  • Partnered with "Raging Bull" Manny Fernandez.
  • Lost them to the Rock 'n Roll Express on May 26th, 1987.
  • WWF Intercontinental Champion
  • Defeated the Ultimate Warrior on May 2, 1989.
  • Lost it to The Ultimate Warrior on August, 28th, 1989.

  • WCW United States Heavyweight Champion
  • Defeated "Stunning" Steve Austin in a tournament on November 19th, 1991.
  • Forfeits the title in December of 1992 as he was unable to defend it due to injury.

  • Multimedia

  • Clip:
    Rick Rude cuts the promo he's famous for.

    (3.6 MB)

  • Clip: Rude gives Malenko the Rude Awakening. - Thunder, (1.6 MB).

  • Clip: Rude lands a haymaker from the top of the cage. - Summerslam '90, (1.6 MB).