Friday, July 10, 2015

Famer Friday: "Ravishing" Rick Rude

The Brain and The Ravishing One
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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New feature time on the My 1-2-3 Cents blog.  Each Friday I'll write about a wrestler, manager, announcer or referee who is not in the WWE Hall of Fame who I think should be.  The first selection is "Ravishing" Rick Rude.

As WCCW champion
My first memories of Rude came in the Apter magazines when he was wrestling in Florida.  Living in St. Louis, we didn't get Florida wrestling, but when he signed with World Class Championship Wrestling, he became a regular and one of the men I loved to hate.  He captured the company's championship and each week when he wrestled Kerry Von Erich, Lance Von Erich or Iceman King Parsons, I hoped for an end to his reign.  Rude's manager Percy Pringle usually helped him somehow walk out with the gold. "Gentleman" Chris Adams finally made that happen and Rude left and resurfaced in the NWA (Crockett Promotions).

Rude, Fernandez and Paul Jones

His run in the NWA was short, but highlighted with a tag team title reign with "The Raging Bull" Manny Fernandez.  I thought it was an odd pairing, but I liked them better than the popular Rock 'n Roll Express.  The heels didn't reign long though and Rude ended up in my favorite company the WWF by the summer 1987.  

By this time I wasn't cheering for just the good guys anymore.  I really enjoyed the character that "Ravishing" Rick Rude had become.  He hadn't really changed much from those early days, although I think it's fair to say he was more over the top.  Rick was even ruder than before and having Bobby "The Brain" Heenan in his corner definitely helped.  I loved his air brushed tights, his promos and his trademark finish "The Rude Awakening."

Rude wins the IC Title
Rude had a short run as the Intercontinental champion, beating the Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania V.  I think the victory shocked a lot of fans in 1989 as the Warrior had been on a great role.  It was the smarts of "The Brain" that helped Rude get that victory, but unfortunately he dropped the belt back to Warrior a few months later at SummerSlam.  The two would feud again for the WWF Heavyweight championship a year later and I think if that match had happened in this generation, Rude would have no doubt had a run as champ.  

Sting vs. Rude
Rude headed back to WCW and was one of the company's top heels, feuding with Sting.  He held the U.S. championship and the NWA "world" heavyweight title, but never held the top prize in WCW.  After being injured and forced to retire from in-ring competition, Rude ended up briefly going back to WWF.  He was a bodyguard/mouthpiece for Triple H and Shawn Michaels in the original DX.   Through the years he had great matches with guys like Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat and Ric Flair to name a few.

DX & Rude
I know his quick departure back to Turner caused a stir in the wrestling world and I don't know if that's what's keeping Rude out of the Hall of Fame.  But as we've seen in the past, fences get mended and fans get to see their favorites inducted into the Hall of Fame (Bruno Sammartino, Warrior and Randy Savage).  Even though the honor would be posthumous, it's still something the Ravishing One deserves.



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