The Ravishing One :The Story Of Rick Rude a True Class Act.

Matthew HesterSenior Writer IMay 6, 2009

"Cut the music!"

What I'd like right now is for all the fat, sweaty, out of shape losers to pipe down while I take my robe off, and show the ladies what real man looks like."

(Ravishing Rick Rude December 7, 1958-April 20, 1999 )

Hello everyone. As always thank you for spending a little time with me.

I wasn't sure what my next real article would be, I pondered on maybe profiling Randy Savage, maybe Arn Anderson, maybe...who knows the Brooklyn Brawler.

Then it popped in my head: Ravishing Rick Rude. Oh yes, the Heart Hreaker of all the ladies, and envy of all the men.

Rick Rude left us way to early in his short life. He was known as a class act with fans. A good family man, and a friend with mostly everyone he met.

The impact his death left on the wrestling community is immeasurable. Whether it was heeling up the fans at a packed MSG, helping out a young up in commer in the ring, or just being a friend when a friend was needed most.

Rest in peace my friend. I know your making all the ladies blush, and pissing everyone else off in that big ring in the sky.

Richard Erwin Rood "Rick rude"was born December 7, 1958 in St. Peter, Minnesota. In an ironic twist of fate, the high school Rude attended as a teenager also gave us some other names we may remember: Nikita Koloff, Brady Boone, and Curt Henning.

Rude wound up becoming good friends with Curt Henning. They both grew up in the small town of Robinson, Minnesota. Rude then went on to Anoka Ramsey Junior College and majored physical education.

Though Rude did get his degree, he never worked in that field. Instead, he became a bouncer for a short period, and later did a small stint as a arm wrestler. It was at that point in time. He would be introduced to the world of pro wrestling.

Rude was spotted and trained by Eddie Sharky to become a pro wrestler. He started in the NWA's All Starr wrestling in 1983, where he was mainly a baby face jobber, so he decided to try his ventures elsewhere.

He went to GCW for bit, but didn't really catch his break until working for Jerry Jarret's Memphis area. It was Jerry in fact who gave him a name that would be for ever tagged on his own name "Ravishing."

Rude went back to the NWA but this time for Jim Crockett. He didn't stay long and went back to Memphis, where he was managed by "Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart. It was Hart who changed his name from Rood to Rude.

In Memphis he feuded a short time with Jerry Lawler, and his soon to be partner King Kong Bundy in the CWA where they became tag champs. He also became the CWA heavyweight champ.

In 1984, Rude went to Florida and met his new manager, another soon to be HOFer, Percy Pringle "Paul Bearer."

He wrestled some of the best that the NWA had in that area guys like Brain Blair and Wahoo McDaniel. He became a Multi-Time Heavyweight champ and Tag champ in Florida. It was in late '85 that Rude went to WCCW another NWA promotion and became the champ their also.

It was in WCCW where he wrestled the likes of Kevin Von Erich,Chris Adams and tagged with the Dingo warrior "Ultimate Warrior." Rude continued to work with guys like the Rock 'n Roll express before heading to the big time in 1987.

When the ravishing one finnly came to the WWF he was under the management of Bobby Heenan. Rick Rude drew instant heat from the WWF fans and soon became one of their top heels.

It was arrogance on the stick and his skills in the ring, that made him someone you had to hate, but at the same time respect. He could go from a Ring technician to a brawler in a nano second and could work with just about everyone.

What really put the feather in the cap would be right before evey match. It was then he would start to insult all the men in the audience, followed by bringing in a lucky lady from the crowd and plant her a big smooch.

Though his time was short in the WWF, they are considered to most to be his most memorable years. He wrestled with most of the top faces in the company. The two feuds that stick out the most were with Jake Roberts and the Ultimate Warrior.

His feud with Roberts started with Rude doing his normal stint before his match. The lady he wanted to kiss though happened to be Jake Roberts wife. Roberts' wife refused but when Rude was persistent he was slapped in the face.

Those two went on to have some classic matches and they went back an forth until it ended where Roberts pulled down Rudes pants on live TV.

Rudes next big feud was with the Ultimate Warrior in 1989 where the cocky Rude challenged the Warrior to a pose down. That was when Rude attacked the Warrior with a metal bar.

These guys went at each other for some time, often it was Rude making the Ultimate one look good and having to job to him. Rude was rewarded for his hard work with a win at WrestleMania V over the Warrior for the IC title.

I remebered that match well; I know he didn't win it cleanly, but I always pulled for the heels anyway. It was great watching Rude take the belt from that bum.

He then went on to wrestle the Warrior for the Heavyweight title in a steel cage in 1990 at Summer Slam. The Warrior won that one though and looked good mainly due to Rude's ring work.

He went to WCW in 1991. Though I have to be honest I could never figure out why the WWF would let him go.

In WCW he started the Dangerous alliance. Some consider this to be the starting point for cliques in wrestling. The click consisted of Rick Rude, Paul E. Dangerously, Madusa, Arn Anderson, Bobby Eaton, Lary Zbyszko, and Stunning Steve Austin.

Rude then went on to beat Sting for the WCW U.S. title. He went on to hold that title for over a year. He defended that title against many people including the likes of Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat.

He later  moved on to feuds with Ron Simmons and Dusty roads for the Heavyweight starp often coming up short. It was in 1993 at Fall Brawl though that is considered by some his highest moment.

In 1993 He beat Rick Flair for the NWA heavyweight title. He became a three time Heavyweight but sadly, in 1994, he injured his neck and had to retire.

Rick Rude did come back in to the wrestling in 1996 but not as a competitor only as a face for TV. That is not to say he didn't have his shocking moments anymore.

In 1997, after the Montreal screw job, Rude stood by his friend Bret Hart and quit the WWF.

He in fact showed up on Nitro and Raw on the same night. This was when Raw was still recorded and Nitro was live. He referred to the WWF as a sinking ship live on Nitro.

Rude also had a big part in getting Bret Hart to WCW after the Screw Job went down.

On April 20 ,1999, Ravishing Rick Rude passed away due to heart failure. He was only in his 40s.He left behind his wife Michelle, 3 kids,  and millions of fans who have fond memories of him.

After Rude's passing, Bret Hart was quoted saying: "Rick Rude was anything but rude. In any circle of friends and phonies, you take the good with the bad. And the bad makes you appreciate the good even more.

"At the height of my road days, when 300 flights in 300 towns a year was normal, strangers became family and family became strangers. You can't pick your family but you can pick your friends. Rick Rude was one of the best picks I ever made. He was a great family man. He loved his wife. He was one of those kind of guys who never took his wedding ring off. He put a white piece of tape around it when he went into the ring.

"He was the kind of guy that when you needed someone to back you up, he wouldn't flinch at all. Not for money. Not for anything. When McMahon and his sidearm barged into my dressing room in Montreal, Rick was there. He was one of the guys who refused to budge. Refused to allow me to be put in a compromising position. Rick Rude stayed there to make sure my back was watched.

"There were, and are, some people who think the whole thing that happened between McMahon and I was a hoax. Rick was the one who called Eric Bishoff to say he was there, and told him what had happened. When I was forming new business relationships in WCW, Rude's call protected me and saved me from a lot of doubt, because even Eric Bishoff had to question whether this was a set-up or not. I was always grateful to Rick for making that call and for being with me in the room that day".

Bret Hart

I thank all of you that took the time to read this. I really hope you enjoyed my tribute to one of wrestling's true gentleman.

I wish all a good night, and may God bless you.

(My sources and info are in thanks to Wikipedia, Wrestle 101, Wrestling digest and my own noggen that sometimes still remembers things.)