“Ravishing” Rick Rude to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2017
The WWE Hall of Fame just got a little more “Ravishing,” as Rick Rude has been revealed as the latest inductee into the Class of 2017. The news was broken first by Bleacher Report, who also revealed that Rude will be inducted by one of his greatest rivals, 2009 inductee Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat.
It’s the ultimate honor for a man whose trek to worldwide superstardom began in Robbinsdale, Minn., a town that produced a talented generation of wrestlers, including fellow WWE Hall of Famer Mr. Perfect, Smash of Demolition and Nikita Koloff. A powerful man, Rude was a bouncer in Minneapolis alongside The Road Warriors, in addition to being a world-class arm wrestler.
Yet when he first entered the squared circle, he also realized that he may have been one of the best-looking men in the industry. At 6-foot-3, 252 pounds and possessing the chiseled physique of a Greek god, that assumption wasn’t wrong. Calling himself “Ravishing” Rick Rude, he embraced his gifts and reveled in the spotlight, flexing his bulging biceps and suggestively swiveling his hips at every opportunity, to the delight of women across the country.
Rude journeyed from Memphis to Canada, Georgia to Texas and anywhere in between, racking up championships along the way. He emerged on the national scene in the mid-1980s in World Class Championship Wrestling, where he became the promotion’s first World Champion. He moved on to Jim Crockett Promotions, where he formed a truly awesome tag team with “Raging Bull” Manny Fernandez and captured the NWA World Tag Team Titles.
The Ravishing One truly broke out after arriving in WWE in late 1987 however. Rude would immediately grab the microphone, then berate the WWE Universe for not being in as good shape as him while offering women the chance to take a few snapshots of his incredible physique. But once the bell rang, Rude backed up his braggadocio with a ruthless in-ring style that showed off his power and the vicious striking ability he picked up as a bouncer. It was all capped off with a devastating neckbreaker he dubbed the “Rude Awakening.”
With Bobby “The Brain” Heenan in his corner, Rude was a success from the start, though his womanizing ways got him in trouble with Jake “The Snake” Roberts. After making a move on “The Snake’s” wife, Rude showed off his penchant for mind games, wearing tights with Mrs. Roberts’ face airbrushed on them.
The Ravishing One went on to dethrone The Ultimate Warrior to become Intercontinental Champion at WrestleMania V in 1989, and he waged war inside the ring with the likes of “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and The Big Boss Man before exiting WWE in 1990.
Rude made his way to WCW in 1991, quickly becoming the centerpiece of Paul Heyman’s Dangerous Alliance. The Ravishing One slightly toned down the womanizing, instead opting to show off just how dangerous he could be in the ring. He’d injure Sting and capture the United States Championship within his first month in WCW, then went on to take part in rivalries with the likes of Steamboat, Ric Flair, Ron Simmons and Vader before a back injury forced him into retirement.
Rude re-emerged in 1997, showing up as an announcer in ECW before coming back to WWE as the stoic “insurance policy” of the raunchy D-Generation X. Later that year, he returned to WCW, joining the infamous New World Order. Rude remained with WCW until early 1999, leaving shortly before his untimely death later that spring.
Because of his reputation as one of the ring’s most memorable villains, “Ravishing” Rick Rude has more than earned his spot in the WWE Hall of Fame.
Tickets for the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame, taking place on Friday, March 31 at the Amway Center in Orlando, are available now. Visit Ticketmaster.com for complete information on how you can see “Ravishing” Rick Rude take his place in sports-entertainment history.