Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
- Vince Fahey
Rick Rude made a huge splash in the mid-late
‘80’s, especially in the WWF.
He exhibited a cockiness that has yet to be equaled, a body
that women loved, and was a heel in the truest form.
His before-match speeches are famous and can be quoted almost
verbatim by many wrestling fans:
“Cut the music!
What I’d like to have now is for all you fat, lazy, out of
From his early days in Memphis, to final days in
WCW, Rick Rude made an impact on wrestling and though he died way too
early, his work can live on via videotape, the Internet and the minds
of the fans.
Rude (born Richard Rood), grew up in Minnesota and was a huge fan of
Verne Gagne and Larry Henning. He
earned a Physical Education degree from a nearby junior college, but
life was to take him in a totally different direction.
As a national arm wrestling champion, and later a bouncer, Rude
was seen by trainer Eddie Sharkey.
Sharkey, who also trained the Road Warriors, liked what he saw
in Rude and worked with him to become a pro wrestler.
His debut match was in 1983 for a promotion in Vancouver,
British Columbia. and he had a few matches in Georgia
Championship Wrestling and the Mid-South regions.
After spending some time wrestling in smaller
promotions (such as Georgia Championship Wrestling and the Mid-South),
Rude hit the big time by appearing in the Memphis region.
Managed by Jimmy Hart and part of Hart’s First Family, Rude
got caught up in a feud with Austin Idol.
In January of 1984, Rude and partner Terry Gibbs entered an AWA
Southern Tag Team tournament.
They were defeated in the third round by the P.Y.T.’s (Norvel
Austin/Koko B. Ware). On
June 11, 1984, Rude beat Jerry Lawler for the AWA
Southern Heavyweight title. He
held it for a little over a month before losing it to Tommy Rich in
July, 1984. Finally, in
October 1984, he won the AWA
Southern Tag Team titles with partner King Kong Bundy defeating
The Fabulous Ones in a tag team tournament final.
They held the titles for just fourteen days before losing the
titles back to The Fabulous Ones.
Hart blamed Rude for the loss and kicked him out of the First
Family, which spurred a feud between Rude and former partner Bundy. More...