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Friday Morning Edition

"Ravishing" Rick Rude Dead at 40!

Thunder Report

Simply Ravishing:
The Life Of "Ravishing" Rick Rude

by Ervin Griffin

Volume 4, Issue 454 - April 23, 1999
Editor's Note: My friend Miss Pamela over at Pro-Wrestling Between the Sheets sent over this obituary item:

Mr. Richard Erwin Rood, aka (Ravishing Rick Rude), age 40, of Alpharetta (GA), a loving father and husband, was a member of Alpharetta First United Methodist Church died April 20, 1999. Survived by wife, Mrs. Michelle Rood, Alpharetta; daughter, Merissa Rood, Alpharatta; Richard Ryan Rood and Colton Rood, Alpharetta; mother and father, Richard C. Rood and Penny Rood, Larry and Sally Chiaferi, sisters, Sherry and Nancy Rood, Robins Dale, MN; Cathy Carder, Las Vegas, NV; Marcy Wheeler, Las Vegas, NV; brother, Michael Rood, Minneapolis, MN; grandparents, Mrs. Ruby Wilson, and Mrs. Brenda Allred, Tampa, FL; sister-in-law, Bridget Brown, Tampa, FL; 10 nieces, 7 nephews.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 24, 2 p.m. in the Mansell Chapel of Roswell Funeral Home, Rev. David Tinsley, officiating. The family will receive friends Friday, April 23 from 6 until 9 p.m. Entombment Green Lawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to: The American Cancer Society, 3545 Cruise Rd., Suite 102, Lawrenceville, GA 30044. Roswell Funeral Home, 950 Mansell Rd., 770-993-4811.

Solie's wishes to extend our heartfelt sympathies to the Rood family and the Ravishing One's legions of fans around the world.

The untimely death of Rick Rude prompted this loving tribute from Solie's Historian, Ervin Griffin: 

Simply Ravishing: The Life Of "Ravishing" Rick Rude

By Ervin Griffin, Jr.

Richard Rood - the man that would become known worldwide as "Ravishing" Rick Rude - was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN (the home of "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, Arn, Ole, and Gene Anderson, X-Pac, Jerry Lynn, Scott "Flash" Norton, Scott Hall, Verne and Greg Gange among others). His debut would be in the old Georgia area as a preliminary wrestler. His first big taste of success wouldn't come until he made his way to the old Mid-Southern (USWA) area and hooked up with Jimmy "Mouth Of The South" Hart. He had violent feuds with local star Jerry "The King" Lawler and "Chief" Wahoo McDaniel. He also was a star in the old PWF (Professional Wrestling from Florida) area. He had feuds with McDaniel and a young Lex Luger and was their Southern Champion for a time.

In 1985, Rude made his way to Texas and the old World Class area. He became that area's American Champion by defeating "IceMan" King Parsons. He was also the first WCCW Champion by virtue of that win. He survived feuds with Parsons, the Von Erichs and even the late Bruiser Brody. He finally lost the belt in the summer of 1986 when "Gentleman" Chris Adams defeated him for the strap with some accidental help from Percy Pringle (Paul Bearer), Rude's manager at the time. From there, Rude moved on to the NWA and wrestled for the World Championship Wrestling area (WCW). He quickly renewed his feud with Wahoo and challenged him to McDaniels own specialty, the Indian Strap Match. The bout took place at Starrcade '86. Rude lost but the effort given in that match put everyone on notice. Two weeks afterwards, Rude teamed with Manny "Ragin' Bull" Fernandez to defeat The Rock n Roll Express for the NWA World Tag Team Championship. This team would be known as "Ravishing and Ragin'". Along with manager Paul Jones, they would terrorize the tag team ranks for six months before finally losing to the R n R's in May of 1987.

Rude then moved onto the World Wrestling Federation. After a slow start which included some lackluster performances and being dominated by Jake "The Snake" Roberts during their famous feud, Rude hit paydirt on April 2, 1989 when he defeated The Ultimate Warrior for the WWF Intercontiental title. He would hold that title until August 28, 1989 at WWF SummerSlam when Warrior took the title back in a titanic struggle (it was one of the greatest bouts in this history of both men's career). From there, Rude would feud with "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and The Warrior again over the WWF World Title with no success.

In 1991, Rude came back to WCW as a charter member of The Dangerous Alliance along with Paul E. Dangerously and Madusa Micelli. Along with "Stunning" (Stone Cold) Steve Austin, Larry Zybsco, Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton, Rude and Co. raised hell for over a year in WCW. While The Four Horsemen were the originators, The Dangerous Alliance was probably the only other group in NWA/WCW history that came even close to matching The Horsemen past or present. During that period, Rude won the WCW United States Title with a win over Sting in November 1991. Over the next year, Rude would fend off challenges from Sting, Ricky Steamboat, and Nikita Koloff. Rude would also challenge Sting for the WCW World Title as well as then-NWA World Champion Masa Chono in the following year as well.

In 1993, Rude would win the NWA Title from "Nature Boy" Ric Flair in Houston, TX. That title would later become the WCW International Belt. He would hold that title until April of 1994 when Sting defeated him for the belt in Chicago, Ill. Rude would later regain that title during a tour of Japan but suffered a neck injury during the bout. This caused the career of this bright star to end all too quickly. Over the next few years, he made apperances in ECW (with Shane Douglas' Triple Threat), WWF (as a spokesman for Degeneration X), and WCW (as a spokesman for the nWo). His health was not the greatest during this time but he was still making appearances on WCW's Backstage Blast (on Direct TV satellite). His death was sudden and sad.

As I take a sip of a glass of Long Island Ice Tea, I take one sip for "The Ravishing One". May God Rest His Soul and may he see heaven as his reward. Rude, we will miss you.

Ervin Griffin Jr. is Solie's resident historian and formerly contributed to the Ringside Insider on a regular basis. Many of his previous articles are available in the Articles section of the website. Check out Ervin's Pro-Wrestling Fan Fiction web site.

Thunder Report

With the death of Rick Rude only a day ago, people are going to be interested to see what WCW will do to honor him. I expect elaborate tributes from both Feds. Rude was a big star in several promotions and certainly helped "...put butts in the seats", so to speak everywhere he performed.

Hak (w/Chastity) vs. Hugh Morrus w/Jimmy Hart) - usual hardcore stuff which WCW actually does very well. The increased proliferation of this style of match is a testament to the old Texas days and more recently, Paul Heyman and ECW, which now has reason to be proud of it's vision of the future of wrestling. The ring is littered with sticks and stones (actually a couple of trashcans with lids, a broom, a kendo stick, a plastic milk carton - not to mention the obligitory ladders, tables and chairs. The highlight comes when Hak sets the ladder up in the corner then is knocked down for several moments while Morrus and Hart set up a double stack of tables. Morrus climbs the ladder while Hart positions Hak between the tables. As Morrus climbs, Chastity uses the fire extinquisher on Hart - Hak climbs the other side and shoves Morrus off the ladder onto the the tables. Meanwhile Hart is in a tugging match with Chastity for the extinquisher. Hak slips in a Russian leg sweep on to the broken tables, using the kendo stick for leverage, and takes the pin. Cut to commercial.

We get a replay of the B-Teams creaming of Konnan on Nitro last week.

Konnan vs. Scotty Riggs - the latter is moving into his new character - a Narcissus retread who carries a mirror around to look at himself (HBK had great success with this same gimmick). In this contest, unfortunately for Mr. Riggs, it is his opponent who is getting the push. Riggs gets to show his skill however. At one point he stops and begins a very "Rude-ish" pelvis gyration, but the camera cuts away and we don't actually get to see the move. Riggs dominates a good portion of the latter stages of the contest but loses none-the-less to the Tequila Sunrise. Rather abruptly, in fact... Cut oto commercial.

Al Greene (the wrestler, not the singer...) vs. Vampiro - I would say this will likely be Vamp's first WCW TV comback win (unless I missed him on the Pro or something). Tenay just announced that tonight's Tag Team main event will be a 6 man with the Horsemen and Kidman on one side, Raven, Saturn and Rey Jr. on the other. Interesting idea. While this announcement is going on, Vampiro is recovering from Greene's initial power assault, then tying him up in knots for the pin.

Tenay makes the announcement of Rude's demise just before the next match. Nothing fancy - just the bare announcement and a brief tribute - no video footage. Look for more on Nitro...

Booker T vs. Bobby Duncum, Jr. - TV Title match - Duncum sees his chance and comes on strong at the beginning but then gets caught in Booker's aereal assault. That is pretty much it for young Mr. Duncum. Booker tears him limb from limb then tosses him to the floor. Then Duncum does the unexpected - grabbing Booker and dragging him to the corner, he ties his opponent's leg around the post with his trusty bullrope the starts putting the boots to the Champ as we cut to commercial.

Duncum is in control with a reverse chinlock as we return. Booker escapes but Duncum catches a clothesline and regains control. Back to the chinlock. Booker escapes and the fight goes to the floor where the referee keeps taking away Duncums chairs. Back in the ring, Duncum gets a flying lariat of the top. Booker fights back with a snap suplex which hurts both guys. Duncum recovers first and goes back on the offensive but now Booker is back in it his flurry ends in a scissor kick to seal Duncum's doom. Moments later the missle drop-kick tells the tale. Cut to commercial.

Pump & Buff show. Video review of the Bagwell/Steiner feud. This is more like it - keep this freak away from angles involving women...

Fit Finley vs. Marcus Alexander (Buff) Bagwell - this is a good match-up because Finley has proven again and again that he can surprise anyone. For Buff, Finley is a good tune-up for his pending match against Scott Steiner. Larger, more powerful, more experienced, a classic scientific wrestler who has no conpunction about going rough - just like Steiner. Finley endures an initial offensive flurry from Bagwell then looks bored after putting on the breaks and turning the tables. A reverse chinlock becomes a sleeper which puts Buff to the mat, but he escapes only to be tackled then throws a drop kick that fails when Finley hooks the ropes. This goes on for a bit longer then Bagwell stops a rush to the corner with boot leather. He gets the Blockbuster and the pin. Cut to commercial.

Video rundown on the latest twists and turns in the Ric Flair saga. Flair wrestles Kevin Nash then gets committed. A little bird told me that in Florida, 19 year old David is considered an adult and could conceivably sign such a document to put his dad away - but I have to question that this could actually happen when the boy's mother is also available for a signature. It strains believability in my mind - but then what the's wrestling...

Disco Inferno vs. Rick Steiner - but lets take a commercial break first...

Steiner is rubbing Disco's face on the mat shortly after we return. He dominates for several moments before Disco gets any offense. When it finally comes, it is desultory and hardly adequate to overcome the Dogface Gremlin's assault. Switch to video of the end of the main event Monday. Nash runs in to save Goldberg then gets clocked with the World's Title at the hands of the Champion. Cut to commercial.

Ernest "the Cat" Miller vs. Goldberg - Great! Miller gets handed his head! Couldn't happen to a nicer guy... Miller goes for his little speech at the beginning - a pitifull effort while this monster stood across from him. On two, Miller delivers a back kick then goes to work on his opponent for about 7 seconds. Goldberg blocks a couple of shots then squashes "the Cat". Sonny Oono runs in and gets elevated then thrown to Miller. Goldberg spears both of them then Jack Hammers Miller for the pin.

Horsemen (w/AA)/Kidman vs. Raven/Saturn/Rey Misterio, Jr. - this set-up naturally favors the Horsemen because they are focused on the Tag Champs while Raven and Saturn's focus seems to be on the Horsemen. Still, both teams have an interest in doing whatever they can to disrupt the Tag Champs. Misterio faces Malenko to start and causes Kidman to suffer a slap to the back of the head from Benoit when he naturally applauds his partner's success. The exchange is made and Raven faces Kidman. Now it is Rey pleading with Raven to go easy on his parter as the latter is taken down. Saturn comes in and Kidman comes back to life, then tags off the Benoit. Several exchanges later, Misterio gets dumped on the back of his head by Malenko and we step out for a commercial.

Benoit is taking Misterio apart as we return. Saturn runs in to help but is ineffectual. Malenko tags in and the Horsemen hit a spiked piledriver. Misterio continues to be isolated while Kidman is kept out of the match by the Horsemens' tags. Kidman is tagged in a basically just restricts Rey's movements then hands off to Benoit. Benoit goes for a superplex but Rey holds on and rides him to the mat. Malenko saves the day then tags in and continues the Horsemen assault. The fight goes out to the floor where Kidman tries to interfere with Benoit. Raven jumps Benoit and Misterio is pulled back into the ring. Malenko throws the diminuitive double champion over his knee. Rey escapes and tags Saturn (who wears a strange fright wig tonight) - Saturn takes off on the Horsemen. In the end, when it lookes like Rey might get a victory over Malenko, Arn runs in and puts a spinebuster on Misterio. Malenko takes the pin.

That's all folks. I'll be back on Sunday for the PPV. Until then...

At least that's the way I see it...

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter

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