Wrestler of the Day – February 26: Rick Rude

We’ll keep up the Rick trend today with Rick Rude.

As a lot of people did in Rude’s generation, he was in Memphis during his early years. Here’s a match from sometime around 1983/84 from the Mid-South Coliseum.

Randy Savage vs. Rick Rude

Rude stalls to start but Savage goes to the floor to get at Rude’s manager, Jimmy Hart. Now Rude goes outside again as we’re over two minutes into this with no contact. They finally fight over a top wristlock until Savage takes him up into an airplane spin, sending a dizzy Rude outside. Savage runs outside as well and shouts something into the microphone.

Back in again as the stalling continues until Hart offers interference, allowing Rude to knock Savage outside. Rude sends him into the buckle and drops him throat first onto the top rope. Rick struts around a lot but walks into a backdrop and some choking. Rude is thrown outside and Savage drops a top rope ax handle for good measure. Hart pulls a chair away from Savage before throwing Rude inside for a cross body. There’s no referee and a huge fat man runs in and lays out Savage, giving Rude the pin.

Rating: C-. The match was pretty lame by modern standards but Memphis is a whole different animal. They love the concept of drawing out as much heat as possible with as little action as you can use. Savage was a monster who would soon take the WWF by storm with Rude following a few years later.

Rude would soon head to WCCW where he would eventually become the first WCWA (WCCW’s second name) World Champion. Here’s a match from 1986 against Steve Simpson.

Rick Rude vs. Steve Simpson

Rude is world champion here, putting this at some point between February 20, 1986 and July 4, 1986. Rude slams him down to start but Simpson scores with a flying headscissors. Rick counters into a headlock but gets caught in a hammerlock. A belly to back suplex gets a few two counts for Rude and we hit the abdominal stretch. Simpson fires back with kicks to the ribs but walks into a DDT (called the Rude Awakening) for the pin.

Rating: D. Unlike the Memphis match which was about drawing heat, this was just dull with neither guy looking interested in doing anything out there at all. Rude would be in the WWF soon after this for the most famous part of his career. Nothing to see here though Simpson had a good look to him.

There was one more stop before he got to the WWF: the NWA, with an appearance at Starrcade 1986.

Rick Rude vs. Wahoo McDaniel

 

Rude is a newcomer and not very polished in the ring but he would get WAY better. This is an Indian strap match, meaning they’re tied at the wrist and you have to drag your opponent around the ring and touch all four buckles to win. If your opponent breaks your momentum though, you have to start again. Rude spends too much time posing so Wahoo whips him with the strap. Wahoo scares Rude’s manager Paul Jones off and we’re ready to go. This is the third of four Starrcades where a match featured people being tied together. It’s a popular idea for some reason.

 

Wahoo immediately takes him down by the rope and Rude runs to the floor. That gets him nowhere as Wahoo pulls him right back inside with a casual tug. Rude sends him into the corner and wraps the strap around his fist to pound away on Wahoo. With McDaniel down, Rude ties Wahoo’s hands together with the rope and touches two buckles, only to have Wahoo grab the rope with his feet. Wahoo chokes away in the corner with the strap and now it’s Rude in trouble.

 

In a smart move, Wahoo grabs both of Rude’s hands and drags him around the ring while touching the buckles with his head. He gets three buckles but Rude kicks him down to break the streak. Rude goes up top for some reason, only to be pulled down with ease by the much stronger Wahoo. McDaniel crawls around and gets to the third buckle, only to have Rude knock him into the fourth for the surprising win.

 

Rating: D. Nothing to see here at all as is the case with most of the four corners variety of these matches. At the end of the day, the ending is almost always the same with only some mild alterations and this was no different. Wahoo wouldn’t be around much longer while Rude would be in the WWF by July.

Rude would finally make it to the WWF in July and do the usual TV squashes for awhile. Here’s a bigger match from September 18, 1987 in Philadelphia.

Rick Rude vs. Brutus Beefcake

This is the last match before the intermission. Rude is pretty new here and he hasn’t started his first big feud, which would be with Orndorff. Brutus jumps him before his name graphic can come on and punches him down to the floor. Back in and Rude wants a handshake but Beefcake would rather hit him again and hits a headknocker. Rude slips in a shot to the knee and Brutus is in trouble.

Beefcake will have none of this being on defense thing and suplexes Rude down, followed by an atomic drop. If anything can help a show no matter what, it’s Rude selling an atomic drop. Rude comes back with a knee lift and starts choking a bit. He wasn’t exactly polished at this point. Brutus breaks a nerve hold but Rude pokes him in the eyes to slow him back down again.

Back to the chinlock as the match slows down again. You can tell it’s the 80s when th are this many chinlocks in a match. Beefcake fights up again with right hands but Rude takes him right back down. You may be noticing a pattern here. Beefcake makes comeback #8 or so with a backdrop followed by a slam. He puts the sleeper on but Rude rams Brutus’ head into the buckle to escape.

A shoulder breaker puts Beefcake down again and there’s the over the shoulder body vice, but Rude lets it go early. Rude goes for the scissors but gets caught in the sleeper again. Harley Race runs in for the save and is put in the sleeper as well. Brutus chases both of them off with the scissors before winning by DQ.

Rating: D+. Not a great match again but at least there was some energy in this match and there were some people I might care about for a change. Beefcake would get MUCH better in a few years as would Rude, and with Jake Roberts lurking for Rude, that time would come soon. This was your usual house show punch and kick match though.

For reasons that aren’t quite clear (some speculate real life heat), Rude never worked a long program with Hogan. Here’s the only match I’ve ever heard of them having, from January of 1989.

Hulk Hogan vs. Rick Rude

Back in Boston I believe. This is a pairing you don’t see that often to say the least. Gorilla and Jimmy Hart of all people are the commentators here. This is an older match as you can tell due to the belt Hogan has. Rude is apparently an arm wrestling champion so Heenan challenges Hogan to an arm wrestling match.

Nothing happens of course so there we are. Rude wants to arm wrestle more. This is just down on the mat so it’s likely not legitimate. They go left handed actually and since it’s pro wrestling arm wrestling you know the drill here. Now we get to the normal match. Hogan hitting Heenan is always nice to see. According to commentary, the Harts are still with Jimmy and Honky is IC Champion so we’re at least before Summerslam 88. Hogan goes after Heenan since it’s in his blood I guess and Rude jumps him. Rude gets a wooden chair shot in to take over and prove he’s the heel.

Jimmy says Hogan is likely the best champion ever. WOW. Let’s hit that chinlock! Hogan starts his comeback but gets caught in Rude’s backbreaker since there wasn’t a Rude Awakening yet. Rude lets go early and goes up top. Heenan insists Hogan gave up. Here’s the familiar ending and you know the deal.

Rating: C-. Standard Hogan match from this era which had the crowd going so you can’t complain much really. Hogan knew what he was doing back in this era to put it mildly and it worked like it always did. Short and sweet but that’s how it was supposed to be. They could have had a good match with the right Hogan formula.

One of Rude’s most prolific feuds was with Jake Roberts, so here’s a match from October 25, 1988.

Jake Roberts vs. Rick Rude

What a natural paring this is. No theme music for Jake yet. Rude is wearing those tights again. Jake goes for the tights nearly immediately. Is Cheryl not satisfying him? I’ve watched nearly six minutes of this match and there’s just nothing to say about it. Cheryl gets thrown out for slapping Rude. Vince saying that she shouldn’t be because it didn’t hurt him is very funny for some reason.

Jesse goes on a rant about Vince playing favorites and it’s just freaking boring. I don’t know why but this just isn’t interesting at all. It’s not bad or anything. It’s just not getting my attention at all. Rude dominates for the most part with Jake just punching and looking for the DDT. Rude Awakening is blocked. Jake totally fakes him out by pulling back a punch and there’s the DDT. Instead of the cover though he goes for the tights.

Heenan comes in for the DQ. And here’s Andre, who would beat RVD in any match they had I think should be mentioned, to beat Jake up. Jake gets the snake out and since Andre is a heel, he’s terrified of it. The look on Andre’s face is priceless. Jake throws the snake at him in a smart move. Andre then has a heart attack. WOW.

Rating: D+. Not bad, but just not that interesting really at all. They would have what I guess was supposed to be the other big match at Mania 5 but this was just not a very good match. Oh yeah Rude was involved here. Yeah I couldn’t really care less. Match was ok though.

We move into 1989 with a match against one of the most underrated wrestlers in WWF history: Tito Santana. From February of 89.

Rick Rude vs. Tito Santana

This should be good. Back in MSG again. Wait according to Trongard this is Boston. It looks like Boston so we’ll go with that. We start with a test of strength that is more or less a tossup. Tito eventually wins it and then wants a rematch when Rude runs. Rude takes the chance to of course cheat and we finally get to a more traditional match.

Rude is cussing a good deal in this one. Tito works on the back as this is very back and forth stuff. After a long camel clutch by Tito, Rude treats him like Arn Anderson and spins over to drive his knees into Tito’s crotch to take over. This has somehow been going on nearly ten minutes. The time has flown by which is good I think as it hasn’t been boring at all.

We’ve had a lot of rest/time killing holds and we get another hear with the chinlock by Rude. Tito fights to his feet and rams him into the corner but runs into a big boot to take care of that. Rude pounds away but Tito rams his head into the mat to take over again. Solid stuff so far. And there’s another pair of knees to Tito’s lower half. That has to be getting old.

Tito blocks a suplex to get one of his own. Due to this, Rude can’t even get a slam on Tito who isn’t an incredibly big guy in the first place. Crowd is WAY into this. Tito is all fired up and hits the head knocker and it’s Figure Four time! So much for that though as the rope is reached maybe 4 seconds later. In a cheap ending, Tito hits the floor and goes for a sunset flip but Rude grabs the rope for the pin.

Rating: B. This was a better grade before the bad ending. They went back and forth the whole match and it worked well the entire time. The ending felt incomplete for lack of a better term. Both guys were great here though and the back work by Santana worked rather well for a change. Solid old school match that had the time to develop which is always a perk.

Next up is the moment where Rude broke through to the other side at Wrestlemania V.

Intercontinental Title: Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude

Warrior is defending but Rude has the belt imprinted on his tights. Rude tries a knee to the ribs but hits the belt by mistake. Warrior immediately takes over with the power game and LAUNCHES Rude into the corner. The champ throws on a bearhug for a bit until Rude finally pokes him in the eyes to escape. Rude busts out a MISSILE DROPKICK for two but gets launched off Warrion on the kickout.

Back to the hearhug but Rude gets out the same way as he did the first time. Warrior responds by biting Rude in the face but the splash hits knees. A piledriver puts Warrior down but Rick can’t immediately cover. It only gets two but the kickout is much weaker than earlier. Rude tries to swivel his hips but his back is too messed up. He cranks back on Warrior’s arms but the champion gets to the ropes and starts shaking away.

Here come the shoulders from Warrior and he plants Rude face first into the mat a few times. Warrior tries a slam or something but drops Rude and almost puts him on the floor. Rude gets a boot up in the corner to stop a charging Warrior but the Rude Awakening is broken through pure power. Rick is clotheslined to the floor and Warrior suplexes him back in, only to have Heenan trip Warrior up and hold down his foot for the shocking upset and the title to Rude. This might have been Warrior’s first televised loss but I don’t think it was.

Rating: B. This is one of those pairings that just worked no matter what you had them do. You often hear about people having chemistry and that’s what you had here: these two could just work well together for no apparent reason and this is a fine example. Warrior would get the title back later in the year before moving to the world title scene a few months later. Good match here.

After dropping the title back to Warrior, Rude’s next big feud was against Roddy Piper. Here’s the blowoff to their feud in a cage at Madison Square Garden just after Christmas 1989.

Roddy Piper vs. Rick Rude

In a cage here and Sean says it’s one of the best in history. Why do I not believe him? Piper’s music is really different here and it’s kind of weird. You can win with a pin here which is a brand new thing here. Rude rams into the cage and Piper controls early on. Belt to the back of Rude as this is one sided to start. Rude tries to escape and it’s the Rude Back  Shot for no apparent reason.

Piper gets rammed and might have hurt his hand. He’s busted up too as Rude takes over for the first time here. A bunch of pounding gets two. Rude changes his mind and goes for the door where Heenan tries to help him. We get the second shot of Rude’s tights going down in a single match. His tights are hanging down now.

Rude Awakening hits but Rude is down and bleeding too much to cover. Maybe Piper isn’t bleeding and it was Rude’s blood on him earlier. Piper gets up and stops Rude from getting out again. Why Rick didn’t cover him is beyond me but I’m no professional. They ram heads and the referee counts for no apparent reason since you can’t win by countout.

Both guys go up at the same time and it’s a race. They slug it out on top of the cage with Rude’s tights hanging down almost entirely. They ram heads into the cage and both fall/jump, hitting the floor at the same time. There MUST be a winner though so Rude drills Piper on the floor with a chair. Rude goes all the way to the top of the cage and drops a huge fist onto the head of Piper for a very long two.

Big old jumping Piledriver has Rude in complete control. Piper is more or less dead. Rude goes up again but Piper shakes the cage to crotch Rick on the cage. Piper gets him tied in a Tree of Woe atop the cage but Heenan slams the door on his face. Rude climbs down and that only gets a two as the crowd is into this. Heenan slips an illegal (wouldn’t it be legal in this?) object to Rude. He of course drops it and Piper drills Rude in the head so he can walk out to end it. They play the wrong music too.

Rating: B+. Fun match here although it started off kind of slowly. Once they got past that though it was all gravy baby as a friend of mine would say. These two knew how to make an old school style seem fresh and it worked quite well here. Good stuff and definitely the best match on the tape so far.

Since Rude had been the first man to beat Warrior, he received a shot at Warriror’s WWF Title at Summerslam 1990 in another cage match.

WWF World Title: Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude

In a cage where you can win by pin or escape. Rude tries to block Warrior from getting into the cage so Warrior knocks him off the top and down into the ring. The champion finally comes in with a top rope ax handle smash and throws Rude into the cage. Rick goes into the cage a few more times but ducks a charge to send Warrior face first into the bars. Rude kicks Warrior away but jumps off the top to put him down again instead of climbing out.

A hard slam into the cage has Warrior down but Rude still won’t try to climb out. Rude tries the Rude Awakening after winning a quick slugout but Warrior easily breaks the hold with raw power. They clothesline each other down before Rude hits a quick Rude Awakening for no cover. Instead Rude goes up to the top of the cage for a right hand to Warrior’s head. Heenan is losing his mind trying to get Rude to cover but Rude goes up the cage again.

This time Rude jumps into a right hand to the ribs but Heenan slams the door on Warrior’s head as he goes to escape. After the two count both guys collide and they’re down again as the match drags some more. Warrior stops him from crawling out while pulling Rude’s trunks down in the process. Heenan is pulled in and whipped into the steel before being sent outside again. The champion Warriors Up and hits the gorilla press before climbing out to retain.

Rating: D. This match sucked and the ending was exactly what people expected. These two had a match on SNME a month earlier and maybe Rude should have taken the title there to give it back to Warrior here. There was nothing of interest here and Warrior never seemed to be in any real danger due to Rude not going for a cover or trying to escape.

After a year off, it was back to WCW as the main star of the Dangerous Alliance, with Sting as the major target. Rude would get a US Title shot against Sting at Clash of the Champions 17. There’s something to keep in mind here though. Earlier in the night, Lex Luger had attacked and injured Sting’s knee. Sting went to the hospital but came back to the arena after commandeering an ambulance. He made it to the ring just in time.

United States Title: Rick Rude vs. Sting

Rude had debuted like a month earlier and had guaranteed that he would win the US Title from Sting. Dangerously cuts a promo talking about how Sting isn’t here but of course as he does the ambulance pulls up and Sting goes in the wrong door. His buddies help him out and the first is on the ramp. Sting is limping horribly and he manages to press slam Rude on the ramp which is impressive even if he’s healthy.

Crowd is electric here. This is ALL Sting as he realizes if he stops moving at all then Rude can get to his knee. Rude gets to it anyway and wraps the knee around the post. I remember FREAKING when this was on. Rude Awakening is blocked which I think had only been done in WWF by Warrior and Hogan at this point. Rude gets knocked down but rams into the knee on the way down.

Heyman gets a phone shot to the back of the head for a false finish. Ross is losing his mind of course and Dangerously is going nuts. DDT puts Rude down but a chop block and tights get Rude the title. This was like four minutes long but it never once slowed down at all. Rude would hold the belt for over a year and had to forfeit due to injury.

Rating: B+. This is WAY high, but the atmosphere here and the energy is completely insane. For less than five minutes long to get that kind of a reaction and do a TON of other stuff in the process, this means a ton. Let’s see what this accomplished.

1. It gets Rude over. Sting was the MAN in WCW and Rude just beat him for his title in his second match with the company. Rude had been a glorified midcarder until his last maybe five months in WWF and now he’s a total tough guy that beat Sting and is the US Champion.

2. It frees up Sting to fight Luger for the world title. Sting was clearly destined to win the world title but he had to get rid of the US belt first. This was like Cena losing the US Title to Orlando Jordan (yes young fans, that happened) before he could beat JBL for the world title.

3. It keeps Sting strong. It in essence took Madusa, Luger, Dangerously and Rude plus a cell phone and a bad knee to beat Sting. To manage to keep him strong and make Rude looks strong at the same time is a great thing. Sting keeps his credibility and Rude gets the rub.

4. It gives Sting a feud to come back to once he wins the world title. And dang was that feud awesome.

Not bad for four minutes and 50 seconds, counting the thirty seconds it took to get to the ring for the champion.

Sting would win the World Title a few months later, so Rude needed a new challenger. Who better than Ricky Steamboat, who received a non-title match in a thirty minute iron man match at Beach Blast 1992.

Ricky Steamboat vs. Rick Rude

Rude is champion here, but this isn’t for the belt. Apparently neither were for the title as gimmicks can’t be title matches. In other words Watts would have either made Flair/Race non title or taken down the cage. Steamboat comes out with his wife and kid. She wound up being rather evil. They have the clock going on screen which is nice.

Steamboat gets a quick gutbuster, and when I say quick I mean like 10 seconds in and he’s hurt. These are both guys that are perfect choices for this kind of match too as they both can go long times with relative ease. Steamboat hits a bearhug as we keep up the psychology. Steamboat just goes on the ribs and that’s all he should be doing.

Rude taps but no one knew what that meant at this point. We get a Boston crab now and another thing to note here: Steamboat is mixing up the rib attacks. It’s not just a submission here and a submission there. He’s hitting strikes and submissions which he also alters a lot. It keeps things from being boring and bland which is a great thing. This has been ALL Steamboat here.

That being said, Rude gets a shot to the face and a rollup with tights to go up 1-0. He follows it up with the Rude Awakening to make it 2-0 so we’re more or less guaranteed a hot finish. Rude goes up top and lands a knee which is of course a DQ because Bill Watts is a freaking idiot. He immediately covers and gets another pin to make it 3-1.

Steamboat taps also so they’re even on submissions. That clock really is helpful. I can’t stand trying to figure out how long we’ve been in a match most of the time as it drives me insane and I have a thing about time anyway. It’s a weird OCD thing. It’s always fun to see the announcers at ringside doing commentary as you can see their reactions to things. That’s something I do as often as I can.

For once I don’t mind the chinlocks here as they make sense from Rude. Given his two fall lead, him using those suck time off the clock and put more pressure on Steamboat. That’s thinking out there which is my biggest thing. Rude does a good job of calling spots to Steamboat as it looks like he’s just tired and resting a bit. They’re back up now and Rude hits a sweet piledriver for two.

Steamboat counters a tombstone by climbing up Rude to get his own tombstone to make it 3-2. That was cool. We actually have to debate about whether or not a top rope suplex is an illegal move. Screw Bill Watts and his cowboying obsession. Steamboat gets an AWESOME bridge up to a backslide for a pin for the tie and they crank it up like they’re at 30 seconds. This is freaking fun stuff.

Rude is controlling here but they’re just hammering each other for the most part due to fatigue as they’re both drenched in sweat. Ross has severe issues telling how long they’ve been going for which is either amusing or sad and I’m not sure which. Ross says this is the best nontitle match he’s ever seen. Odd, I saw a better one 45 minutes ago.

Steamboat hits a Rude Awakening as I try to figure out what the difference is between the guy getting hit with it and the guy doing it. Rude gets smart and jumps on Steamboat for a sleeper and then Steamboat gets the best turnbuckle shot I can remember in a long time to knock the heck out of Rude. That was awesome as is this whole match. Actually that doesn’t break it.

We have three minutes left as I’ve completely forgotten to put any times in but in the end though it means nothing as the last few minutes are all that matters anyway so if you’ve gotten this far in this far too long sentence don’t read it at all. Steamboat is almost out with two minutes to go. I’ve always hated how adrenaline or whatever causes guys that are out cold for the most part to be able to just pop up all of a sudden despite a lack of blood flow to the brain.

He gets up and kicks off the corner for a quick pin with 35 seconds left and the place freaking LOSES IT. Rude goes nuts with clotheslines and shoulders but can’t keep Steamboat down. He tries everything and the crowd if freaking the heck out as the time expires. AWESOME ENDING to say the least.

Rating: A. That’s overrated more than likely but this was awesome stuff to me. The rest holds made sense here which is something you can rarely say. The iron man aspect worked very well too as it came down to Steamboat being able to last longer and have energy in the end rather than starting hot and coasting. I really liked this and it’s another you should go find.

After holding the title for over a year (second longest reign ever) Rude would lose it to an injury in early 1993. He would return later in the year and go after the WCW International Title, which is far more complicated than I want to go into. Short version: it’s the NWA Title without the NWA. Rude challenged Ric Flair at Fall Brawl 1993.

WCW International Title: Rick Rude vs. Ric Flair

Without going into the story AGAIN, it’s the NWA Title without the NWA name or lineage and it’s more or less a parody of the NWA and it would be merged with the WCW Title the following year. Read up about it in one of the other 29 times I’ve explained it. If you haven’t seen Rude in WCW and only know of his initial WWF run, it’s COMPLETELY different as Rude was a killer here instead of a comedy joke.

Having a personal maid is just awesome. Rude says when he leaves he’ll have Flair’s reputation, his title, and his woman, revealing Fifi on his tights. I love that bit. Ventura starts off on his anti-women rants, saying the housework Fifi does is what women should be doing everywhere. They fight over a top wristlock which Rude of course loses. Tony warns Jesse that the sound woman might cut his mic off. That would be hilarious actually.

Flair goes for the knee early and the Figure Four is on maybe two minutes in! Rude gets to the ropes but dang that was surprising. To shock me some more, Flair comes off the top AND HITS THE PUNCH! Yes, he actually didn’t get slammed off! Where’s my medicine when I need it? Flair hooks a wristlock and Jesse thinks women should be barefoot and pregnant. THEY CUT HIS MIC OFF!!!!! Jesse steals Tony’s and says no one cuts him off. That was awesome!

He’s back on and goes on a rant about Sara Lee (the name of the sound director) about how he’s switching to Betty Crocker now. That was hilarious and has breathed some much needed life into this show. Tony references a European tour and a show in Germany, which is where Cactus infamously lost his ear. Also there was a world title trade between Sting and Vader where Sting held the title for about three days.

Flair uncharacteristically works on Rude’s arm instead of the leg, but I guess the idea is take away the power game which is logical. Rude takes over for a bit but rams his shoulder into the buckle by mistake and it’s back to the arm. Rude can’t slam Flair to tell you how bad the arm is. Somewhere about the 8th arm hold they go over the top and out to the floor. Tony: “There’s Fifi, trying to help Flair get up.” Jesse: “No way I’m touching that one.” I love those not very subtle lines.

Rude rams Flair into the apron and gets a suplex for two. He’s starting to get the arm back now. And now it’s a reverse chinlock by Rude as I’m guessing he was watching that Nasty Boys match earlier. This match has been going about 13 minutes so far and probably 8 or 9 has been in holds. Rude lets him up and gets a clothesline off the top and a press slam. Out to the floor again and Rude poses in the ring for a bit.

Hey let’s go with a bearhug instead of doing something interesting! It goes to the mat and Flair rolls over and actually gets a cover while in a bearhug. Aren’t Rude’s shoulders up? Flair charges at Rude but gets caught in a Hot Shot to set up the Flair Flop. A fist from the top by Rude gets some yelling at Fifi. Another shot has Flair reeling. Fifi’s nose looks like Voldermort’s.

Rude goes for a third shot from the top but Flair is playing possum. Belly to back suplex gives Flair the momentum. Butterfly suplex gets two. Flair goes off on Rude in the corner and it’s all Naitch. And never mind that as he eats knees in the corner. Rude gets a DDT for two. Flair counters the Rude Awakening into one of his own for two. Flair grabs the leg and….goes up with it? He flips forward to snap the leg even more. I’ve never seen him do that before.

Flair sets for the Figure Four but Rude kicks him off. More leg work but Rude gets a rollup to counter the hold again. That only gets two though. Flair sends him to the floor and we get a quick shot of the camera side. There are maybe 8 rows of fans and that’s it. Wow that almost ROH levels of attendance. Not saying it’s bad for ROH but for the second biggest company in the world on PPV, that’s anemic.

Flair goes up and hits the shot from the top to the floor as he controls again. As good as this may sound, it’s nowhere near that entertaining actually. Rude counters and we get a Flair Flip and Ric can’t hit a third shot off the top. Rude gets a top rope punch for a long two. Fifi finally slaps Rude so he kisses her. He brings her into the ring and Flair destroys him. You can see security telling fans to sit down. Odd. Figure Four goes on but Rude gets a foreign object shot in to take Flair out as Fifi is being put out of the ring to win the title. Thank goodness it’s over.

Rating: D. This was half an hour long which more or less sums up the major issue with it. This went on WAY too long and it got very boring after awhile. Half of the match was rest holds which is incredibly boring. If you cut the first half of this off then this is decent but other than that this was horrible. The arm and back work went nowhere and the ending came out of nowhere. Terribly boring match.

We’ll wrap it up with Rude’s title defense against Sting at Spring Stampede 1994.

WCW International Title: Sting vs. Rick Rude

Oh dear the International Title. This is the last remnant of the NWA. More or less the WCW Title and the NWA Title were the same thing as they were unified. Then in September of 1993 WCW left the NWA but due to a ridiculous legal battle, Ric Flair owned the big gold belt that the NWA had been using for about 7 years. Once they left, the NWA Title and the WCW Title were separate because the NWA sucked.

In other words, there were two titles. When the NWA was out of the picture, they just named it the WCW International Title. They unified them at a Clash of the Champions in like two months or so. Race comes down and says that Vader wants the winner of the match then tries to jump Sting which goes badly for him. This is one of Rude’s last matches actually as he would get injured in the rematch of this in Japan and never wrestle again.

They’re doing a mat based thing here which is odd but fine I guess. It’s weird to think that Rude would be gone so quickly from the ring. Rude hits his traditional chinlock because he’s required by law to do it or something like that. He gets a sleeper and has Sting more or less out and just lets go. Well no one ever said Rude was a genius or anything like that. Sting was so freaking over it’s scary.

He’s the Ultimate Warrior with talent and restraint. That’s a scary thought. Yep the referee goes down just as Sting gets the Scorpion. Race runs down to interfere again as does Vader. Bockwinkle, the commissioner, is at ringside during this. Race misses a chair shot and hits Rude for both the title change and the roof being blown off of the place. Sting was as over as free beer in a frat house.

Rating: C+. Not a great match but the fans ate this up with a spoon. The big gold belt looks great on Sting too. These two had some good matches just like Warrior had with Rude but a bit better. Unfortunately one of those matches saw Sting throw Rude out of the ring and onto a podium, breaking his back and ending his career.

Rude would stay retired for the rest of his life and work as a manager/enforcer, but he would be training for an in ring return when he passed away. In 1999, Rude died of heart failure which was allegedly due to a medication overdose. Rude was a talented guy who mainly got over on his character and there’s nothing wrong with that. He didn’t quite make it to the top until later in his career but his time in WCW was completely different from the WWF run. That says a lot about a man’s talent and showed how good Rude really was.

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