Richard E. Rood (December 7 1958 – April 20 1999), better known by his ring name "Ravishing" Rick Rude, was a professional wrestler who performed for many promotions, most notably World Championship Wrestling and the World Wrestling Federation, in the 1980s and 1990s.
After graduating from Anoka Ramsey Junior College with a degree in Physical Education, Rood began wrestling in 1983 as Ricky Rood, a babyface jobber. He started with Vancouver's NWA All-Star Wrestling before moving on to compete for Georgia Championship Wrestling and later Memphis-based Continental Wrestling Association. He later left and joined the National Wrestling Alliance affiliate Jim Crockett Promotions where he and a variety of tag team partners feuded with The Road Warriors. He returned to Memphis in 1984, this time as "Ravishing" Rick Rude, an overconfident, arrogant heel managed by Jimmy Hart. Rude feuded with Jerry Lawler and later his former partner, King Kong Bundy.
Rude was hired by Championship Wrestling from Florida in December 1984, where he was managed by Percy Pringle. He defeated Pistol Pez Whatley for the NWA Florida Southern Heavyweight Championship on January 16, 1985 and lost it to B. Brian Blair on April 10, 1985. He captured the championship again on July 21, 1985, when he defeated Mike Graham in the finals of a Southern title tournament. He held the belt until October 2 of that year when he dropped it to Wahoo McDaniel, who was booking Florida during this time. While teaming with Jesse Barr, he won the NWA Florida United States Tag Team Championship on April 16, 1985, and feuded with Billy Jack Haynes and Wahoo McDaniel over the belts, losing the straps to McDaniel & Haynes on July 9, 1985. In late 1985, he jumped to World Class Championship Wrestling along with Pringle, where he feuded with Kevin Von Erich and Chris Adams. During his time in WCCW, Rude captured the NWA American Heavyweight Championship on November 4, 1985. However, WCCW withdrew from the NWA on February 20, 1986, changed its name to the World Class Wrestling Association, and renamed the NWA American Championship the [[WCWA World Heavyweight Championship while Rude was still holding the title. As a result, Rude became the promotion's first World Champion. After losing the title to Chris Adams in July 1986, he fired Pringle and briefly replaced him with his sister, Raven. He formed a short-lived tag team with The Dingo Warrior, but the Warrior turned on him and became a face.
In September 1986, Rude returned to Jim Crockett Promotions and joined Manny Fernandez and his manager Paul Jones in their rivalry with Wahoo McDaniel. Rude and Fernandez, known collectively as the "Awesome Twosome", won the NWA World Tag Team Championship on December 6 1986 from The Rock 'n' Roll Express, and they began a feud that ended only when Rude left the promotion for the World Wrestling Federation in April 1987. To explain the sudden departure, Jim Crockett, Jr. aired a pre-taped non-title match where the Express defeated Rude and Fernandez and claimed that Rude had been injured as a result.
Rude's next big feud was with The Ultimate Warrior and began in January at the 1989 Royal Rumble pay-per-view in a "Super Posedown" that ended with Rude attacking Warrior with a metal pose bar. With help from Heenan, Rude won the Intercontinental Championship from the Warrior at WrestleMania V, before dropping it back to the Warrior at SummerSlam 1989, due in large part to interference from "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. Rude then feuded with Piper, before resuming his conflict with the Warrior in the summer of 1990 after the Warrior had won the WWF Championship. The two battled in a cage at SummerSlam 1990, however Rude failed to win the title and departed from WWF in October 1990. This departure came right before he was scheduled to feud with the Big Boss Man, which had its potential start when Rude started to make degrading comments about The Boss Man's mother.
In 1992, Rude and Madusa left The Dangerous Alliance and feuded with Nikita Koloff. Rude challenged reigning WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ron Simmons on several occasions but did not defeat him. In December of 1992, Rude suffered legitimate injury and was forced to foreit the United States Championship snf ending his reign of nearly 14 months, a reign that still stands today as the second longest reign in the 33 year history of the title. Rude returned alone in April 1993 and tried to reclaim the title from Dustin Rhodes, who had won it while he was injured. The title was eventually held up after several controversial finishes to matches between the two, although Rhodes regained the title in a rematch.
Rude switched his sights to the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, making his intentions clear on August 28 1993, when he was the guest on then-champion Ric Flair's "A Flair For the Gold" talk segment. Rude defeated Flair for the title in September 1993 at Fall Brawl. As WCW had recently withdrawn from the NWA, WCW lost the rights to continue using the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. WCW created their own championship, dubbing it the WCW International World Heavyweight Championship, which Rude lost to Hiroshi Hase on March 16 1994 in Tokyo, Japan. Rude regained the title just eight days later in Kyoto, Japan. After dropping the title to Sting on April 17, Rude pinned Sting on May 1 in Fukuoka to become a three time champion. Rude, however, injured his neck during the match; unable to wrestle, he was stripped of the title (with the storyline excuse that he was found to have used the title belt as a weapon in the course of the match). Rude retired shortly thereafter.
Rude later returned to WWF as the "insurance policy" of the D-Generation X stable (Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and Chyna). He once again left WWF after the Montreal Screwjob at Survivor Series 1997. According to Bret Hart, Rude stayed in the locker room during Bret's confrontation with Vince McMahon, later calling Eric Bischoff and informing him what had happened was in fact real. As Rude was not signed to a full-time contract with WWF, and was instead performing on a "pay-per-appearance" basis, Rude was able to negotiate a deal with Bischoff and WCW, in part due to his anger over the Montreal Screwjob.
In WCW, Rude became a member of the nWo, managing his friend Curt Hennig. When the nWo split, Hennig and Rude joined the nWo Wolfpac, and they tried to motivate Konnan to defeat Goldberg, who was undefeated at the time. When Konnan was defeated by Goldberg, Rude and Hennig attacked him, later joining nWo Hollywood, the rivals of the Wolfpac. By late 1998, both Rude and Hennig were off WCW TV due to injuries. Hennig had an ongoing leg injury that year, and Rude was thought to have had testicular cancer which later turned out to be a cyst. Curt Hennig returned to the nWo from his injury at Starrcade 1998 without Rude, who was still unable to appear on WCW. Rude was rumored to be training for a full time comeback to active wrestling in early 1999.