Top 50 Wrestlers Of The 1990s: #23 - Rick Rude
WrestleMania 34 is coming up, and being a wrestling fan, I tend to get a little more nostalgic for them olden days of when wrestlers didn't have scripts with WWE verbage in front of them. DeLorean back to my early days of fandom during the 1990s and you had a product that was hotter than any Seth Rollins theme song (you know, ”Burn It Down?” Okay, I’ll see that bad joke right out the door).
So from now up until "The Grandest Stage of Them All" (with a little help from Wikipedia to fill in the blanks), I will release my Top 50 wrestlers of the 1990, factoring in their impact from the kid-friendly first half to the cuss-ridden, beer drinking second half to determine where exactly your favorite heel or face fall in rank.
#23: Rick Rude
Hailing From: St. Peter, MN
Finisher: The Rude Awakening
Rick Rude’s 90s in-ring tenure didn’t last very long - only four years as a matter of fact. He started the decade out in the WWF having a feud with Jimmy Snuka and reignited another round with the Ultimate Warrior who he had a major-league feud with in ‘89. Rude was one of the best at working in the ring so it makes absolute sense that he would be paired up with someone as bad at wrestling as the Warrior was.
By the end of 1990 however, Rude was done in the WWF and found himself down south for WCW by the end of 1991.
He aligned himself with Paul E. Dangerously’s “Dangerous Alliance” where he took the leader reigns of the faction that consisted of Arn Anderson, Larry Zybsko and Steve Austin
It didn’t take him long to win the U.S. Title from Sting and to become a prominent role in the company as a top heel act, holding the belt for a 14-month reign. He was voted “The most hated wrestler of 1992” by PWI, and for someone who was renowned as a great heel, that had to feel good.
Rude didn’t show back up in the business until 1997 where he became a commentator for ECW and even had a match in a six-man tag to really mark the last of his work in-ring.
This led to him being a manager for DX in the late summer of 1997 and stayed with them until the Montreal Screwjob went done and he (along with that guy Bret Hart) showed up to WCW. Not coincidentally since Raw was taped at the time, this made Rick Rude the first (and only) person to be on an episode of Raw & Nitro on the same night.
He also became the first wrestler to be apart of both DX and the N.W.O. and stayed with the faction (black, white or red) until he was finished WCW in the first quarter of 1999.