Richard Erwin Rood, who went by ring name Rick Rude is regarded as the greatest wrestler never to win the WWE World Championship. However, Ravishing Rick Rude will always be remembered for his bold and influential persona at a time when WWF was more of a silly and cartoonish product.
Rick performed for many promotions, including World Championship Wrestling (WCW), World Wrestling Federation (WWF), and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW).
One of his most memorable moments includes selecting random women from the audience that met his liking. Funnily on one occasion, he picked out a beautiful woman from the crowd who turned out to be the wife of Jake Roberts, Cheryl. The following event created an exciting angle between Rick Rude and Jake Roberts that people still remember with great fondness.
In 1989, Rick Rude and The Ultimate Warrior began a feud that eventually ended, leading him to become the Intercontinental Champion. Rick would then pursue his wrestling chops at WCW, which ultimately became a promising run.
Early Life and Childhood of Rick Rude
Born on 7th December 1958, from Richard Clyde Rood and Sally Jean Thompson, Rick was raised in St. Peter, Minnesota. He went to Robbinsdale High School in Robbinsdale, Minnesota, where befriended Tom Zenk, Brady Boone, Nikita Koloff, Curt Hennig, John Nord, and Barry Darsow, all of whom later made their names in the field of professional wrestling. He had a close relationship with Curt Hennig from childhood.
Age, Height, Weight, and Net Worth
He died at the age of 40 with an accidental overdose of mixed medications. At the time of his death, he was training himself for a return to the ring. He used to weigh around 114 kgs and had a colossal height of 6 ft and 3 inches. His net worth was never officially disclosed, but looking at his professional career competing for several American wrestling promotions, his net worth is estimated to around $1 million.
Rick Rude received a degree in physical education from Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Rude trained as a wrestler under Eddie Sharkey. Making his debut way back in the early -1980’s Rude initially started wrestling as Ricky Rood, a babyface jobber. Later on, the man toned his muscles, built a massive frame, and created a Ravishing character for himself, which started to gain momentum. He began portraying an arrogant and egoistical persona with the perfect touch of wrestling prowess, which helped steer Rick to the then-World Wrestling Federation in 1987.
It is fantastic to see how he made a successful career from such a critical standpoint. Even though Rick had held several glorious titles in the NWA and other territories, he is mostly remembered for his times at WWF. He gained massive hype with the title of Intercontinental Championship in the company. But sadly, that became his only significant achievement during his time in WWF.
Toying with the main event scene, Rick never received the most notable titles the WWF had to offer. Later on, in WCW and ECW, Rude became a shadow of his former self. Injuries started to pile up, snatching his previously superb in-ring talents.
In the world of professional wrestling, Rick was the real badass and quintessential villain, but in real life, he was a loving and caring man. He tied his knots with his love interest, Cheryl Holler, in 1976. The couple later divorced in 1982. Then came his second wife, Michelle Rood, with whom he had three beautiful kids, Richard Jr, Merrisa, and Colton. Sadly his younger son, Colton, died during a motorcycle accident in Rome, Georgia, on 3rd September 2016.
He loved his family and used to take great care of them. When Richard visited his mother and stepfather in Las Vegas, children would come swooning to the front door and ask Rude to wrestle with them and pose for pictures. He would happily do that all. Being a loving father, he used to take his young son on the road with him and spend quality time. When his daughter was in preschool, he would show up at cute tea and cookie parties to delight her and her classmates.
Being an adept wrestler and world-class entertainer, Rick won the hearts of many. Unfortunately, Rick died of heart failure on April 20, 1999, at North Fulton County Medical Center in Atlanta at the age of 40. He had deteriorating health ever since the career-ending back and neck injury in 1994 during his match in Japan.
Her mother Sally said, ‘My son played a bad guy on TV, but he was the type of man who always took the time to do whatever he could for others, especially children. He would want to be remembered as a devoted family man’.
Significant Accomplishments of Rick Rude
Championship Wrestling from Florida
- NWA Southern Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- NWA United States Tag Team Championship (1 time) with Jesse Barr
Continental Wrestling Association
- NWA / AWA Southern Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- NWA / AWA Southern Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with King Kong Bundy
Jim Crockett Promotions / World Championship Wrestling
- WCW International World Heavyweight Championship (3 times)
- WCW United States Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- NWA World Tag Team Championship (Mid – Atlantic version) (1 time) – with Manny Fernandez
- Nintendo Top Ten Challenge Tournament (1992)
Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Most Hated Wrestler of the Year (1992)
- Rick Rude was ranked no. 4 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 1992
- PWI ranked hin no. 55 of the top 500 singles wrestlers of the PWI Years in 2003.
World Class Championship Wrestling
- Rick Rude won NWA American Heavyweight Championship
- WCWA Television Championship
- WCWA World Heavyweight Championship
World Wrestling Federation / WWE
- WWF Intercontinental Championship
- WWE Hall of Fame (Class of 2017)
- 20 Man Royal Rumble ( March 16, 1988)
- Slammy Award (1 time)
- Jesse ‘The Body’ Award (1987)
Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- Best Heel (1992)
- Most Unimproved (1993)
- Worst Worked Match of the Year (1992)