Making his way to the ring from Robbinsdale, Minnesota, weighing it at 251 pounds, standing six foot three, ladies and gentlemen, Ravishing Rick Rude!
Richard Rood was born December 7th of 1958 in Robbinsdale. He grew up in an era of classic wrestlers and knew somehow that it was what he wanted to do at a very early age.
At the age of fourteen he joined his high school wrestling team but was so small and skinny that they had a hard time finding someone else in his weight class. As a result, he wrestled at two classes above his own weight before bulking up.
As he was leaving high school, he was introduced to legendary wrestling trainer Eddie Sharkey, who is responsible for many of the northern midwest's wrestling stars. Sharkey agreed to train Rood and so, his wrestling career was off.
While training with Sharkey, Rood worked many odd jobs, including being a bouncer at Gramma B's in Minneapolis. Working the same bouncer job were a few other up and comers also training with Sharkey-- The Road Warriors and Barry Darsow.
After completing his training and wrestling on small circuits around Minnesota and Canada, Rick Rood decided his best career move would involve moving south. Wrestling in the Tennessee region, he quickly gained notoriety, and it wasn't long before the infamous Jimmy Hart offered him a contract. He received his moniker from Memphis promoter Jerry Jarret, and Ravishing Rick Rude was off to the big time.
His first success was as a tag-team with King Kong Bundy. However the pairing didn't last long and Rick moved out of Tennessee and on to World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW). In the WCCW, it took nearly no time at all for Rude to win the American Heavyweight title. In 1986, he lost the title, and decided another move would suit him.
He moved to the National Wrestling Alliance circuit, but quickly got picked up and signed by the big show-- the World Wrestling Federation (WWF/WWE). In the WWE, he quickly became involved in a feud with established wrestler, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, after flirting with Robert's wife Cheryl at ringside.
When the script writers decided Rude and Robert's feud was going nowhere, they stepped Rude up to challenge the Ultimate Warrior. After a couple months of feuding, the two met at Wrestlemania V, where Rude defeated the Warrior for the Intercontinental title in 1989.
In 1990, after several failed attempts at title matches and a dispute with WWE management, Rude found himself wrestling for Ted Turner's WCW. Rude had several amazing matches right off the bat in WCW, including an iron man match against Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat. In 1992, Rude began feuding with Ric Flair, and faced off against him for the world championship. Rude finally won the title from Flair in late 1993, but his glory would be short lived.
In his first pay-per-view title defense against Sting, Rude suffered severe neck and back injuries after a failed pile driver that left him sidelined for years.
In 1996, Rude showed up in the Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) circuit, but was quickly brought back by the WWE as part of Shawn Michaels' Degeneration X gimmick. At the same time, Eric Bischoff, of WCW, was also in contact with Rude trying to recruit him.
On November 17th, 1997, Rick Rude made wrestling television history, being the first wrestler to appear on both WWE's RAW program and WCW's Nitro program on the same night (Raw is taped six days in advance, Nitro was live). On the WWE program, RAW, Rude appeared with a full beard. Thirty minutes later on Nitro, he stood in the ring clean shaven. Rude announced on Nitro his displeasure for Vince McMahon and the WWE and involved himself in the nWo plotline that WCW was cooking up.
In 1998, McMahon offered Rude a hefty contract if he would be willing to leave the WCW and return to the WWE. Rude reluctantly accepted and disappeared out of the limelight for a while.
On April 20th, 1999, during training for an 'ultimate comeback' in the WWE, Rude suffered a massive heart attack that took his life at the age of 41. His wife, Michelle, and their three children survive him.