We Say Goodbye to Rick Rude – April 20th, 1999 – Today in Wrestling History

Rick Rude with Bobby Heenan

This is a tough one to write because I became a fan of this man late his career. If I am being honest, he had already passed by the time I came around to his style in the ring. Growing up my mother and older sister were big Rick Rude fans. “Shut up I am watching this” type fans. Sadly, April 20th, 1999 the world had to say goodbye to Richard Erwin Rood, aka Rick Rude, as he passed from heart failure.



A career worth remembering

Rick Rude was a heel for pretty much his whole career. He did have a few moments of doing “face” stuff like founding D-Generation X in 1997. Those were few and far between though.

His early years in the ring were spent as a face named Ricky Rood in Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling (MACW). He spent time in Continental Wrestling Association (CWA) and Georgia Championship Wrestling (GCW). Rude was on the premiere episode of World Championship Wrestling in May 1983.

Rick Rude debuts in the World Wrestling Federation

Debuting at the Superstars of Wrestling event in July 1987, Rude joined the Heenan Family replacing Paul Orndorff. Rude would win his first WWF Championship from The Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania V. This would set off a feud between Rude and Roddy Piper, who helped Warrior win the IC title at Summer Slam that same year.

Rude would participate in many feuds while with the WWF. Feuds with Big Boss Man and Hulk Hogan would highlight Rude’s time in the WWF.

A special place in history

Rude would become the first athlete to be on both Monday Night Raw and WCW Monday Night Nitro at the same time. This was accomplished in November 1997. That night, on Raw is War, a bearded Rick Rude appeared alongside D-Generation X members. What was unique though, an hour earlier, on Monday Night Nitro, a mustached Rick Rude appeared.

What was awesome, for fans anyhow, was Raw was taped while Nitro was live. That is how this bit of magic was able to happen. It is also probably the catalyst for the 90 day non-compete clause WWE would later make mandatory in contracts.

Saying goodbye to the Rude one

As mentioned already, Rick Rude passed away on April 20th, 1999 from heart failure. Sadly, Rude was apparently in the process of getting back into ring shape for a return run. He was only 40 years old at the time of his death.

In 2017 Rick Rude was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Ricky “The Dragon” steamboat inducted Rude. His wife, Michelle, and two children accepted on his behalf.

What are some of your favorite Rick Rude moments? He was a master of the promo and getting under the skin of fans. Let us know in the comments your favorite Rude moments.

Want to grab some awesome Rick Rude merch? Check out eBay or Amazon and score a deal to be proud of. Want to check out some other great Wrestlemania moments? We have your back.

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