The WWE Hall of Fame class of 2017, which already includes Kurt Angle, The Rock 'N Roll Express, Diamond Dallas Page, Teddy Long and Beth Phoenix, will officially get another member who will be announced Monday night on WWE RAW. "Ravishing" Rick Rude will join them with the enshrinement ceremony set to take place on Friday, March 31 during WrestleMania weekend in Orlando.
We first reported that the WWE was planning on posthumously inducting Rude into the WWE Hall of Fame back in January, but the confirmation won't come until March 6, four weeks out from WrestleMania. Rude will become the 36th posthumous induction, and this will be the fourth straight year the WWE has done so, with Rude following The Big Boss Man last year, "Macho Man" Randy Savage in 2015 and Paul Bearer in 2014.
Perhaps more noteworthy in the two months since we first reported the WWE was considering inducting Rude is that we also now know who will be inducting the late, great star. One of the "Ravishing One's" biggest rivals, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat will have the honors of presenting Rude into the WWE Hall of Fame, he himself an inductee in the 2009 class, as first reported by Bleacher Report. Here is what the WWE's official website wrote about one of the industry's most memorable villains.
"It's the ultimate honor for a man whose trek to worldwide superstardom began in Robbinsdale, Minn., a town that produced a talented generation of wrestlers, including fellow WWE Hall of Famer Mr. Perfect, Smash of Demolition and Nikita Koloff. A powerful man, Rude was a bouncer in Minneapolis alongside The Road Warriors, in addition to being a world-class arm wrestler.Yet when he first entered the squared circle, he also realized that he may have been one of the best-looking men in the industry. At 6-foot-3, 252 pounds and possessing the chiseled physique of a Greek god, that assumption wasn't wrong. Calling himself "Ravishing" Rick Rude, he embraced his gifts and reveled in the spotlight, flexing his bulging biceps and suggestively swiveling his hips at every opportunity, to the delight of women across the country."Rick Rude, whose real name is spelled Rick Rood, passed away in April 1999 at the age of 40 after spending his entire adult life in professional wrestling. He performed for WWE, WCW, Jim Crockett Promotions, and ECW, among others. Among his accomplishments included a run as Intercontinental Champion in the WWE and the United States Champion while with WCW.
Perhaps his most memorable accomplishment, however, came in 1997 when he managed to appear on WWE's Monday Night Raw and WCW's Monday Nitro in the same night, as WWE RAW had been taped a week earlier and Rude jumped ship to WCW in the time between. A little-known fact is that Rick appeared on ECW television that same weekend as well. Rude was forced to retire from in-ring competition in 1994 after suffering a devastating back injury during a match with Sting in Japan. Rude continued wrestling in the match after taking a bad fall on the outside and actually won. Ironically, of course, is the fact that Sting was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2016 after he, too, was forced to retire due to injury.
Among his WWE Hall of Fame credentials is that not only did he appear for WWE and WCW on the same night (never happened again), but he also became the first performer to be booked in both legendary factions, D-Generation X, and the nWo, albeit in managerial capacities. Rude joined Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and Chyna as an insurance policy for D-X and departed the WWE after the Montreal Screwjob because he was upset with how the incident was handled.
Rude's mainstream time in wrestling ended in 1999 after a year and a half with WCW, spending time with both nWo factions. He and good friend Curt Hennig (Mr. Perfect) had the tail-ends of their careers derailed by injury, with Rick believing he had testicular cancer, which later turned out to be spermatocele. Rude passed away due to heart failure in 1999, and Hennig followed four years later.
Rude's heart failure was later revealed to be caused by an overdose of mixed medications, and Mr. Perfect died because of an acute drug intoxication. At the time of Rude's death, he was believed to be training for a return to the ring, and he was survived by his wife and three children.
Back in January, there were rumors that beyond the current crop of known inductees, a current WWE employee would also get the nod into the WWE Hall of Fame. That has yet to be announced or confirmed as there are currently seven people set for enshrinement on the final day of March.
[Featured Image by WWE]