clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

This Day in Wrestling History (Apr. 20): I’ll Take Them Both, I’m Hardcore!

Today’s TDIPWH will be presented in two parts. The second part will focus on the career and life of Joanie “Chyna” Laurer, who passed away a year ago today.

this day in wrestling history

31 years ago today, AWA presented Wrestlerock '86 from the Hubert H. Humprhrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. About 22,000 fans were in attendance. It would turn out to be the final stadium show for AWA.

  • Brad Rheingans pinned Boris Zukhov.
  • Little Mr. T and Cowboy Lang defeated Lord Littlebrook and Little Tokyo.
  • Colonel DeBeers defeated Wahoo McDaniel by disqualification.
  • Buddy Rose and Doug Somers defeated the Midnight Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty).
  • Tiger Mask defeated Buck Zumhofe.
  • Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo defeated the Fabulous Ones (Steve Keirn & Stan Lane).
  • Harley Race and Rick Martel fought to a double countout.
  • Sherri Martel defeated Luna Vachon, Joyce Grable, Kat LeRoux, Rose Divine, Taylor Thomas, Despina Montagas, Misty Blue Simmes, Debbie Combs, and Candi Divine in a 10 woman battle royal.
  • Sgt. Slaughter defeated Kamala by disqualification to retain the AWA America's Championship.
  • Scott Hall and Curt Hennig defeated The Long Riders (Bill & Scott Irwin) to retain the AWA World Tag Team Championship.
  • Scott LeDoux defeated Larry Zbyszko by disqualification in a boxing match. Larry Hennig was the special referee.
  • Nick Bockwinkel defeated Stan Hansen by disqualification in a AWA World Heavyweight Championship match.
  • Greg Gagne and Superfly Snuka defeated Bruiser Brody and John Nord in a steel cage match.
  • Verne Gagne defeated Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissie in a steel cage match.
  • In a post show dark match, The Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal) defeated Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin in a steel cage match.

21 years ago today, ECW presented Hostile City Showdown '96 from the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The show is remembered for one of the most famous—and infamous angles—in pro wrestling history. Prior to the Raven-Shane Douglas match for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship, Shane said that Beulah McGuillicutty was cheating on Tommy Dreamer while she was cheating on Raven.

Tommy Dreamer wasn't gonna stand for these wild accusations obviously, so out comes Tommy and Tommy threatens Douglas. Douglas told Tommy that if he can't handle the truth, then he's not hardcore. Shane also told Tommy that Beulah was never pregnant. Tommy wanted to know who was the one that was she was cheating on him and Raven with.

It turned out it wasn't a he... but a she: Kimona Wanalaya took the mic and revealed it was her. Out came Beulah and she and Kimona made out and Dreamer pulled them apart by the hair. Douglas asked what were Tommy's thoughts on this. Dreamer's reaction would live on in wrestling lore: "I'll take them both, I'm hardcore!" Dreamer left with both ladies and Raven was left to look on.

Highlights and matches of the event aired on the April 23, April 30, and May 7 episodes of ECW Hardcore TV, with the above angle opening the April 30 episode. (WWE Network links).

  • El Puerto Ricano and Super Nova fought to a no contest when The Eliminators attacked both men.
  • Mikey Whipwreck defeated Billy Black.
  • The Dudley Boyz (Buh Buh Ray Dudley & D-Von Dudley) and The Pitbulls (Pitbull #1 & Pitbull #2) was declared a no contest when D-Von hit the referee with a chair and the Pitbulls superbombed him right after.
  • Taz defeated Devon Storm by countout.
  • Axl Rotten defeated Little Guido.
  • The Sandman & Too Cold Scorpio defeated The Bruise Brothers (Don Harris & Ron Harris).
  • Brian Lee defeated Tommy Dreamer.
  • Sabu defeated Rob Van Dam.
  • Raven defeated Shane Douglas to retain the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.

20 years ago today, WWF presented In Your House 14: Revenge of the Taker (WWE Network link) from the War Memorial Auditorium in Rochester, New York. 6,477 were in attendance, with 176,000 homes watching on PPV.

  • In a preshow Free For All match, The Sultan defeated Flash Funk.
  • The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) defeated Owen Hart and The British Bulldog by disqualification in a WWF Tag Team Championship match.
  • Savio Vega defeated Rocky Maivia by countout in a WWF Intercontinental Championship match.
  • Jesse James defeated Rockabilly.
  • The Undertaker defeated Mankind to retain the WWF Championship.
  • Steve Austin defeated Bret Hart by disqualification.

19 years ago today on WCW Monday Nitro from Colorado Springs, Colorado (WWE Network link), Hollywood Hulk Hogan defeated Macho Man Randy Savage to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. This comes just one night after Savage defeated Sting to win the title at Spring Stampede.

On the undercard, Goldberg defeated Raven to win the WCW United States Championship.

18 years ago today, Richard Erwin Rood, best known to wrestling fans as Rick Rude, died of heart failure due to an overdose of medications in Alpharetta, Georgia. He was just 40 years old.

Born December 7, 1958 in St. Peter, Minnesota, he attended Robbinsdale High School with Tom Zenk, Brady Boone, John Nord, Barry Darsow, Brady Boone, and close friend Curt Hennig (all of whom went on to become pro wrestlers).

After graduating Anoka-Ramsey Community College with an associate’s degree in physical education, Roode began training to become a wrestler under Eddie Sharkey. He made his debut in 1982 as babyface jobber Ricky Rood. Starting with Vancouver-based NWA All-Star Wrestling, he would wrestle for Georgia Championship Wrestling, Continental Wrestling Association out of Memphis, and Jim Crockett Promotions before returning to Memphis in 1984 as “Ravishing” Rick Rude, an overconfident, arrogant heel. Under management of Jimmy Hart, he feuded with Jerry Lawler and one-time tag team partner King Kong Bundy.

He wouldn’t stay in Memphis long; Rude joined Championship Wrestling from Florida in December 1984. He was there less than a year, but he had a pretty successful stint, winning the NWA Florida Southern Heavyweight Championship twice and the Florida version of the NWA United States tag titles with Jesse Barr.

In late 1985, Rude joined his manager Percy Pringle in World Class Championship Wrestling. He would win the NWA America Championship in November 1985. In February 1986, WCCW withdrew from NWA and became the World Class Wrestling Association. His NWA America title became WCWA’s new top title, the WCWA World Heavyweight Championship, essentially making Rude their first world champion. He held the title until July 1986 when Chris Adams defeated him. Shortly after, he fired Pringle and would be managed by his sister Raven. He briefly teamed with the Dingo Warrior before he turned on him and became a babyface.

Rude briefly returned to Jim Crockett Promotions in September 1986, teaming with Manny Fernandez as the Awesome Twosome. Under management of Paul Jones, the two would defeat the Rock ‘n Roll Express for the NWA World Tag Team Championship in December. They would feud with the Rock ‘n Roll Express until Rude suddenly left JCP for the WWF in April 1987. To cover for the departure, JCP showed a non-title match where the Express defeated Rude and Fernandez while claiming Rude was injured during the bout.

Rude made his WWF in July 1987 as the newest member of the Bobby Heenan Family. He feuded with the man he replaced in the group, “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff before famously feuded with Jake “The Snake” Roberts. It was during this feud the Rude gimmick was molded. He would wear specially airbrushed tights, make a show of removing his robe, and insult the men in the crowd, calling them fat, out of shape sweathogs, then would kiss a woman post-match. One of those kisses was once directed at Cheryl Roberts, Jake Roberts’ wife (though this was not explicitly stated initially). Cheryl slapped Rude after she refused to kiss him. Rude got angry and grabbed her by the wrist, prompting Roberts to run out and make the save. Other key points in the feud include Rude having Cheryl’s face airbrushed on his tights and Roberts running to rip off said tights, leaving him with nothing but a g-string on (though he had appeared to have been stripped naked to the home audience). The feud ended at Survivor Series in November when Roberts DDT’d Rude.

Rude’s only WWF championship in the WWF came at Wrestlemania V in April 1989 when he defeated The Ultimate Warrior for the Intercontinental Championship. He lost the title back to Warrior at Summerslam with interference from Roddy Piper. After feuding with Piper, he resumed his feud with Ultimate Warrior, this time over the WWF Championship. Ultimate Warrior defeated Rude in a steel cage match at Summerslam. It was his last high-profile feud with the company; just as he was set to feud with Big Boss Man after he had made degrading comments towards his mother, Rude left the WWF.

Rude spent most of the next year on the independent circuit and All Japan Pro Wrestling, Rude, initially masked as the WCW Phantom, returned to the company at Halloween Havoc in October 1991. After unmasking, Rude would be the crown jewel of the Dangerous Alliance, led by Paul E. Dangerously, and including Madusa, Arn Anderson, Bobby Eaton, Larry Zbyszko, and “Stunning” Steve Austin. Rude quickly gained gold, winning the WCW United States Championship from Sting in November 1991. He held the title for the next fourteen months, forfeiting the title in December 1992 when he had suffered a neck injury. Rude returned in April 1993 and feuded with Dustin Rhodes over the title. The two went to a series of non-finishes and a 1-1 draw in a 30-minute Ironman match at Beach Blast in July. Eventually, the title was held up, with the winner of a best-of-three match series on WCW Saturday Night to be crowned champion. Rude won the first match, but would two straight to Rhodes.

Rude turned his attention to the NWA World Heavyweight Championship after the series ended. He defeated Ric Flair for the NWA world title at Fall Brawl in September 1993. Shortly after, WCW had withdrawn from the NWA, meaning the company had lost the rights to use the NWA world title. WCW in response created their own title, the WCW International World Heavyweight Championship. He lost the title to Hiroshi Hase in March 1994 in Tokyo, but would regain it just eight days later. He lost the title again just three weeks later to Sting at Spring Stampede, only to win it back at Wrestling Dontaku in Fukuoka, Japan just two weeks later. During that match, Rude injured his back on a suicide dive, landing on the corner of a raised platform surrounding the ring. Incapacitated, Rude was stripped of the title; he would retire shortly thereafter.

Rude would collect on a Lloyd’s of London insurance policy for over two years before returning in 1997 for ECW as a masked man taunting Shane Douglas. He eventually unmasked and became a color commentator for the promotion before aligning himself with Douglas’ Triple Threat. He made a one-off return at Heat Wave ’97, initially teaming with Tommy Dreamer and Sandman in a six-man tag team match against Rob Van Dam, Sabu, and Jerry Lawler before Rude turned on Dreamer and Sandman as part of an interpromotional war involving ECW, Lawler’s United States Wrestling Association, and the WWF.

While continuing to appear for ECW, Rude returned to the WWF in August 1997 as the “insurance policy” for D- Generation X (Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and Chyna). Rude never wrestled, but he interjected himself in matches as needed. Rude was on a per-appearance deal until leaving the company in the wake of the Montreal Screwjob at Survivor Series. Rude called Eric Bischoff on the evening of the Screwjob informing him that what went down was real. As he was not under a full-time contract to the WWF, Rude was technically a free agent, free to negotiate (and eventually get a deal) with WCW.

Rude returned to WCW on November 17, 1997 on Nitro. Rude with a mustache appeared live and did a worked shoot promo on the WWF, referring to the company as the Titanic, while a full-bearded Rude appeared on a taped episode of RAW is WAR. As Rude also appeared on the prior weekend’s ECW Hardcore TV (also taped in advance), Rude became the only man to appear on all three promotion’s television shows in the same week.

Rude, like many ex-WWF stars at the time, joined the New World Order, primarily managing his childhood friend Curt Hennig. Hennig followed Rude to the nWo Wolfpac following the mega-stable’s split in the spring of 1998. Hennig and Rude turned on Konnan after he had failed to defeat Goldberg for the WCW United States Championship. Hennig and Rude joined nWo Hollywood until both men disappeared from television late in the year (Hennig due to a leg injury, Rude to misdiagnosed testicular cancer; it turned out to be a spermatocele). Hennig returned at Starrcade without Rude, while Rude left WCW in early 1999.

“Ravishing” Rick Rude, a gimmick that could loosely be described as that of an adult film star, became one of the most successful heel superstars of his era, and is often cited as influential for those looking to adopt a similar gimmick. He was also one of the toughest men in the wrestling business; Rude along with Tom Billington, aka the Dynamite Kid, were bodyguards for Macho Man Randy Savage when they were out on the road during Savage’s time as WWF Champion. Savage went to a bar frequented by NWA wrestlers. Savage, knowing that someone would attempt to make a name for themselves by beating up the WWF champion, enlisted Billington and Rude to watch his back. Savage enjoyed his evening without incident. Allegedly, Hulk Hogan refused to wrestle Rick Rude. Rude was also noted for his strong grip; that came from his arm wrestling background. In 1983, Rude finished sixth in the world championships among light heavyweights.

On April 20, 1999, Rude died in Alpharetta, Georgia. He was just 40 years old. He was survived by his wife of eleven years, Michelle (Rude, a devoted family man, never took his wedding ring off—not even during matches; he had his ring finger taped), and three children; his youngest son Colton died in a motorcycle accident in September 2016 at age 19. Though the initial diagnosis was heart failure, an autopsy later revealed that he had died of an overdose of mixed medications. Rude at the time of his death was training for a comeback.

Rude was a part of one five-star rated match by Wrestling Observer Newsletter (the WarGames match at WrestleWar ’92) and was the publication’s winner of Best Heel. That same year, he won Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Most Hated Wrestler award. He was ranked the #4 singles wrestler in the world by the magazine and was ranked 57th among singles wrestlers in the PWI Years in 2003.

11 years ago today, Brian Mailhot, aka Palmer Cannon, abruptly flew himself home from WWE's European tour, citing harassment from Chris Benoit and John "Bradshaw" Layfield, specifically comments about Mailhot's deceased brother. A week later, he requested and was granted his release from WWE.

His release kills a potential Palmer Cannon/Mike Mizanin feud and delays Miz's in-ring debut. Miz's first main roster match would not take place until five months later.

6 years ago today, TNA releases Jamar Shipman, aka Jay Lethal, just three days after competing on their Lockdown PPV.

Lethal, a six-time X Division Champion, tag team champion, and part of the World X Cup winning team in 2006, would land in Ring of Honor a few months later, where he's remained ever since.

2 years ago today, Lucha Underground taped the second half of Ultima Lucha. The double episode, airing August 5, would serve as the show's first season finale.

  • Johnny Mundo defeated Alberto El Patron. It would turn out to be Alberto's final bout for Lucha Underground. In October, Alberto shocked the wrestling world when he signed a deal to return to WWE.
  • Pentagon Jr. defeated Vampiro in a Cero Miedo match. Post-match, Vampiro revealed that he was Pentagon Jr.'s master.
  • Fenix defeated Aero Star, Bengala, Big Ryck, Jack Evans, King Cuerno, and Sexy Star to win the Gift Of The Gods Championship. The win enabled Fenix to challenge for the Lucha Underground Championship any time.
  • Blue Demon Jr. defeated Texano in a No Disqualification Match.
  • Mil Muertes defeated Prince Puma to win the Lucha Underground Championship.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats