Ric Flair has a trillion stories about when the pro wrestling business was the Wild West. Last month, on a podcast with his former WCW boss Eric Bischoff, Flair got off on a tangent from the discussion about why Hulk Hogan refused to ever wrestle Rick Rude. At this point, he told a story set in Savannah, Ga. Apparently the Ultimate Warrior made a passing remark that denigrated Rude’s wrestling ability, and Rude walked across the dressing room and “beat up Warrior pretty good.”
Part of the mystique of wrestling, especially in the 1980’s, was that the characters were amplified avatars of who these people actually were. Their stories remain captivating. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to talk about this without also mentioning the tragic early deaths for so many, including Rude, who passed away at 40, and Warrior, who was 54.