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Bruce Prichard on Bringing Back Rick Rude to WWE for DX Bodyguard Role in 1997, How Rude Once Threatened to Kill Him

September 15, 2019 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Rick Rude, Bruce Prichard

– On a recent edition of Something to Wrestle, Bruce Prichard discussed Rick Rude returning to WWE to serve as a bodyguard for Shawn Michaels in DX in 1997 and how that deal came about. At the time, Rude was working in ECW, but he was not under contract. Below are some highlights.

Bruce Prichard on bringing back Rick Rude to serve as a bodyguard for Michaels: “Oh god. I got a call from Vince on a Sunday morning, and he said, ‘I want Rick Rude at TV, and the TV we were coming up to was in Atlantic City.’ ‘So what do you want to do with Rude?’ He explained what he wanted to do and that, ‘I’m not gonna sign him. I don’t wanna sign him. So, just get him there, and we’ll figure out the rest from there. We’ll do a nightly deal with him, And that’s it.’ ‘OK, this isn’t a long-term thing or anything we need a time-limit [for] –?’ [Vince says,] ‘Nope.’ And wasn’t necessarily really even a one-off at the time. It was maybe two or three dates. But he had been working for Paul [Heyman], so I got his number from Paul. But it wasn’t because of any agreement. It was Paul didn’t have him under contract either.”

Prichard on contacting Rick Rude and bringing up how Rude once threatened to kill him: “So, called Rick. Last time Rick and I had spoke, he had actually threatened to kill me. So, that was an interesting conversation. … He had just told me what goes around comes around, and if I was in 100 miles of him, he would find me and probably poke my eyeballs out. And I said, ‘Well, Rick. I’m pretty sure I’m more than 100 miles away from you, and I really don’t want to get my eyeballs ripped out. And sorry you feel that way. And maybe when we see each other down the road, it’ll be good.’ So, I did bring that conversation up to Rick when I called him. And I hoped that since if he was going to come and do this that we would be probably be within 100 feet of each other and probably real close and want to make sure he was still good with everything. He laughed about it, and we had a good chuckle and moved on, moved forward”

“So, we got Rick to Atlantic City, and we were just doing nightly deals with Rick. That was about it, but it wasn’t a working agreement with ECW. I think the only thing that Paul had to do with it at the time was giving me his number, and I asked Paul, ‘Do you have a contract? Do you have anything with him?’ He said, ‘No. We’re just using him.’ So, that’s how the deal went down with Rick Rude.”

Bruce Prichard on why Rude was seen as the right guy for Michaels’ bodyguard in DX: “I think that Rick had the name recognition, and Rick Rude had a reputation so people, your average audience member would remember Rick Rude from a few years ago when he had been with the company. So, he wasn’t a stranger to the wrestling audience. When you look at Diesel, Diesel was someone we had to introduce and someone that we had to make. Rick Rude could come in kind of pre-made, and actually, I thought it was a pretty good package with Rick Rude. I think it was [Vince] Russo’s idea. Either Russo or Shawn Michaels, one of the two. Probably Shawn because it was a good idea.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Something to Wrestle with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.