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YouTubular: The Renegade

August 14, 2010 | Posted by Leonard Hayhurst
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YouTubular: The Renegade  

When Hulk Hogan debuted for WCW in 1994 he was pitted against such evil heel stables as Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen and Kevin Sullivan’s Dungeon of Doom. Even though Hogan had some of his old buddies around him, like Randy Savage, Jim Duggan and Brutus Beefcake as The Booty Man, he needed more allies. Heading into the first Uncensored pay per view, Hogan and manager Jimmy Hart kept teasing an “ultimate surprise” and showed the silhouette of a man with long hair and tassels hanging off his arms. Fans thought the Ultimate Warrior was soon to debut, but fans are stupid.

What they got instead was Rick Williams as the Renegade. His hair, body type, face paint, ring gear, move set and general attitude all suggested the Ultimate Warrior as much as possible. In fact, the Renegade is part of the fuel to the rumor fire that about a half dozen guys have played the Warrior and almost all of them are dead.

The height of the Renegade’s career was winning the WCW TV Title off of Arn Anderson at The Great American Bash. I remember reading that AA said the only thing he was ever embarrassed about in his entire career was jobbing the TV Title to the Renegade. This is from a man who tagged frequently with Steve McMichael and once got his ass handed to him by Robocop. After dropping the TV Title to Diamond Dallas Page, Renegade’s star declined. He tagged for a short period with Joe Gomez and later feuded with him. There was even talk of forming a low-rent stable with Renegade, Gomez and Jim Powers. Renegade was used as the Warrior’s stunt double when he eventually did jump to WCW. However, he was cut when no longer needed and Williams unfortunately committed suicide on Feb. 23, 1999.

The Renegade vs. Jake Steele
Video Length: 1:55


This is from “Saturday Night” with Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan on commentary. Paul Orndorff cuts an insert promo before the bell that he will take the TV title from the Renegade at Clash of the Champions, making this from late summer 1995.

Renegade dropkicks a lackadaisical Steele in the back and then body slams him. Renegade squats on the top rope like he’s taking a dump and then finally flies off for a big splash and the pin. He screams, “I’m the champ” at the camera, to which Heenan adds “of halitosis.” DUD. Such squashes don’t expose, nor do they put over.

The Renegade vs. Dave Dalton
Video Length: 4:22


This is “World Wide” with Swedish commentary. They do reference the Ultimate Warrior, but I have no idea what they were talking about. The only Swedish I know are their fish and meatballs.

Renegade no sells an early attack and comes back with a backdrop. Dalton charges into a body slam and the top rope splash ends it. The match was about 30 seconds and the rest of the run time is detailed analysis by the Swedish hosts. I like how they hold up black and white pictures of who they’re talking about, which seem to be random as they go from Kimberly Page to Kevin Sullivan in one breath. Oh, the match, DUD, of course.

The Renegade vs. Lex Luger
Video Length: 11:57 in two parts

This is from “Nitro” on Feb. 26, 1996. Before the match, Gene Okerlund interviews Sting and Luger on the entrance ramp. They’re the tag champs and the Road Warriors come out to challenge them to a Chicago street fight. The idea is that Luger is from Chicago like the Road Warriors, but he’s from the grey poupon eating side of town. Luger and Sting accept the match and then argue over what the stips exactly mean. They have no clue. If I remember right, Booker T wound up teaming with Sting for the match because Luger had got roped into the Alliance to End Hulkamania Team at the second Uncensored.

Renegade no sells a shoulder block to start, so Luger just kicks him in the gut. Renegade knocks Luger over with some of his own shoulder blocks and Luger bails. Renegade tries to catch Luger coming back into the ring, but takes a thumb to the eye. Renegade blocks a hip toss, Luger blocks the reversal and Renegade spins out into a short arm clothesline. Luger begs off into the corner, but Renegade mounts him for a series of punches. Luger comes out of the corner with a reverse atomic drop, which Renegade no sells to hit a clotheslines. Renegade covers for two.

Luger takes a backdrop. He then ducks a flying splash and Renegade hurts himself on the ropes. Luger is up first and chokes Renegade out on the top rope. Luger throws Renegade to the canvas and drops an elbow for a two count. A backdrop suplex gets two. Renegade leaps over a backdrop try for a sunset flip for two. Luger rolls out of it and to his feet for a charging clothesline for two. The chinlock makes its first appearance a lot later in than I would have thought. As you can imagine, Renegade powers out. Renegade Renegades up, but Luger cuts off a backdrop with a double axe handle and follows with a suplex. Renegade no sells that like he was Luger and hits two clotheslines to set up a scoop slam for two. He whips Luger into the corner for a handspring back bump. Luger trips out of the corner into a bulldog. Renegade goes up top, but former manager Jimmy Hart appears to push him off to the floor. Luger fetches Renegade from the floor and slaps him in the torture rack for the submission. Pretty decent power match from two guys who obviously weren’t putting in maximum effort. **

Post match Luger flexes, while Hart goes bananas. Sting returns and Hart scampers away. The tag champs have a tiff where Sting says it’s Hart or him. Luger feigns innocence. Tweener Luger whipped about eight kinds of ass.

The Renegade vs. Goldberg
Video Length: 2:38


This is from “Saturday Night” the day before Starrcade 1997 with Schiavone and Dusty Rhodes on commentary. Renegade still has the wild hair, but has forgone the face paint and singlet for a more Native American looking gimmick.

Goldberg mauls Renegade at the bell and hits the Jackhammer in like ten seconds. He then calls out Steve McMichael, who answers. They brawl until security separates them. The match, if we can call it that, was just an excuse to get Goldberg in the ring to build hype for his Starrcade match with Mongo. DUD.

The Renegade vs. Wrath
Video Length: 5:19


This is from late 1998 on “Nitro” with Schiavone, Larry Zybszko and Mike Tenay on commentary. Renegade has his hair back in a ponytail now. Wrath gets a shoulder block to start and chops Renegade into the corner to be worked over with a series of knees and kicks. Renegade kicks out of a side slam. That upsets Wrath and he pitches Renegade to the floor so he can jaw at the referee. Renegade attacks Wrath from behind, but has a whip reversed on him to a chest first bump to the corner. He bounces out into a back suplex. Wrath drops a few elbows and chokes Renegade out. Wrath hammers Renegade’s throat across the apron. Renegade boots Wrath on a backdrop try and whips him to the corner. He goes for a somersault back elbow, but Wrath has this look on his face of ‘that’s the gayest shit I’ve even seen’ and just pushes Renegade away from him so he could level him with a clothesline to the back of the head. The Meltdown wins. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone so punked out before. It was like Wrath was offended at Renegade’s sheer existence. ¼*

The 411: It’s never good to speak ill of the dead and Renegade didn’t have much of a chance as he was never supposed to be anything more than a poor man’s Ultimate Warrior. When he was on the rise he was never in matches long enough to expose him and on his way down he was the type of jobber he used to destroy in just a few moments. The Luger match is the best clear example of his potential and most of that was kicks, punches, clotheslines and no selling. Sometimes you’re the flavor of the month and then management realizes that nobody likes rainbow sherbet.
Final Score:  3.0   [ Bad ]  legend

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Leonard Hayhurst

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