Daniel Bryan and 9 Wrestlers Whose Career Ended Too Soon

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E 352697 023 Usa Professional Wrestler: Ravishing Rick Rude. (Photo By Russell Turiak/Getty Images)

Rick Rude

There are a number of personalities from the past that can be considered an inspiration for a lot of the performers in the wrestling ring today. Richard Rood, or Rick Rude, is one of the names that deserve to be on this list.

If Daniel Bryan doesn’t fit the “look” associated with being a professional wrestler, Rick Rude is the guy they are comparing him to. He stood 6’3 and weighed in at 252 pounds, but he was cut as if from a stone slab. His famous hip roll movement was one of the most offensive and created instant heat during his time as a heel. When coupled with the way he berated people before the match and took off his robe; what wasn’t left to hate?

Rude’s most prominent feuds came against Jake “The Snake” Roberts in WCW, the Big Boss Man and the Ultimate Warrior in WWF. While Rude is often overlooked for his in-ring ability and psychology, he is probably very well-known for his time in which he was used in other ways throughout the business. His in-ring career was cut short in 1994 due to a back injury while performing with Sting in Japan.

The injury forced him to retire and allowed him to jump back and forth through the largest organizations at that time. In 1997 he was a part of The Triple Threat in ECW, D-Generation X in the WWE and NWO in WCW. In fact, he appeared on Raw and Nitro the same night (due to Raw being taped) and an ECW show that same weekend.

Rick Rude died at the age of 40 and is a part of the long list of wrestlers who’ve died at a young age. However, his impact is seen in wrestlers such as Shawn Michaels, Tyler Breeze and Dolph Ziggler. Rude clearly deserves consideration as a wrestler whose career was cut short.

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