WWE Nearly Changed Their Show Once Rick Rude Made Jump To WCW

The late "Ravishing" Rick Rude is remembered for plenty of reasons within the world of professional wrestling, particularly as one of the most entertaining heels of the late' 80s and early '90s. And while he left his mark on the industry, things didn't always go smoothly. Such was the case in 1997, when the "Montreal Screwjob" ultimately led Rude to suddenly leave WWE and jump to WCW. Not being under a full-time WWE contract enabled Rude to immediately negotiate a deal with Eric Bischoff and head into the welcoming arms of Ted Turner, but what stands out about that moment is that Rude would ultimately appear on both "WWE Raw" and "WCW Nitro" on the same Monday night: November 17, 1997. On his "Something to Wrestle" podcast, Bruce Prichard sat down with Bischoff to discuss the aftermath of the jump.


"I wasn't watching," Bischoff said with regard to the "Montreal Screwjob." "I didn't know anything about any of this stuff until I got a phone call from Rick Rude that night. And Rude was pissed. Of course Rude didn't know, Undertaker didn't know; a lot of people didn't know. But Rude called me and he was f***ing livid, and ended up on my TV I think the next night, right?" It was actually the following week, which presented a conundrum. Ultimately, it was what it was.

"It was the next week," Prichard recalled. "We did TV the next night and then it was the following week. He was on tape. I had been smartened up to it earlier in the day that Rick was going to be on your show, and we contemplated taking him out of the show. And then it was like eh, f**k 'em, two places at once."


If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Something to Wrestle" with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.