Recently on Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard, the professional wrestling veteran and podcast co-host Conrad Thompson talked about the legendary 'Ravishing' Rick Rude. Among other things, the duo discussed Rude's return to WWE in 1997 and Rude famously appearing on WWE Monday Night RAW and WCW Monday Nitro on the same evening.
According to Prichard, WWE Chairman Vince McMahon told Prichard to contact Rude about returning to the company on a per-night basis back in 1997.
"Vince McMahon and Vince Russo were doing the creative, writing the television at the time, and Vince told me that he wanted me to call Rick Rude and to get Rick Rude to TV the next day. I asked what kind of deal we were looking to do. Vince was adamant he did not want to do any kind of long-term deal with Rick Rude. He wanted him on a per-night basis, 'bring him in, get him here, and we'll talk about everything else as time goes on.' We just wanted to do a per-night agreement with him [and] get him to Atlantic City [New Jersey] and see what we got."
Prichard divulged that the idea of bringing Rude back to WWE was to have him act as Shawn Michael's bodyguard while Chyna was Triple H's bodyguard.
"DX happened organically. The idea of having Rick Rude there as the bodyguard was Chyna was kind of the bodyguard for Hunter and Rude was the bodyguard for Shawn. And it organically happened."
Rude has gone down in professional wrestling history for appearing on Nitro and RAW simultaneously and Prichard watched it live with McMahon.
"I believe the first words uttered [by McMahon] were 'motherf--ker' and then a lot of silence and 'what the f--k's. Oh God, I took a lot of heat over that. 'How could you let this happen?' 'We didn't have a contract.'"
Apparently, Rude was not under contract because McMahon did not have long-term plans for Rude and Rude said he had no desire of going to WCW.
"Rick wanted guarantees in his contract and Vince was not sure that he wanted to use Rude for any extended length of time. It was fine going with the nightly proposition. In addition to that, WCW had no interest in Rude prior to that and Rude had also expressed that he had no desire to go there. And then, [the] Montreal [Screw Job] came along and everything changed."
Prichard admitted that it was good business for Rude to sign with WCW.
"It's business. I don't blame him for going at all. I probably would have done the same thing, given the opportunity."
Prichard went on to acknowledge that it was WWE's own fault for featuring someone who was not under any kind of standard deal.
"If you're going to put someone on television and invest a lot of time and money in them, have them locked up. And if they don't want to sign a contract, then, cut them loose, cut ties."
Listen to the podcast here. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.