Date: 1989 or 1990 (exact date unknown)
Location: Savannah, GA
Source: Ric Flair’s Woooo Nation podcast, anonymous
Unfortunately there is very little known about the Rick Rude confrontation with the Ultimate Warrior. We had been told about it years ago and were skeptical, but Ric Flair later confirmed it on his podcast.
It would’ve been 1989 or 1990, when the two had long programs with each other at the house shows and PPVs. Warrior was known for working very stiff, as he wasn’t trained for a long time before he became a pro wrestler and never fully learned the craft before he became an almost instant sensation. Rude was a seasoned veteran and one of the toughest legit brawlers the business ever knew.
Flair said Warrior had made a remark in passing about Rude not being good enough to get a shot at his title. If he was talking about the WWF World Title, then this would’ve been 1990. If it was the IC Title, then it would’ve been 1989. All Flair said was that Rude walked into the dressing room across from the kitchen and beat up the Warrior pretty bad.
When we were originally told the story, Rude had gone up to Warrior after the match and asked him to lighten up a bit in the ring. Warrior shot back with, “I don’t have to, because I’m the Warrior.” Rude then knocked him silly with one punch and walked away.
The latter version seems questionable, as even Warrior at his most egotistical likely wouldn’t have said that. Maybe he was misquoted and said it differently. Perhaps. But he must’ve known of Rude’s tough guy reputation, and his own lack of the same reputation. “One punch” and “Beat up pretty bad” are also two different things, so we don’t know where the truth lies. There must have been witnesses, and Flair did say all the boys knew of the story, but we’ve seen little documentation of what others have said about it. With both men having passed away, it’s unlikely more details will ever surface about it.