Sometimes prowrestling teases us with an amazing story, that doesn't come to pass. Rick Rude was coming into his own as a world champion caliber character in WCW in the early 1990s. He was your typical muscular egomaniac, but he wasn't a meathead. He was damn articulate for a wrestler of that era, and when tested without any political restraints he could match wits the best of them. Rick Rude was on a roll when he defeated Ric Flair for the WCW International Championship at Fall Brawl 1993, and in spite of stories that I've heard about Rude having real life issues with Bill Watts regarding being underpaid, it seemed like WCW had huge plans for the Rick Rude character. I'm told that Rude was likely going to retain the belt through a DQ finish in the match against Vader, and be at the center of an eventual unification of the WCW World Heavyweight Championship and the WCW International Heavyweight Championship. Most of us witnessed firsthand when Rude faced Sting in a fateful match where Rude landed on the corner of an elevated platform while catching Sting, which caused Rude to blow out a few of his vertebrae. Before and during this feud with Sting, Rude was having issues with Big Van Vader. During a grudge match between Rude and Sting, Harley Race entered the ring with a chair with the intention of attacking Sting and giving Rude the win. Race accidentally hit Rick Rude with the chair, and for the next two months Rude was going after Vader in some blistering promos. Rick Rude gets a little revenge, and cuts a thunderous promo afterward: [youtube]5pnDVf19V2E[/youtube] Rick Rude interrupts an interview with Vader to insult him further: [youtube]al1CjTQ08jc[/youtube] Vader interrupts an interview with Rick Rude, and Rude makes him regret it: [youtube]VlvyQLYymzs[/youtube] This match never took place. Rick Rude would lose the International Title to Sting in an impromptu I quit match, and Sting would go on to defend against Vader at Slamboree. Fans of Vader and Rick Rude were told their match would not be taking place on the day that Slamboree 1994 was taking place. I feel like this match had the potential to change the creative direction of WCW. With or without this match, WCW was determined to have a Hogan vs Flair mega-match. Sting was likely to be a factor if a title unification made any sense up to Bash at the Beach 1994, and I imagine that if that were the case that Vader or Rick Rude would have been involved as well. Hogan was destined to flatten Ric Flair and Vader. I've had crazier theories before, but I feel that fans would have turned on Hogan sooner if Rick Rude was cutting promos on Hogan with the same level of fury that he used when cutting promos on Vader. Hogan had Roman Reigns heat in a few places while he was still running around as The Hulkster, and I don't think that Rude would have been shy about exploiting that. I think that WCW would have been far from hiring Hall and Nash, so Hogan would have likely fought tooth and nail to stay a good guy, as there wasn't anybody to give him street cred and make him into a cool heel, until eventually being forced to suffer from an "injury" and disappear from WCW for a little while. Rick Rude was a phenomenal performer, who suffered from a series of unfortunate events. I feel that if he had fought Vader at Slamboree 1994, it would have been career defining for both men.