There seems to be a misconception that Wrestlecrap is dedicated to making fun of wrestlers. That’s not true at all. It is never (well almost never) our goal to rip on the workers themselves. It is our desire to point out some of the terrible gimmicks that workers have been saddled with over the years.
I mean, let’s face it – I doubt seriously that Mike Shaw came up with the idea for Bastion Booger. What happens in most cases is that a wrestler gets brought into a company, and the bookers go to him and say that they have an idea for a character. Even if the character is bad, the worker usually takes it. Why? Would YOU turn down a six figure salary just because an idea is dumb?
This leads us directly to The Renegade, the biggest rip-off this side of Mr. Pibb. In 1995, Hulk Hogan was looking for an ally. So he started going on television and promising that he would unveil an “Ultimate Surprise” at WCW Uncensored.
Now when anyone utters the word “Ultimate” in wrestling, that can mean only one thing: The Ultimate Warrior. Except in this case, WCW didn’t have the Warrior under contract, so they decided to make their own.
Enter Rick Williams, a young grappler who had been working the independent scene as Reo, Lord of the Jungle. Hogan reportedly came up with the idea to make Williams his new Ultimate Warrior, and had Williams watch tapes of the Warrior to get his mannerisms down.
Renegade looked like the Warrior. He shook the ring ropes like the Warrior. His music sounded like the Warrior’s. He wrestled like the Warrior (right down to only knowing three moves).
He got pushed heavily. He won the TV Title from Arn Anderson, in what the Enforcer has called the low point in his career. He teamed with Sting. He teamed with Hogan.
After a brief period, the bookers began to notice that the fans simply weren’t buying it, and Renegade lost the TV belt to Diamond Dallas Page. Jimmy Hart turned against him, telling him that he was no longer Renegade, he was just Rick. He basically fell off the map, returning only sporadically to TV, most notably as the “fake” Ultimate Warrior in an angle at Fall Brawl 98.
Sadly, Williams committed suicide in 1999 after WCW released him from his contract. He was 33 years old.