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Rick Rude vs. Ted Dibiase

Rick Rude vs. Ted Dibiase  

80 members have voted

  1. 1. Rick Rude or Ted Dibiase



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Parv brought this up casually in another thread, naturally believing Ted to be the better talent. I'm not so sure about this as I think it's a very complex comparison.

 

On face value, you'd think they had very close careers. Both guys peaked in terms of national fame at the same moment and in the same place, late 80's WWF. They are two of the "big four" of more technically talented top heels of that era in the WWF (with Savage and Perfect) and are gimmicks everyone remembers. Their in ring careers ended less than a year apart and both ended up as suited NWO minions towards the end.

 

But on face value I find this to be a very hard straight comparison to make. For one Ted Dibiase played both babyface and heel for long runs in his career, whereas Rude played basically only a heel (his early Mid South run as a lower card guy aside). For a second thing Dibiase got to work with ALL the top WWF guys in his run, whereas Rude only had one TV match with Hogan and none at all with Savage during his run.

 

For a third thing, I'd argue they basically peaked nearly a decade apart. I also think Rude played his character in the ring incredibly well and seemed to have more passion for his run than Ted did, at least in the WWF. Rude's WCW run vs. Ted's Mid South peak make for an interesting case.

 

Anyone else want to talk about these two? I'm not sure I have an easy answer.

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I'd go Rude, simply because I think Rude kept getting better and became a true top in the world talent near the end. Dibiase was talented, but he fell into the WWF machine and as the years went by he was producing the same style of matches that I found less and less appealing.

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This is tough. Rude's best match in the WWF (vs. Warrior) was better than any match Dibiase had there, but I'd rather watch a random Dibiase WWF match than a Rude one any day of the week. Obviously, Rude's early 90s run is better than Dibiase's, but he was working with some great workers in a promotion that didn't have as overbearing a house style and put a far greater emphasis on ring work. And even then his work continued to be dogged by rest holds. I like the stuff with Manny vs. The Rock 'n' Roll Express, but it's fair to say that it wasn't on the level of Ted's Mid South work. I kind of lean towards Rude because of his WCW work, but you can boil that down to one year (1992) and it features a string of disappointments along with the top tier Dangerous Alliance stuff -- the Dustin feud and the lack of a defining match with Sting being two of the major blots. I think I'll do an about face and go with Ted, but he's no great shakes either.

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I've spoken of my penchant for Dibiase many times on this board. From his work in Houston, Japan, UWF and WWE... I rate him highly. His team with Steve Williams was fantastic. His character work in the WWE was some of the best of the 80's. When he was teamed with Rotunda to take some of the load off his injuries there were more great moments in the ring although they are consistently mentioned in the breathe of character workers: seek out the Money INC / Steiners cage match from 16/8/93 which was one of Ted's last (barring the cut short Japan return), it was excellent.

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As I've mentioned on WTBBP, Rude in 92 is one of my very favourite wrestlers. And peak vs. peak this conversation is interesting.

 

But pre- and post-peak I think Ted absolutely destroys Rude and then some, so much so that they aren't in the same ballpark. Ted in 1978-9 is ALOT better than Rude in 87-8. 80s babyface Ted in GCW and Mid-South pre-heel turn did a lot more memorable things than Rude ever did before 89. Rude in 88 is actively bad. I don't think Ted is actively bad even at the very end of his career where people are pointing to matches with the Steiners.

 

Million Dollar Man run in WWF has things no one seems to want to give Ted for any more -- like getting a total nothing like Virgil over as one of the hottest babyfaces in 1991, like the Savage matches in 88, like his Hogan matches (which are better than Hogan vs. Rude), like his performance in the 1990 Rumble or in the 1990 Survivor Series. His matches against Bret Hart. His match against Shawn Michaels. His general ability to bump, sell, work the crowd, execute moves, and so on (which are taken for granted). All of these things are "post peak" for Ted.

 

And then his All-Japan matches, where he is part of many more ***1/2-****1/2 affairs than Rude would ever be tagging with Manny in a similar work-rate heavy environment.

 

People are making a couple of good matches with the Ultimate Warrior in 89 and Rude's banner year in 1992 do an AWFUL lot of work here. And people seem willing to overlook the long chinlock spots that dog some Rude matches even in 92.

 

I don't like the way Ted is so casually dismissed by some. I can no longer work out if people are trolling me, or just willfully trying to deny the greatness of one of the key workers of the 80s. I'm watching some prime Ted in a bit because I'm going to review some more 80s Mid-South.

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Not trolling. I just don't think Ted was one of the key workers of the 80's, at least not in the sense of that term I would use.

 

Not sure who I'd take here. Probably Dibiase, but I'd rather watch 92 Rude than any Ted run.

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Take a look at this again Dylan: https://sites.google.com/site/chrisharrington/dvdvr_midsouth_1980s_midsouth_results

 

Those are the results of DVDR's Mid-South 80s set.

 

Can you tell me which other workers of the 80s that finished #1 on their respective sets you don't consider key?

 

 

TIER: MANY (more than 10 matches)

1. Ted DiBiase: 35 matches - 225,427 total points = 6441 avg pts

2. Dick Murdoch: 16 matches - 102,977 total points = 6436 avg pts

3. Ric Flair: 11 matches - 87,986 total points = 7999 avg pts

 

 

BEST OF ELEVEN WITHIN TIER:

1. Ted DiBiase - 100,511 total points

2. Ric Flair - 87,986 total points

3. Dick Murdoch - 83,387 total points

 

Best of Two Matches

1. Ted DiBiase (22,002 points)

2. Hacksaw Jim Duggan (21,565 points)

3. Dick Murdoch (20,829 points)

 

Best of Three Matches

1. Ted DiBiase (31,828 points)

2. Hacksaw Jim Duggan (31,391 points)

3. Dick Murdoch (30,152 points)

 

Best of Four Matches

1. Ted DiBiase (41,591 points)

2. Hacksaw Jim Duggan (40,413 points)

3. Dick Murdoch (39,68 points)

 

Best of Five Matches

1. Ted DiBiase (50,951 points)

2. Hacksaw Jim Duggan (48,568 points)

3. Dick Murdoch (47,416 points)

 

Best of Six Matches

1. Ted DiBiase (59,867 points)

2. Hacksaw Jim Duggan (56,443 points)

3. Dick Murdoch (55,675 points)

 

Best of Seven Matches

1. Ted DiBiase (68,231 points)

2. Hacksaw Jim Duggan (63,890 points)

3. Dick Murdoch (61,989 points)

 

Best of Eight Matches

1. Ted DiBiase (76,579 points)

2. Hacksaw Jim Duggan (70,101 points)

3. Dick Murdoch (67,774 points)

 

Best of Nine Matches

1. Ted DiBiase (84,734 points)

2. Hacksaw Jim Duggan (75,663 points)

3. Ric Flair (74,609 points)

 

Best of Ten Matches

1. Ted DiBiase (100,500 points)

2. Ric Flair (87,975 points)

3. Hacksaw Jim Duggan (86,191 points)

 

Best of Fifteen Matches

1. Ted DiBiase (128,445 points)

2. Hacksaw Jim Duggan (104,333 points)

3. Dick Murdoch (99,704 points)

 

Best of Twenty Matches

1. Ted DiBiase (157,903 points)

2. Hacksaw Jim Duggan (122,42 points)

3. Dr. Death (119,935 points)

Any which way you slice it, he was #1 performer for that set and promotion. So, you're saying Mid-South just wasn't "key"?

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Initial thought is that Ted's overall career was better. Can remember a hell of a lot more Ted matches and angles than Rude, although like many I hold Rude's initial WCW run in the highest of regards. To me Ted always represented everything that was great about late 80's early 90's WWF, He always felt like a big deal.

 

Rude had his moments and they could be very good, but they never seemed consistent. Also in the Rude minus column is that he was in by far the worst match I have ever seen in person v Davey Boy Smith in London in '93 - that 15 minute chin lock is always the first thing that comes to mind when I think of him.

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Rude vs. Jake at WM4 anyone?

 

Rude vs. Chono?

 

As great as Rude was in 92, he certainly knew how to stink out the joint when he wanted to.

 

His match with Flair is disappointing too. Ted has some good matches with Flair.

 

I think Ted is held to real and impossible scrutiny whereas a guy like Rude isn't. Why? Maybe it's because people like to wind me up. Maybe it's because Meltzer pimped him as a "best in the US" calibre worker for a decade. Maybe it's because lots of workers in the industry cite him as an all-timer. Maybe it's because he's one of the lucky guys that WWE like to make a big deal of in their version of history. Or all of the above. But I don't see people nitpicking with Rude like they do with Ted, and Rude's lows are so much lower.

 

NB. I really love Rude by the way, and don't really want to be seen to be running him down. He'll do pretty well in my GWE.

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No one is touting Rude as furiously as you tout Ted.

 

Rude was heavily, heavily flawed. I am not a big fan of young Rude, though I did like the team with Manny. I liked him in the WWE as a character, and he had some fun matches, but only a couple of great ones. I LOVED him in 92, and he was in the match that I voted the best WCW match ever that year (v. STeamboat at Beach Blast). He won't make my top 100 I don't think, and I REALLY love his peak.

 

Ted? I am going to watch some Mid-South stuff soon. I've seen some of it, but not all of it. But he's got a lot of ground to make up to get into the discussion for being someone I would call a "key worker" of the 80's.

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My first instinct was Rude, yes, because of his red hot 1992 run.

 

But it's really hard to vote against DiBiase, who was so much more versatile as a character and in other areas.

 

1. As heels, it's close. Million Dollar Man was a once-in-a-million character, but Rude was a great heel too. This is a tie, or close enough.

 

2. I could never buy Rude as a face, but DiBiase was good at it.

 

3. Both were managers. Neither were good at that, but DiBiase was better.

 

4. Was Rude a color commentator in ECW? DiBiase was probably better at that too.

 

5. In the ring, WCW Rude was more interesting than WWF DiBiase, but DiBiase was by no means a slouch.

 

I have to give DiBiase the slight edge because you could do more with him. Versatility means a lot to me.

 

P.S. Not sure why JerryvonKramer thinks people are out to troll him. Is that really a thing? :) With all due respect, that sounds a bit ego-centric to me, as if a bunch of people are posting in this thread solely to get a rise out of JVK. Please... :)

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Rude vs. Jake at WM4 anyone?

 

Rude vs. Chono?

 

As great as Rude was in 92, he certainly knew how to stink out the joint when he wanted to.

 

His match with Flair is disappointing too. Ted has some good matches with Flair.

 

I think Ted is held to real and impossible scrutiny whereas a guy like Rude isn't. Why? Maybe it's because people like to wind me up. Maybe it's because Meltzer pimped him as a "best in the US" calibre worker for a decade. Maybe it's because lots of workers in the industry cite him as an all-timer. Maybe it's because he's one of the lucky guys that WWE like to make a big deal of in their version of history. Or all of the above. But I don't see people nitpicking with Rude like they do with Ted, and Rude's lows are so much lower.

 

NB. I really love Rude by the way, and don't really want to be seen to be running him down. He'll do pretty well in my GWE.

You might have already stated it, but where - roughly - do you see Ted in your GWE list?

 

Just for an idea of how you're rating him presently.

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Not entirely sure yet, but more than likely top 50. Aspects of his work that people (apart from me) never talk about are his intensity when on offense. This comes through most strongly in his early babyface years, but it carries right through Mid-South and into the WWF years. He's underrated as an offensive worker. In feature matches in the WWF, heel heat sequences were often truncated, but when he was able to run through it he had a beautiful heat sequence. Suplex and a beauty, piledriver, best scoop powerslam in the business. His punches are underrated, he was taught by The Funks and came through Amarillo as a youngster, and it shows. His punches are excellent. He's smooth almost on the same level as a Barry Windham. His selling and bumping are really good to the point where he was a viable and realistic prospect for NWA Champ. He does a lot of things extremely well, which are sold short for whatever reason.

 

But hey, people have different opinions on things.

 

I need to finish re-watching the entire Mid-South set before making a final call. Need to see his matches with Dick Murdoch and the Steve Williams tag run with a fresh pair of eyes.

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Not such a fan of the Murdoch run personally, but as I stated above I loved the Williams teaming.

 

Something you forgot to mention was how good a seller he was also, Jerry. Whether getting sympathy in the early days of his career or as a back peddler later on.

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The original “Greater talent: Rude or Dibiase” question came from asking who could have been NWA world champ in 1990-91. My reference to Rude as the better talent (or Dibiase as the lesser) was about that period of history. It’s meant to say: who would you bet the farm on at that moment? By ’90, Dibiase feels like his best days have passed. Rude had more upside at that moment, as he was entering top form as a performer right around then, the Dangerous Alliance run being his peak.

I’m not a huge Dibiase fan, but his peak came in Mid-South and Japan. I don’t know if he was really given the chance to have great taped matches in WWF. There’s the Odessa match from Bret’s DVD set, but that didn’t floor me. I’m sure he had good singles matches there, and my recent dives into late 80s/early 90s WWE have been better than expected. The SNME with Hogan-Dibiase was just live on the Network stream, and that is a really good show from start to finish that will make you think that even guys who we don’t view as great workers were better trained and more proficient than the midcarders of today.

My favorite Dibiase stuff is him working Magnum twice on the same day (Tulsa and OKC, both matches on the Mid-South set) and his work with heel Murdoch, especially their match from New Year’s Eve ’85. The Tulsa match with Magnum is particularly great and something I actually like more than his big Duggan multi-stip blowoff cage match.

I can get behind the idea that Dibiase is kind of undervalued by us now. Or we take for granted how good he was, or we’re a few years removed from that Mid-South set. And perhaps we even overvalue someone like Rude for novelty and his best run coming during a renaissance for WCW while surrounded by great workers. But I tend to rank workers by their peaks more than consistency. And I do think that there was an intensity which Dibiase often lacked which tends to color our memories of workers. If you come off as a badass or ultra-charismatic (as Rude did at his best), that tends to be more fondly remembered than a very talented guy who was always good, but doesn’t necessarily have the “fire” that we associate with all-time favorites. Which is probably unfair to Dibiase, as he has some badass moments: his promo after Williams got laid out by the Russians, his work in the famous double turn with Flair, his team with Matt Borne. Maybe there’s something kind of Randy Orton about him? Where his methodical speech and style in-ring seemed to quell heat at times?

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As someone who was on the selection committee for Mid-South and thus watched every match available on tape, DiBiase was helped a lot by the selection process. There were a bunch of super disappointing DiBiase matches left on the cutting room floor, where it was just chinlock, armbar, loaded glove. He was a guy that I never wanted to watch again after putting the set together, which wasn't true about most of the other guys on that set.

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You also think Jumbo is the Japanese Terry Taylor though, which suggests we probably aren't going to agree on much.

 

Parties, why do you think he lacks intensity? I don't get that criticism. Watch him vs Pat Patterson in 79, lacking intensity?

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Rude vs. Jake at WM4 anyone?

 

Rude vs. Chono?

 

As great as Rude was in 92, he certainly knew how to stink out the joint when he wanted to.

 

His match with Flair is disappointing too. Ted has some good matches with Flair.

 

I think Ted is held to real and impossible scrutiny whereas a guy like Rude isn't. Why? Maybe it's because people like to wind me up. Maybe it's because Meltzer pimped him as a "best in the US" calibre worker for a decade. Maybe it's because lots of workers in the industry cite him as an all-timer. Maybe it's because he's one of the lucky guys that WWE like to make a big deal of in their version of history. Or all of the above. But I don't see people nitpicking with Rude like they do with Ted, and Rude's lows are so much lower.

 

NB. I really love Rude by the way, and don't really want to be seen to be running him down. He'll do pretty well in my GWE.

Did you really compare Flair working Ted in 85 to Flair working a broken down Rude in 93. That's a pretty smoke and mirror argument buddy.

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If you think I'm going to give you a free pass on that weak argument you're insane. With that said I like both guys. Dibiase to me was a good worker, but not at the elite level. I feel Rude's 92 is better than any year either had. Though Dibiase has the classic feuds in spades over Rude. I also feel Ted was more consistent. On top of it Ted has better tag work than Rude.

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