The Renegade (wrestler)
|Birth name||Richard Wilson|
|Born||October 19, 1965|
Marietta, Georgia, U.S.
|Died||February 23, 1999 (aged 33)|
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
|Cause of death||Suicide|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||The Renegade|
Rio, Lord of the Jungle
|Billed height||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)|
|Billed weight||255 lb (116 kg)|
|Billed from||Parts Unknown|
|Trained by||Killer Kowalski|
Richard Wilson (October 19, 1965 – February 23, 1999) was an American professional wrestler. He was best known for his tenure in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) under the ring name The Renegade, where he was a one-time WCW World Television Champion.
Professional wrestling career
Early career (1992–1995)
World Championship Wrestling
World Television Champion (1995)
In 1995, Wilson was signed by World Championship Wrestling (WCW). Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage were involved in the main event feud with Ric Flair and Vader. Leading up to Uncensored, in which Hogan was scheduled to face Vader in a strap match in the main event, Hogan began hyping an "Ultimate Surprise" and showed a silhouette of a man with long hair and tassels tied to his arms, implying that the Ultimate Warrior was the man in question. On March 19 at Uncensored, Wilson, under the ring name The Renegade, was billed by Hogan as "the man that's gonna bring Hulkamania into the 21st Century."
Soon after his debut, The Renegade acquired Jimmy Hart as his manager and soon defeated several heels while utilizing mannerisms, moves and entrance music very similar to the Ultimate Warrior's. On June 18, 1995, Renegade defeated Arn Anderson for the World Television Championship at The Great American Bash, his first and only championship. The following month at Bash at the Beach, Renegade defeated "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff to retain his title for the first time. Under a month later on Clash of the Champions XXI, Renegade again retained his title in a rematch with Orndorff. However, a few months later, the real Ultimate Warrior had appeared in several wrestling magazines and dispelled the belief that Wilson was him. As a result, Renegade's momentum was virtually halted before he subsequently lost the World Television Title to Diamond Dallas Page on September 17 at Fall Brawl. He then went on to lose to Orndorff on an episode of Main Event preceding Halloween Havoc the next month in less than two minutes. On the November 6 episode of Nitro, after losing to Kevin Sullivan, Jimmy Hart who had just turned on Hulk Hogan also turned on Renegade before ultimately burying him by splashing water in his face to remove his facepaint before saying "You're not a Renegade! You're just plain old Rick! A nobody! You're nothing!"
Various rivalries (1996–1998)
Wilson returned to television on the February 26, 1996 episode of Nitro as The Renegade, in a losing effort to Lex Luger. Upon returning, Renegade's signature facepaint and singlet were replaced with trunks and tribal armbands. After wrestling sporadically at house shows, Renegade returned on the July 1 episode of Nitro, where he teamed up with Joe Gomez and The Rock 'n' Roll Express in a losing effort to The Four Horsemen. After competing in the World War 3 battle royal, which was won by The Giant, Renegade formed a short-lived tag team with Joe Gomez in late 1996, though the team was not successful as they were relegated to being jobbers. After their team ended in early 1997, Renegade turned heel for the first time in his career during a match with Scotty Riggs on the March 22 episode of Saturday Night, which he lost. Renegade remained a jobber while competing sporadically on Nitro, Thunder, and Saturday Night. After a five-month hiatus, Renegade returned on the August 12 episode of Saturday Night in a losing effort to Super Caló. Renegade would remain utilized as a jobber throughout the rest of 1997 and 1998 (as well as being used for stunt double for the actual Ultimate Warrior during his 1998 WCW run) before wrestling the final match of his career on the December 7 episode of Nitro, which he lost to Wrath. He was released from WCW soon after.
Severe depression continued to increase for Wilson after being released from WCW and the fact that no other wrestling companies had any contractual offers submitted to him. Wilson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on February 23, 1999 he was 33 years old, and had been living in Cobb County, Georgia. Wilson's grave site is located at Parkhill Cemetery in Muscogee County, Georgia, USA.
Championships and accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- World Championship Wrestling
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- Worst Wrestler (1995)
- "Renegade profile". Cagematch.
- "Renegade profile". Online World Of Wrestling.
- Bowman, Colin (June 1999), "Editor's Note", WCW Magazine, World Championship Wrestling, Inc., no. 51, p. 7
- "Cagematch match listings".
- "Nitro report on February 26, 1996".
- "This Week in WCW: February 15, 1997 – February 17, 1997".
- "This Week in WCW: March 15, 1997 – March 17, 1997".
- "Fall Brawl report on September 17, 1995".
- "Nitro report on November 6, 1995".
- "WorldWide report on November 8, 1997".
- "Nitro report on July 1, 1996".
- "This Week in WCW: November 30, 1996 – December 2, 1996".
- "This Week in WCW: January 11, 1997 – January 13, 1997".
- "This Week in WCW: March 22, 1997 – March 24, 1997".
- "This Week in WCW: February 1, 1997 – February 3, 1997".
- "This Week in WCW: August 16, 1997 – August 18, 1997".
- Reynolds, R.D.; Alvarez, Bryan (2014). The Death of WCW: 10th Anniversary Edition of the Bestselling Classic — Revised and Expanded. ECW Press. ISBN 978-1770411753.
- "Nitro report on December 7, 1998".
- "WCW World Television Championship history".