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Rick Williams

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Richard "Rick" C. Williams (October 16, 1965 – February 23, 1999) was an American professional wrestler. He was best known for his tenure in World Championship Wrestling under the ring name (The) Renegade, where he was a one time World Television Champion.

Career

After a stint as a male stripper, Williams began training under Killer Kowalski in order to become a professional wrestler. After making his debut in 1990 with South Atlantic Pro Wrestling, he began performing on the independent circuit under the ring name Rio, Lord of the Jungle.

World Championship Wrestling

Debut

In 1995, Williams's career peaked when he was hired by World Championship Wrestling. Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage were involved in the main event feud with the Dungeon of Doom stable. 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, Williams, under the ring name The Renegade, was billed by Hogan as "the man that's gonna bring Hulkamania into the 21st Century".

World Television Champion and debut of the Ultimate Warrior

Soon after his debut, The Renegade acquired Jimmy Hart as his manager and soon overran many villains 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 Williams was the Ultimate Warrior. 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. On the November 6 edition of Monday Nitro, after losing to Kevin Sullivan, Jimmy Hart turned on Renegade before ultimately burying him by "re-possessing" the gimmick before saying "You're not a Renegade! You're just plain Rick!". Williams would then not be seen on WCW television for nearly a half a year.

Decline and departure

On the July 1, 1996 edition of Nitro, Williams returned to television under his Renegade ring name but without the character's signature facepaint and singlet attire, instead sporting short trunks with tribal armbands, as he teamed up with Joe Gomez and The Rock 'n' Roll Express in a losing effort to The Four Horsemen. Williams again disappeared from television until he returned to compete in the World War 3 battle royal, which was won by The Giant. Following this, The Renegade formed a short-lived tag team with Joe Gomez that spanned from late 1996 to early 1997, though the team was not successful as they lost every match they were placed in. Renegade was then relegated to being an undercard talent on the WCW "B-shows" Thunder and Saturday Night before he was later put into a minor feud with former tag team partner and enhancement talent Joe Gomez. Following this, he again disappeared from television and only competed in two pay-per-view matches between 1997 and 1998, both of which were the World War 3 battle royals of both years. When the Ultimate Warrior arrived in WCW in 1998, Williams was used as his stunt double until the Warrior departed from the promotion soon after his debut. In late 1998, Williams was released from his contract and he retired soon after.

Death

Severely depressed following his release, Williams committed suicide on February 23, 1999; he was 33 years old.

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

External links

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