Many people (including me) regard Magnificent Muraco as the top heel in the WWF in the 1908s. But the late Ravishing Rick Rude would have to be among the close contenders.
Rude was always one of those guys that you wanted to see get his ass kicked because he so arrogantly portrayed his male stripper character. It may have been cool to cheer ‘80s antagonists like Roddy Piper, but virtually no one cheered Rude at the arenas.
He would always preface his matches with an announcement that went something like this: “What I’d like right now is for all of you fat, out-of-shape sweat hogs to keep the noise down while I take my robe off and show the ladies what a real sexy man looks like.” (Here’s an example from a February 11, 1989, card at the old Boston Garden.)
Rude never had a strong run with Hulk Hogan when he was WWF World Champion (Hogan defeated Rude in the one time meeting in Boston in January 1988), but Rude had memorable feuds with Jake “The Snake” Roberts and the Ultimate Warrior.
I think Rude was Warrior’s best opponent, as he could bump like crazy for Warrior’s offense and was a skilled enough worker to hide Warrior’s many weaknesses. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that after Warrior defeated Rude in their feud over the Intercontinental Title, Rude was again assigned in 1990 to chase Warrior shortly after Warrior beat Hogan for the World Title.
By the way, if any of you have never seen the angle where Roberts ripped Rude’s tights off, check it out here. I remember talking to someone who was in the Providence (RI) Civic Center for this TV taping, and despite the black “censored” dot over Rude during the attack, Rude was in fact clothed in Speedo-type underwear. And Bobby Heenan is great running for his life after he sucker punches Roberts.