#9 – Rick Rude
Rick Rude's time in sports entertainment was, compared to many Hall of Famers, relatively short. He worked for the WWF for three years, WCW for three years, and then made sporadic appearances until his unfortunate death in 1999. It's interesting to me that Rude wasn't immediately inducted as a posthumous member of the Hall, but I can also understand the 'E trying to distance themselves from any drug-related deaths.
Though his time in wrestling was limited, Rude was an instant success nearly everywhere he went. A natural athlete, a natural mouthpiece, and more charisma than a lot of top guys in his era. Rick Rude existed in a time where many guys "got over" by screaming out their promos, and attempting to emulate the high-energy rants of Hulk Hogan. The "sexiest man that ever lived" had a true gimmick of his own, and drew heat like few others. He was one of the best Intercontinental Champions ever, one of the longest reigning United States Champions ever, and one of the most talented men to never have a true major world title run. His feuds with Jake "The Snake" Roberts and the Ultimate Warrior are legendary.
Rick Rude's character should be a model for a successful heel in any era, and his place in the WWE Hall of Fame is, in my opinion, a no-brainer.