The Renegade Death – Suicide
1965-1999 (age 33)
Known to friends as Rick and to fans as The Renegade, Wilson had a short career in World Championship Wrestling. The Renegade was most known as the WCW’s attempt (perhaps tongue in cheek) at creating their own version of the WWF’s Ultimate Warrior. The gimmick was essentially a carbon copy of Warrior, including The Renegade’s mannerisms and high energy entrance to the ring.
The End of a Career Starts The Renegade Death Story
The Renegade made his first appearance with the WCW in 1995 and quickly intrigued fans, as many people speculated that he was secretly The Ultimate Warrior. When it was finally revealed that The Renegade was not the mysterious wrestler, fans seemed to sadly lose interest in him. Even in the story line of WCW, The Renegade was being abandoned, as after his defeat in a November 1995 edition of Nitro, his then manager Jimmy Hart turned his back on him. The event would be the start of what would become a 6 month break from professional wrestling for Richard Wilson.
4 years before his death: The Renegade makes short work of Jake Steele on a 1995 episode of WCW Saturday Night.
When he returned to WCW in July 1996, the Renegade no longer wore his face paint and usual costume. This only seemed to turn fans away even more. Ultimately, WCW was unable to spur interest in The Renegade. The company chose to part ways with Richard Wilson, releasing him from his contract at the end of 1998.
The Death of The Renegade
Not much is known about the specific events leading up to the conclusion of The Renegade death story; however, it is clear that Richard Williams ultimately decided not to continue to pursue his wrestling career. After his WCW contract was terminated, Wilson chose to simply retire.
The former professional wrestler stayed out of the spotlight and kept to himself. Reportedly, he was devastated by the fact that he was not able to become a big name in the world of wrestling. He began to suffer from depression, and by February 1999, it seemed that he had spiraled out of control. On the 23rd of that month, The Renegade chose to end his own life. He died by suicide due to a gunshot wound to the head. He was only 33 years old at the time of his death.
Arn Anderson shoots on Renegade’s suicide
Fans Look Beyond The Renegade Death Story
It seems that despair over his lack of a strong fan base led to The Renegade’s decision to kill himself. Sadly, it seems that the wrestler was loved more than he knew. Today, fans continue to mourn his loss, posting dedications and memorials to him on tribute websites. Most prefer to recall the times that they enjoyed watching him in the ring rather than to dwell on the sad circumstances surrounding his untimely death.
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