Could The Walking Dead’s Classic Villains Survive Against Today’s Rick Grimes?

None of the classic villains in The Walking Dead would be any match for the Rick Grimes depicted in The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live.

Despite what happened in The Walking Dead, none of its classic villains would be a match for the Rick Grimes depicted in The Walking Dead: The Ones Who LiveOver the course of his nine-season arc on the main show, Rick Grimes faced more than his fair share of challenging situations, many involving devious and highly skilled individuals. Though not without difficulty, Rick overcame each of these obstacles. Were he to somehow face them again, though, it’s likely that things would play out very differently.

The days of Rick fighting the Governor, Terminus, and even Negan feel like a bygone era in The Walking Dead universe. Set years after his exit in season 9, The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live presents viewers with a new version of Rick, one who has endured years of captivity within the walls of the CRM’s secret headquarters in Philadelphia. Within just one episode, the spinoff transformed Rick into someone his old villains would be remiss to fight.

The CRM’s Training Has Made Rick Grimes More Dangerous Than Ever

It isn’t just the passing of time that’s changed Rick in The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live; the biggest changes came about as a result of the training he received from the CRM. After multiple refusals to formally join the Civic Republic Military, Rick relented, secretly seeing it as another avenue toward his escape. In the aftermath of his decision, Rick was shown participating in combat training and getting a uniform and a retractable blade weapon to replace his lost hand. These amount to significant upgrades to the character.

Prior to the spinoff, Rick’s prowess in fighting and shooting stemmed largely from his police career and years of navigating the zombie apocalypse. For that reason, a great deal of what he was capable of leaned on experience. The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live brought in something new to the equation by giving him military-style combat training that was most assuredly more advanced than whatever he may have been taught as a policeman. Rick was dangerous even without the military background of characters like Mercer and Abraham, so having that added to his repertoire takes the character to a whole new level.

Rick Grimes Now Has Soldiers At His Command In The Walking Dead

In addition to his newfound fighting skills, Rick also has soldiers at his command. This was one of the prerogatives of Okafor, Lieutenant Colonel of the CRM, who wanted Rick to become part of the “upper echelons” of the organization. Thanks to steps taken by Okafor, Rick has some degree of authority at the CRM and the training needed to make use of it. Rick is no stranger to leadership, of course, but the people he led into battle in the past were everyday survivors hardened by life in the apocalypse, not highly disciplined soldiers trained to kill both people and zombies.

The Walking Dead’s Old Villains Wouldn’t Stand A Chance Against The Current Rick Grimes

By making Rick a significantly better fighter and equipping him with valuable resources he never had access to before the spinoff, The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live has created a massive gap between its original protagonist and many of the other characters associated with the show. With the way Rick is now, it’s worth wondering what would have happened if he had faced the Commonwealth. They also had soldiers, hence why Rick could have been an interesting opponent for them. His older foes, on the other hand, would be in much worse positions to fight him.

Looking at the evolution the character has experienced in the new spinoff, it’s hard to imagine any of the classic Walking Dead villains holding their own against Rick. There’s no denying that the Governor was a menacing antagonist capable of cruel acts, but not someone who would win a real fight, whether it be with weapons or without, against someone with Rick’s training in The Ones Who Live. The cannibals at Terminus wouldn’t have been a threat to Rick either. With his new training, he most likely wouldn’t have fallen into their trap, therefore taking away the only advantage they held.

Chances, Negan too would have been less of a problem for The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live’s Rick Grimes. They were almost evenly matched in their fights, with Negan getting a slight edge in the final battle. Rick had to use Carl’s name as a distraction, whereas this version of Rick wouldn’t need any such tricks. Negan is without question one of The Walking Dead’s most dangerous fighters in his own right, but as the fight with Okafor (an accomplished military leader) shows, Rick Grimes appears to be in another category now.


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