He was once a cowboy from the South, but a trip up North turned him into quite a bizarre character. This edition of Bob’s Opinion On… is focused on Dustin Rhodes, better known as Goldust.
My first exposure to professional wrestling involves Dustin Rhodes. In the spring of ’94 I was just five years old watching television when I stumbled upon a program where one guy was beating the crap out of another guy and no one was stopping him. For WCW fans out there, you’d know that this was around the time that Dustin Rhodes was feuding with Bunkhouse Buck. So, thanks for that guys. You’ve created a now two decade passion for professional wrestling.
Dustin was an underrated guy in WCW. People like to talk about Sting in the early 90’s or Ric Flair. However, people tend to neglect Dustin’s run from 1991 to 1994. During that time he had great matches with Rick Rude, Ricky Steamboat, ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin, Barry Windham and Vader. The guy was capable of great matches, though he didn’t have much of a personality.
He could fall victim to the “his dad was the booker” excuse, but the difference between Rhodes and let’s say.. Erik Watts, is that Dustin was able to work well with virtually anyone in WCW. Personally, I think that had Hulk Hogan not joined WCW in the spring of ’94, Dustin could have been groomed to be the mid 90’s version of the late 80’s Barry Windham. He was that good.
Dustin left WCW due to a blade job at Uncensored ’95 with Blacktop Bully that was not approved. Thus, created one of the most memorable and controversial characters in WWE history. Dustin transformed from a cowboy into a guy with a face painted in gold and quoted movies in his promo. He would also act like a homosexual to get under the skin of his opponents.
From late ’95 to the middle of ’99 Dustin didn’t have to rely on his ability to get over. His over the top antics provided memorable moments and generated a lot of heat to make him a top heel for the company.
I’ve always been interested in the idea of a main event feud between Goldust and Shawn Michaels during 1996. Shawn Michaels as the pretty boy heartthrob, which would have been the perfect set up for Goldust to just get in his head. I’m aware they had a TV match in late ’96 and a ladder match at a house show (which was incredible for house show standards). However, a pay per view match between them would have been awesome and one of the few times that Michaels would have been cheered, I’d imagine.
His first run in the WWF lasted from late ’95 to mid ’99 before leaving for World Championship Wrestling. Honestly, he didn’t do anything of note in WCW other than hit Terry Funk with a chicken at Uncensored 2000. Aside from that, Dustin just collected a paycheck.
A WWF return came in 2002 and by the end of the year Goldust was really over as a midcard babyface having formed a team with Booker T. The team was one of the best examples of an odd couple team working very well together. I remember wanting them to win the tag titles but they would always come up short. When they finally won the belts, they only held them for a short period of time. They were a great team to chase the belts, though.
Another moment for Goldust during this run was when he got electrocuted by Evolution and developed a stutter. It was actually really humorous and enjoyable. That sounds kind of sick, doesn’t it?
From 2004 to 2008 Goldust mainly worked for Total Non-Stop Action. I believe it was around this time that he had a huge drug issue, which may explain why he was in TNA to begin with. Their booking tends to drive people off the deep end. He worked under the Black Reign name which was a gimmick where he had a split personality. It was rather ridiculous, I thought.
He has been back in the WWE since October 26th, 2008 (aside from a brief departure in 2011). Only recently with his current tag team run with Cody Rhodes has Dustin made a splash in the company. Honestly, their stuff for the past several months have been refreshing and are some of the best tag team matches in recent memory for the WWE.
He’ll be 45 in April and it’s safe to say that this is the best Goldust has ever been. That just seems to be way too bizarre, which fits Goldust’s career perfectly.
What are your opinions or memories of Dustin Rhodes/Goldust career? Share them below!
Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.