Goldust (aka Dustin Rhodes, or Runnels) has released his first statement following the untimely death of his father, wrestling legend “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, on Thursday.
In comments to TMZ Sports, the former WCW and current WWE superstar said the entire family was shocked and “extremely sad” over Dusty’s passing, “but thankful for the unbelievable amount of support they’ve received from around the world.”
“My dad was my hero,” the younger Rhodes said. “I owe everything to my father. I am who I am because of him. He was an amazing man.”
Dustin also said his dad “was the greatest man I’ve ever known.”
While it’s true, to an extent, that Dustin Rhodes was fast-tracked into a professional wrestling career thanks to the celebrity of his father, few wrestling fans could argue that he hasn’t earned his own way since being given that opportunity.
His career consists of several championships in both WWE and WCW as well as numerous independent organizations.
When he arrived at WWE just as the Monday Night Wars were kicking into high gear, the company gave him the homophobic gimmick of Goldust in what many felt was Vince McMahon’s way of getting at Dusty Rhodes, who was still working with rival WCW.
But in spite of being named the Worst Gimmick of 1995, Dustin has turned Goldust into an enduring character, who transcended his controversial roots to become a true fan favorite.
Even now at the age of 46, his in-ring work is some of the best in the company, and his younger brother Cody Rhodes (aka Stardust) owes a lot of success to his sibling.
Dusty Rhodes wasn’t entirely comfortable with the Goldust gimmick but said, “I’m gonna let this thing play because he’s searching for something.”
Here are more of Dusty’s thoughts on Dustin and the gimmick that made him a household name. (My apologies for the video quality; audio is solid, though.)
What do you think WWE should do with Stardust and Goldust now that their father has died? Would it be a sign of respect to let these characters out of their gimmicks and give them a well-deserved run at the World Tag Team Championships?
How do you think WWE should handle Goldust going forward? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Image via Brunch News]