The segment involving a teddy bear dressed like the late Dusty Rhodes made the final Monday Night RAW of 2016 a rather controversial one, upsetting Dusty’s son, former WWE wrestler Cody Rhodes. But Cody’s reaction was tame and subdued compared to that of Dusty’s fellow WWE Hall of Famer, “Superstar” Billy Graham.
On Tuesday, the Inquisitr reported on the controversial angle in question, which started with Bayley gifting Dusty Rhodes’ older son Goldust with a teddy bear dressed in the polka-dot attire Dusty used during his 1989-1991 run with WWE. While this was ostensibly meant to be a touching moment, it also proved to be a way to generate “heel heat” for the villainous tag team of Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Acting like schoolyard bullies, Gallows and Anderson mocked Goldust and Golden Truth tag team partner R-Truth, referring to them as “nerds” before Anderson grabbed the teddy bear and took its head off.
Not gonna' say something mean or blow a whistle. All I can say...is that whoever produced that, I hope they never know what this feels like— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodes) December 27, 2016
The angle’s payoff was a match between The Golden Truth and Gallows/Anderson, which the heels ended up winning. But while it may have been intended to make Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson more despicable, the Dusty Rhodes skit on Monday Night RAW didn’t go down well for Cody Rhodes, who took to Twitter and criticized WWE for disrespecting his late father, who died unexpectedly in June 2015 at the age of 69.
While Cody later admitted that he may have overreacted due to the fact he still misses his father, he wasn’t the only former WWE personality to react notably to the segment. In his official blog site, announcer Jim Ross stressed that Dusty Rhodes’ polka dot attire in WWE was something he didn’t want to be reminded of when he was still alive, but added that the skit would be something fans would likely forget over time.
Still, both reactions paled in comparison to that of “Superstar” Billy Graham, a former WWE World Champion back when the company was still known as WWWF, and a man believed to have influenced future charismatic musclemen and wrestling legends such as Hulk Hogan. Posting on his official Facebook page, Graham wrote a piece called “Comedy and Death,” which explained how upset he was at the Dusty Rhodes Monday Night RAW segment, and how he felt it was very disrespectful to the “American Dream” and his legacy.
“Very funny to be making a joke off a dead WWE icon, The American Dream, who had more charisma than the entire WWE roster put together.”
Referring to how Cody Rhodes chose to take the high road and not post anything too inflammatory about WWE Creative, Graham said that he wasn’t willing to go the diplomatic route, even suggesting that the person who wrote the segment should be fired for coming up with it.
“It made me totally nauseated and was the ultimate in disrespect to the man, not only to one of the greatest performers ever in the business of pro wrestling. I also think that the writer who came up with this disrespectful segment is a total piece of s— and should be fired for getting away with having the WWE air this disgusting segment.”
The post also took a few digs at former Bullet Club members Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, who joined WWE earlier in 2016 after an impressive stint at New Japan Pro Wrestling, but haven’t exactly lived up to their advance billing.
“Gallows and Anderson burst into the scene and one of them grabs the doll. I honestly don’t know who is Anderson and who is Gallows, that is how (unimpressed) I am with them, nothing personal.”
Let's turn a negative into a positive...— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodes) December 28, 2016
that's right, TOTALLY FREE & fully intact "DUSTY BEARS" 2-10-2017 pic.twitter.com/IGCTyqJAO7
Did WWE really go too far and disrespect Dusty Rhodes on Monday Night RAW, as “Superstar” Billy Graham had suggested? A look at the comments section on WrestleZone’s report on the issue suggests divided fan opinion – some believe that the angle was tasteless and uncalled for, while others believe that Graham and others are “overreacting,” considering that Gallows and Anderson were simply “doing their job” as on-air villains.
[Featured Image by WWE]