WWE - Still The Natural: Dustin Rhodes And The Continuing Enigma Of Goldust (Part 2)
The many different looks of Goldust (Photo: WWE Facebook)
Hey, if you didnt read Part 1 you can find it here http://www.isportstimes.com/articles/9511/20131111/wwe-still-natural-dustin-rhodes-continuing-enigma.htm. Part 2 is below.
In 2002 Dustin Rhodes returned to the WWE once again competing in the 2002 Royal Rumble reprising the character of Goldust. After a brief feud with Rob Van Dam and a run in the Hardcore division Goldust managed to develop a comedic persona teaming up in an odd couple pairing with Booker T which would result in some of the best comedy WWE has ever done. Booker T and Goldust at the movies reviewing The Scorpion King? Hilarious. The two had such incredible chemistry and were involved in some of the funniest vignettes fans had ever seen. Segments in the 7/11 and in a hotel room come to mind. Goldust and Booker T would win the World Tag Team Championships and being in the duo was one of the most entertaining parts of Goldust's career. I don't really even remember them in matches apart from when they won the titles at Armageddon 2002 but that didn't matter because fans loved the two together and the comedy segments with them are fondly remembered. The two were then forced to split up by Eric Bischoff after they failed to win back the World Tag Team Championships. After this Goldust floundered and failed to rekindle some of the magic he had once had and in December 2003 his contract with WWE expired and his contract wasn't renewed. It was a great shame, his character had developed a stutter and he would appear occasionally in comedy throw away segments towards the end of his run. Being given this stutter pretty much limited him to being a joke at the time when he could offer both funny and serious as well as perform in the ring but it wasnt to be and he would leave the company in December 2003.
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The years after would not shine as bright as the previous for Dustin as he would spiral into drug addiction while wrestling in Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling and appearing sporadically on the independent wrestling circuit. He took a mix of pain killers, cocaine and alcohol. In 2005 he was arrested in Florida after a domestic incident and charged with misdemeanor battery. This wasn't the wake up call he needed, it only further fuelled his descent into drug dependency and after a three day binge of drugs and alcohol, Dustin broke down and called his father pleading for help. Dustin had claimed that his relationship with his father, or rather lack of relationship with his father had an influence on him as he turned to addictions later in his life. Goldust would find that once he reached out for help from his dad the tension of the relationship began to ease.
In 2008 Goldust returned once again to World Wrestling Entertainment with his problems in check as a choice in a match at the Cyber Sunday pay per view. He would compete on all three brands (Raw, Smackdown and ECW) and also had one of the most memorable moments in the 2009 Royal Rumble, having a staredown with brother Cody (Cody would later eliminate him from the match). He would suffer a shoulder injury in 2010 leading to him being sidelined, but it gave him the opportunity to become a producer and road agent for a year while recovering but again in 2012 he would leave the company. He would reappear during the 2013 Royal Rumble, again being eliminated by Cody Rhodes.
Which brings us up to date. After Cody Rhodes got fired from the company Goldust would return on the September 9th edition of Raw in a match with Randy Orton in an attempt to get his brother rehired. Unfortunately he was unsuccessful but he proved he still had it. When Goldust and Cody gatecrashed Raw weeks later Triple H offered them the opportunity for both to win their jobs back if they defeated The Shield at the Battleground pay per view. Not only did the Rhodes Brothers defeat The Shield at Battleground, but on the October 14th edition of Raw the Rhodes Brothers once again defeated The Shield but this time they captured the Tag Team Championships as well marking Goldust first championship win in 11 years.
It has already been Goldust's most successful comeback to date. He has returned into a main event angle with his brother and got to wrestle the WWE Champion and 3 of the hottest rising stars of the business in The Shield. He's more relevant in wrestling than he has ever really been because he is near the top of the card and his family and himself mean something to the current product. Whether or not he will remain relevant is unclear. He might finally get a big Wrestlemania moment wrestling with or against his brother Cody. Regardless of all that, how cool is his Darth Maul style face paint?
It has come full circle for Dustin Rhodes, from debuting in a tag team with his father to now being in a tag team with his brother, Goldust is in the form of his life. Never has a 44 year old man looked so energetic and full of fire. His comebacks are second to none, the crowd love him and he finally is embracing the Rhodes name. He tried to get away from it from the longest time, but it will always be a part of Goldust. Now, seeing the Rhodes Family across WWE television is a fantastic sight. It is the past and it is the future. A character designed for shock value, is now part of a family heritage. Goldust has become just as iconic as his father before him and it took Dustin Rhodes rebelling and falling down a few times to realise that he was not his old man but he was someone entirely different. He was his own man, free from the shadow of his father, but comfortable enough to stand beside his father and comfortable enough be in a tag team with his brother embracing heritage and tradition in his own, non traditional way.
Goldust is almost a relic in a way, he is from a bygone era yet he's contemporary but still retains a nostalgic value. He is proof that older wrestlers can still mix it up with the younger guys in wrestling and maybe he will open the door for those mid card talents who got lost to get another chance. He's got so much personality he dwarfs half the roster and he is proof that everybody deserves second chances, hey, maybe even third chances.
As always, would love to hear some feedback and your opinions on the man known as Goldust. Thanks for reading, check out my Tumblr at http://thesunsetflip.tumblr.com/ and follow me on Twitter @kideternity2013