Mark For War: Rhodes Worthy of Travel
We head toward the upcoming Fastlane PPV with the Rhodes Brothers, Goldust and Stardust, feuding hard. This week, the feud took a somewhat interesting turn, which saw the boy’s father, Dusty Rhoades, get thrown in to the mix.
Dusty Rhodes is arguably one the most influential superstars of all time. I’d also argue that Dusty bred an equally influential superstar, his son Dustin, more commonly known as Goldust. I’ve had numerous conversations over the years about who, in my opinion, is the most underrated WWE Superstar of all time. I don’t have a clear-cut answer, but I will say the Goldust character is for sure in the conversation. When Goldust debuted in the WWE in the mid-90s, a character had never had never pushed the sexuality envelope in the controversial way that he did. Goldust was a character created to draw emotion from fans through an arbitrary form of controversy. Not necessarly bad. Not necessarily good. Just necessiarily weird. It’s much different than an early 90s heel like Sgt. Slaughter, for example, who had to burn an American Flag to seem controversial. The Goldust character simply exploited flamboyancy, and ruffled a lot of feathers in the process. Years later, taboos have been shattered in the WWE, and few things, if any, are off limits. A lot of this has to do with the trailblazing character that was Goldust in the 90s.
Then there’s Goldust’s real life younger brother, Cody Rhodes (Stardust). Cody is great in the ring. The only knock I have on Cody, if any, is that he almost totally lacks the wrestling style of the Rhodes family . I can watch Goldust wrestle and see a connection between him and his father. Not so much Cody. CR is essentially a slick high flyer, which is the exact antithesis of everything Dusty Rhodes. Cody very well may be a Hall of Famer before all is said and done. He hasn’t gotten a legit push yet, but one may be coming his way somewhere in the (near) future. I will say this about Cody: he has the chops in the ring, and on the mic, to justify a legit push if he were to receive one.
So we have Wrestlemania approaching, and this Rhoads brothers’ feud will be coming to a head. As far as the Wrestlemania undercard goes, a match has to have that special Wrestlemania-type feel while essentially not being wrapped up with any championship implications. Not easily done. And we all know nothing says Wrestlemania level match more than a brother vs. brother clash (e.g., Bret vs. Owen, Wrestlemania X). But if we’re set for a Rhodes boy clash, why waste a third Rhodes boy getting thrown in to the fight? I am, of course, referring to Dusty. He’s one of the WWE’s head agents behind the scenes. We know he’ll be at Wrestlemania anyway. Why not have him get in to the match’s mix in some way?
So here’s what I’m thinking: Goldust vs. Stardust in a bullrope match with daddy Dusty, wearing a cowboy hat of course, as the special guest referee. I LOVE the idea of two sons destroying each other with the father officiating it. Any one of you reading this who has a brother can appreciate this idea. You know when you and your brother get in an argument and start beating the hell out of each other only to have your dad jump in to split you up (but not before you both get a few shots in to blow off steam)? It’s like that.
The Bullrope: So appropriate! Once upon a time, the bullrope match was Dusty Rhodes’ signature match. We rarely see bullrope matches these days. It’s sort of a “once in a blue moon” match that could be the right to dust off (no pun intended) at ‘Mania this year. What would be rad as hell is if prior to the match, right before the boys put their makeup on, Dusty comes up to his two sons in the dressing room and says, “No. No makeup tonight. Tonight, it’s the nothing but the Rhodes boys going at it.” Cody and Dustin tear each other up in street clothes, sans gimmicks.
Now, let’s face it, if the Rhodes boys get a spot on this year’s Wrestlemania card, it’s going to be short. If they’re going to get 10 minutes from these dudes, I’d say: why not consider adding Dusty into the mix in a wrestling capacity as well? How about the first-ever three-way dance between a father and his two sons? Maybe a three-way strap match? God, what a badass visual it would be to see Dusty take a strap to his two sons, trading off exchanging lashes between the two of them, like I’m sure he did once or twice back in the day in the Rhodes household. In order to ignite the feud, we can have Dusty consistently intervening in Cody and Dustin’s problems leading up to ‘Mania, with them both taking the “Butt- out Dad!” mentality, until finally Dusty snaps and realizes the only way to get through to his kids is tough love. After one of the three Rhodes boys reigns supreme in a brutal and bloody match, they look at each other, realizing the love they have for each other. A three way bear hug is shared, and the San Francisco crowd erupts, cementing a great Wrestlemania undercard moment.
As time goes on, we are starting to piece together what looks like a strong multiple main event card for this year’s ‘Mania. All good! I’m excited for it. However, we have to realize that three-four strong undercard matches are necessary to get this event to an over the top level. This Rhodes feud should be utilized to its highest degree. I think it’s only a matter of time before Goldust rides off in to the sunset, and this would be the perfect send off for the future Hall of Famer. Plus it gives Cody a small spotlight, which I think the up-in-comer deserves after a relatively strong year.
Match of the Week: Goldust vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper, Hollywood Backlot Brawl, Wrestlemania XII, Anaheim, CA, 3/31/1996
Without a doubt, one of the oddest matches in the history of WWE, let alone Wrestlemania. SO AWESOMELY BAD! This feud was basically built on Goldust weirding-out Roddy Piper to the point of a rage backlash in the form of a backlot Hollywood brawl. Someone, who deserves the Pulitzer Prize equivalent for wrestling booking, decided to have Piper chase after Goldust in a white bronco, a nod to the hot-buttoned OJ Simpson White Bronco chase from earlier that year. Piper straight up gets hit by a car in this match. I’d like to assume that Piper was drunk, or at least was rocking some type of a buzz, during this brawl. Also, does anyone else see the similarities between this match and the fight scene between Piper and Keith David in They Live? These are the matches that make Wrestlemania undercards the stuff of legend.