Dustin Runnels has always been a guilty pleasure of mine in the guilty pleasure world of professional wrestling. He has always been a solid but not spectacular wrestler who used personality and psychology as his main tools in becoming a star. The son of one of wrestling’s biggest stars, Dustin was destined to face a tough time going into the same profession as his dad (Cody Rhodes is finding that out as well). But Dustin was big and tough and determined to make it.
After debuting in 1988, Dustin did not truly find his stride until he introduced the Goldust character in 1995. Everyone knows who Goldust is even if you aren’t familiar with his famous father, Big Dust, “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes. That, in and of itself, is a testament to Dustin’s ability, drive, and longevity. Wrestling in one of the most popular periods in WWE history, Goldust was able to stand out and make himself known. And while he was never considered “The Man” or even a prime main eventer, he would excel in mid-card feuds, tag teams, and other aspects of the business.
Now, at age 48, one has to wonder how much longer Goldust will be donning the sparkly spandex and facepaint. He has already done the inevitable tag team and subsequent feud with his half-brother Cody (aka Stardust) and his current tag team with R-Truth (The Golden Truth) had won maybe 3% of their matches since beginning. So when Goldust turned on R-Truth this past week on Raw, I imagine most people were left wondering, “Why?”
In reality, a low-tiered tag team with someone past his prime and poised to hang up the boots soon and someone who never really had a prime (unless you call a brief challenge to John Cena and the follow up of being crazy with an imaginary friend a prime) breaking up wouldn’t be that big of a deal. And I don’t think the WWE really plans on it being any type of deal. My guess is they want to just use R-Truth and Goldust as singles jobbers for a couple months instead of tag team jobbers. But I think it can be more. Much more.
First, we have to think what we could expect of any 48 year old wrestler. Normally, the thought would be to put over younger stars. To pass the torch, so to speak. Sometimes it is as a mentor. Sometimes it is as a mountain the younger star needs to conquer. The same thing applies for a splitting tag team. Normally a means to push one wrestler from a team into a higher stratosphere (think Shawn Michaels split with Marty Jannetty), you would think the older wrestler would be the sacrifice for the younger star to go over. But R-Truth is not that much younger than Goldust at 45 years old and has never gotten anywhere close to the fan reactions Goldust has.
To fantasy book this Goldust turn, I would work with the assumption that you don’t have a long time left with Dustin actively wrestling. So he would have to be booked strong to make any impact. So, let’s have him be done with R-Truth pretty quickly and decisively. Have R-Truth spend a week or two questioning why Goldust would turn on him. Goldust would ignore all of R-Truth’s attempts to talk until R-Truth would just say, “Okay, that’s enough. I don’t care anymore, just get in the ring and I’ll show you how wrong you are.” Or something to that effect. The ensuing match could be on the pre-show for the next Raw PPV and have Goldust win in a relative squash.
On the next Raw, let Goldust open the show. Full blast Goldust. All the glitz and glam. All the double entendre. All the over-the-top and outrageous. Have Goldust put the WWE roster on notice. Have him say that he has reached a point in his life and career that he wants to think about legacy. His father has a legacy. His brother has plenty of time to develop a legacy. And as far as Goldust goes, he was not going to let his legacy, which is “huge,” be dragged down by a sub-par tag team partner.
Kurt Angle would then come out and tell Goldust that he always had respect for him even though he thought he was a bit weird. But what he did to R-Truth was not cool and definitely not the way the Goldust he thought he knew would act. Angle says he gave him and R-Truth a shot when he begged for it a few weeks ago and this is how he repays him? Goldust would retort that he understands what Angle is saying, but he doesn’t care. Goldust (starting to speak of himself in the third person now) will do one thing for Angle, and one thing only, and that is provide the star power necessary for Angle to brag about Raw’s ratings.
Then, Goldust would go to leave and Angle would grab him by the shoulder. Goldust would turn and slug Angle down. Goldust would kick and stomp on Angle for a bit until Angle regained his footing, hit a few punches and sent Goldust out of the ring with a clothesline. Goldust would stare at Angle for a bit and then laugh and back up the ramp.
Backstage, R-Truth would come up to Angle and tell him that as General Manager he can’t be getting into fights with the wrestlers. Angle agrees and R-Truth says that if he gives him a match with Goldust, he will do the fighting for him. Angle gets a bit upset that he isn’t in a position to fight himself, but gives R-Truth the match. Goldust will defeat R-Truth with more ferocity than in the match the night before. Goldust will then grab a microphone and a cameraman and say that Angle should never question him again or claim he begged for anything. Goldust begs for nothing from no one. He then says that next week a new production will begin and to stay tuned. Finally, he will hit R-Truth with the Shattered Dreams crotch kick and walk out to boos.
The next week, Goldust would come out for a match against Heath Slater. He will defeat Slater and hit a Shattered Dreams on him as well. This will bring out Rhyno to defend his partner, and Goldust will back off only to return to the ring and beat down Rhyno from behind. Later, Angle will confront Goldust backstage and tell him he is on thin ice with him. Goldust just laughs in his face and Angle says he may have to suspend him. Goldust tells Angle that would be his loss as Goldust is bringing in the box office.
At the beginning of the third hour, Dean Ambrose will be in the ring ready to have a match for the Intercontinental title. Suddenly, the entire arena would go dark and we would get a full Goldust video package and entrance. Goldust would come to the ring and say that the people here don’t deserve this, and Dean Ambrose definitely doesn’t deserve this, but Goldust does what Goldust wants. Goldust continues to talk and says he is here to introduce his leading lady, and Ambrose just has to wait. And Goldust then introduces his new manager/valet, Eva Marie.
Eva comes down to massive boos and hands Goldust a golden scepter. Goldust turns to Ambrose and asks if he knows what this is. Ambrose plays along and says it looks like a plunger and Goldust must be having some bathroom issues. Goldust will laugh, say that is funny, and then crack Ambrose in the head with the scepter. He will beat Ambrose down with the scepter and will only stop when Angle comes out with security to throw Goldust out. Eva Marie will step in between Angle and Goldust and Goldust will say as he walks away that the Intercontinental Title is going to be his again, where the gold belongs.
This will set up a big feud with Goldust and Ambrose which will be highlighted by some wild brawls and craziness. Goldust will continue to proclaim that the Intercontinental title belongs around his waist. He will have to “earn” his shot though, according to Kurt Angle and Angle will set up match after match after match which Goldust will win with the help of Eva Marie’s constant outside interference and the golden scepter. The pairing of Goldust and Eva Marie will become the most despised combo in wrestling in short order.
Any bump in Goldust’s path to the Intercontinental title would just serve to help build up younger competitors such as Kalisto, Apollo Crews, and Big Cass. Goldust would eventually win the Intercontinental title from Ambrose and hold it for a little while. He could lose it back to Ambrose due to interference by Kurt Angle and lead to Angle returning to ring action.
Angle and Goldust could have a couple big matches which they could split and eventually lead to a retirement match. At the retirement match, Eva Marie would turn on Goldust, and walk out causing him to fall to Angle and go into retirement. Eva Marie could build off that evil momentum and start managing someone new the following week, perhaps Bobby Roode coming up from NXT. That would be glorious.
So, you see, this Goldust turn could actually be something if given the time and effort to allow one of the WWE’s most dedicated wrestlers go out in style. Well, in pro wrestling style that is.
Let me know what you think in the comments. Where did I go wrong? Could it work? Would you watch?
Until next week…
Tags: apollo crews, Big Cass, Bobby Roode, Cody Rhodes, dean ambrose, Dustin Runnels, Dusty Rhodes, Eva Marie, Goldust, Heath Slater, Kalisto, Kurt Angle, R-Truth, Rhyno