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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-07-2012, 05:41 AM Thread Starter
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Forgotten Legends64: Dusty Rhodes

The American Dream, average working man, son of plumber who made it to the top; he embodied the average man's success through hard work and use of opportunity in pro wrestling.

He worked predominantly in NWA and that is one of the reasons he is not as remembered as he should have been for WWE/WCW were/are the measuring stick to our generation. To his credit, he is one of the only six guys to be in all HOF that matters (read WWE/WCW/Wrestling Observer/Pro-wrestling).

Starting as a rule breaking texan cow boy heel in Texas Outlaw tag team in AWA, he turned face in Florida as a working man who made it big calling himself American Dream and Stardust(inspiration for Goldust?). He won the Florida heavyweight title in 1978 vowing to be People's champion forever in what was said to be a very emotional moment in then pro-wrestling history.

His fame and success came from opposing the horsemen teaming with Magnum TA and especially Ric Flair who was an anti-thesis to his character eventually taking both of them to greater heights where he won the NWA world title thrice.

He then joined JCP which went on to become WCW as booker creating most of the characters, PPV names, show names and bringing one of the oft used finishes, Dusty Finish to forefront where the referee gets knocked out and a run in happens followed by disqualification. He worked as Virgil Runnels, his real name as a booker and Dusty as a wrestler who was still a draw. He left it when he allowed/encouraged blood letting.

He had a unfortunate run in WWF as a polka dotted common man which was considered to be highly humiliating for he took some jibes on Vince Mcmahon during his tenure as a booker eventually leaving it and retiring.

He continued as a booker in WCW/ECW/TNA till 2005 before relegating to independent circuit in and around florida before returning to WWE for H.O.F induction as a legend, a forgotten legend.

Spoiler for Give the guy a break:
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-07-2012, 06:02 AM
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Re: Forgotten Legends64: Dusty Rhodes

I never really liked Dusty Rhodes, he seemed to be way over-pushed for basically all of his career. The only stuff of his that I really enjoyed was once he'd basically retired and had matches against the likes of Steve Corino which were decent, giving back to the next generation.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-07-2012, 06:13 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Forgotten Legends64: Dusty Rhodes

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Originally Posted by just1988 View Post
I never really liked Dusty Rhodes, he seemed to be way over-pushed for basically all of his career. The only stuff of his that I really enjoyed was once he'd basically retired and had matches against the likes of Steve Corino which were decent, giving back to the next generation.
Never was or is a fan of him either but his career has been legendary and am led to believe that he was a huge draw in and well after his prime in and around Florida territory. Maybe @Greenlawler can comment if he is around.

Spoiler for Give the guy a break:
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-07-2012, 11:51 PM
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Re: Forgotten Legends64: Dusty Rhodes

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Originally Posted by theidealstranger View Post
Never was or is a fan of him either but his career has been legendary and am led to believe that he was a huge draw in and well after his prime in and around Florida territory. Maybe @Greenlawler can comment if he is around.
Dusty Rhodes was easily one of the biggest draws of the 80's. His charisma and ring phsychology were equaled by only a handful of people. In spite of his girth the guy could really move in his early days and was a standout athelete before becoming a wrestler. He admits freely to copying Muhammed Ali on the mic, but in spite of this he was good enough at it, that no one cared. Any list of GOAT on the mic would be a joke if it did not include Rhodes.

Dusty toured all over the world, he was in demand by nearly every major territory and his early 80's visits to the WWF were the stuff of legend. The guy always sold out MSG, even the New York fans loved him and cheered him wildley. His matches against Superstar Billy Graham are just plain fun to watch. He was also very poular in Japan.

The fact is, I was never a fan of Rhodes growing up either, however his WWF run in the ealry 80's won even me over. The guy just was so funny he bordered on comedy act, but when it came time to get serious he could play that role too. The fans had a deep respect and love for Dusty. There is not a guy in the sport today who was as over as he was in his day. I know that is hard to believe but it is true. He could walk into any arena in the world and people knew Dusty was going to put on a show. Their was a buzz around him for about a 10 year period that was electric.

There were very few names bigger than Rhodes. He did in fact base himself out of Florida (Who would'nt if given a choice? Florda was always a preferred destination for the boys) But like Andre, Mil Mascaras, Snuka and a few others, people everywhere wanted to see the "American Dream" for themselves. So he would often tour the territories. I believe he won the NWA title on two occasions and fueded with Flair for years before the Horsemen ever exsisted.

To me Rhodes vs Flair defined the NWA of the early 80's. People tend to forget the nature of the sport in that day allowed for guys like Rhodes. He would basically brawl. He would punch, showboat, hip toss, bodyslam, bleed a lot, and throw an elbow and that was about it, however that was okay then. Very few people complained that he was not giving the fans technical masterpieces. That would be a good topic of an "analyze this": When did fans start becoming so insistent on wrestling skill?

He also had famous fueds with Tully Blanchard pre-Horsemen, Harly Race, Terry Funk, and his lengthy epic fued with Kevin Sullivan in Florida was just plain fabulous.

He was one of many guys who used a masked alter ego. His was "The Midnight Rider" when he lost a loser leaves town match or when he needed to call in his "friend" to pop a gate through the roof. While he was not the first guy to use the gimmick he made it trendy and suddenly all over the territories every company had a Midnight Rider or a knock off.

Probably the most beloved star of the 80's, not named Hogan, will never get the recognition he deserves based on the WWF bias, his career damaging WWF polka dot run, and the modern day emphasis on workrate and the direct discrediting of showmanship, which is just plain irritating to fans of the 70's and 80's. For those who don't remember how popular this guy was, Mello Yellow or Mountain Dew one, used him as their national spokesman.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 12:00 AM
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Re: Forgotten Legends64: Dusty Rhodes

I dont see the problem with insisting on wrestling skill mattered. As it did in the NWA. But despite his size Dusty could go like the best of them. Crowd control, brawling, even endurance in the ring, Dusty could seriously go.

His series with Flair, work in Florida, feud with the Horsemen and American Dream promo alone make him one of the all time greats

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 12:21 AM
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Re: Forgotten Legends64: Dusty Rhodes

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I dont see the problem with insisting on wrestling skill mattered. As it did in the NWA. But despite his size Dusty could go like the best of them. Crowd control, brawling, even endurance in the ring, Dusty could seriously go.

His series with Flair, work in Florida, feud with the Horsemen and American Dream promo alone make him one of the all time greats
I agree, the point I was trying to make was that while wrestling skill was appreciated it was not nessecarily a barometer of a wrestlers greatness during that era, due to the fact that most territories revolved around brawling. If guys in that era were concerned with our current esteem of wrokrate it probably would have changed the nature of the game back then. I do not disagree with you, but I think some guys like Rhodes lose credit in the esteem of some fans because of their brawling style, because people did not care aout that as much back then in the kayfabe era. Wrestling revolved around intense feuds that prompted brawling, the 60 minute Thesz affairs of the 60's were the exception not the rule in that era. Fans liked seeing a Brisco vs Dory masterpiece for sure, but they loved the wild brawling fueds even more.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 12:21 AM
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Re: Forgotten Legends64: Dusty Rhodes

I remember quite awhile ago I was over at a friend's house hanging out with some buddies & we were shitting on Cody Rhodes. This was back when Cody Rhodes was teaming with Hardcore Holly I believe. Anyway, my two friends were talking about Cody & one said "what's so special about Cody?" and the other replied "Well, he's the grandson of a plumber." I laughed really hard at that.

I always liked Dusty. His tag with Dick Murdoch was fun stuff. I think a lot of the current generation of fans only remember him from his WWF polka dot days, which is a shame. He had good feuds with Flair & Tully. Did some stuff with Harley & Funk. Even Nikita if I recall. I even purchased & had a Dusty Rhodes comp. DVD made for me. So, yeah, I'm a fan of "The American Dream."
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 12:23 AM
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Re: Forgotten Legends64: Dusty Rhodes

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Originally Posted by Walk-In View Post
I remember quite awhile ago I was over at a friend's house hanging out with some buddies & we were shitting on Cody Rhodes. This was back when Cody Rhodes was teaming with Hardcore Holly I believe. Anyway, my two friends were talking about Cody & one said "what's so special about Cody?" and the other replied "Well, he's the grandson of a plumber." I laughed really hard at that.

I always liked Dusty. His tag with Dick Murdoch was fun stuff. I think a lot of the current generation of fans only remember him from his WWF polka dot days, which is a shame. He had good feuds with Flair & Tully. Did some stuff with Harley & Funk. Even Nikita if I recall. I even purchased & had a Dusty Rhodes comp. DVD made for me. So, yeah, I'm a fan of "The American Dream."
Walk In,

I love your new avatar, The Lariet is one of my top ten favorites of all time. Can't remember him fueding with Dusty but I sure they did, and I bet it was an awesome brawl.
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