Shortly after reporting the sad passing of a movie icon in Christopher Lee, I came across the news of the passing of wrestling icon Dusty Rhodes. Virgil Riley Runnels Jr, better known to the wrestling world as Dusty Rhodes “The American Dream,” left us at the young age of 69. For those of us that started following professional wrestling as kids, we knew who Dusty Rhodes was. Rhodes was born in Austin, Texas, and possessed the southern draw that we all fell in love with.
After rising through the ranks, Dusty came to the WWF in 1989. He wore the polka dots that some of us will never forget, and was billed as the everyday “common man.” He wrestled briefly in the WWF, and left for the WCW (World Championship Wrestling) in 1991. Dusty Rhodes would spend the better part of a decade in the WCW, becoming a major part of the organization. Dusty created many of the pay-per-views that were employed by the organization. He also spent a lot of time on the announcing crew, sharing his insight during matches between other wrestlers. When the WCW ended in 2001, Dusty returned to the independent circuit, wrestling on a part time basis. In 2005, Dusty returned to the now WWE (formerly WWF) to become part of the creative writing group. Before his death in June, Dusty spent a lot of time working with the WWE’s developmental group, nXt. The nXt is currently supplying the WWE with tremendous talent and acting ability, and Dusty Rhodes has a huge role in that success.
Dusty Rhodes received the tremendous honor of being entered into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007.
“The American Dream” will leave behind an amazing passion for the business, incredible personal skills, and the ability to speak to a crowd and earn their respect in minutes. He represented the common man, and showed us that you can reach the pinnacle of success simply through hard work and desire.
Dusty Rhodes leaves behind four children, two of which are active wrestlers in the WWE.
“The man of the hour, the man with the power. I am the hit-maker, the record-breaker. I got style and grace, a pretty face. I’ll make your back crack, your liver quiver. If you ain’t into this match, you’re at the wrong address. Superstar, when the other wrestlers are smilin’ and jokin, The Dream be, WOO!, cookin’ and smokin’.” (Thanks to International Business Times for this tremendous quote)
Cheers to you Dream. May you wine and dine with kings and queens forever.
(Information gathered from Wikipedia).