Dusty Rhodes - A Man Who Made His Own American Dream
The American Dream Dusty Rhodes passed away last week at the age of 69.
That's the same age as my dad. It is also a somber reminder that the golden age of wrestling is over and that its superstars are beginning to fade from the limelight.
Look at whom we've lost in recent years. Macho Man Randy Savage, Ultimate Warrior, Rick Rude, Yokozuna, Curt Hennig, Paul Bearer and even Doink the Clown.
It reminds us how quickly that these performers come and leave our lives and should give us an extra appreciation for their careers.
I can't say that I was a particularly huge fan of Dusty Rhodes. Rather, I viewed him as somewhat overrated compared to other wrestlers of his day.
About the only time I liked watching Dusty wrestle was when he feuded against Ric Flair. Naturally the Nature Boy was my favorite wrestler, but Rhodes always seemed to get a little extra out of Ric.
Dusty seemed to be one of the few wrestlers that could get under Flair's skin, or at least that is how they portrayed it on camera. They had a chemistry that just worked on TV and was entertaining ever time they chose to lock horns.
Most of you know that Dusty had two sons. One went on to become Golddust in the WWE and the other is currently StarDust, formerly Cody Rhodes.
While both wrestlers are physically more gifted than their father ever was in the ring, neither have been able to perform on the mic like their father and that is why they have never really moved past mid-card status, and probably never will unless it is done as a tribute to their dad.
The appeal of Dusty Rhodes to most fans was that he represented the "every man" and made it seem like the typical country bumpkin could become a world champion if he were tough enough.
Of course, that was a different era of wrestling. An era where the NWA and WCW were regional rather than national and you could go watch your favorite wrestlers perform at your local high school at least 2 to 4 times a year.
In the modern era of wrestling, the best that Rhodes could have hoped for was Ring of Honor or TNA. He would have never made the WWE due to his physique and lack of "look."
However, Dusty was perfect for the golden era of professional wrestling when fans could identify with their favorite wrestlers and viewed them more as men rather than "larger than life" figures.
It was more "wrestling" and less "sports entertainment."