Yesterday, Virgil Riley Runnels Jr, better known to the world as pro wrestling legend “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes died yesterday at the age of 69.
One of the criticisms of a show like American Idol is that if someone like Janis Joplin had auditioned for the show, they never would have made it to “Hollywood” because of their looks. That’s Dusty Rhodes in a nutshell. When you think of a professional wrestler, you invariably think of someone good looking, with muscles on top of muscles. Dusty had a terrible body. He wasn’t great in the ring, not bad, but not great. He even spoke with a lisp but once he started to talk, oh man, could Dusty talk! The man had charisma to spare!
Check out one of his most famous interviews of all time, the legendary “hard times” promo.
Dusty worked in the business of pro wrestling from the early 70’s as an active competitor, right up until he died where he was working behind scenes. I can’t sum up a forty plus year career in a few paragraphs but I can say that he was one of the best to ever lace up a pair of boots and will be greatly missed. His in-ring legacy shall live on with his two sons, Dustin “Goldust” Rhodes and Cody “Stardust” Rhodes. In closing, I’m reminded of the words of former Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy, words that seem to fit with the life of the hard-working son of a plumber.
“….the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die.”
Godspeed Dusty and thank you.