Just a common man, working hard with his hands, the “American Dream” was the best nickname for Virgil Runnels, known to the world as Dusty Rhodes. Rhodes was man who everyone could relate to. Before Stone Cold Steve Austin was doing what many Americans wish they could do, beat up their boss, Dusty Rhodes was the average Joe going against the rich and arrogant Ric Flair. One of the things that stands out to everyone is the “Hard Times” promo. If you every experienced any sort of hard times, you can relate to this.
While I watched WrestleMania VI, the night he was apart of the first ever mixed tag team match, my memory was clearly all Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior that night. My first vivid memory of Dusty Rhodes was the night he asked his son Dustin Rhodes if he could be his partner in a match against Bunkhouse Buck and Terry Funk. What I saw was a father coming to the rescue of his son and being blessed with a father at home, I could see my dad in Dusty.
Throughout his time in WCW, I remember him being apart of the announcing team. At the inaugural World War 3 he was partnered with Eric Bischoff. For a person who loves the craft of broadcasting, you could appreciate that voice. Anytime Dusty called a match, I knew I would be entertained.
While there were many times that Rhodes would appear in WCW and WWE, my favorite moment was when he accompanied his sons, Cody and Goldust to the ring in their title match agains the Shield. When you watch all the documentaries and you see how Goldust and Dusty had a rocky relationship, causing Goldust to be distant from the family, you could not help but love this moment.
The “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes may no longer be with us, but his memory lives with us forever. I encourage everyone to go out if you do not already have it, and get his DVD and check out his rivalry with Ric Flair on the WWE Network.