WWE | Pro Wrestling

Gold for Goldust NOW!

Dustin Rhodes is GoldustDustin Runnels, or Goldust if you weeeeell, made an appearance on a WWE PPV in a wrestling match for the first time in seven years last Sunday. He’s had one of the most checkered careers ever. He was the highly touted son of a Hall of Fame wrestler, and yet he couldn’t get his career started until he donned gold and black facepaint and reinvented himself as a bizarre, homoerotic shock wrestler.

He battled with weight issues and motivation his entire career, and yet here he is, in the best shape of his life, working the best matches of his life, helping guys like Sheamus and Ted DiBiase get over and drawing mad face heat, getting crowds to chant his name. It’s the sentimental story of 2009 and 2010. It’s very rare that this kind of nostalgia gets rewarded with anything more than a salary and the power of the WWE machine behind whatever endeavors they plan on taking on outside of the ring. In Goldy’s case, it’s a book. However, in this one case, I think the WWE could do worse than to go one step further.

They should let Goldust have a reign with one of their big World Championships.

I know, I know, nostalgia doesn’t draw tickets. Crowd pops don’t always translate to PPV buys. Yes, I’m fantasy booking with my heart here. However, there is a case for Goldust to get a moment in the sun. One, he has a win over Sheamus. Sure, it was before the Celtic Warrior’s elevation into the main event, but it’s a win. Sheamus is proverbial hot shit now, and all they’d need to do is produce one of those snazzy video packages detailing the Sheamus/Goldust feud. That’s enough to get people to care about him on a main event level.

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Secondly, Goldust is still one of the most intriguing, most unique characters in the company, despite the fact that his original shtick is played out and certainly not PG. Even toned down, Goldust can be bizarre enough for the WWE’s core audience, which isn’t the most progressive lot out there. Goldust’s mind games, even watered down, are enough to generate heat for himself and get him to a level where he can be on the same level of a guy like Sheamus, Wade Barrett, Kane, Rey Mysterio or any of the WWE’s main eventers not named John Cena, Randy Orton or Triple H.

Thirdly, Goldust is in the best shape of his life and is one of the best wrestlers on the roster. In the era of sports entertainment, you’d think that the WWE doesn’t care about whether a guy can go in the ring. I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. Notice how even the tall, statuesque and even steroid fetish guys they’ve picked up lately can work. Barrett, Sheamus and yes, even Ezekiel Jackson can all work good matches.

Notice how Tyler Reks didn’t connect with the crowd in the ring, got sent down to FCW for awhile, and has finally come back after he got a refresher on how to work. While no one in Stamford will publicly admit it, they’re scared of UFC and MMA, which is popular largely in part due to what they can do in the octagon/cage/whatever. Wrestling, sports entertainment, it doesn’t matter what they call it, it matters that what sets it apart from other forms of entertainment that Vince McMahon swears he’s competing with instead of TNA, the indies or even MMA.

And really, there aren’t many who are better than Goldust at what happens in that ring right now. The guy doesn’t have bad matches. He can be in there with good wrestlers or slugs, and it’ll be something worth tuning into. He, along with William Regal and Chris Masters, make Superstars worth watching every week. Unlike Regal and Masters, though, Goldust gets reactions. Yes, crowd heat can be deceiving in some cases, but he gets it everywhere, and sometimes, you just have to run with what the fans want even if it’s just for a short time.

I’m not saying they need to give Goldy a months-long title reign. He doesn’t need to have a Cena-esque run with the belt. Hell, the moment after he wins the title, they can have Miz cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase on him. Just as long as he gets to add WWE or World Heavyweight Champion to his resume, it’ll be gravy. Don’t dismiss it as smark fantasy – Goldust on top of one of the brands would be a great story to close out this year or even to punctuate next year. He’s already a borderline legend. Winning a title would make everyone remember the name… of Goldust forever and ever.

And I think he deserves it.

Tom Holzerman is a lifelong wrestling fan and connoisseur of all things Chikara Pro, among other feds. When he’s not writing for the Camel Clutch Blog, you can find him on his own blog, The Wrestling Blog.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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