Dustin 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.
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.
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.
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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