Top 50 Wrestlers Of The 1990s: #32 - Goldust
WrestleMania 34 is coming up, and being a wrestling fan, I tend to get a little more nostalgic for them olden days of when wrestlers didn't have scripts with WWE verbage in front of them. DeLorean back to my early days of fandom during the 1990s and you had a product that was hotter than any Seth Rollins theme song (you know, ”Burn It Down?” Okay, I’ll see that bad joke right out the door).
So from now up until "The Grandest Stage of Them All" (with a little help from Wikipedia to fill in the blanks), I will release my Top 50 wrestlers of the 1990., factoring in their impact from the kid-friendly first half to the cuss-ridden, beer drinking second half to determine where exactly your favorite heel or face fall in rank.
Hailing From: Hollywood, CA
Finisher: The Curtain Call
For The 1990s, “The Grandson Of A Plumber”took one controversial turn as Goldust, but before he ever coated himself in gold facepaint or donned a blonde wig, he started off as Dustin Rhodes in 1990. He and his famous dad Dusty briefly feuded with Ted DiBiase in the WWF before both set sail for WCW where Dustin started off tagging with big names like Barry Windham & Ricky Steamboat. Eventually, Rhodes went on a singles run that gave him a U.S. Title reign and for the most part he showed his ability to work well as an upper card babyface that was pretty over with the crowd (I take his Wrestle War 1992 War Games appearance as a solid example - start at the 17:30 mark).
He was fired from WCW in 1995 for an unauthorized blade job (at least that was the reasoning), but then showed up in the WWF as the ambiguous Goldust that caused many eyebrows to be raised (not The Rock’s quite yet) by both the fans and the business alike.
Even before Steve Austin, Goldust was really the first character in WWF to create a bridge from the company’s “New Generation” movement into the Attitude era. And considering this was the 90s and not present day, homophobia was still a prominent ideal in America’s culture. People were not as accepting and that absolutely boiled over into the product.
Goldust had three separate runs with the Intercontinental belt and if it wasn’t for his character being so controversial (and Rhodes’ out-of-the ring troubles) he could have been at the top of the card in some extremely memorable scuffles with the likes of Steve Austin and The Rock. America just wasn’t ready for the man they didn’t call Dustin Runnels.