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|“||You will never forget the name...Goldust.||„|
|~ Goldust's catchphrase.|
Goldust is a professional wrestler best known for his time with the WWF/E. He has also competed under the name Dustin Rhodes, and was also known as The Black Reign for a time in TNA.
Initial run as Goldust
In September 1995, Rhodes returned to the World Wrestling Federation, wrestling as a villain nicknamed "the bizarre one" because of his freaky, mysterious, very suggestive mannerisms and presence under the name Goldust. He deliberately attempted to creep out his opponents through lewd and flirtatious mind games. The character is portrayed as being obsessed with films and the color gold, as a pun of the Oscars Statuette. As Goldust, Runnels wrestled and won his debut match on October 22, 1995 against Marty Jannetty at the In Your House 4 pay-per-view. Runnels wrestled first in a gold and white and later a black and gold colored jumpsuit while wearing black and gold face paint and a platinum blonde wig over his short platinum blonde hair, with his appearance modeled after an Academy Award. While competing in matches, Goldust utilized such tactics as groping his opponents and expressing affection towards them in the midst of his onslaught.
Goldust initially feuded with Razor Ramon, whom he stalked and sent messages to throughout late 1995. The feud culminated at the Royal Rumble on January 21, 1996, where Goldust defeated Ramon for the Intercontinental Championship due to interference from the 1-2-3 Kid. This match also marked the debut of his valet, Marlena, portrayed by his then-wife Terri. With a seductively nonchalant character, Marlena sat at ringside in a director's chair, advising Goldust while smoking a cigar. A rematch between Goldust and Ramon at WrestleMania XII was canceled after Ramon was suspended, with Goldust instead wrestling and losing to Roddy Piper in a non-title "Hollywood Backlot Brawl".
Goldust defended his Intercontinental Championship in bouts against Savio Vega and The Ultimate Warrior before losing to Ahmed Johnson at King of the Ring on June 23, 1996. In August 1996, Goldust briefly gained control over Mankind and feuded with The Undertaker. His attention soon turned to Marc Mero and his then wife Sable. Goldust and Marlena attempted to get Sable to join their team, but Mero won the feud and kept her by his side.
In May 1997, Goldust revealed his identity as Dustin Runnels, the son of Dusty Rhodes. In the summer and fall of that year, he joined other wrestlers in their conflict with The Hart Foundation, feuding in particular with Brian Pillman, to whom he lost the services of Marlena for thirty days. Just before the thirty days were up, Pillman died hours before Badd Blood of heart disease on October 5, 1997. In November 1997, Goldust split with Marlena and refused to cooperate with his Survivor Series teammates, which once again turned him into a heel. This led to a feud with Vader and the appearance of The Artist Formerly Known As Goldust (a reference to Prince), managed by Luna Vachon. He began mimicking celebrities and fellow wrestlers with characters such as "Chynadust", "Dust Lovedust", "Dustydust", "Hunterdust", "Flashdust", "Marilyn Mansondust", "Sabledust", and "Vaderdust".
In May 1998, Rhodes declared the end of Goldust and burned his jumpsuit on television, thereby splitting with Luna and eventually getting involved with Terri Runnels once again. He feuded with Val Venis, who had been involved with Terri during their separation. Now going by his real name, Dustin Runnels began speaking out (mostly in taped vignettes) on the increasingly edgy WWF product and promoting alternatives to watching the show such as reading the Bible. These vignettes were sponsored by the fictional group, "Evangelists Against Television, Movies and Entertainment", the acronym for which reads "EATME" - a thinly veiled joke on the WWF's part. Runnels declared himself a born again Christian, alluding to "his" return, and walking through the crowd with signs reading "he's coming back!" While the return of Christ was clearly implied, Runnels was in fact referencing the return of the Goldust gimmick, which he reprised in October 1998 against Val Venis and then in November 1998, he began feuding with Jeff Jarrett over the attention of his manager, Debra.
In early 1999, Goldust feuded with Al Snow, upon stealing Head, Snow's mascot, and The Blue Meanie, who had recently renamed himself "Bluedust" and adopted many of Goldust's mannerisms. After Goldust defeated Meanie at St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Meanie became Goldust's apprentice. After Ryan Shamrock became Goldust's valet, Meanie and Shamrock began vying for Goldust's attention. In the same time period, Goldust won the Intercontinental Championship again from Road Dogg and then lost it to The Godfather two weeks later.
Return to WWE (2002 - 2003)
In December 2001, Rhodes accepted a buyout from his AOL Time Warner contract and was re-signed by the World Wrestling Federation to a 2-year deal. Promos immediately began airing on WWF television advertising the return of Goldust. On January 20, 2002, Rhodes officially returned by taking part in the Royal Rumble, reprising his Goldust character. Shortly after returning, promos began airing for a few weeks of Goldust saying that there was a certain wrestler whose "star was shining brighter" than he'd like. He eventually revealed the person he was talking about was Rob Van Dam by attacking him on Raw. Van Dam defeated him in a singles match at No Way Out 2002. After the loss, he moved on to the hardcore division, where he won the Hardcore Championship on seven occasions.
When the World Wrestling Federation was renamed World Wrestling Entertainment and the roster was divided into two brands, Raw and SmackDown!, Goldust was assigned to the Raw brand, where he formed a tag team with Booker T. The duo engaged in numerous comedic vignettes, on one occasion hosting a segment titled Booker T and Goldust at the Movies and delivering reviews of The Scorpion King, a film starring The Rock. In May 2002, Booker joined the nWo, with Goldust's request to join the faction rejected. In June 2002, Booker was ejected from the nWo by Shawn Michaels, sparking a feud between the nWo and Booker and Goldust. Booker and Goldust went on to compete in the tag team division, winning the World Tag Team Championship at Armageddon before being forced to split up on the February 3, 2003 episode of Raw by Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff for failing to win back the World Tag Team Titles.
Following the dissolution of the tag team, Rhodes developed a gimmick whereupon he contracted a stutter, as well as Tourette's-like symptoms (which continue to this day), upon receiving a shock from a Round Tube during an attack at the hands of Batista and Randy Orton. Rhodes appeared sporadically thereafter, forming a tag team with Lance Storm in August 2003. In fall 2003, Booker T. began receiving mysterious, haunting messages for a few weeks from somebody. The messages only said "I remember". It was rumored that the messages would be from Goldust, which would have begun a feud between the two. Suddenly, the angle was never mentioned again on television and the company announced on their web site that they would not be renewing Rhodes' contract. WWE allowed his contract to expire in December 2003.
Return to WWE (2005 - 2006; 2008 - 2013)
Goldust briefly returned to WWE in 2005, but only made a handful of appearances before leaving again in 2006.
Goldust returned again to WWE in 2008 as part of the Cyber Sunday pay-per-view, and continued to appear with WWE in a mid-card role until 2011, when he suffered a shoulder injury and was moved into a backstage producer role. He was released from his WWE contract in 2012, though he made a few appearances for them in 2013 before disappearing from WWE altogether once again. However, Goldust made his return after hearing that his brother Cody Rhodes got fired by Triple H for losing a match against Randy Orton. Goldust then wrestled Orton in attempt to get his brother's job back to no success. After seeing his father Dusty Rhodes get knocked out by Big Show (who was forced into doing it), Goldust took to twitter saying that Stephine "won't see it coming".