A second-generation star, Dustin Rhodes trained to be a professional wrestler under his
father the “American Dream.” Rhodes has competed under several names, including
reaching a level of success under the name “Goldust.” He has also wrestled under his real
name, Dustin Runnels.
Rhodes broke into the sport on September 13, 1988 in Tampa and built his credentials,
as his father had, the hard way. The listing of championships he has won in his career is
long and among the best in the world. Although, to this day, he has not captured a major
World Heavyweight Singles Title, there is still plenty of room for it in the future. Rhodes
began in Florida Championship Wrestling, the organization which took over Florida
Promotions after Jim Crockett had bought out Mike Graham.
On May 9, 1989, Rhodes and Graham teamed to capture the FCW Tag Team Title from
Black Bart and Bobby Jaggers in Tampa. Later in the month, on May 23rd, he beat Al Perez
and won the FCW Heavyweight Title. In eight months, Rhodes was a champion. He also
teamed with his father on occasion, who was also competing in Florida before taking off for
the World Wrestling Federation. Rhodes lost the FCW Title to Kendall Windham on June
27th. Later in the year, he ventured to Memphis to compete in the CWA. Rhodes entered
the Heavyweight Title Tournament on October 2, 1989 in Memphis and lost to Tony Anthony
in the finals. His will in the tournament made many heads turn.
People began to talk and wonder if Dustin was going along the same road his father
had…or maybe paving a new road towards different glory. Standing nearly 6’5’’ and
weighing in at around 250 pounds, Rhodes was directed somewhere. Only time would tell.
Rhodes traveled to Japan for several dates in ’90. On May 25, 1990 in Nagoya, Rhodes
defeated Okuma. In Tokyo, he lost to Mighty Inoue on June 8th. He appeared in Toledo,
Ohio for a WWF TV Taping in September 1990. Rhodes sat ringside as Ted DiBiase and
Virgil joined him, after paying off other customers. DiBiase eventually attacked the young
Rhodes began to compete for the WWF. On December 26, 1990, he appeared in
Toronto to wrestle Steve Lombardi, otherwise known as the Brooklyn Brawler. Rhodes beat
his opponent. Dusty had also entered a feud with DiBiase. In Miami on January 19, 1991,
Dustin made his pay-per-view debut at the Miami Arena for the Royal Rumble. He teamed
with his father in a loss to DiBiase and Virgil.
A month later, Rhodes signed with World Championship Wrestling based out of Georgia.
He made his WCW pay-per-view debut on February 24th in Phoenix where he pinned Buddy
Landell with his bulldog headlock. In two months time, he competed on both a WWF and a
WCW pay-per-view. He met another veteran grappler in Terrence Taylor on May 19th in St.
Petersburg. Rhodes pinned Taylor. Rhodes wrestled Alexandria York’s grappler again on
June 12th in Knoxville and won by disqualification. He teamed with the Young Pistols on July
14th in Baltimore to beat the Freebirds and Badstreet. Rhodes pinned the Freebirds’ partner
in the final of the special elimination match.
On August 5, 1991, he teamed with Big Josh and Tom Zenk to capture his first World
Title…the WCW World Six-Man Tag Team Title in St. Joseph. The trio beat the Freebirds.
The York Foundation teamed to dethrone the champs on October 8th in Montgomery,
Alabama. Later in the month at Halloween Havoc, Dustin received a shot at the WCW World
Television Title. He met Steve Austin for the belt before an estimated 8,000 fans in
Chattanooga. Rhodes held the champ to a 15-minute draw. In November, he teamed with
legendary Rick Steamboat, who was replacing the recently injured Barry Windham, to beat
the Enforcers for the WCW World Tag Team Title. It was a significant victory and propelled
Rhodes into another bracket of stars. On December 29th during his first Starrcade, Rhodes
teamed with Richard Morton as a part of the Lethal Lottery Tag Team Tournament. Their
opponents were El Gigante and Larry Zbyszko. Rhodes pinned Zbyszko to advance to the
battle royal, an event Sting won.
Rhodes and Steamboat lost a two-of-three-falls match on January 16th in Jacksonville to
Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton, dropping the WCW World Tag Title. The initial fall given to
the challengers by disqualification after Steamboat back-dropped Eaton over the top rope.
Officials still awarded the title to Eaton and Anderson despite the initial ruling. He teamed
with Ron Simmons and Barry Windham on January 21st in Topeka at the Clash of the
Champions. The three-men beat Anderson, Eaton and Zbyszko. On February 29th, Rhodes
and Windham teamed to beat Austin and Zbyszko during the second installment of
SuperBrawl. They defeated Anderson and Eaton in a non-title bunkhouse match in
Anderson, South Carolina on March 9th.
During the War Games event on May 17th, Rhodes took Sting, Steamboat, Windham and
Nikita Koloff as partners against Austin, Eaton, Anderson, Zbyszko and Rick Rude. Sting
made Eaton submit in 23:27, giving the heroes a victory. Dustin Rhodes’ popularity
continued to grow, as he built a fan base from the ground up well beyond just sharing the
famous Rhodes name. Of course, fans expected great things from him and he was
delivering. Rhodes and Windham beat Anderson and Eaton in the initial round of the vacant
NWA World Tag Team Title Tournament on June 16th in Charleston.
On the 20th of June in Mobile, Rhodes teamed with Windham and Koloff to beat Austin,
Anderson and Eaton by disqualification. They advanced through the quarterfinals of the
NWA Tag Tournament at the Great American Bash on July 12th in Albany, Georgia. Rhodes
pinned Austin, who had teamed with Rick Rude. In the semifinals, Rhodes and Windham
wrestled and beat Shinya Hashimoto and Hiroshi Hase from New Japan. Koloff and
Steamboat dropped a match to Terry Gordy and Steve Williams and the finals were set.
Rhodes and Windham against Gordy and Williams. Williams pinned Rhodes to capture the
During the 20th edition of Clash of the Champions on September 2nd, Rhodes teamed
with Windham to beat Butch Reed and the Barbarian. In Atlanta on September 21st, the duo
stopped Gordy and Williams to capture both the NWA and WCW World Tag Team Titles.
During Halloween Havoc, the champions retained over Steve Austin and Williams when the
two teams went to a 30-minute draw in Philadelphia. Rhodes and Windham lost the belts on
November 18th in Macon to Shane Douglas and Rick Steamboat, another popular team. He
participated in the 1992 Lethal Lottery and Battle Bowl at Starrcade on December 28th. He
teamed with Big Van Vader to beat the Barbarian and Kensuke Sasaki, advancing to the
battle royal. The Great Muta won that event.
Rhodes signed on to compete in the vacant WCW U.S. Heavyweight Title Tournament.
He beat his former partner, Steamboat in the finals by countout on January 11th. Their
contest was held at the Center State Theater in Atlanta. Rhodes had taken his first major
singles belt. Two days later, Rhodes teamed with Sting and Cactus Jack at the Clash to beat
Vader, Windham and Paul Orndorff in a thunderdome cage match. Windham had since
turned against the fans. During SuperBrawl on February 21st, Rhodes retained his U.S. Belt
over Maxx Payne by disqualification. He wrestled a controversial match against Rick Rude in
May and officials held-up the Untied States Title. At Slamboree on May 23rd, he teamed with
Kensuke Sasaki, losing to Rude and Orndorff.
Rhodes continued his feud with Rude away from the tag scene and the U.S. Title was up
for grabs. The two had words and promoters signed the two for a rematch to decide a new
champion. On June 16th in Norfolk, Rhodes teamed with Sting and Davey Boy Smith in a
loss to Rude, Sid Vicious and Vader. A thirty-minute draw on July 18, 1993 failed to settle the
Rhodes-Rude feud in Biloxi at the Beach Blast PPV for the vacant United States Title. The
bout was a special “Ironman Challenge,” meaning the wrestler with the most victories in 30-
minutes would be declared the winner. Rhodes and Rude both had one win. On August 18th
in Daytona Beach, he teamed with Road Warrior Hawk to defeat Rude and the Equalizer.
The next Rude-Rhodes match was held on August 30th in Atlanta. Dustin beat Rude for the
held-up U.S. Title, his second.
War Games was held on September 19th and Rhodes participated despite being heavily
bandaged from an attack the day before. Showing his toughness, Rhodes entered first for
his team, much to the disagreement of his mates. His opponent was the WCW World
Champion, Big Van Vader. He reminded many fans of his father’s heroics in the same
match. At one point, he took off his boot to beat on the champion. His team, which
comprised of Sting, the Shockmaster and Davey Boy Smith beat Harlem Heat, Vader and
Vicious. Rhodes defeated Steve Austin in a U.S. Title defense on October 24, 1993 in New
Orleans’ UNO Lakefront Arena. He was seconded by his father in St. Petersburg on
November 10, 1993 during the Clash of the Champions XXV. Dustin’s bout was against Paul
Orndorff in defense of his United States Title. The Assassin, a long-time enemy of Dusty,
and documented by Floridian Fans, accompanied Orndorff. Dustin pinned the challenger to
retain his championship, but nothing was over until Dusty and the Assassin brawled it out.
Orndorff smashed the “American Dream” with the title belt and Dusty was saved by his son in
In Charlotte on December 27th, Rhodes lost the U.S. Title to Steve Austin in a two-of-
three-falls match. He challenged the TV Champion, Lord Steven Regal on January 27, 1994
in Baton Rouge. Rhodes and Regal went to a fifteen-minute draw. In Albany on February
20th, Rhodes teamed with Brian Pillman and Sting to beat Orndorff, Austin and Rude during
the SuperBrawl pay-per-view. The match was held in a thunderdome cage. He lost to
Bunkhouse Buck on April 17th at Spring Stampede in Chicago. Many fans considered it an
upset. But Rhodes wasn’t going to sit down for it. He gained his revenge on the next pay-
per-view, Slamboree ’94 in Philadelphia. Rhodes beat Buck by pinfall on May 22nd. Rhodes
enlisted Arn Anderson to be his partner against Buck and Terry Funk at Bash at the Beach ’
94 on July 17th in Orlando. The former Four Horsemen member turned on Rhodes and
helped Funk get the pin for the victory. Colonel Parker’s stable seemed to be growing
against Rhodes, who stood alone. In a three-way assault, Rhodes suffered a broken arm.
It seemed that only one man could help him as the odds were stacked in Parker’s favor.
Dustin received the needed assistance from Dusty Rhodes prior to the Clash on August
24th. The father and son duo would wrestle Funk and Bunkhouse Buck in Cedar Rapids.
Anderson attacked Dustin and a disqualification was immediately called for by the referee.
Robert Parker’s crew then went full out on the father and son pair, leaving them with a clear
memory of the night. The Rhodes-Parker war would continue as one of the hottest feuds
anywhere. At Fall Brawl on September 18th, Dustin and Dusty teamed with the Nasty Boys
against Anderson, Buck, Funk and Parker in a War Games match. Dusty made Parker
submit to the figure-four leglock, capturing the victory.
Dustin won over Anderson by pin at Halloween Havoc on October 23rd in Detroit.
Payback for his double-cross. Vader beat Rhodes on November 16th in Jacksonville at the
Clash. He was not written into the Starrcade show or the January Clash in Las Vegas. In
1995, Rhodes entered a feud with the Blacktop Bully, a man who had been in the front row of
several WCW events badgering wrestlers. At SuperBrawl on February 19th, Rhodes was
defeated by the Bully in Baltimore. The ads for their next match began and the hype was
thick. At Uncensored in Tupelo on March 19th, the two were going to wrestle each other on
the back of a moving flat-bed truck through Georgia. Again, the Bully won. The match had
been pre-taped for the pay-per-view and neither was seriously injured. Uncensored was his
final WCW pay-per-view.
Rhodes returned to the World Wrestling Federation in the months following. In May,
though, Dusty Rhodes was inducted into the WCW Hall of Fame and was honored by the
organization. WWF Officials planned to seriously alter the persona of Dustin Rhodes. A new
look and a new future was lined up. He new name would be “Goldust” and he would wear a
golden bodysuit. Goldust’s entrances to the ring would be lit with glitter and lights, sometimes
letterboxed. A Hollywood film star. Always testing the boundaries. He wrestled in a dark
match during In Your House III on September 24, 1995. Goldust beat Bob Holly by pinfall.
On October 22nd, he beat Marty Jannetty on pay-per-view. In Landover on November 19th,
Goldust beat Bam Bam Bigelow during the Survivor Series. 14,000 fans were estimated in
Goldust gave Todd Pettengail a golden envelope in December 1995, instigating a new
feud. The contents inside were about Razor Ramon, who read it prior to his match with
Yokozuna during the December 18th, live edition of Raw. Goldust sat in a chair and watched
the bout. He was not active in the bout but a feud was brewing. Prior to the Royal Rumble,
he was named as the top challenger to Ramon’s Intercontinental Title. Goldust was attacked
by Ramon during the January 15th Raw. The two brawled before a low blow downed the
champ. The two continued to battle through one of the show’s breaks and the war continued
outside the arena and into the snow. Goldust introduced Marlena as his new manager on
January 21st at the Rumble. He beat Ramon with some help from the 1-2-3 Kid, capturing
the WWF Intercontinental Belt. Goldust became the ninth man in history to have captured
both the NWA/ WCW U.S. Heavyweight Title and the WWF Intercontinental Title.
The next night, he was handed a chance to prove himself against the best in the
organization. Goldust received a non-title shot against the WWF World Champion, Bret
Hart. He lost by submission, marking his first defeat in the WWF. Ramon appeared during
the match. He went to the ring with Marlena for an interview with Vince McMahon during the
March 11th edition of Monday Night Raw. There, he was confronted by acting WWF
President, Roddy Piper. The two spoke for several minutes about several topics until
Goldust reached out and slapped him. Piper returned with a slap of his own. The two then
verbally signed a match for WrestleMania. A “Back-lot Brawl.” If Goldust could get past Piper,
one huge stone would be overturned, although the match was more of a grudge match than
anything else. Piper had the crowd on his side. To some, the Goldust “character” was still
an oddity at the time. He needed to further cement his standing as the Intercontinental
Champion with a victory over a longtime hero. The belt was not going to be on the line. On
March 31st in Anaheim at WrestleMania XII, Piper beat Goldust.
During a television taping the next day, a match between Goldust and Savio Vega saw a
new champion crowned in San Bernardino. But WWF President, Gorilla Monsoon held the I-
C Title up due to several controversies during the match. A rematch was held later in the
evening to settle the dispute. The matches ran on the April 15th and April 22nd editions of
Raw. Goldust beat Vega to capture the held-up claim, receiving some outside assistance
from Steve Austin and the Million Dollar Title Belt. He was eliminated from the King of the
Ring Tournament on May 27th with a double-countout against the Ultimate Warrior. Rather
than wrestle for the crown, Goldust was defending his I-C Title.
In Milwaukee on June 23rd, he lost the strap to Ahmed Johnson during the pay-per-view.
Goldust lost to the Undertaker by disqualification on July 21st at In Your House IX. Mankind
had attacked his opponent. He beat Marc Mero with a pin on August 18, 1996 in Cleveland
during SummerSlam. Mero would soon become the I-C Champ. The Undertaker beat
Goldust on September 22nd. On October 20th, Goldust wrestled both the World and
Intercontinental Champions on the same night. The I-C Match against Mero was on pay-per-
view, and he was pinned. The World Title bout against Shawn Michaels was dark, and yet
again, he was pinned. In Your House XI was not a successful night for Goldust. He teamed
with Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Jerry Lawler and Crush on November 17th in New York City at
the Survivor Series. Their opponents were Mero, Barry Windham, Jake Roberts and Rocky
Maivia Jr. Goldust pinned Windham, and survived until the finals against Maivia, who was
making his first pay-per-view appearance. Goldust lost by pinfall.
On December 15th, he lost to Steve Austin. Before more than 60,000 fans at the
AlamoDome on January 19, 1997 for the Royal Rumble, Goldust challenged Helmsley for the
Intercontinental Title. He lost, but also competed in the 30-man Rumble. Austin eliminated
Bret Hart for the victory. It was another rough night. Goldust, Flash Funk and Bart Gunn lost
a six-man tag match to Faarooq, Crush and Savio Vega at the February pay-per-view.
Helmsley defeated Goldust at WrestleMania on March 23rd in Chicago. He won over Crush
at the King of the Ring in Providence on June 8th.
A huge ten-man tag team match was held on July 6th in Calgary. He teamed with Austin,
Ken Shamrock and the Road Warriors in a loss to Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Jim Neidhart, Davey
Boy Smith and Brian Pillman. He beat Pillman in a singles match on August 3rd in East
Rutherford. The SummerSlam loss forced Mr. Pillman to wear a dress. At Ground Zero on
September 7th, Pillman beat Goldust in a rematch. Marlena was forced to serve as Pillman’s
“servant” for thirty-days for his victory.
Goldust appeared for the Survivor Series with a cast on his arm. He was apart of Team U.
S.A. against Team Canada on November 9th in Montreal. His partners were Vader, Marc
Mero and Steve Blackman against Smith, Neidhart, Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon. Both
Blackman and Mero were eliminated before Goldust made his first appearance in the match.
But he had not wanted to tag in when Vader grabbed him and pulled him into the match.
Goldust went back out through the ropes and walked away. The referee was forced to count
him out. Vader was pinned by Smith in the finals. A grudge match was held on January 18,
1998 in San Jose between Goldust and Vader. He was defeated.
During the No Way Out show on February 15th in Houston, Goldust and Mero lost to the
Headbangers, Thrasher and Mosh before an estimated 16,000 fans. He formed a
relationship with Luna Vachon. On March 29th in Boston, the two wrestled Sable and Mero in
a mixed tag team match during WrestleMania. Sable pinned Vachon. Goldust pulled Vachon
away from Sable during a fight in Philadelphia on Raw Is War on April 13, 1998, and carried
her back to the dressing room area.
Dustin Runnels announced to the world and Vince McMahon on May 11, 1998, that
Goldust was officially dead. He burned the outfit on the live telecast of Raw from the
Baltimore Arena. He began to wrestle under his real name. Runnels missed some time with
an injury but upon his return, he began a feud with Val Venis. On September 27th in
Hamilton, Ontario, Runnels lost to Venis at Break Down ’98. Dustin would return to the
gimmick which brought him fame in the WWF. Goldust once again pushed the envelope. On
October 18th in Chicago, he beat Venis after scoring a pinfall before an estimated 18,000
fans. He was one of 14 wrestlers to compete in the vacant WWF World Title Tournament on
November 15th in St. Louis at the Kiel Center. Goldust lost to Ken Shamrock in the opening
round. Venis beat him on Sunday, December 6th. At Rock Bottom on the 13th of December
in Vancouver, he beat Jeff Jarrett by reverse decision. Debra McMichael was forced to strip
because of it. Goldust entered the Rumble at number 16 on January 24, 1999 at the
Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim. Vince McMahon won the event.
Before a huge crowd in Memphis on February 14th, Goldust beat Bluedust by pinfall. He
participated in a four-way elimination match for the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania 15
on March 28th in Philadelphia. Jesse James Armstrong was the defending champ against
Goldust, Val Venis and Ken Shamrock. James pinned Goldust in the finals after the others
were counted out and eliminated.
The next night, Goldust captured his third WWF Intercontinental Title with a win over
Armstrong in East Rutherford, New Jersey. He dropped the belt to the Godfather in Detroit
on April 12th. Goldust received a rematch on April 25th at Backlash in Providence and was
pinned. Runnels tended to his injuries and then left the WWF.
He signed with World Championship Wrestling later in the year and returned to the name,
Dustin Rhodes. On March 19, 2000, he beat Terry Funk in Miami. There was many of
changes in the organization during 2000 including the formation of the “New Blood” in April.
He left active wrestling in WCW, but many rumored his return. Some even speculated his
return to challenge Scott Steiner for the World Title in late-2000. After the new year, Rhodes
returned to the sport in opposition to Ric Flair’s “Magnificent Seven.” He entered a feud with
Jeff Jarrett and after the latter chose to attempt and humiliate Dustin’s father, Dusty, the war
took a second level of personal hatred and vendetta. Dusty Rhodes also returned to the
organization. Father and son beat Jarrett and Ric Flair on March 18, 2001 at WCW’s Greed
World Championship Wrestling was sold to the WWF later in the month and new chapters
to many of professional wrestling’s best was about to be written. Later in the year, Dustin
began to work for his father’s independent promotion, Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling.
[Updated through 2001]
-FCW Heavyweight Title (1989) defeated Al Perez
-Co-holder of the FCW Tag Team Title (1989) w/ Mike Graham
-Co-holder of the WCW Six-Man Tag Team Title (1991) w/ Big Josh and Tom Zenk
-A two-time co-holder of the WCW World Tag Team Title
w/ Rick Steamboat (1991-’92) defeated Arn Anderson and Larry Zbyszko
w/ Barry Windham (1992) defeated Terry Gordy and Steve Williams
-A two-time WCW United States Heavyweight Champion
-Defeated Rick Steamboat (1993) tournament final
-Defeated Rick Rude (1993)
-Co-holder of the NWA World Tag Team Title (1992) w/ Barry Windham
-A three-time WWF Intercontinental Champion
-Defeated Razor Ramon (1996)
-Defeated Savio Vega (1996) held-up title victory
-Defeated Jesse James Armstrong (1999)
-TCW Heavyweight Title (2002) defeated Scotty Riggs
Research by Tim Hornbaker
|Dustin Rhodes Wrestling History
|PPV Ring Record TV Ring Record Career Record
Legends of Pro Wrestling