Sunday, October 1, 2006

Perfomer Analysis: Dustin Rhodes/ Goldust

This is continuing our little Dusty Rhodes tribute, with the release of his DVD. There is a lot of subject matter relating to Dustin, his son, so I thought I would take a look at his career.

1) Innovation- 4/10- In his first years in the wrestling business, Dustin used to cut interviews and talk with a lisp, an effect he used to sound like his father even though he could talk perfectly normal. He became a very good worker and used a pretty basic style, implementing fast paced action and heavy attacks, much like a Barry Windham. He also put on the Goldust costume and conveyed the character, and as I said with my Val Venis analysis, you need a certain kind of performer to pull off a character, so he gets points for taking the job.

2) Conditioning- 5/10- Dustin never had a million dollar body, but neither did his father and look what it did for him. But, Dustin did not have too many hour long matches, and did not have many brutal bloodbaths or cage matches or barb wire matches. His conditioning isn’t one of his strengths, but it’s also not a hindrance to him. He has always been in good enough shape for the job. His body is so tall, and seems awkwardly proportioned.

3) Skill- 7/10- When Dustin first started out in the business, he was very green, but had some raw potential that could be harnessed given the right influence. When his father brought him into WCW, he fell under the wings of Ricky Steamboat and Barry Windham, two great teachers for any young and up and comer. He formed tag teams with both men and they paid off big time. Three years after being in the company, during pre-Hogan era, he was headlining shows with Sting and Steamboat as partners and had become a guy ready to break through to main even status. In WWF, he got a chance to compete against the up and coming cream of the crop, wrestlers who now are considered the greatest of their generation, like Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, and Mick Foley and Dustin was right in the thick of WWF in their “New Generation” phase.

4) Psychology- 9/10- Dustin always had big shoes to fill being the “son of a famous wrestler who was the son of a plumber. When Dustin finally arrived in WWF after almost six years of being a pro, he had gained some experience, enough to undertake the arduous role of Goldust, a character obsessed with movies, who dressed in a skin tight gold leotard and a wig, and was incredibly homo-androgynous. Was he gay? Was he straight? It was very controversial stuff and Dustin played it to the hilt. He employed mind games as part of his in-ring arsenal; it was as important as the moves he did. He freaked out many opponents and gained quite an impressive win streak. In his WWF prime, he main evented several PPV’s with the likes of Undertaker and Michaels.

5) Interviews- 6/10- Goldust cut some very strange promos in his time as Goldust, but when he’s not Goldust, he rarely has anything interesting to say. The character affords him some creative liberty, which he has taken in every direction and had a great deal of fun with. As Goldust, he cuts a very entertaining promo, but as Dustin, we simply wish he was wearing Gold.

6) Character- 7/10- Dustin has put a stamp on Goldust, and laid his place in the wrestling world. He has played him both effectively as a face and a heel, more notably as a heel when he first debuted. But, when he was brought back in 2002, he pulled another side out of Goldust, a character that would mock other’s identities and became one of the better tag teams WWE had at the time with Booker T. Their comical timing and creativity made them the team to watch.

7) Fans- 6/10- In early WCW, Dustin eventually garnered the respect and admiration of the Southern fans the promotion played to. In WWF, Dustin got under everyone’s skin as the mysterious Goldust and the fans desperately wanted him off their TV’s and booed him unmercifully and called him every name in the book. But, since, I would say he garners a mild response at best as Goldust, and would probably elicit very little response as Dustin. His last run in WWE should be the indicator of that, as he was brought in with Coach, then very quickly pushed down to opening status before being released.

8) Strikes- 6/10- Dustin has a great uppercut and throws a mean elbow, just like his dear old daddy. His basics are pretty good, even though he rarely implements them in his Goldust matches. I would give him an above average ranking in this category because his basics aren’t horrible.

9) Match/ Opponent- 7/10- Dustin was given a lot of meaty feuds in WCW mainly because of his father. He had notable feuds with Barry Windham and Rick Rude during his tenure, then on his way to WWF, he got feuds due to the controversial nature of the character, including his more famous ones with Razor Ramon and Roddy Piper, as well as Undertaker and Ken Shamrock. I wouldn’t say he has had classic matches, per say, probably his most famous would be the infamous Hollywood Back Lot Brawl with Piper, which is a stiff classic to say the least.

10) Gutcheck- 5/10- Getting into the wrestling business was probably more than Dustin every bargained for. The American Dream casts a large shadow and earning the respect of his peers was not going to be easy. But, Dustin persevered. I think that alone shows a lot of determination on his part.

Final Score: 62
Ranking: Superstar
PO: Thumbs Middle

No comments: