|Virgil Riley Runnels Jr.|
|Ring Names|| Dusty Rhodes|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight||302 lbs (137 kg)|
|Born||October 12, 1945|
|Trained by||Billy Graham|
|Debut||October 16, 1968|
|MAGAZINE COVERS||EVENT HISTORY||TOYS||IMAGES|
Rhodes started his career as a rule-breaking heel, tagging with fellow Texan Dick Murdoch to form the tag team The Texas Outlaws in the American Wrestling Association. Many wrestling fans do not know that the beloved "American Dream" was once the hated "'Dirty' Dusty Rhodes". In 1974, Rhodes turned face after turning on tag team partner Pak Song and manager Gary Hart during a match in Florida against Eddie and Mike Graham, leading him to break out as a solo babyface superstar, primarily in Florida, referring to himself as "Stardust", the "White Soul King", and the "American Dream", a working class hero. Rhodes ascended to the top of several National Wrestling Alliance promotions in Florida (where he also wrestled wearing a mask as The Midnight Rider), Georgi], and eventually with Jim Crockett Promotions in the Mid-Atlantic, which was the forerunner of World Championship Wrestling. Here, he formed teams with Manny Fernandez, Magnum T.A. as "America's Team" and Nikita Koloff as The Super Powers. Rhodes was a World 6-Man Tag Team Champion with the Road Warriors. Currently, Rhodes is working as a booker for World Wrestling Entertainment.
Rhodes had legendary feuds with stars such as Abdullah The Butcher, Pak Song, Terry Funk,Kevin Sullivan, Blackjack Mulligan, Nikita Koloff, Harley Race, "Superstar" Billy Graham, "Crippler" Ray Stevens and most notably, The Four Horsemen (especially Ric Flair and Tully Blanchard). Rhodes, Flair, and Race each fought each other many times over the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Rhodes won the NWA World Title three times; twice by defeating Race (in 1979 and 1981) and once by defeating Flair (1986).
Rhodes was also a booker for WCW (which was then known as Jim Crockett Promotions) while they were competing with the World Wrestling Federation (now known as World Wrestling Entertainment) after he won the Television Title in 1985. He is credited with inventing many of the WCW pay-per-view names and gimmicks, such as War Games, BattleBowl, and Lethal Lottery.
The term Dusty Finish refers to one of Rhodes' favorite techniques, ending a match in controversy after the referee is knocked unconscious.
Dismissal from JCP Edit
He was fired from Jim Crockett Promotions because of a taboo on-screen bloodletting during an altercation with The Road Warriors. Rhodes bladed himself while Road Warrior Hawk took a spike from his outfit and "jammed" it in Dusty's eye. It looked very vivid at the time (even though it was planned out), and it infuriated then-owner of WCW, Ted Turner. Rhodes was then fired from WCW. Following this, Rhodes returned to Florida to compete in Florida Championship Wrestling, where he captured the PWF Heavyweight title, and also returned to the AWA for a few appearances.
World Wrestling Federation Edit
Rhodes came to the WWF as the yellow polka-dotted "Common Man" Dusty Rhodes, a gimmick some felt was intended to humiliate him. He was managed by Sapphire. During his time in the WWF, Rhodes was embroiled in a heated feud with Randy Savage and his manager/partner Sensational Queen Sherri who in turn found a rival in Sapphire. After a particularly intense confrontation between the two couples, Savage's girlfriend Miss Elizabeth allied herself with Rhodes and Sapphire and was instrumental in helping them win the WWF's first mixed tag-team match during WrestleMania VI. However, Sapphire left Rhodes during SummerSlam for The Million-Dollar Man's money, which resulted in a feud with the latter, which also resulted in the national debut of his son Dustin. Both would depart the WWF in January of 1991, marking the end of Dusty Rhodes' career as a full-time in-ring competitor.
Return to WCW and ECW Edit
Rhodes returned to WCW shortly afterwards as a member of WCW's booking committee and later joined the broadcast team, usually working with Tony Schiavone on WCW Saturday Night. He would be paired with Schiavone and Bobby Heenan on pay-per-views.
In 1994, Rhodes would return to the ring to team up with his son Dustin along with The Nasty Boys versus Arn Anderson, Bunkhouse Buck, Terry Funk and Col. Rob Parker. The angle occurred after Anderson turned on Dustin during a tag team match at Bash At The Beach '94 and Dusty, admitting to being an absentee parent who should have been at his son's side instead of Anderson, put on the trunks one more time in order to help his son gain his revenge.
Rhodes was originally on the side of WCW in its battle with the nWo began in 1996. At Souled Out 1998, Larry Zbyszko asked Rhodes, who was working the PPV broadcast, to accompany him to the ring for his match against Scott Hall. Zbyszko won the match by disqualification due to interference by the nWo, but in the postmatch melee Rhodes turned on Zbyszko and joined the nWo in a shocking moment that actually forced Schiavone off the broadcast in shock; he would later return, ripping Rhodes for his actions for most of the rest of the night (kayfabe).
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling Edit
He appeared on Total Nonstop Action Wrestling shows in 2004, becoming the Director of Authority at their November 7 pay-per-view, Victory Road. At the same time, Rhodes became a true powerhouse behind the scenes of TNA, acting as head booker and writer. In May 2005, TNA President Dixie Carter asked Rhodes to move onto a creative team, which would have included several other names, including Jeremy Borash, Bill Banks and Scott D'Amore. Rhodes balked and resigned as booker, waiting out the rest of his contract with TNA, which expired soon after.
Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling Edit
For several years, Rhodes operated Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling, a small Georgia-based promotion. Rhodes' son, Virgil Runnels III, known in wrestling as Dustin Rhodes, followed his father into the business.
WWE Legends and Hall of Fame Edit
In late 2005, Rhodes signed a WWE Legends deal and was brought onto the Creative Team as a "creative consultant", starting on September 8, 2005. He made an appearance on WWE Homecoming in which he, along with other legends, beat up the young and cocky Rob Conway, to whom Rhodes delivered a Bionic elbow.
He made sporadic televised appearances after Homecoming, including one on June 19, 2006 to promote his recently released DVD teasing him becoming General Manager of RAW. On October 23, 2006 he returned to television to be in the corner of Ric Flair during Flair's match with Kenny of The Spirit Squad.
He was among the three choices of tag team partners for Ric Flair in his match at Cyber Sunday against the Spirit Squad for the World Tag Team Championship. In the end Roddy Piper was picked and won the title with Flair.
At Survivor Series 2006, he participated in a 4 on 4 Survivor Series match which pitted himself along with Ron Simmons, Sgt. Slaughter, and Ric Flair, against the Spirit Squad. Rhodes team was victorious.
Dusty Rhodes was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame on March 31, 2007 by his two sons, Virgil and Cody. The same night he was "inducted" into the Four Horsemen with Harley Race by Ric Flair and Arn Anderson.
New Merchandising Edit
A three-DVD collection titled The American Dream: The Dusty Rhodes Story was released by WWE Home Video on June 6, 2006. It features a retrospective of Rhodes' life, 25 matches (not all full matches) spanning his entire career, and over 40 of his interviews.
Jakks Pacific released two WWE Classic Superstars action figures of Rhodes in 2006. The first was attired in black trunks reminiscent of his 1980s appearance in the NWA. This figure was a part of the WWE Classic Superstars Series 10. The second figure was attired in his yellow and black polka dot outfit from his 1989-1991 WWF run and included a removable headband, tanktop, and nightstick. This figure was released boxed as an internet store exclusive.
A third Dusty Rhodes figure in the WWE Classic Superstars line is slated for release in 2007 as part of the lines 13th series. The figure will be clad in red tights and its appearance (including hair style) will be based on Rhodes' look in the 1970s.
- Finishing and signature moves
- Bionic Elbow
- "American Dream"
- "White Soul King"
- "Dirty Dusty Rhodes"
- Tag teams and stables
- Wrestlers trained
- Theme music
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
- NWA Georgia Heavyweight Champion (1 time)
- NWA Florida Heavyweight Champion (10 time)