The wrestler formerly known as Goldust, Dustin Rhodes, joined Kayfabe Wrestling Radio Tuesday night. In a nearly 20 minute interview, he talked about the creation of the Goldust character, his father’s wrestling and how that affected his career decision, his use of ring psychology, his time tag teaming with Booker T, his teaming with Ricky Steamboat and what he learned from it, his hopes for a heavyweight championship run, what he wants to do before he retires and a host of other topics.
Would he still have been a wrestler if his father (WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes) wasn’t involved with the industry: “Probably not. Just growing up, watching it all the time because dad being in the business probably was the one factor that lead me to be in the business. So, if he was not, then I have no idea what I’d be doing, probably playing football or something like that; maybe be in the NFL by now. Who knows?”
What he learned from working with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper: “I mean the whole learning how to actually work heel. Working heel works different for me; being Dustin Rhodes for so many years and then a giant switch of a character and everything. It took me a while; it took me about six months) to figure out Goldust and it was pretty tough trying to figure it out. You know, I was frustrated because stuff wasn’t working and then finally I do one thing that works and you kind of hold onto it and kind of build off of that. That’s kind of how it got started.”
The importance of ring psychology in the professional wrestling business: “Psychology is so hard to learn these days; you can’t really teach it. Psychology is storytelling; it’s knowing when to do a certain move as opposed to not doing it; how to make that first person in the front row… there’s always someone out in the arena (out around ringside) that does not want to be there, that hates pro wrestling and can’t stand it, that doesn’t believe in it, he’s only there because of their kids; they’re only there to see John Cena or someone like that. And that’s my job, that’s who I pick; there is always one and I’ll find them. I’ll look for them and I’ll work my whole match to get around this one individual, whether it be female or male. And towards the end of the match, they are on their feet and you can actually see something in their eyes change, a spark in their eyes change… at the end of the match when they are on their feet and you can actually see ‘wow, this guy made me a believer’, then my job is done right.”
The Goldust character and issues with it: “When Vince sat me down and explained the character, explained that the character was androgynous; I seriously had to go home and look up that word cause I had no idea what the hell that meant. But he explained it to me; I thought ‘Ok, let’s give this a shot’, and he said ‘I’m going to be behind you no matter what, Dustin. There’s going to be a lot of people talking’. But he kept using the word androgynous; never used the word gay or anything like that, so me knowing what that means now, I’m going out there and try to dress the part but not really understanding how to act the part of the Goldust character; he had me trial and error stuff. I did a few things and they didn’t really work, so I was frustrated and finally one night I felt it clicked. I was with Savio Vega, and I owe a big deal to Savio Vega for helping me get this character over because he really kicked it into gear for me, and he said go behind me and start to rub up and down my chest. I was really against that and didn’t want to do it, but I thought ‘what the hell, let’s try it’. So I tried it, it worked, people became unglued, pissed off, angry, saying ‘what the hell is wrong with you’, you know just horrible stuff but I was like ‘Damn, this is fun, this is awesome. I got this’. And from that point it was so easy, so easy that Vince had to tell me to tone it back a bit.”
Hope to one day become World Heavyweight Champion: “Things just came natural to be and I think maybe some things that held me back in the past; I’m a little hot-headed and not patient enough and I get frustrated very, very easy. That could have led to a lot of my not getting a world title run and things like that. It’s no easy job being a World Heavyweight Champion; these guys like Cena, Sheamus, these guys are modeled around that and are champs for a reason. They can go out and do it 300 days a year and not bitch or complain and do whatever is asked of them: appearances and whatever is asked. And they can work… I fought for it a few times, with Austin, with Shawn Michaels, with Bret (Hart) and it just didn’t progress. I don’t know what much else to say about it except everyone who gets into the professional wrestling business wants to be the World Heavyweight Champion. If they don’t, they don’t need to be in the business. I want to be World Heavyweight Champion, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen… I’m not going to retire until I win the NWA World Heavyweight Title, the same belt my dad had. I’m going to win that title before I hang it up.”
The audio interview is available here.