Under Vince McMahon’s guidance WWE saw some incredible characters come and go, some more successful than others. While the likes of The Undertaker and Kane were beloved by fans, gimmicks such as Beaver Cleavage and Puke made even the most hardcore WWE supporters wince.
Another highly controversial character was that of Goldust. Dustin Runnels, known in AEW as Dustin Rhodes returned to the WWF in August 1995, and took on the role of one of the company’s most controversial creations. The character was unlike anything previously seen on wrestling television and as time progressed leaned heavily into homosexual innuendo. This split the WWF’s fanbase, and pushed the boundaries of their television partners which sparked very real controversy.
Dustin Rhodes Recalls Vince McMahon Pitching Goldust
During an appearance on Talk is Jericho with Chris Jericho, Dustin Rhodes recalled meeting with Vince McMahon ahead of the characters debut. Rhodes explained that McMahon said that Goldust would be androgynous, something that he went along with, despite not knowing what it actually meant.
“He [Vince] said androgynous. Vince said that the first time when he presented that character to me, I was just agreeing with him. I had no idea what the hell that meant until we hung up the phone and I looked in the dictionary. I went what did I just sign up for?
[Chris Jericho – How did he pitch it?] Well, he’s like, Yeah, this androgynous character and he mentioned Adrian Street, Adrian Adonis, so I remember them and how they presented their characters and things like that. I’m like, okay, that’s kind of cool, so just this flamboyant person, right.
That’s what I thought androgynous meant, was flamboyant. And it’s a little different than that, but he presented that you know, and I sunk my teeth into it. And it took me a good six months up there to try to figure it out. Because I didn’t want to touch on the over the line kind of homosexuality type thing. Yeah, I did not want to do that. And Savio talked me into it one night, and we were in the garden. And I was so nervous because Vince was there. This was when he was at the curtain a lot watching the matches.”
Dustin Rhodes went on to enjoy a number of stints with WWE under the Goldust persona before signing with AEW in early 2019.
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