RuPaul’s Drag Race Winner Praises Controversial WWE Gimmick

Bob The Drag Queen Goldust WWE

It’s easy to find comparisons between the world of drag and the WWE, from portraying outlandish characters in sparkly outfits to the athleticism required for both death drops and suplexes.

As such, it’s no surprise that drag queens would find delight in the world of WWE, and Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 8 winner Bob the Drag Queen recently spoke to StraightioLab about her love of wrestling as a child, saying that one particular gimmick inspired her and played a huge part in understanding her queer identity as a child.

“Wrestling inherently is kind of gay. Like, there are some really great, iconic wrestlers that really spoke to my gayness as a young, young child. Goldust was a really great example.”

Continuing, the comedy queen likened the androgynous character to that of music icon Prince, giving off queer energy while remaining straight as evidenced by him being accompanied by the lovely Marlena (his then-wife Terri Runnels) for much of the character’s early career.

“So, Goldust was this wrestler who was basically like kind of acting gay the whole bit but he was never gay ’cause he had girlfriends. He was kind of like Prince, like he was this extremely effeminate straight man who was wrestling. And that was his whole thing.”

Bob also suggested that the gimmick belonged on the alternative drag competition show Dragula, which airs on the horror-based streaming service Shudder.

“Tell me this person would not be on Dragula.”

In addition, Bob spoke about the commonplace practice of wrestlers adopting new personas to rejuvenate their careers.

“It was pretty common for a wrestler to leave and then come back as a completely different person. I mean, a completely different person. Like, you wouldn’t even acknowledge that Dustin Rhodes was Goldust or Mick Foley was Dude Love, Cactus Jack, and Mankind.” (h/t WrestlingInc)

Dustin Rhodes Was Hesitant To Debut His Goldust Character In WWE In 1995

Dustin Rhodes began his wrestling career back in back in the late eighties competing in the likes of All Japan and WWE before making his name as part of WCW where he was nicknamed ‘The Natural.’

When he returned to WWE in 1995, he underwent a major shift in character, donning a blond wig and gold face paint and becoming Goldust, an effeminate movie fanatic who wasn’t afraid to show off his fluid sexuality. While Goldust would ultimately go on to be the role he’s most associated with, it was a risky character choice in 1995, and Rhodes admits that he was hesitant about it at first.

Speaking to fellow AEW star Chris Jericho on a November 2022 episode of Talk is Jericho, Dustin Rhodes opened up about Goldust’s origins and the first time he got a major reaction from a WWE audience during a match with Savio Vega.

“But I liked it when he [Vince] was on the road. It wasn’t a TV setting, right? It was just a house show. You’d show up and it was like he was at the curtain and I’m like Vince is here. What if I do this? Am I gonna get fired or whatever. And so he [Savio Vega] was like no man, come on, let’s do this. And it was just a simple go behind him, rub up his chest and down his legs, kind of not grazing, as you know. And he turned around and he charged me and me taking a powder and they went nuts.

“And they called me every name in the book, and that’s the first giant reaction that I’ve gotten. I was like, okay, that worked. I need to stay away from these rails because they are reaching hard at me, man, it was so before its time, and I was like, inside, I look at Savio back in the ring. And he’s laughing. And I’m like Goddammit man, I roll in there.

“I’m like, we lock up and he takes me back at the corner. So we’re gonna do it again. Turn me around. I’m like, What are we doing, man? Turn it around. And he said, to turn around, stick your ass in my crotch and rub it back, you know, just kind of rub it around. And I did it. And he pushed me away. And I took another powder. And they came again. And I was just like, it was set. Yeah. And it was easy. But I was really scared to do that. That was something that like was way out of my wheelhouse.” (h/t Inside the Ropes)