The legendary Jim Ross has spoken out about the creation of the controversial Goldust character that made his WWF debut in 1995.
Overtly sexual and contentious, Goldust got tongues wagging when he first stepped onto the WWF stage at In Your House 4: Great White North on October 22, 1995.
Though he had been involved in live events and Dark Matches in the weeks and months prior to his premier television outing, when the world got a look at the living Oscar award, he divided a fanbase.
Some thought his unique look fit in perfectly with the cartoon-era of professional wrestling the company was experiencing at the time. Though he was nothing to shout about when the bell rang – Dustin Rhodes had some of his worst years between the ropes as Goldust – he was different in a landscape that had become predictable.
Others frowned upon the creation though, citing his sexual mannerisms, promos and homosexual overtones – which were never more apparent than in his feud with Razor Ramon – as a step too far for an audience with a large fanbase of minors.
Now, Jim Ross has given his opinion on the character on the latest edition of his Grilling JR Podcast. Opening the floor to his listeners, Ross was quizzed on his initial impressions of the gimmick the first time he set eyes on it:
“Well I was skeptical, cos we were getting…we wanted to get as close to the edge without jumping off and committing suicide as we could and there was a lot of…you know…I had to look up what androgynous meant, cos the way it was presented in the beg was almost anti-homophobic in some degree. And I’m not comfortable with that. But you know, it evolved and the great thing about Dustin is he made that character his own. He lived it, he became that character on camera and did a great job. But I was a little leery in the beginning because I didn’t quite understand where we’re going with this thing and how’s it going to end up. I told this to Terri Runnels one time in one booking meeting where we thought about…because the sexual overtones of that character, that package were really prominent. So at one time they talked about her having a subtle prosthesis penis. All these ideas kept piling in, the more perverse it seemed like the more they discussed. But leery in the beg, got careful afterwards because Dustin was so good at it he became one of our more entertaining characters.”
A former WWE Intercontinental, Hardcore, Tag Team and World Tag Team Champion, the persona that Dustin Rhodes portrayed so effectively went through several evolutions in a short amount of time from The Artist Formerly Known As Goldust, to Vaderdust, to the much less remembered Funkdust, but reverted back to the original prototype before departing the company in 1999.
Three years later, he made his triumphant return as a surprise entry in the 2002 Royal Rumble Match. The appearance have birth to the much loved partnership with Booker T, in a storyline that shouldn’t have worked but will be remembered as one of the greatest partnerships of the modern-era.
Controversial, memorable and beloved, Dustin Rhodes made sure that we all would be remember the name of, mmmmmmmmm, Goldust.
Credit for the interview: Grilling JR Podcast