Before All Elite Wrestling (AEW) was famously throwing jabs at WWE to draw fan attention, WWE was doing the same during the heated Monday Night Wars with WCW. In the summer of 1997, a remarkable transformation occurred on an episode of "WWE Raw." In what seemed to be a random departure from his previous persona, Goldust started identifying himself as a family man.
During a sit-down interview with his wife, Terri, Goldust—whose real name is Dustin Rhodes—he has opened up about the profound influence his father, the legendary Dusty Rhodes, had on his career. He spoke candidly about the pressures he experienced and hinted at his previous stint as "The Natural" in WCW.
However, the depiction of Dusty was arguably unfavorable, possibly due to his concurrent role as a WCW executive.
Goldust Persona: A Unique Allure
Prichard emphasized the unique allure of the Goldust persona, calling it "vibrant, engaging, and all-consuming." He noted, "Without it, Dustin simply became a regular guy, which in my opinion, was far less compelling.
Fans are less inclined to pay to see the guy-next-door type." Prichard believed that abandoning the Goldust character would have been logical had it been unsuccessful, but this wasn't the case. Instead, he argued, it stripped away the Goldust mystique.
By May 1998, Dustin reached a turning point, symbolically burning his Goldust costume and abandoning the moniker altogether. This drastic change, according to Prichard, failed to captivate audiences. "Fans cared about Goldust, not Dustin Rhodes," Prichard emphasized.
"By removing that, we removed the very thing the audience was emotionally invested in. It's tough to discuss this because I truly respect Dustin Rhodes. He's one of the most talented performers I've enjoyed working with. But making him an uninteresting husband? That's not what viewers tune into WWE for." In conclusion, Prichard believed the storyline could have succeeded if Dusty were still a part of WWE, allowing him to participate in an on-screen program with his son.
"Dusty Rhodes had a stronger fan base than Dustin. Most WWE fans should have paid more attention to WCW. Even if they knew Dustin was Dusty's son, they didn't care. In my view, we stripped away everything intriguing about him," Prichard lamented.
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