EDITOR'S NOTE: Watch for Donnie Abreu's column every Thursday.
Thursday May 14, 1998
Lamenting the loss of Goldust
OK, here's what I want to know ... who takes the fall for this one? I don't know if it was McMahon, the collective Titan suits, or even Dustin Runnels himself ... but the WWF just killed one of my all time favorite characters. In last week's article, I questioned Vince's genius. I always said though, what he did for Dustin was incredible! He took a WCW mid-carder, stuck in the shadow of his legendary father and turned him into a transvestite with the flamboyance of Ric Flair, the attitude of Adrian Adonis and the technical skill of ... well, of Dustin Rhodes. Who the hell cared about Dustin in WCW? Sure, Goldust has been toiling in a pool of mediocrity the last year or so, but just look at what he's been through. His most interesting feud was cut short when his opponent unexpectedly expired.
In my opinion, the whole "Artist Formerly Known As ..." angle was great! Who didn't get a laugh out of "Baby New Year", "Hunter-Dust", "Vader-Dust", "Sable-Dust", "Marilyn Manson Dust" OR my personal fav ... "Star-Dust". They were absolutely hysterical and completely unparalleled. Yes, Dustin was correct when he said on Raw that he has worked too hard for Vince, but when you're an uncharismatic baboon you should learn to do what the boss says, and like it!
I suppose now, Dustin Rhodes will get a small, temporary push, but at what and FOR what? Do you expect Rhodes to become the WWF champion? Can you see him unseating the WWF's pride and joy Intercontinental Champ? Will Dustin rekindle his feud with Triple H and wrestle the European strap away from the leader of the WWF super-group? The answer to all three is a very obvious ... "Hell No!!"
Wrestling needed another big dumb cowboy like Sable needs a breast enlargement. We've already got Barry Windham, Bradshaw, Jeff Jarrett, and Shawn Michaels. Not to mention some of the names we've had to endure in the past, like Blackjack Mulligan and Lanza, Sam Houston, and The Smokin Gunns, just to name a few. Goldust was different ...
The "death" of Goldust also raises a few interesting questions. First off, seeing as how Dusty Rhodes is still under WCW contract, what benefit is it to the WWF to have a Dusty wannabe among their ranks?
Does the WWF actually have a limit? Did they feel that the company wasn't big enough for a gender bender AND a soon to arriving porn star? Will Val Venis be the one we look to for those jaw droppin', eye poppin' moments.
What of the lovely Luna? Is she doomed to forever make these 4-5 month stops in the WWF followed by years in the bush leagues? Will she be back with a new protege?
Will Dustin return to the ring with wife Terri? And if he does, who cares? I remember Terri when she was "Alexandra York" ... ho hum! YAWN! Marlena was the stuff! H-O-T! From what I've seen, Marlena was a sexy character, while Terri is a lot like Alexandra. So don't look for any more of those great cleavage shots or Terri in a thong like at the Slammy's in '97! No, you can expect sensible shoes with long skirts, and button up shirts. Can someone please send a memo to Dustin and Terri ... "SEX SELLS!"
Another interesting point is, this is not the first time that Vinnie Mac has taken a WWF character and then reverted them BACK to their WCW persona. Flash Funk didn't work, so let's try Scorpio. The Wildman stunk ... maybe a boxer, ALA Johnny B.Badd? And what about "The Ringmaster?" It didn't take him long to reclaim his former moniker with a new nickname. What's next?? Will X-Pac become Syxx-Pac? Will Vader go back to "Big Van?" Maybe he'll get that big goofy helmet again? You can almost bet the farm that sooner or later Faarooq will return to his roots as "The All American" Ron Simmons.
So what does all this mean? Who knows. Maybe a lot ... maybe nothing. Maybe it means that WCW isn't all that bad at creating talent. McMahon puts all this time into giving these guys huge makeovers only to change them back to the way he found them. Odd.
Now, switching gears a little bit ... I thought I'd take this opportunity to publish and respond to some of the email I received on last week's article, regarding Vince and his questionable "genius".
The picture beside the name perplexes me as you don't appear to be very big nor barely old enough to be a daddy. No doubt a good story to go along with it. Next time I'm in Toronto I'll buy you a beer(s) and you can tell me about it.
Troy MacDonnell, firstname.lastname@example.org
Seeing as how the pic is just a head shot, I'm not sure how you'd judge that ... but for the record, I stand at 6'7" tall and I step OVER the top rope when entering a ring! Troy, I'll turn down a free beer.
You said that Fit Finley is a punk. I don't know what exactly you meant by that but I can tell you that he's much better in the ring than all of the guys you mentioned there. Have you ever seen Finley wrestle? I saw him wrestle a couple of times against Benoit and let me tell you, he was something else. He deserves that TV belt as much as Benoit does and certainly as much as Booker T does.
Here's my problem with this letter ... How can you praise a guy who gained his WCW fame as Goldberg's personal punching bag for about 14 weeks straight?? Exactly HOW many times did we see the current U.S. champ Jackhammer Mr.Finley? Too many! Benoit has the natural charisma of a door stop, but is a fantastic grappler ... Booker, as unbelievable as it is to me is so completely over with the fans that he deserves the strap. What has Finley done? He was a jobber in the UFC and he's a jobber in WCW. Giving him a title just shows how lost the WCW is right now.
Yo Big Daddy ...
I agree with your views and your column. But the wrestlers in the WWF had better watch their backs when it comes to the slimy tactics of Vince McMahon. Remember what he did to Bret Hitman Hart. Bret was the pride and joy of the WWF and Bret gave his best years to McMahon. Vince earned alot of money and notoriety from Bret. Then Vince showed his appreciation by offering to pay him alot of money to stay in the WWF, (when his contract was up), so he wouldn't go to the rival federation (WCW), so Bret agrees and then Vince tells Bret that he can't pay him so he better look elsewhere. Bret being the decent person that he is went to the WCW, perhaps he should have said a contract is a contract and took Vince to court. It hurt that Bret trusted Vince to let him end his career in pride but Vince had to fix the ending of the match because he is a coward. To say that I am disgusted with the way Vince McMahon treated Bret Hart is an understatement. To me Bret Hitman Hart will always be the best that pro wrestling has to offer.
Sincerely, A Bret Fan@aol.com
This is a joke, right? PLEASE tell me this is a fake email address and this isn't real ... The sad truth is, this IS an actual letter. I can't believe people are STILL belly aching over Bret Hart! These are the same people who refuse to go to baseball games because of the strike of '94 ... GET OVER IT!!! I love this guy's line ... "Vince earned a lot of notoriety and money from Bret ..." I guess Bret was a freakin volunteer?? C'mon!! Vince MADE Bret Hart! Anyone tells you different is smokin somethin' worth buyin! Let's set the record straight, Vince cut Bret cause Bret couldn't cut it anymore. Period. He's a shadow of his former self ... He's ......
... you know, I could bitch about this all day ... instead, I think I'll save my venom of next week's installment of "Big Daddy's Beefs"
-Till Then Wrestling Fans ...
Agree? Disagree? Think I'm completely out to lunch? E-Mail me your response and let me know. email@example.com. I'll sample some responses in next week's column.
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