Virgil Runnels, which was the real name of one of the most colourful characters in WWE history, has passed away. Dusty Rhodes, who was also referred to as the “American Dream, had a long and glittering career, which began in the late 1960s, earned him a place in the WWE Hall of Fame. “Runnels became a hero to fans around the world thanks to his work ethic, his impassioned interviews and his indomitable spirit,” said WWE. The statement went on to describe him as a “creative visionary who helped shape the landscape of WWE” long after his retirement from the ring.
Runnels became a hero to fans around the world thanks to his work ethic, his impassioned interviews and his indomitable spirit. Moreover, Runnels was a dedicated father to WWE Superstars Goldust (Dustin Runnels) and Stardust (Cody Runnels), a caring husband and a creative visionary who helped shape the landscape of WWE long after his in-ring career had ended. Rhodes rose to fame as a rotund, easy-bleeding, easy talking-workin’ man, a wrestler for the common man. He didn’t have the chiseled body some associate with today’s wrestlers. He was a good-guy wrestler, often battling heels like Superstar Billy Graham, Blackjack Mulligan, Harley Race and The Four Horsemen, who were led by Ric Flair. Rhodes liked to pitch himself as the son of a plumber from Austin, Texas, and an everyman who became the extremely popular champion of the National Wrestling Alliance three times in the 1970s and 1980s.
In his first match he fought Reggie Parks and was paid $15 for a 20-minute match that ended in a draw. He eventually would team with Dick Murdoch in 1968 as the Texas Outlaws, a bad-guy tag team known to cheat their opponents. Back then, there were several wrestling circuits, and Rhodes kept a busy schedule before emerging as a star in Florida for the NWA and eventually World Championship Wrestling. He moved on to the World Wrestling Federation (now the WWE) in the ’80s, and wrestled on several other circuits before coming back to the WWE in the mid-2000s. He will be remembered for the spirited and often hilarious in-studio interviews he would give to wrestling commentators to promote upcoming matches. Rhodes was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007.