Monday, February 26, 2007

WCW: "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, Part 3

In late 2005, Rhodes signed a WWE Legends deal and was brought onto the Creative Team as a "creative consultant", starting on September 8, 2005. He made an appearance on WWE Homecoming in which he, along with other legends, beat up the young and cocky Rob Conway, to whom Rhodes delivered a Bionic elbow.

He made sporadic televised appearances after Homecoming, including one on June 19, 2006 to promote his recently released DVD teasing him becoming General Manager of RAW. On October 23, 2006 he returned to television to be in the corner of Ric Flair during Flair's match with Kenny of The Spirit Squad.

He was among the three choices of tag team partners for Ric Flair in his match at Cyber Sunday against the Spirit Squad for the World Tag Team Championship. In the end Roddy Piper was picked and won the title with Flair.

On the November 20, 2006 episode of "RAW," Rhodes defeated Spirit Squad member Nicky with an elbow drop in a short bout.

At Survivor Series 2006, he participated in a 4 on 4 Survivor Series match which pitted himself along with Ron Simmons, Sgt. Slaughter, and Ric Flair, against the Spirit Squad. Rhodes team was victorious.

On the February 12, 2007 taping of RAW it was announced that Dusty Rhodes will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2007.

A three-DVD collection titled The American Dream: The Dusty Rhodes Story was released by WWE Home Video on June 6, 2006. It features a retrospective of Rhodes' life, 25 matches (not all full matches) spanning his entire career, and over 40 of his interviews.

Jakks Pacific released two WWE Classic Superstars action figures of Rhodes in 2006. The first was attired in black trunks reminiscent of his 1980s appearance in the NWA. This figure was a part of the WWE Classic Superstars Series 10. The second figure was attired in his yellow and black polka dot outfit from his 1989-1991 WWF run and included a removable headband, tanktop, and nightstick. This figure was released boxed as an internet store exclusive.

A third Dusty Rhodes figure in the WWE Classic Superstars line is slated for release in 2007 as part of the lines 13th series. The figure will be clad in red tights and its appearance (including hair style) will be based on Rhodes' look in the 1970s.

Mike Jones's Virgil character in the World Wrestling Federation was named, by Bobby Heenan, as an inside joke on Dusty's real name. When Jones jumped to World Championship Wrestling, Heenan continued the joke by having his characters name made "Vincent", in reference to WWF owner Vince McMahon. The joke continued later in WCW when Jones changed his name again, this time to Shane, the same as Vince's son's, Shane McMahon.

When Ric Flair left for WWE in 1991, taking the WCW Title with him, his old Florida Heavyweight Championship belt was used as a replacement at The Great American Bash for the title match between Lex Luger and Barry Windham until a replacement could be made.

In storylines featured in the WWE video game SmackDown! vs RAW 2006, an obscure stipulation on a World Heavyweight Championship match that forces the title to not change hands is named "The Virgil Runnels Amendment", a reference to the Dusty finish.

During an interview on WWE's The American Dream DVD set, Rhodes claims that his most popular promo of all time was his "Hard Times" interview during his feud with Ric Flair. The promo -- which references out of work steel workers, factory runners and other blue collar individuals -- apparently resonated so strongly with wrestling fans that people came to him in arenas in tears to thank him for honoring their plight.

Outkast's Andre 3000 makes a reference to Dusty Rhodes and his signature Bionic Elbow on the title track off their 1994 debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik

He has two sons that are professional wrestlers, Virgil Runnels III (best known as Goldust or Dustin Rhodes) and Cody Runnels.

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