Monday, February 26, 2007

WCW: "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes

Ring name(s) Dusty Rhodes
Billed height 6 ft 2 in (185 cm)
Billed weight 288 lb (131 kg)
Born October 12, 1945, Austin, Texas
Resides Brooksville, Florida
Trained by Joe Blanchard
Pro Wrestling Debut 1968

"The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes (born Virgil Riley Runnels, Jr. on October 12, 1945 in Austin Texas) is an American professional wrestler. Rhodes currently works with World Wrestling Entertainment.

Rhodes started his career as a rule-breaking heel, tagging with fellow Texan Dick Murdoch to form the tag team The Texas Outlaws in the American Wrestling Association. Many wrestling fans do not know that the beloved "American Dream" was once the hated "'Dirty' Dusty Rhodes". In 1974, Rhodes turned face after turning on tag team partner Pak Song and manager Gary Hart during a match in Florida against Eddie and Mike :Graham, leading him to break out as a solo babyface superstar, primarily in Florida, referring to himself as "Stardust", the "White Soul King", and the "American Dream", a working class hero. Rhodes ascended to the top of several National Wrestling Alliance promotions in Florida (where he also wrestled wearing a mask as The Midnight Rider), Georgia, and eventually with Jim Crockett Promotions in the Mid-Atlantic, which was the forerunner of World Championship Wrestling. Here, he formed teams with Manny Fernandez, Magnum T.A. as "America's Team" and Nikita Koloff as The Super Powers. Rhodes was a World 6-Man Tag Team Champion with the Road Warriors. Currently, Rhodes is working as a booker for World Wrestling Entertainment.

Rhodes had legendary feuds with stars such as Abdullah The Butcher, Pak Song, Terry Funk,Kevin Sullivan, Blackjack Mulligan, Nikita Koloff, Harley Race, "Superstar" Billy Graham, "Crippler" Ray Stevens and most notably, The Four Horsemen (especially Ric Flair and Tully Blanchard). Rhodes, Flair, and Race each fought each other many times over the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Rhodes won the NWA World Title three times; twice by defeating Race (in 1979 and 1981) and once by defeating Flair (1986).

Rhodes also was a booker for WCW (which was then known as Jim Crockett Promotions) while they were competing with the World Wrestling Federation (now known as World Wrestling Entertainment) after he won the Television Title in 1985. He is credited with inventing many of the WCW pay-per-view names and gimmicks, such as War Games, BattleBowl, and Lethal Lottery.

The term Dusty Finish refers to one of Rhodes' favorite techniques, ending a match in controversy after the referee is knocked unconscious.

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