Sometimes art truly does imitate life, and that is what makes things work. Truth can be stranger than fiction, and nothing is clearer of an example of this than the feud between the Rhodes Family & The McMahon family story-line that is going on right now in WWE. Vince McMahon and Dusty Rhodes were never really too fond of one another. Back in the 80s, you had McMahon trying to build the WWF into a larger than life phenomenon while you had Dusty Rhodes who was one of the top dogs in the NWA.
As everyone here knows, the WWF was taking the wrestling industry by storm leaving a bunch of regional territories in the dust. One of the last holdouts was the NWA Jim Crockett territory, and Dusty would of course have some choice words for Vince McMahon. After all, to the people of the NWA, Vince was Satan. NWA was blood , sweat, and tears while the WWF was simply the circus coming to town.
How did Vince McMahon respond to Dusty’s dislike for him? By giving “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase a manservant named Virgil which just so happens to be Dusty Rhode’s real name. Then when Dusty Rhodes was fired from the NWA, he found himself looking for work. Now in real life if your enemy just lost their job and was looking for work while your business was successful and booming what would you do? Probably deny that person employment, right? Not Vince McMahon, he saw this as an opportunity to serve an agenda and humiliate one of his enemies. Dusty got hired by the WWF, but he had to spend his WWF tenure wearing polka dots and dancing with a fat chick named Sapphire! And in his first match with the company, he had to lose to Ted DiBiase in 30 seconds as a way to show everyone that Vinny Mac was in charge and that Dusty would play by his rules. Funny enough, Rhodes was able to get the character over with fans. He also says that the outfit and gimmick were his idea, so I guess he felt that he had to make the best of his situation and even got to wrestle alongside his son Dustin Rhodes while feuding with The Million Dollar Man. Even after Rhodes left the WWF, Vince McMahon would create a character named Reo Rodgers who was played by Bruce Pritchard (go ahead and look it up, I can wait) who was a blatant spoof of Dusty.
Vince McMahon would also take advantage of the strained relationship between Dusty Rhodes and his son Dustin by having Dustin Rhodes take on the gimmick of androgynous wrestler “Goldust” which I am sure that Dusty wasn’t a huge fan of. But to Dustin’s credit, he made the gimmick work. Goldust was and is still one of the most popular gimmicks in WWE. Then there is the younger Rhodes son Cody who seems to have everything that it takes to be a top guy in WWE, but you kind of have that feeling that something is holding him back. This all leads to what we are seeing now. A few weeks back, Cody Rhodes was fired by Triple H after a loss, Goldust was defeated while trying to get his brother rehired, and then we saw Dusty Rhodes get knocked out by The Big Show. In a span of weeks, fans had to witness the Rhodes family get humiliated by the McMahon Family and all the pawns in their sick game.
But now we come to an impasse this Sunday at the Battleground PPV. Cody Rhodes and Goldust will be taking on The Shield, and if the Rhodes brothers can pull off the win they will find themselves rehired by WWE. If they lose, then they will be gone from the company forever. I will admit that I am really digging this storyline. And it is some good episodic TV for those folks who have kind of cooled off on the Daniel Bryan-Randy Orton storyline. Dusty Rhodes has shown that even in his late 60s that he still has the mic skills that engage the fans, and make them truly understand how important this wrestling life is to his family. The real life animosity that exists between the families is playing out right before our eyes. While Vince might not be a big Dusty fan (probably because Dusty didn’t fit his mold of a prototypical wrestler), it appears that he does respect him which is why he continues to pay the man. Dusty is a professional, and has no problem collecting money from someone who he isn’t fond of as people go to work and do this each and every day. I hope that the Rhodes family will finally get that long awaited comeuppance against the McMahon regime. After all, I am sure the tag team division would benefit from a brief run that includes the Rhodes Brothers.
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