Dusty Rhodes (wrestler)
Virgil Riley Runnels Jr. was an American professional wrestler, booker, and trainer. He worked for the National Wrestling Alliance, Jim Crockett Promotions, and the World Wrestling Federation, later known as the WWE. Rhodes was a three-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, and multi-time World Television, World Tag Team and World Six-Man Tag Team Champion. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on November 17, 2013.
About Dusty Rhodes (wrestler) in brief
Virgil Riley Runnels Jr. was an American professional wrestler, booker, and trainer. He worked for the National Wrestling Alliance, Jim Crockett Promotions, and the World Wrestling Federation, later known as the WWE. Rhodes was a three-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, and multi-time World Television, World Tag Team and World Six-Man Tag Team Champion. He is one of seven men inducted into each of the WWE, WCW, Professional Wrestling, and Wrestling Observer Newsletter Halls of Fame. His sons, Dustin and Cody, both pursued careers in professional wrestling, performing for WWE and AEW. He also worked as a backstage booker and producer in WWE’s NXT developmental territory. After his retirement from wrestling, he made occasional on-air appearances on WWE television and pay-per-views and worked with WWE’s developmental territory, AEW, until his death in 1986. He was the father of Cody Rhodes, a professional wrestler who currently works for WWE as a booker. His son Dustin also wrestled for WWE, working for the developmental territory AEW until he was injured in a car accident in 1986, and later for WWE’s other developmental territories, including WWE’s TNA and TNA Xtravaganza. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on November 17, 2013. He has been remembered as a hero by WWE chairman Vince McMahon and other wrestlers for his charisma and ability to overcome adversity. He had no typical wrestlers’ physique, but was well known for his personality, charisma and interviews.
Rhodes’s character became a hero after tag team partner Pak Song and manager Gary Hart turned on him during a match in Florida against Eddie and Mike Graham. In 1974, Rhodes became a rule-breaking heel with Hart as his manager, teaming with Don Jardine, better known as The Spoiler. His character was that of the \”common man\”, known for the personality exhibited in his interviews. He referred to himself as the \”American Dream\”, a working class hero, and aligning himself with Eddie Graham. Rhodes tried out for the American Football League’s Boston Patriots but was cut. He then played for the Hartford Charter Oaks in the Continental Football League until the team folded. In 1967, Rhodes saw an advertisement in the newspaper for Tony Santos’ professional wrestling promotion Big Time Wrestling, based in Boston. Rhodes drove to Boston, and despite not having any wrestling experience, bluffed his way into work for the company by using his real life friendships with Bobby Duncum and the Funk brothers. Rhodes moved on to Fritz Von Erich’s Texas territory World Class Championship Wrestling in 1968. It was in Texas where Rhodes first adopted the ring name \”Dusty Rhodes\”. Upon meeting Rhodes, Gary Hart suggested that he change his ring name to ‘Lonesome Rhodes’, a character Andy Griffith portrayed in the film A Face in the Crowd. Rhodes reportedly replied: ‘Well… I don’t plan on being Lonesome’. I think I’ll stick with Dusty’