Virgil Riley Runnels, popularly known as Dusty Rhodes, was a professional wrestler, trainer, and booker. He is considered to be one of the most influential people in professional wrestling history. Over the course of his 40-year career, Rhodes became a three-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, a multi-time World Television champion, a World Six-Man Tag Team champion, and a World Tag Team champion. Rhodes was also one of the seven men that was inducted into the Professional Wrestling, WWE, and WCW Hall of Fame.
In this article, we are going to learn more about Dusty Rhodes by listing down some of the interesting facts about him.
- Aside from being a wrestler, Dusty Rhodes was an executive producer for Jim Crockett Promotions – He was actually credited for being an executive producer. However, when he is doing his job as an executive producer, he preferred to use his real name, Virgil Runnels. So that the people would not know he actually is in charge of backstage matters.
- Dusty Rhodes was fired from WCW for bleeding – When Turner instituted a no-blood policy for their program in 1988. That policy didn’t take that long to be tested because, at Starrcade, Dusty Rhodes was busted open by a spike given by Road Warrior Animal. Even if Dusty was the one who suffered an injury and bled, the angle was all his idea; that is why Rhodes was the one who got reprimanded.
- Dusty Rhodes’ full-time wrestling career ended in the WWF – Dusty Rhodes spent his final wrestling days in the WWF, where he was often seen wearing polka dots. This was designed to be a humiliating gimmick, and Dusty made the most of it. Aside from this, he also had a pair of high profile feuds between Ted DiBiase and Randy Savage. His feud with DiBiase introduced Dusty’s son into the national spotlight.
- Dusty Rhodes was kicked out of a brand-new apartment – Dusty Rhodes was kicked out in an apartment because he had a donkey for a pet. You read that right, Dusty Rhodes actually had a donkey and let it roam around his apartment. The donkey reportedly treats anywhere as its toilet. That is why Rhodes got booted out of the apartment.
- Dusty Rhodes became a member of the new World order – Dusty Rhodes is known to be one of the premier babyfaces for the NWA and Jim Crockett Promotions. However, during the Souled Out event in 1998, Larry Zbysko asked Rhodes to accompany him as he fought against WCW evil Scott Hall, who also represents the nWo. Everything was going smoothly until Dusty revealed that he’s a member of the new World order. Fans were shocked to know that Rhodes joined the tyrannical faction. It all became real when Rhodes stood behind the new World order during promotions and managed Hall and Nash. Rhodes only did this for a year and left the nWo for ECW.
- Dusty Rhodes became a member of the ECW, too – If you think Dusty joining the nWo Dusty was wrong, how about ECW Dusty? That whole thing happened, and Rhodes briefly managed then eventually feuded with then-ECW world champion Steve Corino. It was Dusty’s brief membership in ECW that got him in a wrestling video game for the very first time, which is ECW Hardcore Revolution.
- Dusty had the honor to induct four WWE Hall of Famers – In 2008, he was given the privilege to induct his late mentor Eddie Graham. After a year, he also inducted the Terry and Dory, Jr., also known as the Funk brothers. In 2011, he was given the task to induct another of his old rivals which is the Road Warriors. And lastly, he inaugurated the Four Horsemen in 2012; he inducted the Four Horsemen.
- Dusty Rhodes was one of the seven men to be inducted in the WWE, Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WCW, and Professional Wrestling Halls of Fame – Dusty Rhodes was inducted into those Halls of Fame along with other iconic wresters Harley Race, Verne Gagne, Gordon Solie, Antonio Inoki, and Terry Funk. Dusty Rhodes was a man of many hats. In his successful professional wrestling career, Rhodes was not only charismatic but also a colorful person. As an icon, Rhodes became influential in many things.
Interesting facts about Dusty Rhodes
Rhodes started his own promotion company named Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling
From 2000 to 2003, Rhodes opened his own promotion company called Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling (TCW) based in Georgia.
As a professional wrestler, Rhodes believed that his promotion company would also fly, commercially speaking.
The company had a mixture of old and young talents. Some of the wrestling champions under TCW were Scotty Riggs, Glacier, Barry Windham, among others.
During his time in the promotion company, Rhodes only had a short-lived success. The company tried to open a branch in Florida, but it did not work out. It only lasted in 2003 when Rhodes made a deal with TNA Wrestling. Interestingly, he also joined wrestling matches even at the age of 50s.
Rhodes fought with Billy Graham for the WWWF Champion in 1977
Rhodes joined a high-profile fight with WWWF Champion wrestler “Superstar” Billy Graham in the late 1970s.
Graham was known as a great heel, as he enraged the audience and fans during their matches.
One of their spectacular fights was a Texas Bullrope Match in Madison Square Garden. Rhodes defeat Graham in about seven minutes bloody feud.
Rhodes started out as a heel
Despite having a babyface, Rhodes was best known for being a heel in the wrestling arena.
In 1968, Rhodes began his wrestling career at the age of 23. He then made the team with a friend, Dick Murdoch. They were known as the Texas Outlaws in the American Wrestling Association. Rhodes earned multiple championships in the arena.
Rhodes bagged more than 50 titles in his wrestler career
Rhodes won an impressive 50 titles in his career. His most significant title record was becoming the 3-time National Wrestling Alliance Heavyweight Champion, turning himself into a legend in the world of wrestling.