Goldust Will Thrive in Rob Van Dam/Chris Jericho-Type Role for WWE

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterOctober 9, 2013

Photo: WWE
Photo: WWE

With Rob Van Dam and Chris Jericho both gone, WWE can turn to Goldust to quicken the crowd's heart rate.

Van Dam and Jericho played the role of established veteran who for a few months elevated the current roster, fed the audience's need for nostalgia and put on fantastic performances. With both men gone for the moment, WWE someone to take their place.

Van Dam is taking time off after losing to Alberto Del Rio. Jericho left WWE to tour with his band, Fozzy.

Thanks to a win over The Shield at Battleground, Goldust steps into the batter's box, ready to provide what those two men did so far this year.

As much as wrestling fans love to see new wrestlers climb into the spotlight, a longing for the past is ever-present. Van Dam's return at Money in the Bank generated a deafening response from the fans in Philadelphia. Jericho's surprise appearance at this year's Royal Rumble led to an even louder, more passionate welcome.

The past merges with the present once again as a man who made his name in the Attitude Era has returned.

Goldust fills a void as a bridge to another era and as a walking flashback. Appearances from retired or part-time stars are a fun element of pro wrestling and what makes it such a special entity. It's not like we'll see Scottie Pippen go on a short run with the Chicago Bulls during this NBA season.

We will see Goldust bringing in his compellingly bizarre character, in-ring ability and experience to Raw, SmackDown and pay-per-views for the time being.

Goldust collides with Roman Reigns at Battleground. (Photo:
Goldust collides with Roman Reigns at Battleground. (Photo:

Like Van Dam, he'll be far more than just an excuse to say, "hey, remember that guy?" Goldust's recent outings showed off that he is great shape.

Van Dam's matches were entertaining just about every time out. He put on stellar showings against Randy Orton, Jericho and Del Rio. Beyond that, his latest WWE tenure highlighted and showcased younger stars.

Working with Van Dam gave Fandango a chance to benefit from the veteran's stardom. Fandango vs. Justin Gabriel was entertaining, but fans are more compelled to see someone of Van Dam's stature in action.

The result of Van Dam's battle against Darren Young may not have been what the Prime Time Player would have liked, but Van Dam's status made it one of the biggest matches of Young's career.

Just hanging with Van Dam with as long as he did was a means to create momentum. That's what Goldust can offer for up-and-comers with little substance to their resume. Pinning Goldust would do plenty for those Superstars as well.

Jericho has made putting guys over an art form.

Fandango, Curtis Axel, Dolph Ziggler and Ryback have all notched wins in 2013 over "The Best in the World at What He Does." Having new stars defeat established ones is a formula for success, a way to build for the future.

Those victories stay in the back of the audience's mind and help establish a Superstar going forward.

Fandango gets the best of Jericho at WrestleMania 29. (Photo: WWE)
Fandango gets the best of Jericho at WrestleMania 29. (Photo: WWE)

Goldust can follow Jericho's lead and offer career-improving wins for guys like Antonio Cesaro or Big E. Langston. Van Dam, Jericho and Goldust have already established their legacies and don't need wins to convince fans of their greatness. This puts them in a spot to help out the next generation.

While Goldust is doing that, expect great matches.

When he took on Orton to try and get his brother's job back, Goldust looked phenomenal.

He showed the same agility, speed and fluidity that earned him the nickname "The Natural" when he wrestled as Dustin Rhodes. His master of in-ring storytelling turned his bout with Orton into one of the most enthralling WWE experiences of the year.

This wasn't a case of a man past his prime hobbling around the ring, using just a limited move set to piece together a shell of a match. This was proof that the 44-year-old Goldust is still a top-notch entertainer.

The list of 2013's greatest matches has Jericho and Van Dam's names all over it; Goldust can do the same.

Their superb additions to WWE are a testament to the power of experience. Van Dam and Jericho, like Goldust, may not be at their physical peak, but years of ring knowledge has led to success in their early '40s.

It's Goldust's time to provide a burst of greatness. Put him in the ring with his successors including his brother, Cody Rhodes and the WWE product will benefit in a big way.

Should he smear his face paint while giving us the kind of moving performance he had us against Orton, standing ovations await "The Bizarre One."