Cody Rhodes creating Stardust is a similar career move to Dustin Rhodes creating Goldust in 1995.
Dustin was pretty polished in the ring. Mechanics and experience weren't what held him back from being a big star. It was his name and look that hindered things. He had to fight this blend of being too generic and living in the shadow of his father.
He was “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes. Generic trunks and boots.
He had a face that resembled his father, “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, one of the most charismatic performers ever.
It was that charismatic bar Dustin had to live up to. There was no chance for him and really no chance for almost anybody to walk and talk as well as “The Dream daddy” (said in my best Dusty Rhodes voice).
In 1995, Dustin stepped out of the shadow and got in a gold body suit and painted his face while reciting movie quotes.
He was pushing the envelope in his behavior, both socially and somewhat sexually on WWE television. One famous in-ring segment saw Vince McMahon asking Goldust if he preys on the homophobic fears of others, and Goldust responded with a sexual innuendo involving McMahon's microphone.
It was cutting-edge material for the wrestling world at that time. Not only that, but it was what Dustin needed to stand on his own. Nobody could have predicted the evolution the character would go through.
Goldust served time as a heel, babyface, comedy, dark conflict and now legend. Nobody could have predicted almost 20 years later, the character would still be around and relevant.
The morals of that summarized bio for Dustin Rhodes based on Goldust is what I think is being aimed for with Cody Rhodes as Stardust.
Cody's had midcard success thus far in his professional career, which has been entirely in WWE.
His first big venture was with Randy Orton and Ted DiBiase Jr. in a group called Legacy. He had a pretty-boy gimmick where he was “Dashing” Cody Rhodes. He then flipped the mental switch on that character where he saw his face deformed and was ashamed of it. He did a tag team with Damien Sandow with reasonable success. The summer of 2013 saw the breakout of a solid babyface run and support of just being himself aligned with his family.
Cody is in the same situation Dustin once was. Mechanics, ring experience and business acumen are there. The creation of the Stardust character is interesting to watch, as the character is topping Goldust in the bizarre department.
The Stardust character isn't a dart being thrown on the wall by creative. This seems like it's Cody's idea. I don't think he's making the best of a scrap given to him, but he's doing the best to fulfill a goal and vision he has.
There is commitment to the character. We're not seeing it as an alter ego who sometimes shows up on television. It's not a character and storyline that sometimes they have room for and sometimes they don't.
There is commitment from both WWE and Cody Rhodes to build to whatever they are building to. So far, we've seen the brothers in gold teaming with good success and equally good presentation of their characters to the live audience.
More is coming.
This is the setup to get everyone interested before things take a turn. What that turn is, we'll have to wait and see.
Whatever it is, though, I feel this could be the launching point for the best possible run Cody Rhodes—the man, not necessarily the performer—could have in his WWE career.
Does he turn his back on Goldust, and is this whole thing a mocking of his brother? Remember, this all started with dissension between the two and Cody not being Goldust's partner anymore.
Does Stardust take off with popularity, and have we seen the last of Cody Rhodes the performer?
Time will tell, but I think when we look back in history at the career of Cody Rhodes the man, we'll know it was now and with Stardust that was the catalyst for the best success yet.
Justin LaBar is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the creator of the Chair Shot Reality video talk show and Wrestling Reality radio show.
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