Dustin Rhodes announced his departure from WWE and said goodbye to the Goldust character in a series of social media posts Sunday.
Rhodes, 50, was announced as his brother Cody's opponent at AEW's Double or Nothing event earlier in the day. The matchup had been teased in previous "Road to All or Nothing" episodes, but Dustin had issued strong denials about leaving WWE.
The speculation turned out to be completely accurate, as Episode 13 featured Dustin talking at length about his relationship with Cody and why he wants to defeat his brother at the pay-per-view May 25.
"I know everything there is to know about my little brother, Cody," Dustin said. "And he is one egotistical son of a b---h. So many times that I've told him how proud I am of him. How much I love him. And how dad would be proud of him and everything that he's accomplished. Never, not one time, never, has he said 'thanks man, I really do value your opinion. You're wonderful. I love you to death.'"
Dustin and Cody Rhodes were tag-team champions twice together in WWE, most recently when Cody was using the much-bemoaned Stardust gimmick. They later feuded but never got a chance to have a proper blow-off match, with the dream of a Rhodes brothers WrestleMania spotlight coming and going.
It appears AEW will give the pair a proper spotlight, juxtaposing the upbringing of the two brothers. Cody, 33, is more than 16 years younger than Dustin. He also "grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth," with their childhoods being diametrically opposed, according to Dustin's side of things.
Goldust was one of the most boundary-pushing characters in WWE history, particularly in terms of sexuality—especially during the Attitude Era, including an infamous moment where he was led to the ring with a ball gag in his mouth.
Despite the controversial nature of the character, Rhodes consistently brought brilliant in-ring chops and an all-in devotion to the character that allowed it to get over with audiences. He's a nine-time WWE hardcore champion and three-time Intercontinental champion.