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Dustin Rhodes Recalls Vince McMahon Pitching Him the Goldust Character, How Savio Vega Helped Him Get the Character Over

June 6, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Goldust Dustin Rhodes

– Speaking on Chris Jericho’s Talk is Jericho, Dustin Rhodes recalled the development of the Goldust character and how Savio Vega helped him get the character over. Rhodes recalled that he had issues getting a crowd reaction for a while because he wasn’t willing to go as far as he needed to with it, and how Vega finally helped him get the character over at a Madison Square Garden show. Highlights are below:

On having the character pitched to him: “I think I had just gotten let go by WCW. And I’m sitting at the house, wondering what’s gonna happen, because I am pretty young at this point. And I get the phone call from Vince and Bruce Prichard, they’re both on the line. They got me on speaker, and they start saying, ‘We want to bring you up maybe and do this character.’ And they start explaining the character Goldust to me, and it being androgynous. Now I don’t know what that word means! I had no clue what that word meant, you know? I’m agreeing, ‘Yes sir, yes sir, yeah man. Let’s do this.’ ’cause I mean, I was hungry and ready to do something new. I kind of wanted to step out of my dad’s shoes a bit, and create something all my own. And we made all the plans to get up there the following week for the meetings with all the big-ups. And I hung up the phone and immediately ran to the dictionary, and I looked up ‘androgynous.’ And I’m like, ‘What the hell?’ My jaw dropped, and Terri was upstairs and I walked up, and I said, ‘Vince wants me to do this.’ And I showed her the word, and she said, ‘Awesome.’ She went about her day, doing her stuff, and I’m just like, ‘Okay.'”

On developing the look of the character: “So I went up there anyway and had the meeting, and set down with the music. We came up with the look. I really was — I loved the paint. And he wanted more of like an Adrian Street kind of makeup on the face. And I said, ‘Man, I really would like to do paint.’ Because I’ve always admired Sting’s makeup and his paint, and the way he did things. And Muta, and kabuki, and I loved that. So we agreed to it, so we got this look, they made the suit. I flew back up again. Everybody is sitting around Vince’s big round table, man. And I walk in in this garb and this get-up. They’re like, ‘God dang, this is money!’ You know, they’re making me feel good. They’re all making me feel good. So we we’re off to the races.”

On Vince McMahon being supportive of him: “And Vince pulled me aside several times, he’s like, ‘You’re gonna get a lot of dislikes, a lot of flack from the boys, from the fans, from the crowds. You ever have a problem, you give me a call, night or day, it does not matter.’ So, I did on more than one occasion.”

On having trouble getting the character over at first: “But for the first six months of the Goldust character — so I had been a babyface, and now I gotta be a heel, and learn a character, and I really have no idea how to do either of these things. And I didn’t want to be androgynous, okay? So wearing a wig to the ring was enough for me at this point. So I’m doing everything I know how, and they put me in there with the likes of Bob Holly and stuff like that, and they’re trying to teach me a little bit on what to do. But I’m getting no crowd reaction whatsoever, not what I need.”

On Savio Vega finally helping him get the character over: “And it boils down to, we get to Madison Square Garden and I’ll never forget it. And Vince is there, this is when he would still go to some of the live events because he’s one of the boys, you know. And he’s at the curtain, and you could joke around with him, have fun with him and he was happy all the damned time. And he’s standing at the curtain, and I have an IC Title match, I was the champion, and went out with Savio Vega. And Savio, before that, a month before that we started working, and he was like, really trying to talk me into doing some of this over-the-top stuff. And I just did not want to do it. And finally, he talked me into doing it, but I’m thinking to myself, ‘Well, Vince is gonna do one of two things. He’s gonna fire me, or I’m gonna get fined.’ But he talked me into it, so I’m like, ‘Okay.’ So we have this spot for the first time, for the very first time. And New York City was predominantly Puerto Rican, and here’s Savio Vega from Puerto Rico. And we go out there, and we lock up, and he says, ‘I want you to go behind me, and rub up and down my chest, down my body, and then I’m gonna push away from you, turn around and look at you, and you just scurry out of the ring.’ So I’m okay, ‘Okay, fine.’ So we lock up, I go behind him, I do the thing, he pushes off, he turns around and looks at me, chases me, I run out of the ring. The place erupts for the first time in my Goldust career. It was deafening, man. I was like, ‘Holy s**t!’ And I was like, ‘Damn, that was pretty easy.’ And I’m looking at Savio, and I’m still outside the ring walking around, and I’m just screaming and yelling at people or whatever. I roll back in, and I lock up with him again, he’s laughing. I’m like, ‘What the hell is so funny, man?’ We’re talking and he takes me to the corner and is like, ‘Okay, we’re gonna do something again. Turn around, rub your ass into my midsection and just act all sexual.’ So I did that and he pushed me off and chased me again, and they erupted again. Just little bitty two little things like that set ’em off. And we end up having such a huge, great, better match than what we would have had if I had not tried something and stepped out of my little comfort zone, and did something new.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Talk is Jericho with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.