The American Dream is dead.
His character embodied the everyman, and with the moniker was named one of the most charismatic and captivating characters in wresting history.
Rhodes, whose real name was Virgil Runnels, fast become a fan-favourite thanks to his impassioned interviews and undefeatable spirit.
WWE released a statement saying that Runnels helped to shape the landscape of WWE long after his in-ring career ended. They further noted:
“WWE extends its sincerest condolences to Runnels’ family, friends and colleagues.”
Rhodes became one of America’s best known wrestling stars, due to his Texan charisma and everyman approach to interviews, which endeared him to fans. His rivalries in wrestling were only matched by his verbal smack downs inside and outside the ring when he was in character. Ric Flair, Billy Graham and Tully Blanchard are notable among his rivals.
An outpouring of appreciation has come from the wrestling world.
WWE star Triple H posted a comment about his friend:
“Saddened to hear about Dusty Rhodes. Legend, teacher, mentor, friend...Love you Dream.”
Steve Austin called Rhodes one of his all time heroes, and Kurt Angle said he would miss his friend, the American Dream.https://twitter.com/RealKurtAngle/status/609070491983159296
Rhodes is survived by his two sons, also part of the wrestling syndicate, and the rest of his family.
Our thoughts go to his family and friends. He will be remembered for bringing joy to the lives of many.
Rest in Peace Dusty, you will be missed.
Dream on, brother.