Goldust vs. Stardust
This was has been festering for a while, and rumored for light years before Dusty Rhodes' sons even took to tagging with one another. The build for it is as bizarre as Dustin and Cody's alter egos...will Goldust convince his brother to come back from the darkside, or will Stardust vanquish Goldy and Cody in one fell swoop?
The Road to Fastlane
Way back in the early days of The Authority, Cody Rhodes spoke out against their heavy handed management style and ended up losing his job in a match against then WWE king Randy Orton. That angle lead to the return of his half-brother Dustin Runnels. Runnels, in the best shape of his life thanks to DDP Yoga, was a reinvigorating presence on the scene. They won Cody's job back in kayfabe, and Goldust's in reality, with a hot run as a tag team that included two stints as champs.
In between their first and second runs at the top of the division, Cody went through some ch-ch-ch-ch-changes. Blaming himself for the losing streak that started when they dropped the belts to Road Dogg & Billy Gunn, he began auditioning new partners for his brother before revealing his new identity as a face-painted, body suit wearing, -dust suffixed character. Stardust was born and the duo turned heel in pursuit of "the Cosmic Key".
Losing the championship to The Miz & Damien Mizdow started another losing streak, and signs of disunity between the brothers appeared with increased frequency. But when Goldust called his brother by his real name instead of his character name while trying to reason with him following a defeat at the hands of The Ascension, Stardust snapped.
With their partnership in shambles and their family ties strained, Dusty Rhodes made a trip the Performance Center to use his legendary oratory skills to help Goldust bring his brother back to the fold. It appeared to have done the trick, but when another mix-up in the ring resulted in defeat at the hands of The New Day. Stardust was done. With the Dust Brothers team, his old life and even his father.
Dustin, who went followed some pretty bizarre paths during his earlier runs with WWE, says that he knows where his brother is headed, and that he needs to get his sibling to see reason and stay tethered to Earth. Stardust says that the pressures of family are what caused him to snap in the first place, and now he'll do whatever he has to break those bonds in order to continue on his new celestial course.
This being pro wrestling, that of course means they're going to try to pin or submit one another inside the squared circle this Sunday.
What's at Stake?
For the 45 year old Goldust, this is his last run before he follows in his dad's footsteps and starts working backstage. Stardust doesn't even turn 30 until this Summer, but needs a spark from this brother vs. brother feud that his previous singles' pushes have been missing.
The program has suffered from how long it's lingered, but there's some interesting angles at play and solid work being done by both men. Cody's explanation of how his father and brother's past successes and questionable kayfabe roles in WWE lead to his snapping and, somewhat ironically, donning his own strange wrestling gimmick is intriguing. And as with everything the younger Rhodes does, he's committed to it 100%. Dustin is channeling a bit of The American Dream in his impassioned promos expressing his concern for Cody and the choices he's making.
We haven't seen them square off for a one-on-one bout yet, which is pretty rare in today's WWE. Both are capable of executing at a very high level there, so there's every reason to believe that their matches could be something special.
Delivering in the ring, and getting the Memphis crowd to connect to their feud more than a lot of audiences have done to date (listen to the "CM Punk" chant that drowns out Stardust's angry dismissal of his father in the second clip above) would go a long way to helping the pair get a blow-off match at WrestleMania - and with it the farewell that Dustin, and the launchpad that Stardust, deserves.
Can they break through on a busy card and earn the right to finish their bizarre family feud on the biggest stage in sports entertainment?
Find out at Fastlane, and discuss it with the best pro wrestling community in the universe right here at Cageside Seats!