After 27 years in the wrestling business, Virgil Runnels, or as he’s better known, Dusty “The American Dream” Rhodes, died Thursday at age 69, according to WWE.
Known for his charizma inside and outside the ring, as well as his signature “Bionic Elbow” finishing move, Rhodes was inducted into the World Champsionship Wrestling (WCW) Hall of Fame and was a champion many times over. He continued to make appearances on WWE until February of this year. Runnels, however, began taking more of a backstage role as a booker, or a writer, as he advanced in years.
In addition to his storied wrestling career, Runnels was the father of four, including fellow wrestling superstars Dustin Runnels (Goldust) and Cody Runnels (Stardust).
His wrestling promo, “Hard Times,” where he addressed the plight of the working man, his physique, and his rivalry with Rick Flair are remembered as some of the greatest of all time.
News of his death has rippled through the wrestling scene. Wrestler Triple H tweeted today in memorium of the lost champion:
See his classic matchup against Rick Flair bellow:
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