I spoke with Dustin "Goldust" Runnels for an interview last week. In the first part of the interview below, Runnels discussed his first run with the WWF, leaving WWF shortly after debuting, being given the Goldust gimmick, if GTV was meant for him, being in WCW when it folded, overcoming his addictions and more.
Make sure to check back tomorrow for the second part of our interview, where Runnels discussed TNA, a potential match with brother Cody, his surprise appearance at The Royal Rumble last January, Cody's match getting bumped at WrestleMania, his upcoming projects and much more. You can follow Runnels on Twitter at @DUSTIN_RHODES1, and you can purchase his book Cross Rhodes: Goldust, Out of the Darkness at this link.
WrestlingINC: I actually wanted to start with your WWF debut back in 1990. What was that like signing with the company at that point in time at such a young age?
Runnels: It was very cool. Back then, they still had tryout matches and I worked with Black Bart as a tryout match. I guess Vince [McMahon] liked it so we kind of just worked from there. I got picked up and signed and dad [Dusty Rhodes] was already there. So, they worked me into their angle, I guess. That was cool, to be involved with [Ted] DiBiase and pop and Virgil.
WrestlingINC: You got a televised victory over DiBiase who was very protected at that time by lasting 10 minutes in a challenge match. Not many people beat him on TV. What was that like?
Runnels: I don't recall beating him, I just recall lasting the ten minutes which was really cool. And the people really responded well to it. I just shut my mouth. Young guys today just need to keep their mouths shut and listen to the veterans. But, in our business today, there's not too many veterans left. So, it's a bunch of green guys going at it.
But, I kept my mouth shut because that's how I was brought up and raised. You just go out there and do what they tell you to do and you learn. That's what I did, I just listened to Ted and he took me through that thing, man. It was awesome.
WrestlingINC: You were there and then you left shortly thereafter. You were only there for a few months and then you went to WCW. What prompted you to make that change?
Runnels: Dad did. Dad was going back to WCW -- I didn't know it at that time but at the Royal Rumble where we did our business with Ted and Virgil, at the end there, dad said, 'Why don't you ask Vince for your release and come with me to WCW?'
So, I did and he granted me that. Dad tells this story to everybody still to this day. He's like, I walked off and I thanked Vince and him and dad we're still talking. I'm out getting my bags or whatever it was and Vince said, 'That guy there, you're taking him with you to WCW and that's fine. But, he comes back here, I'm going to pull him from you and make him a star.'
He tells that story and it's still really cool because he did. Goldust is a household name and he made me a star. It's awesome because it's kept its longevity for such a long time.
WrestlingINC: Yeah, it's definitely one of the more memorable characters of the current era. Everyone that's watched wrestling over the past 20 years knows that character. How soon from re-signing with WWF were you presented with that character?