On a recent episode of his Something To Wrestle podcast, Bruce Prichard discussed one of the last remaining superstars from the Attitude Era, Goldust.
As a producer with the WWE, Prichard had been tasked with coming up with a storyline for Hulk Hogan leading up to WrestleMania 9. Dustin Rhodes had just ended his first run with WWE in 1991, and Prichard started considering Hogan going up against the son of Dusty Rhodes.
"Let me put it this way; we were interested in Dustin Runnels, not Dustin Rhodes. WrestleMania 9 we were looking for something for Hulk Hogan to do; an opponent for him at WrestleMania 9," Prichard explained. "Hulk had been away and it was time for him to come back, but he didn't feel that there was really an opponent for him so Pat [Patterson] and I were looking at different talent outside of the WWF that we can bring in and create an opponent for Hogan and not get someone from the roster but bring someone new in to work with Hogan. We had seen Dustin Rhodes working on the TBS show, WCW Saturday Night. We thought, man, he moves, he is smooth, a good, decent sized worker. Dustin is a big kid, and I remember thinking, oh my God. I then started to do a Dusty [Rhodes] promo because Dusty had always done this promo to me to pitch a match with Dusty Rhodes and Hulk Hogan."
Prichard said he worked hard on coming up with the storyline, but Vince McMahon didn't want to be the one to pitch it to Hogan. Once Prichard explained to Hogan that the idea was for him to face Dusty Rhodes' son, Hogan shot it down immediately.
"I start doing all these Dusty Rhodes promos and asked if you can imagine, not a match between Dusty Rhodes and Hogan, but it would actually be his son that comes in to work with Hulk Hogan? We had Hogan on speaker phone and Vince [McMahon] asked me to pitch the idea to Hulk, and I'm looking at Vince like, he doesn't want me to pitch it he wants Vince to pitch it," Prichard said. "He wants to hear from the boss, he doesn't care what Bruce and Pat [Patterson] have, what does Vince have? So, I go in there with this big, long elaborate pitch, cutting promos, then suddenly Hogan's reaction was, 'you mean that skinny little kid with the buggy-whipped arms I see on TBS this past Saturday?' Vince checked out at that point. Hogan wasn't interested and that meant we weren't getting passed that conversation."
Eventually, Dustin Rhodes became Goldust and was one of the company's biggest heels for a time. Prichard said McMahon never really considered him world-champion material, but rather saw him as an investment. He said McMahon didn't know how the character would be received.
"When we first came up with Goldust, Vince saw it as a huge idea and a huge investment. He was looking at it at just that---an investment," Prichard said. "None of us really knew if this was going to really hit right off the bat, but we had confidence in Dustin and we had confidence in the potential of Dustin. He had it in his genes. He had the talent, but we had to get it out of him, but we knew it was going to be a work in progress."
Prichard and co-host Conrad Thompson will host a live podcast on January 19th at the Brooklyn Nets vs. Miami Heat NBA game on January 19th at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Tickets are only $35 for the podcast and the game, you can purchase them at BoxOfGimmicks.com.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Something To Wrestle with Bruce Prichard with a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.