Superstar Spotlight #2: Goldust (Part 1)



Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

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Dustin Rhodes ('88 - '92)

Dustin Runnels is the son of the late legendary professional wrestler, Dusty Rhodes. He had begun his wrestling career in 1988. He started in Florida but quickly made a name for himself in the NWA. Dustin Rhodes was put into a mildly successful tag team called The Texas Broncos. Kendall Windham, his partner, was a great competitor but the duo was lackluster. They had no character. Dustin needed more seasoning.

Dustin would relocate to Japan in '89. He began working for All Japan Pro Wrestling and was mostly utilized in tag-team matches. The singles matches that he did get happened to be against Kenta Kobashi and Davey Boy Smith. Sadly, not a lot of this footage is available online. Dustin would come back to the States as "The Natural". He put in work for PWF and USWA. This got the attention of Vince McMahon.

1990 is the year that the World Wrestling Federation had first opened their doors to Dustin Rhodes. Unfortunately, they wouldn't have much for Dustin to do. In 1989, yellow polka dotted "The Common Man" Dusty Rhodes had joined the WWF. While Dusty would gain traction. "The Natural" would flounder. Dustin was mostly kept to singles matches with the likes of Buddy Rose, Haku, and The Brooklyn Brawler. Eventually, he was teamed with his dad in a program against Ted DiBiase and Virgil. They even had a match at the 1991 Royal Rumble. But both Dustin and Dusty would leave New York for WCW.

He would return to WCW as a singles competitor that transitioned back into the tag-team division. This time Dustin tagged up with Barry Windham. Windham and Rhodes are two great competitors that just didn't have much personality for the crowds. Although they didn't bring much in the way of personality. They held the tag team belts and feuded with some great teams. They lost the belts to Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas in a really good bout. But the loss signaled the end of Windham & Rhodes. Rhodes didn't want to pin his friend Ricky Steamboat and Windham hated that. That would be when "The Natural" Dustin Rhodes would be itching to express his character a bit further.

Dustin Rhodes Playlist ('88 - '92)

WWE Network/YouTube/Dailymotion Links

"The Natural" comes into his own ('92 - '95)

Dustin had shown his ability to compete as a singles competitor. In 1991-'92, "The Natural" had been competing in one-off matches against the likes of Arn Anderson and Steve Austin. However, he needed something more tangible. He needed a trophy that encapsulated his proven skill. That trophy would come in the form of the WCW United States Championship.

In 1993 Dustin Rhodes would compete in a tournament for that prestigious belt. These matches showed some bits of his familiar methods of assault. You could see Dustin becoming more comfortable. The final of that tournament was the culmination of the feud that had brewed between Rhodes and Ricky Steamboat. It was great. It awarded Rhodes with his first title as a singles competitor.

Dustin feuded with Ricky Steamboat, Barry Windham, Rick Rude and various other competitors throughout 1993. That year was a highlight of Dustin's career. He had some absolutely fantastic matches. He lost the title but regained it in a Best of Three series of matches against Rude. This victory made Rhodes a two time WCW United States Title holder and served as his official debut as a serious wrestler.

"The Natural" Dustin Rhodes had been in the United States Title scene for a good portion of '93. He faced many competitors and actually turned out some great matches. Unfortunately, that's all that WCW would have for him at the time. After losing the US Title to Steve Austin at Starrcade in a Best Two of Three Falls match. Dustin floundered in the midcard.

The summer of '94 saw Dustin Rhodes go into a feud with Bunkhouse Buck and Col. Robert Parker. This wasn't a very hot feud at all. Even with Dustin's father Dusty getting involved. This is a good example of just how far Dustin could go without a gimmick. He was bland. WCW knew that they had to add some bigger names to the feud. Essentially, they threw gasoline on the fire. When they added Arn Anderson, Terry Funk and eventually Barry Darsow under the name The Blacktop Bully.

The last of WCW's absurdity with this version of Dustin Rhodes came to a head with the King of the Road Match against Blacktop Bully. This was just horrible. Dustin was reduced to fighting in these horrendous gimmick matches and it was terrible. During the match, Dustin and Bully had both agreed to blade. Unfortunately, WCW frowns upon that kind of thing and they fired both wrestlers. It's sad that Rhode's barely had a character during this four year run. But "The Natural" was getting stale and he needed a change.

"The Natural" Playlist ('92 - '95)

WWE Network/YouTube/Dailymotion Links

A Flair for the Gold (1995)

In 1995 vignettes would begin playing on the World Wrestling Federation's flagship television program, Monday Night RAW. The promos were for the introduction of a mysterious character named Goldust. This of course is Dustin Runnels in full regalia. He had finally found an outlet.

Dean Peters

Squared Circle Showcase

Dean Peters



Professional Wrestling is fun. It's not just mindless athletes that act out a fight. Its thousands of characters with different motivations, styles, attitudes and gimmicks that are all competing with a common goal. To find a connection with the fans.

In 1990, my love for pro wrestling began. My father had taken me to the Arco Arena to watch the WWF. They had been coming to town around my birthday and he was a big fan of The British Bulldog. I remember a few things like The Ultimate Warrior and Randy Savage, Mr. Perfect getting slapped in the face by the referee, The Rockers facing Power & Glory and a high-flying feline fighter called Battle-Kat!

The Beginning (The 80's)

Before donning the mask and finding his gimmick. Dean Peters had been working in the Mid-Atlantic and Portland region as Brady Boone, the "cousin" of Billy Jack Haynes. He would compete with wrestlers like Tully Blanchard, Ricky Santana and Tom Zenk. Here he had seen moderate tag team success. Albeit short lived as Boone would go onto compete in All Japan Pro Wrestling for the 1987 Power Series.

He would join the World Wrestling Federation during this time as enhancement talent and put guys over like One Man Gang, Sika, Jose Estrada and even Randy Savage. He did this for several years. Crowds noticed his quick feet and high-flying style. These feats would earn him a few nice victories. His first win on WWF television would be on WWF on NESN in November of 1987 against Jose Estrada. The WWF had kept their eyes on Boone. They had seen something special. In 1990 the WWF repackaged Boone. Now donning a black purple cat mask and neon suit Battle-Kat was here and ready for action.


Brady Boone in the eighties

WWE Network Links

Battle Kat (1990)

Brady Boone's Battle Kat's first and only televised victory would be broadcast on WWF Wrestling Challenge on September 19th 1990. He would face off against Bob Bradley. Bradley had been working in the company as enhancement talent. The two would work house shows together.

Blurb from WWF Magazine about Brady Boone's Battle Kat


Even though this would be Brady Boone's last televised victory in this gimmick. The Kat would go on. Brady Boone was fired from the company during the first quarter of October in 1990 for undisclosed reasons. His gimmick and moniker were passed onto his opponent Bob Bradley.

Pound for pound, Battle Kat (Boone) is one of the greatest athletes that I've seen thus far in the WWF.
Tito Santana (WWF Magazine - 1990)

Brady Boone was a talented performer that had been stuck with a go nowhere gimmick. It's a shame that Boone in the Battle-Kat character was so short lived. You can't even find anything about the character on the WWE Network.

Bob Bradley's next match as Battle-Kat would be against Paul Diamond. It was horrible. Bradley may have known a few quick moves. But his execution was horrible. He was slow. Bumbling. He appeared to mock the character. Unfortunate.

The Battle-Kat gimmick was losing steam after Bradley took the reigns. They tried to save it by teaming Kat up with the Birdman, Koko B Ware. The duo took on The Orient Express, and it was another blunder. During this time Battle Kat had adopted a dancing gimmick. It went well with Koko.

In November of 1990 Battle Kat would go against Boris Zukoff. This would be the end of our friend Battle Kat. Kat wouldn't fair too well against a brute like this but he got the win. It's a shame that Brady Boone didn't get to continue as Battle Kat. It would have been much more than just back flips.

The Legacy

Battle Kat may have been dead in the WWF. Brady Boone wanted to keep it alive on the road. So, Boone competed as The Firecat in the UWF and AJPW. He would team with different partners like Jim Cooper, Robert Gibson, Johnny Ace and even Dory Funk Jr.

World Championship Wrestling would call in 1993. Brady Boone was quick to answer. In WCW he could have more matches that played to his strengths, much like his late eighties WWF run. He was right. He could focus on more impressive moves and matches.

His first matchup was against WCW International World Heavyweight Champion Rick Rude. From there Boone would continue on as enhancement talent. He would put some of the bigger guys over and work in tag team matches. He even worked a match against Terra Ryzing known better now as Triple H.

Again Brady Boone would bring back a gimmick that called back to Battle Kat. In march of 1994, Fire Cat would challenge Steve Austin to a match for the WCW United States Title. This was a high point in Boone's career.


Dean Peters would perish in an automobile accident in 1998. His character of Battle Kat may be weird. But that man made wrestling exciting. He is the wrestler that a company like the WWE is lacking today. He was also a good person. Dean would mentor and inspire fellow high-flier Rob Van Dam. Van Dam had written a eulogy for Peters. That can be read on Tom Zenk's website

Battle Kat was fun. While Bob Bradley didn't do the neon spandex any favors. He at least continued in the vein of having a good time. People liked tuning in to look this crazy dude, dressing like a cat and running around doing flippy shit. Even if it was slow flippy shit.