As the WWE Universe sat on the edge of their collective seats as the Royal Rumble progressed, they anxiously anticipated each and every entrant into the heralded 30-man contest.
As the clock ticked down to finally reveal the eighth entrant, fans heard the strains of a familiar theme song as well as a very familiar individual making his entrance.
After months away from the spotlight, Goldust had finally come home.
After doing battle with several superstars, he was eventually eliminated by Cody Rhodes. Adding fuel to the fire, though, is what most already know.
Goldust, or more specifically the man that portrays Goldust, Dustin Rhodes, is Cody’s half-brother.
And that fact alone may have set the stage for big things to come in the future.
But the question that crossed many peoples minds was where was Goldust in the first place?
His reaction from the crowd was rivaled only by the true fan favorites like Zack Ryder and a returning Chris Jericho. In fact, his reaction was head and shoulders better than the one for Ryback who is viewed by many as one of, if not the top face in the company right now.
That reaction alone should serve as notice to the company that the fans will always be behind him, no matter what incarnation he may take.
But wrestling fans have a short memory when it comes to their favorite competitors. They forget them easily when they’re gone, mainly since the company always seems to have such a logjam of talent, especially in recent times.
The business is a “what have you done lately” type of environment, and even a few short months away from the television audience can mean a very slow return to prominence for even the most seasoned of performers.
And unfortunately for some, they automatically associate the Goldust character as being somewhat of a joke. They hearken back to the stuttering gimmick that the character had or his comedic team that he formed with now Smackdown General Manager Booker T. The team did however hold the World Tag Team titles in late 2002.
But there has always and will always be more to the man behind the makeup, Rhodes.
During his time in WCW, he held multiple titles including the NWA World Tag Team Championship one one occasion with Barry Windham).
In addition, he had reigns as United States Championship (twice), WCW World Tag Team Champion (on two occasions, one with Ricky Steamboat and one with Windham), as well as being one third of the WCW World Six-Man Tag Team titleholders with Matt “Big Josh” Borne and “the Z-Man” Tom Zenk.
His time with the WWF/WWE has led to the aforementioned tag team title reign with Booker T, as well as three reigns as Intercontinental champion, and nine as WWF Hardcore Champion.
Many forget that when the character debuted in 1995, it was cutting edge and very important indeed. Few even realized initially that they had actually seen Goldust before, as Rhodes had a run with the WWF in 1991 and went on to find success in WCW from 1991 to 1995.
His feud with Razor Ramon, in which he seemed to actually have a crush on his foe, was something never seen before by a wrestling audience. The androgyny of the character during vignettes and his ring entrance was belied by the incredibly vicious streak that the he displayed while competing.
After years of being a legitimate threat to both heels and faces alike, Rhodes left the company in 1999 and has been with them intermittently ever since, culminating with his appearance at the Royal Rumble.
Now there seems to be much speculation as to whether or not Cody eliminating him from the match will lead to a possible showdown in the future.
Well, it just so happens that Wrestlemania is right around the corner. The brother vs. brother match is always a must see affair.
Matches between the Undertaker and Kane (storyline brothers), Bret and Owen Hart (actual brothers) and even the Dudley Boyz with their convoluted backgrounds are always exciting to watch, as it seems that more than pride is on the line.
And though Cody is younger and a possible future World Champion, don’t count out the wily veteran. As many have proved in the past, intangibles are what end up counting in the end.
When a wild card is always in play, anything can happen.
And as the past has shown, Dustin Rhodes always has something up those gold sleeves.