Pro Wrestling

Best Wrestlers of 2013: Goldust

goldust43

It is often said that anything can happen in the world of professional wrestling. The last few years alone have proved this theory. We have seen Brock Lesnar return to WWE, the retirement of Edge and the reconciliation of Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. While not as monumental, the 2013 renaissance of Goldust can also be added to the list of unexpected occurrences.

While Goldust has been a name star and a solid performer for the last two decades, his current run in WWE has established him as one of the best in the business today/very best the business has to offer.

Although he was a participant in this year’s Royal Rumble match, his true return to form came in a tremendous battle with Randy Orton on the 9/9 edition of Monday Night Raw. The previous week’s show saw Triple H fire his brother Cody Rhodes. Goldust had to win in order to get Cody’s job back.

While no one expected Goldust to beat the WWE Champion, everyone was stunned with his performance. He proved beyond the shadow of a doubt he still had “it.”

Similar to his sporadic appearances over the years, I thought Goldust would quietly ride off into the sunset. Thankfully there were bigger plans in store.

The  Orton match officially kicked off the Rhodes Brothers vs. Authority feud. In the ensuing weeks, Goldust, Cody and father Dusty became the frequent targets of Triple H and his cronies. This led to Goldust and Cody battling Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns at the 10/6 Battleground PPV. If the Rhodes Brothers won then they would both have their jobs back and Dusty would be able to keep his coaching position in WWE’s developmental territory.

Goldust and Cody emerged triumphant in what was easily the best match of the abysmal show. The post-match celebration was the ultimate feel-good moment of the year as several members of the roster came to offer their congratulations.

Despite the greatness of that moment, it would be eclipsed the following night on Raw when they beat Rollins and Reigns to win the tag team titles in a spectacular match.

They have successfully defended their titles since against all comers and are usually involved in the best match every week on Raw and Smackdown. More important, their partnership has breathed new life into the long dormant tag team division. Because of their successful run, the company is now placing a greater emphasis on tag team wrestling than at any point in the last several years.

On a personal level, I can only imagine the extreme sense of gratification both are feeling. I am sure they never thought in a million years that they would be tag team champions.

While Cody is a good performer, there is no mistaking that Goldust is the star of the team. While the entire Rhodes Brothers vs. Authority storyline and their subsequent title reign was designed to elevate Cody, Goldust has benefitted most from their partnership.

Brothers and champions
Brothers and champions

Goldust has done a remarkable job of making himself relevant to the current era of WWE. The quality of his work is outstanding and rivals the very best the company has to offer. It’s even more impressive when you consider the fact he is 44.

Goldust’s biggest value to the product is his consistency and reliability. He can always be counted on to have a good match against anyone on the roster.  He is also one of the best tag team wrestlers working today. The psychology of his   selling and comebacks should be studies by every tag team. What he possesses is something that can’t be taught in wrestling school. It comes from years of wrestling a wide variety of opponents from around the globe.

Even though he’s been involved in numerous good to great matches, my personal favorite performance of his was in a six-man tag match where he teamed with Cody and Big Show to take on the Shield. The highlight was Goldust delivering a top rope huracanrana onto Rollins before a great finishing sequence of him superplexing Ambrose onto a prone Rollins, only to have Rollins escape at the last second and roll him up for the win. That was the moment where I knew Goldust was something special.

Eventually he and Cody will lose the belts and possibly begin feuding with one another. I’m sure Goldust would do everything in his power to put Cody over as strong as possible. After all, Cody will be around for years to come and is someone WWE should invest its future in. Heck, Goldust may not even be around this time next year.

Regardless of what the future holds, Goldust has left an indelible mark on professional wrestling this year and for that I thank him.

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