My eulogy from today's service for "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes 1945-2015 pic.twitter.com/0osNPtq0cs
— Stardust (@StardustWWE) June 18, 2015
Last week on June 11th, wrestling legend Dusty Rhodes passed away at the age of 69. Since then, the WWE has been quick to honor his legacy, while wrestlers from around the world have been discussing what he meant to them and their wrestling career. While we've heard from a variety of people close to the wrestling great, we've now heard from one of his kids, Cody Rhodes, who posted the eulogy he wrote for his father on Twitter. It's eloquently written and many thanks to Cody Rhodes for sharing this beautiful piece on his father with the wrestling world.
Here's a transcript of his eulogy, taken from Cody's Twitter page:
I am honored and I am privileged to tell this gathering today who Dusty he was in
Although his profession claimed so much of his identity. it was such a minuscule portion of
His first priority IN LIFE. was to be the Husband of Michelle Runnels. He was a man with a
moral code from a bygone era ‘golden age‘. and he RESPECTED my Mother so very much.
it almost bordered on fear. A quirky-reciprocated love. I recall one time her being asked ‘why don't you have any pictures oi you with the other wrestlers Michelle?‘
My nonnally reserved Mother grinned and declared ‘when you're married to Elvis. you don‘t
take pictures with the band?"
Not in a disparaging sense to the others. just for her...it was only him. The love of her life.
That love can be witnessed all throughout their bungalow-home, where an endless amount
of love notes scribbled from Dusty sit On the counters, in the pages of her books.
And it you look at those notes and ya‘ see Dusty's handwriting. this cursive-hybrid...you
unearth a large secret about Dusty. he was college educated, he was an intellectual. As a
teacher...if you walked into his office at Crockett Promotions. at the CNN Center, at TCW or
at the Performance Center and you were the total package. he didn‘t connect with you.
He may have hired you or saw your value. but he liked to fix things...a propensity for misfit
toys...broken people. If you were overweight. or covered in tattoos. or having just been
through a divorce...he wanted to take your pain and make it your power. To arm you with
weapons for your profession.
A lot of his students from the performance center are in attendance, and I want you to know...he CHERISHED you. And how I know, is because he never talked to ME about
you...because he knew I'd be jealous.
Because myself and my siblings were his priority. He made it his job to PROVIDE. In all
senses of that word. For a few year period starting when I was in my mid-teens. we lost our
fortune...we went broke...but we ate like kings. we danced like stars. and we lived like the
monarchy we pretend to be...because he REFUTED the idea his children would go without.
“You only had one more silver-dollar. but you didn't let them catch you no.’
My beautiful Sister Teil will tell you all about ‘angel money’. And that beautiful gold
Rolex...he told me if I ever won the World Title. that I could have it. Just the other night I
inquired about that watch, come to find out he had sold it so that I could drive to Los
Angeles to chase a dream.
Last Wednesday night was a dreadful night. I didn‘t leave, I sat by his bedside throughout
the night. I rallied behind the vital numbers displayed. because as his heart-rate would calm
down a few beats my heart would ﬂutter...l thought he was getting better. Around 330am the nurse Mena had stepped-out for a few moments and it was just me, the cold air, the white floors, the industrial noise of the machines, and my hero laying before me
‘I'll sit here until you wake-up...‘
So I hope Dad. that you're not upset with me when you awake...and you don't see my face,
but you see Dick Murdoch. you see Eddie Graham, and when little Virgil gets to see big
You were a figure of FAITH. You did not preach your religion, you lived your religion. And to describe my feelings not just about being your son, or your friend, or your partner. Hell if I'd only met you for five minutes...l'lI amend the Legendary New York Yankee Lou Gehrig and say; “today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth...for having stood in the company of you Dusty Rhodes’
You were a cowboy of the old-republic, the last bastion of Southern wrestling, A master
orator who spit fire. but if the question was ever posed to you...what would you rather have.
fame or family??
Family. Always family. Getting over with your family and extended family trumped all. You
were a world-class family man.
I encourage those here today to go and watch the 2008 movie ‘Big Fish‘. The story of a
Father's tall-tales and his Son. It's a nearly autobiographical account of Dusty Rhodes. Not
to ruin it, but the tales are either fully true or half-truths...from the amount of teeth the giant had or the derailing of a local train or wrestling a bear. The message is to live life on the edge of a lightning-bolt and to ﬁght for your family.
Friends, family, coleagues. passer-bys; tonight...when you lay your head against the pillow,
don't just have a dream.
Have an American Dream.
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