I spoke with Dustin "Goldust" Runnels for an interview last week. In the second part of the interview below, Runnels discussed TNA, a potential match with brother Cody, his surprise appearance at The Royal Rumble last January, Cody's match getting bumped at WrestleMania, his upcoming projects and much more.
Click here for the first part of the interview, where Runnels discussed his first run with the WWF, leaving WWF shortly after debuting, being given the Goldust gimmick, if GTV was meant for him, being in WCW when it folded, overcoming his addictions and much more. You can follow Runnels on Twitter @DUSTIN_RHODES1, and you can purchase his book Cross Rhodes: Goldust, Out of the Darkness at this link.
WrestlingINC: You and Cody [Rhodes] have both been talking about wanting to do a match. It's obviously something you both would really want. Was that something talked about backstage with the writers or anything like that?
Dustin Runnels: Yeah. WrestleMania 28, I was really pushing it for it that whole year. My shoulder was ready but the writers were like, 'Ahh, his shoulder's not ready.' So, I think they convinced Vince. But, it was actually brought to the table in the meeting because Cody didn't have an opponent about a month and a half out of WrestleMania 28.
It was brought to the table and Vince just said no. What can you do? You can argue it or whatever, but that wasn't the direction they were going with Cody and I understood that. I tried it again this year via Twitter, but I got let go and stuff like that. Can't really do anything when you're not an employee of the company or under contract.
Goldust has a great name and I think we built some interest up especially after the Rumble and the reaction I got at the Rumble. People just ate that s--t up. I thought that might lead to a WrestleMania 29 match. But, it didn't.
WrestlingINC: Did they ever say anything to you after the Rumble? You did get that huge ovation and you and Cody -- the fans were genuinely interested when you two went at it.
Runnels: You know, I just ran into Roddy Piper this weekend and we did a Piper's Pit at an independent show that we did. This was the first time I had been in the ring with Roddy since WrestleMania 12. I still marked out like crazy, like, 'Holy s--t. I'm in here with Hot Rod again.'
The Royal Rumble this year topped WrestleMania 12 for me as a moment. The Royal Rumble was not WrestleMania, but it was a WrestleMania moment for me. Like WrestleMania 12 with Roddy Piper was probably my greatest accomplishment in the business. I hadn't been wrestling there for a couple years in WWE. I didn't know what kind of reaction -- because you get new fans every single day, new kids, and they don't know Goldust unless their parents tell them. What kind of reaction are you going to get, Dustin? You're a surprise.
I was very nervous, I'm always nervous before I go out of that curtain. Then, as soon as that music hits and I walk through that curtain, it goes away. And it has ever since I've been in the business. It's gone. But, it's backstage, I mean, I probably was the most nervous I've ever been in the business.
For some reason, I have no idea why. Not knowing what kind of crowd reaction I was going to get. Or finally getting to do something with Cody, a little one-on-one time here with Cody in the Rumble. Man, I was breathing hard. Then, the music hit and the crowd popped and it was unbelievable. It was the loudest crowd pop I've ever received.
s--t, I just went, 'Holy hell,' and I walked through and I made sure to tell the camera guys that we gotta get these facial shots with Cody and myself. They did and we went at it and it was an awesome, awesome night. It was so cool. I just thought from that that maybe...you can't deny the pop. I know everybody heard it. So, it's like, OK, this is cool. It's a big plus and a feather in my cap -- and Cody's. Hey, maybe Vince giving us a little time, maybe Vince will see that and say, 'Hey, let's book this.'
Maybe he's not ready yet, I don't know. That's where the patience game comes in, man. You've got to find the right situation and the right time and present stuff.
WrestlingINC: Did you hear anything after the Rumble?
Runnels: No, just 'awesome job,' stuff like that. You know what I'm saying? Just the typical good job.
WrestlingINC: What do you think would be the ideal situation for a match with you and Cody?
Runnels: Right now, I've always wanted to do WrestleMania, but I'm considering SummerSlam. Since, SummerSlam is in L.A. every year just about. I came up with the idea and actually presented it to Cody about the Backlot Brawl II. I haven't really pushed it as much, I just mentioned one little thing on Twitter. I'm fixing to bring that to the table and see if Vince would be interested in accepting Backlot Brawl.
We've only done the one and that would be a good sign-off moment if Vince would accept it. It would be awesome. But, if not, it's only WrestleMania that I'd want to face my brother. I don't want to do it anywhere else, I don't need to do it anywhere else.
And I hear all this stuff about young talent getting mad because veterans are coming in and stuff like that. Whatever, man. Get over yourself. Push yourself to the limits and you'll be John Cena, you'll be C.M. Punk. Instead of complaining about other people that have done so, so much in the business.
Whatever's going to draw money, Vince is going to put in there. He's a genius, he knows what he's doing. He's kept this business -- look at it now. It's a global, huge, gigantic multi-billion dollar company that has been made, kept strong and is only growing.
WrestlingINC: What were your thoughts on this year's WrestleMania and Cody's match getting scrapped at the last minute?
Runnels: Well, stuff happens. I know a lot of people were probably upset because they weren't on 'Mania. I know Cody was upset and he has every right to be upset. But, for me, being in the business and looking at it and understanding stuff happens.
It was an entertainment segment and it's good spot to be in on the card, to be on WrestleMania is awesome. Cody has been doing so well with the last few WrestleManias and he wanted to keep this momentum going. Cody now wants to be world champion. Not every young athlete that gets into the business wants to be world champion but it's in his blood. Sometimes, that might work against him because he wants it so much. But, he loves and cares about the business. Sometimes, that gets over-looked and he gets a little impatient.
He didn't do anything wrong they just pulled it. I've had stuff pulled for me on big shows and stuff like that. You can get frustrated all you want but the show must go on and there are reasons for it. I wasn't there so I don't know what the reasons were exactly.
WrestlingINC: Yeah. It seemed like they cut a bunch of stuff. It seemed like the show was very over-booked. It's definitely unfortunate for all of those involved.
Runnels: Yeah. I enjoyed 'Mania. I thought WrestleMania 28 was more entertaining for me as a fan but it was good. But, it was a good, well-rounded show. It did a lot of business, a lot of money and that's what it's about.
WrestlingINC: You mentioned that not many veterans are around anymore. Back in the '70s and 80s, guys would stick around for a long time. Now, it seems like guys are voluntarily leaving WWE even when they've still got a lot of mileage left in their tank. Guys like Rob Van Dam, Batista, Jeff Hardy -- all these guys that definitely could have lasted several more years that leave. Why do you think that is nowadays?
Runnels: That's a good question, man. I cannot answer that, I just know that Vince might be on a youth movement. He wants to change the color, change the faces. That happens and it happens in cycles like that. I mean, the business will get to where it is and then it starts growing again.
I think Hunter and Vince, they're on the same page. But Hunter, he likes the old school stuff and brings in some of the guys and things like that. But, I can see it's starting to get a little better instead of everybody is green on the card. It's starting because the guys are learning and that's important. And they're doing a great job.
I mean, you learn what you can at NXT or you're at Rikishi's school -- which I think are the two greatest schools in America: Knox Pro and NXT. With those schools right there, you learn your trade and you come up when you get that call. You might be sitting at NXT for six years. But, if you're sitting there at NXT for six years and they haven't called you to the main roster, then you're not doing something right. That's just my opinion.
Now, you can be impatient after a couple of years or whatever and that's fine. But, you've got to be not doing something right if you're down there for six years. Then you get up there and you're working your ass off -- and they're all working their butts off. They really are. They're doing a great job carrying this company.
WrestlingINC: In your time, you've seen some ridiculous highs and some crazy lows in the business. What are your thoughts on it today?
Runnels: Well, I love the wrestling business, the wrestling business will never die. It will be around forever.
My thoughts on it today? It's changed so much, it is completely different than the Attitude Era, completely different than the time before that. Completely different than the Ruthless Aggression Era. I've think it's gone to another era after that and it's kind of getting back to a little bit of the Ruthless Aggression.
They're getting a little more edgy with stuff and I think that's important. But, there's still a lot of children out there that and it's so much bigger than the fans wanting blood and guts and Attitude stuff. A lot of people don't understand that.
The business is huge and you've got to grow with it. You've got to go the direction it's going. And it's changed dramatically, it's completely different than it used to be. But, a guy like me can just step right in and do it. I can do old school and new school. A lot of guys can't.
A lot of guys will say, 'Well, why isn't this working? Why ain't that working?' It's like... without the old school, there is no new school. So, you learn your basics and you take that and you add your new school/old school mix. I promise you it'll work. The business right now is good, very good. And it's going to get better.
WrestlingINC: What are your thoughts on TNA? You've been there a couple of times. Do you think they have what it takes to be a major player?
Runnels: I'm very glad that they got out of the Impact Zone. Being a part of the amusement park at Universal Studios, in my opinion, was just not the way to go. It's not my money that's on the line, but I think them venturing out into different cities with different crowd reactions and different looks is only going to help them.
I mean, TNA has got some of the best talent in the business. Hands down, they've got some great talent. I wish them nothing but the best but WWE is home for me.
WrestlingINC: It definitely does seem like a much better product now that they've gotten out of the Impact Zone. Again, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Where can fans see you next?
Runnels: I'm fixing to go to Wales Comic Con at the end of this month. I've shot my first movie and I'm shooting my next movie in May. So, I'm trying to transition into the acting world and give that a full foot forward and attention.
WrestlingINC: That was the Fire Witch, right?
Runnels: No, the Fire Witch never took off. I don't know, I'm very new to film work. So, you have people wanting to help and it's about who do you trust. You've been back-stabbed a lot in your career. So, you're very protective of your script and your ideas and things like that.
That's still in the works as far as in my head and I will do that one day. But, this was a Mark Ordeski film that I just shot with Diamond Dallas Page and Larry Longstreth. We just did The Murders of Brandywine Theater, which should be coming out in theaters in 2014.
This next one I'm doing is called Meet Me There. It's an independent film and it's another for my cap. You know what I mean. I'm fixing to go to L.A. and look at some stuff and try to get going.
WrestlingINC: Do you have any final words for the readers of our site or anything you'd like to plug?
Runnels: Yeah, get my book Cross Rhodes, it's a good book. It's inspirational and it's helped a lot of people. I wish WWE would have pushed it on their website or whatever. But, go to DustinRhodes.lockerdome.com and you can pick up my book and I'll sign it for you.
Click here for the first part of the interview, where Runnels discussed his first run with the WWF, leaving WWF shortly after debuting, being given the Goldust gimmick, if GTV was meant for him, being in WCW when it folded, overcoming his addictions and much more. You can follow Runnels on Twitter at @DUSTIN_RHODES1, and you can purchase his book Cross Rhodes: Goldust, Out of the Darkness at this link.