Sad news Thursday, June 11 with the death of Virgil Runnels, aka The American Dream Dusty Rhodes.
He is a pro wrestling icon and Florida treasure, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing a few times via phone and in person.
The last time I interviewed him occurred March 14, 2014 before an XSE Superstars of Wrestling show at the Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition. Dusty drew a large crowd, fans of all ages, for the pre-show, meet-n-greet. Young fans happy, posing for a photo with him, and older fans in awe, transformed to their youth, meeting their idol and thanking him for all he did in the business.
Two of the main goals of pro wrestling/sports entertainment is “to put butts in seats” and “smiles on faces,” and Dusty Rhodes became one of the best at doing both. Eddie Graham, Gordon Solie and Dusty Rhodes built Championship Wrestling from Florida into a major, successful territory.
In this two-part interview at the Fair, Dusty shared some memorable moments -- and there were many -- in his illustrious pro wrestling career.
RIP Dusty and thanks.