Book Review: Cross Rhodes: Goldust out of the Darkness

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As soon as I heard about Dustin “Goldust” Rhodes writing an autobiography (I posted about it in August here: Goldust and Mick Foley write biographies) I knew that it would be a good read. Goldust being one of the only veterans still in the WWE, the mainstream of wrestling today, I figured he would have to have a lot to say. Cross Rhodes: Goldust, Out of the Darkness was written by Dustin Rhodes, which I will 100% give him credit for doing. There have been very few wrestlers who have written there own biographies and I think that alone helps to make this a very special memoir, in more ways then one.

I have always been a fan of Goldust and while I wasn’t around for his early years in the WWE (then WWF) I did see him for the first time when he was with The Blue Meanie around late 98 into 99.  At this point Goldust was still very flamboyant, but I got his gimmick, I understood what he was doing and enjoyed what he did in the ring.  I’ve always marked for the times that Goldust has returned to WWE television, from the Royal Rumbles to the odd pairing of Goldust, Vader and Coach, to the most recent run with him in ECW and stalking the Million Dollar Belt; he has always been someone to watch.

I really liked his insight into the business, but this autobiography really wasn’t solely on wrestling, in fact this book was mostly about one man’s life long journey to not only seek the approval and love of his legendary father, Dusty Rhodes, but also get out of his shadow and as a result fell into the dark and seedy side of the industry with alcohol and drugs. As much as I felt a slight bit of disappointment that the autobiography wasn’t more about Goldust’s crazy antics but about Dustin Rhodes battles with addiction throughout the years, at the end of the book I highly appreciated and understood what Rhodes accomplished in writing this book. Quite honestly it is very rare for us now to have someone live long enough to be able to tell their experiences in the ring, and about their battles with addictions and how they were able to get themselves out of it. History shows that in the wrestling business, most of  them die, usually well before their 40’s, and I for one am happy that Dustin Rhodes was NOT one of those casualties.

I have to say, going into this book I had no idea that Dustin Rhodes had any real addiction problems, but thinking back to those times where I did see him that corresponded with specific points in his life, you can almost see a sad soul behind all of that make-up (which by the way he shares with us Vince McMahon’s original vision for the character was for the gold paint to make him like a giant living Oscar statue; when I read that I immediately had an “aha!” moment). I feel, that we can clearly see a happier, healthier person in Dustin Rhodes now on television; from his time in ECW to most recently stalking the Million Dollar Belt; I truly think he looks as if he is having a lot of fun out there.

This autobiography is filled with pictures and it reads relatively fast with sprinkles wrestling around a narrative that is really thought provoking about the life outside of the ring for Rhodes that we can only assume is what can happen to some other wrestlers. When we have  a sea of biographies and autobiographies that talk nothing but of the match and the feuds that the wrestler was involved in, it is refreshing to see that this one was about a real life battle; one that allows Dustin Rhodes the right to raise his hands in victory and continue to live his dream in the ring. And I for one recommend this autobiography to any fan of Goldust or wrestling. It is worth the read.

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