Legendary wrestler Virgil Runnels, known by his ring name of “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, has passed away at the age of 69. Mr. Runnels was born on October 12th, 1945 in Austin, Texas.
Mr. Runnels broke into the wrestling in 1968 in the American Wrestling Association (AWA). While there he teamed with Dick Murdoch.
He would move to Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP) in the late 1970s and into the 1980s. From 1989 to 1991, he wrestled for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), which is now World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). He would later move to World Championship Wrestling (WCW).
Mr. Runnels won several titles during his career. Titles won by Mr. Runnels include:
10 time NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship
4 time NWA Florida Tag Team Championship
2 time NWA Florida Television Championship
1 time NWA Georgia Heavyweight Championship
1 time NWA National Heavyweight Championship
1 time NWA United States Heayvweight Championship
2 time NWA World Six-Man Tag Team Championship
3 time NWA World Television Championship
Most importantly, Mr. Runnels won one of the most celebrated titles in wrestling, the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, a total of three times beating legends Harley Race (twice), and Ric Flair (once.)
Mr. Runnels was inducted into the WCW Hall of Fame in 1995, the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007, and the NWA Hall of Fame in 2011.
Mr. Runnels had four children, two of whom are in wrestling – sons Dustin (currently wrestling as Goldust), and Cody (currently wrestling as Stardust.)
Mr. Runnles was living in Orlando, Florida at the time of his death. According to news reports, he suffered a fall on June 10th, 2015 and was taken to hospital where he passed away. The exact cause of death was not released at the time of writing.