ArviotKirjat

Risteyksestä toiseen – Dustin Rhodesin omaelämäkerta

Dustin Rhodes: Cross Rhodes – Goldust, Out of the Darkness. Gallery Books, 2010. 225 s.


Särkylääkkeitä, unilääkkeitä, kaljaa, viinaa, vodkaa, sekavuutta, unettomuutta, painajaisia ja huoltajuuskiista.

Sellaista oli noin 30-vuotiaan Dustin Rhodesin elämä vuosituhannen taitteessa.  Niin, eikä hän ollut puhunut isälleen Dusty Rhodesille yli viiteen vuoteen sanaakaan.

Tyttärensä Dakotan hän näki vain silloin, kun oli ex-vaimo Terri Runnelsin kanssa sovittu – kunnes törttöili niin, ettei voinut lopulta viettää Dakotan kanssa aikaa muutoin kuin julkisissa tiloissa.

Eikä ihme.

Here’s a story that still scares me. I ran out of Xanax one night. I knew I couldn’t get any more for three days. On the third night without the pills, I started experiencing horrific withdrawals. I was lying in bed, completely beat up and exhausted, but I couldn’t get to sleep. I didn’t know what time of the day it was, whether the sun was coming up or just about to go down. There were times during the day when I tried to sleep because I thought it was nighttime.

The next morning at around six o’clock, I called Terri to wish Dakota ”Sweet dreams” before she went to bed. She had just gotten up and was ready for school and I didn’t have a clue. Thank God it wasn’t my week with Dakota. After I hung up, I somehow realized how messed up I was. I called Terri and came up with this story about how I had been on the road and I was just real tired.

Pahin tapahtui kuitenkin hotellihuoneessa, erään maksulähetyksen jälkeen.

The next bottom was right around the corner. We did a Pay-Per-View event, and I had a really good match that night. My girlfriend was in our suite with my daughter at the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando. I went back to the room feeling really good about my performance. I had a couple drinks to kind of settle down. Meanwhile, I realized she had been drinking all day long. She drank a giant bottle of Jack Daniel’s, all of it. She was a mess, starting to get loud and crazy. I was in the other room trying to get Dakota to sleep. I kept telling this woman to keep it down. I should have known what was coming next.

She lost it. She started screaming and telling me that she was going to sleep with Dakota. By then I had had more than enough. I said, ”I can’t do this anymore. Get out right now.” As I was getting her things together and stuffing them into a bag, she continued screaming. I dragged her out of the bedroom where I had been trying to get Dakota to sleep and put her bags outside the door. She was fighting to prevent me from throwing her out. As soon as I got the door open, I eased her out and that was it. Or at least that was it until the police arrived. My daughter was in the other room as I was trying to explain what happened. I never hit the woman or did anything at all violent. All I did was ease her out of the room. They didn’t want to hear a word I had to say. It turned out that she had multiple drugs and alcohol in her body, things I didn’t even know about. She was completely out of control.

Terri’s response was reasonable, and horrible. She wouldn’t let me see Dakota alone. I attended anger management classes. I spent three days in jail. It was awful, but I went through all of it. When I got out of jail, my dad was there. He gave me a hug and told me to get my life straight.

Kuulostaa synkältä, ja sitä se myös oli. Ei tule yllätyksenä, että Rhodes onkin valinnut kirjansa nimeen sanan darkness (suom. pimeys). Pimeään mies toden totta ajautui, mutta pimeästä hän myös nousi takaisin valoon. Miten? Kai sitä voisi kutsua juopon tuuriksi – tai itserakkaaksi hirviöksi leimatun Vince McMahonin hyvyydeksi. Vince kun soi Rhodesille uuden tilaisuuden silloin, kun mies sitä kaikkein eniten tarvitsi – kun Rhodes oli niin sekaisin, ettei omien sanojensa mukaan edes muista, miten pääsi takaisin WWE:n palkkalistoille vuonna 2002.

 

Kuva: Eetu Lehtinen.

 

Dustin Rhodesin tarina on oiva muistutus siitä, että jokaisessa ihmisessä piilee enemmän kuin ensi näkemältä vaikuttaa – ja että showpainijat ovat ihmisiä siinä missä muutkin. Kehässä Goldust saattoi irstailla ja pitää suukapula suussaan hauskaa tuhansien fanien silmien alla, mutta takahuoneisiin käveli erilainen, surullinen klovni.

Klovni, joka joi ja joi.

Samalla Dustin Rhodesin tarina on mielenkiintoinen katsaus siihen, miltä tuntuu olla ”The American Dream” Dusty Rhodesin kaltaisen supertähden poika. Nepotismi kun on kaksiteräinen miekka, joka tarjoaa ainutlaatuisen mahdollisuuden mutta samalla asettaa osalliset suurennuslasin alle. Kuinka joku voisi mahdollisesti löytää tiensä valokeilaan siitä valtavasta varjosta, joka Dusty Rhodesin kuvasta syntyy?

Eipä se helppoa ollutkaan, ja läpimurtoon tarvittiin yksi erittäin onnekas puhelinsoitto – ja Vince McMahonin aivot.

I had been out of work for about eight months when Vince McMahon called me.

”Dustin, are you sitting down?”
”Yes, sir.”

I was excited and nervous at the same time because Vince is very intimidating. Vince and Bruce Prichard were both on the line. – – Vince said, ”I’ve got this character I want to run by you. His name is Goldust.” Bruce kind of filled in the blanks. They said Goldust was an androgynous character. I knew what that meant, even though they never said, or even implied, that Goldust was gay. To this day, they have never used that word in reference to Goldust. They just called him a bizarre, androgynous character.

When they finished I thought, ”Oh my God, what is this?”

Pian puhelun jälkeen Dustin kuitenkin oivalsi, että juuri Goldust voisi olla keino erottautua siitä leimasta, josta hän oli Dusty Rhodesin poikana joutunut kärsimään. Loppu onkin historiaa, joka jatkuu vielä tämänkin kirjoituksen aikana.

Cross Rhodes – Goldust, Out of the Darkness on helppolukuinen ja suoraviivainen kirja, jossa kuuluu Dustin Rhodesin sympaattinen ääni. Kirjan aihepiiri on synkkä, mutta tunnelin päässä on valo, johon lukijatkin lopulta pääsevät. Teoksen mielenkiintoisimmat osuudet ovat nuoren Dustin Runnelsin hieman tragikoomisetkin ensi askeleet showpainijana sekä sukellus alkoholisoituneen, lääkeriippuvaisen, masentuneen ja kerta kaikkiaan lohduttoman olennon mieleen – tajuntaan, jossa asuu iso liuta uhkaavia demoneja.

Kirjassa on myös paljon mielenkiintoista nippelitietoa, mistä esimerkkinä se, että Goldust on aina maalannut kasvonsa itse ja että siihen kuluu noin 15–20 minuuttia. Saamme myös tietää, että Rhodesin TNA-aikaisen Black Reign -hahmon lemmikki, rotta nimeltä Misty, oli pahamaineisen painikäsikirjoittaja Vince Russon päähänpisto – ja että rottia oli itse asiassa kolme, joista keskimmäinen läkähtyi kuoliaaksi Rhodesin henkilöautoon eräänä epäonnisena päivänä. Lisäksi kirjassa puhutaan paljon Dusty ja Cody Rhodesista, jolle Dustin povaa erittäin kirkasta tulevaisuutta. Kirja on julkaistu vuonna 2010 ja Cody juuri nyt WWE:n ulkopuolisen painimaailman huipulla, joten ei ollenkaan hullumpi profetia isoveljeltä, oli se sitten hieman puolueellinen sellainen tai ei.

Kokonaisuudessaan kyseessä on kaikesta huolimatta kaunis ja koskettava hyvän mielen kirja. Olen kuitenkin pettynyt siitä, ettei teoksessa puida Goldustin TNA-aikoja erityisen tarkasti. Siihen voi vaikuttaa se, että kirja on WWE:n nimissä. Sääli, sillä juuri Black Reign -hahmo on WCW:stä tutun Seven-hahmon ohella jännittävä pala Dustin Rhodesin historiaa.

Niin, Seven. Se onkin taas sellainen tarina, joka vetää mieleni matalaksi.

The character Seven was a result of [me and my dad] getting back in touch. One day we were at my dad’s place in Atlanta. My brother, Cody, was there. I wanted to discuss with them a new character I had been thinking about. I mentioned the name Seven, then described how he looked, how he acted, the way he talked, just everything about him. We came up with the actual vignettes right there at my dad’s place. Cody and I even shot a little scene that turned into the character. Really, I looked like Uncle Fester with red eyes, white face paint, and a shaved head. I thought it was really cool when Seven would come up to the window of his house as this scary, dark guy talking in a real low voice with a kind of demonic element to him.

In the scene we shot at dad’s house, I came up out of the bushes to the window. It was creepy but cool. I showed it to Eric [Bischoff] back at the office and he got us a budget. We had enough money for a couple extras to shoot some really freaky vignettes.

I was wearing a very thick, long leather coat that I had designed. It probably weighed fifty pounds. The coat was very elaborate – it looked like Pinhead’s coat in the Hellraiser movies. We spent $20,000 setting all this up and everything appeared to be fine and ready to go when Vince Russo showed up. He had other ideas.

”What do you think about going out there and just cutting a promo as Dustin, not this Seven character?”

Russo left it up to me, but he made a persuasive argument and I just went with it. Seven – one night only! I don’t know, I think it would have been pretty good. Russo mentioned something about the character being too dark, too creepy for kids. We did one vignette with a small kid. The character was wearing the long dark coat and looking into the child’s bedroom. You heard Seven say, ”Now close your eyes and go to sleep, my child.” When the kid opened his eyes, they were black. Apparently, they thought that was a bit too much. At least that was one of the excuses for killing off the character, which was ridiculous and stupid. Think of some of the other things you’ve seen on television. I know it was kind of creepy, but the vignettes were cool.

I designed pretty much every aspect of the character, the vignettes, everything. But Russo was the boss, the head dude. He gave me creative freedom to an extent. I’m sure that if I had told him I wanted to keep doing Seven, Russo would have put an X on the whole thing. In a lot of ways I was still blind to the gritty part of my job.

Russo wanted me to out there as Dustin and cut a promo about how my dad was unfairly fired by WCW. Russo wanted me to go off on him, too, for dressing me up and making me do all these gimmicks. The idea was that I was tired of all the interference, and that I was Dustin Rhodes, dammit, and I was going back to my roots.

When I landed in the ring I took the microphone and I went off. I went off on Vince Russo, Vince McMahon, and everybody, including the WCW for kicking my dad to the curb. We were in Atlanta and the fans went nuts.

It was a good promo, but I think Russo was just trying to get some heat for himself. Nothing really happened after that. I wore the coat into the ring, but the paint was gone and I was Dustin, the American Nightmare. Eventually, I was just put on the shelf. I was making good money, but I wasn’t getting any kind of push. They weren’t doing anything with me. I don’t know if Russo was the one behind it all. I wrestled occasionally, then headed home and collected paychecks. But that’s the story of Seven – created and killed off in one night.


Cross Rhodes – Goldust, Out of the Darkness löytyy Smarksiden kirjastosta. Lainattavissa sopimuksen mukaan. Lisätietoa: info@smarkside.com.

Kirjan voi myös ostaa Amazonista. Lisätietoa kirjasta Goodreads-sivustolta.

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Eetu Lehtinen

Eetu Lehtinen

Toimittaja, filosofian maisteri sekä harjoitteleva äidinkielen ja kirjallisuuden opettaja, joka rakastaa showpainia. Woooooo!

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