Goldust's Turn Is The Last Gasp Of The Attitude Era

Have you ever watched WWE with someone who used to love it? They'll reminisce about their old heroes and then come to the same disenchanted conclusion: “Wrestlers aren’t as entertaining as they used to be.” They’ll tuck their chin and have an inner monologue about how it is they themselves, not wrestling, that has become boring.

Right about that time, Goldust makes an on-screen appearance and the sullen, former lover of wrestling immediately perks. With a gleam in their eye, they’ll shout:

“He’s still around!?”

Indeed he is.

I was an impressionable 12-years-old in the peak of WWE’s Attitude Era. There’s no doubt it affected me subliminally and likely had an impact on my current psyche. As a product of the Attitude Era I find myself yearning for just a taste of the good ol’ days. I crave chair-shots crashing down upon skulls and wrestlers jamming gigs into their foreheads. I sorely miss 60-year-old men taking huge bumps. What happened to the profanity? The shameless and perpetual sexual innuendo? Hell, what happened to story lines?

Undoubtedly, there were fans in 1998 who’s passion was anchored to the 1980’s. They probably hated the Attitude Era, muttering to themselves about the lack of pageantry or how jaded everyone was for actually rooting for bad guys.

Each era in has their identifiable, if not stereotypical calling cards. The 80’s protected Kayfabe with steroid-charged demigods whose only form of communication was screaming. The Attitude Era, though, was fueled by the fear of being put out of business by WCW. This fiery sense of urgency called for WWE and its wrestlers to skip the family values the sport was founded upon and do whatever if took to capture America’s attention.

This guttural, competitive vacuum, for my money, produced the best wrestling the world will ever see. I'm proudly prejudiced against today’s product. This rigid outlook can make current WWE a challenging watch. If I believe that there will never be another Era like the one of Attitude, then I’m actually cutting off from my own experience. By comparing everything new to everything old, I end up cheapening the whole lot. 

Perhaps WWE has evolved more than I have.

Goldust Marlena
(Photo: wwe)

However, there’s good news. In all of their graciousness, WWE has a story just for me. There is one remaining ghost of the Attitude Era. One figure who has outlasted them all. One performer who will soon make his final departure, shutting the Attitude Era gates behind him. Forever.

(off-putting, sensual inhale)

Goldust.

Who knew that the Bizarre One would outlast his timeless peers like The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, and Stone Cold Steve Austin? He even perpetuated himself past the next generation of stars: Edge, Angle, and Bautista. Goldust is a study in originality as much as endurance, and after tying that into his lineage it isn’t so surprising that he has transcended time. For his persistence and loyalty, it looks like WWE is going to give one, final run. And it’s gonna be good.

This past RAW, Goldust returned to himself, only missing his platinum blonde whig and Marlena. But the rest was there, the chimes, the bells, the oboe (?), incantations about movies and precious metals. For now, it looks like Goldust’s swan song begins with an R-Truth feud. However, there's more to be had, here. And with the absence of Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar coupled with slumping ratings, WWE is going to need a compelling B story.

We’ll get a month’s worth of Goldust and R-Truth. Being the cult classic that he is, Goldust will be an overwhelming crowd favorite. They may not know it now, but WWE is going to come to the conclusion that Goldust’s final chapter has some juice. And it’s going to be worth squeezing until SummerSlam.

Fantasy booking should be done with chaperones, and seeing that I have none, I’ll spare the bloated play-by-play. But who’s to say Goldust entering the Intercontinental Title picture would be a bad thing? Babyface Goldust vs. The Miz? Man, just saying that feels like the moment when you put on brand new socks. Book it!

Regardless of how he’s booked, vintage Goldust will be beloved. For fans such as myself, its will be our last opportunity to see a living fossil from the Attitude Era. I say that in the highest reverence, too.  Fossils come from titanic lizards that ran the world. To get rid of them, the Earth needed an Ice Age and a couple big-ass meteors. Dinosaurs are cool, this is undebatable. But so is this: it’s probably best they aren’t here anymore.

As much as wish Val Venus or Sable would show up next Monday, it just wouldn’t fit. Can you imagine Stone Cold in the PG Era? They wouldn’t be the same characters. So, as much as it hurts to say, it’s good that they too have passed. Yet, Goldust remains; carrying the final torch of a bygone time. A true revival and elevation of the Bizarre One is by no means necessary for WWE’s success, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be fun. So let’s start this Goldust movement. If WWE is willing to make Jinder Mahal champion in 2017, then surely they could entertain the idea of an impactful Goldust storyline. Let’s give Goldust and the Attitude Era the curtain call they deserve.