Tears for the Broken 'Dream'

Tears for the Broken 'Dream'

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- For years, our longtime fans -- and WWE Superstars who grew up watching Dusty Rhodes -- had watched the "American Dream" wear the proverbial "crimson mask" in wars with fellow legends such as Tully Blanchard, Ric Flair and Terry Funk. They watched him bleed buckets in thousands of Cage Matches, Bull Rope Matches, and other brutal encounters.

But nothing prepared our fans and the Raw locker room for what they saw Monday night. The Dream lay motionless, with his son Cody cradling his head and waiting anxiously for attendants to come to the ring and help his father. Randy Orton had kicked Dusty Rhodes in the side of the head, apparently adding his name to a list of legends he has hospitalized.

Cody Rhodes had tried to get revenge on Orton for trying to end his career last week on Raw and trying to decimate his father at the end of their Texas Bull Rope Match at The Great American Bash on Sunday. Cody fought bravely, but the third-generation Superstar's experience proved to be too much. As Dusty tended to his son, Orton -- with an almost possessed look in his eyes -- charged and struck the WWE Hall of Famer right in front of Cody.

The thud silenced our fans. Some held their hands to their faces while others clasped their hands in prayer. Attendants fixed a neckbrace around Rhodes' neck and carried him out of the arena.

Cody stayed close by, whispering in his father's ear as he was wheeled away. Hacksaw Jim Duggan, a longtime friend of Dusty, urged attendants to hurry and shouted, "We're with you, Dream!" Some WWE Superstars fought back tears as they watched officials load the Dream in the ambulance. This was the mighty Dusty Rhodes -- the son of a plumber, the man of the hour, the man with the power. Some of our fans and Superstars could not imagine sports-entertainment without the "American Dream." How could this happen?

Cody Rhodes would have suffered the same fate last week on Raw, but his father was able to intervene. Dusty -- who suffered a brutal blow to his head from a cowbell during The Bash -- was not so lucky. Some observers believe Dusty Rhodes should not have climbed into the ring against the younger, blood-thirsty Orton. What must Cody be thinking now? One must wonder whether he blames himself at all for what happened to his father Monday night.

For now, Orton has added another legend to his hit list and is more confident and brutal than ever. Dusty Rhodes has been taken to a local medical facility to undergo a CAT scan for permanent brain damage. Has the legend of the "American Dream" been destroyed?

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