The death of WWE legend Dusty Rhodes hit the wrestling community pretty hard when it was announced last week.
Numerous members of the current roster as well as those who fought alongside 'The American Dream' have led emotional tributes since.
And, motivated by his loyalty to Rhodes (real name Virgil Riley Runnels Jr.), one former Superstar has today taken aim at TMZ over their handling of the tragedy - focussing in on a decision he describes as "shameful" and "sickening."
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Sean "X-Pac" Waltman's was the man leaping to the defense of Dusty Rhodes and his family after TMZ had yesterday published the audio recording of the 911 call made by the late wrestler's wife.
"Dear @TMZ & @HarveyLevinTMZ, I have defended you to critics & Twitter followers when they say you're not a legit news source," began the former WWF/WWE star in a message that can be read in full on Twitlonger.
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"Myself & I dare say countless others are completely disgusted with your policy of releasing 911 calls from families desperately pleading for someone to save their loved one.
"The recent release of the 911 Call from the family of Dusty Rhodes & the release of Ric Flair's 911 call when his son Reid died is shameful & sickening. You can defend it as being newsworthy, but in reality you're just feeding the sickening thirst for this kind of voyeurism in today's society."
TMZ did indeed publish an article on Tuesday evening which included the raw audio of what was a raw emotional moment. They entitled the article; 'Dusty Rhodes 911 -- Panicked Wife Begs for Help ... Operator Sounds Annoyed.'
And with Rhodes having been recognized as one of the good guys in WWE by virtually everyone connected with the business, Waltman felt he had to stand up for the exploitation of the family Rhodes leaves behin.
"The late, great Randy Savage's father(also deceased) Angelo Poffo, who wrestled as The Mi$er had a saying that went "Where money lies, Honor dies." Is there really that much money made by airing these calls, so your followers can hear these people at arguably the worst moments of their lives?"
"Maybe there is enough money in it for you to trade in your honor. I'm usually a fan, but completely disgusted by your lack of discretion. Truly, Sean Waltman"
Rhodes passed away at the age of 69 last Thursday but, at the time of writing, the cause of death remains unknown.
He had been working with the WWE right up until his death and, in his role as part of the creative team, had been instrumental in the rise of new Superstars such as Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.
Many wrestling fans, though, remember him from his days in the ring and will find it disturbing to hear his family's desperate call to emergency services has been made available for public consumption.
WWE fans: What are your best memories of Dusty Rhodes? Let us know in the comments below...
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