During a recent interview with Bleacher Report, Dustin Rhodes said his father (Dusty Rhodes) didn’t want him to get into wrestling, and more. You can check out some highlights from the interview below:
On Getting Into Wrestling: “For the first time I was let in on all the secret stuff, the kayfabe stuff, I’d been longing for so, so long. He gave me a crash course…He didn’t want me to get into the wrestling industry. But that’s all I wanted. I grew up desiring nothing but the wrestling business. I loved everything about it: the showmanship, the sport, the athleticism. What dad did, he was my hero. Growing up, he was the greatest to me. Above anybody. I wanted to be just like Dusty Rhodes the American Dream.
On Being A Ref: “There was a show the next day in Amarillo, Texas, about a six-hour drive from Dallas. He said, ‘Go buy yourself a referee shirt, some pants and get yourself there.’ I drove there while he flew on a private jet with all his people. I get there and I’m reffing two tag matches. Reffing tag team wrestling is complicated. There is a lot going on, especially today if you look at The Young Bucks and the Lucha Brothers. Man, just how fast they are. It’s all a referee can do to stay out of the freaking way. The Midnight Express and Rock and Roll Express were like that, the two greatest teams I’d ever seen growing up watching wrestling. Now I’m reffing them. What an honor that is. Tommy Young, the lead official, is sitting on the front row, and we’ve got a curtain sellout in the back and everyone is out there watching. Ricky (Morton) and Robert (Gibson) are in there laughing with me and telling jokes. Giving me hell. But I do the match and do everything I’m supposed to. I go down for the one, two, three and I stand up and I’m raising Ricky and Robert’s hand. At first the whole building is cheering, but then they start laughing. I’m worrying that I’ve screwed something up, so I look down at Tommy Young and he’s laughing his ass off too. He’s pointing at my crotch. So, I look down, and from the top of the pants down, everything is split. From the top down, basically the waistband is the only thing that didn’t tear. And I had nothing on underneath. My junk was hanging out there for the world to see. I look back at the curtain and they are all on the ground laughing. It was the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me. I ran to the back. But nobody told me not to buy cotton pants. I needed some stretchable pants. So, that was me breaking into the industry.”
On Being An Agent In AEW: “They’ve got the moves. I want to help them put those moves together so they mean something. It’s not like the old days. These kids are exciting. But without the old school, there is no new school. There are things you can learn from the old ways, and I can teach them some things that do work. Then they can add their own spice to it. I want them to do their thing. They’re free, they’re young and it’s exciting. I want them to be excited to be doing their own thing. The best way I can help these kids is with storytelling and placement and a few little ways to do things differently than they are doing them. We will have time to tell stories and not be stuck trying to do a four-minute television match. That’s exciting to me, and I think I can help them learn how to be a babyface, how to be a heel, how to sell, how to tell a story. Put a big move over here instead of where they want to put it—and trust me on these things and trust that it will work.”
On Being A Promo Coach: “I’ve been hired as a promo coach, and I want to help teach them how to talk. You don’t have to take this gigantic paragraph of text and memorize that s–t word for word, because it’s going to come off bland and not true to your character. We’ll work out who the character is and figure out which way they think they should go, which way the company wants them to go, and find a happy medium. I can teach them to cut promos where they don’t need to be on a script constantly. We can hit some bullet points and make it their own. The key is stepping out of your comfort zone and taking a chance. Take a chance on making something cool. Some of these wrestlers have never really done promos, and a lot of them have never done TV. They are nervous about it, and those are the ones I’m going to push the most. Let’s see it. Let’s hear it. With some oomph and conviction. Give me what my dad used to give us: charisma. I want to see your character. That’s what I’ll do my best to teach.”
On AEW vs. NXT: “This is the first time wrestling has been on Turner since 2001. Wrestling is back on TNT, man, and we’re hell-bent to succeed. I know there is NXT on Wednesdays, but I don’t look at this as competition. We’ve got to focus on us and putting on the best product we can for the fans. The fanbase is there and will continue to grow as long as we work as a team. But we need to focus on AEW being a success and not worry about what everybody else is doing.”