Cody Rhodes’ wife on his return as Stardust

Not sure if you saw this one..Cody’s wife responding to people criticizing him returning as Stardust, as well as relating a story about the worst kind of fan approaching them after RAW last week. Bravo to her for speaking out on this on both fronts.

" Last night my husband returned to RAW to finish what he started and some “fans” we’re peeved with him ANGRY because they wanted something else. They wanted him to use what happened to his father as a “stepping stone”. Not for Cody, but for themselves. Maybe that’s to feel better about everything or maybe they are just that selfish. But to publicly crap on the most courageous thing someone in this position could do which was pick up and carry on and do it brilliantly, shame on you. "

"Sometimes you have to take a stand and say something, like last night when my husband after being away grieving for a month was yelled to as we are loading our car “come take a picture with us, we pay your bills”. It didn’t get her a picture. It got her choice words from me because no one owns us. I like Garth Brooks, I’ve paid money to see him live, hear his music. But I would never dare say to Mr. Brooks “take a picture with me because I pay your bills”

Full blog link:

Geez, we’re internet wrestling fans, I THINK we know better than Cody how he should deal with grief and his gimmick.

J.J. Remembers Dusty Rhodes

Hey Scott,

Thought your readers would enjoy my interview with J.J. Dillon on his memories of Dusty, working with Eric Bischoff, his only match in the Garden, and plenty more.

I'd tell you to enjoy the 4th of July, but Canada.

​Wait, so does that mean I'm not specifically allowed to enjoy the day just because I'm Canadian?  That's pretty cold.  Although I will have the Japan show to watch on Saturday, so that may also affect my enjoyment of the day.  We'll see how it goes.
Enjoy the gay marriage and Obamacare!​

Dusty Rhodes WWF departure in 91

When exactly in 1990, did Dusty give Vince his official notice he was leaving the WWF to return to WCW as booker?
Dusty's WWF character really changed right after Summerslam 90 when he began his feud with Ted Dibiase. He dropped the polka dots and went back to the more traditional "American Dream" that was in Crockett. It seemed the feud went from Dusty looking like he would beat Dibiase in the blowoff after a lengthy feud to the entire angle switching to Dibiase/Virgil issues by the time Survivor Series 90 came along, and by the Rumble tag match Dusty and Dustin were just the backdrop to Virgil turning face.
​I don't have the exact date handy but it was known well in advance, and given that the political tide had shifted 6 million times in WCW since his departure, it's no surprise that he'd be able to come back with open arms again.  Specifically, Ole Anderson was such a colossal disaster as booker that Dusty was pretty much able to walk right into the top job again.  Although this does lead to a funny Ole story, where later on he blamed Dusty Rhodes for booking the Black Scorpion blowoff with Flair, even though Dusty was still with the WWF for another two months at that point!​

RoH Secrets of the Ring with Dusty Rhodes

This was filmed in 2004

The interview was conducted by Gabe Sapolsky

It runs at one hour and fifty minutes long

The interview starts with Dusty holding a book that he used as a diary while the booker of the NWA in 1987. Dusty also said he kept everything he did and joked that one day people will buy this like people bought Samuel Clements (Mark Twain).

Gabe starts this off by asking Dusty to start with January 1st of 1987. Dusty holds up his book of the people he booked that month and said they grossed $54,000 for that show with a main event of Ric Flair & Tully Blanchard vs. Nikita Koloff and himself. He runs down the show and Dusty jokes with Gabe and displays the charisma that made him famous. He said they started the year well and that the New Years Day show at the Omni were always big. The referee’s were Earl Hebner and Tommy Young.

Gabe now asks Dusty how he decides the order of the matches. Dusty said he wanted to build a “crescendo,” using an example of how if he wanted to see Elvis, he would not want to in the opening match. Dusty also said you have to keep in mind with everyone on the card that they mean something and that someone paid to see them. He talks about some of the feuds that were going on for a bit then said that he went with the $100,000 Bunkhouse Stampede math because he thought it was unique to see guys who were partners or allies possibly fight at the end. After that, Dusty jokes about he always won those matches. They toured with the Bunkhouse Stampede matches for a month.

Dusty talks about how the feud in which Koloff took Magnum’s place as Dusty’s partner was easy money as the story itself mirrored real-life and how it was so easy to write their feud against the Four Horsemen.

He then talks about how one or two matches draw the house while the rest of the card is “garnish” and led up to drawing the house, something that Eddie Graham taught him in Florida.

When asked if it was tougher to book two shows in one night, Dusty said it wasn’t with the talent they had at the time.

Dusty then said how they had two planes, with the private jet named “Stardust” after himself, something Dusty jokes that Flair was upset about and probably written about it in his book, which he will not read.

He talks about booking everything to lead into the Summer for the “Great American Bash” tour and how he kept the same core of guys (Horsemen, himself, Nikita) but also had other things going like Jimmy Garvin and Precious and the tag teams like the Rock & Roll Express and the Midnight Express. Even still, the core would always be at the top in different stages.

Dusty now talks about how their TV was very strong and they did good business during the week so as a result, they drew huge at weekend house shows. He talks about the War Games and how they drew a $180,000 advance for the show.

He then talks about “garnishing” again and goes back to the WWWF when they decided to make Bob Backlund the champion, regardless whether people liked it or not, but also decided to have a lot of big matches on the card, like the first bullrope match in the WWWF so people would still buy tickets to the show.

Gabe asks Dusty about the UWF guys and the criticism he received as booker for not pushing them more, Dusty laughs and says he is asked that all of the time. He said that the Crockett guys were his “posse” and describes the wrestling business like the mafia as he said while getting talent from the UWF, they did not want to replace their own talent with these guys and let them come into their area, noting how they were underneath when going to their territory. Dusty also adds that if guys cannot understand this then they should not be in the business to begin with. He also said he was selling out with what he had. He did say that Steve Williams fit right in then notes that selling out a “phone booth” in Oklahoma is different that filling the Charlotte Coliseum.

Dusty now talks about his favorite match from this era were the Ronnie Garvin vs. Ric Flair matches as you believed every chop they did. He also loved Fritz Von Erich coming out of retirement after his son David passed away and how when he tagged in, there was a roar that you have never heard and how the wrestling business captures that like no other can as moments like that is why he is a wrestler.

On to the Crockett Cup as Dusty lists off the Top 10 seeds after asking the guys to guess. Gabe said Nikita and Dusty, who laughs and said he wouldnt even to that. He said Rude & Fernandez were #1 because they were the champs. The 5th seed were the Japanese guys (because they were their top team) and the 9th guys were the Mod Squad (Mac & Jim Jeffers) who Dusty said if anyone watching knows the names of the guys they can write into Ring of Honor and he will give them an autographed photo. He said that he wanted every fan in attendance to like someone in the match so they built them all up.

Dusty said Crockett told him when he came in that he wanted four events that he could build to yearly. Dusty said he came up with Starrcade first then the Jim Crockett Memorial Cup Second. The Great American Bash was 3rd and Halloween Havoc was the fourth.

He talks about the War Games match drawing $150,000 Sunday afternoon in August of 1987 in Chicago as he had to do something big because UWF TV was really over in that market.

Dusty goes over how they’d have four shows in one night and how many people he had to use to make sure they sold out.

On Ronnie Garvin as the champion, Dusty said no matter what people say, Garvin deserved to be the champ. He said that house shows were down but everything was after the “Great American Bash” tour and that compared to that time of year, the shows were up as he made sure to “garnish” the shows in which Garvin vs. Flair was the main event.

He talks briefly about being fired by Jim Herd in 1988, calling him the most “unintelligent and uncreative” person he has met besides Gary Jester.

Dusty talks about companies today that are running (Ring of Honor, TNA, NWA Wildside) and how they need to take 5 companies and have them put their resources together and get TV because that is where we will find our next big star. He also tells Gabe that they have a great product in RoH but without TV you cant push anyone then hypes TNA on Fox Sports Net is helping them out.

He jokes about Dave Meltzer, who he congratulates for working hard on being the best booker today and making millions of dollars (Dave was critical of Dusty’s booking in the Observer at the end of 1987). He does say that he likes him today and talks to him once in a while.

On Crockett selling, Dusty said they were losing money and their business was in disarray to corporate came in and took over.

He talks about wanting Sting and Lex Luger to be involved at the top by the end of 1988 and how he booked them to get to that point.

Dusty talks about how devastating Magnum TA’s career-ending injuries were as Dusty saw him as the future world champion with “movie-star” charisma who was the guy. He said he loudest he heard the crowd in TV was when he walked into the Charlotte Coliseum with Nikita Koloff to face Flair & Ole in a cage as Koloff was Magnum’s replacement. Dusty said he was in mourning when Crockett asked him what to do. Dusty also said Koloff always wanted to be a babyface but the fans bought him as the baddest man on the planet. Dusty then asked Koloff to not think or anything when he walked out to the ring as his parnter as Dusty said that today he still gets chills when he thinks about the crowd that night.

He talks about loving interviews like this and just having a passion about the industry before closing by thanking the fans.

Final Thoughts: I thought this was a solid interview. It wasnt all that structured and came across as a less organized version of a “Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline” shoot but Dusty’s charisma and intelligence were on full display here. There were no crazy stories here but his shared some of his booking insights and you could tell just how much he loved wrestling. He loved talking about wrestling as well.

Gabe only asked several questions throughout the interview so Dusty kept talking and sometimes when he got off track it was tough to decipher what he was referring to when it came to they year at hand. Regardless, its an easy listen and Dusty can draw you in when he speaks. Easy to see how he drew a lot of money during his career.

Overall, I recommend this shoot but its tough to find. RoH had a sale on these a few years ago and you’re best bet is eBay or Amazon at this point because I do not see them anymore on the RoH website.

RIP Dusty.

Repost: RF Shoot Interview with Dusty Rhodes

The SmarK Rant for the RF Video Shoot Interview with Dusty Rhodes This was taped late in 1999, from what I can tell. As a reminder, this and all other shoot interviews I talk about are available at Footage from ECW opens things up. We start in West Texas State, pre-wrestling era for Dusty, as he went there with the likes of the Funks and Tully Blanchard. He got a football scholarship under dubious circumstances, but wrestling was his true calling. Dusty remembers himself booking shows as early as childhood in the backyard. I’m not sure about the rumors that he invited a young Ric Flair over to his house and then put himself over. He was trained in wrestling by a local named Bill Graham (no relation to anyone else with that name) and got started from there. Graham’s only question: “Can you do a dropkick?” At that point, he COULD, of course. Joe Blanchard (Tully’s dad and AWA President in that promotion’s dying days) taught him the essentials. Early on he went to Australia with Dick Murdoch and met Jim Barnett. Barnett switched things up a bit, making Dusty the talker on the team and paying him more money. Back to the states, as Dusty tells the story about his dad dying on the same day as Dustin being born. Fritz Von Erich paid for the funeral. Talks a bit about the importance of Living the Gimmick. Over to the AWA, and a feud with Crusher & Bruiser. Dusty was still a heel at this point, keep in mind. Went to Florida and did tons of hour-long draws with Jack Brisco, until the fans had apparently turned him babyface by default, which led to the angle with Pak Song where he turned for real. Talks about Kevin Sullivan’s devil-worship stuff in the 70s and how much the crowds were into it, to the point where there would be organized devil-worshipping groupie sessions, who were opposed by redneck bikers. And you thought Vince Russo’s fans were weird. Eddie Graham started grooming Dusty to book in 1974. Dusty then stops to reflect on how much power he really did have over the years and how some MIGHT see that as a knock on him. He then takes credit for a shitload of stuff, including training Paul Heyman to book and making just about major star in the 80s. He then trashes Meltzer and thinks that if he started his own promotion, he’d just put himself on top. Hello, Kettle? This is the Pot. I just called to say that you’re black. Onto Dory Funk, who was a great wrestler, but wasn’t so great as a booker. Dusty notes he always seemed to get the booking jobs to clean up Dory’s mess. Apparently everything Dory said or did was a work. Starrcade ’83 came about because Jim Crockett came to Dusty one day looking for a “special” aura to his big show. Dusty rejected early name suggestions from Barry Windham like “Autumn Bomb” and settled for a play-on-words for “Decade” instead – Starrcade. Eddie Graham let him go from his Florida obligations so he could book the NWA. Jim Crockett offered Dusty crazy money to name his big shows and book. No word on whether Dusty actually set up the rings and sold all the tickets door-to-door by himself, too, but it wouldn’t shock me to hear about that from him one day. His first experiment in sportz entertainment was the Boogie Woogie Man video that led to the Valiant-Jones haircut angle. He regrets not copyrighting his event names, because when Eric Bischoff came along he took all of Dusty’s and added some lame ones of his own. Dusty named all of WCW’s PPVs from 1983 until 1993. That actually makes sense, since Bischoff’s contributions were “Uncensored” and “World War III”. Wargames was thought up on a car trip to a house show, and is his favorite gimmick match. He describes the party atmosphere of the 80s. He continues to make friends, talking about what a shitty booker George Scott is. Dusty actually hates “the b word” and prefers “executive producer”. The buck always stopped with Dusty. Piper & Steamboat apparently couldn’t deal with that and left for the WWF in 1984. That’s a unique interpretation of their reasons for leaving. He was ready to pass the torch to Magnum before he accident killed his career. Dusty claims Magnum had more charisma than Hogan, and that he got way more chicks. Magnum got 40,000 letters a day from fans after the car accident. Talks about the Andersons cage match that turned Nikita babyface and we get a clip of that. Barry Windham, who once had tons of potential as a wrestler and booker, just prefers to stay home these days. Barry was Dusty’s #1 guy backstage and a protégé. Onto the Midnights/RnR stuff and how Dusty came up with videos to get them over. Says the RnR were like the Beatles in terms of crowds and money. Says they could go 30-60 with ease, but it wasn’t believable for Ricky Morton to get beat up that long, so he didn’t book them longer than 20. A bit on managers, with Paul E & Jim Cornette being his favorites. Thinks Cornette had the edge in talent. Knew Steve Austin would be a superstar right from the start. Yeah, that’s why he booked him to bump like a pinball for Dustin, because he knew he’d be a superstar. Talks about warring with Vince in the 80s. Takes credit for selling out the building in a match against Bubba Rogers and thinks they’d still be around (presumably on the strength of those Bubba-Dusty matches) had Crockett not gotten greedy. Yeah, THAT’S why the NWA died, because Crockett got greedy. Dusty’s booking had NOTHING to do with it. Thinks Hogan beat him because he had Hollywood Connections and Dusty didn’t. Tully: Good worker, bit of a crybaby. Thinks he was a spinoff of Flair. Onto Flair, who’s the “ultimate flim-flam man” and doesn’t give a shit about anyone but himself. Dusty takes credit for creating the Ric Flair character, and naming him as such. See, Flair wanted to called “Ricky Rhodes”, and Dusty told him “Ricky, you gotta find your own way, if you will” and Flair was so inspired by these words from the Dream that he went on to draw millions of fans around the world, all for Dusty. Dusty doesn’t think Flair is God, but then he’s kinda biased. Clip of Dusty calling out Flair on an episode of Worldwide, as David Crockett has heart failure. Dusty Rhodes v. Ric Flair. Stalling to start. Hiptoss & elbow and Flair begs off. Rhodes wins a slugfest and Flair bails. Back in, Flair pounds him in the corner and drops the knee for two. Dusty comes back with a press slam and a lariat for two. Flair goes up and gets slammed off, cue the Horsemen run-in. 4-on-1 beatdown follows, and the usual suspects save. *1/2 On another episode, Dusty calls out Tully, resulting in another beatdown. Back to the interview… Talks about the early days of Ric Flair. Doesn’t think Ric’s a good booker, but notes he has a rabid following of people who don’t know anything about the business. Onto the UWF and the wasted interpromotional war. Dusty actually ADMITS A MISTAKE, as he notes he was too focused on Vince and didn’t see the potential in the UWF guys. The Bunkhouse Stampede: Well, he took a lot of heat from the boys on this one. It was a basically a throwaway PPV. When the boys questioned him going over in his own match, his response involved a naughty word. Ah, Dusty, truly a wrestler’s booker. Onto Sting and his trials and tribulations, and Luger’s. Funny story about a Luger-Wahoo match in Florida gets thrown in, but he admits to not knowing the details on the Bruiser Brody incident. The Turner buyout and Dusty’s departure come next, as Jim Herd fired him as booker and wanted to turn him heel. So he told Herd where to stick it and went back to Florida to book until Vince called him. Funny how he skipped over the whole Road Warrior incident there, where Herd specifically told him not to blade on TV anymore and he did a five-alarm bladejob on TBS shortly after and got fired. Dusty wanted Pat Patterson’s job in the WWF and made no secret about it. The polka dots were NOT to humilate him, apparently, but rather a test to see if he could it over, which he did. His original choice for Sapphire was not Juanita, but rather a black hooker off the street. Vince wanted a family image, and by gum he was right in this case. This interview is becoming more surreal by the moment. Went back to WCW in 1991 to finish unfinished business and try to forge the new WCW out of the dogshit given to him. He did his best for two years and fought kicking and screaming when Bischoff came in 1993, but finally gave way for Hulkamania. Talks about Dustin and missing his childhood. He knows a bad father for not being there. Loved the Goldust gimmick and thinks they didn’t even scrape the surface of it. On the WWF War: Thinks they could have won if three things happened. 1) They needed a PR company to promote the shit out of Magnum & Flair and get them on talk shows. They needed to make “NWA” the same kind of brand name that the WWF had. 2) Contracts suck, period, and guys needed to work for their money. 3) TBS had to change their image as a hick station. That’s actually the most astute thing Dusty’s said in this entire interview. History pieces piss him off because they leave out the 70s and act like wrestling died in 1964 and reawakened in 1984 when the WWF went national. The Dusty Finish? He liked it. Veers off onto the Shockmaster and how funny it was, and Jeff Jarrett’s guitarshot on Moolah in 1999. He’s proud to be associated with a finish forever, when most bookers aren’t even remembered. On today’s product: Times dicate T&A and storylines, so Vince delivers. Thinks three hours of Nitro is way too much, and thinks that ECW kids should slow down all the highspots. Most astuteness from Dusty. Talks about the origins of his name. Thinks Jerry Lawler is a flim-flam man in the Flair mold. Big fan of JR, but knew from Day One that Ross wanted his job. Talks about WCW’s big run. Doesn’t think it’ll happen again because Vince adapts so fast and wouldn’t let Turner beat him again. Talks about his TCW and aspirations to write & direct a movie. Plus the Dusty Rhodes Fantasy Camp, where you get to book yourself to the World title whether or not you deserve it. Okay, just kidding. He wants a piece of the ECW action with Paul Heyman. Dusty Rhodes & Tommy Dreamer v. Steve Corino & Jack Victory. Dreamer & Corino brawl into the crowd, and Tommy garbage cans Corino and tosses him into a ticket window. Back to ringside, Dusty beats on poor Steve. Dusty & Tommy double-team Victory, but Corino superkicks Dreamer. He refuses to use a ladder, and Tommy plays face-in-peril. Victory stomps away and Corino makes lewd gestures at Dusty. Corino goes up, but gets planted into a ladder facefirst. Hot tag Dusty, usual follows. Stereo DDTs on the heels and double bionic elbows finish at 8:40. Rhyno attacks, Sandman saves. *1/4 He talks a bit about Japan and how he wasn’t a big fan of Giant Baba (now there’s an understatement), and so he got caught up in the NJ-AJ wars when he worked a New Japan show and defended the NWA title there. Backstory: All Japan was an NWA member at the time, but Baba HATED Dusty, and in fact his booking of himself to the World title in 1986 caused a major PR problem between Crockett and Baba. We wrap things up. Classic footage time: From 86, the Horsemen trail Dusty’s car with a video camera in an angle stolen nearly shot-for-shot in 1997 for an Outsiders/Steiners angle. They follow him to Jim Crockett’s office, then jump out of the car and tie Dusty to a glass repair truck and break his arm with a baseball bat. Oh yeah, that’s the good stuff. From NWA TV: The James Boys, a pair of masked outlaws who just didn’t care about nothin’, attack the Midnight Express and kidnap Jim Cornette, then drag him outside and try to hang him from the back of a moving truck. The James Boys then cut a promo, sounding suspiciously like Magnum TA & Dusty Rhodes. From 88, Magnum & Tully mouth off at each other about the “I Quit” match from 85, as Tully gripes that no matter where he goes all he hears from the fans is “I Quit”. Tully cuts an awesome heel promo running down Magnum, then when Magnum won’t back down Tully attacks the crippled TA. Dusty saves with a baseball bat and just brutalizes Tully, nailing Jim Crockett on the backswing. This leads to Dusty getting suspended for 120 days, and we see the “board meeting” where this occurs, where of course Dusty cuts a tough-guy promo to declare his forthcoming vengeance on JJ Dillon for orchestrating the whole thing. The next week, the mysterious Midnight Rider comes into town and demolishes a jobber with a DDT and bionic elbow. The angle never ended up drawing a dime and was dropped very soon after. Barry Windham explains his heel turn, but gets confronted by the Dream. The new Horsemen beat Dusty down until Luger saves him and takes his own licks. Back in the dressing room, Dusty and pals head out to the ring and Dusty calls out Windham. Dusty kicks his ass as wrestlers surround the ring. Barry keeps running and the boys keeps throwing him in. Dusty DDTs him twice as the clip ends. Dusty Rhodes & The Rock N Roll Express v. The Midnight Express & Bubba Rogers. Same match that I covered on the Cornette shoot tape. From NWA TV: Ivan Koloff kills Dusty and goes after Nikita, but gets nailed. Vladimir Petrov gets Nikita, but Dusty comes back to clean house…and then gets killed again. Petrov & Nikita have a Bald Russian Staredown. The Four Horsemen v. The Road Warriors & The Superpowers. This is from Worldwide in 1987, just prior to Ole’s forced departure from the group. Mega-brawl to start, faces clean house. The Horsemen sacrifice Ole and let him take the initial beating, until he bails. Flair tries with Hawk, who totally no-sells the chops. Flair regroups and tries again as we go to commercial and return with a bunch of Horsemen down from the Sickle. Nikita chokes Tully down, same for Ole. Flair wants a piece of Animal, so they go. Flair chops the shit out of him, no effect. Press slam for Flair and he bails. Back in, Animal gets caught in the Horsemen corner, but he shoulderblocks out and Hawk comes in. He slams everyone as TV time runs out at 6:26. No finish shown, so no point rating it. The Bottom Line: Another interesting shoot interview from RF Video, as Dusty interprets history in his own unique manner. I was a little disappointed that stuff like the Midnight Rider flop and his later booking days for WCW weren’t addressed, and the Dusty Finish question was TOTALLY dodged, but the footage of Dusty getting his ass kicked is classic and Dusty certainly has the charisma to make for an interesting interview no matter what the subject. Recommended, but with reservations. Check it out at

Dusty Rhodes Hard Times and American politics

Hey Scott, first time, long time (like 15 years) I’m a freelance political writer and wrestling mark for like 25 years. Not sure if your blog would be interested, but I just wrote a piece that talks about Dusty Rhodes’ Hard Times promo explaining the current state of American politics. If you would share it on your blog that would be awesome, if not, it’s no biggie. Keep up the great work and hope all is well! -Robert Sobel

October Classics: Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes vs. Steve Williams & Steve Austin – Halloween Havoc ’92

Windham and Rhodes were the unified WCW/NWA World Tag Team Champions here. Dr. Death’s original partner was supposed to be the late Terry Gordy, but Gordy left WCW just before this show, as a sign of loyalty to All-Japan found Giant Baba; WCW had begun striking up a working relationship with All-Japan’s rival New Japan. Gordy’s replacement was Stunning Steve Austin, who would leave WCW a few years after this show, and would appear sporadically on the indepedent circuit before retiring. If I remember that correctly.

Rhodes Bros

Seriously, how do you explain what's happened to the Rhodes bros? Goldie came back and was looking better than ever, both bros were over, the tag division was picking up… and then all of a sudden they've got nothing going on and are a non-factor in the Mania battle royale. Is there some kind of explanation for this? I'd understand if it was some young buck that they thought maybe they were pushing too hard too soon and wanted to pull back the reins a bit but this is Goldust ffs. And Cody. So what gives? 

​I think it's basically just Vince had the idea to team them up and then do the split for Wrestlemania, but they got over too strong as a team and never set up the split and thus Vince lost interest in them like anything else that happens lower than the main event.  So really, you could make a case that Goldust fucked over his brother's career by getting over.  ​It's kind of a ridiculous situation because god knows they never should have dropped those belts in the first place, or at least should have been the ones to drop it to the Usos in something more meaningful than the bullshit match at the Rumble.  

RF Video Shoot Interview with Dustin Rhodes, Volume 2

This was filmed in 2005. I runs just under two hours long.

Rob Feinstein is not the interviewer for this and I have no idea as to who the replacement was either. Dustin is wearing a hoodie and has is actually wearing the hood throughout the interview.

This starts with Dustin being asked about Vince buying WCW. Dustin said that he was under contract for WCW at that time and thought he would get paid but was called the day before the deadline by the WWE and told that they were cancelling it and he ended up only getting paid for the rest of the year.

When asked, Dustin didn’t think that WCW failed but rather it was Vince’s ego wanting complete control that lead to the buyout.

He is then asked if his father gave him any advice about the business and Dustin snapped at the interviewer before saying he told him to stay away from drugs and politics. He said that Dusty was anti-drug and once kicked his ass as a kid when he got caught smoking a joint.

They talk about Dusty’s promotion, Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling, as Dustin talks about how a majority of the independent promotions fail due to no financial backers, saying you need money to make money. Their goal was to get the company to be as big as possible.

After that, he got hired back by the WWE when Jim Ross contacted him before the Royal Rumble and asked him if he was in shape. After the show, Dustin went to TV the following day and worked out a contract with Ross.

He was asked how the locker room changed since his first run and Dustin’s response was that it is happy when business is good but when it is down, Vince is pissed off and everyone else is frustrated. Dustin then said that he always tried to keep morale up by being funny.

Dustin said that he got in shape for this WWE run by running on the treadmill daily and eating a no carb diet a month and a half before his return, resulting in a 30lbs weight loss.

He is now asked about his team with Booker T. Dustin said there was an instant connection between the two and that it was originally supposed to be a one-shot deal but the company saw the chemistry and decided to go with it as a team. He also brings up that the quarter ratings would go up during their segments.

Dustin said that he always got along with Johnny Ace but that he and Jim Ross never saw eye-to-eye. They had some “personal issues” but Dustin does not want to say anything bad about him.

Dustin puts over Brian Gewirtz as a writer and said that he and Booker worked with him on their skits.

When asked about HHH, Dustin said that he saw less of him in his second run. Dustin then says that he was cordial with him and calls HH a good worker but also mentions that played politics and kissed ass too.

He is now asked about scripted promos. When referencing his skits with Booker, he said that they had a lot of fun and at most, their pre-taped stuff would require two takes. He also mentioned that they ad-libbed on occasion.

Dustin is asked if he had any interactions with his ex-wife, Terri. He said that they saw each other at TV and would make small talk but that she spent most of her time in the women’s locker room.

At this time, he usually traveled by himself but would sometimes ride with guys like Booker, Kane, Christian,  and William Regal.

He was not surprised to see Eric Bischoff appear on WWE TV and puts over Eric for giving him a contract in WCW.

Dustin is asked about his involvement in the nWo angle. He said that it was very brief but that he liked the Darth Vader skit. He then calls his Crocodile Hunter skit his favorite one of all-time.

He is now asked if it was difficult to stay clean on the road. Dustin said that he only took prescription pills at that time and would have a few beers after the show but that was all.

They talk about Kevin Nash for a minute. Dustin said that he was a friendly guy and was right near him when he tore his quad. The interviewer then brings up a quote from Nash in a recent interviewer about Dusty, saying that he was using “rural wrestling” instead of “urban wrestling” and that at age 46, Nash said he was the hippest guy in the room. Dustin’s response was that Kevin was a creative guy and not everyone agrees with his dad.

He says that the Undertaker is Vince’s guy then comments about how he was the only one to ever beat him in a casket match. He puts over Taker as a great guy with a good sense for business. He recalls a story of the night before Brock Lesnar got his big push, Taker asked Dustin backstage if he felt that he was ready and Dustin said that he was, then Taker agreed. Dustin also puts over Brock as a friend.

The writers are discussed next and Dustin’s asks if they were approachable. He said that some of them were but that most of them only talked with the top guys. He said that they were good to him until they wanted to give Booker a singles push, then he became an afterthought. Once again, he puts over the fact that he does not engage in backstage politics. Dustin also mentions that the writers were all young and usually in their 20’s.

On the subject of the wrestlers today, Dustin said that a lot of the guys being pushed can’t even lace their own boots. He puts over that he is not able to watch the show today due to him no longer being able to afford cable, but hears that they are not doing a good job and that the product itself is bad. He puts over Stephanie McMahon for having a great head on her shoulders then says that they only need a few writers instead of fifteen, as there are way too many ideas being floated around.

He is asked about competiveness. He brings up Stevie Richards, who he felt never got the push her deserved, and how he always busted his ass constantly on “Sunday Night Heat” then ended up getting his face caved in by a guy who barely knew how to work (Chris Masters).

Dustin is asked about his Tourettes gimmick, He said the whole thing started around 1997-98 when he was at the airport while in the WWE. He saw the “Jerry Springer Show” on TV and they had a panel comprised of people suffering from Tourettes so he started to act like that and the other guys started to laugh. He then brings up how he used to do that on the plane rides and some of the other wrestlers would get in on the act. He brings up how Val Venis would play along and when Dustin was acting like that on the plane in front of regular passengers, Val would ask him if he took his medication and even tell the other passengers that he had Tourettes.

He is asked about the guys today, like Randy Orton and Batista. He puts them both over, saying that few guys are able to catch on right away like Orton as then says that while he still needs to learn, Batista continues to improve. He also puts over John Cena as a guy who caught on quickly.

Dustin said that he is going to open a wrestling school in Oklahoma. He says that there are a lot of people out there who want to be wrestlers, citing the amount who tried out for “Tough Enough” as an example, and hopes that one day, he could be a developmental territory for the WWE.

Dustin then is asked about performing the Tourettes gimmick on the “Howard Stern Show.” He said that they still play the clips today and had no idea why the WWE did not promote his appearance on TV.

He ended up hurting his elbow in a match teaming with Lance Storm against Christian & Chris Jericho while touring Australia. He was told that he needed four weeks off to heal. After that, he came back and noticed that he was not ready and asked for an additional two weeks. He said that he did the match anyway and landed on his injured elbow after taking a slam from Mark Henry. After that, he was out for six more weeks and after that, he got released. Dustin said that you cannot work with a bad elbow. He also said that he was told that if he could come up with any ideas, he could stay. Dustin claimed that he submitted eight ideas within 24 hours but got cut immediately.

He is asked about drugs again and Dustin said that he has been prescribed pain pills since 1993 and that he only takes them as prescribed. He mentions that he can barely get out of bed if he does not take them.

Now, he discusses the “plane ride from hell.” Dustin discusses how there are a lot of rumors as to what happened and brings up a lawsuit filed by a stewardess that was dropped due to a lack of evidence. He claims that he was sleeping for most of the flight but does mention a few things that occurred, such as a stewardess wearing nothing except for Ric Flair’s robe (with Flair yelling “woo!!!” as she walked down the stairs), Bradshaw punching out Michael Hayes, and Brock Lesnar and Curt Hennig wrestling in the aisle. Dustin said that he was accused of groping the stewardess who filed suit. He then said that he spilled the cup that he spit his dip into and that Jim Ross fined him $5,000, which was used to clean up the plane. Dustin says that he dips 4 tins daily. He then closes this out by saying you cannot believe everything on the internet.

Dustin then puts himself over as a worker today, saying that while he cannot do flips, he is in the top ten in terms of in-ring psychology.

He currently says that he is applying for a job installing cable. He says that wrestling is all he knows though. He also says that he is not going do take a job in which you cannot make a living, like a fast-food worker.

Dustin talks about his younger brother, Cody, and how he is living in California trying to make it as an actor. He says that while Cody claims he does not want to be a wrestler, he can see it in his eyes and wants to help break him into the business.

He is asked if there was any heat on him in TNA for being the booker’s son. He said that he was well respected by the other wrestlers but also saw others kissing ass backstage and talks about that is a common occurrence.

When asked about teaming with his dad in Japan at a show for the Hustle promotion, he said that it was tough because he put the whole match together and was nervous about wrestling a Japanese style. He then notes how the more nervous you get, the easier you blow up in the ring and that his dad told him how he looked like he was going to have a heart attack. He then blames himself for the match sucking.

He talks about wrestling Raven in TNA. He said that during their straight-jacket match, he had a legit panic attack and after the match, he ended up kneeling down backstage and started to cry. He later apologized to Raven for the match being awful and Raven told him how very few guys would have the balls to do what he did. Dustin then puts over Raven as a wrestler.

They now move on to Chris Candido, who passed away shortly before this interview. Dustin becomes tearful when discussing Candido, noting how he finally got clean then died due to a freak accident. He recalls how they taped a match that was supposed to air after his death but instead, they put up a graphic of the Naturals and Candido with the Tag-Team Titles as the last shot.

Dustin puts over Dixie Carter as a “sweet” person then says that TNA will thrive on Spike then move on to Monday Night. He also puts over the Jarrett’s for bringing in the Carter family to TNA.

The interviewer brings up Vince Russo and a quote from Jerry Jarrett’s book in which he referred to Russo as a “fraud.” Dustin said that while Russo wrote a lot of scripts for his Goldust vignettes, he was the one who performed them. He also said that Russo “shunned” him at the end of WCW but states that he will not say anything bad about him.

Dustin is asked if the Southern-style of wrestling can get over today. He said that it can but you have to realize that it is a new generation of fans and that the storylines need to reflect that. He also says that he believes that he can cater to the new generation of fans, claiming that he knows what they want to see.

He then talks about going five years without speaking to his dad. He said that they eventually met up and hugged, crying for a half hour. He also said them splitting up will never happen again.

Next is how he left TNA. He said that he was with his girlfriend at the time, who had been drinking and drugging all day long, while his 11 year old daughter was with her. He said that at the hotel, she was getting belligerent with him and after noting that his daughter was almost asleep, he told his girlfriend to leave. She started to scream and yell some more so Dustin picked her up by the waist and brought her outside, where she called the police and Dustin got arrested for assault. He spent 72 hours in jail and his dad covered for him with TNA, telling Dixie that he got sick. When Dustin got out of jail, he checked his cell phone and the girlfriend had left some death threats. He was found not guilty after a trial but states that his ex-wife will now only allow supervised visits with her daughter until his anger management courses are complete. At this point, he is crying and states that someone should have slapped him before meeting this girl. He stays angry for a few more minutes, replying to the next few answers about “One Night Stand” shows as he didn’t give a fuck about them.

Dustin is now asked if he could have cut it in “Tough Enough.” He said probably not but that he paid his dues by driving around making $20 a night while getting the shit kicked out of him. He said that “Tough Enough” is a Marine Corps. type of deal before saying “fuck that.”

On the subject of steroids, he said that he was never pressured to take them but did once in 1990 and just ended up getting fat as he drank on them. He also said that he became mean as hell.

When asked if he is prepared for life after wrestling, he said no and that he needs to figure that out soon.

He says that he is not making any money on the indies and that his truck will most likely be repossessed in a few days and his house will probably be foreclosed on shortly after that.

Dustin says that in terms of getting color,” you should only do that at the top of the card and use it based on the crowd reactions.

About guys in TNA that he likes, he puts over Bobby Roode, saying that he has “it,” and Kid Kash. He also loves America’s Most Wanted and thinks that they should become heels. He calls Cassidy Reilly a good worker who deserves a bit of a push. He is also a fan of the X Division, noting that it is different from everything else.

He closes by saying not all of the rumors on the internet are true and that he loves the business.

Final Thoughts: I thought this shoot interview was okay. Dustin, who even though looked like he did not want to be here at all, was still willing to talk. However, this interviewer was the absolute worst I have ever heard from a shoot interview. He kept on trying to get Dustin to talk about drug use and his ex-wife Terri but used questions that were just awful. He didn’t even ask him about the rumor of approaching Terri on the “plane ride from hell” and would instead just flat-out ask him about his drug use, almost as if he was an addict.

The other part of this interview I will address is how it came across. Dustin seemed like he was on the verge of losing everything. It was harrowing, actually, and the whole interview had a depressed tone, right down to the fact that it was filmed in a dark hotel room. Talking about his truck getting repossessed and losing his house was sad, as he left the WWE and TNA not that long before this interview. You can also tell that he was really shaken up by his arrest too as his whole mood changed as a result of bringing that up. Luckily for Dusitn, he was able to turn his life around and eight years later is in the middle of an incredible comeback.

Overall, I give this a very mild recommendation but if you want to watch a shoot interview, you can find a much better one somewhere else.

Cucch’s Book Review: “Cross Rhodes: Goldust, Out of the Darkness”

In keeping up with the current WWE product, and possibly one of its best human interest angles in a long time…

Dusty Rhodes was a larger than life wrestling icon. Some may deride his actual wrestling ability, but there is no doubting his star power and certainly no doubting his legendary abilities on the mic. In the 70’s and 80’s, you would be hard pressed to find a bigger star in the professional wrestling industry than Dusty Rhodes. And he would tell you himself. So one could imagine the pressure the fruit of his loins would feel following his father into his chosen field.

But while you may imagine it, you are not truly able to imagine it. You never went through it. You may think you imagine what its like, but until you have experienced it, you really have no clue what is actually going on. Dustin Rhodes “Cross Rhodes” is a interesting window into what was actually going on in the real life of two men who portrayed imaginary, larger than life figures on television during boon periods of professional wrestling. And both took very similar, yet very different paths that lead to varying degrees of success for each performer.

Make no mistake, as much as I am talking about big Dusty, this is very much DUSTIN Rhodes biography, very much his life story. I will actually get to Dusty’s in a couple of weeks, but for now, let us stick to Dustin’s book.

First off, let us dispense of the negatives. The book is extremely short…225 pages, in very large print, in a very small paperback. Those 225 pages also contain a whole heaping helping of black and white pictures. So there is not exactly a whole ton of material to digest here…it is just the facts Dustin Runnells is willing to share with us.

Also, a good chunk of this book is devoted to the personal life and demons of Dustin Rhodes. Those expecting an in depth breakdown of his wrestling career are sure to be disappointed, as there are huge chunks of it either ignored or described in a paragraph or two, plus Dustin’s memory isn’t exactly as spot on as some of us smarks are. The reason will soon become evident.

It was never easy for Dustin Runnells to grow up in the shadow of a larger than life living legend (not Chris Jericho). While Dusty was his father, and he was not a bad one, he was a vacant one. While young Dustin was growing up, Dusty was on the road 350 days a year, trying to become the biggest wrestling star in the world, trying to become the embodiment of what his gimmick was: The American Dream. But while Dusty Rhodes was trying to live and become The American Dream, his young son was experiencing the American nightmare. He saw his dad maybe a week a year. Things didn’t improve when Dustin’s mom divorced the American Splotch…I mean dream. It meant Dustin would see his dad even less. And even though it seems young Dustin was relatively well adjusted after the divorce, starring at his Texas High School as a football standout, young Dustin had a dream. He loved the chosen industry his father was so huge in. He had no illusions of a career in football, even though he was very good. University scholarship good. He was set to attend the University of Louisville, but before he could get there, he made a crucial life decision: he wanted to follow in Dad’s footsteps. Dusty was totally against it, but one day after Dustin’s High School Graduation, the elder Rhodes pulled his son aside, smartened him up to the industry, and sent Dustin to Skandor Akbar. Thus began Dustin Runnells 25 year run in the wrestling industry.

Dustin was trained in the old school way with old school mentalities…kayfabe and hard bumps to weed the weak reeds out from those who truly wanted it. Dustin survived, and was soon off to WCW as one half of a tag team with Kendall Windham. As a quick aside, Dustin truly was a natural, as his eventual WCW gimmick would portray him, and a lot of that has to do with Barry Windham taking to the kid and showing him the ropes. While Kendall, who was good but ridiculously skinny, would find some success in the industry, it paled in comparison to the game big bro and Dustin were bringing every night.  Even after the tag team with Kendall floundered and wasted away, Dustin came off scott free because he WAS a natural. There is a quick few paragraphs in the book about Dustin coming to the WWF in late 1990 to tag with his old man to square off against Ted DiBiase and Virgil. As a ten year old kid, I fucking LOVED that angle, and hated that it shot its wad at Rumble 91, but, hey, shit happens. By that point, the WWF was honing in on the LONG overdue DiBiase-Virgil storyline, so the Rhodes gracefully lost and bowed out of the Federation.

Big Dust was given the book almost as soon as he entered back into WCW. As detailed in another much derided book review, Dust entered as the rake and all the suit and tie wearing corporate big wigs were the leaves. Dustin entered into a feud over the US title with another up and comer you may or may not have heard of: “Stunning” Steve Austin. That feud put both guys on the map, as Dustin, for all the shit Scott Keith put him through at the time, was already a good, smooth worker, and Austin was right there with him. These two had crazy chemistry as well, but WCW was a total shit show by that point, so the two were separated into different feuds (I remind you, I am reviewing the BOOK, not the US title scene at that juncture). Austin got fired for an injury. Rhodes got fired because he bladed in a match where he was told to blade by the Turner officials yet told not to blade by Eric Bischoff. Figure that one out for me, and I will buy you a pimped out value meal from McDonalds.

So Dustin is out of his job with WCW…but he has started dating this smoking hot chick who portrayed Alexandra York on screen. Make no mistake about it, Terri was fucking HOT. She remains so to this day, in my eyes. Always loved her perpetually erect nipples. ANYWAY, Dustin started dating her, and his old man did NOT approve of the union. One day, Dusty and Dustin were supposed to meet up and play a round of golf. Teri was violently ill, so Dustin met his father at a grocery store and had to cancel the golf game to take care of his ailing wife. Dusty walked away, and the two did not speak for five years. Reading the book, it was not as if Big Dust was some uncaring asshole or Goldie was some unappreciative son. It was just something that happened between family members that caused an unimaginable chasm between father and son. All over an ill woman. Go figure.

So Dustin is estranged from his old man, and Vince McMahon calls. He has this character for the then previously always face Dustin: Goldust. Dustin accepts. Goldust is born. It was no doubt a rib, considering wrestling’s past with the Goldust trio meshed with DUSTy Rhodes. Supposedly, Dusty Rhodes hated the character with a passion. Allegedly. But Dustin grabbed that gimmick and made it his to take. Dustin Rhodes BECAME Goldust, and, let me tell you folks, as a young 15-16 year old buck, that gimmick WORKED. Dustin put his heart and soul into that shit, especially seeing it was the first time in his career he was playing a heel. He has lots of kind words for Scott Hall (being facetious here…Hall and the Clique HATED working with him…it is in the book) but, man, I can tell you first hand, in 1996, there was nothing quite like Goldust. Just an awesome gimmick. I know, I know I am interjecting my own opinion here, but can you deny the charisma, the awesomeness that character brought to a very stale 1996 WWF scene? To this day, on my semi-smart phone, the first music track I have on there is the Goldust theme. I am truly a loser like that.

Anyway…back to the review…

Goldust was probably the pinnacle of Dustin’s career…yet he was in the basement of life. Dustin was imbibing crazy amounts of alcohol and mixing it with crazy ass amounts of painkillers. By the time he became “The Artist Formerly Known as” Goldust, he had LITERALLY BECOME “The Artist Formerly Known” as Dustin Runnels. He was a mess, and, as a recovering addict, it takes a mess to know a mess, and Dustin was a MESS. Dustin, post 1999, kicked around a few promotions: WWE, TNA, WCW, everywhere. But it was not until he found his true home, a lil promotion called AA, when he truly became a man. He found it midway through the aughts, and has since become a better man who does not need his painkillers to sustain a day in this painful world.

All in all, Dustin Runnells book is a good read. As I mentioned earlier, it is a short and supremely easy read. But the messages he conveys are POWERFUL, none the less. I, personally, have been down to some of the depths this poor son of a bitch this guy has been down, and my father was not the larger than life character Dusty Rhodes is. While my father remains larger than life to me, Dustin Rhodes continues to confound continuity and the on screen WWE product, and bring quality programming that I am relegated to watch every week on Monday.

If only Goldust would stop touching himself. Seriously. Its kinda creepy. Ask the Rock at King of the Ring 2002.