It would be almost impossible to get across what Dusty Rhodes meant to WWE, wrestling fans and the wrestling business in general in the space I have here. ‘The American Dream’ was, simply put, one of the biggest stars of the eighties and an incredibly important member of WWE’s backstage crew. To some, he was irreplaceable, having helped mentor the guys and girls working down in NXT. As a backstage booker, producer and trainer, Rhodes was responsible for aiding the development of tomorrow’s stars. And who better than Rhodes? ‘The Son of a Plumber’ was a man who became a massive star, despite his wobbly physique and far-from-polished ring style, based on pure charisma and presence. There were few who could convey emotion as well as Dusty, and he managed to form a connection with the masses based on his ‘common man’ character, becoming a huge star in the Ric Flair era and capturing the NWA World Heavyweight Title despite the protests of some traditionalists. As a booker his reputation was sketchy, and while his 1989-91 WWE run didn’t quite reach the heights of his WCW heyday, it’s fair to say that there aren’t many who could take a polka dot singlet and Sapphire and make it work – but Dusty did. Dusty also made appearances for ECW, formed his own promotion (TCW), worked in TNA and did the indie thing in a varied career, before settling into his role backstage in WWE. A member of every reputable Hall of Fame going, Dusty’s was one of the biggest losses of the year as he passed on June 11th at the age of 69. NXT held the ‘Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic’ tournament in his honour. His legacy lives on not just in the performers in NXT but also in his sons Dustin (Goldust) and Cody. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npKZ-W5pUXE
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