What a shock to hear from my coworkers today that the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes had died suddenly at age 69.
The first time I saw Rhodes in person was at a WWF show at the old Boston Garden in June 1989, when he substituted for Jake “The Snake” Roberts to wrestle “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase. Rhodes rolled up DiBiase for the pin and then proceeded to take some of DiBiase’s money and throw it to the crowd at ringside, which resulted in a huge roar from fans. It was a great scene.
The thing about Rhodes is that no matter what gimmick he had — polka dots, anyone? — and no matter who his opponent was, the guy was able to talk his way into fans’ minds and hearts. His promos should be studied by anyone who hopes to succeed in wrestling, because Rhodes understood emotion, how to connect with the audience, and how to sell big matches.
Sure, Rhodes was goofy in his WWF days. I know many people remember one of his early vignettes where he pretended he was a plumber, and got called to a house to unclog a toilet with shit in. “Is it brown? You talkin’ about sshocolate brown?” Rhodes asked the hilariously bad skit.
Rhodes didn’t wrestle at the Boston Garden all that much — three times in the 1980s, to be exact (thanks to The History of WWE website’s archives for the stats). Ironically, the first of those trio of matches was for the debut card of the NWA in the Garden, which was Continue reading
In terms of what went on the ring, one of Hulk Hogan’s last great WWF or WWE feuds was against the late Big Bossman in 1989.
Bossman (formerly known as Big Bubba Rogers in the NWA) was huge man who played the role of a rogue Southern sheriff. He moved well in the ring, even at 300-plus pounds, and I’ve always thought the bad cop gimmick is one that’s hard to mess up.
After attacking Hogan on the Brother Love Show, Bossman fought Hogan around the horn. I know most people who were fans in the late ’80s will recall Hogan’s big blow-off with Bossman in a steel cage on Saturday Night’s Main Event, which was highlighted by Continue reading
The WWE took a nostalgic turn this week with Monday Night Raw “Old School,” with many nods to the former stars of wrestling, including plenty of 1980s characters.
I’m not going to give a play-by-play on the show because many of you saw it, but I wanted to write about a few observations.
To start, the night would not have been complete without the Iron Sheik once again pissing on Continue reading