WWE News DUSTY QUOTES: New addition from J.J. Dillon reflecting on Dusty
Jul 2, 2015 - 12:59:56 PM
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Colleagues's Expanded Thoughts on Dusty Rhodes
-- NEW: J.J. Dillon on finding out about Dusty Rhodes's death to John Corrigan of WrestleDelphia.com: "I was already going to Florida on Thursday the 11th (of June) for a fundraiser to build a memorial wall at the Tampa Jewish Community Center to preserve the memory of all the great wrestling in that area. Jody Simon wanted to put together some type of fan fest thing for it. A lot of guys already live in Florida, but I called him up and said I live in Delaware, but I’d like to go down and be a part of it. So I was flying down and of course my phone was off. Well, Pedro Morales, who was a great champion, has been very, very ill. I’ve been concerned that he may not be on this Earth much longer. So when I landed and turned my phone on, it lit up like a Christmas tree. I thought this was the news I had not been looking forward to, the passing of Pedro Morales.
"But when I turned my phone on and read the message that Dusty Rhodes had passed that morning, I mean, when I say I was in shock…I was shocked. I sat on the plane, the whole plane emptied and I was still sitting there trying to process what I was reading. You know, Dusty had lost a lot of weight, and it was my understanding that he had been treated for something. He would lose weight, then they would build his strength back up. He was on a very strict diet. None of the rumors that he was really, really sick were true. He was still actively working at the developmental center. He passed on a Thursday, and Gerald Brisco told me he saw him over there on Tuesday. It was totally unexpected, totally shocking.” [ LINK: Dillon with memories & many more thoughts on Dusty HERE ]
-- Daniel Bryan on Dusty working with younger stars to the Asbury Park Press: "It happens a lot in wrestling and a lot of other things where the older generation looks down at the younger generation and picks him apart. Instead of that, he would say, 'Ooh, look at this in this person.' As opposed to looking at their negatives, he was looking at their positives. He wasn't afraid to tell you what was wrong with something, but he was also quick to highlight the very good aspects of your nature or things about you that you should focus on. He touched a lot - a lot - of people."
Bryan also talked about Cody Rhodes's relationship with Dusty: "I have fond memories of Dusty, but I also have fond memories of being in the car with Cody while he was talking to his dad. You could hear the way they would banter back and forth and you can see how that vibrancy that Dusty had was passed on to Cody. And I don't know Dustin (Goldust) as well as I know Cody, but you can see it in Dustin, too." [ LINK: Full Interview with reporter Steve Feitl HERE ]
-- Bret Hart on how Dusty influenced his career to The Missoulian newspaper: "When I think about just his impact on me, let alone wrestling, he was such a phenomenal talker. He was a class all by himself. He's right up there with your best orators in the school of Martin Luther King, but he was talking about wrestling. A gift of the gab is a great skill and there was something you could learn from somebody who could talk like that and gather people around him." [ Q&A HERE ]
-- Jim Ross on celebrating Dusty to Busted Open satellite radio show: "I choose to celebrate his life rather than to mourn his death. I knew for several weeks that there was something wrong and of course Dusty would never admit it. I compared him to John Wayne in his last movie – he knew that something was wrong, but he didn’t want to talk about it, and he wanted to go out on his terms, and his style and that’s what happened, and as quickly and as suddenly he was taken from us. I was up pretty much all night, and I just decided that as the day has gone on that I choose to celebrate his life, my fun that I had with him, the confidence he put in me."
-- Ric Flair on idolizing and respecting Dusty Rhodes to Busted Open: "We made music for 30 years together. I started my career idolizing him and - the good thing about this, if there is a good thing to it, is that I spent about four hours with him on Tuesday at the Performance Center in Orlando when I was done there visiting my daughter and the last thing he said to me was - he was pissed off that I was going to see LeBron James and he wasn’t. He was like: 'Get out of my office - go see LeBron man, I don’t care (laughs). I said, 'I’ll wave to you from courtside - and then I got the call yesterday. We had so much fun together. He loved John Elway, I like Lawrence Taylor. He liked the Celtics, I liked the Lakers. He liked the University of Texas and I liked Oklahoma. We just went round and round on everything, it was tremendous. He loved sports and he loved life."
-- Ric Flair on talking to Goldust (Dustin Runnels) to Busted Open: "Dustin sounded okay. He was there. He moved from Gainesville to Orlando several months ago. I thought that, down the road, Dustin will be an instructor at NXT, which is great for him. And I think that he and his dad had really gotten tight. He sounded OK, I mean, how do you ever sound? I went through something like this a couple of years ago with my son, I mean, how do you ever sound? And what do you ever say? You never know what’s the right thing to say, know what I mean? I’ll get a better feel of how they’re all doing when I see them in person."
-- "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase on the DiBiase/Rhodes Family connection to Brian Fritz for Sporting News: "When you work with guys like that, it makes you better. You learn things from them, things that are intangible, that are hard to explain. He was very good that way so when his boys came up, when Dustin came up, of course I never had the opportunity to get in the ring with Cody but Cody and my son Ted Jr. are very good friends and they were tag team partners for a while in WWE. There’s definitely a family connection there and right now my heart goes out to his wife and his two boys. I know as a father that is very close to my sons and I know how close Dusty was to his boys. I just really hurt for those boys right now." [ Full Interview HERE ]
-- Chris Jericho on Dusty's charisma to Brian Fritz: "I think the biggest thing with Dusty Rhodes is that he broke the mold of what a pro wrestling is supposed to be. Not so much in the '70s, but in the '80s when it became very much a body business... He was all charisma and he was all mind. He had a great wrestling mind. He had a great mind to work matches, build angles and great finishes and also had charisma to where he could work an audience no matter what the situation was he was in.
"That’s the real secret to the wrestling business. I even said that to the Tough Enough finalists last night - you have to connect with the crowd. It doesn’t matter how big you are. It doesn’t matter what kind of sports you played. All that matters is connecting with the crowd because this is an entertainment based business." [ Full Interview HERE ]
-- Tully Blanchard on Dusty's influence on wrestling to Brian Fritz: "Sometimes when you’re involved in something, you don’t necessarily know that you’re involved in something revolutionary. When he became the booker for (Jim) Crockett at the end of ‘84 and when Crockett got control of the Superstation (TBS) that became revolutionary and changed the wrestling business. And Dusty was a key part in that. To me, he was the key booker, TV producer of a revolutionary movement that changed a profession. That’s pretty legendary." [ Full Interview HERE ]
-- Sean Waltman on watching Dusty growing up to Brian Fritz: "Dusty Rhodes made me fall in love at first sight with professional wrestling. At that very moment, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. From that moment on, I learned everything I could about professional wrestling.
"When I first got to work around Dusty, he was so cool to me. Just to fast-forward to the WCW days and he was in the nWo, I was out for ten months with a broken neck. Every week in the nWo in-ring segment on TV, he was usually the stick man. And every week he said, ‘we miss you Syxx Pac, you’re too sweet’ or something to that effect and he was wearing my nWo Syxx-ball t-shirt. I’ll never forget that." [ Full Interview HERE ]
-- Former NXT champion Neville to Scott Fishman for ChannelGuideMagBlog.com (interview conducted prior to news of Dusty's death): "It’s hard not to think of someone (in WWE) who is not part of NXT. Guys like Dusty and William (Regal) coach you a lot. Main roster superstars come down from NXT to wrestle matches. We are all part of it." [ Full Interview HERE ]
-- Neville to Brian Fritz for Sporting News (interview conducted prior to Dusty's death): "“Obviously I have a very strong accent that a lot of people can’t understand. I don’t think I’m naturally a promo guy but being in NXT and working with Dusty Rhodes who has really helped me tenfold with my promo work and my speaking and I feel like that really prepared me. In essence, doing that on Raw is no different that doing it at NXT or an NXT live event or wherever. It’s just about being prepared and working with Dusty really prepared me for that." [ Full Interview HERE ]
[ LINK: More tributes in Brian Fritz's Sporting News column including MVP, Matt Hardy, Steve Corino, Kevin Kelly, Adam Pearce, and Tommy Dreamer HERE ]
[ AUDIO: Jim Ross talked Dusty on PIX11 in New York with WWE announcer Scott Stanford HERE ]
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