AEW superstar and pro-wrestling legend Dustin Rhodes recently announced that he will be retiring from the sport once his contract with AEW comes to an end in 2023.
During an interview with Busted Open Radio, The Natural breaks down why he’s finally decided to hand them up, what he plans to do next, and looks back at his prestigious 36-year career. Highlights can be found below.
Breaks down his decision to retire from the business after his AEW contract ends later this year:
I remember seeing Ray Candy years ago when I broke into the business, and he wasn’t in the best shape, he was using a walker, and I was just getting into the business and I was green and excited and hungry and passionate, and I still am, but I made a promise to myself that I was going to get out while I can still walk. I didn’t really think I was going to say anything about this, it just happened at Blizzard Brawl, and I thought, ‘I don’t think anybody is going to pick up on it,’ but they did and it caught fire. I just have to own it. I truly don’t want to go out in the business and do anything that tarnishes my career. I don’t want to slip up and fall. I have this in the back of my head every time I go out, ‘what if I do something stupid?’ Then they’re going to start chanting ‘please retire’ and I don’t want it to get to that. I know I’m doing really well right now and having some of the best work of my entire career these last four years, even though they are few and far between, Tony has done a good job treating me like an attraction, and I appreciate that and it does help my body, but on the flip side, it’s hard when you’re not working five days a week like the WWE schedule. Your body gets calloused and used to it, now I work once every two, three, four months, and if you go 100 miles an hour then you pay the price. It takes me a week and a half to two weeks to recover from one match. I’m starting to see those things. My knees are pretty rough. My shoulders are pretty rough. I made the decision, the end of July, my contract is up and I’m going to be done in-ring, or at least tone way down. I don’t know if that’s going to be it because when we say we’re retiring, we always comeback and you never say never, but that’s what I’m looking for, an end date for my in-ring wrestling career.
Discusses his run in the business at nearly 36 years:
It’ll be 35 years in the business, almost 36, and that’s a good round number. There’s nothing that I haven’t done, good or bad that I regret, I’ve loved everything I’ve done. The bad things have come to me and taught me lessons. I’ve become a better man because of those. I want to get out while I can still walk and still teach the kids and coach, hopefully, if God willing I’m allowed to do that, and occasionally make an on-screen appearance, I don’t know, but I don’t want to embarrass myself is the main thing. I’m starting to second guess my work rate. My stamina is not as good as it was. I was watching Mox [Jon Moxley] last night and I’m like, ‘I’m blown up, I can’t hang with that.’ I could, but it would have to be my style and very structured. I couldn’t do that every week.
(H/T and transcribed by Fightful)