AEW star Dustin Rhodes recently appeared on the Way of the Blade show to discuss a number of pro-wrestling related topics, including how his body is holding up and why he decided to change up his move-set once he joined AEW. Highlights from the interview are below.
Discusses changing up his moveset:
“I looked at today’s wrestling and the one thing about it is I wanted to grow in my moveset and things like that. Now, pro wrestling, serious pro wrestling, you don’t need those things. It’s technical and you’re keeping it on the ground, you don’t have to go up top. But I wanted to expand because everybody else is growing. I didn’t want to do too much because I can’t do too much. But the things that I actually could pull off, I wanted to do it every once in a while to make people go ‘holy s–t. Dustin just hit a Code Red? Or he just hit a top rope crossbody?! He never goes to the top, what the hell? My god, this guy!’ And then they say, ‘man, he’s in the best shape of his life.’ And it goes on. So it gives me a little more life for a little bit on social media. Then you hit a Canadian Destroyer and they’re like ,’what the hell is going on? Dustin doing the Canadian Destroyer at 52 years old? Are you kidding me?’ I do these things, I pick and choose when I want to do them when I feel they’re needed. But now the Canadian Destroyer is so overused, it’s like, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore.’ The Code Reds are good to hit out of somewhere. But to me, my main thing is that powerslam. It’s like the best in the business. Me and Randy Orton’s are like top-notch.”
Says he never wants to keep wrestling just to make money:
“I contributed to it a lot. It’s in my blood. I truly, truly love it. It’s part of my life, the pro wrestling industry. I love everything about it. Every technical aspect of it, telling the stories, those are really huge to me. For just regular people, they get into the business and become a good pro wrestling, I can understand them getting out and maybe not liking it as much as somebody who was born into it. You look at the sons of famous wrestlers like Mr. Perfect, like Barry Windham, like me, like Cody. There are a few that really stand out, and it’s because we were kind of raised around it I think. To be honest with you, our fathers were really good. And my father was not a great wrestler, right? He had charisma though. He could shake and tell those stories with his face, and bounce around, and the people felt that thing, right? And Cody has a little bit of that. But to me, I believe that I am the true wrestler out of the family. A really good storyteller, a really good worker. Could I have been better? Hell yeah, I could’ve. Do I regret anything? Absolutely not, none, zero. I’ve had a hell of a career. And I want to keep contributing as much as possible before I retire. I look at Sting right now and he’s 62. He’s utilized a little bit, right? He’s not utilized a lot and that’s good. So I can do this, I know can do this, but I don’t want to be a Ric Flair to where I have to wrestle to pay my bills. I don’t want that. I don’t want to go abuse my body. Tony (Khan) is really good about that, taking care of me, and I know that he will. And I believe in that. There’s a trust that I have with Tony. He’s been very good to me, so that’s all I can ask for. And if he asks me to do something, I’m going to do it to the best of my ability. Every time I’ve been on the TV, my ratings have been strong, so I’m good. I’m good with it. And whatever comes next is great as long as I can stay healthy.”
How his health is:
“Let’s face it; my knees are hurting. My shoulders are hurting. I need replacements, and I’ve put on little band aids from time to time to get through. And I do a good job of it and I take care of my body, and I try to stay and shape. I’m always on the go because I truly believe that if you sit down and just relax, it’s going to catch up to you real quick and you’re going to die, that’s it. If you sit, you die. I believe in that, truly. So I’ve got to keep stepping, and that’s one of my sayings, keep steeping. If you stop, it’s going to catch up to you and hit you in the face. And I learned that from dad. Dad told me that a lot, and this stuck with me because he started saying ‘keep stepping’ to me when I got out of drug and alcohol rehab. From that day, he just said that every day to me. So that’s my saying, and not a lot of people know that but that’s where I learned that saying keep stepping. I take it to heart. And thirteen years of no alcohol, no drugs, no foreign drug or anything in my system, that’s saying something, and I do owe that to my grit, my hard work and my family being beside me, and a good support system. And the only way I see is one way, and that’s to keep going forward and get my body in the best shape as possible or stay as the best shape as possible so I can perform at such a high level with these youngsters. Because let’s face it; they’re getting faster and faster, and they need direction. And I’m there to slow them down. I’m their coach, too. They listen.”
(H/T and transcribed by Wrestling Inc.)