AEW star Dustin Rhodes spoke with TV Insider to hype up his career threatening match against Kip Sabian on tomorrow night’s episode of Dynamite. Highlights from the interview can be found below.
Arriving in AEW and his DoN match with Cody:
From me arriving at the MGM Grand and the professionalism being shown toward me was incredible,” Rhodes said. “Not knowing the audience would be different than WWE’s audience, and the way they would receive me. I was hoping to God they would. My music hit. I remember being well-taken. I will never forget it. Being in that ring with my brother. This one match was my greatest accomplishment in my wrestling career in almost 33 years. It was a magical night.
Reconnecting with Cody:
There is a huge age difference between my brother and myself. We don’t have a lot in common. He has grown up his way, and we were blessed to tag with each other in WWE. He went off on his own and left. I was stuck there, which is exactly what it was. He was hungry and had it in him because he is a Rhodes. Our legacy is strong. He has that creative ability and insight not a lot of people know or see. What he does backstage, before the show, and what he puts together before the show – it’s incredible. He has my dad in him 150 percent. For me to come on the scene and reconnect, even though he lives in Georgia and I live in Texas, [and] for me to reconnect with him and Brandi and all these people, it’s great.
Working with younger talent:
I call them kids because I’m so much older, but they are my kids. I treat them like that. I love them and will protect them. It’s amazing to watch backstage all these kids shining bright. They are some talented sons of b****es. They go out and put out some great television every single week … I need to be there. It’s important that I protect this with my life. It’s a special time. I’m very blessed to be there with the young talent and teach them my knowledge. I sometimes shock myself when I do things where I go, ‘Hey, it didn’t hurt that bad. I can do it again.’ Stuff I never even thought about trying in the ring was because all these kids. They put their trust in me, and I put my trust in them. That’s the connection we have. It’s bringing a tear to my eye.
Helping with promos:
I worked with MJF on his promos a lot. He is very good and doesn’t need a whole bunch of coaching. He knows how to talk. He just needs direction. For him to put in his tagline was very important where in these promos he says, “I’m better than you.” He did a couple without saying that toward the beginning. I told him he needed to hit his tagline. He started doing that, and the people started recognizing it … Jimmy Havoc has come a long way when he started here with his promos. He asked me for advice on certain things and to get more out of it — feeling the crowd, letting them react.
Britt Baker has really come a long way. Her promos at the very beginning were not very good. Cody has taken a stance on helping her with her promos, and I have watched her gain confidence in talking in front of a camera. I teach her on the side that her facial expressions are very important when conveying certain words. Let the words breathe, give the crowd a scowl, whatever it is. Her timing in promos and her work is getting a lot better. Darby Allin is incredible. He is reckless, crazy. If I did half the things he did, I’d be in the hospital. He is incredible to watch. He is young. It will catch up to his body at some point. But he is important to where we are at right now, and he is doing a great job at it.
On facing Kip Sabian with his career on the line:
Kip Sabian I watched on TV and when we taped his last match, watching him like any coach looking at tapes. He is so talented with what he does and is young, but he has an attitude problem. At certain times during all his matches, he throws a little hissy fit. He has some extra ammunition in Penelope Ford. If you don’t have your head on a swivel, she will come off the top rope with something. She is dangerous. They are both dangerous and something special together. Do I think I can beat this younger guy? I do. It’s important I do beat him because there is only one first TNT champion. It would hurt my soul to face Cody if it were us in the finals, but I’m getting that title.