Just a few days after our critically acclaimed interview with the lovely Kimberly Page, we bring you a man who has done it all in this
business. He's wrestled, managed, and booked. And, his story truly does describe what the American dream is all about. He IS
"The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes and he's the latest guest on The Interactive Interview!
We are the first, as far as we know, to speak to Dusty since he resigned as the booker for Total Nonstop Action. We talk about that in
depth as well as about his fantastic new book (I've read it, it's fantastic) titled Dusty: Reflections of An American Dream.
This interview will also air on our live broadcast on May 24 but we decided to make it available early in order for you all to keep up to
date with the TNA booking situation.
:: Click Here to Listen!
"AMERICAN DREAM" DUSTY RHODES
-- The show opens up with a little "American Dream" theme as we play Dusty's theme song from his common man run in the WWF/E. Wow, that one brings back memories!
-- Dusty is pleased to be joining us and says he's had fun doing interviews promoting his book so far.
-- Erik immediately asks the question on all Internet fans' mind, "What's going on with you and TNA?" Dusty says, "Like I said, the book is selling well..." He then laughs and goes on to answer the question.
-- Dusty says the situation is fairly simple. Dusty is doing a lot of things right now including writing a sitcom, a movie, and promoting his book as well as doing public speaking and says, "To tell you the truth, I don't have a lot of time to deal with something I don't really believe in." He goes on to say that he will continue to work for TNA as an on air talent. "There's a scoop but there's no scoop. I hope they do good."
-- "I wanted to make it different. I'm a different guy from a different era. With the book, I wanted to put some reflections in there." He says he wants to put stuff in there about Dick Murdoch, his son, his life, and everything about his life. He says he didn't want it to be just another wrestling book and that's why the cover is different for the way most wrestling books look.
-- They took the photo from the cover of the book with the lights from an airplane.
-- Dusty feels Florida Championship Wrestling was ahead of its time because of all the fantastic talent and characters that passed through. He names guys like Kevin Sullivan, Nick Bockwinkel, Purple Haze, Eddie Graham, and others. He also feels that he and Gordon Solie had a similar situation going as Mohamed Ali had with Howard Cosell. He feels either Gordon Solie or Jim Ross will go down as the best commentator of all time.
-- Speaking of Jim Ross, Dusty confirms that he indeed was contacted about being a part of the 2006 WWE Hall of Fame. He says it would be a great honor and that "Superstar" Billy Graham spoke to him about it in 2004 but Dusty had loyalties to TNA at the time.
-- Dusty said his era was from 1974 through the late 80's. He doesn't consider his WWF character his best but doesn't think it was that bad either. He feels he made it work.
-- Dusty knew he was to have a valet with his "common man" character. He was thinking a long legged "hooker" would work. Instead, he got an older woman in Sweet Sapphire. He says this was an occasion where Dusty's vision was one thing and Vince's was another and Vince's vision turned out to be right. He feels Sapphire was sensational.
-- Dusty, back on the book, mentions that he talks about this in his book. He mentions that his book is different from all the others and he waited to do this a little bit because he knows the first one is always the best. He thinks Mick's was the best of the books that came out.
-- Dusty has not yet read Flair's book. He has heard what Flair says about him, though. Dusty says they've always had a business relationship. Erik asks if they're friends now and receives an emphatic "no" from Dusty. But, Dusty mentions that they never were. But, they knew how to work well together. Dusty jokingly says Flair should send him some money for how often he's on Flair's Ultimate Collection release.
-- Erik mentions how James and Flair got into an on air confrontation. Dusty laughs and says, "He is who he is. What you see is what you get."
-- Dusty thinks one more match between he and Flair on pay-per-view would draw.
-- Chris Yandek mentioned to James that there is a promoter in Florida who is dying to put on a Dusty Rhodes VS Hulk Hogan match. Dusty thinks that would be cool but doesn't think it will happen because Hogan's hip is not in great shape and he thinks the time for that to happen has passed. He does say he'd absolutely love to team with Hogan though.
-- Dusty gives the WWE credit for how they steam rolled their books out after Mick Foley's was so successful and made every book look like a best seller with their promotion machine.
-- Dusty is impressed that James asks about Dusty's returning to the booth. Dusty says that is one thing he'd like to do and thinks the people would like as well and he even discussed it with TNA yesterday when he resigned. They briefly joke about a few Rhodisms.
-- Dusty enjoyed the heel turn in WCW. He talks in depth about the loud crowd reaction when he turned on Larry Zbyszko. He didn't feel it was to be a long term thing but for what it was, he had a lot of fun with it.
-- Dusty wasn't put in the nWo to get back in the ring. He feels he was put there because Eric Bischoff wanted anybody with any kind of name to be associated with the NWO.
-- Dusty had little to no creative input in the nWo. At that time, he was in an advisor role to Bischoff just submitting ideas. Dusty came up with the Berlin character.
-- Erik mentions there are a lot of similarities to ECW at the end if its days and TNA now in that both are in desperate need of TV to survive. Dusty says it's exactly the same situation.
-- Dusty agrees with Paul Heyman from the Rise and Fall of ECW release that ECW did close because they couldn't get on TV. But, he also feels ECW made big mistakes along the way. Much like Bischoff said in the home video release, ECW needed to learn to adapt its style for the mainstream audience which would potentially turn off his long term hardcore fans.
-- Dusty feels for TNA to survive, they need a better TV deal. He is glad they are on FSN but doesn't think a 4 o'clock time slot on Friday afternoon is that good. His ideal spots would either be at 6 on Saturday night (the old Saturday Night slot) or head to head with RAW on Monday night. "That's my vision. That's not their vision."
-- "I'm not going to battle with a committee of people that are not my... That don't have the same vision that I do. It's not me being a dictator. That's not it. I use people's ideas. But at the end, it's my movie, it's going to be my movie, and nobody else is going to direct it." Dusty tells a John Wayne story that fits well.
-- "I'm not going to sit here in this committee, collect my pay check, and keep my mouth shut. I'm too old for that."
-- Dusty mentions his screen play again. We ask what it is about. It seems to be a Southern style movie about an attractive girl that is kidnapped. He doesn't want to give too much away but says it's violent, different, and should be liked very much. He's going to try and get it in the Sundance Film Festival this year.
-- Dusty thinks FX would be the ideal station for wrestling because that seems to fit their kind of programming.
-- One of the major differences in booking for TNA and booking for Crockett way back when is "it's not booking anymore." Dusty says booker used to mean you booked the road schedule and did a lot of backstage work for the company. Now booker pretty much means you're the writer and that's about it.
-- Dusty says resigning from the TNA booking position is not a big deal. He thinks it's a bigger deal to the fans but thinks everything will be fine. He says he only stepped in as a booker for 4 and a half months in for Jeff Jarrett.
-- The Lockdown event was not Dusty's idea. But, he took the idea and tried to make it work and feels those who watched the event actually saw that it turned out "pretty cool." He gives a lot of credit to how hard the locker room worked. He also talks about the speech he gave the night before where he told the boys that it is in their hands now.
-- Dusty says TNA will not run house shows in the near future because they don't have good enough TV to pull it off. he says they'd "lose their ass" if they tried it right now.
-- Dusty is grateful that Dixie and Bob Carter are so loyal to TNA. He says every wrestling fan should want TNA to succeed because there has to be another option out there.
-- Dusty says people should buy his book because it's a story that really does discuss the American dream. He talks about being a guy without a great body filling arenas as a wrestler that great musicians filled and looking at the venues from the seat of his limousine when he didn't even know what a limousine was when he was growing up. He says it's not a wrestling book but wrestling fans will enjoy it as well.
-- We then roll into some word associations with names like Dustin Rhodes, Terri Runnels (quite a fine answer), Missy Hyatt, Eric Bischoff, Vince McMahon, and many more. You'll just have to listen to hear that.
-- Dusty mentions that he would love to work for the WWE one day but thinks he and Vince have far too strong of personalities to coexist. But, he would be willing to give it a try. He then jokes that if he was a little less pig headed, he'd have accepted the committee idea.