Kayfabe, Lies and Alibis: “In the Ring” with Dustin Rhodes Shoot interview

Dustin Rhodes takes us through ring psychology, his career highpoints, surviving in corporate wrestling and more!

Presented by RFvideo 

Taped in late 2012 


We open with Dustin in the ring with some trainees. Rhodes then takes some questions from them:

How much of a match is called in the ring depends on who your opponent is. If you know them well, you can probably call it in the ring, but if you’re in there as a youngster it’s best to have a layout. If your working on TV your time may get cut, so you need to have the ability to adapt.

The babyface’s comebacks are determined based on how long your match is and who is going to win. Babyfaces need to remember to take a beating before collapsing in order to not make themselves look weaker than need be.

The early Goldust run was Dustin’s favorite part of his career. He and Dusty had a falling out at that point, and Dustin wanted to lose his father’s name and prove himself.

Dustin did not understand what Vince was aiming at with the gimmick at first since McMahon danced around the gay stuff.

Barry Windham, Arn Anderson and Bobby Eaton had guided Rhodes’ WCW in-ring workrate improvement, but Dustin had to learn how to work heel without his “teachers”.

Goldust struggled in the early months until Savio Vega convinced him to amp up the molesting. After that Dustin was suddenly getting huge heat.

Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels were the best two workers Rhodes had the chance to work with.

Steve Austin is Rhodes’ favorite opponent because they worked together a ton when both were young and the matches were full of experimenting and youthful exuberance.

The current NXT/WWE corporate model is gone over. Rhodes talks about how there are a ton of rules and the wrestlers often are not allowed to do what they wish while working a match.

Rhodes is working independents now and he likes the fact that he can take it easy in the ring, avoid the politics and pressure- plus it gives him a chance to help the youngsters.

Dustin is a country boy, so playing a flamboyant role in wrestling was a big release for him. His bosses were always impressed that Rhodes could be so outrageous in the ring and then be a hick in the locker room.

Goldust took a lot of heat for his antics, and more and more outside forces came down on the character. Over the years Rhodes’ pushing against Vince and the system ended up getting him fired six times. The character had such legs that he was brought back over and over.

Having a bad attitude and getting involved with drugs sunk Rhodes’ World title chances.

The Booker T/Goldust comedy team was put together for one segment, but it was a hit and the WWE ran with it.

WWE decided to split them up and it pissed Rhodes off enough that he got a bad attitude again and was fired. He turned to drugs and ended up in rehab.

Cody Rhodes is the only worker that Dustin wants to work with before he retires.

The agents like when guys ask questions- but not too many questions….

Being an agent for a year and a half was a downer for Rhodes because he is not a corporate kiss ass and behaving is a requirement of the job.

The agents, writers and workers might all tell you different things and a young guy can get overwhelmed. At that point you just go to the head man and get the straight answer.

Roddy Piper, Bruce Pritchard, Vince McMahon and Dustin went to Universal Studios to tape the “Hollywood Backlot Brawl”. They prepared props and Vince ordered Rhodes to get his ass beat during the match.

McMahon said “no blood”, so Rhodes decided to have Piper give him some hard shots to bust his head open. Rhodes ended up with a concussion and Piper broke his hand on Rhodes’ head.

The match was so stiff and realistic that the extras who had been hired to be on the “set’ all kind of freaked out and thought things got real.

Wearing female undergarments under his Goldust suit at that Wrestlemania was Rhodes’ idea and Vince LOVED it.

The current WWE has laxed kayfabe rules, which Rhodes does not approve of.

Randy Orton has the best timing among the current stars.

Rhodes lost a bunch of weight in 2010 and was having great matches with Ted Dibiase Jr. Dustin was trying to convince McMahon to let this build to a match with Cody but McMahon was not for it. Dustin tore up his shoulder and was out for a year and a half.

Dustin’s main goal now is to work with young guys and make them better. Vince needs older workers to give his new talent knowledge. The territories were full of older guys who shared their experiences with the next generation.

Social media can be beneficial, but now things are so politically correct that one wrong word can turn into a shit storm.

Guys can get into a habit of having the same match over and over once they get comfortable with a set of spots and moves. Since each crowd is different, the guys have to be able to adapt.

McMahon only wants the wrestlers to only work the side of the crowd with the cameras. He flips out if guys play to the crowd or look into the camera.

Rhodes then takes the youngsters into the ring and has them take turns having a match as he breaks down their performances.

Vince hates guys not covering up when they get hit as he want them to sell each blow.

Eye rakes have also been banished in McMahonland.

The fans can accept one bump as important if it’s set up or sold as important. Doing a bunch of bumps in a row will only blow you up and neuter what the fans think of the bump’s effects

Low blows are banned in the WWE.

The Attitude era was great, but the current WWE plan of playing to kids is better for everyone’s pocket book.

Sheamus was a pet project of Dustin’s as they worked together a ton in his early days. Sheamus wanted to be the best and was willing to do what it took to improve.

Rhodes closes by warning the guys to not go to TNA as they will be wasted. The WWE might not push you right away, but you’ll get your chance and then you can grab that ring and cash in.

Final thoughts: Dustin was loose and talkative here, but the focus was more on crafting out a career in wrestling than a deep career breakdown. Your interest may vary.


Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of culturecrossfire.com, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.

Leave a Reply