Dustin Rhodes Talks WWE Departure, Future AEW Plans on 'Talk Is Jericho'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2019

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 19:  Goldust attends WWE Live AccorHotels Arena Popb Paris Bercy on May 19, 2018 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)
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Dustin Rhodes appeared on Wednesday's episode of Talk Is Jericho with Chris Jericho to discuss his departure from WWE and how he plans to contribute to All Elite Wrestling moving forward.

Rhodes made his AEW debut at last month's Double or Nothing pay-per-view in a classic and emotional match against his brother, Cody.

That match was Dustin's first since leaving WWE this year after spending more than two decades with the company on and off. During Wednesday's interview, Dustin discussed why he left WWE:

"I was tired, and it was like I was deflated. A lot. Terribly. I wanted out because I really wanted to follow my other dream, which is acting. ... There's some things that had happened that really just bit me the wrong way, and I went in and had a meeting with them. And I said, 'Look, I'm done. I'm tired.' And I did not care.

"It's just one of those moments where I did not care what they did, what they said. I wanted out. It was emotional; I did cry. When they finally did give me my release ... We agreed that, yes, we're gonna give you your release and we will pay you until your injury is done—because I just came off those double knee surgeries—and then we'll give you the 90 days and pay you through that."

Rhodes said he received a call from Triple H after the meeting in which The Game thanked him for everything he has done for the company and himself personally. Even so, Rhodes said a legal battle ensued. Once he was officially granted his release, however, the 50-year-old veteran discussed what it felt like to be free and clear:

"What a freaking weight that was lifted off of my shoulder. It was incredible, and I immediately got so much happier because it was stressful. I hadn't been happy in a while, and I lost my passion, in a sense, for our business. That's terrible, that's horrible. Then something like Double or Nothing happens, and my passion and love for the business is reignited."

After Dustin and Cody captivated the live crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, they had a special moment in the ring. Cody asked Dustin to be his tag team partner against The Young Bucks at Fight for the Fallen on July 13, which led to the brothers embracing.

While Dustin is only scheduled for that match currently, he revealed Wednesday that he is open to doing more with AEW beyond that:

"I'm open to some definite talks about doing some stuff, because I think it's a good time to be a part of something, and to have somebody like us to be there to help the young kids along is awesome. That is definitely open for me. I'm also wanting to do acting and things, so I want to keep that open as much as possible, but what a good time to be part of AEW."

AEW will begin airing a weekly television show on TNT later this year, and Dustin could be an asset because of his experience working live television for WWE on Raw and SmackDown for so many years.

He also knows all the tricks of the trade from an in-ring and promo perspective, which would make him a valuable part of AEW, regardless of how the company opts to utilize him beyond Fight for the Fallen.

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