Dusty Rhodes' Top 10 Greatest Promos of All Time

Tom Clark@tomclarkbrFeatured ColumnistSeptember 7, 2011

Dusty Rhodes' Top 10 Greatest Promos of All Time

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    When it comes to cutting a real, heartfelt, intense promo, there is Dusty Rhodes, and then there's everyone else.

    Dusty made a career of giving fans some of the greatest matches in the history of the business.  His rivalry with Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen is arguably the greatest feud of all time, and his promos, like Ric's, were as equally legendary.

    When Dusty spoke the ground shook.  He was a force of nature on the mic, and every time he cut a promo, he was more powerful and more persuasive than a Southern Baptist minister preaching hellfire and brimstone on a Sunday morning.

    Dusty was such a natural, and made it look so easy. If there's one thing that the business is missing at times, it's the fire and enthusiasm that Dusty brought whenever he opened his mouth.

    He was one of the best ever, and if you can't take my word for it, just check out the videos.

     

10. "The Bull of the Woods"

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    The best thing about Dusty?  He was funny.

    He could deliver a hard nosed promo, cutting straight through to the heart of the matter, and leave you with cold chills.

    But, sometimes, he just wanted to have fun with it.  It was his character, who he was as a person, and his identity was often wrapped up in his sense of humor.

    If you really want to be successful in the business, you have to enjoy what you're doing.  Dusty had a blast at it.

9- "I'm Breathing!"

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    When The Road Warriors attacked Dusty Rhodes in 1988, it was a shock for fans everywhere. 

    Hawk and Animal had always been aligned with Dusty, as the three were close friends on camera.  They held the NWA World Six Man Tag Team Championships, and fought side by side for years against The Horsemen.

    After removing a spike from his shoulder pads, Animal viciously attacked Dusty, going after his right eye.  The spot was gruesome, intense, and very surreal.

    The price paid for being the top face in any wrestling company is that some of your friends will likely turn on you.  This was never more true than for Dusty, whose "injury" at the hands of The Road Warriors was merely another angle used to get him over, and also heel out The Legion of Doom to the nth degree.

    Hawk and Animal did a lot of damage, but made one crucial mistake.  They left The American Dream breathing.

8. "With Kings and Queens"

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    What set Dusty apart from everyone else, of course, was that he was just a regular guy.  A regular guy, with a lot of heart, guts, and determination.  He was also one of the best in the world.

    The dual sides of his character made for an interesting dichotomy, for on one hand, he was the blue collar man who was just trying to earn an honest living. 

    On the other hand, he was known, respected, and loved, the world over, for what he was in the industry.  He was one half business, and one half show business.

    He was one of the best, but never let that stop him from being down to earth and in touch with the fans.

7. "It's Going to Be Shameful"

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    A truly great heel can cause anyone connected with him to turn face in an instant.  This is what happened when Baby Doll turned on Tully Blanchard and The Horsemen. 

    Fans almost immediately forgot how much they hated her before, mostly because of her becoming aligned with Dusty.

    Dusty helped Baby Doll get over like no one ever thought she could.  They were seen together so often on camera, that they became inseparable.

    But, when she turned heel again, this time with Ric Flair, she turned on the biggest baby face in the company, causing her to heel out more than she ever had before.

    She went from being hated, to being loved, to being despised.  This was the effect that the strength of Dusty's persona had in helping her to transition back to the heel role. 

    Anyone who turned on him was public enemy number one with fans.  Dusty could have heeled out the Pope.

6. "I Feel So Good Tonight"

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    David Crockett was not exactly the best commentator in the business, but his expression when Dusty leaves, more than earned his paycheck for the night.

    I cannot recall ever having seen a wrestler storm into the locker room the way Dusty did on this night.  His promo did admittedly seem a little out of the ordinary, as he appeared frustrated, uneasy, and, as it turns out, he was itching for a fight.

    It was very important that fans see that Tully Blanchard was surrounded by other heels, it added to the storyline that both sides actually did not get along.  When Dusty busted in, he helped give birth to the backstage spot, that is often taken for granted in today's business.

5. "Being a Fool"

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    Dusty and Nikita Koloff were opposite ends of the spectrum.

    Dusty was The Dream, representing the hopes and aspirations of fans all over America who loved their country and wanted something better for themselves and their families.

    Nikita was The Russian Nightmare, a product of the Cold War Soviet Union, and represented the deep seated fears American fans had of possible physical conflict on a nuclear scale.

    But, when Nikita turned face, and joined Dusty as The Superpowers, they were the definition of the top level baby face alliance.  They looked great together, and with Dusty setting up Nikita in promos, The Nightmare became more of a Dream than fans ever thought he could.

4. "That Ain't Right."

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    Dusty doesn't say a lot on this one, and he really doesn't need to.

    The intensity of the moment is on his face, and in his eyes.  When he talks about "Hollywood wrestling," no fan is left questioning who or what he's talking about.

    The WWF could never match the NWA in terms of great storyline and sheer drama in those days, and Dusty was one of the reasons why.

3. "I Have a New Partner"

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    No screaming this time.  No rhymes, no grandstanding, no intense drama, or hyping an upcoming match.  This time, it was all about Magnum TA.

    Magnum, Dusty's true to life best friend, nearly lost his life, and when that happened, Jim Crockett Promotions had to make a decision.  Stop the show, or move on with someone else.

    Nikita turned face, and helped Dusty in his war against the Four Horsemen.  The two men were brought together by a common bond, their respect and love for the man who was so close to being the next top guy in the industry.

    This one is good, it's powerful, and straight to the point.

2. "I Love You Too, Buddy."

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    While we all know that the WWE Hall of Fame is a work, mostly because it's really up to Vince McMahon as to who gets in, there is no denying its importance.

    For fans, it's the most important, highest profile HOF in existence, and for the workers who have been inducted, it's a public recognition of their efforts to entertain at a high level through the course of their careers.

    For The Dream, it's just like home.

    Dusty belongs in the Hall, and an acceptance promo is quite possibly the best one he's ever done.

1. "Hard Times"

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    This is the big one.  It does everything that a perfect promo should do.  It has a point, it's humorous in spots, it's very dramatic, and speaks to fans of all ages.  It's also very Dusty.

    The Dream speaks about the plight of the working man in America, dealing with unemployment, raising a family and barely making ends meet.  He puts the entire wrestling business in perspective by acknowledging that the regular blue collar fans, who he has always represented, are the ones that actually have it tough.

    He also manages to compare their situation to his, by asserting that Ric Flair and The Horsemen put him in the same boat by hurting him, and in turn, hurting the business that suffered without him.

    Dusty is one of the most brilliant minds that the business has ever seen.  To this day, workers all over the world are still trying to cut a promo like him.

    But, there is only one Dusty Rhodes.  He is The Dream, and he is one of the best of all time.