Why the legacy of Dusty Rhodes will live on in AEW

Four years on from his tragic passing, Steven Wilson looks at how Dusty Rhodes’ youngest son’s new venture will continue his legacy

dusty rhodes

Today marks four years since the death of The American Dream Dusty Rhodes.

It was a passing that hit the wrestling universe hard. The Dream had played a pivotal role in many fans love of the sport.

His work in WCW in the 1980s set a standard for getting the simplest of things over using high standard mic work. The image of Rhodes in his polka dot singlet during his WWF run is something was remains a visual in many people’s memory.

In more recent times, his legacy is firmly stamped on the products coming through NXT. Dusty played a pivotal role in getting the developmental brand off the ground. Some of the top talent to come through there, including the likes of Bayley and Becky Lynch, credit The Dream for getting them to where they are today.

Whilst his success as a mentor at the Performance Center can’t be argued, Rhodes’ legacy runs true today in the achievements of his two sons.

Double or Nothing

Just under a month ago, Cody and Dustin Rhodes squared off at Double or Nothing, the debut PPV event of All Elite Wrestling. The match received critical acclaim across the wrestling world for its storytelling and the raw emotion it brought to those watching it live or at home.

The bout brought out a style of wrestling synonymous with what their father would book during his run as a booker with WCW and the NWA. Even when in the ring – whilst Dusty was never the greatest technical wrestler, he was found a way to keep the audience invested.

cody dustin rhodes don aew 1 - Why the legacy of Dusty Rhodes will live on in AEW

It is this type of approach that his youngest son has vowed to install into his work with AEW. The Double or Nothing event set the bar high as to what the company could produce given TV time and a significant investment for their billionaire owners.

Whilst Dustin has less to lose given his career as Goldust over the last two decades, Cody is taking more of a risk. But he is doing so in order to continue in a way what his father did many years ago.

The Dream’s legacy in WWE is clear with the annual Dusty Classic tournament. But in my opinion, it is only a tip-of-the-hat for the work he did under the McMahon employment.

The success of AEW as an alternative to the norm will be the true continuation of what Dusty Rhodes always strived to achieve. And given just who is at the helm, it could be his greatest life’s work, even after death.

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