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  1. #1

    (YLC-RD2) I could watch this all day and sometimes do.

    I was once told by my High School English teacher “Woodburn, familiarity breeds contempt!” and whilst I have long since left the classroom there is certainly this danger for any wrestling fan in 2019. Most of us with an internet connection can binge watch decades of wrestling from the territories to Titan Towers. Today though I will speak of just one remarkable video which has not bred contempt but instead instilled a deep and lasting appreciation in my soul for the joyous art form that is Professional Wrestling.

    The journey begins on YouTube with a search for “Dusty Rhodes” and a video entitled “WWE pays tribute to WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes” which at time of writing has over 4 million views. I can only imagine how many I have contributed to that count. It is a remarkable piece of work from the WWE. They tell the story of Dusty’s life and career in just three minutes and forty-four seconds. As we watch we hear Phillip Phillips’ “Raging Fire” and soon soundtrack, visuals, and Dusty combine to create something exceptional. I have watched the video with a smile on my face, I watch again, and tears come to my eyes, once more and this time I’m a kid trying to copy Dusty’s promos word for word. Sometimes I’ll watch and it causes me to look up Hall of Fame speeches, or Horsemen videos or Harley Race matches or Cody Rhodes winning the NWA title or Dustin Rhodes as Seven. One video opens the door to the greatest sport on earth and in 2019 we binge like kids in a candy store with everything at our fingertips.

    Yet before we gallop off to explore all those rabbit holes let’s take a moment to marvel at Dusty Rhodes.

    The 3:44 begins with a young Rhodes stating, “The people drive me” and in response, we can say that Dusty drove us. He was a whirling dervish of passion and charisma. Greek statue he wasn’t, his belly and heinie were just a little big, but we have been blessed to have witnessed such a man. As the music thumps, we see Dusty electrifying crowds, the people would invade the ring and he would be carried aloft. They had fallen in love with the little plumber’s son who had grown up to become so sweet. The crowd at 1:24 go nuts as Dusty danced in the ring, a young woman at 1:25 would speak with glee at the crowd chanting “we want Dusty”, an old woman at 1:31 would be dressed head to toe in polka dots dancing in the crowd, Maria Menounos would years later be able to recite Dusty’s famous “hard times” promo and at that moment we were all Maria Menounos. At times I’ll still break into “hard times” or “mountaintop”, or I’ll refer to myself as the postman’s son (my dad wasn’t a plumber) and my daughters will look at me with blank faces. Then I’ll tell them that daddy is pretending to be Dusty Rhodes. They’ll smile at his funny sounding name and then ask, “was he good daddy?” Indeed, my sweet daughters, indeed.

    His “goodness” didn’t depend upon his gold. Ric Flair won it the most and Lou Thesz held it the longest, but this video shows us the sheer explosion of delight when Dusty became the NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion. The Dream climbs to the top turnbuckle, he launches his 265-pound frame at Harley Race who catches Dusty’s full bulk across his own chest. Down go the pair, 1, 2, 3 is the count and Dusty is the man. Race looks stunned, the crowd invades the ring and Rhodes is held aloft with a title he held on just three occasions. He never held the “Ten Pounds of Gold” for too long, in this instance just five short days but as we remember we aren’t disappointed. Watch again those marvelous scenes of jubilation as Dusty is carried aloft. It doesn’t get old. Put it on repeat when you feel that wrestling has lost some of its luster. Dusty shines like the brightest of fireworks on the fourth of July.

    Despite the dancing and the short title reigns, this was no figure of fun. As we watch we see Dusty nose to nose with Ric Flair, the same Flair who at 1:19 is thrown by Rhodes from the top rope in a steel cage match. We see Dusty in later life bearing the forehead scars from a lifetime of wars. This man could entertain but this man could go. “I’m bad and they know I’m bad” Dusty told Flair and company and as we watch this 3:44 we know it too.

    Eventually all wrestlers reach the end of their in-ring career and so we are shown Dusty in the WWF as the “Common Man”. There he is dancing with Okerlund and accompanied by Sapphire. I remember as a youth not quite understanding the change in Dusty. I was oblivious to how wrestling really worked and so Dusty to me seemed different in the WWF, not quite Mean Mark Callous different, but still different. History shouldn’t be rewritten and if the polka dots made us frown and scratch our heads we can be thankful for a return to WCW, raising the arm of Ron Simmons, for being part of the NWO, later involvement in WWE, his comic timing, his antics with DX, a Rhodes family reunion and being a massive influence in NXT. It’s all there in this awesome tribute. Dusty has left behind a litany of memories and thanks to modern technology, this one video leads to a plethora of others spanning decades.

    Dusty’s legacy lives on and as if to underpin this indisputable notion we see Dustin & Cody the two sons of the plumber’s son. I have always been excited by next generation wrestlers, perhaps this is a bit nonsensical, but I love when an Erik Watts or a Ray Gordy or a Ted DiBiase Jr. appear. Often though next generation wrestlers make little impact but to quote another next generation voice “yowie wowie” for the Rhodes family have given us much to remember and be thankful for. One of the most touching moments in this video comes when the Rhodes boys induct their father into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007. Dusty hugs Cody and for an awkward moment it seems that Dustin will be side-lined. Then the hand of the American Dream reaches out and pulls Dustin close. It was the same hand that he once reached out to us and told us that his hand was touching our hand, but in this moment, it was exclusively for one of his boys. Don’t worry about my accomplishments said the Dream “you’ve met my two sons, I’m so proud of them” Simply beautiful.

    In one wrestler, just one, in one extraordinary career, we have been the mountaintop. Ask me why I’m a wrestling fan and I will show you this masterpiece. I could watch this all day and sometimes do. Cody wants his work to live forever, Dusty’s already does. Thank-you Dusty. Happy trails to you, until we meet again.

  2. #2
    Scott, really enjoyed both your topic and your personal touch and voice...When I say I hope you have a long stay here, I mean it!

    Dusty, to me, is the best all time babyface. He could get sympathy, build meaningful friendships, and have storied rilvaries. He was ruggged yet flamboyant. He was John Wayne and Ali wrapped in one. He was rugged as hell but could make you laugh. He could bleed and make bloody. He was a man who became a myth and then a legend! Through his work with NXT, he made his name to maybe two more generations.

    You captured all that in just a column about a short WWE video, in which I will be sure to watch.

    However, you let this go too soon. There were multiple punctuation errors that told on you. Mostly missing commas or a coma where there should be a period. Especailly, considering you're in a tournament and in the lead. Don't think the kingzacks and the Dynamite Billingtons won't be swinging for the fences. What I think is if you got away from it and edited it, you would have polished it into every bit the masterpiece that this was capable of being.

    Overall, enjoyed it...I really share your taste in wrestling and enjoy how you write about it..Good narrator voice. Keep burnin' that wood.
    Last edited by Benjamin Button; 2 Weeks Ago at 11:07 AM.

  3. #3
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
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    Still haven't figured out how I'm going to swing at that fence with this topic! Something will come up though...

    Got to agree though - this was posted way too quickly. What was it, a couple of hours after the topic was announced? Just think how good you could make a column if you actually put some time into it. Sure, get to an initial draft within a couple of hours, but don't post that draft (although as this is a tournament, send that initial draft to the mentors for comments). Leave it a day. Go back a read it. Correct the mistakes. Improve it. Read it again. When the feedback from those mentors comes in, feed that input into your column. Read it again. Tidy it up. And keep reading it again until it's as close to perfect as you can get it.

    I'm not perfect, but patience is a big part of becoming a good writer.

    FACT or FICTION: The Future of Smackdown
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  4. #4
    The Brain
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    A topic very near and dear to my heart! I envy you as a wrestling fan made in the 80s, on the NWA and WCW. As a fan who only started watching in 2003 I saw little of Dusty's career unfold in real time, but I've consumed a lot of older wrestling in my journey and the more I see of the man, the more I love him. Few could match him... I still get chills every time I listen to his 1994 promo to Dusty Rhodes where he calls Arn Anderson "a walk behinder". I'm literally shivering in my seat at work right now thinking of him saying "the view never changes". Very few people can do that to me, in wrestling or in any medium.

    I'm a big fan of taking an incredibly detailed, almost microscopically close look at something and analyzing it to it's core, so this was up my alley in that respect as well. Nice use of details, such as the repeated 3:44, as a stylistic touch. I like that you acknowledged the issues with his Common Man run in the WWF, though there was much fun to be had there. The only thing I would have liked to see a little more of, and this could just be a personal thing, is to spare a thought towards WWE's at times difficulty with the legacy of Dusty. There's long been respect there, but there's also the recurring difficulty within the company to fully canonize anything not of their own making. Just a thought, and maybe not the right time or place after all when I think about it.

    Very pleased with this and looking forward to more from you!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    I have yet to watch the video, something I fully intend to do after reading this, but the way you dissected this 3:44 video was just marvelous. You''ve got alot of potential to be really good writer, especially if you continue putting personal touches in your columns. Columns that are closer to the vest tend to be more inviting and your passion for Dusty Rhodes, and this video, really shone.

    I absolutely enjoyed this column. Good job.

  6. #6
    Main Pager Maverick's Avatar
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    As last time, you’ve written extremely well and used your topic exactly as intended. I might’ve liked a bit more detail on the famous matches and moments, particularly from his pre Wrestlemania Era peak, as I know not that much about it, but this was an accomplished column with a personal touch that I very much enjoyed.

  7. #7
    You know who I am, but you don't know why I'm here
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    Echoing Button's comments, you had plenty of time (presumably) to give this a good thorough re-read before posting. Perhaps you were on vacation and had to do this quickly. Fair enough if that's the case. Still, this would take the average reader 5 minutes to consume, so a 10-minute re-read session to eliminate simple errors would've scored you more points.

    Otherwise, another very nicely done piece. You're a good writer. I'm assuming you're not a new column writer.
    Author of The WrestleMania Era book series, author of The Doctor's Orders columns on LOP since 2010, LOP Columns Hall of Famer, former host of The Doc Says podcast on LOP Radio (2013-2018), former LOP Raw and WWE PPV Reviewer (2006-2007), and former LOP Smackdown Reviewer (2004-2006)

  8. #8
    Author of 101 WWE Matches To See Before You Die Samuel 'Plan's Avatar
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    Another finely tuned, finely written piece. I for one didn't have much of an issue with errors or the like, because I don't think this was any worse than the quality of a standard effort one of us would write and post up on the MP necessarily - though utilising the full extent of the time afforded for the round, or more of it at least, does feel like a sensible piece of advice I'd emphasise. Also, I'd love to see you engage proactively with the community here too, otherwise you won't get the full experience of being a member of this great little club! Read other writers, feed them back (you've got clear talent and knowledge to help!) and post about a bit. I'd love to see you engage more in that regard (more an aside, than a piece of tourney feedback!).

    I wasn't sure at first if I loved or loathed your interesting pivot on the topic, but I think I'm settling more on the side of love - to binge watch something so relatively short, so seemigly unassuming so obsessively because of your love for its subject matter, and to take the time to pick it apart in such microscopic detail, is the sort of analysis that is right up my street. And the heart in your writing, and the odd spark of humour, was warming; incidentally, I got a stronger impression of your personality this time too!

    Not much to say beyond I had no issues with technique, I got a kick out of your approach and I admire the quality of your work.

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