Tuesday, June 16, 2015

WWF Dream Matches for Dusty Rhodes

Dusty in the WWF
Photo courtesy: WWE
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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I have been thinking a lot about Dusty Rhodes over the last few days.  By the time I had started watching wrestling, he was a well-established name in the business.  Dusty was the NWA's top baby face taking on everyone from Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard and Nikita Koloff.  Then in 1989 the unthinkable happened.  The American Dream moved north and took up residency in the WWF.  While Dusty battled big names like Randy Savage, Ted DiBiase and "Ravishing" Rick Rude; there are a few more WWF Superstars I wish he would have had a chance to wrestle in his short run there.  

Curt Hennig was coming into his own as Mr. Perfect about the same time Dusty arrived in the WWF during the summer of 1989.  Several months later, with the help of Bobby "The Brian" Heenan, Mr. Perfect won his first Intercontinental title.  Don't get me wrong, I'm glad Kerry Von Erich won the championship at SummerSlam '90, but I think Dusty would have been a great opponent too.  Perfect's ability to sell and Dusty's animated way of wrestling would have produced some great matches that also brought a high level of entertainment to the show.

At Wrestlemania 6 we got our first real taste of baby face vs. baby face when Hulk Hogan defended the WWF championship against IC champ The Ultimate Warrior.  In the months leading up to that showdown, I would have loved to seen Hogan defend against Dusty.  Arguably the two the most popular guys in the business at the time, the two faces could have made money.  But this was in an era before weekly live television and monthly pay-per-views.  Plus, Vince McMahon wasn't putting on a lot of these types of matches. 

We all know Dusty was a big guy.  But an even bigger guy was Andre the Giant.  The two did wrestle each other in 1980 in Japan.  They were 10 years younger and much more agile during that contest.  But the mark in me would have loved to seen the Dream deliver a couple of Bionic Elbows to the legendary giant.  By the time Dusty arrived in the WWF though, Andre was well past his prime and wrestling mostly in tag team matches with Haku or losing to the Ultimate Warrior in 30 seconds or less.

Who would you have liked to seen Dusty wrestle during his WWF days?  Others on my short list include Von Erich, Warrior and Roddy Piper.

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