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In an instance where a true dream became reality, SpartaCon ( presents The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast welcoming the one and only “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes. Dusty takes a walk down memory lane to discuss the illustrious history of professional wrestling in the state of Florida and Eddie Graham’s Championship Wrestling from Florida promotion. We discuss the classic feuds, crowds, atmosphere and the infamous Tampa Armory where some of wrestling’s biggest moments took place. We also get a glimpse into how the “American Dream” came to be and the driving force behind all of the spirited promos and interviews that made “the common man” a true fan favorite and one of the greatest of all time. Additionally, we find out what exactly is being taught at the WWE Performance Center to the future stars of the WWE and how the history of the wrestling business plays such a significant role in their development.

Full Episode Download Link:

Dusty Rhodes on his longtime feud with The Funk Family:

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The creation of the Florida Wrestling Wall of Fame at the JCC and Federation in Tampa, Florida:

It’s amazing. There are so many people that have unfortunately passed on that when you go back and look at in Florida, the wall may simply not be enough. This tribute may have to go all the way around the building. They have some great designs for it and it’s costing a lot of money. So we need the money, we need the backing, we need the focus, we need all these things to make this come true. For me it all started in Florida with The Great Malenko and Eddie Graham. It all started there. Entertainment, show business. Maybe this wall of memories can really stay up for a long time and I will be honored to be on it.

Performing at the Fort Hesterly Armory in Tampa:

Whatever they were, the mood we were in changed the course of not only the whole state but you wanted to play The Garden, The Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis for (Sam) Muchnick, you wanted to go see Paul Boesch because he had the best pay-offs in the industry in addition to the Armory. Which actually wasn’t a great pay-off but they didn’t know it then, I would have done it for nothing.

Becoming “The American Dream”:

When I became “The American Dream” they needed a hero down here. I had no money. I couldn’t buy a car without being tied under but I had to have a Cadillac with blue stars on the hood no matter what it cost because just driving in it will set how they look at me and perceive this guy, they’ll know. The first time a truck was ever driven into a building it wasn’t a beer truck. It was my truck, in the Fort Hesterly Armory through the side door with Willie Nelson blaring on the radio, making an entrance.

Taking the job as booker for Eddie Graham:

I was called in one day in Tampa and Eddie (Graham) said go get an assistant (which ended up being Jerry Brisco) because we are going to make you the booker. What I learned about booking talent was with Eddie allowing me to have the open door to say I’m turning this over to you, take off with it. I used it as a motivation when I was booking. People always say, well Dusty always booked himself on top. I put myself on top because the seats are 17 1/2 inches apart and I’m selling out 12,000 seat arenas. That’s why I was on top. If you don’t have an ego and you don’t have a goal, you ain’t worth a damn.

What he teaches in NXT & his connection to his students:

Given the talent right now, I teach all my kids in my communications classes down in NXT that us giving them the opportunity to be free and do things on their own and what will fit their own body of work, it is the best thing they can do. In the last 2 ½ years you can see that in the kids that have made it up to RAW and Smackdown. These 70 or 80 kids that we have down here now in NXT look at me at 69 years old and say you are the coolest 69 year old guy they’ve ever met. It’s because I’ve changed with the times and I haven’t just stayed stuck in one hour Broadways with Bob Orton Sr. and Eddie Graham.

His matches with Ric Flair and the NWA title chase:

All of us together being able to make something really special. With “Naitch” it was easy because he had already crossed that threshold of the entertainment being brought into our industry. But we also could go 7 nights in a row. At the Great American Bash tour we went 7 in a row for one hour a night and made a story that you could understand and that made the people almost in a riot. My chase was the best. I learned from Eddie one night at the Armory that he didn’t even need to make me the NWA Champion because my chase is what’s best and eventually that became me getting short spurts with the title, but that’s all you needed. To walk out as the prestigious NWA Champion it was amazing.

Dusty Rhodes also talks about his chemistry with Gordon Solie, what made him vs. Superstar Billy Graham so special, his feelings on WCW booking him in the nWo, Larry Zbyszko and more on the history of Championship Wrestling from Florida.