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Dustin Rhodes

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How was Dustin's TNA run? What about Japan stuff? Dustin is one of the most up and down people ever. Someone  needs to put together a mega post career retrospective and highlight the highs and lows and sort of just chart out where he is, what he's doing and whether it's good Dustin or bad Dustin 

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2 hours ago, elliott said:

How was Dustin's TNA run? What about Japan stuff? 

His TNA stint was awful. Worst time of his career. Worst character, worst shape, totally out of it. Don't watch it, people, it's bad for you.

I dunno about Japan, but I remember that dog of a match against DBS that is mentionned in @KinchStalker's awesome biography thread. The Tokyo Dome match teaming with his father vs Kim Duk & Masa Saito is not exactly setting the world on fire either, but can't blame Dustin there.

Since I've been watching some 90's NJPW lately (well not since the G1 has begun), I have been thinking about an analogy that may come off super odd to many, but actually makes sense to me. Keiji Mutoh. Ok, now I love Dustin, and I have for a long, long time. And I also love Keiji Mutoh, including as the Great Muta, which I always find to be a compelling, quite fascinating character (yeah, the snail pace, the blood, the mist, the explosive Mutoh spots in between, not to mention the cool looks). Both had periods where they are just awesome workers. In the early 90's, Mutoh is just wonderful to watch (when he's on) and clearly the second best worker behind Hase (you thought I was gonna say Hashimoto ? Well think again, he really did not hit his stride before a few years later). Then he has his period where he just doesn't seem to give a fuck (period or matches actually). Well, Dustin was the same, he was awesome (but on a much steadier way) for most of the first half of the 90's, then by the time he got into Goldust mode he wasn't so awesome (although, much like with Muta, the presentation is one of my all-time favorite) and then in late WCW and TNA he wasn't good at all.

Like Mutoh would just overshot his moonsault, Dustin would hit his running bulldog and yeah, cool, whatever makes contact with the mat Dust, really ! BTW I do think people cut some slack to Dustin because he's so beloved in term of some of his stuff not looking *that* great. The delayed punch where he drops on his knees is a cool looking but completely idiotic spot (yes, really) in that in 90% of the case, it looks just too damn delayed for the other guy not to see it coming. But then again, it's a cool looking spot that still gets a pop, like Mutoh's infamous elbow.

And then Mutoh reinvents himself in the early 00's and all of a sudden he's the coolest wrestler in the world *again* (he was, everybody was doing Shining Wizard) and he's twisting up his style a bit and having a new bunch of big matches. And then also sometime in the early 00's, Dustin gets back in shape and reinvents himself as a part of the high end working crew of WWE, working with a younger generation and fitting just right in. After much ups and downs, Dustin at 50 has one of the best match of his career. Mutoh remains a frustrating and puzzling worker at times, yet managed to have a pretty cool main event stint in NOAH at *58* years old. I love both overall and their peaks are awesome, and their lows are abyss-deep. And they have created two of the most unique characters in pro-wrestling. I have no idea where they would fit in my list (Dustin is probably overall better, Mutoh being the biggest star had more opportunity to deliver in big, important settings and he's also super important in term of style in the grand scheme of things, Tanahashi, Naito & SANADA are pretty much direct offsprings)

So there, that was a complete disorganized rant...

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Even Black Reign had glimmers of classic Dustin. His first PPV match in the gimmick, where he just beats the shit out of Chris Harris before getting DQd, is surprisingly entertaining, even if it's barely a match. His offence still looks pretty good, even if his motivation is clearly lacking.

I'm in a position where I'm playing catch up with AEW, but every time Dustin shows up, he feels like one of the best guys there. The Rampage match against Black was really good, and Dustin looked great. For "man in his 50s vs ex WWE guy", it smoked Suzuki/Ambrose from the same show.

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Dustin actually did not look that great in the match. He looked good for sure, but everything was not exactly on point either, as it's been talked about in the weekly thread. Like I said, I love Dustin, but to me the idea that he's one of the best guy in AEW is just reaching because he's an old-school favorite. He's still *very good* and there's nothing wrong about that and it's totally a credit to him. But let's not get carried away either. I love having Dustin show on on my TV and kicking ass in 2021 still. Is he a *great* worker in 2021 ? Nope, I would not say that. Is his AEW stint adding to his resume in a very positive fashion ? Yep, for sure. 

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I think whether or not he feels like one of the best guys in AEW doesn't just depend on Dustin but the rest of the roster as well. For example, I know from your posts that there are several workers there you're much higher on than I am, who I don't enjoy watching as much as DR, plus Dustin has the benefit of showing up less often, so it's a bigger treat when he does.

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24 minutes ago, NotJayTabb said:

I think whether or not he feels like one of the best guys in AEW doesn't just depend on Dustin but the rest of the roster as well. For example, I know from your posts that there are several workers there you're much higher on than I am, who I don't enjoy watching as much as DR, plus Dustin has the benefit of showing up less often, so it's a bigger treat when he does.

Fair enough, from that point of view I can totally see it, yes. If you haven't seen the Dustin vs QT Marshall match from a few weeks ago on Dark, I really recommend it. Basically both trainers showing their students how it's done, very enjoyable match with some cool little twists.

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Thanks, that sounds like something I'd be very interested in. I should say for context that I'm having to play catch up with a lot of wrestling, in effect I took a year off from actively watching following Speaking Out. I've been working through Dynamites since signing up for AEW Plus 2 months ago, and Dustin is one of the guys I still get excited for.

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