‘The Natural’ speaks about his future in wrestling.
August 2022 was the most recent match that Dustin Rhodes wrestled for AEW. He took on Claudio Castagnoli in an ROH World Title bout at a Rampage taping. When not with AEW, he’s running his Rhodes Wrestling Academy.
To promote the academy’s next showcase on November 13th, Rhodes returned to the Sports Guys Talking Wrestling podcast. It was mentioned that Dustin had ‘work done’ on his knee at some point in the past several months. Dustin said he’s feeling good and is hoping to be back in two weeks time.
Knee’s great man. I’m feeling good. I’m ready to go back so I’ll be back very, very soon. Probably two weeks.
A post that Rhodes shared on social media was brought up as a topic of discussion. In the post, Rhodes noted that old age caught up to him and he was doing some heavy thinking about what’s next.
Dustin stated that at the time of that post, his knee was giving him trouble but now he feels better. He went on to share that he has ‘a little less than a year’ left on his AEW contract.
Right now, I feel good. Yes, I am getting older so yeah, that [my future] kind of weighs on my mind a little bit.
Well, I’ve had a lot of cleanings. I never had an ACL surgery so a lot of cleanings but this is 14 surgeries all together. I was feeling a little old because my knee, it was taking me a little longer to recuperate from it but now it’s like, once it went over the hill, it’s like, great. Now I got it, it’s good to go. But I am getting older and they’re getting younger and faster and I know my time is short so, I’m just trying, you know? I still have a year under contract or a little less than a year and I’m just gonna try to do the best I can and entertain as much as I can because I still love it, you know? And [I’m] still pretty passionate about it but it is a young man’s game, as everybody finds out, as The Undertaker found out, as Bret Hart found out, Stone Cold found out. All the greats that end up getting out and you know, Jeff Jarrett just came aboard and he called himself ‘The Last Outlaw’ and I kind of have a little beef with him because of that because I consider myself — because I’m still working and still working at a high capacity. ‘The Last Outlaw’, like the last of my kind, from back in the day and that’s like a badge of honor to me and he called himself that and I kind of got pissed, and I like Jeff.
Towards the back end of the quote above, Rhodes spoke about Jeff Jarrett. He further spoke on AEW’s newest acquisition and thinks Jarrett will do well in his role as Director of Business Development.
Well Jeff [Jarrett], he has quite of an extensive background for stuff like this, right? For the live events, for international distribution, things like that of that nature and he’s been behind the camera and in the truck and as a director and running the shows with TNA back in the day with Dixie Carter and now he comes aboard here to help us out on some of the live events and the buildings and I think it’s gonna be great. I think he’s gonna make an immediate impact…
Circling back around to what his future could look like, Rhodes admitted that there are times when he is scared to wrestle out of fear of making mistakes and knowing he’ll be called out for it, but that feeling goes away once it’s showtime.
With that, he’s grateful Tony Khan has given him the opportunity to be on that stage and wrestle the likes of CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) and the late Jon Huber (Brodie Lee).
The old age is kicking in to where my stamina is not where it used to be. But when the red light goes on and I can say this for every single one of our talents and WWE’s and everybody’s talent, you’re nervous and you’re scared, am I gonna mess something up? And for me, lately, it’s like I’m getting really scared of working anymore or wrestling anymore because I’m getting older and I don’t wanna mess up and I know if I mess up, the audience is gonna call me out on it and say Dustin needs to retire. So that’s always weighing on the back of my mind but as soon as you’re ready to go out there and that red light comes on, it all disappears and it’s like jumping on your bicycle and riding it and you just go to it and it’s over and you come back to the curtain and the back and you’re like, okay, that wasn’t so bad. I can still do this. Can I do it at a certain level? If I can tell a story, yes. It’s fun that way, right? And Tony [Khan] allows me that opportunity or gives me that opportunity to be an attraction, to tell some stories with some kind of dream scenarios for me. Like the Bryan Danielson, the [CM] Punks, being in there with The Young Bucks in a six-man, stuff like that and Cody [Rhodes] and Brodie [Lee], God rest his soul. Those guys, Lance Archer. Those matches, we got to tell our story and take our time and Sammy [Guevara] too, Sammy’s frickin’ awesome. I love Sammy.
To close out the conversation, Rhodes was asked for his thoughts on the AEW World Championship match at Full Gear between MJF and champion Jon Moxley. As he was speaking about MJF, he recounted a conversation he had with him and telling Friedman that he’d be a babyface sooner or later.
MJF also delivers, right? But he’s just on the cusp of his greatness and he’s doing so many great things right now and the heel-babyface-tweener back and forth, they hated him, they kind of love him. You know, and I’ve talked to MJF about this. ‘Sooner or later, you’re gonna be a babyface buddy’ and it looks like that’s kind of where it’s going because they love him and it’s just what it is and MJF hasn’t had to go out there and wrestle every night. He has got the gift of gab and he’s one of those people that can talk people in the building and there’s not very many of those and he does a great job of that.
On the day of Full Gear, POST Wrestling is hosting our five-year anniversary show. Tickets for that can be purchased at this link.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit Sports Guys Talking Wrestling with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.