Dustin Rhodes made his professional wrestling debut in September of 1988 and is still an active competitor to this day, most recently challenging Claudio Castagnoli for the ROH World Title on an episode of AEW Rampage back in August, almost 34 years on from his debut match.
Speaking to fellow AEW star Chris Jericho on a recent episode of his ‘Talk Is Jericho’ podcast, Dustin Rhodes reflected on his career and spoke about some of the veterans he learned from during his formative years in the business.
“He’s The Greatest Salesman In The Business” – Dustin Rhodes On Ricky’The Dragon’ Steamboat
The former Goldust name dropped legends such as Arn Anderson, Bobby Eaton and Barry Windham when speaking about important mentors in his career.
But it was Ricky Steamboat, who recently returned to the ring at 69-years-old, that Dustin Rhodes credited for showing him the importance of selling in wrestling:
“It wasn’t until about WCW when Arn and Bobby Eaton and Barry Windham, because me and Barry had known each other since [we were] kids. Me just being around them and driving around them and learning their ways and the way they handled business and things like that, and just listening to Arn, because we worked a lot. Like I said, they were my teachers, and I learned the most probably from Arn and Steamboat.
Some nights, I would wanna sell, and Steamboat said, ‘No, I want you to sit and watch this.’ I got the best seat in the house. I learned his selling, the way he used his hands. Even if his face was covered up, he’s using his hands to sell and shake, and you feel it. He’s the greatest salesman in the business, the greatest arm drag in the business, so you learn those two things, you’re gonna be really good,”
Rhodes admitted that he feels the art of selling is missing from modern day professional wrestling:
“That’s why I started really liking to sell because I think you can tell a really good story by selling. So many guys don’t wanna sell anymore. It’s like nah, let’s do this and get up and do this. Please let me sell. Even if you’re going over, I still like to sell, but I’m gonna get my stuff in, but it’s like I’m gonna sell. I have to. I think that’s kind of what’s missing today, the art of selling,”
During the same interview, Dustin Rhodes spoke about being scared by the initial reaction to his controversial Goldust character.
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.