After his incredibly successful and WWE Hall of Fame-worthy wrestling career, Dusty Rhodes turned his attention to helping develop the talent of the future. He was instrumental behind the scenes in NXT, helping talent develop promo skills as well as doling out advice to help wrestlers develop as WWE Superstars.
However, the son of a plumber was giving advice long before his time in NXT. During a recent interview with Sporktskeeda’s UnsKripted, former wrestling manager Baby Doll opened up about her time working with The American Dream during their time in Jim Crockett Promotions beginning in 1985. Real name Nickla Roberts, Baby Doll was married to Sam Houston the sister-in-law of Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts prior to her divorce in 1994.
When it came to her time working with Dusty Rhodes, the legendary valet said that she received advice that was instrumental into making her a star in professional wrestling.
“He taught me how to be like a star. Like how not to be Nickla but how to be Baby Doll and like being a heel. Like, don’t sign autographs because I set down my bag one time, and he was like, ‘Don’t set that, just go to the car.’ Just different things like that.”
“It Was Really Fun To Be In That Spot” – Baby Doll On Working With Dusty Rhodes
After joining Jim Crockett Promotions in 1985, Baby Doll was introduced as manager to Four Horsemen member Tully Blanchard. However, when The American Dream defeated Blanchard for the NWA World Television Title in July of 1985, she was forced to serve as Rhodes’ valet for 30 days.
The two participated in many on-screen vignettes together, with Rhodes attempting to turn his new valet into a “real lady.”
Nickla Roberts remembers these vignettes fondly, praising Rhodes for his creativity with her character and saying he treated her like his version of Marilyn Monroe.
“I loved doing the vignettes with him, like going out to Nelson’s and riding off on Floyd. How creative he was with my character and how much he loved Baby Doll and Baby Doll was his Marilyn Monroe. It was really fun to be in that spot.”
Though she largely stepped away from the spotlight after the height of her career in the 1980’s, Roberts has continued to make sporadic wrestling appearances throughout the 2000’s. In 2016, she competed against another wrestling legend in Jim Cornette in “Battle of the Sexes” matches for Big Time Wrestling.
Another longtime wrestling veteran who received valuable advice from Rhodes is WWE Chief Content Officer Triple H, who called Rhodes his “partner” in helping develop NXT.