Former WWE star Wesley Blake has looked back fondly on his time learning from Dusty Rhodes at the WWE Performance Center, claiming he is forever indebted to the Rhodes family for the late wrestling legend’s mentorship!
Speaking to Inside The Ropes‘ own Innes McVey, the former Forgotten Son discussed the origins of his tag team with Murphy in NXT – revealing that Matt Bloom and Dusty Rhodes were responsible for pairing the two together.
“I was walking into work one day and Matt Bloom, who was a commentator at that time in NXT and was also doing some coaching there at the Performance Center, he’s the one that pulled me off to the side and told me, ‘Hey, I think you and Murphy should try tagging’ and I was thrilled, ‘If he wants to do it, then I’m all game.’
That night I went to promo class with Dusty Rhodes, The American Dream, and after I cut my promo, he told me to come back tomorrow and cut a promo with Buddy Murphy with no real storyline or nothing. He’s like, ‘I just want to see you two in front of the camera.’ So that’s what we did. The very next day we went and cut a promo and then that weekend, we went on and started doing live events together.”
The now-Westin Blake went on to credit Dusty for elevating his promo abilities and giving him confidence as a performer, for which he feels forever grateful to Dusty’s family!
“He was an absolute professional and had such an aura about him. He just brought star power and he just brought this kind of certainty where you think ‘If I can entertain him, then I know that I can entertain the masses.’ He helped me out so much. I’m forever in debt to the Rhodes family just because of what Dusty did, he instilled confidence in me.”
When I first got there to NXT, cutting promos and stuff like that wasn’t my strongest forte in my opinion. It was the stuff that I really had to work on. I really had to find confidence in what I was saying and what I was trying to do. But man, after about a month of being there with him, he instilled that confidence in me of storytelling through a promo and getting layers of character and stuff like that.
In a promo, it’s sometimes not what you say but how you say and just how he constructed that. It was just really mesmerizing just to watch him work, not only with me but with other NXT talent at that time, coming in with cutting promos and storytelling as well.”
The 33-year old also detailed how Dusty didn’t just help with his students’ promos, sometimes showing them how televised shows were segmented and other aspects of the wrestling business!
“He did wonders for NXT at that time because I remember some promo classes, we wouldn’t cut a promo. He would just show you how TV was written out, he’d say ‘Hey, here’s an hour of TV and I’m going to show you how these segments are broken up.’ So you’re just under a great learning tree of how the business works and how they did it from a business side, how they did from the creative side.
He brought all those elements together so when you were cutting a promo or you were doing a match on TV, you had these weapons or these skill sets that you were always thinking about to help elevate your game.”
You can check out our interview with the former Wesley Blake in full here.