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Dustin Rhodes explains how WWE-sponsored rehab saved his life

Dustin Rhodes was the guest on a recent episode of AEW Unrestricted with Tony Schiavone and Aubrey Edwards. Here are some highlights from the interview:

Dustin talking about his match with Cody at Double Or Nothing 2019:  “When you are sitting at home for a couple of months with another company who doesn’t value you at all, and you know you have so much more to offer and give, you kind of lose your passion.  For the first time in 31 years, I lost my passion for the wrestling business.  I love wrestling…They just would give me the time of day and I had enough.  For the first time I stood up for myself in a big way and said I am asking you for my release.  I’m done.  I am not happy here anymore.  They make you wait it out and it was getting very close to Double or Nothing.  Cody called me and said would you like to work a match with me.  At first I thought, we have tried this for years and years and they (WWE) told us it was not good enough to be on the big stage.  I heard that more than once.  Year after year we tried.  They didn’t see any value in yet.  After years of that I started thinking could it be too late for this match to take place.  I’m 50 years old.  Could I give a performance for my brother Cody and for the fans that I could be proud of?  We finally get there.  I was made to feel loved and cared for and respected in the business from day one that I met Tony Khan.”

Dustin talking about when he first left WWE early in his career:  “I remember one time when Dad told me this.  We were working Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase and Dad was on his way out.  He was going back to Florida to open a territory there or try to revive a territory under a new moniker.  I wanted to go with him.  I see Dad talking to Vince and Dad told me that I need to ask for my release.  I’ve been there about six months.  I went and asked.  I said I would like to go with my father to back up this company.  He said yes.  He let me go, right away.  It was much different back then than now.  But then he pulled Dusty aside later and Dusty told me that Vince said you take him now, but I’m going to bring him back and make him a star.  I don’t think Dad was lying to me about that but he kept that from me for a good many years.  But Vince made me a star.”

Dustin talking about his first in ring experience:  “Dusty didn’t want me to get into the business… One day, I picked him up at the airport.  We had about a 40 minute drive.  He said I’m going to break you into the business.  He gave me a 45 minute crash course of the business.  He said you are going to get in your car tomorrow or the next day, whenever it was, and drive to Amarillo while he is on his private jet, the Crockett jet.  Go get you a referee shirt.  I’m going to have you referee two matches.  I get there and I’m nervous.  I’m 18 years old.  He puts me in 2 tag matches.  The second one was the Midnight Express against the Rock and Roll Express.  Tommy Young was the head referee and he is looking at me making sure I don’t f..up.  Everything went according to plan.  I went down for the count, one, two, three.  I lift Ricky and Robert’s hands up.  I look down at Tommy Young and he is laughing and the whole building is laughing at me.  I look down at Tom and he points down to my crotch.  I had ripped from the belt all the way back around to the belt in the back and had no drawers on.  So, my balls are hanging out for all of Amarillo, TX to see.”

Dustin talking about his past drug use: “I was very bad into drugs and alcohol for a good chunk of four or five years.  It got really terribly bad.  I did not care about life.  I did not care about my daughter.  I did not care about anything except drinking and taking pills and doing cocaine.  That’s all I cared about and it got really bad.  I had a three day binge and I could not snap out of it.  It scared me.  That was my rock bottom.  The third day happens and it’s 4 in the morning.  A lot of things are going on in my body.  At that point I had lost everything because I pawned everything.  I lived in a little garage that was connected to somebody’s house that I was renting.  I had nothing except clothes and a few things.  No cell services.  Dad gave me one of his cell phones.  If I needed cell service, I had to crawl up the hill.  It is pouring down rain.  It is 4 in the morning.  My wife is there now with me through all this.  She helps me crawl out.  I am so shit faced.  I crawl up the hill and call my Dad.  I tell him that I need help.  WWE has the Wellness Program.  They got me in the next day.  I loaded up on drugs and alcohol going into rehab.  I get out of rehab 30 days later and I never turned back.  It’s almost 12 years and from that day I got out of rehab, Dad would call me every day to make sure I was working my program.  I went an AA meeting for 2 years straight every single night.  Every phone call would end with him saying he is proud of me.”

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription






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