Ross on his last memory of Dusty Rhodes:
“The last match that he and I called together was William Regal vs Dean Ambrose in FCW in Tampa a couple of years ago. And we approached that just like a Clash of Champions, and we were so fired up to go out and call that match. And when it was over, we both realized that we were both too Southern to probably ever work again on a National basis. We knew that the handwriting was on the wall but it didn’t scare us and it didn’t bother us. We got to go do that last one. We had a lot of fun and some of my best work… and people can go back and listen and be selective… the Dusty Rhodes /JR combination of where I followed him along on these storytelling journeys that he booked, and he did color on were some of the most fun times I ever had in broadcasting. Some of the things we said to each other, and he said and words he would invent were just absolutely hilarious, and I owe him a lot and I will never be able to repay him but some day our paths will cross again.”
Ross on his reaction when he heard the news:
“I choose to celebrate his life rather than to mourn his death. I knew for several weeks that there was something wrong and of course Dusty would never admit it. I compared him to John Wayne in his last movie – he knew that something was wrong, but he didn’t want to talk about it, and he wanted to go out on his terms, and his style and that’s what happened, and as quickly and as suddenly he was taken from us. I was up pretty much all night, and I just decided that as the day has gone on that I choose to celebrate his life, my fun that I had with him, the confidence he put in me. When Bill Watts sold Jim Crockett promotions, Dusty put great confidence in me to get the storylines over on NWA Pro and UWF. He kind of indirectly got a little heat on me because he said to some guys that I announced a match, I think it was Dr. Death vs Big Bubba Rogers he said that was an announcing clinic to all the announcers that worked for us and they should listen to this match. It didn’t do him any favors – but all it did was give me great confidence that my work was OK and Dusty facilitated my break to get on TBS and begin some somewhat relevance on national cable. I’ll always owe him for that. I’ll never owe him that $100 that I lost on the game of horse that we played at 3 in the morning after drinking beer all night because I paid my debt… But I just choose to remember him as the human being that he was and the great times that we had, and not the man that had lost all that weight and you could see him virtually vanishing before our very eyes. It is a sad day and we do need to mourn, but we also need to celebrate what he brought us and what he brought to the dance. He played himself in the ring, that character. He was the American Dream. He was that blue collar guy. I loved him and I will miss him but I choose to celebrate his life as opposed to mourning here today as best I can.”
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