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Performance Tips from the Dream

Legendary Professional Wrestler Dusty Rhodes passes on skills to his sons, that apply to mascots and in-game performers. See how the American Dream helped develop new charismatic stars.

Ran across this clip from Chris Van Vliet, who covers professional wrestling.

It includes Dusty Rhodes’ children, wrestlers Cody Rhodes (current WWE Universal Champion) and Dustin Rhodes (AEW).

Dusty Rhodes is a significant figure in the history of professional wrestling. Known by his ring name “The American Dream,” Rhodes is celebrated for his charisma, in-ring skills, and contributions both as a performer and a behind-the-scenes influence.

Dusty Rhodes’ impact extends beyond his wrestling accolades. He symbolized the underdog spirit, providing inspiration and entertainment to millions. His legacy is honored through various Hall of Fame inductions and tributes from peers and fans alike.  His work helped shape the modern wrestling landscape and continues to influence the sport today.

Bringing this back to game operations and sports, here his sons are talking about how Dusty taught them important lessons in how to present yourself and connect with the audience.  Notably these lessons for wrestlers have a clear overlap with mascot performance.

First, Cody recalls this advice,

“Maximize your minutes, meaning make the most of the time you are in front of the crowd.”

Then Dustin shares another story:

“It doesn’t matter what you say, how you say it or how you are wrestling…it’s about how you make someone feel.”

Both of these are important for any performer.

First, you may not have a time out for skit or a big moment planned in the game….but you can still maximize your moments. Stand out.  Make your own impact.  Do something memorable.

And then don’t forget while the big on-field moments where everyone is watching are great, its the smaller interactions that kids and fans will remember.  And they remember it because how you make them feel.  Stopping for a photo, autograph or high five for one fan will be more impactful than a big moment at center court for that fans.  Go above and beyond in any way you can to make fans feel important, valued and appreciated.

More on Dusty Rhodes:

Key Contributions and Importance:

1. Charismatic Persona:
– Dusty Rhodes was known for his relatable and charismatic persona. Unlike the heavily muscled and glamorous wrestlers of his era, Rhodes portrayed a blue-collar everyman, which resonated deeply with fans. His famous catchphrase “The American Dream” symbolized hope and perseverance, earning him a loyal fan base.

2. Promo Skills:
– Rhodes was an exceptional talker and delivered some of the most memorable promos in wrestling history. His “Hard Times” promo is legendary for its emotional impact and delivery, showcasing his ability to connect with audiences on a personal level.

3. In-Ring Career:
– Throughout his career, Rhodes held numerous championships, including multiple World Heavyweight Titles. He competed in various territories and promotions, such as the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), Jim Crockett Promotions, and later World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and WWE.
– Notable rivalries with wrestlers like Ric Flair and Tully Blanchard are key highlights of his in-ring career.

4. Influence as a Booker:
– Beyond his work in the ring, Rhodes made a significant impact as a booker (wrestling writer) and producer. He was instrumental in creating compelling storylines and matches that drew large audiences. His influence was particularly felt in the 1980s during his time with Jim Crockett Promotions.
– Rhodes is credited with the creation of iconic wrestling concepts such as the WarGames match and the Starrcade event, which is considered one of the first major wrestling supercards.

5. Mentorship and Legacy:
– Later in his career, Rhodes worked with WWE’s developmental territory, NXT, where he mentored many future stars. His teaching and guidance helped shape the careers of numerous wrestlers who have gone on to become top performers in the industry.
– Rhodes’ sons, Dustin (Goldust) and Cody Rhodes, have also become prominent wrestling figures, continuing his legacy within the industry.

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