Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Thank you Dream!

Since last week, hundreds of eulogies and memorials have been written about professional wrestler Dusty Rhodes, who passed away at the age of 69 last Thursday. Many of them covering Rhodes' career and how he changed the wrestling industry, but I'm not here to do that. Yes, I could regurgitate Wikipedia facts and other things that anyone could find on the internet, but why bother? Other people have got that covered better than I ever could.
-The reason I decided to write something about "The Dream" is because he's a man who actually changed an aspect of my life. In 1989, while watching Superstars of Wresting, I saw a vignette advertising Dusty coming to the WWF:
I wasn't really familiar with Dusty Rhodes. I had seen him occasionally on the NWA show on TBS, but that's about it. I had no idea that he had really had a very long, successful career before that. I was excited, because he looked funny and interesting and then I saw him wrestle. This is, for some reason, the only full length Dusty match that I could find on Youtube, but it's your average Dusty WWF match. And yes, I'm writing WWF, because that's what the company was called at the time:
First, I loved the polka dots. Yep, I was that guy. The only one on God's green Earth that actually LIKED the polka dots. I didn't think they were mocking Dusty or belittling him in anyway, I just thought that they were something different and that they looked cool. What I was most impressed by, however, was how he moved. He FLEW around that ring, then got up and danced, the man had the energy of someone half his size!!! What I haven't told you, was that in 1989, at the age of 16, I weighed close to 250 pounds. So, here I was watching this guy, who weighed just a tad more than I did and he was flying around a wrestling ring in nothing more than polka dot underwear. It was then that I realized that just because a person IS overweight, doesn't mean that they have to ACT like they're overweight. From then on, I decided that it's important to be the person that you are, not the person that people expect you to be.
-So, thank you for that, Dusty. You taught a young kid a very important life lesson, that I'll never forget, and one I always hope to stay true to.

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