Tommy Dreamer Claims Dusty Rhodes “Was My Idol”

Hamish Woodward

If there were ever two legends in wrestling who were so different, yet so similar, it would be Tommy Dreamer and Dusty Rhodes.

Both men are legends in the business, and two of the most likeable faces to ever wrestle.

However, Dusty Rhodes was a star in the 1970s and 1980s, travelling the world as the iconic “American Dream”, winning world titles and battling stars like Ric Flair and Terry Funk as the top star in the country.

Dusty Rhodes vs Ric Flair - The Great American Bash 1986
Dusty Rhodes vs Ric Flair face off at The Great American Bash 1986

Meanwhile, Dreamer made his name in bingo halls, taking chair shots and kendo sticks as the sympathetic babyface in Extreme Championship Wrestling.

Dreamer was the heart and soul of the promotion, and even contemplated ending it all (and Paul Heyman) when the promotion went under in 2000.

However, Tommy Dreamer and Dusty Rhodes are very much alike, with Rhodes being the reason why Dreamer became a wrestler in the first place.

Tommy Dreamer on Dusty Rhodes

Tommy Dreamer recently spoke about Dusty Rhodes, in an interview with WrestleZone.

The former ECW Champion gushed about the WWE Hall of Famer, calling him “an amazing teacher” and noted how he is influential even today, nearly a decade after his death.

The Hardcore legend also noted that Dusty Rhodes was Tommy Dreamer’s idol, crediting The American Dream as the reason he became a wrestler, in the first place.

“Listen, man, my Dusty-isms, and I have a lot. He’s an amazing teacher. We’re still number one, talking about him, but his influence is today from the men and women that he helped. For me, man, he was my idol.

He was the reason I’m in this business. And then later on, I found out that he considered me one of his five closest friends in the industry, which was awesome.”

Tommy Dreamer went on to reveal how he used to work with Dusty Rhodes, late on in each of their careers.

He noted that he and Dusty had offices across the hall from each other, in the WWE.

Dusty Rhodes was also influential in getting Tommy Dreamer on the WrestleMania 23 card. Dreamer teamed with fellow ECW legends Rob Van Dam, Sabu and Sandman, to take on four of the up-and-coming stars on the brand.

“I had the ability to sit under his learning tree, just like Paul Heyman did, and Eddie Graham. I had the availability not only just to hang out with Dusty or call Dusty, but there was a time when I worked in WWE,

Dusty literally worked across the hall from me, and I got to hang out with him on a daily basis. Or then when he was doing WWE’s ECW and fought for us to have a WrestleMania moment.”

Tommy Dreamer has paid tribute many times to Dusty Rhodes, since the latter’s death in 2015.

He wore polka dots (Dusty’s signature look in the WWE) during the Casino Battle Royal at AEW Double or Nothing 2019, and has worn a variety of shirts referencing the American Dream inside the ring.

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