Dustin Rhodes discusses his role in AEW, why he left WWE, and becoming an actor (Exclusive)

I caught up with the man they now call Dustin Rhodes!
I caught up with the man they now call Dustin Rhodes!
Gary Cassidy

I really enjoyed it, one other thing I really enjoyed is that you're still on television in a wrestling capacity, and particularly the scene where you got attacked on AEW Dynamite by Jake Hager. What's it like juggling wrestling and acting, and what's it like being part of AEW as this new, I would say improved, Dustin Rhodes?

They're the same but they're different. One is a physical train wreck every single week. You know what I mean?

We put our bodies through an extreme amount of pain, our bodies are just whipped around like crazy. There's the physical aspect of it and then, on the acting side, you usually have a stunt double that will do that stuff for you and I'm so used to being like, "Oh, I'll do that." They're like, "No, no, Dustin, we got somebody to do that for you," and I'm like, "S**t, I know how to do that." They're like, "No, you're fine, you're fine." And they have these people do that for me and it is easy. There are a lot of similarities, but it's different at the same time too because of the physical aspect.

You recently moved from WWE to AEW. The one thing I guess might be easier if I'm looking at it from the outside, the schedule at AEW seems a lot kinder than the one you were used at the past.

Did the full-on schedule of WWE play into that decision, and does AEW give you more freedom to pursue things like acting? What was the decision behind leaving WWE after so many years and then joining AEW?

With the WWE, I'd had enough. It was time for me to go. It had been such a long, storied career with the Goldust character and, do you know, I really thought that I was going to retire - and then I got pulled in and my passion got reignited when I wrestled my brother, and we had the match of the last decade, probably, if not the last two decades.

It was such a story, a great match. The schedule is a lot different, so it takes some getting used to. We were on the road so much up there that you don't have any time at home with your family and here, with AEW, I love it, man! The scheduling is great. I leave Tuesday to go to the production meeting, Wednesday's TV, come home Thursday and whatever else I want to do, I'm free to do - which I did not have that freedom to do anything that I wanted to do outside of wrestling up there. They made it very, very difficult and that's one of the reasons why I left.


And now here in AEW, I look forward to going to work every single week because I coach the girls, me and Brandi [Rhodes], and Kia [Awesome Kong] and Kenny Omega. I hold this training session every Wednesday with the girls, I'm a backstage producer and coaching for promos, teaching these kids how to talk on camera, and to get them comfortable with a camera in their face - because some of them have never had the television experience so it's a learning experience for them and also I had to have a little patience with them because this is their first time doing it - and I love to teach so I consider AEW and these kids, they are kind of my kids, man. I love them.

And to see them shine, to see and get better, to see them progress in our company, AEW, it's great, it's a great feeling for me. I think they like me, I love being there, I love to help and I also have to still say relevant myself - with my character, Dustin Rhodes, coming back full-circle to where it used to be, just a little bit different and giving it my last full attention here for the next few years as far as Dustin Rhodes is concerned in a wrestling ring.

I'm not done. I've got a few years left and I'm looking forward to it but what I really like doing is teaching these kids, man, because they are a sponge, man, they soak it up and they love it, and they're all very passionate and hungry about this AEW venture that we are on, man.

We're knocking it out of the park every single week, we're doing some amazing, compelling compelling TV and it's fun to watch.

NEXT: The next big thing

COMING UP: "I want to walk the stage and get an Oscar before I die."

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Edited by Greg Bush


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