In 1994, DDP told Rhodes he was disenchanted with the wrestling business due to the way he was being booked. The former WCW star said he knew he was never going to become a world champion or turn into a star as big as Rhodes, Hulk Hogan, or Ric Flair.
Speaking to Lucha Libre Online’s Michael Morales Torres, DDP gave more details about the conversation he had with his long-time mentor. Rhodes, a member of WCW's booking committee at the time, told him he lacked the ambition to win the World Championship.
"And so I know I'm never going to be the World Champion," DDP said. "He [Dusty Rhodes] said, ‘And what the hell are you doing it for?’ He said, ‘If you don't believe, D, if you don't believe that you're going to be the World Champion, you need to get the hell out of our business right now.’ He kept talking and, to be honest, like, I can't tell you a thing he said after that. But I know exactly what I did because it felt like his hand came through the phone and just b****-slapped me."
DDP had a pad of paper next to him while he spoke to Dusty Rhodes on the phone. As Rhodes continued talking, DDP wrote down the sentence, “I will be the World Champion in five years or less.”
DDP achieved his goal to become a WCW World Heavyweight Champion
At WCW Spring Stampede 1999, DDP defeated Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and Sting to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. The match was refereed by another wrestling legend, Randy Savage.
DDP’s title victory took place four years, four months, and 14 days after his inspirational conversation with Dusty Rhodes.
“I'm stepping into the ring with Ric and Hulk,” DDP added. “Dusty is not there, but Sting is and he’s the damn franchise. Randy Savage is the guest referee. When I really think about that today, I'm like, ‘Wow, I predicted it. I saw it.’”
DDP went on to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on two other occasions before joining WWE in 2001. In 2017, he received his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.