Dusty Rhodes, affectionately known as "The American Dream," is often remembered as one of the most vibrant and influential figures in professional wrestling history. Renowned for his unique charisma and atypical wrestler's physique, Rhodes resonated deeply with fans, championing a "common man" image that set him apart from his contemporaries.
In a recent interview with "Wrestling Shoot Interviews," Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, a former WWE Intercontinental Champion, shared his thoughts on Rhodes and his contemporary, the late "Superstar" Billy Graham. Valentine praised Rhodes for his ability to captivate audiences without the traditional muscular build often seen in wrestling.
“The best body was Dusty Rhodes,” Valentine asserted, highlighting Rhodes' innate ability to entertain and connect with fans. “He didn't need a good body to be a superstar. His charisma, those thrilling moments in the ring, and his unforgettable interviews made him a legend.
I'm a huge fan of Dusty. His talent shone brightest during his comebacks; he truly had a heart of gold and an endless reservoir of energy”.
Rhodes vs. Graham Rivalry
In contrast, "Superstar" Billy Graham, known for his impressive physique and bodybuilding accolades, presented a stark contrast to Rhodes.
Graham, who once trained alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, brought a different kind of appeal to the ring. Despite their contrasting styles, Rhodes and Graham were significant figures in the wrestling world during the 1970s and 1980s, engaging in memorable feuds, including a notable rivalry over the WWWF Heavyweight Championship (now known as the WWE Championship) between 1977 and 1978.
While Valentine acknowledged Graham's exceptional interview skills, he expressed a personal preference for Rhodes' in-ring work. "Billy Graham had great interviews, but I don't think he was as skilled in the ring. I found myself not as engaged with his matches," Valentine candidly shared.
"But with Dusty, it was a different story. He was not just a wrestler; he was a performer who brought life and energy into every match."