As Dustin Rhodes nears the end of a remarkable journey in professional wrestling, he considered hanging up his boots in 2019 until All Elite Wrestling (AEW) breathed new life into his storied career. In AEW, Rhodes has not only tested his mettle against the company's rising stars but has also encountered premier international talents, thanks to the "Forbidden Door" initiative.
This collaboration bridges AEW with global wrestling powerhouses such as New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) and Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL), among others. During a candid conversation on "Sports Guys Talking Wrestling," Rhodes shared his appreciation for the talent emerging from CMLL, praising their unparalleled prowess developed in Mexico's esteemed wrestling arenas.
"These athletes are extraordinary, mastering their art in the vibrant wrestling culture of Mexico," he noted, eagerly watching the interaction between AEW's talents and Mexico's finest.
AEW's Vibrant Culture
Rhodes extolled the nurturing and dynamic atmosphere at AEW, expressing his enthusiasm, "Being part of this innovative environment is exhilarating.
Everyone is thriving in their roles." Reflecting on his extensive international wrestling journey, Rhodes recounted his memorable encounters in Mexico and South America with WWE and his engagements in Japan, notably with All Japan Pro Wrestling during the early 1990s.
His affinity for Japan stands out, with Rhodes admiring the nation's deep-rooted culture of respect and the warm welcome extended to visitors. "Every trip to Japan is a cherished experience," he stated, highlighting the adaptation required to resonate with the Japanese fans' unique, respectful engagement during matches.
Rhodes also shed light on the distinctive fervor of American wrestling audiences, particularly lauding the passionate fans in Texas. He remarked, "The vibrancy of Texan fans is unparalleled, their enthusiasm not only invigorates us but also amplifies the match's intensity." As AEW forges ahead with its international collaborations, Rhodes's insights shed light on the enriching effects of cross-promotional interactions, knitting a diverse and interconnected tapestry within the global wrestling community.
This dynamic not only enriches the sport but also captivates a worldwide audience, ensuring professional wrestling's enduring allure and vibrancy.