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Dusty Rhodes's 10 Greatest Legacies

10. He booked The NWA And WCW

WWE.com

While the WWF in the 1980s was veering into cartoon mode, sometimes literally, with a product based around Hulk Hogan, their main rival, the NWA, was the polar opposite. Ric Flair was the heel champion, with his title protected by The Four Horsemen, the most elite stable in the history of wrestling. The matches were much more hard hitting. Blood was often spilled.

On the opposite side of the field were the babyfaces, led by “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, along with Sting and The Road Warriors. Credited as a producer under his real name of Virgil Runnels, to maintain the kayfabe of the era, it was Dusty who brought all the stories together, often with a sympathic underdog babyface against a domineering heel. When the beloved Road Warriors turned heel on Dusty, the fans were outraged to a degree not seen until Hulk Hogan’s 1996 heel turn. He knew exactly how to draw on people’s emotions as a booker and the reactions that the babyfaces received, especially the teenage girls’ adulation of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, was testament to his skills as a booker.

He returned to the booking committee of WCW in 1991 during the time when Ric Flair was in the WWF. The headline program at this time was Sting vs Big Van Vader, an epic, hard-hitting feud which kept the promotion going before the return of Flair and the arrival in WCW of Hulk Hogan.

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Dean Ayass is a well known name to British wrestling fans. A commentator, manager, booker and ring announcer who has been involved in the business since 1993, Dean's insight into the business is second to none.