Triple H has opened up about some of the valuable lessons he learned about pro wrestling from when he worked with Dusty Rhodes.
When Triple H was running NXT in the early 2010s, the late great Dusty Rhodes was by his side as one of the key figures helping guide WWE’s young talent. While the legendary “American Dream” passed away in 2015, his legacy in NXT remains as the brand continues to run the Dusty Rhodes Classic Tag Team Tournament every year.
In his new role as WWE’s Chief Content Officer, Triple H is running WWE creative just as Rhodes for many years in the NWA in the 1980s when he was also a top star in the company. During a recent interview with The Ringer, Triple H talked about some things he learned from Rhodes.
“When you’re first starting something, the successes stick with you, but the things that go wrong stick with you even more so, you’ll have something in mind, and in your mind, it’s gonna be great.”
“And then you watch it come to life and you’re like ‘that was terrible,’ and you beat yourself up. And Dusty would always walk by me and he’d tap me on the shoulder. He’d say. ‘Kid, remember what I said, if you get 70 per cent of what you see in your head to come out on TV, that’s a grand slam.’ I keep that thought in my head all the time. It’s been a valuable lesson.”
Triple H went on to talk about starting NXT with Dusty’s help. When Seth Rollins was crowned the first NXT Champion in 2012, it was Dusty and Triple H in the ring to congratulate him. Hunter went on to speak about how Dusty’s legacy lives on while also noting that Rhodes remains an inspiration:
“When I was creating NXT and that system, he was my partner in a lot of ways. I’m a big fan of his work, his booking, his philosophy, you know, I often say I’m one of the luckiest people because for almost 30 years, I got to sit under the Vince McMahon learning tree. And while I was almost doing a startup company, so to speak, with a very limited budget and everything else, I got to do that with Dusty.”
“When we lost him, it was tragic, because he contributed so much to the business, and his ideas and his concepts and his business ideas are still floating around today. That should tell you something because there’s very few people in this industry with that [influence].”
Dusty’s son Cody Rhodes made his return to WWE at WrestleMania 38. While a torn pectoral muscle sidelined him a few months later, Cody has made it clear his goal is to become a WWE Champion in the future as he continues to make his father proud.