I didn’t grow up watching Dusty Rhodes in his prime. By the time I was old enough to understand things,  he was at the end of his polka dot phase. He wasn’t the son of a plumber, he was just a guy who “talked funny”.

But when I heard that Dusty Rhodes passed away, I found myself deeply upset. As more and more people shared pictures and memories, I found myself getting choked up.

Dusty Rhodes wasn’t my favorite wrestler growing up, but he was definitely my favorite personality. His voice, his lisp, and his larger than life attitude made him stick out. On top of all of that, the man’s influence rippled through the world of wrestling and could be seen all over.

The recent Rhodes family saga meant a lot to me. Watching Cody battle Randy Orton to save his job was one of the few highlights in a time of mediocre booking. Watching Goldust return to the ring to get Cody’s job back was just as emotional. Seeing them win their jobs AND the tag titles from the most dominant faction at Battleground was one of the few times I got emotional watching wrestling in a long time. The shot of the Rhodes family in tears and embracing after so much going through so much just got to me.

There were random times when I found myself doing Dusty Rhodes impressions when I was driving around. Anytime Dusty Rhodes showed up on my screen, I couldn’t help but smile.

So, while I never saw his classic matches against Ric Flair and I never heard any of his promos live, but his passing makes me sadder than I ever expected.

But rest in peace, Dream. Your hard times are over.