Friday, June 19, 2015

That's Hard Times, Daddy

When they give you a watch and say they replaced you with a computer...
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The most famous wrestling promo in history is Dusty Rhodes' calling card. Everything he ever stood for was encapsulated in a passionate, fiery speech directed at Ric Flair. He may have wined and dined with kings and queens, but dining in the alley on pork and beans was always more his forte anyway. It was those people he fought for, those people he provided vicarious catharsis to. In 1985, hard times were a disease affecting the middle class, especially in the South. In 2015, hard times are an epidemic. This promo is even more valid today than it was back before Rhodes bot bit by his own finish at Starrcade '85.

Everyone quotes Rhodes sympathizing with the people who suffer hard times, the factory worker replaced by machinery and given a watch, the textile workers, the auto workers. But the end of the promo, the crescendo where he reaches out his hand and beckons for you, the viewer, the person watching him, to touch his hand. That is Dusty Rhodes in a nutshell. He wasn't just rousing the rabble and making you aware; his hand was touching your hand, and he was lifting you up to his level. That was the man Rhodes was.