June 12, 2015
WWE Villain Kevin Owens Pens Touching Tribute To Dusty Rhodes

Kevin Owens may be a heel to the WWE Universe, but when you get him in the real world, he's a thoughtful and affable young guy.

The softer side of Owens was on display with Thursday's unfortunate news that wrestling had just lost one of its greatest minds, "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes.

Owens felt a special kinship to Rhodes, something that came out in a TwitLonger tribute that he shared with his Twitter followers shortly after the news broke of Rhodes' untimely death.

Here's what the NXT Champ had to say.

"These past few weeks, I kept telling myself that I had to find time to stop by the Performance Center and talk to Dusty. I wanted to thank him for all of his help in the last year and make sure he knew how grateful I was for the chance I got to work with him. But I've been very busy and just couldn't find the time. Well, today, I learned that Dusty Rhodes has passed away. There are no words to express the sadness I feel, not only because I won't get to see him or talk to him or laugh with him again, but because I didn't get to tell him how special he was to me. So today, I invite you all to make time to tell the people in your lives how much they mean to you...You never know what tomorrow will bring. I can only hope that even though I didn't get to tell him directly, Dusty knew how much I appreciated and valued his help, wisdom, support and friendship. He was unlike anybody I've ever met in this industry and to say that I will always remember him and be thankful for the honor of having known him is an understatement. In the meantime, the entire NXT crew is on its way to Pittsburgh where we will do what we do best. And you can bet every single second of tonight and every other NXT show this week are dedicated to the memory of the legendary, one-and-only Dusty Rhodes. My thoughts are with his family and friends at this time...especially his children. Your father was an incredible coach and an even better man. He will be greatly missed. Dusty used to call us 'his NXT kids'... Well, I think I speak for all of us at when I say that tonight and every other night from here on out, we will give it our all for you, Dusty. We'll make you proud, Dream. Thank you for the memories... thank you for everything. Much love, Kevin"
While only Kevin Owens and Dusty Rhodes could speak to the closeness of their relationship, it's easy to see, from a fan perspective, why Owens feels the connection.

His in-ring "look" isn't of the traditional bodybuilder that WWE is known for pushing to the top, but for close to two decades, Kevin Owens has carved out a place in the industry as one of the most talented in-ring performers and mic guys in the wrestling business.

Rhodes didn't have "the look" either, but no one could entertain like him -- not in the ring, not on the mic. We join Kevin Owens in saying goodbye to the American Dream. Wrestling will never be the same without you.

[Image via WWE]