Last week, the sad news of the passing of one of professional wrestling’s most celebrated legends was announced when the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes passed away at the age of 69. A growing outpouring of love and tributes followed the sad news and now, the latest former wrestler to fondly remember Rhodes is CM Punk.
Dracula and Dream. Rest in power. pic.twitter.com/nYMVDN9DQF
— Coach (@CMPunk) June 12, 2015
The soon-to-be UFC fighter made an appearance on the Jon Anik and Kenny Florian Podcast on Monday to discuss a slew of topics pertaining to both UFC and wrestling. When asked about his memories about Rhodes, Punk had nothing but kind words about Rhodes and the time they spent together.
“I loved Dusty and Dusty loved me. For some reason, early on in my career I was branded an old soul and I had a lot of older timers tell me ‘You should have been born 20 years earlier, you would have been great in my time.”
It was not just Rhodes, as during Punk’s stint in the WWE, the former five-time World champion says that many other legends in wrestling took to Punk and his demeanor, which many saw as mature beyond his years.
Often being told that he was “born 20 years too late,” Punk ultimately remembers Rhodes as a man who always treated him with respect and always had his best interests in mind.
“I developed a rapport with guys like Harley Race, Dusty Rhodes. A lot of these guys like Dusty, got hired with WWE and he always went to bat for me. I wrestled Dusty in one of my last matches on the indies in 2005 and it was pretty bizarre. He was always super good to me.”
During that same podcast appearance, Punk was asked about the WWE and his thoughts on the fact that the audience continues to cheer his name, despite him not being a part of the active roster. Punk revealed that he no longer watches the WWE product but the fact that the crowds continue to chant his name is flattering to him.
Therefore, thanks to the help of men such as Rhodes that allowed Punk the opportunity to be successful in the WWE is the reason that crowds have not forgotten Punk’s name and he continues to exist in the WWE Universe.
It can also safely be said that Punk’s fond tribute is not the last we will hear in the coming weeks.
[Image by Valerie Macon/Getty Images]