Thanks to All Elite Wrestling, many former WWE superstars have seemingly enjoyed greater exposure and more creative fulfillment working for the upstart promotion, with the likes of Chris Jericho — and as of Saturday night, Jon Moxley — getting a run on top as the company’s World Champion. That has also applied to former mid-carders such as Dustin Rhodes, who suggested in a recent interview that working for WWE was akin to a jail sentence, especially with the lack of exposure he received toward the end of his last stint with his former employer.
Speaking to the New York Post ahead of AEW’s Revolution pay-per-view, which took place on Saturday, Rhodes — who was best known to WWE fans as Goldust — discussed several topics with the publication’s Joseph Staszewski, including how hard it was for him to leave the company after establishing himself under his old gimmick. While he enjoyed success as Goldust and became known for being more than just the oldest son of WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes, the veteran grappler admitted that he became frustrated and lost his passion in his last two years with the promotion. This, he said, was because he was infrequently used on television due to a lack of creative ideas for his character.
“Getting out of WWE is a very tall order once you’re in there,” Rhodes continued. “It’s tough. It’s like a prison. I compare it to a prison, getting out of prison, breaking out of prison.”
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) March 1, 2020
After stressing that he remains thankful to WWE for helping him advance in his career, the former Intercontinental Champion told Staszewski that his passion for wrestling was rekindled after his younger brother, Cody Rhodes, offered him a chance to join AEW.
“It was a very special time, and since that night, I’ve had probably the [most fun] that I’ve had in my 32 years in the business, every single week here doing this with my brother, with my family, with these passionate kids.”
Although Rhodes pointed out that he’s not ready to retire just yet, the 50-year-old expressed a desire to wrap up his career as a member of the recently launched company’s roster and continue helping its younger talents once he hangs up his wrestling boots.
As one of the first former WWE performers to make the jump to AEW, Rhodes also discussed the rumors that Luke Harper and Matt Hardy may likewise take their talents to the competition. Regarding Harper, who was released by WWE in December 2019, Rhodes was optimistic, saying that the former Wyatt Family member could take AEW “to new highs” and get the top-level push that previously eluded him. As for Hardy, his creativity was cited as the main reason why the company could “touch gold” if he becomes part of its roster as rumored.