Bob Cook on the death of Dusty Rhodes, the art of the good shot, missed opportunities including a disguise trick that went to someone else

By Jason PowellEditor of (@prowrestlingnet)

The Two Man Power Ride of the Wrestling Podcast with Bob Cook
Host: JP John Pos
Tweet: @TwoManPowerTrip
Interview available at

On Dusty Rhodes and Terry Funk: The day Dusty died, we were having this fan party in Tampa, and Dusty had to be there. I got a message from a friend. All it said was ‘Dusty died’. I was the one who picked up Terry at the airport, because Joe Malenko knows I love Terry Funk, so he says, ‘Do you want to pick up Terry Funk?’ I said, yes, of course I’ll take Terry Funk. So we had to hang out with them all day. But the whole point of this story is that we were driving Terry back to the airport, and he’s sitting in the front seat of the car and he’s talking to Dory (Funk), and they’re both like, ‘I can’t believe it. what happened to Dusty.’ “I loved old Virgil.” We are all in tears because they are both really down and mostly in tears because it was a sad day. One of those days. It was great, but then at the same time… Because Dusty was always so good to me. He gave me four chances in WCW.”

Throwing a good punch: “I learned by training and watching other guys that I thought did it well, like Dick Murdoch, Terry Funk, Ric Flair, Jerry Lawler, who I think has the greatest punch of all time. And I worked Lawler, and his punch is light as a feather. But it looks amazing because most guys only hit in one direction. Like Randy Savage had a great punch, but he only hit in one direction, like in the forehead. He also had a good shot. But Lawler could punch roundhouses, uppercuts, straight to the face, straight to the jaw. Punches assembled, and each of them looks great. They can go back and watch his matches with Terry Funk, or Nick Bockwinkel, guys who just know how to do that. It also involves selling, something else that is somewhat foreign in wrestling today. A punch is no different than anything else. You go practice a moon attack ten hours a day on a mat or pad, eventually you land it perfectly. Same thing with a punch. But it’s not important anymore, which makes no sense to me. But a lot of things don’t make sense to me nowadays. It is an art. And the art is to make it seem true without being true. Look tough without being stiff. This is art. Any idiot can hit someone really hard and say, “Hey look! It seemed real, “because it was.”

Working for WCW: “Dusty was going to hook me up with Tom Prichard one time. This is before he teamed up with Jimmy Del Ray as the Heavenly Bodies. He called me in the corridor at Center Stage. He said, ‘Hey, Bobby, how would you like to make more money for that portfolio and come to work full time?’ And I was like, ‘Oh, sure. I love him.’ “Because while I’m thinking of joining you with Tom Prichard, I want you to get a little fit first.” ‘Okay, I will.’ And then later that night, I’m at the bar drinking with everyone, and the next day I’m sleeping all day, and the next day I’m doing the same thing. So it never happened. And then get this. I was originally supposed to be Tex Slazenger. I knew it at the time, after the fact. I had hurt my knee and they never told me I was going to be Tex, but I hurt my knee and Jody Hamilton was going to bring me in. I was standing by the curtain and Barry Windham is standing there and we’re watching Dennis and Mark or Tex [Slazenger] and Shanghai, if you prefer. They are in a match. And Barry goes, ‘It had to be you.’ And I’m like, what? And he says, ‘you should have been Tex last year,’ because it was Dusty and Barry who came up with the idea to begin with. And I was like, oh, shit, I didn’t know. And he said, ‘yeah, then you hurt your knee, you know the job.’ And this is the way it happens. They don’t wait for you.”

Other topics include getting into the business, CWF, NWA, JCP, WCW, Eric Bischoff, WWF, Vince McMahon, Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Sting, Lex Luger, and more.

Listen to “11/18 Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast With Jason Powell (Episode 136): Court Bauer on MLW Relaunch, Pandemic Precautions and More” on Spreaker.

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