Going into the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic at Wednesday night’s WWE NXT “Takeover: Respect” event, WWE’s website spoke to several of “Dusty’s kids” from NXT, including Sami Zayn, Sasha Banks, NXT Women’s Champion Bayley and NXT Champion Finn Balor. Balor shared this story on Dusty:
“One of the first classes I had with Dusty was promo class. Obviously, my mic skills, although they improved over the year I spent with him, they weren’t so good at the beginning. Dusty said to me, ‘Prince,’ because I was still Prince at the time, ‘Prince, the way people were talking about your work before you came in, I thought Lou Thesz was going to walk in the door. What we have to do is get your communication skills on par with your ring work.’ That’s what I’ve been trying to do ever since I got here. He helped me get comfortable in myself, not be worried about trying to sound cool. He said, ‘You’ve got an accent already, just speak from the heart and be honest and open, be yourself. That’s what got you here and what people are interested in, so that’s what will sell for you.’
“The first couple times, I was very rigid and stern, I memorized the verbiage. It never came out right. He encouraged me, just go out there and talk, be yourself. I went up there, maybe I was a little pissed off and angry, I was more myself and he said, ‘That’s it, it sounds cool. It doesn’t matter what you say, when you say it from the heart, it just sounds cool.’
“Unbelievably, I am still naturally introverted. I don’t like being on camera and having microphones jammed in my face. But Dusty helped me with my confidence in front of the camera. He told me to get the reps in, which helped me find my voice. I was there for Dusty to mold. Having his brain and the amount of stories he’d tell us. He’d just tell us an old story that would teach us a valuable lesson. Half the time I think he was telling them just to make us laugh, but in reality, we were all learning a great deal from them.”
– Tuesday night’s season one finale of “WAGS” on the E! network, which features former WWE Diva Kelly Kelly, drew just 341,000 viewers. This is down from last week’s 739,000 viewers. As noted, “WAGS” has been picked up for a second season that will air in 2016.
– Stephanie McMahon gave props to WWE coach Sara Amato (Sara Del Rey) with this tweet from NXT “Takeover: Respect” this Wednesday evening: