Required Viewing #1: The Horsemen Put Hard Times On Dusty Rhodes

This is a series I announced almost two weeks ago and I finally have time to get around to it.  Again this won’t be daily but I’ll try to get one up every week or two.  We’re starting with a double feature today.To begin with, we start on September 29, 1985 in Atlanta Georgia.  Ric Flair is the reigning NWA World Champion and has just defeated Nikita Koloff in a cage match to retain the title.  Post match the Russians (a three man team including Nikita) come in to destroy the champion.  Dusty Rhodes makes the save and the Andersons come out to jump Dusty with Flair locking the cage.  Chaos ensues.  I apologize for the commentary issues as this is the best footage I could find.




Look at the crowd as the attack goes on.  They want to kill the bad guys in there for hurting their hero.  Dusty had connected with the people and they wanted their champion to be ok.  This is the exact same idea used at Summerslam 1994 with Owen Hart and Jim Neidhart locking the cage and destroying Bret while the Hart Family storm the cage to get Bret to safety.


About a month later, Dusty Rhodes returned to television with something to say about what Ric Flair had done to him.  Did I mention he was facing Flair for the title at Starrcade 1985?

This promo, called Hard Times, is widely considered the greatest promo of all time because the people could and did identify with it. People got what Dusty was talking about and as they listened, they could see what he was talking about in their own lives. The fans identified with Dusty Rhodes and what he was talking about, making Dusty Rhodes THEIR hero. As luck would have it, this hero would be facing a man who was everything the common man wasn’t at a major wrestling event, and YOU could watch it if you paid your money right now.


That’s how you build to a match people.  It gave the fans a reason to want to see the match because it was THEIR hero fighting the man that wants to hold all of them down.  It’s a perfect buildup and the whole thing still works to this day.  Not so much the match but you get the idea.


You can check out a review of the match (which isn’t Required Viewing) here:


Or a version that doesn’t suck in the History of Starrcade book, available from Amazon at:

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