The wrestling world incurred a tragic loss late last week when the legendary Hall of Famer "American Dream" Dusty Rhodes passed away at the age of 69. Dusty was by far the biggest star to come out of Florida was on the "ticket" to be a part of a fundraiser to help build a CWF (Championship Wrestling from Florida Wall of Fame at the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory, which will be restructured by the Tampa JCC. This fundraiser also became a celebration of the life of one of the territories biggest stars the "American Dream" Dusty who actually first became the Dream down in Florida. They even had a 10 bell salute to Dusty in the JCC and below are just some of the names that were at the fundraiser:
"Dusty and CWF stories could be heard in every room of the JCC with fans waiting in lines to meet their favorite stars. The massive signing included J.J. Dillon, Al Perez, Rocky Johnson, Brian Blair, Hector Guerrero, Ron Bass, Bushwhacker Luke, Jimmy Hart, Bill Alfonso, Dory Funk Jr., Kofi Kingston, Ricky Steamboat and countless others. WWE superstar Roman Reigns a big attraction for the newer fans."
Below are some stories that talent who were also at the event shared:
Dean Malenko on his Dad & Dusty Rhodes: “I remember going to the Armory with him,” he said. “We all just grew up watching wrestling. This was before any real sports teams. You had Championship Wrestling from Florida where you would go watch the shows. This was a great place to live and to work.”
He added: “Dusty’s name will always have a legacy in the state of Florida. Dusty was Dusty. He was the “American Dream.” He was this flamboyant character who connected with the audience. He will be sorely missed. That is what this is all about. Honor those who paved the way. It’s to give back to them and have a wall dedicated to their legacy.”
Steve Keirn, who called Dusty a close friend for nearly 40 years.
“He was like my big brother,” he said. “We were really close these last seven years running the developmental for WWE. I got to work with Dusty real close. It was like having a blast from the past with Dusty being a mentor. He was the man. He was the greatest showman ever in this industry, way past Gorgeous George. That is the only one I can think of that maybe could compare to Dusty. He was the Muhammad Ali of professional wrestling. They ran parallel. I remember Muhammad Ali coming to the dressing room in Miami Beach talking to Dusty about doing interviews. That’s how good he was at his craft. He is the best ever at promos in this industry. Nobody can come close to Dusty Rhodes.”
Norman Smiley on Dusty: “I will miss him,” said Smiley, who also works with up-n-coming talent at the WWE Performance Center. “We actually shared an office together for the last few years. Just being around him and being drawn to his charisma and listening to his stories, it’s a tragic loss. I miss him.”
For a little more information on the event it is below, but I just wanted to say that seeing them trying to I don't if contain is the right word. Seeing them trying to save history really makes me happy, because if you don't talk about or look at it then it easily can be forgotten. It's fundraiser's like this one that help protect the past and allow it to live on for generations to come.
Note: This fundraiser was organized by the son of wrestling legend The Great Malenko and brother to WWE agent Dean Malenko, Jody Simon aka former wrestler Joe Malenko.
"The CWF fan fest kicked off a fund-raising campaign to pay for a permanent display of photos and memorabilia at the new Tampa JCC, which will be at the site of the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory. The CWF Wall of Fame at the Tampa JCC will celebrate the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory’s wrestling history in Tampa. The Fort Homer Hesterly Armory was the Madison Square Garden of Championship Wrestling from Florida. All the top wrestling stars worked or wanted to work the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory.
For more information on future fund-raising efforts for the CWF Wall of Fame, search “CWF Wall of Fame” and “CWF Archives” on Facebook."
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/fighting/article23826826.html#storylink=cpy
I love looking back wrestling's past. I view my job as bring new life to the part of wrestling some people thought was gone.