Let me just clarify the title of this post right off the bat because I firmly believe that NO-ONE can replace the irreplaceable Dusty Rhodes. I don’t want people to think that anybody can fill his shoes because nobody ever will. He was a life force for the Performance Center and his ability to be creative and charismatic and to be a teacher, mentor, and friend will be displayed in the superstars of WWE for years to come.
However, the Performance Center needs a veteran promo guy who can help the new talent cultivate their skills and bring out performances, ideas, and promos that they didn’t realize were there inside of them. Let’s assume that big-time promo guys like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin are not interested because their lives are pretty darn busy right now.
While I don’t know if WWE is actively looking for someone to fill the role, I’ve come up with a few names of my own to ponder…
This one was the first on my list. Is there anybody else alive with as much promo intensity and experience as The Nature Boy? If there is anybody on the planet who can look at and analyze a promo and let somebody know why is was good or bad, it’s probably Flair. The only problem with the two-time WWE Hall of Famer, though, is his age. At 66, he’s only three years younger than Dusty was when he passed away. As much as the NXT generation could learn from Flair, I don’t see him working at the Performance Center full time, which is what they need.
One of the best color commentators in wrestling history, WWE Hall of Famer “The King” was always a great interview. While not as over-the-top as Rhodes was, he was able to speak in a way that had fans sitting on the edge of their seats. And it’s obvious that he knows how to talk thanks to 20+ years behind the WWE microphone. The biggest problem isn’t his age (though he’s 65), it’s the fact that he lives in Memphis and, I imagine, would refuse to relocate to Florida full-time.
I think it’s fair to say that while Booker is “okay” as a color commentator, it’s not something he should be doing full-time. I think he’s already got some great training experience through his own wrestling training promotion (Reality of Wrestling ) and through his experience on Tough Enough. He’s only 50, so he could be somebody that WWE trainees could rely on for a very long time. Does he have the “creative mind”, though? Could this WWE Hall of Famer truly help cultivate ideas and creativity within the performers? And would he be willing to relocate to Florida full-time from his home in Houston?
Adam “Edge” Copeland
Here’s a guy who had a career cut short due to injury, but was always well known for his creativity inside the squared circle. He was really good at promos, but not as animated as someone like Dusty was. However, with his acting experience (Haven, The Flash), he would be a great pick to help the new generation move forward. As a new parent with Beth Phoenix, it would be nice to settle down in one location that didn’t require him being away from home for weeks at a time. I would think, as well, that he could take time off to do the occasional television show…as the Performance Center could still work without him there 24/7. At only 41 years of age, it would be the perfect job for this WWE Hall of Famer as he could still be part of the business and use his creativity to help shape and mold the future generation of wrestlers.
Jay “Christian” Reso
Another career ended prematurely by injury, this future WWE Hall of Famer was also known for his promos and his creativity inside of the ring. To the best of my knowledge, he doesn’t have anything else going on at the moment. He currently lives in Tampa with his wife and young daughter, so it wouldn’t be a huge move to go down the highway to Orlando. At 41, this could also give Reso the chance to be a big part of the business and use his experience and creativity to help shape and mold the future generation of wrestlers.
Talk about promos! I don’t know if there is anybody else on the planet that could still cut a money promo today off the top of his head, it’s Foley. He did promos of every type that you can think of, from “insane” promos to “intense” promos to “silly” promos. This guy really has done it all. He’s only 50 so he really could deliver some incredible knowledge to the young performers. My only concern would be that he’s not happy unless he’s busy, whether it’s promoting a Santa Claus movie or writing books or doing live comedy, he seems to love touring the world. With his kids all grown up, maybe the time is right for Foley to truly settle down and give back to the business in a way that only he can. In addition, he’d be super-close to the theme parks, which is something he loves to do.
So what do you think? Is there anybody else that could do a credible job? Is there anybody on this list that would work best? Sound off in a comment below or via social media and let me know!
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