Dustin Rhodes faced Mister Brodie Lee for the TNT Championship on the September 9 episode of AEW Dynamite. The veteran Rhodes was seeking revenge for the brutal beatdown delivered by Lee to his brother Cody, back on August 13. 

Brodie won the title that night from Cody in a very surprising squash match and Dustin wanted to bring the belt back to the Nightmare Family. Though he was unsuccessful in that bid, Dustin once again proved that after 32 years, he’s still at the top of his game. 

Dustin Rhodes has always had a great head for the pro wrestling business and that was reflected in his initial gimmick of “The Natural.” His proved his mettle during his days in WCW, where he often teamed with his legendary father, The American Dream Dusty Rhodes.

Dustin proved his versatility in WWE, where he completely reinvented himself as Goldust. That gimmick alienated some fans and even some of his peers, who didn’t understand where Dustin was coming from. But his critics soon began to understand that Goldust wasn’t just about shocking the world. It was about taking control of his own career and doing it his way.

It’s understandable that Dustin would join his brother in the All Elite Wrestling venture. Once again, Dustin had the chance to prove what he could do and once again, he rose to the occasion. But even his longtime fans may not have realized just how much Dustin Rhodes had left in the tank.

Check out Dustin Rhodes vs. Brodie Lee!

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The Natural came into AEW in the best shape of his life and with a fire that had not been seen in years. He immediately went to war with Cody, in what many felt was the match of the year in 2019. Dustin excelled in various tag team matches, as well as singles matches and by the time 2020 began, it was clear that he wasn’t in AEW simply for the fun of it. Dustin was once again proving himself. 

The match with Brodie Lee is yet another example of just how impressive Dustin’s latest run has been. The story of revenge was the backdrop for the match, which saw both men deliver top notch performances. It’s obvious that Dustin was in the ring with someone who cared as much about the match as he did. 

Brodie Lee was once in WWE himself of course. Like Dustin, Lee found himself extremely frustrated by the end of his time in Vince McMahon’s company. The former Wyatt Family member tried to make the best of a bad situation, but his work was largely going unnoticed. No matter what he did, Brodie Lee couldn’t seem to turn any authoritative eyes in his direction.

Watch Brodie Lee vs Cody on Dynamite!

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But Brodie found new life in AEW, where he is now the leader of The Dark Order. He also found his way to the top of the roster, thanks to his work in the ring.  Lee was often thought of as one of the best big men in wrestling and now he’s completely owning that moniker in AEW. This was the man that stepped into the ring against Dustin Rhodes and the booking could not have been better.

When Dustin first joined AEW, many asked when he would work his last match. But now, they’re asking what’s next for the 32-year veteran. Could Dustin be on his way to a championship win at some point? Will fans see Dustin hold the gold, or perhaps even the platinum, in the near future?

The truth is that at this point, Dustin Rhodes’ career is wide open. He can believably win against anyone at anytime. Most importantly, he can look better than anyone else while doing it. Dustin Rhodes doesn’t appear to be nearing the end. It seems he’s only just beginning.

 

Tom Clark is a Senior Pro Wrestling Analyst and Featured Columnist for Wrestling Rumors. His podcast, Tom Clark’s Main Event, is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify ,YouTube and live every Friday at 12pm EST on Wrestling Rumors Facebook Live

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