Bob Cook on the death of Dusty Rhodes, the art of throwing a good punch, missed opportunities including a masked gimmick that went to someone else

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast with Bob Cook
Host: JP John Poz
Twitter: @TwoManPowerTrip
Website: www.tmptempire.com
Interview available at Tmptow.podomatic.com

On Dusty Rhodes and Terry Funk: The day Dusty died, we were doing this fan fest in Tampa, and Dusty was supposed to be there. I got a text from a friend. All it said was ‘Dusty died.’ I was the one who picked Terry up at the airport because Joe Malenko knows I love Terry Funk, so he’s like, ‘Do you want to pick up Terry Funk?’ I said, yes, of course I’ll pick up Terry Funk. So we got to hang out with them all day. But the whole point of this story is we were taking Terry back to the airport, and he’s sitting in the front seat of the car and he’s talking to Dory (Funk), and they’re both just like, ‘I can’t believe what happened to Dusty.’ ‘I loved old Virgil.’ We’re all, like, in tears because they’re both really down and basically in tears because it was a sad day. One of those days. It was great, but then at the same time… Because Dusty was always really good to me. He gave me four chances in WCW.”

On throwing a good punch: “I learned by practicing and watching other guys I thought did it great, like Dick Murdoch, Terry Funk, Ric Flair, Jerry Lawler, who I think has the greatest punch of all time. And I worked Lawler, and his punch is light as a feather. But it looks amazing because most guys only punch one way. Like Randy Savage had a great punch, but he only punched one way, like to the forehead. He had a good jab too. But Lawler could punch roundhouses, uppercuts, right to your face, right to your jaw. The mounted punches, and every one of them look great. They can go back and watch his matches with Terry Funk, or Nick Bockwinkel, guys that just know how to. It also involves selling, something else that’s kind of foreign in wrestling today. A punch is no different than anything else. You go practice a moonsault ten hours a day on a mat or padding, eventually get it down perfect. Same thing with a punch. But it’s not important anymore, which makes no sense to me. But a lot doesn’t make sense to me nowadays. It’s an art. And the art is to make it look real without being real. Look stiff without being stiff. That’s the art. Any idiot can punch somebody really hard and go, “Hey look! It looked real,” because it was.”

On working for WCW: “Dusty was going to team me with Tom Prichard once. This is before he teamed up with Jimmy Del Ray as the Heavenly Bodies. He called me in the hallway at Center Stage. He said, ‘Hey, Bobby, how would you like to make some more money for that wallet and come work full time?’ And I was like, ‘Oh, sure. I love that.’ ‘Because when I’m thinking about teaming you up with Tom Prichard, but I want you to get in a little bit of shape first.’ ‘Okay, I will.’ And then later that night, I’m at the bar drinking with everybody, and the next day I’m sleeping all day, and the next day I’m doing the same thing. So it never came to pass. And then get this. Originally I was supposed to be Tex Slazenger. I knew it at the time, after the fact. I had hurt my knee, and they never actually told me I was going to be Tex, but I hurt my knee and Jody Hamilton would bring me in. I was standing by the curtain and Barry Windham is standing there and we’re watching Dennis and Mark or Tex [Slazenger] and Shanghai, if you prefer. They’re in a match. And Barry goes, ‘That was supposed to be you.’ And I’m like, what? And he goes, ‘you were supposed to be Tex last year,’ because it was Dusty and Barry who came up with the idea to begin with. And I was like, oh, crap, I didn’t know it. And he said, ‘yes, then you hurt your knee, you know the business.’ And that’s the way it happens. They don’t wait for you.”

Other topics include breaking into the business, CWF, NWA, JCP, WCW, Eric Bischoff, WWF, Vince McMahon, Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Sting, Lex Luger, and more.

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Readers Comments (2)

  1. For those that don’t know, Bob is known for working for World Championship Wrestling, World Wrestling Entertainment, Championship Wrestling from Florida, Continental Wrestling Association, Suncoast Pro Wrestling and the Florida independent scene as both a wrestler and a commentator.

    Regarding the art of the punch, I remember Ric Flair talking about learning to throw a good punch by handing a string in the doorway and learning to keep hitting the string as hard as he could until the string didn’t move. Cool stuff.

  2. *hanging

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