AJ Styles Recalls Wrestling WWE Hall Of Famer Dusty Rhodes In 2003

After being one of the biggest stars of the '80s, "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes would continue to wrestle around the world until 2007 before finally retiring. In his later years, he would have a handful of matches in WWE, ECW, and the global independent circuit, but his final run as a consistent performer in one company took place in the formative years of TNA, wrestling for the then NWA affiliate in 2003 and 2004. 


Someone who got to wrestle Rhodes was AJ Styles, who shared the ring with the former NWA World Champion on three occasions in fall 2003. Styles opened up about his experiences with Rhodes in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, where he even admitted to almost seeing a certain "American Nightmare" wrestle in high school. "I was wrestling a legend, I was stoked to be able to do that," Styles said. "We spent more time together out of the ring. When Dusty was in charge of creative, we'd talk a lot. He would tell me about his son who wrestled in high school. I wrestled in high school, too. And that was Cody. I almost went to one of his matches. Imagine that?"

Styles' rivalry with the Rhodes family could come full circle on May 4, as he challenges Cody Rhodes for the Undisputed WWE Championship at the Backlash Premium Live Event in Lyon, France. Styles already has one championship win over a Rhodes in his career, that being a successful defense of the NWA Worlds Championship against Dusty, but he has never taken a championship from a Rhodes. However, that could all change this weekend, as Styles will look to put an end to Cody's championship reign before it really gets going.