Manny Fernandez was recently on the Duke Loves Rasslin podcast for a wide-ranging conversation about Lucha XTreme, telling off Vince McMahon and much more. Fernandez also discussed his friendship with Dusty Rhodes.
Fernandez formed a tag team with Rhodes early in his career. They won the NWA World Tag Team Championship in the 80's when they were a part of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling.
"If I didn't have Dusty Rhodes, I would've never had a job," Fernandez said.
Fernandez said he once went through a grueling shoot session with legendary wrestlers including Jack and Gerald Briscoe, Dean Malenko and Lou Thesz, among others. He said it taught him a lot about toughness and it impressed Rhodes a lot.
"Dusty protected me, that's what I admired about Dusty," Fernandez said. "When Dusty came down after all this shooting with these guys for an hour and they just ripped me apart, and they told Dusty and Jack and Gerry Briscoe and Eddie Graham, they go, 'They were right about this kid he's tough.' I said, 'Tough? You guys whooped my ass for an hour!" He said, 'Yeah, but you didn't quit,' and I went, 'That's one thing I will never f***ing do, I will never quit anything.' And that's when I met Dusty for the first time. We hit it off, and he always protected me. He took care of me."
Even after Fernandez moved on to other promotions, he was always make himself available for Rhodes when he needed him. Fernandez said he always appreciated the protection and frienship he received from "The American Dream."
"When Dusty would reel me in and say, 'Give your notice kid, I need you,' I'd always go back. Everywhere Dusty took the book he'd just say, 'Manny, give your notice, Dusty needs you,' and I'd give my notice. The man protected me. We were together for 30 years."