Magnum T.A. was one of the NWA’s biggest stars in the mid-1980s and was a two-time United States Champion. He was also NWA booker Dusty Rhodes’ best friend and is the godfather to Cody Rhodes.
Magnum talked about Cody and AEW as well as his relationship with Dusty on The Payoff Podcast.
“Well, Dusty is my best friend in life. We were tied at the hip. We met down in Florida, and when I was on the underneath-to-the-middle of the card and we traveled together and sang and talked about our dreams and things we wanted to do. We just formed this crazy bond. When he had the book for the Crockett’s [promotion] and had this opportunity there, I mean, I left when my territory was on fire,” Magnum said of leaving Mid-South shortly after a Heavyweight Title reign.
“I was this top star and I left to go help my friend Dusty turn the Mid-Atlantic around and the NWA into what we did with it. I believed in him and I believed in what he and I could do together. So, I was there when Cody was born, and I’m Cody’s real godfather. I was there when he was christened. We just had a really, really special thing that I’ve never had in any other setting with someone that wasn’t family.”
While Dusty was booking for JCP, the promotion continued its national expansion and developed into what would become WCW. Now Cody is helping run his own promotion in AEW and Magnum believes Dusty would be very proud with his son following in his footsteps.
“[Dusty] would be so proud of him, because he mentored his son and invested so much into him that Cody has just been groomed to be where he’s at, do what he’s doing. He’s got a brilliant mind. His talent as a performer is amazing, but more amazing is that entrepreneurial spirit that he has and his ability to be a visionary and see things like his dad did through a different set of lenses,” stated Magnum.
“So, he’s got that unique touch that’s so special. I can’t wait to see what they do. I mean, they made a lot of noise. I’ve been to their first two big events; one in Chicago and the one in Vegas, and the events were amazing. I’m just really interested to see what kind of product they’re able to produce when they start doing episodic television on the Turner station every week and see what that looks like, because it’s going to be a challenge. Doing a big show and putting together a great big production is exciting and bringing all that talent together. Then going out there and doing it week after week with storylines and lots of different folks and the things that can go wrong and people can get hurt and all those kind of things is a real big challenge. So, I’m very excited to see what they do.”
Another way Cody is following in his father’s footsteps is by competing with WWE and Vince McMahon. Dusty did it in the 1980s as a part of JCP and now Cody will be doing the same with AEW. Magnum was asked if Dusty would be happy with his son competing with McMahon.
“I think he would because ? It’s funny. For Dusty and I, it was always a war; we had this mentality. It was like The North against The South kind of thing. Vince is up there in the ivory towers and we down there in North Cackalacky [Carolina] with the Crocketts and going toe-to-toe with all these major cities. Dusty loved that competition. He loved it when we’d go to Baltimore or Philly, and they’d be in the same town the same night and we’d be head-to-head going after it,” said Magnum.
“So, yeah, I think he would be loving it. It’s good for the business. Back in the day, Dusty was a huge Boston Celtics fan and we used to just get round and round with Ric [Flair] as he was a Lakers fan, and we just loved that competition. We viewed the WWE kind of like the same thing. It wasn’t that they were bad. It wasn’t a bad organization. It was just competition.”