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**Who Is Austin Rhodes?**

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2003 Austin Rhodes

So who is Austin Rhodes? That is a good question, I am a complex person, shall we say. A cocky, intellectual, easy going, wrestling machine!  Sounds kinda stuck up, huh? Well, I'm not stuck up , however I do know that I am damn good at what I do and there's no getting around that. So, why even deny it? Right?
 I am a 33 year old Father of two beautiful boys who firmly believe that they are already pro-wrestlers. I was born in Spring Branch, TX. , and raised there by my amazing late Grandmother Kathy, and my Grandfather Mike, who I would realize later on in life, was both my true life hero, and my Guiding Light. They never stopped believing in me......and I miss them so. 
 Wrestling has been a part of my life ever since I can remember, but growing up in the earlie 80's watching my Uncle Dusty wrestle..., well, you add 2 and 2 together. Dusty was my inspiration as a child.I mean, I literally GREW UP in the Sam Houston Colliseum with ALL the names. I knew at a very young age that wrestling was my destiny, even then I could feel the wrestler inside of me, it was a passion! Dusty always had other wrestlers with him when he  would come visit my Grandmother, but my most favorite childhood wrestler was Magnum T.A., and he was so kind, or maybe it was Ric Flair, no, Barry Windham, AHHH, I guess they all were, you dont step on momma Rhodes' toes and get away with it! That still dont take away from the fact that they were all it for me back then. You know growing up in that life style I didn't truely realize it, but my path was being laid for me right before my very eyes, I mean what else would I have grown up and wanted to do with my life?
  At the age of 17 I was approached by TugBoat Taylor at  a show where my Grandmother worked. Right then and there, the ride had begun, an offer to start training me to wrestle was layed right at my feet. Of course Grandma supported me in this area, she knew I was going to do this with my life. At that time, Grandma was all the inspiration and support that I had. Needless to say I had a rough childhood at home, and she was always there for me.  So, I took the offer, what did I have to loose?  From that point on I was being trained by Tug Taylor in Houston Texas at "TugBoat Taylor's school of professional wrestling"  Tug was and still is a great trainer in the world of professional wrestling. I owe alot to him, taking me in a training me,  I would not be the wrestler that I am with out the proper training! He trained me in my basics and mat wrestling skills, and then I was fortunate enough to run into Sam Houston (Jake Roberts' l'il brother) and his dad, Grizzly Smith, while working for the N.W.A. (Jim Crockett) up in Dallas, and under their guidence, proceeded to get the ole' "pollishing" that I was so much in need of at the time. So, I am one of the few wrestlers that REALLY  knows how to wrestle! It wasn't too long before my wrestling career launched into high gear. I had alot of lessons to learn in the ring that no one but me could have taught myself. Needless to say I have paid my dues!
  Wrestling was my home now and I was on the road almost every night of the week traveling to different shows... Wrestling is a lifestyle, a way of life, " You can take the boy out of wrestling, but you can't take the wrestling outta' the boy!" And Oh man, that is so very true!!! Wrestling has affected every aspect of my life, I have dedicated everything I have to this sport, blood, sweat, tears, you name it, acctually alot of blood was donated to wrestling. See I am a good semaritan! However the dedication shaped me into the man that I am now, and it made me "technically sound" in the ring. The dedication that I gave to this sport made me a whole! "The Perfect Hard-Nosed Face" as I like to refer to myself. That to me is like poetry! A life shaping enigma, turned a boy's childhood dream into a life of completion! How often does that really happen, I mean, we all work so hard to achieve 1 thing, 1 goal in life, mine came true!
 As  time went on in my career, I was about to encounter my toughest opponent ever, Big John Hawk........(A.K.A. Bradshaw or J.B.L., as he is known these days) in Dallas Texas. I had to learn either Kick ass or get your ass kicked! So I ended up doing a little of both! 
  Personality was shaping in my wrestling personna,  and when I was 100% fully my own entity, I came to realize that I was what we call a hard-nose babyface... Basically, I dont cheat to win a match, but I won't take no crap off of ANYONE!  That isn't to say that I have never been hurt in the ring, shoot after 12 years in this business, you are going to get hurt, and it's not a matter of when, it's a matter of how badly, it just comes with the territory! As a matter of a fact, I have to say that one of my worse injuriss was in Corpus Christi. I was wrestling a guy by the name of Paul Galvan.  The match had been going on for a while by the time this happened, as a matter of a fact it was almost over, Pual was on the outside of the ring and I thought that I was going to be smart and take a dive off the top rope, and just nail him, all my force all my wieght and just drive him into the ground...It didnt work out that way! I was unaware of my surroundings, and I jumped smack dab into to a metal ceiling fan that was on full speed.  Split my head wide open, (17 stitches) I didnt feel a thing! I got down there, landed on him just like I planned, we re-entered the ring and I finished the match, yes I went over, with a bulldog from the top rope (ballsy, huh?)! I dont think I realized it was as bad of a gash at that time as it actually was, cause my adrennaline was pumping, I saw blood and knew that I was bleeding but I didnt know the severity of it, and that is about all that I remeber. Watching the tape still brings chills to my spine, but I got up won the match, climbed out of the ring, I took half a step and collapsed. The fans freaked out! So everytime I wrestle now, I check out my surroundings before I do anything.
I have held several different belts around the united states, mostly for the NWA, you know I would list them all but that would take up the rest of my space that I have to tell the story of Austin Rhodes. We spent alot of time in Tennessee, there is alot of wrestling there!!! and all the other states are not to far from where ever you are, but then again after traveling Texas anything seem to be a shorter distance.
For a long time I had a tag team named NTO New Texas Outlaws. I was one half of the new texas outlaws the other half was "  Rowdy" Ricky Murdock.. We made the perfect tag team as far as looks went, but as time went on and Ricky became more experienced in wrestling, we started to butt heads. And unfortuanatoaly we parted ways. We became very known in the mid south and we even made a little spill that all the fans seemed to say along with us, even if they did not like us. " We are on our reunion tour 2000 its like a roller coaster ride, sometimes its up, sometimes its down, but its a hell of a ride all the way around! We dont sweat the petty stuff, we pet the sweaty stuff, and if you dont like it we'll rip your ears off and stick em in yer back pocket so you can hear both of us kicking your ass. So....... drive it like ya stole it lick it when ya roll it, and light that phatty for tha outlaws daddy."
As for advice, I can only say this.......What we do in that ring, is a tradition, and is not for us to screw up for the next generation. I feel VERY strongly about that. But, get out and spread your wings, explore the country and what it has to offer. These days, that may not seem like much, but the experience that comes with the road is unsurpassed in my book. You are only as good as the guy's you work with teach you to be.........so don't limit yourself to one place, spread yourself out as much as you can afford to. We spend alot of time and effort to create ourselves, so why not give it your all, everything you can give to it, to be the best that you can possibly be. Don't be afraid of what you don't know, these things will come in time, and you will be better off not knowing until fate says that it is time for you to know. Be true to yourself, your beliefs, ambitions, and goals, and don't ever do ANYTHING that your not comfortable doing, even if you don't get hurt, someone else might. And above all else, Be confident !!! Not just in yourself, but in your abillity as well, never hesitate. I love what I do, but I hate what it has become over the past 10 years or so. Hard Core is NOT wrestling.......LEARN TO WRESTLE !!! This gains the respect and admiration of others. Be professional about EVERY aspect of your career, and good things will happen. That's about all the advice I know to give, so do with it what you will. And oh yeah.......Whatever happened to KAFABE ?!!!