Cowboy Cerrone's American Dream
By: Shawn Smith, FIGHTLAND
"It was 1985 when a chubby professional wrestler grabbed the microphone during a taping of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling to talk with his blue-collar fans. Austin, Texas native Dusty Rhodes told fans he was the son of a plumber. He told them he could be their world-class hero and he would fight for them.
"For hundreds of thousands watching on broadcast television across the United States, he was someone to look up to. They lived vicariously through his battle with the money-wasting, jet flying Four Horsemen, led by the dirtiest player in the game, Ric Flair. The everyday man’s plights against the boss or any other high-level figure in society were played out in a four-sided ring every week.
"'Hard times are when the auto workers are out of work and they tell them 'Go home'', said professional wrestler Dusty Rhodes during what has affectionately become known as his 'hard times' promo. 'And hard times are when a man has worked at a job for 30 years. 30 years! They give him a watch, kick him in the butt, and say, 'Hey, a computer took your place, daddy!' That's hard times. And Ric Flair, you put hard times on this country by taking Dusty Rhodes out. That's hard times and we all have had hard times together.'
"Fast forward nearly 30 years and it’s fighters like Donald Cerrone that have become the combat sports versions of a working class hero. At UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs. Miller, he will headline a UFC event for the first time in his career."