A popular AEW star has revealed that their contract is set to expire in July 2023.
As previously reported, the 34-year veteran Dustin Rhodes recently announced that 2023 will be his final year as an active wrestler.
Rhodes returned to the squared circle on Wednesday’s December 7 edition of AEW Dynamite when he competed in the Dynamite Diamond battle royale.
Prior to this appearance, Dustin hadn’t wrestled since August when he lost to Claudio Castagnoli in a ROH World Title match.
Appearing on Busted Open Radio, Rhodes discussed the decision to call it a career and clarified that his AEW deal expires in July 2023. He stated:
“I remember seeing Ray Candy years ago when I broke into the business, and he wasn’t in the best shape, he was using a walker, and I was just getting into the business and I was green and excited and hungry and passionate, and I still am, but I made a promise to myself that I was going to get out while I can still walk.”
The former Goldust continued on to note that the decision to make the announcement wasn’t really planned, saying:
“I didn’t really think I was going to say anything about this, it just happened at Blizzard Brawl, and I thought, ‘I don’t think anybody is going to pick up on it,’ but they did and it caught fire. I just have to own it.”
“I truly don’t want to go out in the business and do anything that tarnishes my career. I don’t want to slip up and fall.”
“I have this in the back of my head every time I go out, ‘what if I do something stupid?’ Then they’re going to start chanting ‘please retire’ and I don’t want it to get to that.”
Rhodes admitted that he feels like he is doing really well and doing some of the best work of his career in AEW, but it feels right to call it a career. He stated:
“I know I’m doing really well right now and having some of the best work of my entire career these last four years, even though they are few and far between, Tony has done a good job treating me like an attraction, and I appreciate that and it does help my body, but on the flip side, it’s hard when you’re not working five days a week like the WWE schedule.”
“Your body gets calloused and used to it, now I work once every two, three, four months, and if you go 100 miles an hour then you pay the price. It takes me a week and a half to two weeks to recover from one match.”
Dustin concluded that he wanted to make a decision to end things on his own terms, saying:
“I’m starting to see those things. My knees are pretty rough. My shoulders are pretty rough. I made the decision, the end of July, my contract is up and I’m going to be done in-ring, or at least tone way down.”
“I don’t know if that’s going to be it because when we say we’re retiring, we always comeback and you never say never, but that’s what I’m looking for, an end date for my in-ring wrestling career.”
Ricky Starks went on to win the Dynamite Diamond Battle Royale and will now face MJF for both the AEW World Title and the Dynamite Diamond Ring on next Wednesday’s Winter Is Coming special.
Before Winter Is Coming, AEW will present the Ring of Honor Final Battle 2022 event this Saturday, December 10 from Arlington, Texas.
For the full lineup for Final Battle, click here.
Transcription via Fightful
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