You gotta love those friendships you didn’t know existed, right?
I mean, I’m a huge professional wrestling nerd, so I’m always excited to see a new singer/wrestler friendship.
It’s not like the relationship between these two forms of entertainment is unheard of. The Undertaker used Johnny Cash’s “Ain’t No Grave” as entrance music for a hot sec. Brock Lensar promoted Colter Wall. Even Mickie James sang a song with Chapel Hart.
But one of my favorite country/wrestling connections is Willie Nelson and Dusty Rhodes.
I’m sure you all know who Willie Nelson is, and you all should know Dusty Rhodes.
If you don’t, Rhodes was a wrestler best known for his run in WWF/E with the nickname “The American Dream.” He was known as the yellow polka dot wearing “common man.” This whole gimmick though was supposed to humiliate Rhodes because Vince McMahon thought he didn’t have the right look.
But Dusty Rhodes’ charisma and ring prowess won over fans, and he quickly became one of the most beloved wrestlers of all time.
Part of that charisma lies in the character work and storytelling Rhodes was able to achieve over his long career.
That includes participating in one of the best and most ridiculous wrestling tropes: Wrestler is forced to leave company, so new wrestler debuts who is just old wrestler in a mask.
Hulk Hogan did it, The Fabulous Moolah did it, Mickie James did it.
It’s usually pretty hilarious.
During his time under the mask, Dusty Rhodes became the Midnight Rider and used Willie Nelson’s version of the song by the same name.
But Nelson and Rhodes were friends even before that as you see in this clip from 1982 where the pair sings “Whiskey River” together.
The video is super short (unfortunately), but it’s almost surreal to see the pair singing together though on different microphones.
Willie Nelson is just doing his thing, and Dusty Rhodes seems to be a having a blast with everyone around him grinning. The best part is when he almost misses a line because he was drinking something, so he has to quickly lean down to catch the lyric.
It’s just a fun video that is a shot of nostalgia for anyone who grew up listening and watching these two men.