We’re not going to lie, 2015 has been a rough year for wrestling fans. At every turn, it seems like WWE is doing the things that make us question whether they really care if anyone ever watches their programming again, marginalizing the wrestlers we like while relentlessly getting behind the ones we don’t particularly care for. By the end of the year, WWE has begun setting records for lowest Raw viewership of the last two decades, and things don’t seem to be turning around the way we’d like. But it wasn’t all bad in 2015, was it? Good things happened, didn’t they? With that in mind, we scoured out memories of the last year to find some things that you might remember fondly when the book is closed on this calendar year in wrestling.
10. The Legacy of Dusty Rhodes
It’s a shame that it took his untimely death to learn the true extent of the effect Dusty Rhodes will have on the future of professional wrestling. Certainly, his legacy will be remembered for his spectacular promos and his polka dots, and lives on through his accomplished sons, Dustin and Cody. But the passing of Dusty Rhodes hit the hardest in NXT, WWE’s developmental promotion, where every single wrestler had a story about something that Dusty had taught them that helped them become a better performer. It wasn’t just inside the ring, but his actions as a father figure outside the ring, if the photos of Dusty and Finn Balor teaching Hideo Itami how to drive so he could get his license is any indication. Over the next few years, when the current roster of NXT eventually makes its way to the main roster, each and every one of them will have had Dusty Rhodes as a primary influence in what got them to that point. We can’t think of any greater legacy in pro wrestling than the knowledge that your teachings will live on in an entire generation of future Superstars.