The following are highlights of a new Busted Open Radio interview with Baby Doll (aka Nickla Roberts), who worked alongside Dusty Rhodes:
On hearing the news of Dusty’s death: “It was a shock to me too. It’s one of those things that you always … it hits ya and then you think “Wow, I wish I had just one more time to see him just one more time to do one more Fan Fest or one more autograph show just to see Dusty again. He was such an icon in my life. For a lot of us, he made us stars. He made us household names. He made us legends and I am forever grateful for that.”
On her time with Dusty: “I was so young then too. I was in my early 20s and the guys were a little bit older, they were more established in wrestling, like in their early 30s, you know a little bit later, and for them to take me in and to be a girl, and to be the only girl that was working at that time in that huge area, I couldn’t ask for a better respect that was given to me and how I was treated and just everything that was given to me… it was amazing, it really was.”
On Dusty’s creative genius: “He took what was going on already and just bumped it up. That was one of the things that got me started. I had two showed left with World Class, and that was the two shows in Miami and Tampa that I had against Stella Mae, and it was Christmas Day and the day after that that was in like 1984. So I only had two shows left and I didn’t have any more bookings after that, I was done. I didn’t know quite what I was going to do. I knew that Michael Hayes was promoting Florida so I landed and I got in a rented car and stopped at the first liquor store and got a huge bottle of Jack Daniels and went to go talk to Michael Hayes… and Michael Hayes was like “Oh no honey, I’m getting ready to close down Florida, it’s slowed down a lot. Who you need to talk to is, go talk to Dusty. You know Dusty. He’s over there in the other dressing room. He’s getting ready to do big things in North Carolina. It’s already goin’, but North Carolina is literally about ready to blow up.” And Michael Hayes had put Dusty over and this was in like December of 1984 and Michael Hayes predicted it… that Dusty was getting ready to do something amazing in North Carolina and that’s where I needed to go. And I went over there and Dusty was sitting down and Tully was standing off to the side and I was kind of like “Well, here I am… I’d sure like to work some more… do you think you can use me?” They went out and watched my match and after that it was history because they were looking for the perfect 10 at the time and Dusty just saw that character in me… he just saw a lot that he could work with. But I just thought that it was so cool that back in December of 1984 that Michael Hayes predicted all of that.”
On how many young superstars that he took under his wing and got the best out of and Dusty’s lasting legacy: “It was done the right way. It showed a created part of wrestling. It was very cool what he did. He had a magic. It was just something that I will forever be grateful for. And it was the same thing with Big Momma, Jimmy Valiant’s ex-wife… the character that he brought out in her — that was fantastic. Like “Here, I’m giving you my women… I’m giving you my woman off the street to make you feel better man!” (laughs) And I’m like, “Oh my god, how are you doing this?” It was awesome. And if you look at my face in some of the promos, like when I’m standing back behind Dusty, and he’s talking, you can kind of see it on my face like “Oh my god, are you really saying this? I can’t believe you’re saying this”. It just cracks me up because he was just so much more and even with his passing it’s so cool to hear everybody talking great things about him. But even before this, I can’t even think of anybody that said anything bad about Dusty. It was always… Dusty was making a lot of money and made a lot of people money and how creative he was.”
Check out the complete interview at BustedOpenNation.com.