Kevin Owens has opened up about paying tribute to his former mentor Dusty Rhodes in the men's WarGames match from Survivor Series. Owens wore a Dusty Rhodes t-shirt and red elbow pad to honour the late WWE Hall of Famer, who invented the WarGames concept in the 1980s.
Appearing on After The Bell with Corey Graves, the Prizefighter discussed what the tribute meant to him and revealed that he cleared it with Dusty's son Cody, saying:
"It was a real thrill to be part of it when I did the one in NXT, just because it was great to be part of something Dusty created. To be part of the first one on the main roster, to have the opportunity to wear Dusty's shirt and the red elbow pads as a tribute to him, I talked to Cody (Rhodes) beforehand to make sure he was cool with it and everything. It's always neat to tie back to history and give Dusty a little nod, I try to do that as much as I can because he was so influential in my career. I really had access to him for a very short time, maybe ten months, between the time I started in NXT and the time he passed. In those ten months, he really left a mark on me that nobody has. I've known people for years in this industry and they haven't had half the influence on me that Dusty had in that short time. Anytime I get to do something as a little shoutout to him, I take that opportunity".
The American Dream worked as a writer and creative director for NXT prior to his passing on June 10, 2015.