10 Highly Inspiring Wrestling Redemption Stories
It's never too late to get a second chance...
9. Dustin Rhodes
Dustin Rhodes has been through a lot and has had to carry a heavy burden throughout his long and illustrious career.
Coming into the business as the son of the legendary Dusty Rhodes, Dustin had to contend with living up to the legacy of one of the most beloved performers ever, who also happened to be an influential figure behind-the-scenes.
Then there was Goldust, an incredibly controversial gimmick which coincided with the deterioration in the relationship between him and his famous father. Goldust was good to Rhodes, but it was a million miles from 'The Natural' and could have been a career-killer if not handled right.
Rhodes' career had its ups and downs, some bitter exits and triumphant comebacks, but the nadir was undoubtedly his mid-2000s spell in TNA, an era that saw the emergence of the utterly bizarre and truly regrettable Black Reign character.
It was during this period that Dustin's substance abuse issues began to spiral out of control, as he indulged in heavy drugs and alcohol binges. He was noticeably suffering, his weight ballooning and his performances falling well short of the expected standard.
It all came to a head one night when Rhodes hit rock bottom. Realising he was at the depths, he climbed to the top of a hill in the middle of a storm in order to get enough cell phone reception to call his dad and ask for help.
The next day, Dustin entered WWE-sponsored rehab and completed the treatment programme, cleaning up his act to the point that WWE gave him another chance and allowed him to revive his career.
He had some great years in WWE after, the peak arguably being he and brother Cody capturing the WWE Tag Team Titles, with Dusty watching on from ringside.
Rhodes is now flying the flag for AEW, and while his ring work and backstage mentoring is exemplary, the most important thing is his continued sobriety and commitment to staying healthy, something he has done for the last thirteen years.