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He used it off and on three times. I believe he used it first in Florida and again in Mid-South. In Florida he fought against Kevin Sullivan as a part of their epic feud in 83. He used the Willie Nelson version most times ike the video you posted. He also used the gimmick at some point during the consolidated NWA run which is what your video was from. That grey area where the NWA was not yet WCW but was still the main TV vehicle for the NWA. But I remember him using the Gregg Allman version too because I immediately sought out this version after hearing Dusty use it.

It inspired several knockoffs . The one I remember the most was Austin Idol using it in the CWA although it was not always him wearing the mask, like the time I saw the gimmick live in Nashville, cattle prod and all, live in 1989. Sam Houston also used it.
 

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Dust first donned the mask, allegedly, following a Loser Leaves Town cage match. The stipulation being that the loser would have to leave CWF for 60 days. I could probably do an essay on the stipulation alone, but that is neither here nor there. Suffice to say, losing your means to make a living for 60 days was a HUGE deal. For some reason, however, I believe the angle was cut short, so he didn't run the full 60 days as the Midnight Rider. Allegedly.
 

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He used it off and on three times. I believe he used it first in Florida and again in Mid-South. In Florida he fought against Kevin Sullivan as a part of their epic feud in 83. He used the Willie Nelson version most times ike the video you posted. He also used the gimmick at some point during the consolidated NWA run which is what your video was from. That grey area where the NWA was not yet WCW but was still the main TV vehicle for the NWA. But I remember him using the Gregg Allman version too because I immediately sought out this version after hearing Dusty use it.

It inspired several knockoffs . The one I remember the most was Austin Idol using it in the CWA although it was not always him wearing the mask, like the time I saw the gimmick live in Nashville, cattle prod and all, live in 1989. Sam Houston also used it.
Actually, it was Cowboy Bill Watts who used the gimmick in Mid-South Wrestling. He had come to the rescue of Hacksaw Jim Duggan when Skandor Akbar hit him in the face with a fireball. It led to a tag match with Duggan and Watts vs. Kamala and Kareem Muhammad. Watts lost the pin for his team and had to leave Mid-South. As a result, The Midnight Rider announced he was coming to avenge his friend Watts.
 

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^ would be kinda cool to see that. Salute to Cody for well..hell..everything.

On the Midnight Rider, maybe my memory is just getting foggy in my old age. But, I swear I remember a story in an Apter mag where the Midnight Rider pinned Flair, but they wouldn't give him the belt because he wouldn't unmask?

For what it's worth, Barry Windham did a similar gimmick to the "Midnight Rider" except he called himself the "Yellow Dog" for awhile.
 

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On the Midnight Rider, maybe my memory is just getting foggy in my old age. But, I swear I remember a story in an Apter mag where the Midnight Rider pinned Flair, but they wouldn't give him the belt because he wouldn't unmask?
Yep, during Flair's 1st reign February 9, 1983. Dusty was suspended in Florida and at the time the NWA didn't allow masked wrestlers to hold the title so the decision was reversed when he refused to unmask.
 

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^ would be kinda cool to see that. Salute to Cody for well..hell..everything.

On the Midnight Rider, maybe my memory is just getting foggy in my old age. But, I swear I remember a story in an Apter mag where the Midnight Rider pinned Flair, but they wouldn't give him the belt because he wouldn't unmask?

For what it's worth, Barry Windham did a similar gimmick to the "Midnight Rider" except he called himself the "Yellow Dog" for awhile.
Brian Pillman then donned the gimmick during his feud in WCW with Windham. When Windham beat Pillman in a loser leave WCW match, the Yellow Dog returned
 

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Brian Pillman then donned the gimmick during his feud in WCW with Windham. When Windham beat Pillman in a loser leave WCW match, the Yellow Dog returned
I seem to recall this happening in other territories too where a masked man beat the world champ but refused to unmask but I cannot exactly put my finger on when or where? Was it Mil Mascaras, Bruiser Brody, or maybe Bill Eadie?

BrusierKC how often was Dusty in Mid South? I don't recall him being their too often. I could have sworn he did MR there but you would know better than me there. Makes sense it was Watts I probably am misremembering an Apter article or match result, assuming it was Dusty
 

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I seem to recall this happening in other territories too where a masked man beat the world champ but refused to unmask but I cannot exactly put my finger on when or where? Was it Mil Mascaras, Bruiser Brody, or maybe Bill Eadie?

BrusierKC how often was Dusty in Mid South? I don't recall him being their too often. I could have sworn he did MR there but you would know better than me there. Makes sense it was Watts I probably am misremembering an Apter article or match result, assuming it was Dusty
Rhodes mostly wrestled in Florida, Georgia, and the Mid-Atlantic. I remember the blow off to his feud with Kevin Sullivan in CWF with the Midnight Rider vs Lucifer (a masked Sullivan).

Ironic how the NWA kayfabe wouldn't allow masked world champions but permit them to hold other belts (multiple championships by the Masked Superstar, Mr Wrestling I and II and the Assassins come to mind). :)
 

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Rhodes mostly wrestled in Florida, Georgia, and the Mid-Atlantic. I remember the blow off to his feud with Kevin Sullivan in CWF with the Midnight Rider vs Lucifer (a masked Sullivan).

Ironic how the NWA kayfabe wouldn't allow masked world champions but permit them to hold other belts (multiple championships by the Masked Superstar, Mr Wrestling I and II and the Assassins come to mind). :)
i have always asked that if the NWA didn't allow masked wrestlers to hold the World Title, why was that match advertised as a World Championship Match?
 

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I didn't get to watch a lot of the southern federations, but I do remember at least one time where the Horsemen had talked about running Dusty out of town and the Midnight Rider showed up as a surprise, think it was in a tag team match. Crowd loved that shit.
 

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I always found it hilarious that they had to “prove” the Midnight Rider was Dusty Rhodes. I mean it was so ridiculous.
When they were trying to "prove" it was Rhodes they would sometimes substitute other wrestlers under the mask. If I remember right, even African American wrestler Charlie Cook was very briefly the Midnight Rider in CWF for like 1 or 2 matches.
 
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