|Ring name(s)||Dennis Knight
Phineas I. Godwinn
|Billed height||6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)|
|Billed weight||288 lb (131 kg)|
December 26, 1968 |
Orlando, Florida, U.S.
|Resides||Tampa, Florida, U.S.|
|Billed from||"Bitters, Arkansas"
(as Phineas I. Godwinn)
|Trained by||Steve Keirn|
Professional wrestling career
While working as a bouncer in Clearwater, Florida, in 1989, Dennis Knight was introduced to Steve Keirn, who trained him as a professional wrestler. He debuted in the same year using the name Tex Slazenger, facing his stepfather in his first match. When Slazenger signed with the United States Wrestling Association, he was given a Leatherface gimmick based on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre character complete with "bloodstained" apron, leather mask and chainsaw (without the chain). He was pushed as a "Monster" into a program with Jerry Lawler. During one infamous match between the two, Slazenger was set on fire. After dropping the Leatherface gimmick, Tex teamed up with Mark Canterbury who wrestled as the masked "Master Blaster".
Slazenger was later hired by World Championship Wrestling alongside the Master Blaster who was renamed "Shanghai Pierce" The team was dubbed "The Texicans" by color commentator Jesse Ventura. They remained with the promotion until 1994 without achieving much success.
When both men left WCW, Canterbury signed with the World Wrestling Federation under the ring name "Henry Godwinn" while Slazinger returned to the USWA. In the USWA, Slazinger captured the USWA Southern Title on two occasions, defeating Brian Christopher both times.
In 1996, Knight was reunited with Canterbury and renamed "Phineas I. Godwinn" when he signed with the WWF. The duo were portrayed as being cousins and were collectively known as The Godwinns. Over the following two years, The Godwinns held the WWF Tag Team Championship on two occasions. They were managed by Cletus Godwinn (Tony Anthony), Hillbilly Jim, and Sunny.
In 1997, in a match between The Godwinns and the Legion of Doom, Canterbury suffered a cracked C7 vertebra when the Legion of Doom botched a Doomsday Device. He was advised by doctors to rest for 15 weeks, but returned to the ring in less than eight weeks. In early 1998, the Godwinns dropped their pig farmer gimmicks and became "Southern Justice", the bodyguards of Tennessee Lee. Six months later, Canterbury herniated his C7 vertebra and pinched a spinal nerve, necessitating spinal fusion surgery. This came as a result of him returning to the ring too early after his neck injury. He eventually left the WWF and retired, due to the neck injury suffered in 1997 leaving Knight without a partner.
In late 1998, Knight returned to the WWF under his real name, and in relatively no time at all, was kidnapped by the Acolytes and brainwashed into joining the Ministry of Darkness, a heel Satanic-themed stable led by The Undertaker, who rechristened him as the deranged soothsayer "Midian" (spelling later changed to "Mideon"). Throughout 1999, The Ministry feuded with Stone Cold Steve Austin, with Knight often teaming up with Viscera. Knight "won" the European Championship in this time when he found it in Shane McMahon's bag. When The Undertaker was injured in late 1999, the Ministry disbanded, however, Knight continued the gimmick and the unit with Viscera, including doing The Undertaker's biddings in matches well after The Ministry had dissolved, although no clear stable was ever established again. He also appeared briefly as a Mankind imitator and teamed with Ivory in intergender matches on Heat.
Knight returned in a limited capacity in 2000 as Naked Mideon, a persona who ran around arenas wearing only a fanny pack, a pair of boots and a thong. At No Mercy 2000 he tried to reclaim the European Championship from William Regal, but was defeated. At Armageddon 2000, Knight briefly interfered in the match between Chris Jericho and Kane. Knight then wrestled in a few dark matches under his previous moniker Tex Slazenger, but was eventually released in January 2001 on good terms.
Following his run with the WWE, Knight returned to his home in Tampa, Florida and spent time training students at Steve Keirn's Pro Wrestling school. During this time he also continued to wrestle for several Florida independent promotions such as IPW and the FSPW, as well as touring Europe.
Knight appeared at the Total Nonstop Action Wrestling event TNA Destination X 2005 on March 13, 2005 during the scheduled match between Monty Brown and Trytan. In the course of the match, the lights went off and Trytan vanished from the ring. When the lights came on, a masked Knight was in his place and was quickly pinned by Brown. TNA never revealed on air who was under the mask. In March 2006, Knight wrestled several dark matches for World Wrestling Entertainment under his own name.
Championships and accomplishments
- Independent Professional Wrestling
- IPW Hardcore Championship (1 time)
- Future Stars of Pro Wrestling
- FSPW Hardcore Championship (1 time)
- World Wrestling Federation
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
- "Mideon Profile". Online World Of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-03-21.
- Lawler, Jerry (2002). It’s good to be the King… Sometimes.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (4th Edition 2006). Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- "O Henry!". WWE. Retrieved April 17, 2007.
- Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1998". Retrieved April 16, 2007. "(June 1, 1998) Jeff Jarrett (w/ Tennessee Lee & Southern Justice) pinned Farooq after hitting him with Lee's belt buckle as Southern Justice distracted the referee; prior to the bout Tennessee Lee introduced the repackaged Godwinns as Southern Justice"
- prowrestlinghistory.com. "WWF No Mercy Results (2000)". Retrieved April 16, 2007.
- prowrestlinghistory.com. "TNA No Mercy Results (2005)". Retrieved April 16, 2007.
- Marvez, Alex (2004-04-16). "Ravens must make QB beat them". SunSentinel.com. South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 2012-04-05.
- wrestlingdata.com. "Mideon profile". Retrieved April 17, 2012.
- "Independent Wrestling Results - April 2003". onlineworldofwrestling.com. Retrieved 2008-07-05.