|Birth name||Dennis Knight|
|Born||December 26, 1968|
Clearwater, Florida, United States
|Residence||Tampa, Florida, United States|
|Family||Ron Slinker (stepfather)|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Dennis Knight|
Phineas I. Godwinn
|Billed height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Billed weight||288 lb (131 kg)|
|Billed from||"Bitters, Arkansas"|
(as Phineas I. Godwinn)
|Trained by||Steve Keirn|
Dennis Knight (born December 26, 1968) is an American retired professional wrestler. He is best known for his appearances with World Championship Wrestling between 1992 and 1994 under the ring name Tex Slazenger and with the World Wrestling Federation between 1996 and 2001 under the ring names Phineas I. Godwinn and Mideon.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Professional wrestling career
- 2.1 Early career (1988–1992)
- 2.2 World Championship Wrestling (1992–1994)
- 2.3 United States Wrestling Association (1995–1996)
- 2.4 World Wrestling Federation (1996–2001)
- 2.5 Later career and retirement (2001–2006)
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Championships and accomplishments
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Knight grew up in Clearwater, Florida. He attended Salem College in Salem, West Virginia, where he played American football for the Tigers. After suffering a severe shoulder injury, Knight left Salem College and returned to Florida, where he worked as a bouncer.
Professional wrestling career
Early career (1988–1992)
While working as a bouncer in Clearwater, Florida, Knight was introduced to Steve Keirn, who trained him as a professional wrestler. He debuted in 1989 under the ring name "Tex Slazenger", facing his stepfather, Ron Slinker, in his first match. Knight went on to wrestle on the independent circuit in the Carolinas.
In 1991, Knight joined the Memphis, Tennessee-based United States Wrestling Association, where he adopted the ring name "Leatherface" and a gimmick based on the character from the 1974 film The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, complete with "bloodstained" apron, leather mask and chainsaw (without the chain). He was pushed as a "monster" in a feud with Jerry Lawler. During one infamous match between the two, Knight was set on fire. After dropping the Leatherface gimmick, Tex teamed up with Mark Canterbury who wrestled as the masked "Master Blaster".
World Championship Wrestling (1992–1994)
In 1992, Knight was hired by World Championship Wrestling, where he was renamed "Tex Slazenger" and given the character of an "ornery Texas outlaw". Knight formed a tag team with Shanghai Pierce. Knight and Pierce left WCW in 1994.
United States Wrestling Association (1995–1996)
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.
World Wrestling Federation (1996–2001)
The Godwinns and Southern Justice (1996–1998)
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.
The Ministry of Darkness (1998–1999)
In late 1998, Knight returned to the WWF under his real name, and in a short time, 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.
Various storylines (1999–2001)
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.
Later career and retirement (2001–2006)
Following his run with the WWF, 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 and release Knight the following day. In March 2006, Knight wrestled several dark matches for World Wrestling Entertainment under his own name.
Knight retired from professional wrestling in 2006.
Championships and accomplishments
- Championship Wrestling from Florida
- Independent Professional Wrestling
- IPW Hardcore Championship (1 time)
- Future Stars of Pro Wrestling
- FSPW Hardcore Championship (1 time)
- United States Wrestling Association
- World Wrestling Federation
- "Mideon Profile". Online World Of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-03-21.
- Melok, Bobby (July 31, 2013). "Where Are They Now?: Mideon". WWE.com. WWE. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
- "Mideon". WWF.com (via Wayback Machine). World Wrestling Federation. 2000. Archived from the original on May 10, 2000. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
- Lawler, Jerry (2002). It’s good to be the King… Sometimes.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). 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.
- "Independent Wrestling Results - April 2003". onlineworldofwrestling.com. Retrieved 2008-07-05.