Dustin Rhodes, better known to the WWE Universe as Goldust, has had a long history of ups and downs with company. In 1999, Rhodes left the World Wrestling Federation disillusioned with his character gimmick, returning to the WCW.
However, the timing of his arrival in the competing promotion was not ideal. His father, the legendary Dusty Rhodes, had just been fired from the company by Eric Bischoff. And though Dustin wanted to distance himself from the Goldust character, WCW had other plans for him.
Enter "Seven"- a poor man's hybrid of Goldust, the Undertaker, Sting, and the villains from the recent sci-fi film Dark City. He was built up as a fantasy character, shown in vignettes to be a mystical entity, with supernatural powers.
These vignettes teased the character's impending arrival, with Rhodes appearing in full makeup, standing ominously in the rain outside of a child's bedroom window. Typical stuff for a spooky "otherworldly" character right?
Apparently the network powers felt otherwise. Supposedly, the character was dropped after Turner Standards and Practices expressed concern that this gimmick could be misinterpreted... as a child abductor!
But the day finally came for Seven to debut on WCW Monday Nitro. After weeks of build-up, Rhodes made his grand entrance rivaling that of any character from Parts Unknown-- complete with mystical levitation, smoke, mist, flames, and an ominous theme missing only the familiar tolling of a bell.
But no sooner had he touched down in the ring than the lights went up and the facade went by the wayside. Gone were the echoing raspy chants of "Fear Me," as Dustin Rhodes spoke in his real voice. He proceeded to rip into a promo, mocking unrealistic gimmicks, as well as his time as Goldust in the WWF, and slamming both companies for mistreating him and his father.
"Oh and by the way, I'm Seven" Dustin remarked casually, removing the Undertaker-style hat and binding leather trenchcoat that made up the character's outfit. Fans still debate whether the whole affair was a worked shoot to this day, but from that point on he was simply Dustin Rhodes-- no Seven, no Goldust, no gimmicks, just Dustin... at least for the duration of his time in the WCW.
As we all know, Rhodes would continue to bear the Goldust character for many years upon his inevitable return to the WWE, even returning to the character's roots in recent weeks, perhaps preparing for a swan song final run.