It’s the feud that first got me into professional wrestling. A twenty year journey and it’s all thanks to Dustin Rhodes and Bunkhouse Buck.
At the tail end of 1993, Dustin Rhodes was busy defending and eventually losing the WCW United States Championship to Stud Stable member Steve Austin. With the championship on Austin and Dustin unable to regain the championship, Dustin turned his attention to the other lower level members of the group.
Col. Robert Parker managed Austin and even with the championship in his possession, he was still interested in ending the career of Dustin Rhodes. Parker had a long lasting hate for the Rhodes family, so taking Dustin out of WCW would be ideal.
Parker decided to bring in several talents to help take out Dustin, but first and probably most remembered for trying to do so, was Bunkhouse Buck. Buck, formerly known as Jimmy Golden in SMW, arrived in WCW in February of 1994.
Buck would have his first major televised match with Dustin Rhodes at WCW Spring Stampede in Chicago under bunkhouse rules. Basically, there were no rules. The match was a good brawl and gave Buck an impressive victory to kick off his career in WCW. However, the feud was far from being over.
It was quickly announced that at Slamboree in May Bunkhouse and Dustin would compete in a bullrope match. On the May 7th edition of Saturday Night, Buck attacked Dustin during a match with Steve Austin.
The feud continued to heat up on the May 21st edition of Saturday Night when Bunkhouse tied Dustin to the ropes and viciously assaulted him. Their bullrope match was only twenty four hours away.
Dustin was able to pick up the victory at Slamboree in a not nearly as violent bullrope match in comparison to Spring Stampede. However, Terry Funk made this a lot more interesting when he attacked Dustin and bloodied him with a branding iron shot. The Stud Stable is forming with Austin as the main guy, Bunkhouse and Terry as the supports and Parker as the manager. Not a bad foursome right there.
With the numbers not in Dustin’s favor whatsoever, he needed to find someone to have his back. Someone he could trust to fight with him. So, Dustin reached out to former Horsemen member Arn Anderson to be his partner at Bash at the Beach where Dustin was set to compete against Terry Funk and Bunkhouse Buck.
After a few weeks, Arn Anderson didn’t deliver an answer. At the Clash of the Champions on June 23rd, Anderson revealed that he would team with Dustin and that Rhodes better be prepared to get hurt real bad because the match was surely going to be a brutal one.
So, on July 17th at Bash at the Beach Rhodes and Anderson stood side by side to take on Funk and Buck. After nearly twelves minutes of getting beaten up, Dustin tags in Arn only for Double A to double cross Rhodes and plant him with a DDT! Arn joined the Stud Stable and after the match helped triple team Dustin. Poor Dustin can’t trust anyone it seems like.
Dustin and Buck would meet on the live edition of Saturday Night on August 6th, which saw Dustin defeat his rival yet again. Dusty Rhodes would get involved and there was a near brawl until several wrestlers came out to break up the situation.
At Clash of the Champions on August 24th, Dustin would team with his father Dusty to take on Terry Funk and Bunkhouse Buck. The match ended in a DQ when Arn Anderson attacked Dustin. Afterward, Dustin got a DDT for his troubles. Dusty tried to hit Meng with a wooden chair, but Meng was not hurt from it and proceeded to kick Dusty in the chest. How could they possibly end this heated feud?!
Following the Clash of Champions, it was announced that WAR GAMES would involve the team of Bunkhouse Buck, Arn Anderson, Terry Funk, and Col. Robert Parker. That would leave Dustin and Dusty in need to find two men to be their partners for the most dangerous match in World Championship Wrestling history.
On the August 27th edition of Saturday Night, Dusty Rhodes personally went to a bar in search for two of the nastiest guys he knew. Dusty ended up finding Brian Knobs and Jerry Sags, the Nasty Boys. At the time, they were heels but they agreed to join forces with Dusty and Dustin to compete in WAR GAMES.
After nineteen minutes of action inside two rings surrounded by a cage, the team of the Dusty Rhodes, Dustin Rhodes and the Nasty Boys defeated the Stud Stable when Dusty Rhodes made Col. Robert Parker submit to a figure four.
The issues between the teams wouldn’t be over just yet. The Nasty Boys would beat the team of Terry Funk and Bunkhouse Buck at Halloween Havoc after a piledriver on a pumpkin. On the October 15th Saturday Night, Terry Funk had told his teammates to hang him and let the buzzards pick at his body if he were to lose the match. He wouldn’t make any more appearances for WCW for six years.
Also at Halloween Havoc, Dustin Rhodes got revenge on Arn Anderson for turning on him in July by winning with a roll-up. Even with the win, Dustin was attacked afterward as Arn delivered a DDT on the young Rhodes.
On the November 26th edition of Saturday Night, Dustin would be shoved by Blacktop Bully (Barry Darsow). Bully would be arrested for his actions, but Col. Robert Parker bailed him out for $75,000 and recruited Bully to end the career of Dustin Rhodes.
Dustin and Blacktop Bully would square off at Superbrawl V. At the event, Col. Robert Parker would hold Dustin’s foot down on a suplex attempt and allowed Bully to secure a victory on his first pay per view appearance.
The feud would continue between the two men with a match taking place at the March pay per view UnCensored. At the event, they competed in a King of the Road match. The match took place on the bed of a moving semi-truck. The way to win the match was to honk a horn. Bully would end up winning the match and it’s safe to say we’ll never see a match like that again in professional wrestling.
Dustin and Blacktop would be fired for blading during the match. Dustin ended up going to the WWF and had a very successful career known as Goldust. He would return to WCW in late 1999 until the demise before returning to WWE. Blacktop wouldn’t be on WCW programming again until 1998 when he simply went by his real name, Barry Darsow.
It’s honestly the feud that got me into wrestling and I’m well aware of how random it is. I’m sure popular answers are Hogan/Andre or Flair/Race or really anything other than this feud, but it’s one that I saw in the spring of 1994 and it got me hooked for life.
The feud was able to last for roughly six months from April to October with there still being steam to keep it going. I really enjoyed the Buck/Dustin matches that started off for the feud and bringing in Arn Anderson to turn on Rhodes was purely excellent. For most of 1993 Anderson was a babyface and for half of 1994 he was still in that role. Going back to the Enforcer heel was much needed and you’ll notice he had a far better run as a heel anyway.
I haven’t put much thought into it previously, but the Stud Stable was a rather strong faction during its run in WCW. Steve Austin, Arn Anderson, Bunkhouse Buck, Blacktop Bully, Meng and Col. Robert Parker is not a bad group of tough guys to have going after your babyfaces. Having Dustin Rhodes thrown in as the main babyface was a really good choice since he had worked with Austin and Anderson a lot in previous years and his style matched up well with Buck’s.
The Nasty Boys involvement was a bit random, but where else could they go to get partners for War Games. The fact of the matter is that the Nasty Boys had accomplished all they could as heels and Harlem Heat was clearly lined up to run 1995 as the top tag team. Naturally, you’re going to have to turn the Nasty Boys into babyfaces. Plus, to a certain extent they were likeable as Knobs has always been a little out there and people enjoy hard hitting action anyway.
I kind of wish that Steve Austin didn’t fall off the face of the Earth in September when he feuded with Jim Duggan. That was the one part of the group where they were made to look foolish. Austin, in my mind, originally was the leader but soon after Anderson jumped to the group, Austin was faded out and Arn was seen as the leader of the group, which isn’t bad, but having a younger Austin in that role would have been interesting to see.
Anyway, the feud still holds up for me as it provides great action, a wonderful heel turn and not to mention the emotional reunion of Dusty and Dustin Rhodes. A well done feud.
What are your memories of this feud? Share them below!
Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.