Where would Dustin be without the Goldust gimmick?
Despite his lamenting of it (and assuming gimmicks that ripped on it), Dustin returned to it again and again, and even currently has a bit of a reference to it in his current attire/makeup. It's been a defacto element of his persona for twenty five years and is (outside his brother) the reason he's still relevant.
However, if Goldust never happens, what does Dustin's legacy look like? While Goldust had his ceiling, Dustin Rhodes never really broke out as a top tier singles star in his six years with WCW. Would he have just been another generic babyface in mid-90s WWE? Would he have disappeared into the wrestling ether until Dusty dragged him out again?
Yeah he’d have been a solid hand but he probably would have went back to WCW a lot sooner and ended up fading away after the sale. Maybe he would have teamed with Uncle Barry as a replacement for the Blackjacks?