For anyone who was watching World Wrestling Entertainment in the early 2000s, Nick Dinsmore’s gimmick is one that is easy to remember.
Dinsmore broke into the big time of professional wrestling as “Eugene,” the nephew of the dastardly, on-screen General Manager Eric Bischoff. Eugene appeared to be mentally impaired, but had a successful run, as he easily got over (popular with fans) while allying himself with legends such as Hulk Hogan.
While in high school, everyone knew Dinsmore wanted to be a professional wrestler. One of his classmates had ties to Danny Davis, who discovered Dinsmore and offered to train him. Rip Rodgers trained him as well. It was Rodgers who gave Dinsmore the idea for Eugene.
In May 1996, Dinsmore began training with Rip Rodgers in Ohio Valley Wrestling. From there, he made his way into the WWE.
He once had a match with Ric Flair. According to Dinsmore, after the match Flair told him, “I didn’t know you knew how to work.”
Some critics have spoken ill of the Eugene gimmick. In the past, some wrestlers have disowned past characters that seem to haunt the rest of their careers. Dinsmore is not one of these people. He fully embraces Eugene.
“It’s what made me famous,” he said. “I’m still making money off of him today.” As Eugene, he also had a match with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, who allowed Dinsmore to “beat him up”. Though McMahon is the boss, he was never nervous about accidentally injuring him.
Dinsmore is still an active wrestler in Midwest All-Pro, his own promotion based out of Sioux Falls, S.D. He had done a few shows in Iowa, and was in the state July 26 for the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame induction weekend. He signed autographs, posed for pictures and wrestled Impact Pro Wrestling’s Matty Starr. He wrestled one more match in a tag team with Wes Brisco at the event.
Wrestling is still fun for him. He enjoys working with the talent he is developing and greeting fans. For those who may want one of Eugene’s trademark white jackets, it’s too late. He has sold all of them.
Over the years, he has suffered his share of injuries in the ring. Torn biceps, bad knees, torn cartilage and more have been endured to do what he loves. All he, or any other wrestler can do, is exercise, work safely and enjoy it while it lasts.
“You never know when it’s going to be your last match,” Dinsmore said.