Wrestler of the Day – November 4: Nick Dinsmore

Today we’re going to look at one of the best technical wrestlers you’ll find: Nick Dinsmore.

Dinsmore got his start in 1996 in OVW where he would spend the majority of his career. However we’ll pick him up as a jobber on Nitro, September 21, 1998.

Nick Dinsmore vs. Wrath

Dinsmore is more famous as Eugene. Wrath throws him into the corner to start and sidesteps a dropkick. Meltdown ends this squash quick.

From the next week on the same show.

Lenny Lane/Nick Dinsmore vs. Scott Steiner

Steiner talks some trash about his brother before the match. Lane is quickly sent to the floor and Dinsmore gets tossed around with ease. Steiner’s dinner changes places and Lane is put in the Tree of Woe. Dinsmore is tossed into the steps and Bagwell gets in some cheap shots of his own. Scott suplexes Nick onto Lenny and a double Steiner Recliner is good for the win.

As hard as it is to find, I have to put in something from OVW. Here’s Dinsmore on OVW TV on May 1, 1999.

Nick Dinsmore vs. Pawn of Destruction

Dinsmore is OVW Champion and The Pawn of Destruction is a masked man Iron Man Rob Conway jumps on commentary and says he wants a title match right now. Conway is Dinsmore’s longtime partner but they’re now feuding with Dinsmore barely hanging onto the title. As a fighting champions, Dinsmore says bring it on.

OVW Title: Nick Dinsmore vs. Rob Conway

Conway is wrestling in sunglasses because he’s a jerk. Apparently Nick doesn’t like them as he rams Rob into the buckle to knock them off. A belly to belly puts Conway down but Rob comes back with knees to the ribs. He crotches Dinsmore on top and nails him in the head with a right hand. Some elbows to the jaw put Conway down but he ducks his head and takes an X-Factor. A pair of dropkicks drop Rob again and a top rope clothesline looks to set up Dinsmore’s German suplex, only to have Damaja (Danny Basham) come in for a distraction, allowing Conway to grab a rollup for the pin and the title.

Rating: D+. This didn’t have time to go anywhere and it’s clear that neither guy was ready to do more than a few minutes. Dinsmore did well enough with his high flying but I didn’t get the chance to see enough from Conway. The title change doesn’t mean much as Dinsmore got the title back nine days later.

Here’s Dinsmore with more experience and a better opponent at OVW Christmas Chaos 2001.

OVW Title: Chris Benoit vs. Nick Dinsmore

Dinsmore is more or less the best wrestler of all time in OVW. He more or less was a Benoit clone so this should be interesting. Benoit had lost the IC Title ten days before this so he was pretty big as you would expect. He yells at the crowd about how awesome he is and still gets a face pop. Benoit is freaking jacked. Cornette talks about how great Dinsmore’s German suplex is.

It’s weird to see Dinsmore looking in great shape as opposed to being kind of chubby as Eugene. We start with a technical match of course as that’s both guys’ bread and butter. They hit a Test of Strength and Benoit gets him down onto the mat but Dinsmore bridges out. In an incredibly impressive spot, Benoit jumps into the air and drops down onto said bridge but can’t break it. He does it again and STILL Dinsmore stays up. That was awesome looking.

Pinfall reversal sequence gets two for both guys. Benoit outmaneuvers Dinsmore with relative ease because he’s Chris Benoit. Chris works the arm and hooks a surfboard. Dinsmore fights back a bit but it doesn’t last long as Benoit works on the knee a bit. He drapes Nick over the top rope and might have hurt his ribs.

Dinsmore hasn’t been in control for the whole match so far as Benoit is dominating. Nick gets a small package for two and Benoit is like OH NO YOU DIDN’T and chops the heck out of him. Off to a chinlock as this has been going almost ten minutes now. OVW was part of the NWA at this point. I didn’t realize that and it kind of surprises me as they’re also part of the WWF system.

Another rollup gets two so Benoit takes his head off again. Benoit pounds on him some more but Dinsmore goes for a backslide. Benoit blocks so Dinsmore rolls through into a sunset flip. As he has every time though, once Dinsmore gets a rollup he gets his head taken off by Benoit. Nick gets a Dragon Screw Leg Whip out of nowhere which gets him nowhere also.

Dinsmore gets a fifth or sixth rollup and for the fifth or sixth time he gets his head taken off. Benoit goes up but Nick runs up the ropes and chops the tar out of him. Superplex puts Benoit down but Dinsmore is half dead too. They slug it out and here comes Dinsmore. Superkick (is there anyone in OVW that doesn’t use that move?) sets up a missile dropkick which sets up the German Suplex but Rico Constantino runs in for the DQ as he goes after Dinsmore.

Rating: B. Good match here but nothing classic. This was more or less Benoit beating the heck out of Nick for about 15 minutes and then Dinsmore finally getting some offense in. The ending works as you can’t have Benoit win the title but you don’t want to have him lose to Dinsmore clean either. Constantino would take the title from Dinsmore in about a month. Best match of the night so far.

Dinsmore would be in a dark match before Raw on May 14, 2001.

Leviathan vs. Nick Dinsmore

That would be Batista. He easily powers Dinsmore into the corner to start and shrugs off some forearms. A powerslam plants Dinsmore and there’s the spinebuster for good measure. Some kicks to the back of Dinsmore’s head have him in trouble and we hit the chinlock. Back up and Leviathan misses a Brogue Kick, setting up a missile dropkick from Dinsmore. Leviathan shrugs it off and nails a clothesline, setting up a ProtoBomb for the pin.

Rating: D+. Not much to see here but it was clear that Leviathan was going to be a big deal with some more ring time. There’s only so much you can do with a guy that strong when you’re a technical guy like Dinsmore but at least he was trying. The fans really didn’t seem to care here though.

We’ll jump ahead to Heat on July 20, 2003.

Tommy Dreamer vs. Nick Dinsmore

Dinsmore, now with a beard, kicks Dreamer into the corner but gets slammed down. Nick bails to the floor and pulls Dreamer down to wrap the arm around the post. Back in and Dinsmore stays on the arm like a smart wrestler would but dives into a raised boot like an idiot. Tommy makes a quick comeback with some backdrops and a neckbreaker followed by a Sky High for two. A quick Death Valley Driver is enough to pin Dinsmore.

Dinsmore would become Eric Bischoff’s mentally challenged nephew Eugene in 2004. Eugene mentioned that HHH was his favorite wrestler so HHH decided to use him as a lackey. He set Eugene up in a tag match with Evolution member Ric Flair at Vengeance 2004.

Raw Tag Titles: La Resistance vs. Eugene/Ric Flair

Take a guess as to who the champions are here. On a random note, Lillian in Go-Go Boots is AWESOME. Flair’s music cuts off the French national anthem to a huge cheer. The look on Flair’s face when he looks at Eugene is hilarious. Eugene and Conway start us off and the Kentucky guy struts. These two were a team in OVW called the Lords of the Ring who won like 10 tag titles there. He starts using a bunch of Flair moves resulting in the required freak out from Flair.

Flair hasn’t even been in yet. Flair finally comes in and Grenier is in trouble. He’s one of those guys that never actually did anything but had a job because he fit into a tag team. Flair for the most part probably used more basic stuff than anyone ever while making it work. I mean really, how many complex moves can you think of Flair using? He does really basic stuff but he does it so efficiently that he makes himself look great while at the same time making others look great. That’s a very rare quality.

The figure four goes on but Conway makes the save. Flair is RIDICULOUSLY popular here. For some reason this is getting some time. It says a lot when a guy like Flair, a member of the top heel stable, is getting cheered this much. There’s a massive row of signs that spell out WOO in the crowd. There are a lot more o’s in there though which I’d guess you figured out.

Why is it that you never see guys use the front facelock in singles matches but you see it all the time in tags? Without a tag, Flair gets hit by Au Revoir (the champions’ finisher) but Eugene Eugenes Up and beats the heck out of them. And then he knocks the referee down for the CHEAP DQ. Eugene hits a Stunner and Rock Bottom on them after the match.

Rating: C. I don’t think anyone was really expecting much here or a title change and that’s about what they got. This was by no means bad but it’s nothing great at all. Flair and Eugene were part of a far more important angle that would culminate with HHH beating up a retarded man on PPV. Still though, not awful at all but nothing special either.

Eugene then cost HHH a title match, setting up a showdown at Summerslam 2004.

HHH vs. Eugene

They slug it out to start and HHH stomps him into the corner. Eugene comes back with an elbow to the face and a backdrop, sending HHH rolling to the floor. An ax handle off the apron puts HHH down and the booing begins. As in people are booing Eugene. This sounds like a good time for a sidebar.

For those of you that weren’t around in 2004, Eugene was easily the most over guy on the roster for a few weeks. I mean his music would play and the crowd would just explode, no matter what city they were in. Even I was a big fan of the guy. He was such a fun and innocent character that it was almost impossible to not like him. It was so goofy to see him doing Stunners and Rock Bottoms and stuff Junk Yard Dog did back in the day because it was like watching a five year old wrestle. Then one night he was shown in a gym beating William Regal in a chain wrestling contest, making him even more popular.

In other words, the Eugene character was a full on success. This is where WWE screwed everything up. Instead of just letting Eugene be what he was and make occasional appearances to pop the crowd (or open house show matches beating some annoying heel), they pushed it too far. The minute they put him in a story about the world title with main event level guys, it was all over.

At the end of the day, that’s just not what the people wanted Eugene to be. They wanted it to be fun and silly so they could have a good time with it, but WWE tried to make it serious, completely killing the joke. As soon as you tell fans that Eugene’s character has a problem, you’re no longer laughing at a guy who does goofy things but rather you’re laughing at a retarded guy, which no one wants to do.

This lead to the fans not wanting to watch Eugene anymore, because he really was just a guy doing a bunch of random wrestling moves and had no business being at this level (Note that Nick Dinsmore, the guy that portrayed Eugene is a very talented wrestler. His character was what didn’t belong here, not Dinsmore himself. BIG difference). When you try to force the fans to like something in a way they don’t want to, it’s going to blow up in a hurry. The lesson to be learned: don’t make the audience go somewhere they don’t want to go, because at the end of the day they make the decisions, not the company.

So anyway HHH hides behind Lillian to get the advantage and rams Eugene into the barricade before heading back inside for some stomping. He loads up the announce table but Eugene suplexes him back in to block. Eugene pounds away back inside but HHH sends him to the floor. Back in and HHH hits some backbreakers after suckering Eugene in after faking an injury. Eugene comes back so HHH begs off again, only to be pulled into a Rock Bottom and a People’s Elbow, with the latter being pulled into a spinebuster from HHH.

They head outside again with HHH sending him into the steps, busting Eugene’s shoulder open. Back inside and HHH continues toying with him before hooking a sleeper. Eugene shakes his finger at two arm drops before powering up and pounding away. He Hulks Up, catches the boot and does the Austin version of the finger in the face before hitting a Stunner. Back to the floor (again?) and here’s Flair.

Eugene hits the big boot and legdrop for two but has to deck Flair. A Pedigree is countered into a catapult and Eugene hits one of his own but it’s Flair making the save. Flair trips Eugene and gets ejected, drawing out Regal to knock Flair out cold. The distraction lets HHH hit the Pedigree for the pin on Eugene.

Rating: D-. Let’s recap: it took fourteen minutes and help from Flair for HHH to beat a retarded guy. On the other hand, we had to sit through fourteen minutes of HHH vs. a retarded guy and HHH had to sell most of the offense. AT SUMMERSLAM! This was the death of the Eugene character, even though he would win the tag titles with Regal soon after this. Somehow he went on THREE MORE YEARS, which is remarkable after how stupid this match was.

Here’s a rematch on Raw, August 30, 2004.

HHH vs. Eugene

No DQ. Eugene comes out in a poorly buttoned San Francisco Giants jersey to suck up to the crowd. You would think he would get how serious this was after HHH beat him up at Summerslam. HHH jumps him again here but Eugene comes back with headlocks and something resembling an AA. Back up and Eugene gets two off a backslide before heading right back to the headlock. HHH comes back with a stiff right hand and a low blow to take over.

Eugene is thrown over the top rope, injuring his arm in the process. HHH of course pounds away on the injured retarded guy because he can be a good heel when he tries. No sarcasm in that if you’re looking for any. Back in and Eugene walks into a spinebuster followed by the knee drop so HHH can strut around a bit more. Eugene gets rammed into the buckles but it’s Hulk Up time. He slugs HHH down and hits a top rope ax handle for two followed by an old school thumb to the eye.

A Rock Bottom looks to set up a Stunner but HHH grabs a sleeper. HHH: “ROCK A BYE BABY EUGENE!” Eugene is almost out but HHH lets go before the third arm drop. It didn’t work for Adrian Adonis back in 87 but at least HHH follows up with a Pedigree. HHH lets him up again and pulls out the hammer, only to have Orton (in wrestling gear after wearing a suit earlier for no apparent reason) to take the hammer away. A shot to the ribs and an RKO put HHH down and Orton puts Eugene on top for what is supposed to be some huge moment.

Rating: D+. Well that happened. Anyone who has watched wrestling for more than five minutes in their lives knew that Orton was going to cost HHH the match, but it’s not like this really means anything. It doesn’t help when Eugene didn’t move for the last five minutes of the show after a sleeper and a Pedigree.

Eugene would plumet down the card after this before winning the Tag Team Titles with William Regal. Here they are defending at New Year’s Revolution 2005.

Raw Tag Titles: Eugene/William Regal vs. Christian/Tyson Tomko

Regal and Eugene are past their peak of intrigue but at least it’s about to end. However it’s because Eugene destroys his knee in this and is out for about 6 months because of it. For once the Spanish announce team serves a perfect function. I have no idea what I mean by that either. Christian is completely lacking credibility at this point but he’ll be heading to TNA later in the year.

Eugene is wearing a Hogan shirt for no apparent reason. It’s a comedy match in case you didn’t get it. This is where the Eugene character needed to go away. Good night Christian deserves better than this. And Eugene hits the floor and slaps hands with the fans for no apparent reason. He follows this up to dive under the ring. I already hate this match. We get an airplane spin as I would love to hear Gorilla and Jesse argue over Eugene.

The intellectually challenged one Hulks Up and tags Regal in. Well at least he’s willing to let someone else in for the glory part. Oh man Christian gets a shot in on the nose and Regal is bleeding badly. Christian pulls Eugene off the apron and Regal gets there for a tag but there’s no partner. Can I get some Wah Wah Wah music? This is running way too long at this point.

Eugene gets a big old pop for the hot tag. He cleans house but lands badly on his knee, ripping it to pieces and putting him on the shelf for six months. He’s more or less dead weight now and I don’t think the others know it yet. To his credit though he hobbles up and gets a bad rollup on Tomko whose shoulder was up but to be fair he did what he could. He gets taken out on a stretcher.

Rating: B-. It was a formula tag match but the ending changes the whole thing. It’s fairly clear that the champions retained here, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say B-. It wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t great either. Eugene gets bonus points for finishing the match though so there we are.

Eugene would come back after several months off and appear at Taboo Tuesday 2005.

Rob Conway/Tyson Tomko vs. Eugene/Jimmy Snuka

Conway was a cocky guy with a legend hating gimmick which was dumb since Orton had just gotten done doing that. So is the mentally retarded guy supposed to carry this team? Snuka looks out of shape here, nearly three and a half years before he was at Mania last year. Eugene and Tomko start us off and we’re already into the comedy portion as Eugene does the one hand up one hand down routine for the Test of Strength.

Conway wears his sunglasses during the match. Ok then. Eugene and Conway were more or less the most dominant tag team in the history of OVW, winning like 9 tag titles. Jimmy is going to be on the outside for the most part here due to a high level of old. There’s the hot tag to him anyway and Snuka just looks confused. Then again he looked that way in his prime.

The faces play ping pong with Conway using headbutts. Eugene hits a Rock Bottom and the splash ends it after about 15 seconds of setting up. Tomko gets back from writing his novel or whatever he spent the last few minutes doing and Kamala and Duggan make the save. At least they kept it short.

Rating: D. This was a bad match but what did you expect? We knew Snuka would win with the splash but seriously, was Tomko the best they had available as a partner? He had nothing to do with this feud or angle or anything like that. This was a glorified handicap match that just wasn’t interesting at all. Like I said though, at least it was short.

Time for another goofy Raw match on August 21, 2006.

Eugene/Jim Duggan/Highlanders vs. Spirit Squad

This would be the Squad minus Mitch. Eugene and I think Johnny start things off. Mitch is the one on the floor. Got it. Johnny kicks Eugene in the ribs in a battle of OVW legends. There’s an airplane spin from Eugene and here’s Robbie. The Spirit Squad are using a Freebird Rule on steroids to be five man tag team champions. Off to Kenny, the leader of the team who gets two off a clothesline.

Mikey in now with some crossface shots. Mitch and Nick (Dolph Ziggler) cheer Mikey on, meaning they’re playing the gimmick perfectly. Robbie fights off everyone in the corner for a few seconds but there are too many cheerleaders. The fans want Hacksaw. Here’s Nicky and he represents Exhibit A as to never say never about someone. Back to Kenny, the star of the team and the guy that hasn’t been seen in years.

This match is probably getting more time than it needs, especially when we’re waiting on Hacksaw to get the hot tag and destroy everything in sight. Kenny misses his nearly perfect guillotine legdrop and there’s the tag to Rory, meaning the fans don’t care all that much. He hits what we would call the Irish Curse and everything breaks down. Duggan gets a big reaction. The Highlanders get Nick alone and hit the Scot Drop (double team reverse slingshot suplex) for the pin.

Rating: D+. The time hurt it here and Duggan not being in officially killed the crowd. The Highlanders were funny for a little while (and by that I mean for their vignettes) and then they became any other tag team. They never won the titles and then Robbie showed up at Impact in the crowd and got a huge fine or something like that.

Off to SNME XXXIV for more comedy.

Kane/Doink/Eugene vs. Viscera/Kevin Thorn/Umaga

They deserve the ratings they get for this nonsense. The clown and the vampire start us off. Please just make this quick, that’s all I ask. They actually gave this 11 minutes. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??? Eugene gets the tar beaten out of him until Kane gets the big tag. Umaga destroys him and then Kane destroys the very fat man for the win. Somehow that was 11 minutes that I’ll never get back. Just get us out of here please.

Rating: F-. This was on in 2007. Let that sink in for a minute.

Eugene would leave WWE but came back for a shot at a contract on Raw, August 10, 2009.

Calgary Kid vs. Eugene

This is a contract on a pole match and Calgary Kid is a masked man who is clearly the fired Miz under a mask. The Kid tries to surprise Eugene but eats a Rock Bottom for his efforts. There’s a People’s Elbow but Kid breaks up a contract attempt. He shoves Eugene down and wins with ease before unmasking.

It was off to the indys at this point as Eugene became U-Gene, which somehow hasn’t gotten him sued yet. Here he is at JCW Bloodymania VI.

U-Gene vs. Zach Gowen

Eugene takes the only leg out but Gowen can fight well on the mat and escapes. Eugene keeps asking for a test of strength but Gowen will have none of that. Back to the mat but Gowen kicks him to the floor. Eugene is retarded remember. Back in and Gowen gets down in a crouch which freaks Eugene out. Gowen is very quick on the mat so Eugene gets on top of him. A dropkick puts Eugene on the floor and he’s getting very frustrated. He seems to be the heel here.

Back in and Gowen is slammed into the mat for two and it’s off to a chinlock. Eugene uses the classic invisible foreign object to pound away. The commentators debate what country the object is from and continue to get on my nerves. Eugene puts on a half crab, which may be a full crab in Gowen’s case, followed by a giant swing. Eugene loads up what looks like a Samoan Drop off the middle rope but Gowen escapes into a powerbomb for no cover.

A Blockbuster gets two for Gowen but Eugene comes back with an airplane spin. Given that it’s an airplane spin, we get the required ref bump as Gowen is being spun around. Gowen takes Eugene down and this a moonsault but there’s no ref. As Zach wakes the referee up, Eugene blasts Gowen with the foreign object for the pin.

Rating: C. Not bad here as it’s amazing what you do when you get seasons pros in the ring. Eugene was always talented and he could make the retarded gimmick work well as he tweaked it enough to make it different at different times. When you take Gowen out of the main event scene of WWE PPVs, he’s a lot less annoying. Decent match here which is probably going to be the high point.

We’ll wrap it up in India at the first episode of Ring Ka King TV.

Ring Ka King Heavyweight Title Tournament: Dr. Nicholas Dinsmore vs. Mahabali Veera

We’re about 25 minutes into the show not counting commercials and here’s the first match. And no I’m not holding that against them as it’s the debut episode. Dinsmore is basically the heel by default here. He cheats a top wristlock by pulling the hair to bring him down. Dinsmore sends him to the floor but Veera gets a sunset flip for two. Veera has a good look to him and moves well for a bigger (as in taller) guy. The referee is in a green shirt. Off to a chinlock by Dinsmore but Veera hits a spinebuster (called the Veera Bomb) for the pin at 2:59. Short but fine.

Nick Dinsmore is the undisputed king of OVW with ten OVW Titles (second most is four) and a record eleven OVW Tag Team Titles. He didn’t do badly on the main roster but the Eugene gimmick just killed him. There’s only so far you can go with that character and Dinsmore hit it about two years before it was retired. He’s a very talented guy but the character crippled him. Still though, check out his OVW stuff if you can find it and would like to see a completely different side of him.

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1 comment

  1. MWeyer says:

    What always stinks is that May 2004 RAW where Eugene is interview by Coach who runs him down, calls him names, tells him no one likes him and to get out. A sad Eugene is ready to go when THE ROCK shows up in a surprise visit. Great bit of the Rock standing up for Eugene, offering friendship, lets Eugene do “It doesn’t matter” to the Coach and hysterical bit of “Who’s your favorite wrestler?” Eugene responds “HHH!” and Rock’s look is priceless. Then beating down Coach with Eugene doing a People’s Elbow. Turned him huge for the crowds instantly and WWE still blew that great potential.