Nick Dinsmore Details How The Eugene Character Ended Up In WWE

Nick Dinsmore portrayed Eugene in WWE from 2004 to 2009, but the gimmick would almost surely not get past the idea stage in 2023. Though some early skits provided hope that it might be more than the usual stereotypical portrayal of someone with an intellectual disability by way of giving Eugene savant-like abilities as a technical wrestler, that side of the character quickly fell to the wayside. Recently, Dinsmore appeared on "Ten Count," where he gave some insight into how the character was actually developed. Dinsmore began by explaining that the germ of the idea for the gimmick came from Ohio Valley Wrestling trainer Rip Rogers, whose son is on the autism spectrum.


"What about a character, much like [Dustin Hoffman's character in] 'Rainman,' that might not be very sociable, might not be able to tie his shoes correctly, but when the bell rings, he can do everything he's seen on TV flawlessly, [like an] 'idiot savant' of wrestling," Dinsmore explained. "I pitched that idea to the [WWE producers] when they would come down to Louisville. We had one come down every week. I pitched it to guys like Dean Malenko, and Fit Finlay, and Arn Anderson. They said, 'No, no, no. Wrestling's gone beyond that. We're more reality-based now.' This is probably mid-to-late 2003."

'I just wanted to see what would happen'

Dinsmore got a similar response when WWE creative team members would come down to Louisville. He eventually came up with a plan to try to manipulate his way onto the main roster: Tell his friend, Doug Basham, who had already been called up, that he was looking to quit WWE and go to Japan...despite not having any actual contacts in Japan.


"I just wanted to see what would happen," Dinsmore continued. "So Doug tells Dean Malenko, Dean tells Johnny Ace, [and the] next thing I know, February 2004, I'm sitting in a meeting with Vince McMahon and Stephanie. Vince goes 'I want to get back to character-based wrestling!' And I just spit out that idea. Right after that, 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin walks in."

Vince asked Austin if he had ever seen Dinsmore wrestle, and Austin said he didn't think so, but then Nick mentioned that he was trained by "Nightmare" Danny Davis, who he knew that Austin had befriended when they both worked for the USWA in Austin's early years.

Vote of Confidence

"And Austin kind of looks up and goes, 'Well, he's probably one of the best,'" Dinsmore recalled. "That vote of confidence from Austin [was enough that] Vince [was] like, 'Alright, we'll start on Monday!' The squeaky wheel gets the grease. I tell that to anybody I train now. You have to do it properly, and do it nicely, and just vent a little bit and put it out there. And on the flip side, you have to put out what you want in the universe so you can attract it."


Dinsmore chalks the Austin side of it to simply being in the right place at the right time, but he does feel like that vote of confidence helped.

"I felt like it was like, 'OK, let's give this kid a shot,'" he explained, noting that he had been in the developmental system for several years by that point.

"The writer, Brian Gewirtz, knew how to write for Eugene. And it was his brilliant writing that put me in a good place being Eric Bischoff's 'nephew,' and teaming me with William Regal. It was a perfect odd couple."

Dinsmore added that nobody has ever personally told him the Eugene character was offensive, just something that you couldn't get away with now.

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "Ten Count" with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.