Whether you know him as Eugene, U-Gene, Doink, Mr. Wrestling or any other name, Nick Dinsmore has unquestionably earned his spot as one of the most entertaining and impressive athletes and trainers in the wrestling world. On a tour of England (with IPW) and Germany, we were lucky to spend some time with and find out his views on NXT, the Hall of Fame, the WWE network and more. Read on...
What do you make of UK wrestling scene at the moment?
Well, I don't know the complete history of it but it appears to be having a re-birth right now and it's expanding. I've seen some of the best talent in the world in the UK. I wrestled in Preston City Wrestling and there were a whole crew of guys there that were just mind blowing. I've seen a lot of guys and a lot of talent.
You were an NXT trainer, who stands out for you?
Of course you've got Adrian Neville, Sammy Zayn, and Tyler Breeze but with the influx now of Finn Balor, Kevin Owens and Hideo Itami - those are the guys that will be the future of the business. Beyond that there's a whole crew of guys that haven't really been featured on TV yet but are going to be phenomenal. There's Chad Gable and a British footballer called Stuart Tomlinson who wrestles as Hugo Knox, I think he's one of the best athletes I've ever seen. A good looking guy, a little goofy, so I think if he doesn't do anything silly he'll become a star
Some argue that the style of training has led to formulaic wrestling - is that an unfair criticism?
Yes and no because ultimately the cream is going to rise to the top and everyone that really makes it to that top level did it with their own style and flair. They did the same moves that the rest do but made it their own. I think that some of the newer wrestling talent might not be wrestling fans, so what they're learning is what they're being told. They might not venture out and learn different ways of doing things, like watching tapes from the 70s or 80s of from abroad, that kind of material. The students that I had at NXT were fairly new. New to the programme and new to wrestling, so I tried to show them different styles and ways to perform the craft.
In a number of the matches you wrestled, you used comedy, are we missing that in today's business?
I feel like a wrestling show needs all different types. The giants, the midgets, the female wresters, the fighters - but it also needs the comedy acts. Santino had that covered for some time but he might be moving out of the ring so it seems like there's a void for that. I just wrestled a 'bumbag on a pole' match for IPW. I'm always looking to reinvent the business, change the wheel, and shake it up. There were two poles on either side of the ring hanging 2 bumbags, there were weapons inside, and there was mass pandemonium
What's the best rib [practical joke] you've played?
Well Lance Cade, God rest his soul, was a good friend and I used to mess with him all the time. I once found a loose toilet seat and put that in his bag, I'd always put ice in his cowboy hat when he'd come back from his matches. Then there's Matt Striker who I liked and knew when he was first on the road. I put his bag in a locker and padlocked it. He came in and saw it and went to get some bolt cutters from the janitor's closet. When he came back, Id taken the padlock off. Then he put them away and came back and I'd put it back on - so he just sat there.
Probably my favourite one was at OVW. John Cena and I played a little rib on David flair. I said to him, "David, go and ask John about his sister, she just won a piano recital and he's real excited about it". So he asks him. Cena throws a big fit and throws his water across the room. He says "You know my sister doesn't have any hands!" Flair was almost in tears. He didn't know what to do, he's starting to hyperventilate, and he was going red....
You mention Cena, you've worked with some of the biggest names in wrestling. Who was your favourite and why?
It's kind of hard to say. I wrestled HHH. I was in the ring with the Rock. I pinned Vince McMahon and I was in the ring with Hulk Hogan at 'mania. So many highlights. Everyone was great to work with. I enjoyed my time with William Regal because we travelled together, we became friends and he became a mentor. We would usually travel with Tajiri and the three of us on the road together was like Barnum and Bailey.
Randy Savage has been announced for the WWE Hall of Fame, who should be inducted with him?
I always wanted to see the British Bulldogs go in. There the first team that I watched that just made me fall in love with wrestling. I'd been in the business for some time before I caught a VHS tape of Dynamite Kid in Japan and that's what blew my mind. For the non-wrestling member, I think I'd like to see Mohammed Ali, he was at Wrestlemania 1 and is also from Louisville, Kentucky where I'm from.
The WWE Network is coming to the UK. Why should we get it?
I like the Video on Demand part and they're constantly putting up more and more content. I heard at one point that if you watched all the video that WWE owns, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it would take you 25 years to watch it all. You get the Pay-Per-Views on there once a month, you get Wrestlemania and some of the new shows are really good. Legends' house was funny.
You said in a previous interview that you're talking to "high-profile" companies and we'd see Nick Dinsmore soon. Can you update us?
My legal team has told me to neither confirm nor deny that I'm speaking to the largest of companies around the world but it could be very soon that you're going to see Nick Dinsmore, or a character played by Nick Dinsmore, on the largest scale that we have.
For our part, we hope to see Nick Dinsmore back on the grandest stage before long because when he steps into a ring, fans are guaranteed to be entertained.