Nicholas Dinsmore, better known to wrestling audiences as the lovable Eugene, has opened up about how Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson helped his character get over.
Making his WWE debut as Eugene – a character classed as having special needs – the nephew of Eric Bischoff on the April 5, 2004, Monday Night Raw, Dinsmore instantly won the hearts of the audience with his gentle and lovable nature.
Fighting against the cold shoulder of an uncle who didn’t want him around, Eugene was thrown in at the deep end in a rivalry with Triple H and placed under the guidance of William Regal who the star would form a bond with on-screen.
However, in an interview with Chris Van Vliet, Eugene credits one man and one man alone with helping his character get over with the audience and that was The Rock:
“When they put me in the ring with The Rock, that elevated me like, oh my God. Then people knew who I was and then fans really got endeared to me because I was The Rock’s friend. They liked Eugene, and he was funny, and he was building, but that just put it over the top. It went from a slow build to, ‘Oh my God, you’re a top guy now. You’re made.”
The angle in question came during the character’s first real television feud with announcer Jonathan Coachman. Attempting to rid the company of the special character, ‘The Coach’ ordered Eugene to leave the ring and the company before The Rock interrupted both men.
Verbally berating Coachman, The Rock ran him down in traditional ‘Brahma Bull’ fashion before telling Eugene that it would be an honour to be his friend.
The reign of Eugene lasted a mere three years and took in a WWE World Tag Team Championship reign and unexpected heel turn when he attacked ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan. Nick Dinsmore was released from his WWE contract on September 1, 2007.
Credit for the interview: Chris Van Vliet
h/t for the interview: Wrestling Inc.