WWE has seen a lot of gimmicks travel through the company, and some of them didn’t age very well. Eugene, the mentally handicapped wrestler nephew of Eric Bischoff, might turn a few heads if he showed up today on WWE television, but the man who played that part doesn’t think it would be a big deal.
Nick Dinsmore is recognized for holding the OVW Heavyweight Championship a record-breaking 10 times. However, it is his portrayal of the character Eugene during his tenure with WWE that truly left a lasting impact. Although the character sparked controversy due to its portrayal of an intellectually disabled individual, Dinsmore recently shared his perspective on the matter during an interview with “The Ten Count.”
Nick Dinsmore expressed his disagreement with the notion that Eugene was in poor taste or offensive. He firmly believes that if WWE were to reintroduce the character in modern wrestling, they would handle it in a responsible and respectful manner. Dinsmore’s understanding of the character’s potential impact suggests that he sees value in presenting Eugene as a positive representation rather than perpetuating harmful stereotypes.
“Nobody at any time, now or then, told me the character was offensive. Some people nowadays might say ‘Well you can’t get away with that anymore.’ But I disagree because WWE is the master of putting something out there, and making it right, and making the people go ‘Oh, I realize now that I guess it’s okay.'” Dinsmore further discussed the psychology he adapted in portraying Eugene, believing he’d get more heat by having heels pick on him than doing something controversial. He credited Triple H and Vince McMahon at playing those roles perfectly.
“He [Triple H] was almost the best, so friendly, and pulling Eugene in, and he’d come in and get beat up,” Dinsmore continued. “‘Oh, it’s your fault Eugene.’ ‘Okay, I’ll do better.’ But in the end, Eugene pinned Triple H. Eugene pinned Vince McMahon, although Vince McMahon did put my hand in a toilet and put green in my hair … so Eugene was an underdog story about a boy achieving his dreams, in the ring with Rock, in the ring with Hogan at WrestleMania. He got the action figure, he got the teddy bear, the t-shirt.”
While the controversy surrounding Eugene remains a topic of discussion, Dinsmore’s stance highlights his belief in the power of storytelling and the ability of WWE to adapt and create meaningful characters that resonate with audiences. Ultimately, the legacy of Nick Dinsmore, both as a championship-winning athlete and as the performer behind Eugene, continues to be a subject of debate, but his insights shed light on his perspective and faith in WWE’s ability to navigate sensitive subject.
We will have to see if the Eugene character ever gets a second life with the company, but odds are it will stay in the achieves. After all, the last thing WWE needs is bad PR at this point.
The Eugene character might not have aged too well, but he’s not the only WWE gimmick with that distinction. What is your favorite controversial WWE character?