September 22, 2005
REAL NAME: Nick Dinsmore
Okay, so he's not REALLY Eric Bischoff's cousin, and he's not REALLY "special," but the former Nick Dinsmore has managed to earn himself a following as Eugene, and earned himself a WWE Tag Team title reign, and that's not the only gold that Euguene has managed to snag himself since coming to WWE.
Hailing from Jefferson, Indiana, Nick Dinsmore was an outstanding football player and wrestler in high school. It was the latter sport that he decided to pursue. In 1996 he began training under Danny Davis. His first exposure to the "big time" was working on several WCW shows (Nitro and Thunder) in September 1997, losing to Wrath, Ernest Miller and, with Lenny Lane in a handicap match, Scott Steiner.
Signed to a WWE developmental deal and assigned to Ohio Valley Wrestling, Dinsmore teamed with Flash Flanigan and the team won the OVW Southern Tag Team titles. However, the team quickly broke up and Dinsmore began teaming with Rob Conway, and the pair were known as the Lords of the Ring. The Lords of the Ring won a March, 1998 tournament for the OVW Southern Tag Team titles, This title reign would be the first of nine OVW Southern Tag Team titles that Dinsmore and Conway would win between March 1998 and June 14, 2002.
But the OVW Southern Tag belts would not be the only gold that came Dinsmore's way during his early career. On April 4, 1998, the Lords of the Ring won the MCW North American Tag Team titles where they were known as Limited Edition. (Due to their limited time in MCW, the belts were vacated in May.) And on June 3, 1998, Dinsmore defeated Rip Rogers to win the OVW Heavyweight title.
Gaining more and more attention from WWE officials, Dinsmore was called up to work a Shotgun Saturday Night taping in July 1999. He, Flash Flanigan and Miller fell to the trio of the Big Bossman, Mideon and Viscera.
Meanwhile, back in Ohio Valley, Dinsmore was having to battle his long-time tag team partner, Rob Conway for the OVW Championship, and the pair traded the title several times over the May 1999 and October 2000.
Meanwhile, Dinsmore, as champion, would battle such WWE stars as Al Snow and Chris Benoit. On August 9, 2001, he defeated Race Steele as part of the Brian Pillman Memorial Show to become the Heartland Wrestling Association Heavyweight Champion.
Meanwhile, by year's end, the team of Dinsmore and Conway proved that fighting over a championship didn't necessarily have to come between two successful tag team partners. On December 2001, the Lords of the Ring had regained the OVW Southern Tag Team titles, defeating Derrick King and Jason Lee for their seventh championship.
Two more reigns as OVW Southern Tag Champs would come before Dinsmore signed another developmental contract with the WWE in July 2002. That summer, Dinsmore would also take part in TV tapings, with several of his matches ending up on WWE Velocity broadcasts.
Back in OVW, Dinsmore continued to team with Rob Conway, and the team feuded heavily with Damaja and Doug Basham. On February 19, 2003, Dinsmore would go it alone against the pair in a Triple Threat match in which Dinsmore emerged as the OVW Heavyweight Championship.
Sadly, the team of Rob Conway and Nick Dinsmore did not survive the early spring of 2003, as Conway turned on Dinsmore on March 19, 2003 during a tag match against Damaja and Basham, just days after the erstwhile Lords of the Ring defeated Rene Dupre and Lance Cade in a dark match prior to a Smackdown taping.
On July 14th, Nick Dinsmore would make an appearance on Heat, losing to Tommy Dreamer. Dinsmore's early WWE career would come as either a Conquistador (reteaming with Conway), Doink the Clown (most famously as part of the APA Barroom Brawl at Vengeance) or as himself in dark matches.
That all changed when Nick Dinsmore became Eugene, in April 2004. Eugene was Eric Bischoff's cousin who wanted to be a wrestler much to Bischoff's chagrin. In an attempt to force Eugene to quit wrestling, Bischoff assigned William Regal to watch over Eugene and convince him to quit. Ironically, Eugene's first match, on May 10, 2004, was against Rob Conway. Despite Regal's interference, Eugene defeated Conway.
Eugene quickly found himself aided by The Rock and Chris Benoit, despite Bischoff's best efforts to sabatoge his career. But it was Triple H and Evolution that Eugene gravitated towards. However, Triple H's attempts to befriend Eugene were all a front, and they soon turned on him. Triple H defeated Eugene at SummerSlam.
Despite the loss, Eugene was not discouraged and instead targeted his uncle Eric for revenge. At Taboo Tuesday, Eugene defeated Bischoff in a hair-vs.-hair match. With Uncle Eric taken care of, Eugene and Regal (who had come to grow quite fond of Eugene) began competing in tag team matches and, on November 15th, won a Triple Threat match (including La Resistance and Rhyno/Tajiri) to become the WWE Tag Team Champions.
On January 11th, a few days after Eugene and Regal retained against Christian/Tyson Tomko at the New Year's Revolution pay-per-view, it was discovered that Eugene had suffered a ruptured patella tendon and would be out of action for several months.
Eugene would return at Wrestlemania XXI, only to be attacked by Muhammad Hassan and Khrosrow Daivari and saved by Hulk Hogan. Eugene's full-time return to the ring would not be until July, when he defeated Kurt Angle for Angle's gold medals in "the Kurt Angle Invitational". After several Eugene Invitationals, in which Angle continually interfered, Eugene was finally defeated by Angle at SummerSlam.
After some time disappearing to Heat, where he defeated Johnny Parisi (Johnny Swinger), Eugene returned to Raw and feuded with his former Lords of the Ring teammate, Rob Conway. At Taboo Tuesday, Eugene teamed with Superfly Jimmy Snuka to defeat Conway and Tyson Tomko.
Shortly after Taboo Tuesday, during the WWE's tour of England, Nick "Eugene" Dinsmore was hospitalized and then suspended upon his return to the United States. He had been found passed out in a hotel lobby in Manchester, England, and later admitted to using a large dose of Somas, a prescription muscle relaxer and pain killer.
Dinsmore was sent to rehab for a two week period and disappeared from WWE television until he made his return at the Royal Rumble. Eugene was relegated to Heat for the next few months, engaging in a lengthy feud with Matt Striker after Striker embarrassed him at Backlash. The feud continued onto Raw where, with Hacksaw Jim Duggan in his corner, Eugene got the better of Striker.
Eugene made an appearance at ECW One Night Stand, only to get demolished by the Sandman and then suffered a similar fate at the hands of Umaga at Vengeance. Things got better when, with help from DeGeneration X, Eugene defeated Shane and Vince McMahon in a handicap match on Raw in July.
--- compiled by John M. Milner