Someone You Should Know: Wrestling From the Heart
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – When you think about professional wrestling, Sioux Falls might not be the first place that comes to mind but a former fan favorite now calls the city home.
Nick Dinsmore made a career playing his sentimental character.
“I first saw professional wrestling when I was eight or nine-years-old and I told my mother ‘that’s what I’m gonna do’,” says Dinsmore.
Folks around Sioux Falls know him as Nick Dinsmore but in a much larger world, fans who him as, Eugene.
“I got signed in ’99. I debuted in ’04 on TV,” says Dinsmore.
Just weeks into his newfound fame, Eugune found himself in the ring with WWE personality Jonathan Coachman. That night is when everything changed.
“The Rock’s music hit and they say he’s the most electrifying man in sports entertainment and we were in this, it was just a magic moment,” says Dinsmore. “And the thing was, that’s what made me a star. That’s what took Eugene to the next level. The Rock came out and said ‘Eugene and the Rock are friends’ the Rock didn’t know me. He didn’t have to do that.”
The WWE tour brought Dinsmore to Sioux Falls, where he met his wife Stephanie who just happens to be Queen of the Ring in her hometown.
“Whenever we’re around the world, wherever we go it’s Eugene and Mrs. Eugene but when we’re in Sioux Falls, it’s Stephanie and her husband,” says Dinsmore.
But Dinsmore’s journey landed him here, growing sports entertainment in the Sioux Empire. He now runs his own company called Midwest All Pro Wrestling. They put on monthly shows around the state and train athletes hoping to work their way to the WWE.
“There were some in Omaha, some in Minneapolis but nothing here and I wanted to bring a pro wrestling company here and bring pro wrestling to the fans that I knew we’re going to be in Sioux Falls because I’d wrestled here with WWE but they needed their own hometown production,” says Dinsmore.
As fate would have it, Eugene and Coachman are crossing paths again, this time for a good cause. They’re teaming up and squaring off to raise awareness for organ donors. The cause is one that’s dear to Coachman, whose father recently received a heart transplant.
“They’re trying to create funds so that if families that might not have the ability to afford a heart transplant, can afford a heart transplant. It’s a special thing because Coach is out there changing lives and we’re just happy to be a part of it and be able to put it on a platform,” says Dinsmore.
A portion of the money raised from a Street Fight Friday at Icon Lounge will go toward Coachman’s work with St. Luke’s Heart Institute. But if you think charity means pulling punches, you probably don’t know much about professional wrestling.
“It’s gonna be a big event. Record-breaking crowds are expected. Eugene’s gonna be there. There’s going to be titles on the line. There’s going to be ups and downs and turns and ins and outs and I’m going to take Coach up and down, pillar to post, up Main Avenue and back down in a Sioux Falls street fight. We’re going to do it for a good cause and we’re going to do it in the best little city in America, Sioux Falls,” says Dinsmore.
That street fight is Friday starting at 6 p.m. at the Icon Lounge. Tickets are $20.