Chris Van Vliet sat down with Chris "Eugene" Dinsmore. He talked about several different topics including how he created the Eugene character, whether he thinks it would work in 2020's political climate, if he was received as inspirational or controversial, the time he spent in rehab, The Rock helping take him to the next level & more.
Does he think the Eugene character would still work if he debuted in 2020?
"One thing I know about WWE is that they can almost always make anything work. You know what I mean? When Eugene first started, I didn't have my first match on TV for two or three weeks and in those first two or three weeks some people I had heard, like radio stations or news outlets were saying 'What is WWE going to do with this character?'. But the minute I won my first match, then they know it's an underdog story of a boy with a dream wanting to be a wrestler and he's fulfilling that dream."
Was he concerned that fans would think he was mocking people with special needs?
"I thought about that going in but it was my opportunity but I was either going to sink or swim on it. But I had got so much positive affirmation afterwards. So many people said to me, 'My brother has special needs and he told me that he can do anything because Eugene did it'. I heard that more times than I heard, 'You're making fun of people'. No, instead I heard 'You're giving them a voice' or 'Oh my God, there's someone like me'. That's what I want to be. That's what WWE should be a representation of every type of person that there is around the world."
How being in a storyline with The Rock elevated his career to the next level:
"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."