Entering the Ring
San Diego’s only professional wrestling company hosts live events in Escondido and Oceanside.
BY WHITNEY BUTLER
As an outsider to the world of professional wrestling, I am stuck on the sidelines, a spectator in the stands. Are these matches fully choreographed? Is that real blood?
Jeff Dino, on the other hand, is circling the ring like an electron around a nucleus—he is the owner and promoter of San Diego’s only professional wrestling company, which he founded in 2007.
Dino moved to Carlsbad from Long Island when he was 7 years old. His mother and father opened an Italian food restaurant inside a few old train cars at Solana Station, which he explains are no longer there.
In 1993, on Dino’s 11th birthday, his father took him to see his first WWF live event at the San Diego Sports Arena. The rest, as they say, is history.
Some passions are unique to a childhood experience—if you’re lucky enough to have one, like Dino, then you can guess how his story unfolds. In a single moment, his journey revealed.
“It’s not something you can easily describe,” said Dino, recalling his birthday. “It was such a real experience.”
But those live WWF experiences were few and far between, as well as expensive. For several years, Dino was stuck watching wrestling at home on TV.
Originally appeared in print September 2015.READ COMPLETE PRINT VERSION