Andrew Dinsmore, a senior English major, is not the typical man-on-the-street student. Behind the ear-to-ear smile and lean façade, lies a “creature from the deep” and the distant roar of cheering fans surrounding a wrestling ring.
The Temple News met up with Dinsmore to get the inside scoop on Hydra, “The Man Monster.”
The Temple News: How did you first become involved in wrestling?
Andrew Dinsmore: I was really interested in it as a kid. It was my dream. I started training in 2004. I was home schooled in high school. Instead of going to college, I graduated, and the only thing I wanted to do was go to wrestling school, because I had a lot of down time.
TTN: Where did you wrestle?
AD: I did professional wrestling. [When you’re a professional wrestler] you’re sort of an independent contractor. I worked for one company home-based in Allentown.
TTN: What is wrestling like for you?
AD: The ring is like a stage. It’s like you’re going to the theater. The ring is the center stage, and the audience surrounds the ring, and there is a little entrance way. They play your music, and you come down. It’s very theatrical and a lot of pageantry. You get in the ring, your opponent comes out and you wrestle.
TTN: Did you have a wrestling trainer throughout your career?
AD: Chris Hero, he became my mentor sort of outside the ring as they say, because I didn’t really have anybody to look up to. He kind of guided me as a person and helped me develop.
TTN: How does wrestling inspire you?
AD: I’d watch wrestling on TV. I’d go to the shows and see the crowd’s reaction. It’s like being at a sports game, and the team is down in the last quarter, the last inning, whatever, they come back from behind, and in wrestling you have that every show. You can always have something exciting going on.
TTN: Who or what is “Hydra”?
AD: Hydra was the creature from the deep. The Man Monster was one of my monikers. I was training for a year, and when you’re training, you do all the grunt work. I was doing ring work, when the guy that’s supposed to be Hydra didn’t show up. They had the costume, and said, “Hey Andy, we think you’re ready.” They called me into the ring and said, “Look, this is your chance.”
TTN: How did you wrestle those bigger than you?
AD: I’m not the biggest guy in the world, and these guys are easily twice my size. I had to come up with a way to interact with them in a realistic manner. I garnered all of the comedic attributes, so I thought I was stronger than I actually was.
TTN: Where do you find yourself today after your professional wrestling career?
AD: I think wrestling has certainly humbled me. It’s made me accustomed to dealing with bad bosses and horrible situations. So now something like taking on a full schedule doesn’t seem that difficult, it just seems like something I have to do.
TTN: Did you use the character of Hydra at all outside of the wrestling ring?
AD: The story of Hydra did not end in 2009. I was contacted in 2011 to appear on Activity TV’s program “Let’s Eat!” It was a kids cooking program. Myself, and my co-host Chef Kurt, would make various simple dishes for kids. It was really cool to see how kids reacted. My character didn’t really speak – he was very animated. I think that really translated well to the kids. That was definitely a good postscript to my wrestling career.
TTN: Where do you see yourself in the future?
AD: I’m going to try to get into Teach for America. I want to go after my teaching certificate or master’s in education.
TTN: Do you see yourself having a future in wrestling?
AD: I think I’ll dabble in wrestling, but I don’t think it’ll get to the point it was at before where I was completely immersed.
TTN: Any advice for Temple Students?
AD: Don’t let people tell you what you can’t do. Don’t put limits on yourself.
Dustin Wingate can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.