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EN TER TAIN M EN T

Photo by: Richard Strickland

Jeff Dino

Entering the Ring

San Diego’s only professional wrestling company hosts live events in Escondido BY WHITNEY BUTLER | PHOTOS BY CASEY WRIGHTSMAN

AS AN OUTSIDER to the world of professional wrestling, I am stuck

“It’s not something you can easily describe,” said Dino, recalling his

on the sidelines, a spectator in the stands. Are these matches fully cho-

birthday. “It was such a real experience.”

around a nucleus. He is the owner and promoter of San Diego’s only

home on TV. In 1998, Dino found what he was looking for: an adver-

reographed? Is that real blood?

Jeff Dino, on the other hand, is circling the ring like an electron

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.

But those live WWF experiences were few and far between, as well

as expensive. For several years, Dino was stuck watching wrestling at tisement in the Union Tribune featuring a local wrestling event and training school located in Vista.

“It gave me something I could look forward to,” said Dino. “…They

knew me there. It was called Palace of Pain.”

Dino was able to find part-time work at Palace of Pain, assisting with

the website, schedules and marketing material.

“We scheduled local talent from all around San Diego,” said Dino, “as

well as outsiders from Los Angeles, even Yuma, Arizona.”

Palace of Pain closed down in 2001, but not before Dino was able to

incubate his growing passion, as well as build a small community of

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Fall 2015 | 19

Escondido Magazine Fall 2015  

The Escondido Magazine is publish quarterly by the Escondido Chamber of Commerce for the City of Escondido, Ca.

Escondido Magazine Fall 2015  

The Escondido Magazine is publish quarterly by the Escondido Chamber of Commerce for the City of Escondido, Ca.

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