Dietzen morphs into “Dr. Doom” on Nov. 16 to host Timmy Takedown, a battle royale pitting him against his pediatric rehab patients to raise money for the little warriors—and his international project, Timmy Global Health.
Ivan Koloff and Dick the Bruiser when I was a kid, but I give very high ratings to Rick Flair.
You seem pretty heroic. Why is your alter ego bad?
Wrestling is the classic confrontation of good versus evil. If you show your face, you’re a good guy; if you wear a mask, you’re bad. I’ve never won a match. I need to “take a bump,” as they say in the business, for the kids.
Who has faced you in the ring?
You’ve got “Hannah the Ferocious Banana”—cute little girl, but don’t let her fool you. She is not a nice person in the ring. Sometimes, we have to lift her off the ground by her ponytails.
We’ve done some suplexes and power slams. I always look at the mothers and say, “You did sign the consents, right?” I want parents to see that, yeah, [the kids] are fragile, but they’re not that breakable.
You spent time with Mother Teresa. What did you learn?
Her message was to not abandon our patients, particularly the ones we couldn’t cure—that we needed to stay there and be present for them and give them hope. Most of these kids are going to live with disability, whether they’re born with it or were in a tragic accident. We don’t cure these kids. [But] we can heal them.
Photos by Tony Valainis
This article appeared in the November 2013 issue.