Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has offered 77-year-old Thomas Dotterer ringside seats and a chance to meet his favorite wrestler CM Punk at the War Memorial this Sunday.
The liquor store owner and CBA baseball coach was shot in the face back in January during a robbery. His courage caught the attention of his favorite wrestler, CM Punk, who got him ringside seats to the fight.
Without his right eye and limited vision in his left, Dotterer is taking it day-to-day.
“Mentally, it hasn’t been anything other than a humbling experience,” Dotterer told NewsChannel 9. "I'm gradually coming to grips with the reality of the difficulty I'm having, resuming a life similar to the one I had before the incident."
As he’s done his whole life, Dotterer uses his love of wrestling to escape.
"It's kept me youthful and it's provided me with untold smiles,” Dotterer said.
And he’ll be smiling this Sunday as he sits ringside at the WWE event at the War Memorial. However, Tom’s not one to be too star-struck, though he says it is an honor.
In a Tweet last month, CM Punk called Dotterer "Amazing," saying “He’s got my respect.”
Dotterer plans to thank Punk when they meet and tell him to get that title belt back. But before the show, and meet and greet, Dotterer will be the main attraction during a fundraiser in his honor.
"It's a privilege to be able to thank everybody from the doctors, church members, school people, everybody,” Dotterer said.
Fundraiser details below:
If you’re familiar with Dotterer’s story, you’ll know he’s not one for the spotlight. With that said, he wasn’t thrilled about a fundraiser for him, so he wants all the money raised not to go toward his recovery, rather he’d like to donate the money to the McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center.
The fundraiser will be held on Sunday, from 2-7 p.m., at the Pastime Athletic Club in Syracuse.