Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - Coach Dotterer was already well known in Central New York, but now he’s receiving support from pro wrestling fans across the country less than a week after being shot during a robbery at the North Salina Street liquor store he owns.
Christian Brothers Academy baseball coach Tom Dotterer was back at work on Tuesday – and after a conversation with local reporters, the long-time pro-wrestling fan’s story reached people across the country.
Gaddis shared Dotterer’s story with one of the biggest wrestlers in the business – CM Punk – and the superstar of the ring had some kind words for the coach.
“Tom Dotterer is amazing. He’s got my respect. If he needs anything from me, let me know,” Punk wrote.
Dotterer was shot in his right eye, and local doctors say he may never recover vision in it.
But the coach told NewsChannel 9 that what really ruined his week was the WWE title match, in which The Rock defeated CM Punk.
"That's the worst thing that happened to me all week, the Rock beat Punk, did you know that?” Dotterer said.
When Gaddis tweeted the 77-year-old’s story to the wrestlers, Punk asked for proof. Once he saw the video, he was convinced and he re-tweeted Dotterer’s story to his 1.5 million followers.
Soon enough, Dotterer was receiving encouragement nationwide:
- “I hope he gets better soon. He’s one tough dude.”
- “This was truly amazing. I say that guy is the champ.”
- “This man is my new hero. I hope he gets better soon.”
Dotterer was touched by the words of Punk and his fans.
"I thank him, from the depth of my heart because I know down deep, he means what he says,” the coach said.
The Rock and CM Punk are set to meet in the ring again soon.
"I’ve got to hope and pray that Punk bounces back and whenever they meet again, that he'll win,” Dotterer said.
The coach also said he’d help Punk any way he could.