In a drastic change of pace from fist pumping on the Jersey Shore, TNA Impact Wrestling star Robbie E. recently made an appearance at Pro-Wrestling Elite in Scotland. Prior to an intense contest for the heavyweight championship, Robbie E. sat down with WhatCulture’s Simon Cassidy to discuss his beginings in the world of pro-wrestling, his influences, aspirations and some misconceptions about his “movie career”.
So first of all, how did you get your start in professional wrestling?
Well of course when I was a young Robbie E. I knew I was destined to be a star in this world somehow and I assumed that it would be as a pro-wrestler, because I loved wrestling. So at the age of 16, while still in high school, I began training three times a week. I didn’t even have my driver’s licence yet; my parents had to drive me to a school that was about an hour from my house. I trained for six months, I had my first match and two months later my principle in high school was fist pumpin’ bro!
So who were your earlier influences when you were training?
I trained with a small school in New Jersey called IWF, it’s actually closed down now, it was good training; guys like Steve Corino and Simon Diamond frequented there. I would really credit those two, mainly Simon Diamond with my training.
As far as who influenced me as a kid obviously I was into Hulk Hogan, but to be honest there wasn’t like one guy that really stood out to me as the reason I got into wrestling so it’s kind of hard to answer that.
What would you say were the highlights of your time on the independent circuit?
I was on the independent circuit for ten years. I did TNA matches in the early years, in Nashville on Explosion and things like that and over the years I had other tryouts, WWE tryouts, those kind of huge opportunities will always stand out in my memory. But my big break came ten years into my pro-wrestling career when I signed with Impact Wrestling and to be honest that’s where I will always consider my memories as having started.
Speaking of opportunities, according to Wikipedia you were in The Wrestler with Mickie Rourke…
You know, I was but I wasn’t. Here’s a little secret; I was planned to be in it, my name was listed and everything, but I actually ended up getting an overseas tour. So like a few days before, I wasn’t able to be there for filming, but somehow my name still ended up in the credits, so I kind of got the best of both worlds.
All of the credit, none of the work?
They said my name in the movie and everything and I wasn’t even there: so let’s just keep pretending I was in that locker room scene.
So how did your big break with TNA come about?
I had a tryout with them through Terry Taylor, and at the time they were looking for…the Jersey Shore Show was big, I’m from there: you’re sitting here…look at me! So they kind of just put two and two together and when they said “OK let’s see if he can get it done in the ring” and fortunately enough for me it clicked, they offered me a contract the day of my try out match.
When you first came in you were with Cookie…
Actually no, at first it was just me then a few weeks later they flew me back down and they had her in, tried us together and they liked it.
So what was it like working extensively with a female wrestler?
I don’t mind working with a female, but I don’t think I would count her as a female. I would consider her a monster, it was the worst year of my life and I’m glad she’s gone.
Following that, you’ve had quite a lot of success, X-Division and Television Champion, what would you class as the highlight of that period?
Honestly, the highlights were of course the days that I won them: beating Jay Lethal for the X-Division title at Turning Point and then one year later beating Eric Young for the Television Title. But through my TV Title run I had great runs with RVD and D-Von, I got some wins…which I haven’t gotten in a while.
As you mentioned earlier you were influenced by Hulk Hogan, and now throwing in names like RVD: what is it like working on the same show as these people you looked up to?
At this point, it almost doesn’t matter who I’m in the ring with. I’ve kind of stopped looking at it that way. As far as the likes of Hulk Hogan and RVD I really just want to take their spots, take their jobs and make all the money that they have made. That’s how I look at it now…fist bumping to the top. It’s all about the money bro.
Well in recent years you have been closely associated with Tag Teams, are the tag titles a goal of yours?
Well a goal of mine is to hold every title, so yeah the tag belts are definitely a goal of mine. They are a prize I’ve had my eyes on, alongside Mr Pectacular Jessie Godders. After that though, I’d like to focus on the World Heavyweight Championship.
Do you see this as an attainable goal in the coming years?
Sure, as time goes on I will get a lot more opportunities to prove myself. And the thing about Robbie E: when I get that ball, I will run with it.
So to begin wrapping up, there are a few questions which have to be asked: number 1) what goes into your choice of cardigan?
Actually, now that I’m an official Bro-Man I’m kind of moving away from the Cardigan. I mean Big Rob [former tag partner Rob Terry] kind of killed that, I mean did you see that guy in a cardigan? But I liked bright colours, I liked the way they fit, but like I said: Big Rob killed that for all of us…I’m sorry.
Finally, what is your true opinion of the Jersey Shore?
The Jersey Shore is the greatest place in the world. It’s where I grew up, it’s where I party, it’s where I tan, it’s where I pick up chicks. It’s life for me bro, I love it.
For more information on Robbie E and Impact Wrestling, head over to www.ImpactWrestling.com
We are currently seeking TNA contributors on WhatCulture. To find out more about the perks of being a TNA contributor, click here.