Bobby Eaton

Last updated

Bobby Eaton
Eaton in 2014
Birth nameRobert Lee Eaton
Born (1958-08-14) August 14, 1958 (age 60) [1]
Huntsville, Alabama, United States [1]
Residence Charlotte, North Carolina, United States [2]
Spouse(s)Donna Dundee
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Beautiful Bobby [1]

Bobby Eaton [1] The Earl of Eaton [2] Earl Robert Eaton [2]

Robert Eaton


Billed height6 ft 0 in (183 cm) [1]
Billed weight233 lb (106 kg) [1]
Billed fromHuntsville, Alabama, The Dark Side
Trained by Tojo Yamamoto [1]
Debut1976 (1976) [1]
Retired2015 (2015)

Robert Lee Eaton (born August 14, 1958) is an American retired professional wrestler, who made his debut in 1976. [1] He is most famous for his work in tag teams, especially his days as one-half of The Midnight Express. Under the management of Jim Cornette, he originally teamed with Dennis Condrey and, later on, with Stan Lane. He also worked with a number of other tag team partners, including Koko B. Ware, Steve Keirn, and "Lord" Steven Regal.

Professional wrestling entertainment form that mimics contact sports

Professional wrestling is a form of performance art and entertainment that combines athletics with theatrical performance. It takes the form of events, held by touring companies, that mimic a title-match combat sport. The unique form of sport portrayed is fundamentally based on - and evolved from - classical and "catch" wrestling, with modern additions of striking attacks, strength-based holds and throws and acrobatic maneuvers. Much of these derive from the influence of various international martial arts. An additional aspect of combat with improvised weaponry is sometimes included.

Tag team Team of multiple professional wrestlers

Tag team wrestling is a type of professional wrestling in which matches are contested between teams of multiple wrestlers. A tag team may be made up of wrestlers who normally wrestle in singles competition, but more commonly are made of established teams who wrestle regularly as a unit and have a team name and identity.

The Midnight Express was a professional wrestling tag team of changing members, mostly under the management of Jim Cornette. The group started in the early 1980s with Dennis Condrey and Randy Rose. The late 1980s saw a new incarnation, consisting of Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane, compete in JCP and WCW and briefly feuding with "The Original Midnight Express" of Condrey and Rose. In the 1990s, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) combined Bob Holly and Bart Gunn as "The New Midnight Express". A combination of Condrey, Eaton and Lane occasionally compete as the Midnight Express on the independent circuit.

In his career, Eaton wrestled for extended periods of time for various wrestling promotions: Mid-America Wrestling, Continental Wrestling Association, Mid-South Wrestling, World Class Championship Wrestling, Jim Crockett Promotions, World Championship Wrestling, and Smoky Mountain Wrestling. He also made brief guest appearances for Extreme Championship Wrestling, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, and a considerable number of independent wrestling promotions over the years.

Continental Wrestling Association was a wrestling promotion managed by Jerry Jarrett. The CWA was the name of the "governing body" for the Championship Wrestling, Inc. promotion which was usually referred to as Mid-Southern Wrestling or the Memphis territory. This promotion was a chief NWA territory during the 1970s and early 1980s while operating out of Tennessee and Kentucky. The CWA was a member of the National Wrestling Alliance until 1986 and affiliated with the American Wrestling Association until 1989. In 1989, the CWA merged with the World Class Wrestling Association to form the United States Wrestling Association thus ceasing to exist as a separate entity. Lance Russell and Dave Brown were the television commentators and hosts for the Memphis territory, including the Continental Wrestling Association.

Universal Wrestling Federation (Bill Watts) American professional wrestling promotion

The Universal Wrestling Federation was owner Bill Watts' attempt at taking his Mid-South Wrestling promotion to a national level in 1986. The attempt failed and in 1987, Watts sold the promotion to Jim Crockett Promotions and it became part of what would later be known as World Championship Wrestling. The promotion had started out as an NWA Territory known as NWA Tri-State founded by Leroy McGuirk in the 1950s. Tri-State promoted in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi, the same area that Watts's Mid-South wrestling ran in before attempting to go national. In 1990, Herb Abrams started an unrelated wrestling promotion with the same name.

World Class Championship Wrestling American professional wrestling promotion

World Class Championship Wrestling(WCCW), also known as the World Class Wrestling Association (WCWA), was an American professional wrestling promotion headquartered in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas. Originally owned by promoter Ed McLemore, by 1966 it was run by Southwest Sports, Inc., whose president, Jack Adkisson, was better known as wrestler Fritz Von Erich. Beginning as a territory of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), it went independent in 1986 in a bid to become a major national promotion, but was unsuccessful in its attempts and eventually went out of business in 1990. Rights to the pre-1989 WCCW tape library belong to WWE and select episodes from 1982 to 1988 are available on the WWE Network.

Early life

Growing up in Huntsville, Alabama, Eaton was a fan of professional wrestling, especially the NWA Mid-America professional wrestling promotion. This promotion was operated by Nick Gulas, who staged wrestling shows in the Alabama and Tennessee region. Eaton's first involvement in the sport came at the age of 13, while attending Chapman Middle School, when he helped set up wrestling rings in his hometown. [3] He later trained under Tojo Yamamoto to become a professional wrestler. [1]

Huntsville, Alabama City in Alabama, United States

Huntsville is a city primarily in Madison County in the Appalachian region of northern Alabama. It is the county seat of Madison County. The city extends west into neighboring Limestone County and south into Morgan County.

A professional wrestling promotion is a company or business that regularly performs shows involving professional wrestling. "Promotion" also describes a role which entails management, advertising and logistics of running a wrestling event. Within the convention of the show, the company is a sports governing body which sanctions wrestling matches and gives authority to the championships and is responsible for determining the divisions, rankings, etc. of wrestlers. In truth, the company serves as a touring theatre troupe, as well as event promotion body for its own events.

Nick Gulas American wrestling promoter

Nick Gulas was an American professional wrestling promoter in the Southern United States, partnered with Tennessee promoter Roy Welch for decades. Also known as "The King of Managers" and "King B". Gulas was also referred to throughout the 1970s as the "Dean of Promoters".

Professional wrestling career

NWA Mid-America (1976–1980)

In May 1976, at the age of 17, Eaton made his debut in NWA Mid-America. He entered his first match, a loss to Bearcat Wright, as a last-minute substitute for Wright's absent opponent. [3] He quickly became a regular in Mid-America and continued to train with the more experienced wrestlers. Before long, fans, as well as promoter Nick Gulas, noticed Eaton's athleticism and showmanship. Gulas decided to "promote" Eaton up the ranks of NWA Mid-America, giving him matches later in the show, closer to the main event. [4] The angle that really helped elevate Eaton's name up the card in the promotion took place after the introduction of the tag team The Hollywood Blonds (Jerry Brown and Buddy Roberts). Eaton fought the Blonds with a variety of partners, including his old trainer Yamamoto and "Pistol" Pez Whatley. When the Blonds decided to move to a different wrestling promotion, the storyline maintained that Eaton was responsible for driving them out of NWA Mid-America. [4]

NWA Mid-America was a professional wrestling promotion territory under the umbrella of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) that promoted shows in Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama from the 1940s until 1981. The company was founded in the 1940s by Nick Gulas and Roy Welch and was one of the first promotions to join the NWA after it was founded in 1948. From 1953 until late 1974 John Cazana promoted the Knoxville area and Joe Gunther promoted the Birmingham area from around 1940 until some point in the 1970s. In 1977 promoter Jerry Jarrett and wrestler Jerry Lawler broke away from NWA Mid-America, breaking the Memphis area off to start on the own under the name the Continental Wrestling Association (CWA). Mid-America stopped promoting in 1981 and the CWA took over most of their territory as well as some of the championships promoted by NWA Mid-America

Edward Wright was an American professional wrestler who became popular in the late 1950s and 1960s. Despite racial tension in the United States, he became wildly popular as a babyface. Wrestling in either singles competition or in tag team competition, thousands of fans would pack arenas to see him. He was the son of boxer Ed "Bearcat" Wright, and had an 8-0 record as a professional boxer himself in the early 1950s, boxing as "Bearcat Wright Jr."

Pez Whatley American professional wrestler

Pezavan Whatley was a professional wrestler in the 1980s up until the mid-1990s.

In 1978, Eaton teamed with Leapin' Lanny Poffo (brother of the more well-known "Macho Man" Randy Savage), and together they won the NWA Mid-America Tag Team Championship from Gypsy Joe and Leroy Rochester. It was Eaton's first title win, and he and Poffo held it for a little over a month. Eaton went on to form a team, known as The Jet Set, with George Gulas, Nick Gulas's son. Together, Eaton and Gulas held the tag team title three times. [5] During their time as a team, the two were involved in a storyline feud with Terry Gordy and Michael Hayes before Gordy and Hayes became famous under the name The Fabulous Freebirds. [4] [6]

Lanny Poffo Canadian-American professional wrestler and author

Lanny Mark Poffo, better known by his ring names "Leaping" Lanny Poffo and The Genius is a Canadian-American professional wrestler, motivational speaker, poet and actor. Poffo was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, to Angelo Poffo, an Italian American Catholic, and Judy, a Jewish-American. He is also the real-life younger brother of "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Poffo grew up in Downers Grove, Illinois and currently makes his residence in Clearwater, Florida.

The NWA Mid-America tag-team championship was a tag-team title promoted by the NWA Mid-America promotion that ran more or less exclusively in Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky, United States, from the 1940s until 1980. Originally the NWA Mid-America promoted their version of the NWA World Tag-Team titles but when they became defunct in 1977 the "Mid-America" title became the main title for the promotion.

Junkyard Dog American professional wrestler

Sylvester Ritter was an American professional wrestler and college football player, best known for his work in Mid-South Wrestling and the World Wrestling Federation as the Junkyard Dog, a nickname he received while working in a wrecking yard. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2004.

Bobby Eaton in 1979 Bobby Eaton 1979.jpg
Bobby Eaton in 1979

In the spring of 1979, Eaton started a feud with Chris Colt, designed to establish Eaton as more than just a good tag team competitor. [7] The feud between the two was so heated that it saw Colt suspended for piledriving Eaton on the concrete floor, making it appear Eaton had been seriously injured. Eaton suffered no injuries, however. At that time, the piledriver was banned in most federations and treated as a move that could potentially paralyze a wrestler. This was done to give the move more "shock value". [8] Eaton conclusively defeated Colt, earning a place as one of the top faces (good guys) in NWA Mid-America. [4] During 1979 and 1980, Eaton worked a series of singles matches against Dennis Condrey, a man he would later team up with to gain worldwide fame. [4]

Feud (professional wrestling) staged rivalry between wrestlers in professional wrestling

In professional wrestling, a feud is a staged rivalry between multiple wrestlers or groups of wrestlers. They are integrated into ongoing storylines, particularly in events which are televised. Feuds may last for months or even years or be resolved with implausible speed, perhaps during the course of a single match. WWE's terminology discouraged the use of the term along with the word "war".

Piledriver (professional wrestling) professional wrestling driver move

A piledriver is a professional wrestling driver move in which the wrestler grabs his opponent, turns him upside-down, and drops into a sitting or kneeling position, driving the opponent head-first into the mat. The technique is said to have been innovated by Wild Bill Longson.

In professional wrestling, a face (babyface) is a heroic or a "good guy" wrestler, booked (scripted) by the promotion with the aim of being cheered by fans. Traditionally, they wrestle within the rules and avoid cheating while behaving positively towards the referee and the audience. Such characters are also referred to as "blue-eyes" in British wrestling and técnicos in lucha libre. The face character is portrayed as a hero relative to the heel wrestlers, who are analogous to villains. Not everything a face wrestler does must be heroic: faces need only to be clapped or cheered by the audience to be effective characters.

At the end of 1979, Eaton turned heel (bad guy) for the first time in his career by joining Tojo Yamamoto's group of wrestlers, whom the fans hated. Although Eaton is now thought of mainly as a heel, his fans were surprised at the time. Eaton's heel run did not last long before he rescued his former Jet Set partner, George Gulas, from a two-on-one attack by The Blond Bombers (Larry Latham and Wayne Ferris) to return to the fan-favorite side once more. After reuniting the team, Eaton and Gulas had one final run with tag team champions and worked an intense feud with Latham and Ferris. [9] [10]

Continental Wrestling Association (1980–1983)

When Nick Gulas' wrestling promotion closed due to dwindling ticket sales, Eaton briefly wrestled for Georgia Championship Wrestling, even capturing the National Television Championship. Before long Eaton returned closer to home, working for promoter Jerry Jarrett's Continental Wrestling Association (CWA), which was centered in Memphis, Tennessee. During his early days in the promotion, Eaton faced Stan Lane several times in tag team competition. Eaton's most successful partnership in the CWA, in terms of title wins, was with Sweet Brown Sugar, nicknamed "the New Wave". The two wrestlers blended their athleticism and high flying abilities to form a very successful team. The New Wave held the AWA Southern Tag Team Championship three times (twice with manager Jimmy Hart in their corner). [5] After achieving success as a tag team, it was decided that Eaton and Sugar should split up and feud with each other. This storyline resulted in Eaton "forcing" Sugar out of the promotion after he won a "Losers Leaves Town" match against Sugar. [11] [ unreliable source? ]

Sugar's disappearance was soon followed by the appearance of a masked man called Stagger Lee, who looked and wrestled like Sugar. The storyline of Sugar returning under the mask to fight the heels helped make the masked man instantly popular with the crowd. Eaton, along with the rest of Jimmy Hart's stable "the First Family", tried in vain to unmask Stagger Lee. [11] [12] [ unreliable source? ]

Eaton turned face and re-teamed with Sugar, although they maintained the storyline that Eaton's partner was actually "Stagger Lee" and not Sugar. The team regained the tag team title before losing it to The Fabulous Ones (Stan Lane and Steve Keirn). [5] Afterward, Eaton teamed up with The Moondogs (Rex and Spot) to face Jerry Lawler and the Fabulous Ones. During the match, one of the Moondogs accidentally hit Eaton with their trademark bone, costing their side the match. After the match ended, the Moondogs, as well as Jimmy Hart, turned on Eaton, beating him down until he was saved by Stagger Lee. [13]

Mid-South Wrestling and World Class Championship Wrestling (1983–1985)

Soon after Eaton joined Mid-South Wrestling under promoter Bill Watts, he became part of the Midnight Express. Eaton teamed with former rival Dennis Condrey under the management of Jim Cornette to form a new version of the tag team. The Express had previously been a group of wrestlers consisting of Condrey, Randy Rose and Norvell Austin, but with Eaton's arrival, the Midnight Express worked exclusively as a two-man team. [4] To complement the nickname "Lover Boy" Dennis, Eaton was nicknamed "Beautiful" Bobby, a nickname he still uses when wrestling. At first, The Express was booked in an angle with the Mid-South Tag Team Champions Magnum T.A. and Mr. Wrestling II. The highlight of the angle saw Eaton and Condrey tarring and feathering Magnum T.A. in the middle of the ring. The Express first won the tag team title when Mr. Wrestling II turned on Magnum T.A., attacking him during the title match and allowing Eaton and Condrey to win the title without much opposition. [5]

With Mr. Wrestling II and Magnum T.A. splitting up, the Midnight Express needed a new team to defend their newly won title against. They began a long series of matches against The Rock 'n' Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) which ran well into the 1990s and spanned several wrestling promotions. [4] The two teams feuded throughout 1984 in Mid-South Wrestling before the Midnight Express left the promotion. The Midnight Express versus Rock 'n' Roll Express series of matches were so well received by the fans that independent promoters all over the United States still book those two teams against each other today, 20 years after the rivalry started. [14] The Midnight Express had a short stay in World Class Championship Wrestling in Texas, where they feuded mainly with The Fantastics (Bobby Fulton and Tommy Rogers). [15]

Jim Crockett Promotions/World Championship Wrestling

The Midnight Express (1985–1990)

In 1985 Eaton, Condrey and Cornette signed with Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP) and were given national exposure on JCP's televised programs on SuperStation TBS. [4] Shortly after joining JCP, the Midnight Express reignited their feud with the Rock 'n' Roll Express and won the NWA World Tag team title from them in February 1986. During the course of their heated angle, Eaton and Condrey re-lost the title to the Rock 'n' Roll Express six months later. [5] Eaton and Condrey also had long running feuds with The New Breed (Chris Champion and Sean Royal) as well as The Road Warriors (Animal and Hawk). The feud with the Road Warriors included a high-profile Scaffold match at Starrcade 1986, which the Midnight Express lost. [16]

In early 1987, Condrey left JCP for undisclosed reasons, and "Sweet" Stan Lane took his place as part of the Midnight Express. [4] In May 1987, after teaming for only a few months, Eaton and Lane became champions when they won the NWA United States Tag team title for the first time, a title they would win three times during their time together. [5] A year later the team was cheered on despite being heels, as the Midnight Express won the NWA World Tag Team Title from Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard on September 10, 1988. This feud was cut short when Anderson & Blanchard signed with the WWF over money issues. The Midnight Express' run with the title lasted a little over a month-and-a-half before the Road Warriors took the gold from them in a brutal match up, which saw the heel Road Warriors brutalize the now-popular Midnight Express. [5] Now the fan favorites, the Midnight Express had to contend with a team thought to be disbanded forever: the Original Midnight Express, which consisted of Condrey and Randy Rose, who joined JCP after a brief run in the AWA. The duo was led by long-time Jim Cornette nemesis Paul E. Dangerously, in a storyline that saw them trying to prove the originals were better than the new version. The surprise appearance of the Original Midnight Express gave Dangerously's team the initial momentum in the feud, but soon after, Condrey left the promotion once more. This forced the bookers to bring in Jack Victory as a replacement as Condrey's disappearance cut the promising feud short. [4]

The Midnight Express then turned their attention to Paul E.'s new team, The Samoan S.W.A.T. Team as well as a new version of The Fabulous Freebirds. Eaton and Lane were defeated by the Freebirds in the finals of a tournament for the vacated World Tag Team Titles. Following this loss, the Midnight Express teamed with their former enemies The Road Warriors and "Dr. Death" Steve Williams to defeat the SST and the Freebirds in a WarGames match at The Great American Bash. Following this feud, Lane and Eaton began having issues with a young new team in the NWA known as "the Dynamic Dudes" (Shane Douglas and Johnny Ace). The Dudes admitted that the Midnight Express was one of their favorite teams and asked if Cornette would be their manager as well. Cornette agreed to manage the young team, to the displeasure of the Midnight Express. After arguing with the Express, Jim Cornette stopped accompanying Eaton and Lane to the ring, choosing to only actively manage the Dudes. At the Clash of Champions IX, the two teams met with Jim Cornette appearing in a neutral corner, forced to choose between the teams. The Express started out very aggressively, especially for a team that was supposed to be fan favorites, and when the night was over, the Midnight Express had once again established themselves as heels with Jim Cornette in their corner; Cornette had never stopped siding with the Express. [17]

After returning to their cheating ways, the Midnight Express started a storyline with the up-and-coming team of Flyin' Brian and "Z-Man" Tom Zenk over the United States Tag team title. The Express won the title from the young team in early 1990, but lost the belts to The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott) three months later. [5] After a loss at the WCW pay-per-view Halloween Havoc 1990, the Midnight Express split up, as Jim Cornette and Stan Lane left the federation, while Eaton chose to remain in WCW. [18] For the first time in almost a decade, there was no Midnight Express. [4]

World Television Champion (1991)

For the first time since 1979, Eaton was a singles competitor, and he faced an uphill struggle to establish himself. He wrestled his former opponents in tag team competition such as Brad Armstrong (whom he defeated at WrestleWar '91), Ricky Morton and "Z-Man" Tom Zenk (whom he defeated at Starrcade '90, but lost to at the Clash of the Champions XIV), but it was not until he turned face during the early parts of 1991 that he started to move up the rankings. At SuperBrawl I, Eaton defeated Arn Anderson to win the World Television Championship. [5] Eaton's highest profile match as a singles wrestler came when he faced off against the World Heavyweight Champion "Nature Boy" Ric Flair at Clash of the Champions XV in a two-out-of-three falls match. Eaton pinned Flair in the first fall, but ultimately lost to Flair two falls to one. [19] His World Television Championship reign was short-lived, as he came face to face with newcomer "Stunning" Steve Austin, who cheated his way to win the title from Eaton. [5]

The Dangerous Alliance (1991–1992)

Late in 1991, Paul E. Dangerously formed the faction The Dangerous Alliance. Eaton joined the group when he assisted Rick Rude, with the storyline being that Dangerously had brought Rude to WCW, in defeating Sting for the United States Championship. In joining the group, Eaton became allies with Rude, Larry Zbyszko, and his two former rivals for the World Television Championship in Arn Anderson and Steve Austin. Shortly after the group was formed, Anderson and Eaton became its tag team specialists. This seemed to make sense, as both men had been successful tag team wrestlers in their careers; Anderson himself had been a two-time world champion teaming with Tully Blanchard in the Four Horsemen and had also won the belts with Zbyszko earlier in the year. [4] Eaton and Anderson quickly won the WCW World Tag Team Championship by defeating Ricky Steamboat and Dustin Rhodes, the team to whom Anderson and Zbyszko lost the belts, for the championship and held on to the belts for five months before they lost them to the Steiner Brothers. [5] The Dangerous Alliance was a dominant force in WCW. At one point during 1992, they held every title except the WCW World Title, which was held by their main opponent and arch enemy Sting. The war between the Dangerous Alliance and Sting and friends escalated until it was decided to settle it in a double-ring War Games match at WrestleWar 1992. Sting's team won when Sting forced Eaton to give up after Larry Zbyszko accidentally struck Eaton in the arm with a metal rod. [20] This match would be given a 5-star rating from Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. [21]

In the aftermath of the War Games match, Zbyszko was kicked out of the Alliance for causing the Alliance loss. Soon after the Alliance disintegrated, Paul E. Dangerously left WCW. Eaton and Anderson continued to team after the Alliance fell apart, now managed by Michael Hayes. Eaton and Anderson worked in the tag team division until new WCW booker Bill Watts fired Eaton along with a number of other WCW regulars in a cost-cutting measure. [3]

Smoky Mountain Wrestling (1993)

When Eaton found himself without a job, he reached out to former manager Jim Cornette. Cornette had started his own wrestling federation, Smoky Mountain Wrestling (SMW) and welcomed Eaton with open arms. Eaton joined up with "The Heavenly Bodies" (Stan Lane and Tom Prichard), and the three were booked as the top heels of the federation for a while. Eaton also won the federation's version of the TV title, known as the SMW Beat the Champ Television Championship. [5]

New Japan Pro-Wrestling (1993–1995)

Eaton toured Japan with New Japan Pro-Wrestling in 1993, 1994 and 1995. [22]

Return to WCW

Tag teams and singles appearances (1993–1995)

When Bill Watts was ousted from his position in WCW in favor of Eric Bischoff in 1993, Eaton was rehired. Once back on the roster, Eaton teamed up with a young Chris Benoit in Benoit's first stint with WCW. Together they were mainly used to help establish rising teams or give established teams opposition. [23] After Benoit left to return to Japan, in Eaton's next venture in tag teaming, under the name "Bad Attitude", he teamed up with Steve Keirn, formerly of the Fabulous Ones. Bad Attitude's single noteworthy moment together came when they were present as Arn Anderson turned on tag team partner Dustin Rhodes. [24] Otherwise, the team did not get much exposure. During this time, Eaton also made a couple of appearances in ECW due to a talent trade arrangement between WCW and ECW. His most well-known appearance was at the "When Worlds Collide" show on May 14, 1994, where he teamed with Sabu to beat Arn Anderson and Terry Funk. [25]

The Blue Bloods (1995–1996)

After Bad Attitude quietly ended, Eaton was placed with British snob "Lord" Steven Regal. A series of vignettes followed, in which Regal educated Eaton on how to be a man of class and sophistication. [3] The Blue Bloods initially feuded with the Nasty Boys (Brian Knobs and Jerry Sags), their complete opposites in terms of "sophistication" and presentation. [26] [27] They also feuded with Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray) over the World Tag Team Championship, but never took the belts, [27] and engaged in a short "Snobs versus Rednecks" program with the Stud Stable (Bunkhouse Buck and Dick Slater). In all of 1996 the team members made only one pay-per-view (PPV) appearance, as individuals in the "Lethal Lottery" during May's Slamboree. Later that year, Regal won the World Television Championship. Not long after, Eaton was moved out of the group, turning on his partners, wrestling Regal for the television championship on two occasions. [28]

Final years and departure (1996–2000)

The Blue Bloods storyline represented the last serious push that Eaton was given by the WCW booking team. After the run with Regal and Taylor ended, Eaton wrestled mainly on WCW's weekend show, Saturday Night, occasionally winning against wrestlers low in the rankings and losing to wrestlers above him. [29]

Independent circuit (2000–2012)

In 2003, Eaton worked for NWA Mid-Atlantic, forming a new version of the Midnight Express with Ricky Nelson. This Midnight Express version was very short-lived, and Eaton instead began touring with Dennis Condrey (and sometimes Stan Lane) as the Midnight Express. This version of the Midnight Express performed together on select independent wrestling cards in the United States until 2012 when Eaton worked his last match. [30]

Eaton made a one night only appearance for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling on August 13, 2003, as a part of a Kid Kash storyline where Kash faced off against a series of 1980s wrestling stars such as Larry Zbyszko and Ricky Morton. Eaton lost to Kid Kash in his only TNA appearance to date. [31] On October 23, 2015, Eaton wrestled his last match of his nearly 40-year career, losing to Ricky Morton, also ending the 30-plus year feud between The Rock 'n' Roll Express and The Midnight Express. [32]

Personal life


Eaton is often regarded as one of the nicest people in the wrestling business, even though he wrestled as a heel for a majority of his career. In his 1999 book Have a Nice Day , Mick Foley praised Eaton as being one of the most underrated superstars in the business, and its nicest, commenting that "it was damn near impossible to pay for anything with Bobby around, though I will confess to not trying that hard". [33] This opinion was supported in The Stone Cold Truth by Steve Austin. [34] In addition to his personality, he is also popular with other wrestlers due to his wrestling style. Wrestling Eaton is known as "a night off", because Eaton is so skilled that the action looks very convincing but does not hurt the opponent. [35]


Eaton is married to Bill Dundee's daughter, Donna. When they first started dating, they had to keep the relationship secret from her father, as her father had forbidden her from dating the wrestlers he was booking. When Dundee found out she was dating Eaton, he relented because Eaton was such a nice guy. [3] Eaton and Donna have three children: Dustin, Dylan, and Taryn. Dylan is a professional wrestler. [3]


In September, 2006 it was reported that Eaton was hospitalized after suffering a heart attack. [36] Later, after being released from the hospital, Eaton released a statement saying that he did not have a heart attack but was diagnosed with high blood pressure with a hint of diabetes. [37] Since then, he has suffered with several health issues, especially cardiac problems which have seen him hospitalized on several occasions. [38] [39] [40] In June 2013, Eaton underwent successful surgery to have a pacemaker inserted. [41]

On August 5, 2016, Eaton was reported missing by his sister Debbie. According to Tommy Dreamer, Eaton was last seen in Atlanta, where a photo, which has since been deleted, showed him eating at the airport, and had no phone and was confused. A day later, Eaton was found safe. Wrestler Matt Sigmon posted a photo on his Twitter account of himself and Bobby Eaton. [42]

Championships and accomplishments


  1. This Mid-Atlantic promotion, while having revived some of the championships used by the previous Mid-Atlantic promotion, is not the same promotion once owned by Jim Crockett Jr. and went on to be renamed World Championship Wrestling after it was sold to Ted Turner in November 1988.

Related Research Articles

Ricky Morton American professional wrestler

Richard Wendell Morton is an American professional wrestler who has worked for such wrestling organizations as Jim Crockett Promotions, the American Wrestling Association, Extreme Championship Wrestling, World Championship Wrestling, the World Wrestling Federation and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

Michael Hayes (wrestler) American professional wrestler

Michael Seitz is an American retired professional wrestler and former musician. Seitz is best known for leading The Fabulous Freebirds under the ring name Michael "P.S." Hayes and for his role as an announcer under the name Dok Hendrix in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). He currently works with WWE as one of the senior producers.

Robert Gibson (wrestler) American professional wrestler

Robert Gibson is an American professional wrestler. He is best known as one-half of the tag team known as The Rock 'n' Roll Express, with Ricky Morton. He has competed in singles competition also, since he has won various singles championships throughout his career.

NWA World Tag Team Championship National Wrestling Alliance professional wrestling tag team championship

The NWA World Tag Team Championship is a professional wrestling world tag team championship created by the National Wrestling Alliance. From 1948 to 1982, the NWA allowed member promotions to create their own territorial version of the "NWA World Tag Team Championship" without oversight from the board of directors. The first of these NWA World Tag Team Championships was created in 1950 in the San Francisco territory, which while billed as a "World" title was essentially restricted to the specific NWA territory. In 1957 as many as 13 versions of the NWA World Tag Team Championship were confirmed to be in existence. In 1982 Big Time Wrestling, based in Los Angeles, closed and abandoned their version of the championship. This meant that only the Jim Crockett Promotions' NWA World Tag Team Championship was active, but still being controlled by JCP, not the NWA board of directors. In 1991 that championship was renamed the WCW World Tag Team Championship.

Ron Garvin Canadian professional wrestler

Roger Barnes is a Canadian retired professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, "Rugged" Ronnie Garvin. He is best known for his appearances with Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling and the World Wrestling Federation in the late-1980s and early-1990s. Championships held by Garvin over his career include the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

The Rock n Roll Express Professional wrestling tag team

The Rock 'n' Roll Express is a professional wrestling tag team consisting of professional wrestlers Robert Gibson and Ricky Morton. The duo began teaming together in Memphis in the early 1980s, followed by Universal Wrestling Federation, followed by a stint with Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP). They held the NWA World Tag Team Championship eight times, with the first four times in JCP. They also feuded with the Four Horsemen. In the late 1980s, they were contenders for the American Wrestling Association's AWA World Tag Team Championship. By 1991, the team was losing momentum, and Morton turned heel on his partner to join The York Foundation in World Championship Wrestling (WCW). In 1992, the team reformed in Smoky Mountain Wrestling, where they held the SMW Tag Team Championship ten times. The duo also worked in the World Wrestling Federation. On March 31, 2017, the duo was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Jim Cornette.

Bobby Fulton American professional wrestler

James Hines is a retired American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name Bobby Fulton. He was one half of the tag team The Fantastics with Tommy Rogers.

Wallace Stanfield "Stan" Lane is an American retired professional wrestler and color commentator. He is best known for his appearances with the Continental Wrestling Association (CWA), Jim Crockett Promotions and World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in the 1980s. Primarily a tag team wrestler, Lane held championships including the AWA Southern Tag Team Championship, NWA United States Tag Team Championship, NWA World Tag Team Championship, and SMW Tag Team Championship as part of The Fabulous Ones, The Midnight Express, and The Heavenly Bodies.

Chi-Town Rumble 1989 World Championship Wrestling pay-per-view event

Chi-Town Rumble was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Championship Wrestling (WCW) under the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) banner. It took place on February 20, 1989 at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois.

James "Jimmy" Golden is a third generation American professional wrestler, who was known as Bunkhouse Buck in World Championship Wrestling in the 1990s, although his career spans many decades. He also appeared in 2010 as Jack Swagger Sr.

Dennis Condrey is an American retired professional wrestler. He is best known for his appearances with the Continental Wrestling Association, Jim Crockett Promotions and World Championship Wrestling in the 1970s and 1980s.

WCW United States Tag Team Championship Former championship created by National Wrestling Alliance and later promoted by the American professional wrestling promotion World Championship Wrestling

The WCW United States Tag Team Championship was a professional wrestling tag team championship contested for in the United States-based Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP) and World Championship Wrestling (WCW) promotions. The title was only contestable by male tag teams and in tag team matches. In 1986, NWA President and JCP owner Jim Crockett, Jr. introduced the championship to replace and consolidate the old NWA Mid-Atlantic and Georgia National titles, under the name "NWA United States Tag Team Championship", by announcing a tournament for the newly created title, which was won by Krusher Khruschev and Ivan Koloff on September 28, 1986.

The Fantastics were a professional wrestling tag team composed of Bobby Fulton and Tommy Rogers that worked together extensively between 1984 and 2007. At times, Bobby Fulton would team up with his brother Jackie Fulton under the same name.

Moondog Spot American professional wrestler

Larry Booker, better known by his ring names Moondog Spot and Larry Latham, was an American professional wrestler.

Randall Alls is an American retired professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, Randy Rose.

Tojo Yamamoto American professional wrestler

Harold Watanabe was an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name Tojo Yamamoto.

Jackie Fargo American professional wrestler

Henry Faggart was an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name Jackie Fargo. He competed in Southeastern regional promotions and the National Wrestling Alliance during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. A mainstay of NWA Mid-America, he served as a mentor to Jerry "The King" Lawler and The Fabulous Ones, among other wrestlers in the Memphis area. He was known for his blonde hair and "Fargo Strut" mannerism, and held 45 tag team championships during his career, with Don Fargo, Sonny "Roughhouse" Fargo, amongst others.

The Fabulous Ones were a professional wrestling tag team consisting of Stan Lane and Steve Keirn that was active between 1982 and 1991 with brief reunions during the 1990s. The Fabulous Ones competed primarily in North American territories such as the Continental Wrestling Association, Florida Championship Wrestling, Southwest Championship Wrestling and later on the United States Wrestling Association. The team is considered one of the first teams to adopt the “Funloving Pretty Boy” gimmick later used by teams such as The Rock 'n' Roll Express, The Fantastics and the Rockers.

The NWA United States Tag Team Championship is a name used for several secondary tag team championship used by various National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) members since 1958. At least ten different versions of the NWA United States Tag Team Championships have been promoted in various regions across the United States, starting with the Capitol Wrestling Corporation version in 1958, to the NWA Smokey Mountain Wrestling version that is active today.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 "Pro Wrestling Illustrated 500 – 1992: 27 Bobby Eaton". Pro Wrestling Illustrated . Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, United States: Sports and Entertainment publications LLC. September 24, 1992. p. 29. October 1992.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Pro Wrestling Illustrated Top 500 of the PWI Years: 91 Bobby Eaton". Pro Wrestling Illustrated . Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, United States: Sports and Entertainment publications LLC. May 21, 2003. p. 32. June 2003.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "An Exclusive interview with Bobby Eaton". DDT Digest. Retrieved February 19, 2007.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Oliver, Greg; Johnson, Steve (2005). "The top 20: 10 the Midnight Express". The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams. ECW Press. pp. 58–62. ISBN   978-1-55022-683-6.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Duncan, Royal; Will, Gary (2006). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN   978-0-9698161-5-7.
  6. Oliver, Greg; Johnson, Steve (2005). "The top 20: 7 the Fabulous Freebirds". The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams. ECW Press. p. 48. ISBN   978-1-55022-683-6.
  7. Meltzer, Dave; Hart, Bret (October 2004). Tributes II: Remembering More of the Worlds Greatest Wrestlers. Sports Publishing. p. 195. ISBN   978-1-58261-817-3. Feuding with Gulas's territory-killing son George, and the great worker who carried him, Bobby Eaton.
  8. Lawler, Jerry (2002). It's good to be the King ... Sometimes. World Wrestling Entertainment. ISBN   978-0-7434-5768-2.
  9. Crawford, Steve (March 28, 2012). "Introduction - All the way from Memphis". Legends of Memphis Wrestling. Language: English. pp. 1–7. ISBN   1-4681384-6-4.
  10. James, Mark (June 5, 2015). "Foreword". Memphis Wrestling History Presents: 1977 The War For Memphis. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. pp. 13–16. ISBN   1-4781347-2-0.
  11. 1 2 Dills, Tim. "Memphis/CWA #10 Page #2". Kayfabe Memories. Retrieved February 19, 2007.
  12. Dills, Tim. "Bobby Eaton Page 2". Kayfabe Memories. Retrieved April 3, 2007.
  13. Robert, Todd (2012). "The Midnight Express". The Lost Art of Tag Team Wrestling. ECW Press. pp. 32–39. ISBN   1480204463.
  14. Watts, Bill; Williams, Scott (January 15, 2006). The Cowboy and the Cross: The Bill Watts Story: Rebellion, Wrestling and Redemption. ECW Press. p. XIV. ISBN   978-1-55022-708-6. Bill was the first to promote The Midnight Express – The Rock & Roll Express rivalry that would define tag team wrestling in the decade and that would make such an impression that the independent promoters would still be booking the match twenty years later.
  15. "2nd Von Erich Memorial Parade of Champions". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved February 19, 2007.
  16. "Starrcade 1986". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved February 19, 2007.
  17. "Clash of the Champions IX". Pro Wrestling History. Archived from the original on June 23, 2008. Retrieved February 19, 2007.
  18. "Halloween Havoc 1990". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved February 19, 2007.
  19. "Clash of the Champions XV". Pro Wrestling History. Archived from the original on June 23, 2008. Retrieved February 19, 2007.
  20. "WrestleWar 1992". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved February 19, 2007.
  21. "Top Rated matches of 1992". The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  22. "Bobby Eaton >> Matches >> New Japan Pro-Wrestling". CageMatch. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  23. "Chris Benoit >> Matches >> World Championship Wrestling >> 1993". CageMatch. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  24. "WCW 1994". The History of WWE. Retrieved February 19, 2007.
  25. "When Worlds Collide". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved February 19, 2007.
  26. "The Great American Bash 1995". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved February 19, 2007.
  27. 1 2 "Bash at the Beach 1995". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved February 19, 2007.
  28. "Bobby Eaton >> Matches >> World Championship Wrestling >>". CageMatch. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  29. "Bobby Eaton >> Matches >> World Championship Wrestling". CageMatch. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  30. "Bobby Eaton >> Matches". CageMatch. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  31. "Bobby Eaton >> Maches >> Impact Wrestling". CageMatch. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  32. "Bobby Eaton's Final Match Happening On Friday". Retrieved October 19, 2008.
  33. Foley, Mick (1999). Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. Regan Books. ISBN   978-0-06-039299-4.
  34. Austin, Steve; Ross, Jim; Brent, Dennis (2003). The Stone Cold Truth. Pocket Books. ISBN   978-0-7434-7720-8.
  35. Austin, Steve; Ross, Jim; Brent, Dennis (2003). The Stone Cold Truth. Pocket Books. pp. 94–95. ISBN   978-0-7434-7720-8. But he had incredible timing. He couldn't explain it, but it was a pleasure and an education going out there and working with him.
  36. Baines, Tim (September 10, 2006). "Who's got the skills to be the next champ?". Slam! Sports. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  37. Makropoulos, Georgiann (July 9, 2006). "Here is a statement from Bobby Eaton" . Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  38. Martin, Adam (April 16, 2008). "Report – Bobby Eaton of Midnight Express hospitalized for heart ailment". WrestleView. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
  39. Gerweck, Steve (July 20, 2010). "Health updates on Bobby Eaton and The Iron Sheik". WrestleView. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
  40. Gerweck, Steve (October 15, 2012). "Update on Bobby Eaton". WrestleView. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
  41. Martin, Adam (July 9, 2013). "Update on Bobby Eaton, undergoes surgery on Monday". WrestleView. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
  42. " – SHOW RESULTS – 7/13 2CW in Watertown, N.Y.: Team 3D reunites and captures Tag Titles, plus Steen, Spike, Delaney, more". Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  43. "NWA Georgia Television Championship history".
  44. "IWC Tag Team Championship history". Solie's Vintage Wrestling. Retrieved July 19, 2007.
  45. Will, Gary; Royal Duncan (1994). "United States: 19th century & widely defended titles – NWA, WWF, AWA, IWA, ECW, NWA: NWA United States Tag Team Championship". Wrestling Title Histories (3 ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 23. ISBN   978-0-9698161-1-9.
  46. Will, Gary; Royal Duncan (1994). "United States: 19th century & widely defended titles – NWA, WWF, AWA, IWA, ECW, NWA: NWA World Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (3 ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 22. ISBN   978-0-9698161-1-9.
  47. Will, Gary; Royal Duncan (1994). "United States: 19th century & widely defended titles – NWA, WWF, AWA, IWA, ECW, NWA: NWA World Television Championship". Wrestling Title Histories (3 ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 25. ISBN   978-0-9698161-1-9.
  48. Will, Gary; Royal Duncan (1994). "(Charlotte, North Carolina) NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Title [Crockett]". Wrestling Title Histories (3 ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN   978-0-9698161-1-9.
  49. Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "(Memphis, Nashville) Tennessee: Southern Tag Team Title [Roy Welsch & Nick Gulas, Jerry Jarrett from 1977]". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. pp. 185–189. ISBN   978-0-9698161-5-7.
  50. Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "(Memphis, Nashville) Tennessee: CWA World Heavyweight Title [Jerry Jarrett, Jerry Lawler]". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. ISBN   978-0-9698161-5-7.
  51. Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "(Memphis, Nashville) Tennessee:NWA Mid-America Heavyweight [Roy Welsch & Nick Gulas, Jerry Jarrett from 1977]". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. ISBN   978-0-9698161-5-7.
  52. Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "(Memphis, Nashville) Tennessee: NWA Mid-America Tag Team Title [Roy Welsch & Nick Gulas, Jerry Jarrett from 1977]". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. ISBN   978-0-9698161-5-7.
  53. Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "(Memphis, Nashville) Tennessee: NWA Mid-America Television Title [Roy Welsch & Nick Gulas, Jerry Jarrett from 1977]". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. ISBN   978-0-9698161-5-7.
  54. Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "(Memphis, Nashville) Tennessee: NWA World Six-Man Tag Team Title (Tennessee version) [Roy Welsch & Nick Gulas, Jerry Jarrett from 1977]". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. ISBN   978-0-9698161-5-7.
  55. Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "(Oklahoma City) Oklahoma: Mid-South Tag Team Title [Bill Watts]". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. ISBN   978-0-9698161-5-7.
  56. "NWA Bluegrass Tag Team Championship history". Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  57. "NWA Rocky Top Tag Team Championship". Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  58. "PWI Awards". Pro Wrestling Illustrated . Kappa Publishing Group . Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  59. The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum. "Professional wrestling Hall of Fame 18th annual induction events tickets order form" (PDF). Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  60. Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "(Knoxville) Tennessee: Smokey Mountain Wrestling Television Title [Jim Cornette]". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. ISBN   978-0-9698161-5-7.
  61. Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "(Dallas) Texas: NWA American Tag Team Title [Fritz Von Erich]". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. ISBN   978-0-9698161-5-7.
  62. Meltzer, Dave (October 25, 2010). "Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame". Wrestling Observer Newsletter . Campbell, CA: 19–25. ISSN   1083-9593.