Wrestler of the Day – August 26: Robbie E

OH OH OH! Today is Robbie E.

Robbie started as Rob Eckos in late 2000. We’ll pick things up on Smackdown, May 5, 2005.

Rob Eckos vs. Matt Morgan

Morgan gets in Robbie’s face and tells him to run but has to deal with his stuttering. After he spends about a minute on the stupid gimmick, Morgan throws him into the corner and hits a running Umaga attack. Something like a pumphandle flip slam sets up the Hellevator to complete the squash.

Robbie got another spot on Smackdown on January 6, 2006.

Mark Henry vs. Rob Eckos/Rob Trusky/Gus Harlatcher

This is actually a gauntlet match but I don’t think it’s going to matter all that much. Henry has Melina of all people with him, which I think is fallout from Batista sleeping with Melina and then taking the Tag Team Titles anyway. Trusky gets things going and is promptly sent ribs first into the post. Henry bends the back around the post and gets a submission with a torture rack.

Gus is next and gets dropped ribs first on the top rope. A reverse chokeslam (cool move) is good for the pin. Eckos gets in a few forearms to the back (the potential!) but Henry knocks his head off with a clothesline. A Banzai Drop onto the back sets up the World’s Strongest Slam for the pin. It took less than three minutes to beat all three.

We’ll jump ahead another few years to March 2009 for a match from Northeast Wrestling.

Robbie Eckos vs. Frankie Arion

Eckos is doing a pop singer character here and known as the Platinum Papa. Arion is a very short guy (his head barely clears the top rope) and a newcomer to the area. Frankie gets slapped in the face which only seems to tick him off. Eckos misses an elbow drop and they mistime what looked to be Mysterio’s sitout bulldog. A knee to the ribs slows Arion down but he comes back with a quick armbar. Back up and Arion gets pulled off the middle rope to send him outside for a breather.

They head back in and Robbie drops him ribs first across the top rope for two. Off to the abdominal stretch as we’ve got some actual psychology in this one. Arion gets free and nails a dropkick to put both guys down. Frankie loads up what looked like a bulldog but an elbow to the ribs stops him cold. Eckos’ superkick is caught and a running Bodog gets two for Frankie. The second superkick gets two for Eckos but Arion enziguris him down. He goes up top for a cross body but Eckos rolls through for the pin.

Rating: C. I was surprised by this one with the psychology pretty well. Arion looked decent but he needed to slow down by a few notches. He was trying to go too fast and it was causing problems for both guys. Eckos was smart to slow things down and even had a body part to work on other than an arm. This was a nice surprise.

Another indy match from just before Robbie debuted with TNA. From United States Wrestling on August 28, 2010.

Robbie Eckos vs. Brian Hardy

Eckos is in full on Robbie E mode now, even with the fist pump. Naturally we start with a dance off as before some hiptosses and elbow drops get two on Robbie. Eckos comes back with a YOU KIDDING ME DUDE and a clothesline to take over. We’re quickly in a chinlock on Arion but he pops up and avoids a charge in the corner. Arion loads up a Death Valley Driver but some guy comes out for a distraction, allowing Eckos to hit Eat Defeat for the pin.

Rating: D. This really didn’t work for me as the match was going much more for comedy rather than something basic like the Arion match. Hardy wasn’t bad but he was a pretty generic guy who was just kind of there rather than actually doing anything special. The comedy stuff didn’t work here and the lack of time really didn’t help things.

Eckos would debut with TNA a few weeks after this and quickly found himself in a title program. Here’s his shot at Turning Point 2010.

X-Division Title: Jay Lethal vs. Robbie E

This is the match that started because of a gimmick match. Sure why not. Leave it to TNA to make an annoying heel character and to give him a taunt that gets over far more than he does. Yes I can’t imagine how having a move that the crowd is going to get behind on an annoying character could blow up in their faces.

Robbie hits the floor almost immediate to talk to Cookie. Lethal dominates early on and sends Robbie to the floor. HUGE chop has Robbie in trouble again. I have a bad feeling Robbie gets the title tonight as they try to force this down our throats harder than a drunken frat boy’s penis. Lethal Combination is blocked and Robbie gets a hot shot to take over.

He keeps going with basic heel offense and gets his fist pump in. We get an abdominal stretch just to push how bad this is in just a little bit further. Lethal makes a comeback and hits the handspring elbow a la Tajiri for two. He gets a sunset flip but Cookie has the referee. Suicide Dive hits Robbie (I always get images of the Highlanders when I hear his name) and it’s all Lethal. Cookie interferes, Lethal gets crotched, neckbreaker gives Robbie the title.

Rating: D. Horrible opener that might as well have opened a house show. No one cares about Shore but to be fair I guess the idea is to not like him. I wish they gave us a reason to hate them rather than simply being told to him them. This wasn’t interesting in the slightest and I think everyone knew the title was changing. Weak match.

Here’s a rematch from Final Resolution 2010.

X-Division Title: Jay Lethal vs. Robbie E

Cookie is supposed to be in a shark cage above the ring but doesn’t want to go in. She won’t get in so she leaves instead. Lethal jumps Robbie to start and here’s Shark Boy to get her in the cage. It’s stupid but it works for the line I guess. Lethal takes over to start with strikes and Robbie is crotched on the top rope. Cookie can scream almost as loud as Melina.

Robbie finally reverses Lethal to send him into the buckle and takes over. Taz: “It’s no surprise Shark Boy was here.” Taz: “What was Shark Boy doing out here?” I love odd commentary. Chinlock gets Robbie nowhere so he shifts to a sleeper instead. Two long drops don’t equal a third drop though as here comes Jay.

Lethal Combination gets two. How can a finisher go from being a finisher to just a transitional move? It’s still the same move. They collide and both guys are down. Robbie gets up first as Cookie throws some spray down to him. Lethal picks it off and sprays it in Robbie’s face. Like any evil face though he’s caught and there’s the DQ for Robbie to retain.

Rating: D+. Nothing special in the slightest here as the X-Division continues to mean closer to nothing every day. This could have been on any TV show and would have gotten the same reaction as it did here. This division has just died this year and it’s really kind of sad. It’s not due to any one person but the lack of focus on it is awful.

Robbie would lose the title but he would stay in the title hunt, including this Ultimate X match at Destination X 2011.

Shannon Moore vs. Amazing Red vs. Alex Shelley vs. Robbie E

Ultimate X with the winner being #1 contender to the X Title. Things start out quickly of course and Robbie makes a fast run for the X. Red gets the always sweet double spin kick. Robbie looks like he’s having a seizure or something. Shelley and Red put Robbie on the floor before Shelley beats up Red a bit. Shelley climbs on Moore’s shoulders but Robbie makes the stop. Robbie is sitting in the corner and Moore is put in the Tree of Woe at the same time.

Shelley goes for the X but Red saves. Robbie clears the ring but gets caught in the ring skirt and pummeled by Moore. Moore and Shelley have a nice little sequence resulting in a moonsault off the stage by Moore to take Alex out. Red is alone in the ring but Moore gets in quickly to stop him. Shelley gets crotched and Red gets a shooting star off the shoulders of Moore in a cool spot.

Moore and Red collide so Robbie goes up now. Red saves of course and fires off some kicks to hurt Robbie. Robbie manages to throw Red over the top onto the other two guys to clear the ring other than himself again. The fans are for Red here. Robbie almost gets there but stops to fist pump, allowing Red to hit a springboard dropkick to take him down. Moore goes up above the X and on top of the truss. This is always scary. I’m terrified of heights so this is really intense for me.

Moore lowers himself onto the X as Red is almost there. Shelley is trying to catch up and Moore is down on the X now thank goodness. Shelley kicks him down and casually wins this. One of the fastest Ultimate X matches ever and I think that might not have been the planned finish. Came out of nowhere with no spark at all. Shelley looked like he was waiting on someone to stop him before he pulled it down..

Rating: C. That’s a low grade for Ultimate X, not in general. Not much here as it was really paint by numbers out there. I really think the ending didn’t happen as it was planned as things just kind of came to an end rather than with any kind of big spot. Either way, not a bad match but just kind of bland, especially with no story and having an Ultimate X match for the sake of an Ultimate X match.

He would get back in the title scene at Turning Point 2011.

TV Title: Robbie E vs. Eric Young

Apparently losing to a reality TV star after losing your previous title shot means you get another one on PPV. There’s the locking up with the referee and the victory lap from Young before anything happens. They speed things up to start and Young sends him to the floor. They do some basic fast paced stuff and nothing is really worth writing down. Robbie hooks a chinlock and then a second one a few moments later.Nice way to fire up a crowd to open a PPV guys.

Orlando is fired up for this. I guess they were jealous from not having their show for a few weeks. Young gets up and hits a Stunner to escape and both guys are a bit dazed. Eric starts Hulking Up and takes his pants off, revealing GTW trunks. What is the appeal of this guy? I’d assume it’s that he’s not interesting or talented enough to be anything but comedy relief but I’ll be nice and assume otherwise.

Eric fights back with a forearm, dropkick and belly to belly for two. There’s a top rope elbow and he’s no Shawn Michaels. The other Rob saves the other Robbie and Eric strips again. Get this over with already. Eric dives to the floor to take them both out but Rob gets in an extra shot, allowing Robbie E to get the pin and the title at about 7:00.

Rating: D+. The only thing that matters here is that Eric Freaking Young isn’t champion anymore. This was one of those comedy matches that wasn’t funny and is there to say they had another title match. TNA fanboys like to complain about WWE being for kids, but a Jersey Shore guy just beat a guy who stripped to two pairs of underwear to win their equivalent of the Intercontinental Title. Think about that for a minute.

A rematch from Final Resolution 2011.

TV Title: Robbie E vs. Eric Young

Eric disrobes because it’s funny I guess. A Thesz Press puts Robbie down and we go to the floor. Young hits a nice dive but has to avoid a Big Rob shot, allowing the champ to take him down with a clothesline. Robbie takes over with his pretty dull stuff and hits a middle rope elbow after some fist pumping for two.

He hooks a chinlock to waste some time. Young makes his comeback but misses coming off the top. Eric puts him down again but Big Rob chokes him out for a few seconds. Robbie is sent into Big Rob’s crotch and Young tries a DVD on both of them. And never mind as a Codebreaker keeps the title on Robbie at 7:30.

Rating: D. Ho-freaking-hum. Horribly uninteresting match again here with nothing going on at all in it. To be fair though, this is one of those matches that suffered from the automatic rematch issue: since we’ve already seen a winner and a loser here, there’s no real interest in seeing them fight again. That being said, we’ll probably get this again because of Big Rob getting involved again. Nothing to see here and the first half hour of this show has been pretty awful.

We’ll head over to Impact now, starting on July 19, 2012 with Robbie in the Bound For Glory Series.

Bound For Glory Series; Jeff Hardy vs. Robbie E

Jeff says he has someone in mind to call out but Robbie E interrupts. T jumps Hardy to take over but Hardy realizes he’s Jeff Hardy and takes over with his usual stuff. T interferes again to send Jeff out to the floor. That gets two for E but Jeff comes back again and hits the Whisper in the Wind for two. A plancha to the floor misses as T shoved E out of the way. Jeff fights T up the aisle and E wins by countout at 2:49.

Another match in the Series on Impact, August 23, 2012.

Bound For Glory Series: AJ Styles vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Robbie E

Van Dam and Styles throw Robbie to the floor so we can get down to the important guys. Van Dam fires off some kicks to start and a rollup gets two. It’s a standoff and Robbie is back in. he charges into a double hip toss and a suplex from Styles sends him to the outside again. AJ hits the drop down/kick to send Van Dam to the floor but Robbie sneaks in and clotheslines Styles down for tow.

Van Dam is kicked to the floor before he can do anything and we take a break. Back with AJ trying to speed things up but missing a forearm in the corner. Robbie knocks Van Dam to the floor again and AJ gets put in a chinlock. Van Dam pulls Robbie to the floor and beats him up but Styles dives on both of them to put both guys down. He may have hurt his leg in the landing though.

Back in and AJ hits the fireman’s carry into the backbreaker for two. The leg seems to be ok. Robbie can’t get past the apron and Van Dam kicks AJ down. Rolling Thunder hits and Robbie takes a kick to the face as well. Standing moonsault gets two on Robbie and he gets sent to the floor. AJ botches the moonsault into the reverse DDT but gets two off of it anyway. Styles loads up a superplex on RVD but gets knocked back down. The Five Star hits but Robbie runs in and rolls up Van Dam for the pin at 12:53.

Rating: C+. This was a pretty fun match although the way the match was going, it became clear there was going to be a surprise ending. I guess they wanted to avoid Styles or RVD from getting some breathing room in the standings which isn’t a bad idea. The match was pretty good for the most part though and it was a nice surprise all things considered.

Robbie E. started a team with Robbie T. but T. got tired of E. treating him like garbage. Sounds like a cage match to me, from Lockdown 2013.

Robbie E vs. Robbie T

Robbie E wants a timeout to start and there’s a hug attempt. Robbie T doesn’t seem interested and shoves E down with ease. E does some stretches in the corner before trying a headlock. That goes very badly for E and a one handed top wristlock puts E down. A single leg takedown doesn’t work at all so T launches him up into the air. T grabs him by the throat but E slaps his way out of it. E grabs a fast armbar before hooking a sleeper. T finally breaks the hold and catches E’s cross body with ease. A fireman’s carry into a spinebuster ends E at 5:50.

Rating: D+. This was what it was supposed to be but it doesn’t make for a good match. T has never been great but instead of being a comedy guy, he should be allowed to be a monster as he always should have been. Also thankfully this time there’s no Orlando Jordan for a stupid feud to derail any momentum he gets going.

E. would hook up with Jesse Godderz as the BroMans. They would enter a tag team turmoil match at Bound For Glory, but first up Robbie was in a fourway on Impact, October 17, 2013 for the last spot in the turmoil match.

Christopher Daniels vs. Robbie E. vs. Hernandez vs. Eric Young

The winner of this gets the final spot for his team in the gauntlet match on the preshow with the winning team getting a title shot at the PPV. Robbie and Young get us going but Young tags in Hernandez for the slingshot shoulder to E. Robbie brings in Daniels who has to escape the over the shoulder backbreaker but gets caught in the choke suplex for two. A cheap shot from Robbie takes Hernandez to the floor before he comes in legally and gets two off a middle rope elbow.

SuperMex comes back with a double clothesline to take down Daniels and Robbie, allowing for the tag off to Eric. Daniels and Robbie get in an argument (despite not being a team), allowing Hernandez to do the running clothesline from the ramp. Hernandez misses a splash in the corner and falls out to the floor before Eric suplexes Daniels down. Robbie makes a blind tag in and pins Daniels off the top rope elbow from Young at 5:18.

Rating: D+. This might as well have been a tag match until the ending which is about all you can expect out of something like this. Odds are we’re getting Chavo and Hernandez vs. Gunner/Storm because that’s the least interesting match out of the options available. Nothing match but it wasn’t too bad.

Here’s the turmoil match from the BFG 2013 preshow.

Tag Team Gauntlet

It’s a four team gauntlet match with the winning team getting the tag title shot on the PPV. We start with Bad Influence vs. Hernandez/Chavo Guerrero. The Bro Mans will be fourth due to Robbie E. winning a four way on Impact. Eric Young and Joseph Park will be third due to winning a drawing earlier tonight. Hernandez cleans house to start and Bad Influence bails to the floor. We finally get down to Daniels running into a big boot from Hernandez in the corner and take a quick break.

Back with Hernandez hitting an over the shoulder face plant to stop Kazarian’s momentum, allowing for a double tag to Chavo vs. Daniels. Chavo gets two off a headscissors and everything breaks down. Hernandez runs over Bad Influence and hits the big shoulder to run over Kazarian. Daniels low bridges SuperMex to the floor but walks into Three Amigos from Chavo. Not that it matters though as Kaz comes back in to distract Chavo, giving Daniels a rollup with a handful of trunks for the pin at 7:30.

Young and Park are in next but get jumped on the way in. Park runs over Kazarian and slams him down, only to have Daniels chop block him down to give Kazarian control. Bad Influence double teams the big man as the fans chant for Young. Kazarian can’t quite get a sunset flip but avoids a seated senton from the big guy.

We take another break and come back with Eric getting the hot tag and pounding away on Daniels in the corner. Young flips over the corner and does Daniels’ strut down the apron before coming back for a belly to belly and a near fall. Kazarian makes the save and gets sent to the floor, allowing Daniels to hit a release Rock Bottom but miss the BME. Park hits a Samoan Drop on Daniels to give Young the pin at 16:50.

Bad Influence jumps Park and Young post match and sends Park into the Ultimate X structure. The referee calls for help as Park is injured and Young is out cold in the ring. Here come the Bro Mans with special guest Mr. Olympia Phil Heath. It’s basically a handicap match here with Young getting double teamed for a big, only to make a comeback with right hands and forearms. A slam puts Robbie down and Eric drops a top rope elbow for two. The numbers finally catch up with Eric though and a double flapjack sets up a Hart Attack for the pin and the title shot at 22:00.

Rating: C-. Nothing special here but I liked the length of the match. Far too often in these things the falls last about 2 minutes each and are completely unrealistic when you compare them to normal wrestling matches. Having the shortest be seven and a half minutes made this far better. Also anything that keeps Chavo and Hernandez off my screen is a good thing.

And the title match from later in the night.

Tag Titles: Bro Mans vs. James Storm/Gunner

Robbie E. and Jesse Godderz still have Mr. Olympia Phil Heath with them. The champions run the goofs over to start and send them out to the floor so Gunner can backdrop Storm over the top onto the Bro Mans. We officially start with Storm throwing Jesse around with a hiptoss before it’s off to Gunner. An elbow to the face and a slingshot suplex get two each on Jesse before Robbie gets in a shot from the apron to take over. Robbie comes in and pounds away on Gunner before getting two off a dropkick.

Gunner comes back with a jumping knee to the face but Jesse runs in to knock James off the apron. Robbie drags Gunner back into the challengers’ corner before bringing Jesse back in. Gunner comes right back with a quick fallaway slam and the hot tag brings in Storm. James cleans house and gets two on Robbie off a running neckbreaker. The Bro Mans get their act together and load up a double superplex on James, only to have Gunner pull James off into an electric chair.

Robbie is taken down by a front suplex, allowing James to drop a top rope elbow for two. Storm has a nasty cut on the side of his leg and Robbie scores with a quick Edgecution for two. Gunner loads up Robbie in the Gun Rack but Robbie makes the save, only to get caught in a powerbomb. Storm adds a Backstabber but Jesse makes the save at the last second. James hits the Last Call on Jesse but Robbie throws in a title belt for a distraction, allowing the Bro Mans to hit the Hart Attack for the pin and the titles at 11:48.

Rating: C. This was better than I was expecting but it’s not like it means anything long term. The tag division means nothing at all and if time has proven one thing, it’s that one team can hardly ever breathe life back into belts that a company isn’t interested in pushing. The near fall off the superkick was really good but other than that it was your basic tag match.

The new champions would defend the titles on Impact, October 31, 2013.

Tag Titles: Bro Mans vs. James Storm/Gunner

The challengers jump the Bro Mans in the aisle before Gunner sends Robbie into the corner to start the official beating. A splash crushes Robbie and a slingshot suplex gets two. Off to Storm for a double back elbow and a knee drop to give James a two count. Jesse comes in and takes a big chop in the corner to mess with his blood vessels.

Back to Storm who gets two off a back elbow to the jaw followed by Storm getting the same via the Eye of the Storm. Things break down a bit with Gunner being sent out to the floor and Storm backdropping Jesse onto the back of his head. Robbie pulls his partner to the floor to avoid the Last Call before tripping up Storm on a suplex attempt and holding the foot down to give Jesse the pin at 4:15.

Rating: D+. Not much to see here but it’s good to have the Bro Mans get a win like this. They’re the kind of team that is going to have to cheat all the time to keep the belts and it’s just going to make the reaction even bigger when they lose the titles. I’m not wild on Storm and Gunner but they’re good enough for stuff like this.

We’ll wrap it up with another tag match from Impact on March 20, 2014.

Tag Team Titles: Bro Mans vs. Wolves vs. Sanada/Tigre Uno

Bro Mans are defending. Before the Wolves arrive, the champions try to get Tigre Uno and Sanada to lay down but Tigre says no and the champs are knocked to the floor. The Wolves show up and jump the Bro Mans but the other challengers hit baseball slides to the Bro Mans out as we take a break. Back with everything breaking down until it’s Davey grabbing a rollup on Sanada for two. Off to Eddie as the Wolves rapid fire kicks and chops to put Sanada against the ropes.

Tigre breaks up a double charge and Sanada is almost immediately back up with no apparent damage. Robbie tags himself in but Eddie rams him head first into Davey as the Wolves stay in control. Tigre comes in to face Robbie and walks into a clothesline as the champions take over. Jesse comes in and gorilla presses Tigre as Zema plays sound effects. Robbie gets two off a knee drop but Tigre comes back with a Rey Mysterio sitout bulldog.

A double tag brings in Sanada to work over Jesse but Zema grabs the X-Division Title for a qiuck photo op. Sanada dives on Zema, leaving Tigre to climb the ropes and armdrag Davey down. A powerbomb/Backstabber combo from the Wolves gets two on Tigre but the Bro Mans make the save and hit the Bro Down on Tigre for the pin at 9:58.

Rating: C+. The match was your usual insane three way but it did its job well. It’s nice to see the Bro Mans get the win after their finishing move instead of just stealing a pin. I can’t imagine the Wolves don’t get the belts for real over the summer and it looks like we might be leading towards Zema vs. Sanada.

Robbie is a talented guy who has taken a comedy character much further than I was expecting when he debuted. He has the talent to get a character like that over and has made a nice career out of what he’s done. I like his stuff as Robbie Eckos when he was getting to show off his ring skills. There’s nothing wrong with being a comedy character and he’s done quite well for himself.

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