Get Well Soon, “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton
by Paul Stratoti
Bobby Eaton is back in the hospital, being treated for heart problems. Paul and the rest of us at PWD send our best wishes for his quick recovery.
Although Bobby has wrestled as a heel for most of his career, he is regarded as one of the nicest guys in the wrestling business.
Born Robert Lee Eaton on August 14, 1958, Bobby is an American semi-retired professional wrestler, who made his debut in May of 1976 in NWA Mid-America where he lost him match to Bearcat Wright. He is most famous for his tag team work as one-half of the Midnight Express tag team. Under the management of Jim Cornette, Eaton originally teamed with Dennis Condrey and, later on, with Stan Lane. He has also worked with a number of other tag team partners, including Koko B. Ware, Steve Keirn, and “Lord” Steven Regal.??During his career, Eaton has wrestled for extended periods of time for various wrestling promotions such as Mid-America Wrestling, Continental Wrestling Association, Mid-South Wrestling, World Class Championship Wrestling, Jim Crockett Promotions, World Championship Wrestling, and Smoky Mountain Wrestling. He has also made brief guest appearances for Extreme Championship Wrestling and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in addition to appearances for a considerable number of independent wrestling promotions over the years. He recently performed part-time, teaming with either Lane and/or Condrey under the Midnight Express name.
Manager Jim Cornette often got under the skin of his protégés for sometimes pushing them too hard to win the NWA World tag Team Championship that they held on more than one occasion. Here at Cleveland Stadium in July of 1996 Cornette had to use his tennis racket to keep Bobby from fighting Stan Lane but ultimately as Lane was keeping at bay Bobby went to the pin fall.
He is married to the daughter of wrestler and booker Bill Dundee, and together they have two sons who currently wrestle on the indie scene and a daughter named Taryn. When they first started dating, they had to keep the relationship secret from her father as he had forbidden her from dating the wrestlers he was booking. When Dundee found out she was dating Eaton, he accepted the affair citing that Eaton was such a nice guy.
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” as Eaton is so skilled that the action looks very convincing but does not hurt his opponent.
During Cleveland All Pro Wrestling’s St. Valentine’s Mat Massacre 2004 Bobby showed the CAPW Universe thar he still had it in him.
Bobby teamed up with the late promoter JT Lightning, M Dogg 20 and Ironman to defeated Bobby Blaze, Josh Prohibition, Sheik Hassan and Fever
Sometime after Bobby took his post-match shower I caught up with him to ask him the few short questions that follow:
.?Strat: Welcome to the Cleveland All Pro Wrestling Training and Event Center. It’s great to see you live and in action once again, this time in Cleveland, Ohio’s longest lasting independent pro wrestling?league.??BE: “Thank you for having me here.”??Strat: Can you tell me what your favorite hold or maneuver is?
BE: “The Alabama Jam where I get my opponent down, then come off the rope with my leg.”
Strat: Who is your favorite tag partner ofall time???BE: “Dennis Condrey.”??Strat: What is your most painful in-ring memory?
BE: “When I broke my collar bone about 10 years ago in a bout against Ricky Steamboat.”
Strat: Who do you consider to be the “King of Wrestling”???BE: “Ric Flair.”??Strat: Do you like any other sports?
BE: “I like all sports.”
Strat: You have been wrestling for quite some time now, internationally as well as locally, and have met some of the most violent men in the business. In fact, fifteen years ago tonight, you and Stan Lane as the Midnight Express managed by Jim Cornette defeated the Russian Assassin’s managed by Paul Jones at Cleveland Convention Center. Who do you consider to be your all time favorite opponent?
BE: “Ric Flair.”
Strat: Who is your favorite tag team of all time?
BE: “The Midnight Express.”
Strat: That team sure went through some changes. What began as a team consisting of Randy Rose and Dennis Condrey, soon transformed into Dennis Condrey and Bobby Eaton, managed by Jim Cornette. When Dennis left, Cornette hired the services of Stan Lane and soon set out on a campaign to fine tune and make the Midnight Express unique by developing the “Scaffold Matches” and the rest is history. You?captured the tag team championship on many occasions.
What has been your favorite federation to work in?
Strat: What makes you yourself unique over others?
BE: “I don’t think that I’m unique over others. I just try hard, and love the business.”
Strat: What are your favorite wrestling related memories?
BE: “My feud with the Rock & Roll Express and wrestling the Road Warriors in “Scaffold Matches”.
Strat: God bless Road Warrior Hawk.
BE: “Definitely, that’s terrible that we lost him so young.”
Strat: I saw the look on your face when you approached the scaffold during your Cleveland Convention Center Scaffold Match. You were scared. The wrestling magazines reported on it, I studied it in your face, the moment was critical to you.
BE: “Yes, I was scared.”
Strat: What is your idea of a “Wrestling Super bowl”?
BE: “The Great American Bash.”
Strat: Do you have a favorite kind of “Specialty Match”?
BE: “Just the tag team match because I love tag team wrestling.”
Strat: Are there any overall changes that you’d like to see implemented in the sport?
BE: “Just more wrestling, less soap.”
Strat: Do I have your permission to edit this?
Strat: Thank you for your time and for all the wrestling memories here in Cleveland throughout the years.
On September 6, 2006 Dave Meltzer reported that Eaton was hospitalized after suffering a heart attack.
Two days later after being released from the hospital, Eaton released a statement through the Wrestling Observer website saying that he did not have a heart attack but was diagnosed with high blood pressure with a hint of diabetes.
According to wrestling writer Scott Keith, Eaton was reported to be currently hospitalized due to heart failure. However, it was later clarified by Dave Meltzer. “Bobby Eaton of the Hall of Fame Midnight Express tag team is currently hospitalized in Arkansas. He is suffering from pneumonia and has already had heart issues. The report we had is that he had a bad week but is improving and is hoping to be released in a few days.”
A few days later Jaime Dundee requested on his Facebook page:
“Pray for my brother in law Bobby Eaton he’s not doing well tonight.
“Love you! Bobby Lee!” – Jaime Dundee
We at Pro Wrestling Digest wish our Bobby a speedy recovery!
– Paul Stratoti