Most teenagers spend their time playing team sports, chasing girls around and just trying to get through the rigors of the daily grind of high school. Not too many of them – especially ones from New Jersey, where entertainment is aplenty – will take extra steps to join a wrestling school, but that’s exactly what Robert Strauss – aka Robbie E – did.
“I loved professional wrestling my entire life and was born to do it,” the current Total Nonstop Action wrestler says. “I trained at a small local wrestling school the day that I turned 16 with my parent’s signature (permission for still being underage).”
Like the majority of wrestlers, Strauss began his career in the independent circuit in organizations such as the IWF, 3PW, JCW, ICW, SSCW, ECWA, NYWC, GLCW amongst others. But Strauss got his first real break when TNA signed him to capture on a connection to his hometown.
Teaming him up with a manager/valet named Cookie, Strauss’s ring name was Robbie E, an obvious take on Snookie and Pauly D of MTV’s hit reality show “Jersey Shore.” The fans loved it, as well as Strauss’s ever-growing high spiked hair.
“Honestly, my hair grows by the hour,” he says with a laugh. “It takes anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes to prepare it.”
Although originally billed as a ‘heel,’ Robbie E has been a big hit with the fans of TNA Impact Wrestling and formerly held the TNA Television and TNA X Division championship belts. The 29-year-old has an incredible physique and maintaining it is not an easy task when you are a pro wrestler. Besides the pounding the body takes, there is also the inconvenience of frequent travel factored into the equation.
“I’m usually on the road three or four days every week,” Strauss comments. “I wrestle all around the world. I have to find a local gym to train at in every stop we make.”
With part of the problem solved, wrestlers also have to find decent places to eat while they’re living out of a suitcase. “It’s not easy, bro,” Strauss admits. “Late at night it’s hard, but I do what I can and carry a lot of supplements with me when I travel.”
And surely his mind wanders back to those early days helping set up the ring in high school gyms hours before the small crowd arrived and Strauss knows that it was all worth it.
For more information on Robbie E, be sure to visit his official website, Twitter and Instagram, as well as the TNA site:
Photos courtesy of Robert Strauss