It’s tough to think that after all the time one puts in and all the sweat, blood, and tears that are shed, that they might not be remembered by a lot of people upon their passing. Those of us that have been watching pro wrestling for years probably saw Bobby Eaton in one promotion or another, but it’s very likely that we don’t remember him either because he was never in the WWE or because he was never considered the same caliber as many of those that we see now. The truth is that he was a very technical wrestler and someone that was there to work and to entertain the crowd, a couple of things he did very well judging by his accolades and the amount of time he spent in the ring. Like many wrestlers, he had his time as the face and as the heel and while a lot of folks don’t like rooting for the heel, Bobby’s fans stuck with him quite often simply because he knew how to put on a good show and, as is common, a heel can turn back into a face pretty quickly.
But while it might not be as brutal or as real as sports such as hockey, football, rugby, or any other full-contact sport, pro wrestling is in fact a physical and very dangerous profession since it takes a good deal of training so that these men and women in the ring don’t truly hurt one another. Sports such as MMA and boxing, where harming one’s opponent to the point of TKO or the referee’s decision to stop the fight, are about harming other people, but the world of wrestling is about putting on a show, entertaining people with the thought of harm. It’s very true that there are moments when things happen and people do get hurt. Accidents do happen, people miss their marks, and the best thing that one can say most times is that the show must go on. Bobby was one of those that could keep the show going for as long as it needed to go and as a result, it’s very likely that this took a heavy toll on his body over the years.
Having been a fan of wrestling since he was still pretty young, Bobby’s love for the show never wavered as he grew up, as he trained under Tojo Yamamoto and started his run in the business at the age of 17. One can just imagine how that would work today, or rather how it wouldn’t since 17 probably wouldn’t be old enough since the minimum age now is 18, and it’s recommended that the individual be graduated from high school for a couple of good reasons. The most important reason is that breaking into professional wrestling is just about as hard as any other sport since the competition is extremely stiff and performers that have been training their whole lives often don’t get in for one reason or another. Bobby was lucky as he learned from a well-respected wrestler and had the look and the ability to win the crowd. Much like the gladiators one sees in movies and even written of in the history books, winning the crowd was one of the main goals and what kept a person in the good graces of said crowd and possibly the promoter of the match.
This was what Bobby was able to do thankfully since he was a showman as well as a technical wrestler, meaning that he didn’t often miss his mark, if ever, and wasn’t known to make mistakes. Bobby was the kind of guy that took his job seriously but also had fun with it since he knew how to appeal to the people. Stone Cold Steve Austin even went so far as to say that a match with Bobby kind of equaled out to a night off since believe it or not, having to carry a match with a wrestler that doesn’t know what they’re doing or is prone to making mistakes is extremely tough, as many experienced and celebrated wrestlers have stated. Bobby Eaton wasn’t inexperienced by any means and knew what he was doing, which made matches that much easier to get through.
That’s the kind of coworker that anyone could hope for since such a person makes life a little easier for everyone around them by doing what they can to help keep things running smoothly and creating any undue stress for those around them. Was Bobby perfect? Probably not since he was just as human as anyone else. But in the ring, he could put on a good show and get people on his side or turn them against him just as effectively as anyone. He was a truly gifted individual in his time and another wrestler that’s gone too soon. Rest in peace sir, you’ll be missed.