TNA Impact Wrestling’s Robbie E Strauss ranks his participation in the upcoming season of “The Amazing Race” on CBS at the top of the list of hardest things he’s done in his life.
That’s saying something considering he puts his body on the line regularly for a living.
Strauss joined his girlfriend and TNA Knockout Brooke Adams to form #TheWrestlers team on the 25th season of the reality show competition, premiering 8 p.m. EST Friday, Sept. 26 on CBS.
Filming occurred during the summer with the two grapplers traveling across eight countries and 20 cities for the $1 million prize.
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“I had watched it a few times but wasn’t a huge fan,” he said. “After getting on it, I studied it and basically became addicted to it. I love the show and have watched every season leading up to mine. I’ve watched all the past seasons and will watch it forever. It’s awesome.”
As a professional wrestler, the 30-year-old was already used to physicality and enduring a rigorous schedule. He says it didn’t hurt to have his background, but “The Amazing Race” is something different.
“You really don’t know what is going to be thrown at you,” he said. “There is no way to prepare. There are so many different obstacles you go through…It was as difficult as I thought it would be. It was grueling.”
The New Jersey native feels a sense of accomplishment in overcoming the different roadblocks presented to him during each leg of the race. It helped him realize he could do things he didn’t think he could...and with his girlfriend.
The performer says he’s been dating the beautiful Adams for about two years. Going through “The Amazing Race” can be a test for any relationship, no matter how strong.
“We were already attached at the hip, and for this, we were attached at the hip,” he said. “During the whole race, we don’t leave each other’s side. The only rest we get is when we stopped at a hotel or something. We’re connected. We were connected anyway. We do everything together. We work out together. We eat together. We were used to being together all the time, so we didn’t fight that much. A lot of the teams aren’t used to being around each other 24 hours a day like we are, and it probably hurt them because they got into disagreements.
“…If you can get through this, you can get through anything. To do the things we had to do, we survived and didn’t kill each other or want to rip each other’s heads off. It definitely showed we can stay together.”
TNA was supportive of the duo’s endeavor. With the show bringing upwards of 10 million viewers on network television, they knew it would be great exposure for not only their stars but the company as a whole.
Strauss has come a long way since he made his TNA debut as Robbie E, a fist-pumping character with big hair, fresh tan and a loud mouth. Robbie and former TNA Knockout Cookie were an over-the-top Jersey couple formed to capitalize on the success of “Jersey Shore” on MTV. On the surface, you wouldn’t expect a gimmick based on a fad to last, but four years later Robbie E continues to prove naysayers wrong with his ability and willingness to adapt.
“I remember when I started in TNA,” he said. “The locker room that I changed in, I’d say about 95 percent of those guys are basically all gone now except for me,” he said. “We had a few different locker rooms, so maybe there were 15 guys in my locker room. I’m basically the only one left…I had a lot things thrown at me that a lot of people wouldn’t have been able to get past like the first valet I had wasn’t exactly the best person to be associated with in wrestling.
“Luckily, people within the company saw that I wasn’t like her. They saw I was a talented person and not a bad influence in wrestling. So I got through that. Then I got paired with Rob Terry, who is an awesome guy. He is one of my best friends, but he was somewhat inexperienced. However, I think he came out of his shell and broke out of his shell after being with me.”
Strauss feels he began to gain a reputation as a guy who can bring the best out of anyone. The same can be said about his current tag partner Jessie Godderz, who was on the CBS reality show “Big Brother.” Together they came together as the BroMans with Zema Ion as their personal DJ. They won the TNA tag team championship.
“Jessie is awesome,” Strauss said. “He has gotten so much better in the last two years. I also think he found a new side to himself after being put with me and became a BroMan. I’m reliable. I love my job. I’m willing to work. I’m appreciative to Impact Wrestling. I love Impact Wrestling, and it’s where I want to be.”
The BroMans impressed viewers with their matches with The American Wolves (Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards). They earned respect by more than holding their own against the Wolves, known as workhorses in the squared circle.
“I think we were always as good as we were, but when we wrestled the Wolves we had longer matches and more time and were able to really showcase what we could do,” Strauss said. “We always could have done it. People now can see we can wrestle, but we have been able to wrestle all along.”
The BroMans have recently appeared on Impact Wrestling with Velvet Sky and Angelina Love. Even though they are aligned with the Beautiful People, Strauss can see working with Adams in the future.
“After ‘The Amazing Race’ airs, I think people are really going to like us together and fall in love with us,” he said. “We hope. She hopes. Wrestling is all about realism, and we are as real as it gets. After you see us on ‘The Amazing Race,’ I think people are going to have a different take on us.”
Strauss finds the success of being romantically involved with someone in the same profession can go both ways. He says it depends on the person and relationship.
“Some people, it’s for them,” he said. “Some people it’s not for them…Some people don’t like being together all of the time. Some people do like being together all of the time. It really just comes down to the situation.”
With “The Amazing Race” and other blessings happening in his life and career, Strauss is optimistic about the future of TNA.
“I one thousand percent think they are going to continue on,” Strauss said. “I don’t think TNA is going anywhere. There have been people out there against them since its existence. Every year it’s a new story of how they are going to disappear. Dixie Carter is a great boss. She is passionate about TNA wrestling. She is not going to let her company go anywhere. No matter what happens with Spike TV, whether we stay or go, our product is so good. People want us. We are going to be somewhere for sure.”
▪ Watch Robbie E and Brooke compete for $1 million on “The Amazing Race,” premiering 8 p.m. EST Friday, Sept. 26 on CBS.
▪ Catch Robbie E on Impact Wrestling 9 p.m. EST Wednesdays on Spike TV.
▪ Follow Robbie E on Twitter @RobbieEImpact.
▪ Follow me on Twitter @smFISHMAN.