October 4, 2011
Roode: Bound For Glory is my Stanley CupPeterborough-based wrestler to fight for world title on Oct. 16
By DALE CLIFFORD - Peterborough Examiner
Pro wrestler Bobby Roode relaxes in his Peterborough home and talks about the young boy playing ball hockey in the street and imagining scoring the winning goal in the Stanley Cup final.
Then he smiles and says this is him.
"This is my Stanley Cup," he said referring to his inaugural appearance in a world championship heavyweight singles title bout at the Bound for Glory Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling Pay-Per-View event at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia on Oct. 16. "This is the furthest I have ever gone (singles) and definitely the highlight for me in my years of wrestling. It is the kind of thing I dreamt about when I was younger and first got started.
It is truly special going for a world championship (singles) title for the first time. It is a huge event and is as high as it gets for me. There is nothing bigger than this."
The 35-year-old Roode, part of TNA Impact Wrestling, garnered the most points among 12 wrestlers during the Bound For Glory series which ran from June to September to earn the right to face 13-time world champion Kurt Angle as the top contender in the main event. Angle is also an Olympic gold medalist and is training to qualify for the Summer Games in London next year.
Sure, Roode, a former stick boy for the OHL's Peterborough Petes and player at the local junior B and high school hockey levels (scored the winning goal in overtime for Kenner Collegiate in the OFSAA final in 1995), would like to win, but it isn't the only thing he is thinking about.
"He (Angle) is one of the best and it's great just to be in the ring with him," said Roode. "I have fought him and tagged with him before and win, lose or draw it means a lot just to be there."
Other bouts on the night feature Hulk Hogan against Sting; Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn; Mr. Anderson and Bully Ray; Mexican American against Ink Inc in a world tag team battle; Austin Aries vs. Brian Kendrick and names like Winter, Mickie James, Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne. It is presented by Direct Auto Insurance and will also be available on TNAOnDemand.com and at select movie theatres nationwide.
"I have been focusing on training, working hard and my confidence level is high," said Roode, as to how he would approach the main event.
He has had a running feud with Angle on TV but said it was part of the business.
"I have been made to wrestle more but that was to try and wear me down," said Roode. "It's just part of the job. I'm in shape and I will be ready. It will be a great night."
It's not that Roode doesn't know what winning world championships is all about as he is a six-time tag team champion at that level. Four of those have come with current TNA Beer Money Inc. partner James Storm, holding the record for the longest reign as champions, and two at the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) level with Eric Young. He has secured several crowns at various levels since he began in 1998.
Previously as an independent, Roode joined TNA Wrestling in 2004, debuted as part of the Team Canada group and took part in the World X-Cup, which was won by the United States. That group lasted two years and Roode began a singles career at Final Resolution in 2006.
"It was a dream of mine to be part of a large wrestling company and signed up with TNA after getting a phone call to be part of Team Canada," he said. "It's basically the same thing as the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) who we are in competition with. I liked the way they (TNA) did things and had good ratings on television (Spike TV for example)."
Roode, trained in his hometown by Sean Morley and Shane Sewell, debuted against Pete Rock as Total Lee Awesome (there were other ring names such as Bobby Rude and Robert Roode before settling back to Bobby) in 1998 and went on to work for various Canadian independent promotions as well the World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico, Real Action Wrestling and a series of matches for the WWF (World Wrestling Federation)/WWE between 1998 and 2004.
While in TNA, he has fared well as either heavyweight single or in tag team at Border City Wrestling (BCW), NWA Shockwave, Twin Wrestling Entertainment (TWE) and Universal Wrestling Alliance (UWA) events.
Roode has not only enjoyed doing what he loves but has had the opportunity to see a lot of the world. He will be doing a media tour in Australia at the end of the month and be in Chile and Argentina for cards in November.
"I got into it because I was a huge wrestling fan when I was a small child," he said. "I watched it every weekend. It's in my blood and I have a passion for it. There is fame and fortune but they aren't the main reasons I'm in it. I'm basically shy and personal and do it simple because I love it. I worked hard to put myself out there and make a name for myself. I love every minute of it."
He said he has received a lot of support over the years from friends and family. He has been with Tracy for about 10 years and has three boys, Bobby Jr. who is 17, Riley, 10, and seven-year-old Nicholas.
"I'm away about 250 days of the year and it's tough at times being away, especially from the kids. "But they and the fans who have followed me have been supportive."
He hopes to do them all proud in Philadelphia.
Whatever happens, it has been a wonderful ride so far for a local boy reaching wrestling's pinnacle.
Dale Clifford is a Peterborough Examiner Sports Writer.