February 9, 2008
REAL NAME: Robert Roode
Growing up in Peterborough, Ontario, Robert Roode played high school hockey and football with aspirations to one day become a corrections officer. But the long-time pro wrestling fan, who counts Ric Flair and Curt Hennig among his all-time favourites, would make a fateful decision to pursue a wrestling career.
Roode would wrestle in Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic Canada and even Puerto Rico. Wrestling as "The Natural" Bobby Rude in Halifax, Nova Scotia's Real Action Wrestling, Roode would join "Kowboy" Mike Hughes and Kingman to form the heel faction "The Kardinal Sinners."
Catching the WWE's eye following some tryout matches, Roode would wrestle numerous dark matches on RAW and SmackDown in 2003. But when WWE didn't offer him a full-time contract and Scott D'Amore phoned him to offer him work at the then NWA-TNA, Roode jumped at the chance to switch promotions. Roode had worked for D'Amore's Border City Wrestling promotion in Windsor, Ontario, and would debut in TNA May 2004 as part of D'Amore's Team Canada stable. (While in TNA, Roode would continue wrestling on the indy circuit.)
Team Canada (Roode, Petey Williams, Johnny Devine and Eric Young) would compete for the World's X-Cup, but lose to Team USA. Roode continued to spend time taking on smaller X-Division opponents in singles and tag matches before starting feuds with 3-Live Crew and America's Most Wanted. Taking a page from Arn Anderson, Roode would become the group's muscle and assume the mantle "The Canadian Enforcer."
In October 2004, Roode and Eric Young won their first NWA World Tag Team titles, beating James Storm and Christopher Daniels. Their title reign lasted only until Victory Road in November as they lost to Konnan and BG James of 3-Live Crew. They'd regain the belts against Ron Killings and James at December's Turning Point, but again drop the titles, this time to AMW at Final Resolution in January.
Throughout 2005, Roode and Young would feud with The Naturals, AMW, and 3-Live Crew.
Roode then alternated between tag and singles matches and would begin feuding with Team 3-D as well as Killings. Although Team Canada couldn't seem to buy a win against Team 3-D, they would repeatedly get their revenge sneak attacking the team. Team 3-D, however, had the last laugh as it joined Rhino and Jay Lethal to defeat Team Canada on a July 2006 Impact that forced Team Canada's disbanding.
Roode would now begin to make his mark as a singles competitor. Proclaiming himself "wrestling's hottest free agent," Roode appeared week after week on Impact searching for a manager. In October, he'd finally found her, and on Bound For Glory, revealed Miss Traci Brooks as the Chief Executive Offender of Robert Roode Incorporated.
It wasn't long before Roode started feuding with his old tag partner Young, who answered an open invitation by Roode at Genesis before pinning him. Young even "defeated" Miss Brooks in an intergender bikini contest at Turning Point, after which Roode convinced Brooks to attempt signing Young to Robert Roode Incorporated.
Roode and Brooks proceeded to chase after, berate, bully and even smash a guitar over the head of the hapless Young before Jim Cornette set up a match for Young's contract. Roode defeated Young at Slammiversary and then promptly fired him. Cornette, however, restarted the match and Young would win the contest and his freedom.
Their program didn't end there, and Young with Gail Kim would defeat Robert Roode Inc. at Victory Road. After Young helped Sting beat Roode on Impact, Roode would get his revenge by tarring and feathering Young. Young, however, paid back Roode and Brooks in kind a little over a week later.
Not long after, Roode began to turn on his manager, yelling at her and threatening to fire her. A rival to Brooks, the stalker who'd be revealed as Miss Payton Banks, soon made her presence felt. Brooks eventually fought back, not only standing up to Roode but also taking on his Number One Fan.
The messy domestic scene would spill over into a program with Booker T and his wife Sharmell, the latter who would stick up for Brooks. At the January 2008 Final Resolution, Roode again took out his frustrations on Brooks after the two lost in a mixed tag match against Booker and Sharmell. When Sharmell intervened, Roode seemingly accidentally punched Sharmell in the jaw, drawing Booker's ire and adding intensity to the feud. To add to the soap operatic drama, Roode fired Brooks a few days later, with Banks capping off the dismissal by attacking her.