The Heart-Wrenching Death Of Wrestling Great Bobby Eaton

On August 5, 2021, just days after the world learned that Ric Flair was leaving the WWE, wrestling fans were forced to say goodbye to another great, but unfortunately in a more permanent way. As reported by Sports Illustrated, tag team legend Bobby Eaton died at the age of 62. His sister Debbie made the sorrowful announcement on Facebook. "I never wanted to have to post this, but my Little Brother Beautiful Bobby Eaton passed away last night," she wrote. "When I find out all the details I will post them. Bobby was the kindest, loving person you would ever meet. I loved him so much and going to miss him."

"Beautiful" Bobby Eaton made his in-ring debut in Mid-America Wrestling in 1976, according to Pro Wrestling Fandom, and went on to grapple in several other promotions, including Jim Crockett Promotions, Mid-South Wrestling, and World Championship Wrestling (WCW), among others. Eaton had moderate success as a singles wrestler. In 1991, he took the WCW television title, but lost the world championship to the inimitable Ric Flair later that year. Eaton's real talent, however, was when he was paired up with a tag team partner, and his contributions to the sport in the 1980s would go on to shape how tag team matches were conducted thereafter. Let's take a look into Bobby Eaton's storied career as we mourn the loss of another icon of the squared circle.

Bobby Eaton was a pioneer of tag team competition

Bobby Eaton wrestled in several popular and successful tag teams in the 1980s. He teamed up with Dennis Condrey (and later Stan Lane) to form the Midnight Express, a duo that held titles in Mid-South, WCW, and Jim Crocket Promotions. The Midnight Express wrestled in one of the most influential feuds in tag team history, as well. Eaton and Condrey's feud with Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson of The Rock 'n' Roll Express served as a formula for success in tag team wrestling. Their rivalry included several narrative aspects characteristic of tag team feuds ever since, such as ruses, disguises, mystery wrestlers, betrayals, and more, leading Voices of Wrestling to deem the bad blood between the two Expresses "the greatest tag team feud of all time." Eaton'sĀ former opponent Ric Flair echoed that sentiment in a tweet mourning the loss of his friend.

Eaton's other tag teams included the First Family, Bad Attitude, and the Blue Bloods, but his other most successful partnership was the Dangerous Alliance with Arn Anderson. The Alliance took the WCW World Tag Team Championship in 1992. According to Wrestling Observer, Eaton continued to wrestle in independent promotions after the WCW went kaput in 2001, and he finally retired from the ring in 2015. The tag team superstar may now be gone, but he will never be forgotten by fans and wrestlers alike.