Charles Robinson (referee)
|Birth name||Charles Shane Robinson|
|Ring name(s)||Charles Robinson
|Billed height||5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)|
|Billed weight||150 lb (68 kg)|
July 2, 1964 |
Mooresville, North Carolina
|Billed from||Charlotte, North Carolina|
|Trained by||George South
The Italian Stallion
Professional wrestling career
Beginnings and World Championship Wrestling (1993-2001)
While growing up, Robinson idolized NWA superstar Ric Flair. He also studied NWA referee Tommy Young in order to hone his mannerisms as a referee. His professional wrestling career began when he joined the Pro Wrestling Federation (PWF) as a photographer in 1995. After being used as a special guest referee, he later became a full-time referee for the PWF.
Robinson repeatedly petitioned the World Championship Wrestling (WCW) professional wrestling promotion for a job. On September 15, 1997, he was given a tryout match, referreeing a dark match between Chris Taylor and Kendall Windham before WCW Monday Nitro at Independence Arena in Charlotte, NC. A few weeks following the match, Robinson was contacted by WCW and signed to a contract. His first appearance was during the WCW TV tapings at Universal Studios in Orlando Florida. In 1999, Robinson became the heel referee of the Four Horsemen, aligning himself with Flair. Robinson frequently favored the Horsemen in the matches he officiated, enraging Randy Savage. Savage, who had been suspended by Flair (then the WCW President), proposed a match between his girlfriend, Gorgeous George, and Robinson, with Savage to be reinstated if George defeated Robinson. The match, which marked Robinson's wrestling debut, took place at Slamboree 1999 on May 9, 1999. Robinson, dubbed "Little Naitch" (a reference to Flair's nickname, the "Nature Boy"), came to the ring in a robe similar to those worn by Flair, and mimicked Flair's mannerisms, signature strut and "wooo" catchphrase. Robinson emulated Flair throughout the match, using Flair's customary illegal tactics, but was defeated by George, who pinned him following a diving elbow drop. Robinson wrestled his second match one week later, teaming with Flair to face Randy Savage and Madusa on an episode of WCW Monday Nitro. In the course of the match, Savage delivered a botched diving elbow drop to Robinson, cracking several of his vertebrae and collapsing his lung. After undergoing treatment, Robinson returned to WCW television several weeks later, and was appointed to President Flair's stable. Flair and Piper kayfabe ran WCW until they were unseated by Sting, with Robinson returning to his refereeing duties.
Robinson would again turn heel in the Fall of 1999, this time siding with Sid Vicious and Rick Steiner. Robinson would get involved in matches he was refereeing for Vicious and Steiner. This would go on for a month before Robinson would go back to being an unbiased Referee. In 2000, Robinson appeared in the WCW-produced film Ready to Rumble.
World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment / WWE (2001–present)
When WCW was purchased by the World Wrestling Federation in March 2001, Robinson was hired by the WWF. He debuted in the WWF as a member of The Alliance, bickering with WWF loyalist referee Jack Doan and accompanying senior WCW official Nick Patrick to ringside for his match at WWF Invasion on July 22, 2001. He refereed his first WWF match on July 2, 2001. Despite being a member of the Alliance, Robinson, unlike fellow Alliance member Nick Patrick, was mostly a fair and impartial referee. An example of this would be the August 20, 2001 episode of Raw when he awarded Tajiri a victory over Booker T by disqualification when Booker T started choking Tajiri with his shirt. The night before at SummerSlam, Robinson refereed Booker T's match against the Rock and called the match right down the middle as the Rock won the WCW Championship.
In 2002, the WWF was renamed "World Wrestling Entertainment", and the roster was divided between two "brands", Raw and SmackDown!. Robinson was initially assigned to Raw, but was later traded to SmackDown!, where he refereed many women's matches. On the July 1, 2004, episode of SmackDown!, Robinson was forced to wrestle Luther Reigns by General Manager Kurt Angle. The match, however, was quickly stopped by Charlie Haas. In 2005, Robinson called the final match of WWE Hall of Famer Eddie Guerrero against Mr. Kennedy on an episode of Friday Night Smackdown. Guerrero died 2 days after the match aired.
At No Mercy 2006, Robinson, who had refereed a match between Mr. Kennedy and The Undertaker, was on the receiving end of a Tombstone Piledriver from the Undertaker after he had called for him to be disqualified after hitting Mr. Kennedy with his WWE United States Championship belt. Robinson also officiated the World Heavyweight Championship matches at WrestleMania 22, WrestleMania 23, as well as Ric Flair's final WWE match and the last part of the World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania XXIV. Two years later he refereed the main event of WrestleMania XXVI, the retirement match of Shawn Michaels.
On the June 21, 2008, episode of SmackDown, Robinson was placed in a match by General Manager Vickie Guerrero after ejecting Chavo Guerrero from ringside during Bam Neely's match with Matt Hardy. He lost to The Great Khali in a squash match. After the match he was carried out by medical officials. He returned in a match between Edge and The Big Show, where he stopped Big Show from giving a con-chair-to to Edge. In November 2008 referees were made no longer exclusive to certain brands.
Charles is also part of the WWE Production and Ring Crews along with referee Chad Patton and has been doing this since 2002. This job means that Charles gets to the arena hours before any of the Superstars show and helps in setting up the ring, lights and backstage area. After the show, long after the fans and Superstars have departed, Charles then disassembles the set and loads it into one of the WWE semi-trucks.
He has worked the last matches of Eddie Guerrero, Edge, Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair's WWE retirement match at WrestleMania 24 in Orlando.
On October 11, 2000, Robinson married a woman named Amy. Amy was diagnosed with melanoma of the lung in January 2001 and died on April 7, 2002. He has a daughter from a previous relationship, Jessica, who is 19 years old.
He once had his elbow knocked out of its socket while refereeing a match in the PWF in Gastonia, NC. Fire Breaker Chip accidentally kicked Charles' elbow during a pin attempt. Charles rolled right out of the ring and straight to the hospital. He was out of action for 4 months. .
On April 18, 2014, while traveling with the WWE in Saudi Arabia, Robinson suffered a freak accident while helping to assemble the wrestling ring, resulting in him nearly losing his thumb. Luckily, a WWE medic was close by and stitched him up with 6 stitches.
- "Bio". WWE. Retrieved 2008-10-03.
- IMDb: Charles Robinson (IV)
- Waldman, Jon. "Reliving the InVasion, two years later". SLAM! Sports. Retrieved 2008-10-03.
- Powell, Jon (1999-05-10). "Nash champ again at Slamboree". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-04-20.
- "Charles Robinson Image". Online World Of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-10-03.
- "Charles Robsinson Profile". Online World Of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-10-03.
- "WWE SmackDown! Results – July 1, 2004". Online World Of Wrestling. 2004-07-01. Retrieved 2008-10-03.
- Jen Hunt (2006-10-08). "Undertaker shows No Mercy on Kennedy". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2008-02-10. "Tombstoned referee Charles Robinson for disqualifying him"
- "Ric Flair and Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 24 – Image". SLAM! Sports. Retrieved 2008-10-03.
- Plummer, Dale (2008-03-31). "Mayweather, Orton survive Mania; Edge, Flair don't". SLAM! Sports. Retrieved 2008-10-03.
- Passero, Mitch (2008-06-20). "Spear of influence". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
- DiFino, Lennie (2008-07-11). "Endless Love". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2008-08-08.
- Campbell, Brandon (2008-09-24). "It's official: Life in the ring is "ref"". WWE. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
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