Rockin' Robin (wrestler)
|Birth name||Robin Denise Smith|
|Born||October 9, 1964|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Rockin' Robin|
|Billed height||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|Billed weight||145 lb (66 kg)|
|Trained by||Nelson Royal|
Robin Denise Smith (born October 9, 1964), better known by her ring name Rockin' Robin, is a retired American professional wrestler. As the daughter of Aurelian "Grizzly" Smith, she is a second-generation wrestler. Her brother Sam Houston and half-brother Jake "The Snake" Roberts are also wrestlers. Smith worked for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in the 1980s. She held the WWF Women's Championship from October 1988 until it was retired in 1990. She then worked on the independent circuit.
Professional wrestling career
World Wrestling Federation
Smith grew up in a wrestling family and enjoyed going to wrestling shows, where she claims she and her siblings were treated like celebrities. Smith later decided to become a professional wrestler and trained, along with her sister-in-law Nickla Roberts (known by her ring name Baby Doll), under Nelson Royal. During 1987, Smith competed as Rockin' Robin in Wild West Wrestling, where she feuded with Debbie Combs and Sue Green. When the WWF decided to restart their women's division in the late 1980s, both women tried out for the company, but the role ultimately went to Smith. Smith, as Rockin' Robin, debuted in the WWF in late 1987. She competed at the first Survivor Series as a member of The Fabulous Moolah's team. Throughout 1988, she feuded with Sensational Sherri for the WWF Women's Championship.
On October 7, 1988, she defeated Sensational Sherri, who had held the title for fifteen months prior, for the Women's Championship in Paris. At the Royal Rumble in 1989, she defended the title against Judy Martin. Smith defended the belt against Martin for the first six months of 1989. In the meantime, at WrestleMania V, she sang "America the Beautiful" to open the show. Smith continued to defend the Women's title against Martin throughout the summer of 1989. She held the championship until 1990, when she left the company. At that time, the title was retired by the WWF due to inactivity. Smith is still in possession of the title belt. The title remained inactive until 1993.
Unlike some former WWF wrestlers, Smith was able to continue using her ring name after leaving the company because she owned the rights to it. In 1990, wrestler Hiro Matsuda picked Smith to tour for All Japan Women's Pro Wrestling. In Japan, Smith teamed with Luna Vachon. The Japanese bookers gave the girls a positive review for their work with the company.
In the United States, Smith defeated Peggy Lee Leather for the Ladies Major League Wrestling's International Championship. She still occasionally defended the WWF Women's Championship, even though the title was officially declared vacant by the World Wrestling Federation. In May 1991 she defended the WWF Women's Championship against "Japanese Women's Champion" Madusa Miceli on a Great Lakes Wrestling Association event. On June 9, 1991, she defeated Candi Devine in Herb Abrams's Universal Wrestling Federation to become the first UWF Women's Champion at UWF Beach Brawl. She also competed in the Ladies Professional Wrestling Association (LPWA), forming a tag team with Wendi Richter. She competed at LPWA's only pay-per-view, LPWA Super Ladies Showdown.
Smith and her brother Sam Houston are the children of Aurelian "Grizzly" Smith and were born after his first marriage dissolved. Her half-brother is Jake "The Snake" Roberts, who was born during their father's first marriage. Robin and her brothers all wrestled in the WWF at the same time in the 1980s, but their relationship was never mentioned on-screen at the request of Robin. Author and former National Wrestling Alliance president Howard Brody alleges in his book Swimming with Piranhas that Robin was a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of her father. According to Brody, Robin was removed from her father's care when her mother discovered what had been happening.
After leaving the WWF in 1990, Smith was married to a man named Harvey Zitron. Zitron was sentenced to 81 months in federal prison for 10 counts of filing false tax returns, identity theft and access device fraud. After divorcing, she moved to Louisiana and opened a telemarketing company that sold industrial chemicals and precious metals. Later, she opened a real estate appraisal business. During this time, Smith had a drinking problem but eventually was able to quit altogether.
In 2005, Smith's home and all of her belongings were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. During the aftermath of the hurricane, she stayed with family in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She now runs a real estate appraisal business in Hammond, Louisiana.
Championships and accomplishments
- Great Lakes Wrestling Association
- GLWA Women's Championship (1 time, first)
- "2011 Women's Wrestling Award: Rockin' Robin". Cauliflower Alley Club. January 12, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-15.
- Shields, Brian and Kevin Sullivan (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. DK/BradyGAMES. p. 152. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0.
- Elliott, Brian (July 8, 2010). "Baby Doll: From star attraction to single mom". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2010-07-11.
- Van Der Griend, Blaine (December 10, 2009). "Family matters in pro wrestling". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
- "Survivor Series 1987: Results". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
- "Women's Championship reign". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
- Oliver, Greg (June 15, 2007). "Sherri Martel dead at 49". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- Ellison, Lillian (2003). The Fabulous Moolah: First Goddess of the Squared Circle. ReaganBooks. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-06-001258-8.
- "Royal Rumble 1989: Results". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
- Johnson, Steven (August 8, 2007). "Return of a "Glamour Girl"". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- Brody, Howard. Swimming with Piranhas, p.190.
- Brody, Howard. Swimming with Piranhas, p.403–405.
- "Request Info for Booking Rockin Robin Appearance". Athlete Promotions.com. Retrieved 2011-08-29.
- Johnson, Steven and Greg Oliver (June 12, 2010). "Grizzly Smith dies at 77". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2010-06-15.
- Shields, Brian (2006). Main Event: WWE in the Raging 80s (4th ed.). Pocket Books. p. 164. ISBN 978-1-4165-3257-6.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- Brody, Howard (2009). Swimming with Piranhas: Surviving the Politics of Professional Wrestling. ECW Press. ISBN 1-55022-867-6.