|Birth name||Romeo Cormier|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Bobby Burke
|Billed height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Billed weight||220 lb (100 kg)|
|Trained by||Stu Hart|
Romeo Cormier is a retired Canadian professional wrestler best known by the ring name Bobby Kay. He is a member of the Cormier wrestling family, a group of four brothers who were all successful professional wrestlers. Romeo Cormier competed in Canada and the United States from 1967 to the mid-1980s. He also worked as a wrestling promoter. After retiring from wrestling, Cormier began performing country music professionally before taking a job with Loblaws.
Cormier grew up with eight brothers and four sisters on the family's farm in what is now Memramcook, New Brunswick. He became interested in professional wrestling because of his older brothers Jean-Louis, Yvon, and Leonce, who competed under the ring names Rudy Kay, The Beast, and Leo Burke, respectively. At age 17, Yvon took Romeo to Calgary, Alberta to train under Stu Hart.
Cormier made his professional debut in 1967 and wrestled in several countries. While touring the world as a competitor, he used several ring names. In Calgary's Stampede Wrestling, he used the name Norton Jackson. He then took on the moniker Terry Martin while wrestling in Central States Wrestling. He competed primarily as a tag team wrestler, and he won his first title belt in Kansas City on October 31, 1968. Teaming with his brother Leonce, who was using the name Tommy Martin, he won the Central States version of the NWA North American Tag Team Championship. The reign lasted for one week before they dropped the title to The Texas Outlaws (Dick Murdoch and Dusty Rhodes).
Cormier also competed for the Eastern Sports Association (ESA), which was affiliated with the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). His brother Jean-Louis, competing as Rudy Kay, was both a booker and wrestler for ESA, and Cormier used his brother's ring name as the inspiration to become Bobby Kay. In the ESA, the four Cormier brothers often took turns facing the same wrestlers. A heel (villain) wrestler would face one brother, then move on to face the rest in succession. Bobby Kay held the ESA International Tag Team Championship several times in the ESA; his first came when he teamed with brother Leonce (who was then competing as Leo Burke) to win the title in mid-1973 by defeating Fred Sweetan and Mike Dubois. They held the title for about one month before dropping it to Sweetan and Kurt Von Steiger. Kay then teamed with brother Yvon (who was known as The Beast) to regain the title. The teams traded the championship back and forth once again over the course of the summer. They lost the title to Sweetan and Jim Dillon in autumn 1973. After Dillon left the promotion, the championship was vacated; Kay and The Beast regained it the following year. The reign lasted less than one week before Sweetan and Dubois won the title. Teaming with Burke in June 1974, Kay had one final reign with the title; he sustained an injury, however, and Ron Thompson defended the championship in Kay's place.
Later that year, Cormier returned to Kansas, where he won the NWA Central States Heavyweight Championship in December. Cormier later returned to Stampede Wrestling, this time adopting the ring name Bobby Burke to form a tag team with his brother Leo Burke. They defeated The Royal Kangaroos in 1977 to win the Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Championship. After dropping the title to Mr. Hito and Michel Martel later that year, they did not regain the belts until 1980, when they defeated Duke Myers and Bobby Bass.
Cormier competed in Toronto from 1982 to 1984 under the ring name Terry Kay, a name that he had also used while wrestling in Charlotte, North Carolina. He won the NWA Canadian Television Championship on December 26, 1982. He and his brother Leonce bought out Jean-Louis's stake in the Eastern Sports Association but ran into problems with their partner Al Zinck and television deals, which enabled Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling (AGPW) to gain a stronger foothold in the Maritimes. His final title victory came in AGPW, where he won the company's North American Tag Team Championship in 1990 while teaming with his brother Leo.
Cormier retired from professional wrestling to spend more time with his wife and two children. He also performed country music as part of the Bobby Kay Band. He taught his longtime friend, former professional wrestling referee Hubert Gallant, to play the guitar. He also made another attempt at promoting wrestling events in such locations as Moncton, New Brunswick and Halifax, Nova Scotia in the mid-1980s. After arranging exclusive deals to promote shows in specific territories, Cormier had trouble attracting fans after the World Wrestling Federation moved into the same areas. Because the WWF had a larger budget and was able to gain access to arenas with larger seating capacities, Cormier's promotion was unable to compete. In 2006, a celebration was held in Memramcook to honor the four wrestling Cormier brothers. Cormier now balances competing in occasional wrestling matches with his job in shipping and receiving for Loblaws.
Championships and accomplishments
- Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling
- Central States Wrestling
- Eastern Sports Association
- Maple Leaf Wrestling
- Stampede Wrestling
- Oliver, Greg (2009-06-20). "Bobby Kay still on Maritime minds". SLAM! Wrestling. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
- Pope, Kristian (2005). "Kay, Bobby (1960s-1990s)". Tuff Stuff - Professional wrestling field guide. Iola, Wisconsin: KP Books. p. 252. ISBN 0-89689-267-0.
- Lewis, Eric (2009-03-05). "Legend Yvon 'The Beast' Cormier loses battle with cancer". Telegraph-Journal. Retrieved 2009-07-31.
- Oliver, Greg (2003). "The families: Cormier". the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame - The Canadians. ECW Press. pp. 89–93. ISBN 1-55022-531-6.
- "Wrestler Profiles: Bobby Kay". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA Central States Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 254–255. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- "NWA North American Tag Team Title (Central States version)". wrestling-titles.com. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "ESA International Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 358. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "Central States Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 254. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 340–341. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- "International Tag Team Title History". Stampede Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "NWA Canadian Television Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 353. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). "AGPW North American Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 357. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- Oliver, Greg (2006-08-16). "The sweet sounds of Hubert Gallant's career". SLAM! Wrestling. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-12-28.
- Oliver, Greg (2006-05-13). "Cormiers celebrated with laughter and music". SLAM! Wrestling. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-08-01.