Lombardi in November 2007.
|Birth name||Steven Kenneth Lombardi|
April 18, 1961 |
Brooklyn, New York, US[note 1]
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Abe "Knuckleball" Schwartz
The Boston Brawler
The Brooklyn Brawler
Doink the Clown
|Billed height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Billed weight||248 lb (112 kg)|
|Billed from||"Brooklyn, New York"|
|Trained by||Mr. Saito
Steve Lombardi (born April 18, 1961) is an American semi-retired professional wrestler and road agent, better known by his ring name, the Brooklyn Brawler. He worked for the professional wrestling promotion, WWE, as well as several independent promotions.
Though some sources erroneously give Lombardi's birthplace as Detroit, Michigan, he was born at Brooklyn's Victory Memorial Hospital to Renaldo and Rosemarie Lombardi and he grew up in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn, New York.[note 2] His father worked as an airline mechanic.[note 3] Lombardi studied biochemistry at St. Francis College prior to his wrestling career.
Professional wrestling career
World Wrestling Federation / Entertainment / WWE
Lombardi began his WWF career in late 1983, competing under his real name, and being a heel, primarily as an enhancement talent. During this period, Lombardi occasionally teamed with fellow preliminary wrestler Barry Horowitz. Lombardi had a few victories during the 1980s, mainly against other preliminary wrestlers like Reno Riggins and Barry O, until early 1989, when he was repackaged as the Brooklyn Brawler. The Brawler character was that of a street fighter, wearing battered jeans and a torn New York Yankees t-shirt. Under the tutelage of Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, the Brawler entered a feud with the Red Rooster. When the Red Rooster left Heenan's villain group and became a fan favorite, Heenan stated that he had made the Red Rooster a star and could do the same with anyone in the WWF. The Red Rooster defeated the Brooklyn Brawler on Saturday Night's Main Event, and then Heenan at WrestleMania V. The Brawler was defeated by the Rooster again on the May 20, 1989 episode of Superstars of Wrestling. His alliance with Heenan was then phased out, though in storyline Heenan said it was an amicable departure, and Heenan would continue to speak highly of the Brawler whenever a match featured him. Lombardi soon returned to his former enhancement talent status. However, he retained the Brawler gimmick, a role he would utilize throughout his career.
He also regularly portrayed Kim Chee (Kamala's handler) during his 1986-87 and 1992 stints with the WWF and briefly in 1993 as a singles wrestler after Kamala left him for the newly ordained Reverend Slick. He still regularly used the Brooklyn Brawler gimmick during this period.
He also played MVP (a short-lived baseball player gimmick) in 1993 between his stints as Kim Chee and Doink. The only televised match he wrestled as MVP was a battle royal in which the last two wrestlers in the ring would go on to compete for the WWF Intercontinental Championship, but he was eliminated half-way through the match. He would use the baseball player gimmick again, but this time as Abe "Knuckleball" Schwartz a year later during the 1994 Major League Baseball strike. As MVP and Abe "Knuckleball" Schwartz, Lombardi's face was painted to look like a baseball and he wore a jersey with the number 00. In addition, he was accompanied to the ring by a carnival-like version of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." Later, the MVP name would be used by Montel Vontavious Porter.
Since the late 1990s, he has been semi-retired from the ring, working mostly as a road agent for WWF and only occasionally appearing in the ring, usually for comic skits and matches. The Brooklyn Brawler was defeated by Dwayne Johnson, who would later become the Rock, in Johnson's WWF tryout match on March 10, 1996. Johnson later recalled the match in his autobiography; praising Lombardi as a stand-up wrestler. The Brooklyn Brawler lost to the Rock on the February 28, 2000 taping of Raw Is War.
Lombardi had some big wins and title shots. In 1991, he entered into a small feud with new WWF star Big Bully Busick after the Brawler challenged Busick to match to see who the real bully of the WWF was. The Brawler defeated the Bully by countout and in a rematch one week later saw the Brawler dominate the Bully until the latter's manager Harvey Wippleman grabbed the Brawler's leg, leading to a controversial win for the Bully. On October 4, 1993 Lombardi also competed in the WWF Intercontinental title battle royal (as MVP). On January 22, 1994, the Brawler defeated Jim Powers in a match prior to the Royal Rumble pay-per-view (however, Powers would later defeat the Brawler several times later in that same year). In 1997, he won a battle royal for a WWF Championship match in Madison Square Garden; he went on to face then-WWF champion Shawn Michaels, in a match where the Brawler dominated Michaels, but was defeated due to an interference of D-Generation X. On the September 20, 1999 episode of Raw is War, Lombardi was one of the replacement referees while the original referees were on story line strike.
He once again appeared as Kamala’s handler Kim Chee at WrestleMania X-Seven and competed in the gimmick battle royal.
As part of an angle on SmackDown!, he adopted the moniker of the "Boston Brawler", shedding his customary New York Yankees apparel in favor of Boston Red Sox clothing. This was done in response to the Red Sox' defeat of the Yankees in the 2004 American League Championship Series. Lombardi did this in a segment on SmackDown! (in New York City) with Heidenreich. Heidenreich was looking to make more friends, but Lombardi decided he'd rather be the Boston Brawler. Heidenreich stopped wanting to be Lombardi's friend, which aided Heidenreich's ongoing face turn.
In early 2006, he still worked behind the scenes of WWE, including behind the camera with John Cena on his WWE.com show "Five Questions". Cena often makes references to Lombardi, even jokingly calling him the greatest technical wrestler of all time. Also, his face popped up in front of Cena's mouth to censor curse words, usually saying "nu-uh" or "brawler". On the June 2, 2006 episode of Five Questions, Brawler showed his face. He even censored himself, saying "you are a piece of Brawler". In another episode of "Five Questions," Cena made the claim that Lombardi was actually born in Detroit, and not in Brooklyn, however this was later proven false (and likely a work). On May 7, 2006, WWE.com announced that, as part of Jakks Pacific's WWE Classic Superstars collection, they would be releasing a Brooklyn Brawler action figure. At Vengeance, Brawler appeared as Doink the Clown when he came out to the ring with Eugene during Eugene's match with Umaga. On August 1, 2006, Lombardi went to the ECW brand for a match against then ECW wrestler, Kurt Angle. Lombardi quickly lost when Angle applied an ankle lock on him. That same week, he appeared on SmackDown! against Vito, losing by submission. On the December 18 edition of Raw, Lombardi appeared in the 30 man battle royal as the Brooklyn Brawler.
He reprised his role as Kim Chee, having apparently reconciled with Kamala, on the August 11, 2005 edition of SmackDown accompanying the Ugandan Giant to the ring for his match with Randy Orton. He would also appear with him on the June 26, 2006 episode for Kamala’s match against Umaga.
On the 15th anniversary of Raw on December 10, 2007, Lombardi appeared as Abe "Knuckleball" Schwartz in a segment. When Triple H saw him, he exclaimed "I guess the Brooklyn Brawler was busy tonight".
Lombardi made a return appearance in the November 15, 2010 "Raw Goes Old School" episode of Raw as the Brooklyn Brawler with Harvey Wippleman as his manager. He lost in a match against Ezekiel Jackson.
The Brooklyn Brawler made a surprise return to pay-per-view on December 16, 2012 at the TLC pay-per-view (which took place in Brooklyn), teaming with the Miz and Alberto Del Rio to defeat 3MB (Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal). Brawler won the match for his team via submission with a Boston crab on Mahal.
At the July 15, 2013 Raw taping from Brooklyn, in a match taped for Superstars, the Brawler was defeated by Ryback, though, unlike the enhancement talent Ryback faced at the time, the Brawler took offense and even managed to dominate his opponent. On May 10, 2016, it was reported that Lombardi had been released from WWE, thus ending Lombardi's 33 year career with WWE.
- Finishing moves
- Wrestlers managed
Championships and accomplishments
- Border City Wrestling
- Total Professional Wrestling
- TPW Light Heavyweight Championship (4 times)
- TPW Tag Team Championship (5 times) – with Red Flair
- Allied Powers Wrestling Federation
- APWF Television Championship (5 times)
- International Wrestling Association
- IWA United States Heavyweight Championship (3 times)
- NWA Southwest
- NWA Southwest Television Championship (4 times)
- NWA Michigan
- NWA Michigan Heavyweight Championship
- Regional Championship Wrestling
- RCW United States Tag Team Championship (3 times) - with Jay Love
- Wrecking Ball Wrestling
- WBW Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- World Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling Entertainment
- "Brooklyn Brawler profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2011-12-29.
- "Doink profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
- "1993 match results". The History of WWE. Retrieved 2009-08-23.
- "The Brooklyn Brawler". WWE.com. WWE. Retrieved January 17, 2015.
- Shields, Brian and Kevin Sullivan (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. DK/BradyGAMES. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0.
- "The Art of Wrestling, Episode 117, "Brooklyn Brawler"". The Art of Wrestling Podcast.
- Herzog, Kenny (March 11, 2015). "Don't Call Me a Jobber: The Brooklyn Brawler 'Never Backed Down From Nothing'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
- "WWF Saturday Night's Main Event #20 results/info". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2011-12-21.
- "WWF WrestleMania V results/info". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2011-12-21.
- Cawthon, Graham. "1996 WWF event results". History of the WWE.
WWF @ Corpus Christi, TX - March 10, 1996; Dwayne Johnson (the Rock) defeated the Brooklyn Brawler (the Rock's WWF debut)
- Johnson, Mike (May 10, 2016). "PERHAPS THE MOST SHOCKING WWE RELEASE YET". PWInsider.com. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
- WWE: Inside WWE > News > Archive > Christmas comes early for former WWE Superstar
- Doink the Clown: Information and Much More from Answers.com
- Shields, Brian and Kevin Sullivan (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. DK/BradyGAMES. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0.
- Cawthon, Graham. "1989 WWF event results". History of the WWE.
WWF @ Tucson, AZ - Convention Center - January 24, 1989; The Brooklyn Brawler (w/ Bobby Heenan) pinned Omar Atlas at 3:10 after sending Atlas face-first to the mat from the middle rope; WWF @ Binghamton, NY - Broome County Arena - February 15, 1989; The Brooklyn Brawler (w/ Bobby Heenan) pinned Mario Mancini at 2:02 after sending Mancini face-first to the mat from the middle rope; WWF @ New York City, NY - Madison Square Garden - October 28, 1989; The Brooklyn Brawler pinned Jose Luis Rivera at 2:34 after sending Rivera face-first to the mat from the middle rope
- Cawthon, Graham. "1989 WWF event results". History of the WWE.
WWF @ Huntsville, AL - Von Braun Civic Center - January 3, 1989; The Brooklyn Brawler (w/ Bobby Heenan) pinned Reno Riggins at 2:24 with the superplex (Lombardi's debut as the Brawler)
- Cawthon, Graham. "1992 WWF event results". History of the WWE.
WWF @ Niagara Falls, NY - Convention Center - April 28, 1992; The Brooklyn Brawler pinned Mark Kay with a superplex
- Cawthon, Graham. "2001 WWF event results". History of the WWE.
WWF @ Detroit, MI - Joe Louis Arena - December 1, 2001; The Brooklyn Brawler pinned Sho Funaki with a superplex
- Cawthon, Graham. "1993 WWF event results". History of the WWE.
WWF @ Landover, MD - Capital Centre - May 1, 1993; The Brooklyn Brawler pinned Jim Powers with a swinging neck breaker; WWF @ Providence, RI - Civic Center - May 2, 1993; The Brooklyn Brawler pinned Jim Powers with a swinging neck breaker
- Cawthon, Graham. "1994 WWF event results". History of the WWE.
Royal Rumble 94 - Providence, RI - Civic Center - January 22, 1994; The Brooklyn Brawler pinned Jim Powers with a swinging neckbreaker
- Cawthon, Graham. "2000 WWF event results". History of the WWE.
WWF @ Detroit, MI - Joe Louis Arena - October 16, 2000; The Brooklyn Brawler pinned Just Joe with a swinging neckbreaker at 1:44; WWF @ Huntington, WV - November 12, 2000; The Brooklyn Brawler pinned Joey Abs with a swinging neckbreaker
- "Bruno Lauer's profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-08-03.
- "Independent Wrestling Results - January 2003". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-07-05.