What do a Jewish MP and a professional wrestler have in common? Quite a lot it turns out.
In one of the more bizarre and unexpected of Westminster’s many meetings and debates, Conservative MP Lee Scott took part in a discussion with prominent Jewish American wrestler, Robbie E.
And the two men found they had a variety of shared experiences throughout their very different careers as Jews in the public eye.
The pair went head-to-head in a House of Commons committee room on Monday as Robbie E promoted a series of wrestling shows he is due to take part in across Britain next year.
“You should become a pro-wrestler. You’re not too old,” the former tag-team champion told Mr Scott.
The MP’s response? A bemused: “Why do you do it?”
The men discussed their experiences of meeting the public, speaking in front of audiences and finding kosher food while working on the road.
Mr Scott will defend his Ilford North seat at next year’s general election. Robbie E – real name Robert Strauss – is more accustomed to defending his X Division Championship belt in the TNA Impact Wrestling competition watched across the US and shown in this country on Challenge TV.
He explained how, growing up in New Jersey, his father had taken him to a synagogue where the rabbi was a wrestling fan.
“Friday night was laid back and the rabbi would talk to me after the service about wrestling. He was a cool rabbi,” the 30-year-old said.
There was more than a flicker of amusement from Mr Scott when Robbie E explained how, as part of his wrestling-ring persona, he is able to bad-mouth the watching fans.
“I can make them cheer me, boo me, like me, hate me, whatever. I can call them ugly and fat, it depends what mood I’m in,” he said.
“That doesn’t really work in my profession,” Mr Scott pointed out.