Sunday, April 29, 2007

WCW: Norman Smiley

Ring name(s) Black Magic,Lord Norman,Norman Smiley
Billed height 188 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Billed weight 112 kg (247 lb)
Born February 28, 1965,Northampton
Resides Miami, Florida
Trained by Rusty Brooks,Boris Malenko,Dean Malenko
Wrestling Debut October 2, 1990

Norman Smiley (born February 28, 1965 in Northampton) is a British professional wrestler currently competing for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. He is best known for his appearances in the United States of America with World Championship Wrestling as "Screamin" Norman Smiley.

Norman Smiley trained under Rusty Brooks and Boris and Dean Malenko before making his debut in 1986 on the Floridian independent circuit, originally known as Black Magic, then as the hated Lord Henry Norman. In 1992, he began wrestling for the Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre in Mexico as Black Magic, winning the CMLL World Heavyweight Championship and holding it until losing to Silver King in 1994. In 1995 and 1996, he briefly competed in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania based Extreme Championship Wrestling promotion.

Smiley joined World Championship Wrestling in 1997, wrestling primarily on WCW Saturday Night. After being removed from television, he returned several months later with a new gimmick. His new character saw him add the "Big Wiggle" to his repertoire of moves; prior to this, his signature taunt was a mimed bow-and-arrow motion, informally dubbed "The Sacagawea". After knocking an opponent down, Smiley would perform a dance that he called the "Big Wiggle." He later added the "Smiley Spank", which saw him double an opponent over, straddle him, and perform a slapping motion with his hands.

During his tenure in WCW, Smiley often teamed with Chris Adams. The duo had previously teamed together as the British participants in the 1990 NWA Pat O'Connor tag team tournament, and were close friends.

A heel turn began in a backstage interview on an episode of WCW Saturday Night when he told fans that he was European and that, as such, his name should be pronounced phonetically as "Nor-MAHN Smi-LAY." He then feuded with Chavo Guerrero, Jr., on one occasion destroying Chavo's hobby horse mascot, Pepè, by feeding it into a wood chipper on an episode of WCW Monday Nitro.

In 1999, Smiley entered the hardcore division. Smiley's character was nicknamed "Screamin'" Norman Smiley. Smiley would also come to the ring wearing a jersey (often wearing a jersey of a local professional sports team), along with padding and a football helmet to cushion blows. This comedic gimmick caused Smiley's popularity to soar, and he eventually won the WCW Hardcore Championship by defeating Brian Knobbs in a tournament final. During his 2 reigns, Smiley was a reluctant champion, even attempting to purposely lose matches (although he invariably retained the title inadvertently, much to his chagrin). Smiley holds the 2 longest WCW Hardcore Championship reigns, at 51 and 42 days, respectively.[citation needed]

Smiley feuded with Brian Knobbs, Meng and Terry Funk during his tenures as WCW Hardcore Champion, recruiting Chris Jericho's former associate Ralphus to be his manager. With the assistance of Ralphus, he stole a backyard wrestling championship from a group of children during a vignette.

Smiley remained in WCW until the company was sold to the World Wrestling Federation in March 2001. He was not hired by the WWF following the sale.
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