Monday, May 14, 2007

WCW: Tracy Smothers

Tracy Smothers (born September 2, 1962) is an American professional wrestler and is the current Cleveland All-Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Champion.

Steve Armstrong and Tracy Smothers started teaming as The Southern Boys in Florida Championship Wrestling in 1987 where they feuded with The New Breed. They moved on to Southeast Championship Wrestling where they feuded with The Stud Stable.

Smothers and Armstrong competed in World Championship Wrestling for a number of and were known as the Southern Boys and later the Young Pistols. The tag team changed names when WCW decided to attempt to portray a more "national" image as opposed to a "southern" image (thus the "Southern Boys" became "The Young Pistols" when the duo turned heel) Smothers and Armstrong had a long feud with The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin). Smothers' last major appearance for WCW was on January 21, 1992 at The Clash of Champions, as he teamed with Terry Taylor in a loss to Marcus Alexander Bagwell and Brian Pillman.

Smothers achieved his greatest singles success in Jim Cornette's Smoky Mountain Wrestling promotion which was based out of Knoxville, Tennessee. Between 1992 and 1995, "The Wild Eyed Southern Boy," competed as a babyface for SMW and won the Heavyweight title twice, the tag team titles once (with "Dirty White Boy" Tony Anthony, known as the "T.H.U.G.'S"), and the "Beat the Champ" TV title on three separate occasions. Smothers had notable feuds during this time against "Prime Time" Brian Lee, Chris Candido, Tony Anthony, The Heavenly Bodies, and The Gangstas. He also competed as a heel in the United States Wrestling Association during the SMW vs. USWA feud in 1995.

After SMW folded, Smothers continued to work for the USWA (and the WWF). Smothers at one point even joined the USWA branch of the Nation of Domination, changing his name to Shaquille Ali (a take off of NBA star Shaquille O'Neal and legendary boxer Muhammad Ali).

Before SMW folded in late 1995, Smothers began wrestling in the summer of that year as Freddie Joe Floyd in the WWF as a babyface jobber to various up and comers, most notably Hunter Hearst-Helmsley and Stone Cold Steve Austin. His only meaningful win under the Floyd gimmick was an upset of Justin "Hawk" Bradshaw in his debut, which resulted in Bradshaw beating Floyd in a subsequent rematch. He also scored a count out win over Triple H, thanks to Mr. Perfect distracting Helmsley. His entire gimmick was a rib on Gerald Brisco and Jack Brisco, as they both came from Bowlegs, Oklahoma (the same home town Freddie Joe Floyd was billed as being from). Jack Brisco’s real name is Fred Joe Brisco, and Gerald’s full name is Floyd Gerald Brisco.

Later in his career he joined Extreme Championship Wrestling as "The Main Man" Tracy Smothers and was part of the Full Blooded Italians (or F.B.I.). He was most notably remembered for doing a goofy dance, that ECW announcer Joey Styles often commented on by saying "what the hell is with that awful dance." The FBI during this time was mostly a comedy heel tag team, which also featured Little Guido, "The Big Don" Tommy Rich, and the "Italian Stallion" John T. Smith. Smothers, long associated with being a stereotypical southern wrestler, was billed as being from "Nashville, Italy" during this time.

Smothers wrestled at both of the June 2005 ECW reunion shows, defeating The Blue Meanie at Hardcore Homecoming with the help of J.T. Smith, and accompanying Little Guido to ringside for his match with Yoshihiro Tajiri and Super Crazy at ECW One Night Stand 2005. On June 18, 2005 at a Championship Wrestling event, Smothers challenged WWE employee John "Bradshaw" Layfield to a fight after JBL shot on The Blue Meanie during a brawl at the end of One Night Stand. He also wrestled at all 4 Hardcore Homecoming events.

Smothers still competes on a regular basis in various independent promotions throughout the country, although based largely in the south/mid-south/midwest area. He formed a tag team with fellow SMW and ECW alum Chris Hamrick known as "Southern Comfort" and together they won several tag team championships on the indy circuit. The Smothers/Hamrick duo was known for using the theme song from The Dukes of Hazzard as their intro music.

Smothers is known for proclaiming himself a "'tweener." A "'tweener" is a wrestler who is neither a babyface nor a heel. Smothers is also known for dancing in the ring and challenging opponents to "dance offs" before or during a match.

In late 2005 and early 2006, Smothers worked a full-time schedule at various independent promotions in Tennessee and around the midwest and eastern United States. He also toured the United Kingdom and teaming with Chris Hamrick on 1 Pro Wrestling shows as 'Southern Comfort', where they competed in a tag team ladder match for the Tag Team Championship against Team SHAG (Darren Burridge and Colt Cabana) and Jonny Storm and Jody Fleisch, eventually losing to Team SHAG.

In late 2006, he worked a multi-month, full-time tour of Europe for a number of small independent promotions in the UK, Germany, and Scotland, such as Wrestle Zone Wrestling where in Hartlepool, England, Smothers was crowned the new wZw Heavyweight Champion. He later relinquished that title.

On February 25, 2007 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Smothers defeated Corporal Robinson to win the Pro Wrestling Unplugged Hardcore Championship.
technorati tags: wcw, ecw, eddie guerrero, pro wrestling, wrestlemania, hulk hogan, ric flair, booker t, tna

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