“T is for Terrible, H is for Hell, U is for Ugly, and G is for Jail, ’cause a thug can’t spell”
Tracy Smothers, who represented one of the rare links from the territorial days to the modern-day independent scene, has passed away at 58.
Smothers had been battling cancer and revealed his health situation in December 2019. He stated in that post that he was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer the month prior and was receiving chemotherapy for the tumors. He also had a blockage in his artery and had lost 45 percent usage of his heart.
This past year, a GoFundMe campaign was launched by wrestler Chris Hero to assist Smothers with medical expenses, and a set of fundraising events were set for November.
He was an extremely popular figure especially among the younger generation he interacted with at various independent shows. On Wednesday, there have been lots of testimonials over his ability to help young talent and provide a fatherly role in the locker rooms he inhabited.
He was born on September 2, 1962, and was a native of Springfield, Tennessee. He grew up playing all sports throughout his high school days including amateur wrestling where he competed at 185 pounds.
His entry into professional wrestling came in 1982 after training under The Fabulous Ones, Steve Keirn and Stan Lane.
He was remembered as a tag wrestler throughout a solid portion of his career forming an alliance with Steve Armstrong that traveled to many promotions. The two worked under a variety of monikers from The Wild-Eyed Southern Boys, to the abbreviated Southern Boys in WCW and later re-branded as The Young Pistols.
The pair won the Florida tag titles in February 1987 from Chris Champion & Sean Royal and held them for three weeks.
In WCW, they were a hot babyface act during a period with a stacked tag division and two sets of tag belts. As The Young Pistols, Smothers & Armstrong won the United States tag titles on November 5, 1991, beating Todd Champion & Firebreaker Chip. The reign as champions lasted two months losing the titles to Ron Simmons & Big Josh on January 14, 1992.
Smothers remained in WCW for another year before moving on and showed up in Jim Cornette’s start-up Smoky Mountain Wrestling becoming a top babyface in the territory. It was this run that put national acclaim on Smothers, who was voted the “Most Improved Wrestler” of 1993 by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter readers.
He became the territory’s first Beat the Champ Television Champion on December 12, 1992, and held the title three times with subsequent reigns in December 1993 and June 1994. The concept was that the holder would receive a $1,000 bonus for each defense against a random opponent. If they won five matches, the title was vacated, and the holder received $5,000.
Smothers became the third SMW heavyweight champion on April 2, 1993, defeating The Dirty White Boy (Tony Anthony) in a bloody Chain Match at the first Bluegrass Brawl in Pikeville, Kentucky. There was a controversy leading to the title being held up and Smothers beat Anthony in the rematch on June 11th. Smothers kept the title until July dropping it to Brian Lee.
His one notable run in the World Wrestling Federation occurred in 1996 where he was given the name “Freddie Joe Floyd”, as a play on the Brisco brothers. Jack Brisco’s real name was Fred Joe Brisco and Gerald’s was Floyd Gerald Brisco.
Smothers had a brief tenure in the USWA, which had an affiliation with the WWF with Smothers joining the territory’s contingent of the Nation of Domination and Smothers wrestling as “Shaquille Ali”. He would continue this comedy presentation by joining ECW and The Full-Blooded Italians group.
As part of the FBI, Smothers and Little Guido won the ECW tag titles from New Jack & John Kronus in October 1997. The latter had become a makeshift team out of The Gangstas and The Eliminators as this followed Perry Saturn’s exit from ECW when he joined WCW.
After ECW, Smothers remained a constant on the independent scene including a reunion with Steve Armstrong in Ohio Valley Wrestling, when it was a developmental territory for the WWF. The two won the OVW tag titles in July 2000 from B.J. Payne & Scotty Sabre and lost them to Damian & Slash two weeks later.
In 1999 and 2000, Smothers worked several WWF tapings doing enhancement work on programs including Shotgun Saturday Night, Jakked, and Sunday Night Heat.
He became a cult figure in so many independent promotions around the country as a mainstay in Juggalo Championship Wrestling, IWA: Mid-South, Absolute Intense Wrestling, and Game Changer Wrestling over the past few years. In 2019, he was part of the Clusterfuck Battle Royal at Joey Janela’s Spring Break 3 over WrestleMania Weekend and last wrestled in October 2019.
Smothers had been part of the class-action lawsuit filed against WWE by attorney Konstantine Kyros that was dismissed in 2018.
Earlier this year, he released his biography If You Don’t Buy This Book, EVERYBODY DIES with writer John Cosper.
We send our condolences to the family and friends of Tracy Smothers.