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RF Video Shoot Interview with Tracy Smothers, Disc One

This video was released in 2013. It is a two-disc set
The first disc runs at two hours and thirty-six minutes long.
The interview was conducted by Brett Lauderdale
Smothers starts by saying that he grew up outside of Nashville, TN. He said that he first watched wrestling by seeing Nick Gulas’ territory then when Jerry Jarrett ran his company, he became more popular and ended up buying out Gulas’ territory. A few minutes later, he talks about how he would sneak out of his house at night in order to go watch the matches as his parents did not want him to go to the matches.
He played football and wrestling in High School and in College. Smothers jokes that he could have done better in wrestling if he didn’t always try to chase girls. Smothers then goes on about the girls he was chasing in high school and then about having to cut weight.
Smothers broke into the business while he was in college. He went to Carson-Newman. He was going to college to be a coach and a teacher. Smothers goes off about chasing a girl and how hot she was then talks about how he probably got a few concussions on special teams then cracked a vertebrae in his neck and tore up his knee too. He would see the wrestlers in the gym, like the Fabulous Ones, and saw how they were in great shape.
He goes ahead and tells a story about the Barbarian. Smothers left the gym as he was walking in and the next day, the guys at the gym told Tracy about the Barbarian’s workout routine, which was absolutely insane. That day, Steve Keirn called him up and said he needed him to work that night against the new guy. They told him that he had to work against the Barbarian and joked that he needed to go back to college. Smothers said he had only trained twice at this point and screwed up everything as the Barbarian was new himself.
When asked about the Fabulous Ones, who helped break in Smothers, Smothers said that he loved them and that the Fabulous Ones would train him while they were on the road. Smothers said that he and one other guy were the only ones that stuck around.
Smothers talks about how Tojo Yammamoto trained him too and said if Tojo trained people today, he would be arrested for murder. Smothers said he went to work for Gulas and got a $5 payout, with $3 of it in quarters. He worked in the ring with some guy who was also Green but started to shoot on him so Smothers beat the shit out of him then the whole dressing room ran out and broke it up. The guy also pulled a knife out against him but Smothers took it away .Smothers talks about how the Fabulous Ones told him to stand up to a fan or a guy taking advantage of you. Back to the fight, Smothers broke out and got into his car and drove away. He came back the next week and was introduced to Yammamoto and Gypsy Joe. Smothers said that Joe was a bad dude then talks about the incident between Joe and New Jack from several years ago when Jack shot on Joe, who was 73 years old at the time. Smothers said that Joe refused to work with Jack and was swearing at him then went on to say how a lot of fights Jack gets into is the result of everyone going up to his opponent and stirring up rumors how Jack is planning to shoot on them in the ring. Smothers then said how Joe was working in construction, at age 73, five days a week while wrestling Wednesday-Sunday at small shows in Nashville. Smothers said that he saw Joe a few days afterwards and that Joe was back wrestling.
Smothers goes on and on about various things that happened in Memphis, including how Randy Savage made him look great in an eleven minute match then ended it by suplexing Smothers onto the floor. Smothers said he thanked Savage after the match, who told Smothers to never thank anyone who suplexes you on the floor. Smothers also talks about how Iron Mike Sharpe and Koko Ware helped him out in Memphis.
After Memphis, Smothers went to work for Bill Watts. This was 1986. He was supposed to go with Billy Travis and Koko Ware but Travis decided to stay in Memphis as Koko came in a few months later. Smothers said that Terry Taylor gave him his first full-time job in wrestling.
He now tells a story about how he got into a fight in a small town in Louisiana. Smothers stopped at a store to get gas and was stopped by a black guy who asked him for money. Smothers was walking back to his car and saw three other guys on the side as the guy followed him out. Smothers said that he always kept a baseball bat in his trunk too. Anyway, the guy went to sucker punch him but Smothers stopped him then smashed his face off of the cement. Smothers said that he had about $1,000 in cash to last for two weeks because Watts paid you bi-weekly. Smothers said he was scared as he was just 21 years old. The three guys charged after him and Smothers took them all out by smashing their knees with his bat. He then jumped in the car and even tried to run over him over and left.
Smothers talks about the roster in Mid-South when he arrived. He said that Steve Williams was the baddest man in wrestling from 1983-1992. Smothers tells a story involving Steve Williams and Rick Steiner seeing a man in a car that was on fire in the road and went out and ripped the door off of the car and saved his life. He said that Jake was getting ready to leave for the WWF. Dick Slater was there and the booker before Terry Taylor took over.
He tells the story of how Dick Slater beat up Sting. It was the Summer of 1986 and Sting was teaming with Jim Hellwig as the Blade Runners, who were very green in the ring and hurting people too. Back to the story, Smothers said that Dark Journey was with Slater but the rumor going around was that Sting was fooling around with Dark Journey. One night in the locker room, Smothers noticed that Slater had his hands taped and was playing cards with Terry Taylor, who he hated, and was revving up as he was losing. Slater then got up and went after Sting and Smothers said you could hear an argument. Smothers said he heard from everyone that Slater ended up hitting him then sticking Sting’s head into the toilet and flushed. Smothers said that Slater beat the shit out of him and that Hellwig was going to come over to help out but Smothers saw Dick Murdoch knee him in the nuts then grab him by the throat. After the commotion, Slater came out and was still pissed, with Sting’s face paint on him and yelled at Smothers and DJ Peterson, who was also new to the business, and yelled that if they did not respect the veterans then they should get the fuck out of the business. Smothers said that after that, Sting started to become a better worker.
After Mid-South, Smothers ended up in Florida. He said that he teamed with Steve Armstrong against the New Breed. Smothers said that he traveled with Armstrong and Scott Hall at the time. He also worked a few shows for Crockett at the end of 1987 against the Midnight Express and Dusty told them that they were going to bring them to the territory to work the “B” shows, as Chris Champion of the New Breed got into a car accident and hurt his arm so he could not compete. After their matches, Smothers said that the Midnight’s got paid triple what they got and he and Steve were tired and homesick and ended up going home, walking out of the TV tapings they were scheduled for, which Smothers regrets and chalks up to being young and stupid.
Smothers went on to work for Robert Fuller in the CWA. However, Fuller brought in the Rockers after they got fired from the WWF and that knocked out Smothers from his spot. He said that after that, Jerry Jarrett would not sign him right away and Smothers worked in a tobacco field until Jarrett finally hired him. He said the Rockers did not last long at all and Smothers said that they got fired after Shawn signed “queers are people to” on the back of a kid’s shirt, who happened to be the son of a sponsor, so Bob Armstrong had to fire them.
The interviewer tells Tracy that he had to start shortening up his answers as he has a lot of questions to ask. Tracy apologizes and tells the interviewer to remind him because he has had 32 concussions and 9 mini-strokes in his life. That is terrifying. And later in the disc, Smothers talks about how he received a concussion from a back suplex while working in SMW then flew to Japan a day later and received another one when Terry Funk hit him in the back of the head with a chair.
He talks about how he got back into WCW with Steve Armstrong in 1990. He said that Kevin Sullivan, Eddie Gilbert, and Jim Cornette got them into the company. He said that Jim Herd was running things and they had a booking committee that including the three guys listed above and Flair. This lasted until Ole Anderson came in shortly afterwards. He said that Dusty changed their name from the Southern Boys to the Young Pistols due to the controversy of the Confederate Flag they had with their gimmick.
Smothers said that Ole Anderson ran a tight ship and had Bob Roop as an agent, who was a tough guy. Smothers said that they did not have any heat with the veterans, who he joked that they liked working with them more than the Steiners, who Smothers said were in their prime and very, very stiff. Smothers said that some of the boys in the locker room were a bothered a little because Stan Hansen did not work stiff with them in the ring. Smothers then said that he heard that Lex Luger and Sting tried to get Ole Anderson fired and when that failed, Ole brought in Stan Hansen to work with them as a result to beat them up.
He is asked about Ric Flair. Smothers said he wanted everyone to have a good time and would get everyone drunk as he wanted them to have a good time. He said how Flair would get everyone from the owners to the janitors drunk. Smothers also said how Flair would tip the hotel shuttle bus drivers enough money to pick him and the rest of the lower card workers up at the Days Inn or Red Roof Inn to go to the Marriott, where Flair stayed. He said the next morning, Flair would be up in the gym using the Stairmaster for an hour. Smothers doesn’t think he slept more than four hours a night.
When asked about steroids, Smothers said that they were not talked about in the locker room but it did not become an issue until the WWF steroid scandal. Smothers said that WCW basically gave you two weeks notice as they would put in on the schedule for you to be the early, and only looked for cocaine due to the crack-cocaine epidemic.
Smothers goes off track for a bit to tell a story about PN News. They are in the dressing room in St. Louis as Stan Hansen came off of a plane from Japan and was in a mood. News was young and getting a push at the time and scheduled to face Hansen that night. Smothers said that Hansen would love to read the newspaper and wore thick glasses as his vision was quite poor. Anyway, News called Hansen an “old man” and the locker room went silent as no one answered Stan when he asked if News called him an old man. Finally, Sid Vicious tells Stan “Fuck yeah he said you were an old man” and Stan said that was what he thought he said and Stan beat the shit out of News in the ring as a result.
He talks about the Midnight Express and how Bobby Eaton was the best heel in the business at that time. Smothers said in the locker room, you knew the two best workers were Brad Armstrong and Bobby Eaton. Smothers said that Cornette was the one who laid out the matches and finishes and says no one studies the business more than Cornette. Smothers talks about the Freebirds and puts over Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin for their psychology.
Smothers is asked about The Undertaker, who started out as the Punisher in Memphis then was Mean Mark Callous. Smothers said that he was a natural in the ring. Back then, Smothers said he was a nice guy then makes a side comment about how he is not anymore. Smothers then said that he was a bouncer at a badass biker bar and part of the Hell’s Angels. He tells a story about the Undertaker dropping four or five guys in a row in a bar in Tennessee after they tried fucking with him then when the bouncers tried to intervene, Taker told him that he was going home and they all got out of his way as he left.
He talks about how he almost quit the business in 1992 after all of the turmoil in WCW but Jim Cornette convinced him to ditch the rebel gimmick and come to Smoky Mountain Wrestling. Smothers said that he did not get into the WWF around this time as Jerry Jarrett was there as a consultant and since Smothers had left him twice before in Memphis to go with Steve rather than to stay and tag with Jeff Jarrett. He gave Steve Armstrong a job as Lance Cassidy. Smothers also heard a rumor that in 1988, after Barry Horowitz gave pictures of Smothers and Steve Armstrong to Pat Patterson in hopes that he would bring them in but Shawn Michaels dogged them because he thought the following year that Bob Armstrong fired him to bring in Smothers and his son, Steve.
Smothers goes forward to 1996 and tells a story about the Undertaker. He talks about how he knew the Undertaker from when he first broke in but had not seen him since. In the locker room, the Bodydonnas and Kloudy were standing there and Smothers saw Taker go off on Kloudy about how people will do anything to get into the business. Smothers knew Taker to be smiling and joking when they were in WCW so he decided to crack a joke and ask Taker how long has he been dead for, referencing his gimmick. Well, Taker got up and was pissed and Smothers backed away. Shortly after that, Shawn came in and made a crack to Smothers about how he got a job with the WWF. Smothers knew he had heat with Shawn then tried to make a playful comment after Shawn brought up how he got fired by Bob Armstrong about Shawn being on top of the world now and not to think about several years ago and Shawn was pissed about that. He also said how Shawn had heat with the whole Armstrong family for years as a result but made amends was helped Bob Armstrong get inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Between leaving WCW and going to Smoky Mountain, Smothers worked security for some country music stars and worked as a bouncer. He said as a bouncer, guys would give him shit for getting let go from WCW and got into a lot of fights. Smothers said at that time, he considered getting his CDL to become a driver for one of the groups but still wanted to wrestle and Cornette was calling him, encouraging Smothers to not quit the business.
In Smoky Mountain, Smothers talks about some of the towns and their crazy hillbilly fans. He talks about wrestling against Brian Lee with Sherri Martel as his valet, calling Sherri the best valet of all-time.
While working for Smoky Mountain, Smothers would also do tours of Japan. After about two years in SMW, Ricky Morton, who was helping Cornette, told Tracy that he did not think they had a spot for him in the company, as he already spent two years at the top of the card. Tracy suggested that they move him down the card and he pointed at a young kid to work with, saying that he could get him over. That kid happened to be Chris Candido. Smothers said that Candido worked his ass off and Ricky asked Cornette, who approved the idea. Smothers said that worked ladder matches.
As far as pay in Smoky Mountain, Smothers said that faces were allowed to sell gimmicks at the shows and had a better deal. He said that he would give the heel he worked with 10-20% of the gimmick money because they were the reason people would buy his stuff, to help pay for some of their expenses.
He is asked about Chris Candido passing away. Smothers said that he cleaned up and was working his ass off and made him want to get back into wrestling as at that point, Smothers was a bounty hunter and repossessing cars. Smothers said how Candido was upbeat and that Dusty Rhodes hired him for TNA and was going to do the Hardcore Homecoming as Smothers gets misty-eyed as he recalls his friends like Candido and Brad Armstrong passing away. He said that whenever a friend of his in the business passes away, his mind gets on the business and that he can hear their ring music and says it is almost a supernatural event.
Smothers is asked about his matches against Brian Lee in SMW. He calls him a good strong kid and when asked why he did not make it, Smothers said it was all due to drugs and that Lee himself would tell you the same thing. Smothers said that he recently spoke with Lee who is now working in construction after losing a ton of weight due to his use.
He is asked about the Gangstas coming to Smoky Mountain. He said that their first day, they had legitimate gang members from the hood in the parking lot of the show, which was in the middle of a KKK area. Smothers said he is not into racism and that we all bleed red and are god’s children but that day, a cop came up to him and said that there were twenty “n*****s” in the parking lot and they were not going to let this go on and the cop asked him if they were wrestlers so he said that they were then after that, New Jack cut the infamous O.J. Simpson promo and afterwards, Ricky Morton told Cornette that they could draw money with them.
Still speaking about the Gangsters, Smothers said that New Jack was at a show that featured an all white audience then cut a promo in the ring saying that they were the Gangstas and they were black then proceeded to rub his arm and told the crowd that it will not come off. At another outdoor show, Tracy was scheduled to team with Tony Anthony against the Gangstas and saw that two independent wrestlers, who were rebels, jumped up on the apron and started yelling racial slurs at the Gangstas so Smothers whipped one of them off of the apron then beat the shit out of the other one as he did not want the Gangstas to go after them as he calls Jack tough but said that Mustafa was dangerous and they had gimmicks in the ring with them.

Final Thoughts: After a slow start , this disc really picked up. Smothers talks an awful lot to the point that the interviewer had to tell him to shorten his answers on a few occasions. Honestly, Smothers could talk all day long.

His stories about Smoky Mountain Wrestling were very good. Also, Smothers does not appear to have a knack for making sensible decisions. I’m sure the fact that he has had 32 concussions does not help. He seems like a nice enough guy but you could defintely tell that he has had some sort of head trauma.

When watching this disc, expect a lot of talking and side stories as Smothers can stray off topic. Luckily, the stories he tells are good.