CM Punk, Sami Zayn, and Many WWE Superstars React to the Demise of Tracy Smothers

Published 10/28/2020, 11:55 PM EDT


Former WWE wrestler, Tracy Smothers, passed away on October 28, 2020. In his incredible career that spanned nearly four decades, he wrestled under almost every major promotion in America. He was also a very important player on the independent scene, being a mentor and guiding light to many young wrestlers.

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Tracy Smothers’ career

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Tracy Smothers began his career as part of a tag-team called the Wild-eyed Southern Boys. The gimmick was a huge hit and was soon signed to WCW.

He worked there for two years before returning to the independent scene. His work was once again noticed, only this time by Vince McMahon’s company.

Smothers played the role of a jobber once he was signed by WWE (back then WWF). He jobbed to Stone Cold Steve Austin and Hunter Hearst-Helmsley, also known as Triple H.

His biggest wins came against JBL and Triple H, although the latter was a count out win. His gimmick was based on the The Briscoe Brothers, which was not a big hit with the fans.

After a two-year stint with ECW, Smothers returned to his true calling which was the independent scene. He wrestled all over the country and even toured the United Kingdom. Professional wrestling was blowing up in the UK and Tracy Smothers was one of the reasons behind it.

He ultimately retired in 2019 after he was diagnosed with lymphoma. Sadly, he succumbed to the ailment on October 28.

A helping hand and a friendly face for aspiring wrestlers

Along with his career in the independent scene, he met and mentored a lot of the current crop of WWE superstars. After his passing, many of them paid their respects to the deceased wrestler on Twitter. Current Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn tweeted about touring Ireland with Tracy Smothers in 2007.

Sami Zayn’s best friend, Kevin Owens, praised and paid respect to Tracy Smothers. Owens offered his condolences to Smothers’ friends and family and even wished he could be around him a lot more than he actually did.

Both Zayn and Owens have to credit Tracy for their early careers in wrestling. Both were massively popular on the independent scene as El Generico and Kevin Steen.

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Former WWE wrestlers Ryback and CM Punk also paid their respects to Tracy. The Big Guy tweeted about how Tracy made him feel comfortable at his first independent show.

The Best in the World narrated a story of how Tracy fought police dogs at an ECW event in just a towel and covered in soap. Samoa Joe also paid his respects on Twitter.

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Tracy Smothers was great at his heel character work. Outside the ring, he was one of the most lovable guys in wrestling. This made him an inspiration and icon for many young and aspiring wrestlers slogging it on the indy scene.

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Nathan Fulgado

1227 articles

Nathan Fulgado is a WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports. Having published close to 1000 professional wrestling articles, Nathan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier's College. He has previously worked at Free Press Journal as a local journalist.

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