Sam Houston (wrestler)
|Birth name||Michael Maurice Smith|
|Ring name(s)||Midnight Rider
|Born||October 11, 1963|
|Trained by||Aurelian Smith
Michael Maurice Smith (born October 11, 1963) is a second-generation professional wrestler who is best known for competing under the ring name Sam Houston in the 1980s. His father is former wrestler Grizzly Smith, his half-brother is Jake "The Snake" Roberts, and his younger sister is former WWF Women's Champion Rockin' Robin.
During Smith's time in the World Wrestling Federation from 1987-1990, both of his siblings were also with the company, and even though Robin was at one time the Women's Champion and sang "America the Beautiful" to open Wrestlemania V, Jake "The Snake" had arguably the highest profile of the trio.
In 1985, he began working in the NWA's Jim Crockett Promotions. He was billed as a protégé of Dusty Rhodes and Magnum T.A., which made him a target for the Four Horsemen. They finally got to him in the summer of 1985 when Tully Blanchard, Ole Anderson, and Arn Anderson (kayfabe) broke his arm during a six-man tag team match.
In late 1985, he feuded with Krusher Khruschev over the NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship, which he won in January 1986. He then feuded with Black Bart, who won the title from him a few months later.
Houston formed a cowboy themed team with Nelson Royal during the summer of 1986. He moved on to the Central States territory later that year, where he won the title while feuding with Bulldog Bob Brown and Bill Dundee. His first few months of 1987 were spent in the Universal Wrestling Federation where he teamed up with Terry Taylor for a short period of time.
Houston moved on to the WWF in the summer of 1987, feuding with Danny Davis, Barry Horowitz shortly after his arrival. Also had a lot of house matches against Outlaw Ron Bass well into 1988. After his dead-end feud with Davis ended, Houston was used primarily as enhancement talent, losing to the likes of the Honky Tonk Man in under a minute. During his time in WWF he teamed with fellow cowboy Scott Casey on a number of occasions and appeared in the first ever Royal Rumble event, a match that included his brother Jake Roberts (though the audience didn't know the relationship at the time), with Sam saving Jake from elimination on a number of occasions. Houston made his only Wrestlemania appearance at WrestleMania IV as part of the 20-man battle royal where he was the first wrestler eliminated less than a minute after the start (by Danny Davis).
After continuing to flounder in the WWF's mid-card as a jobber to the stars, Houston left WWF in 1990 and ended up in the United States Wrestling Association promotion, which had bought up the World Class Championship Wrestling promotion in Dallas where he feuded once again with Black Bart. After leaving there he then wrestled on the independent wrestling scene before showing up in the Global Wrestling Federation in 1992 as The Midnight Rider., and enjoyed greater success.
In 1993 he went to WCW for a brief run, mostly as enhancement talent.
Michael Smith is a second generation professional wrestler, his father is former wrestler Grizzly Smith. His siblings were also wrestlers; his half-brother is Jake "The Snake" Roberts, and his younger sister is Rockin' Robin.
Before his departure from the NWA, Smith had begun dating Tully Blanchard's valet Nickla Roberts, better known by the name Baby Doll. They were married in Lubbock, Texas on July 30, 1986 and went on to have two daughters together, named Mikala Joy and Mikka Tyler (Smitty). Roberts chose to devote her time to her new baby girls instead of returning to wrestling. She divorced Houston in 1994, claiming Smith wanted to "be the life of the party".
In August 2005, Smith was sentenced to 10 years in prison for repeated DUI arrests. He had been arrested numerous times before, with his ex-wife Roberts claiming in 2005 that he had had an average of two DUI arrests per year for the past ten years before he was sent to prison.
Smith's home near New Orleans was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. He worked part-time at a construction company, and also helped his father at a cemetery, which is operated by the Firemen's Charitable and Benevolent Association, near the French Quarter in New Orleans.
In 2009 Smith resurfaced on the Louisiana indy scene wrestling for Old School Wrestling Entertainment based in New Orleans and Mid South Wrestling Entertainment in Houma, Louisiana. Smith also tried to open his own wrestling company called Mid South Entertainment. He ran only one show booking the likes of Rod Price, One Man Gang, and many local wrestlers.
Championships and accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling America
- PWA Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Charlie Norris
- World Class Wrestling Federation
- WCWF Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- "Sam Houston". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
- Mooneyham, Mike (2005-12-18). "Wrestlers In Jail For The Holidays". The Wrestling Gospel According to Mike Mooneyham. Archived from the original on November 14, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
- Johnson, Steven (2006-03-01). "Sam Houston and Grizzly Smith rebuild their lives; Hurricane Katrina plus six months". SLAM! Sports. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (4th Edition 2000). Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.