Norman Smiley

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Norman Smiley
Norman Smiley and Billy Kidman.jpeg
Smiley (right) in a match with Billy Kidman
Birth name Norman Anthony Smiley
Born (1965-02-28) February 28, 1965 (age 49)
Northampton, England[citation needed]
Resides Miami, Florida[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Black Magic[1]
Lord Norman
Norman Smiley[2]
Billed height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[2]
Billed weight 240 lb (110 kg)[2]
Billed from London, England[2]
Trained by Rusty Brooks[1]
Boris Malenko[1]
Dean Malenko
Debut 1985[2]

Norman Anthony Smiley (born February 28, 1965) is an English professional wrestler best known for his appearances in World Championship Wrestling.[1] As of 2007, Smiley has been employed by WWE as a trainer.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Norman Smiley trained under Rusty Brooks and Boris and Dean Malenko before making his debut in 1985 on the Floridian independent circuit, originally known as Black Magic, then as the hated Lord Henry Norman. Smiley wrestled in the Japanese shootstyle group UWF International (UWFi) in 1988 and 1989. In 1990 Smiley competed at the National Wrestling Alliance/World Championship Wrestling Starrcade 1990 event teaming with Chris Adams against the team of Konnan and Rey Misterio, Sr. In 1992, he began wrestling for CMLL in Mexico as Black Magic, winning the CMLL World Heavyweight Championship and holding it until losing to Silver King in 1994. In 1995 and 1996, he briefly competed in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania based Extreme Championship Wrestling promotion.

World Championship Wrestling (1997-2001)[edit]

Smiley joined World Championship Wrestling in 1997, wrestling primarily on WCW Saturday Night. After being removed from television, he returned several months later with a new gimmick. His new character saw him add the "Big Wiggle" to his repertoire of moves; prior to this, his signature taunt was a mimed bow-and-arrow motion, informally dubbed "The Sacajaweah". After knocking an opponent down, Smiley would perform a dance that he called the "Big Wiggle". He later added the "Smiley Spank", which saw him double an opponent over, straddle him, and perform a slapping motion with his hands.

During his tenure in WCW, Smiley often teamed with Chris Adams. The duo had previously teamed together as the British participants in the 1990 NWA Pat O'Connor tag team tournament, and were close friends.

A heel turn began in a backstage interview on an episode of WCW Saturday Night when he told fans that he was European and that, as such, his name should be pronounced phonetically as "Nor-MAHN Smi-LAY." He would insult the fans who mispronounced his name at establishments such as Waffle House and Piggly Wiggly. He then feuded with Chavo Guerrero, Jr., on one occasion destroying Guerrero's hobby horse mascot, Pepè, by feeding it into a wood chipper on the January 11, 1999 episode of WCW Monday Nitro. Despite Smiley's attempts to be a heel, fans seemed to enjoy his "big wiggle" and comedy antics, effectively turning him face.

In 1999, Smiley entered the hardcore division. Smiley's character was nicknamed "Screamin' " Norman Smiley due to his fear of being hit by weapons. Smiley would also come to the ring wearing the jersey of a local professional sports team, along with padding and a football helmet to cushion blows. This comedic gimmick caused Smiley's popularity to soar, and he eventually became the first WCW Hardcore Champion by defeating Brian Knobs in a tournament final. During his two reigns, Smiley was a reluctant champion, even attempting to purposely lose matches (although he invariably retained the title inadvertently, much to his chagrin). Smiley is the twice-longest WCW Hardcore Championship titleholder, at 51 and 42 days, respectively.[3]

Smiley feuded with Brian Knobs, Meng and Terry Funk during his tenures as WCW Hardcore Champion, recruiting Chris Jericho's former associate Ralphus to be his manager. With the assistance of Ralphus, he stole a backyard wrestling championship from a group of children during a vignette.

Smiley remained in WCW until the company was sold to the World Wrestling Federation in March 2001. He was not hired by the WWF following the sale.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and the independent circuit[edit]

Smiley wrestled for the short-lived X Wrestling Federation and the World Wrestling All-Stars before returning to the Florida independent circuit. He wrestled briefly for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in 2002 and then had several tryout matches with WWE in 2003 and 2004. In February 2006, he was backstage during the TNA pay-per-view Against All Odds 2006, and he wrestled in an eight-man opening match on an episode of TNA Impact! shortly thereafter, doing the Big Wiggle on Jeff Jarrett. At TNA Destination X 2006 on March 12, 2006, Smiley and Shark Boy lost to David Young and Elix Skipper. Smiley and Shark Boy upset Homicide and Machete of the LAX on the March 18 edition of Impact! Smiley was inactive for several weeks following an attack at the hands of Scott Steiner, but returned on the June 29, 2006 episode of Impact!, losing to Monty Brown. On the February 16, 2007 edition of Impact! Smiley made his return, teaming with Shark Boy in a loss to LAX.

Return to AAA[edit]

Smiley returned to Mexico's Asistencia Asesoría y Administración as a member of La Legión Extranjera (Foreign Legion) as a sidekick of El Mesías. In an online interview, Smiley indicated that he one day intended to return to TNA wrestling to become the "greatest champion" in the company's brief history.

World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE (2007-present)[edit]

Smiley wrestled in a WWE dark match prior to the November 19, 2007 episode of Raw, losing to Vladimir Kozlov.[4]

Norman Smiley has now relocated to Tampa to work as a trainer for WWE's development territory, Florida Championship Wrestling. In early 2010, he started making on-camera appearances as the lieutenant general manager of FCW but since August 2010, he's been known on FCW TV as the liaison for the FCW president, Steve Keirn.

Since then Smiley has continued to train for the WWE developmental territories, currently working with the NXT superstars.

In wrestling[edit]

  • Nicknames
    • "Screamin" Norman Smiley[1]
    • "Black Magic" Norman Smiley

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • Four Star Championship Wrestling
  • FSCW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
  • Xtreme Wrestling Alliance
  • XWA World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
  • Global Wrestling Alliance
  • GWA Global Television Championship (1 time)
  • Independent Pro Wrestling Association
  • IPWA Southern Championship (1 time)
  • IPWA Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Joe DeFuria
  • Maximum Pro Wrestling
  • MXPW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
  • PWI ranked him # 375 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the PWI Years in 2003

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Norman Smiley profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Norman Smiley". WCW.com (via Wayback Machine). World Championship Wrestling. Retrieved 2013-07-23. 
  3. ^ "WCW Hardcore Championship History". Wrestling Title Histories by Royal Duncan and Gary Will. Solie.org. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  4. ^ "WWE Raw 19 November 2007 Results". Pro-Wrestling Edge. Retrieved 2008-02-23. 
  5. ^ World Championship Wrestling (1999-08-09). "The Dead Pool vs Norman Smiley, Prince Iaukea & Lash Leroux". WCW Monday Nitro.

External links[edit]