Sam Houston (wrestler)

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Sam Houston
SamHoustonpic.jpg
Birth name Michael Samuel Smith[1]
Born (1963-10-11) October 11, 1963 (age 52)[2]
Waco, Texas,[1] United States
Spouse(s) Baby Doll (m. 1986; div. 1994)
Children 2
Family Jake Roberts (half-brother)
Rockin' Robin (sister)
Grizzly Smith (father)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Midnight Rider[2]
Sam Houston[2]
Billed height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)[1]
Billed weight 222 lb (101 kg)[1]
Trained by Grizzly Smith[2]
Dusty Rhodes[2]
Magnum T.A.[2]
Debut 1983[2]

Michael Samuel Smith[1] (born October 11, 1963)[2] is a semi-retired professional wrestler, best known under the ring name Sam Houston in the 1980s. His father was wrestler Grizzly Smith, his half-brother is Jake Roberts, and his younger sister is former WWF Women's Champion Rockin' Robin. From 1987 to 1989, the three siblings were in the World Wrestling Federation together.

Career[edit]

Smith started wrestling in 1983, initially competing in Championship Wrestling from Florida.[2]

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.[2] 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.[2]

In late 1985, he feuded with Krusher Khruschev over the NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship, which he won in January 1986.[2] He then feuded with Black Bart, who won the title from him a few months later.[2]

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.[2] 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.

World Wrestling Federation (1987 - 1991)[edit]

Houston moved on to the WWF in the spring, making his debut on May 9th, 1987 by defeating Sika on a house show in St. Louis, MO. Houston was undefeated in his first month, defeating Terry Gibbs, Steve Lombardi, and others at TV taping dark matches and arena shows.[3] On June 7th he made his first television appearance, defeating Gibbs on Wrestling Challenge in a match taped in Houston, TX. At the same event Houston came out to help a newly arrived Ted Dibiase (who had made his first WWF appearance as a babyface) clear the ring of The One Man Gang.

Houston's first loss came a few weeks later when he was defeated by another new arrival, Bam-Bam Bigelow at a house show in Jackson, MS on June 25th. One night later in Houston, TX he tag-teamed with Dibiase against The One Man Gang & Ron Bass. The babyface duo lost when Dibiase turned heel on his partner. Houston remained off US television, wrestling opening matches on house shows against Tiger Chung Lee, Jose Estrada, Barry Horowitz, and others, winning most of these encounters. He finally made his television debut on October 31st, 1987 on WWF Superstars when he upset Danny Davis, handing the former referee his first televised loss. He moved into the winter wrestling Outlaw Ron Bass on the house show circuit, with many of the matches ending in draws. In December 1987 he began a series with Danny Davis, trading wins with him on various house show matches in a feud that lasted all the way into June 1988, and would continue sporadically into 1989. During his time in WWF he teamed with fellow cowboy Scott Casey on a number of occasions and 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.

He wrestled in the first ever Royal Rumble match on January 24th, 1988, and two months later made his first PPV appearance when he appeared at WrestleMania IV's twenty man battle royal. [4] That summer Houston entered a house show series with Big Boss Man, but unlike his previous house show series he was winless. Houston also fell in matches against King Haku, Frenchy Martin, and the newly arrived Curt Hennig and Terry Taylor. His biggest win in the summer of 1988 was against Jos Deluc. He also continued to gain televised victories on Prime Time Wrestling, and was usually successful against lower level competition such as Steve Lombardi. He made his second PPV appearance of the year when he teamed with The Ultimate Warrior, The Blue Blazer (Owen Hart), Jim Brunzell, and Brutus Beefcake in a winning effort against Honky Tonk Man, Greg Valentine, Ron Bass, Bad News Brown, and Danny Davis in the second annual Survivor Series.

Houston defeated Steve Lombardi in the dark match at the 1989 Royal Rumble but was unable to move past lower level competition. On the February 11th edition of WWF Superstars he lost to The Honky Tonk Man in less than two minutes. [5] After this Houston wrestled primarily on house shows, facing Barry Windham and The Genius. In 1990 he appeared sporadically, although he wrestled Jerry Saggs in the dark match of the 1991 Royal Rumble. [6] His final match was against The Barbarian on February 7th, 1991 in Salt Lake City, UT. [7]

World Championship Wrestling (1991)[edit]

After continuing to flounder in the WWF's mid-card as a jobber to the stars, Houston left WWF in February 1991 and joined World Championship Wrestling. His first appearance came on April 17th in Gadsden, AL when he defeated Jack Victory. [8] On the May 12th edition of The Main Event, Houston lost to WCW World Champion Ric Flair. Houston would go on to face The Diamond Studd (Scott Hall), Larry Zybysko, Arn Anderson, and Steve Austin that summer. His final match came on August 11th when he was defeated by The One Man Gang at a house show in Roanoka, VA.

USWA, Global Wrestling Federation[edit]

Houston next went to 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.[2] After leaving there he then wrestled on the independent wrestling scene before showing up in January 1992 at the Global Wrestling Federation. His first appearance came on January 3rd when he faced Bull Pain. [9] Wrestling as The Midnight Rider[2] he enjoyed greater success.

World Championship Wrestling (1993 - 1994)[edit]

He then returned to WCW in the summer of 1993, appearing first at a house show in Burlington, NC in a match against Frankie Lancaster. On September 7th he wrestled in a dark match WCW Saturday Night, teaming with Mark Starr to defeat JD Wolfe and Chick Donovan. In a match taped that night and aired on October 9th, 1993, Houston and Starr were defeated by Harlem Heat. A followup appearance on October 16th, teaming with Pez Whatley against The Nasty Boys. [10] His final appearance would come on September 26th, 1994 when he was defeated by The Honkytonk Man at a WCW Pro taping in Knoxville, TN. [11]

Post WCW[edit]

He returned to wrestling on the independent wrestling circuit for GWE, OWE, and others in 2007.[12] Wrestling against some top independent wrestling talent, such as Mike DiBiase. Won the Ark-La-Tex Heavy Weight title on November 7, 2015 in Longview, Texas.

Personal life[edit]

Michael Smith is a second generation professional wrestler, his father being former wrestler Grizzly Smith.[13] His siblings were also wrestlers; his half-brother is Jake "The Snake" Roberts, and his younger sister is Rockin' Robin.[2][13]

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".[2]

In August 2005, Smith was sentenced to 10 years in prison for repeated DUI arrests.[2][13] 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.[13]

Smith's home near New Orleans was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.[14] 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.[14]

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.

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Sam Houston". Wrestlingdata.com. Retrieved 2016-04-23. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y "Sam Houston". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  3. ^ http://www.thehistoryofwwe.com/87.htm
  4. ^ http://www.thehistoryofwwe.com/88.htm
  5. ^ http://www.thehistoryofwwe.com/89.htm
  6. ^ http://www.thehistoryofwwe.com/90.htm
  7. ^ http://www.thehistoryofwwe.com/90.htm
  8. ^ http://www.thehistoryofwwe.com/wcw91.htm
  9. ^ http://www.cagematch.net/?id=8&nr=84&page=8&s=100
  10. ^ http://www.thehistoryofwwe.com/wcw93.htm
  11. ^ http://www.thehistoryofwwe.com/wcw94.htm
  12. ^ http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/profiles/s/sam-houston.html
  13. ^ a b c d 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. 
  14. ^ a b Johnson, Steven (2006-03-01). "Sam Houston and Grizzly Smith rebuild their lives; Hurricane Katrina plus six months". SLAM! Sports. Retrieved 2009-03-24. 
  15. ^ a b Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 

External links[edit]