Former ECW, WCW and WWE star Tracy Smothers was on VOC Nation’s “In the Room” to give an update on his cancer battle and gave a reflection on his career. Last December, Smothers revealed that he was diagnosed with Stage III Lymphoma. He talked about his current condition during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m doing better, completed six rounds of chemo, so that was just a battle,” Smothers updated. “I’ve been done with that for a little bit. I’m just trying to stay in [with] this [pandemic] going on. My immune [system] is still kinda low so I have to watch it. I have a check up on Thursday to see what’s going on. I’m just trying to stay on top of it and take my medicines right, just kinda laying low and hoping things get back to normal.”
Chris Hero, f.k.a. Kassius Ohno in WWE, started a GoFund Me to support Smothers and recently gave an update on the fundraiser. In regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, Smothers talked about the tough adjustment that many people have had to go through.
“It’s changed the world, it’s changed everybody’s lives, so we just gotta adjust. It’s hard,” Smothers admitted. “You get stir crazy, restless, things like that you know? You took for granted a lot of stuff, right? My gosh, just sitting down eating at a restaurant somewhere or going to a ball game. It’s crazy, the new normal.”
Smothers also took time to reflect on his career. He talked about the fun he had while also dealing with many hardships like the passing of many of his close friends.
“I got to travel a lot of the world, I wouldn’t have done that with any other job,” Smothers noted. “I [could have] played the game a little better politically and stuff and done a little better. It’s like anything, a lot of politics; that’s all part of it. I always stayed busy. It’s always a lot of fun to go to another country, somewhere you’ve never been. The saddest thing is that a lot of my friends are dead. It’s so sad. It just breaks your heart when you see their kids, widows, and things like that, it’s just terrible.”
Many wrestlers have taken the time to celebrate the life of Shad Gaspard over the past few days and weeks. Smothers talked about the time he worked with Gaspard and JTG and praised their work ethic.
“A couple years ago in Owensboro, Kentucky for WWA, Guido and myself worked Shad and JTG,” Smothers revealed. “That’s the only time I ever worked with him, and it went good. Those guys had a good mind for the business and I don’t know why [WWE] ever let him go. Good guys.
“He was doing the acting and stunt work. Guys had good heads on their shoulders. September or October was the last time I saw him.”
Smothers worked briefly in WWE in the late ’90s and early 2000s. However, injuries had affected Smothers, and he talked about the injuries he suffered while in WWE.
“I had a ripped groin, and I had done it in Japan,” Smothers said. “I had like four tours in a row before I got there and I ripped it on the second night of the tour. I slipped on some water outside of the ring and I did the splits. I couldn’t train like I wanted to, I couldn’t move like I wanted to.”
As Smothers noted earlier, he did not play the political game of wrestling. He talked about how politics was a big part of his WWE experience.
“A lot of politics,” Smothers admitted. “Jim Cornette brought us in, and I guess he had some heat with the office with some of them in there, and might have had some heat with Shawn, and you’re kind of guilty by association. “That’s part of it, it happens. Not the first time, and it’s not going to be the last. I was there a year, and I went to ECW after that.”
Smothers has worked for Cornette and Paul Heyman throughout his time in WWE and ECW. He called them the two best minds he’s ever worked for and compared their styles.
“Two of the best minds in the business that I ever worked for,” Smothers stated. “If you could get them working together you’d probably have something, but they’d probably try to kill each other. Jimmy would think way ahead, where Paul is a lot on the fly. Paul would write on the napkin. Jimmy would plan way ahead. Jimmy was the last of the old territory [guys], and Paul’s ECW concept changed the whole business. Both of them made a lot of guys stars, two of the smartest guys I’ve known.”
Smothers also named other wrestlers and promoters that he felt also had great minds for the business. He named people like Michael Hayes and Jerry Lawler as well as a few others.
“I’d put Michael Hayes in there too,” Smothers said. “I always thought Terry Taylor had a good mind for the business. Dutch Mantell, Lawler, Arn Anderson, guys like that.”