I couldn’t believe what I was seeing…sitting in a “sports center” in Harrisburg, Pa. that Saturday night in 2014, where I had come to see the main event of AR Fox vs AJ Styles, I was first captivated by man I had never heard of before. A man named Eddie Smooth. Smooth took on Anthony Neese that night in an amazing match that caused me to want to know more about Smooth, and from that point forward that’s exactly what I did. Wrestling Done Right, while not in existence at that point, was technically born that night because as I began to get to know Smooth, and follow his career, I asked myself “why can’t every indy wrestler be this good?” Ultimately I know that’s not really fair. Smooth was special, a prodigy even. Smooth began training in pro wrestling as a teenager in Philadelphia with guys like Devon Moore. I’ve seen tapes of Smooth and Moore wrestling in their back yards doing things that many wrestlers can’t do after years of working the indy scene. It just came natural to Smooth. His athletic ability and insistence on always keeping in top physical shape simply allowed him to do things others only dreamed of. When he moved from Philadelphia to Harrisburg Pa he hooked up with local indy promoter Rob Noxious and performed regularly for Noxious’s “Classic Championship Wrestling.” While there he was noticed by a rival promotion called “The Ultimate Wrestling Experience” who asked him to consider working with them. Smooth agreed and that is when his rise to much greater recognition began.
As the years went on I watched Smooth take on all the top “indy” names in the business. Smooth had five star matches with guys like AR Fox, Amasis, and Shane Strickland, in the UWE. After the UWE folded Smooth faced men like Sean Carr, Lio Rush, PJ Black, Façade, Cedric Alexander, and Johnny Gargano in Pro Wrestling Empire, MCW Pro Wrestling, and Legacy Wrestling, where Smooth held both the Legacy and PWE championships, holding the Legacy title for over a year. During this run Smooth appeared for Global Force Wrestling, defeating their current X-Division Champion Sonjay Dutt, and BLK Jeez, as well as for Combat Zone Wrestling on their 2015 Cage of Death Show in a Best of the Best elimination match where he lost to another GFW star, Dezmond Xavier. Smooth was a key part of the faction “Hollywood’s Finest.” He complimented Kevin Murphy, Laszlo Arpad, and BooKoo Buckz perfectly. When Andy Vineberg came into the faction late in its life, Smooth worked wonderfully with him as well. This faction was one of the biggest heel factions in all of indy wrestling, but much like Smooth, didn’t get all the credit they deserved for their hard work.
The most amazing thing about Smooth was his part time schedule. While everyone who knew of him, and enjoyed his matches, pleaded for him to work more, what many didn’t know is that Smooth was working a full time job while also attending nursing classes. The fact that this man could just show up at a venue and steal the show was unbelievable. Since beginning to work with Legacy wrestling myself (as a commentator) and working closely with PWE, many times I’ve seen Smooth arrive just before show time, get in his gear, and go have the match of the night. Afterwards, due to his hectic schedule, he would leave while still in his gear, apologizing to everyone as he did so since he wasn’t able to stick around. Since successfully graduating, Smooth has gone on to have an amazing career. He’s a happily married man, having two beautiful children. While I believe that Smooth could have “made it,” he had a decision to make. Give up all that he had worked hard to accomplish to toil on the independent scene possibly for years, in hopes that the WWE or GFW would notice and reward him with a handsome full time contract, or accept that he had a nice little run in independent professional wrestling and concentrate on his successful medical career and family. How can anyone fault him for deciding to go with career and family? It also doesn’t help that he has many nagging injuries that he’s too proud to complain about openly. He’d rather take “heat” for leaving the business because “it’s not good enough for Eddie Smooth!” That’s classic Eddie Smooth and when I think about it, there really is no other way to do it for that “character” or to stay in the world of professional wrestling…gimmick.
I’ll miss Eddie Smooth on the wrestling scene. He was a measuring stick to all of those around him. As I mentioned earlier in this article, Smooth was the start of “Wrestling Done Right” because he spoiled me. His unbelievable talent, skills, and ability, is how I judged everyone else. Don’t blame Eddie for that though, he was as humble of a man as I’ve ever met. While in gimmick he was as brash, and cocky as any “heel” has ever been, the man behind Eddie Smooth however was friendly, generous, and kind. It’s that man that I hope to remain friends with because even outside wrestling he still does things “right.” Central Pennsylvania independent wrestling is better because of Eddie Smooth, and you should thank him for that. You can see Eddie’s last match on October 21st at the Zembo Shrine for Pro Wrestling Empire as he takes on his former stable mates Kevin Murphy, Laszlo Arpad, and Ryan Kolby, with manager Andy Vineberg locked in a shark cage. If you aren’t familiar with Smooth, do yourself a favor and Google him. Many of his matches are on YouTube. Below is an interview I had with him early on in his career that I’m proud of. It was a blast doing it, and I think really helped show the world just who Eddie Smooth was!
Thank you Eddie Smooth for Wrestling Done Right!
Kevin R. Kelly
10/10/2017 11:37:29 pm
There's no doubt that Eddie SmOOoOOth is a great talent and he will be tremendously missed by many professional wrestling fans. I saw him at the UWE matches that your article referred to and, if anything, your praise for his performances is understated.
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