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Sam Houston

Real Name - Michael Samuel “Mike” Smith

Birthdate - 10/11/63

6’2” 220 lbs. - Waco, TX


Athletic Background - n/a

Teacher(s) - Grizzly Smith

Professional Background - Florida(`83), JCP/NWA(`85-`86), Central States(`86), UWF(`87), WWF(`87-`91), WCW(`91), USWA(`91), GWF(`92), WCW(`93-`94)

AliasesMichael Houston, Midnight Rider

Groups - none

Peak Years - `85-`91



Finisher(s) - 

- Bulldog


Favorites -

- Springing Body Press

- Dropkick

- Armdrag into Armbar

- Hip Toss

- Uppercutt



Ringwork Rating - 

 Move Set5
 Science3
 Aerial2
 Power6
 Strikes7


Intangibles Rating - 

 Entertainment6
 Selling7
 Bumping7
 Carrying6
 Heat6
 Legacy3


Place in History - Success in pro-wrestling depends so heavily on timing and luck.  Even if someone has the talent in the ring, the credibility of being a second generation wrestler and a classic babyface character.  Michael Smith was the son Grizzly Smith, making him the half-brother to Jake Roberts and also the older brother in Rockin’ Robin. He broke in down in Florida and showed promise from the start.  Not unlike a young Barry Windham, he possessed a natural gift for pro-wrestling. Just like Barry, he took a different name than his father (and even his brother) and was tall and lean with hopes of filling out.  Named for the legendary Texan Sam Houston and taking on a cowboy persona, it seemed like he just needed to find the right spot. He was brought into Jim Crockett Promotions as it was taking off under Dusty Rhodes’ booking and made a protege of Dusty’s and Magnum TA’s.  While he was mainly putting over top heels, Sam Houston was excellent in the role. It was during this time that he became involved with Baby Doll (Nickla Roberts). The relationship is credited with the downfall of both of their careers. Allegedly Dusty did not approve and he turned Baby Doll heel before banishing her and Houston to the recently acquired Central States territory.  Sam Houston, who once showed such promise, decided to leave. The dying UWF and then the monster-obsessed WWF were never places where he could grow. By 1991, Sam Houston was not even twenty and yet he had spent so much time as an underneath talent that breaking out was going to be difficult. He worked around and was still excellent in the ring, but opportunities just never came. By the mid-1990s, his drinking was ruining his marriage and life.  He and Baby Doll divorced. A string of arrests for driving under the influence landed him in prison. Hurricane Katrina upended life for he and his father who was now living with him. The story of Sam Houston is one of pro-wrestling’s saddest, a gifted young man who seemed like he was a star on the rise and within a few years was merely a footnote with his life in a downward spiral.
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