Michael Smith aka Professional Wrestling’s Sam Houston Talks about Losing it All and Living to Tell the Tale, More

Sam Houston, Pro Wrestler Sam Houston, Sam Houston 2016, Sam Houston Pro Wrestling

Some people face more challenges and setbacks than others. Professional wrestler Sam Houston’s story is full of setbacks. But through them all, Houston – real name Michael Smith – has found a way to keep going. Consequently, he still is in the wrestling ring today.

Sam Houston has worked in the biggest pro wrestling promotions from the WWE to WCW to Jim Crockett Promotions, among others. He has been in the ring with Ric Flair, the late Curt Henning, Arn Anderson, Bam-Bam Bigelow, Eddie Gilbert and countless others. In the WWE, one of his career highlights was being part of the first Royal Rumble. The Royal Rumble would go on to be one of the most popular annual events in pro wrestling.

Beyond his in ring persona, his father, the late Grizzy Smith, brother Jake “The Snake” Roberts [see past CYInterview coverage of Jake here] and sister Rockin’ Robin make up one of the great pro wrestling families. For a time, Michael Smith was married to one of the most well known women in professional wrestling history, Baby Doll. The couple had two children, one of whom is continuing the family tradition in the squared circle.

Away from the ring, Smith’s battle with drugs and alcohol made life challenging. From 2009 to 2013, Mr. Smith served time in prison. While locked up, he says he contemplated taking his own life, tried and consequently failed.

After surviving prison, Mr. Smith got back into the ring as Sam Houston. He still actively performs today. But after all his mistakes, he says he accepts responsibility for his actions. Recently, he suffered his latest setback. As a resident of Louisiana, Michael says he lost everything in the recent floods there. A GoFundMe page has been created to help him through his latest challenge. The natural disaster caused him to relocate to Las Vegas, where his half-brother Jake Roberts currently lives.

Throughout his entire life, the pro wrestler known as Sam Houston has marched on through the good, the bad and the ugly. For over 50 minutes he shares his story with us. You can read the highlights and listen to the entire CYInterview below:

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Focusing on his life today and how the recent Louisiana floods impacted his life, Sam Houston told us this:

“I’m still moving forward. You know, in life you just keep getting knocked down, but you just gotta keep getting back up. Yeah. I lost everything in Katrina. I lost everything in the Northridge Earthquake in Los Angeles in the early 90s. I lost, you know, several times over a tornado hit my house. I’m beginning to think weather is following me. No. And just recently I lost everything about six weeks ago in the floods in Louisiana and that was a hard pill to swallow because after Katrina with a computer and stuff I had tried to start to put my things, my life back together and start over again after Katrina and I was able to find some old photos and I started a collection of memorabilia up again and was doing quite well and then I got hit with the five years where I was a ward of the state, you know and I came through that. I haven’t had a drop, drink in over seven years.

When I came out of prison, I rededicated my life to the Lord. But I still want to wrestle too, you know, and I want to get the message out because I do have a really strong message and I want to tell people how God has helped me in my life. But then I was putting everything together and then getting hit by the floods, you know, a few weeks ago and lose it all again. Well, I reached the point to where I could’ve either broke and thrown it all way or but I chose to keep moving forward and not let it push me down. I mean I ain’t got nothing. I got my pickup truck and I got a few things, that’s what I got and I keep moving forward.”

His time in prison, from 2009 to 2013, stemmed from a probation violation for past DUI convictions. It was in prison that he tried to end his life, but fortunately failed. A few days after his attempted suicide, his mother passed away and it was at that moment he promised never to have another drink of alcohol. He says it has been seven years without a drink:

“They put me on murder’s row because I was a security risk. I’m a professional athlete. So I’m in there with the worst of the worst of the worst of mankind really. And on Saturday night I took my bed sheet and I slit it into pieces and then I braided it together and I made 2 nooses. I ran the nooses through the bars and I put the nooses over my neck, over my head and I said, ‘God, only you can stop this.’

And I jumped and both nooses broke. When both nooses broke I dropped to my knees that night and I prayed to God and I told him I wouldn’t ever gonna try to hurt myself like that again. Four days later my mom died, her liver shut down and that’s the day I dropped to my knees and I promised my mom, God and myself that I was never gonna take a drink again. And that’s been over seven years ago.”

Focusing on more positive things, his time in the ring in WWE, WCW, Jim Crockett Promotions and beyond, created a legacy of a man who gave his all in the ring. Being from one of the most accomplished pro wrestling families, the Smiths, he shares this:

“I don’t think they’ve forgotten what kind of a family we’re from. I think they may not want to acknowledge it, maybe they’re, I don’t know, you know, you’re not gonna get. We’re not gonna get the, ‘cause I guess with our pasts and everything, we’re not gonna get the recognition maybe that, I don’t know, that we deserve.”

Sam Houston, Michael Smith, Pro Wrestler Sam Houston

Michael Smith aka the pro wrestler Sam Houston

If you wanted to sum up Sam Houston’s career, his own words are a great starting point:

“Barry [Darsow] came to me at the CAC’s and he told me, he said, ‘Sam,’ He goes, ‘All of my best matches in my career were with you.’ You know, you just don’t know how that makes a guy feel you know. And when somebody like Curt Henning tells me, Curt told me, he said he had his best match in his life was with Bret Hart. His second best was Nick Bockwinkel. And he goes, ‘And you’re the third.’ You know, what a feather, man, in my cap.

Or to be able to get in there with a guy like Eddie Gilbert and just I mean tear the joint down. You know, there’s no other feeling like that. And I use to get that feeling on a nightly basis. You know, I don’t know, I guess I was likable for the fans. The fans got behind me. We sort of jelled. I think the fans knew that more than anything else I was enjoying myself when I was in the ring.”

Today with the help of his half brother Jake Roberts, he is temporarily living in Las Vegas. With that assistance and help from a veteran of the armed services, Jamie Morris, and others, Sam is continuing to work to surmount a variety of challenges. On living in Las Vegas with his brother Jake, he says this:

“Getting back together with him was great and it wasn’t like we’re crossing, you know, I’m going one way and he’s going another way and we got 10 to 15 minutes in the hallway right there, we’re talking. You know, it’s nothing like that at all. After Wrestle Con last year, I went and I saw his mother at a nursing home up north in Dallas and when I walked in, you know and I asked her how she was doing and she told me, she said, ‘You need to get your brothers here’ So I got both my brothers, I got both on the phone, I called and I said, ‘Your mom’s not in a very good way. You know, you need to get here.’

And they both made it and Ms. Paula passed on Friday evening. But as soon as they got there, you know, I knew it was their time. But the one thing that I thank the Lord for allowing me to do is helping me to get my brothers down here so they could have that valuable time with their mom. And then after that, my brother extended the hand to me. And that really means a lot to me. You know, I mean my brother’s one of the greatest that’s ever put a pair of boots on. You know, and a lot of people say that, you know, I am too. But I don’t know. My work is great in the ring. When I’m in the ring there’s nothing better. And I give it all I got.”

Those interested in contributing to Sam Houston’s GoFundMe page can do so clicking here.

Chck out Sam Houston on Facebook here.

Pro wrestling promoters and others interested in booking Sam for matches and paid appearances can do so by emailing
samhoustonbrand@gmail.com

You can email Chris Yandek at ChrisYandek@CYInterview.com

You can follow Chris Yandek on Twitter here.

Trackbacks for this post

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