According to Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful, Smothers announced last year on Facebook that he had been diagnosed with lymphoma.
Many well-known performers currently and formerly in the wrestling business took some time to praise and remember Smothers on Wednesday. Among them were WWE Superstars Kevin Owens and Ricochet, former WWE Superstar CM Punk, AEW announcer Jim Ross, AEW manager and former ECW star Taz and former WCW President Eric Bischoff:
Fresh from a shower, covered in soap and barely holding a towel to his body he fought police dogs during a riot in ECW. He was one of a kind.The Wild Eyed Southern Boy, and he left his mark on the wrestling business. I love Tracy Smothers. Rest in power Tracy, watch the cheese5/5
Very sad to learn that Tracy Smothers passed. He was a great wrestler and an even better person. He was always cutting up and busting chops in the locker room...just a fun talented dude always smiling. A spectacular career wrestling everywhere you could imagine over his years! https://t.co/L0RERBn7ve
Smothers competed in essentially every major professional wrestling company during his long and successful career with his first big break coming in Florida Championship Wrestling where he teamed with Steve Armstrong.
The duo made their way to WCW in the early 1990s as the Southern Boys and then the Young Pistols. In WCW, Smothers and Armstrong feuded with Michael "PS" Hayes and Jimmy Garvin of the Fabulous Freebirds and they held the WCW United States Tag Team Championships.
Smothers made the move to Jim Cornette's Smoky Mountain Wrestling in 1992, and he performed as one of the promotion's top stars until 1995, winning the SMW Heavyweight Championship twice.
The Springfield, Tennessee, native joined WWE in 1996 and wrestled under the name Freddie Joe Floyd until 1998. While Smothers was essentially an enhancement talent in WWE, he faced some of the biggest stars in the history of the business during his stint, including "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Triple H.
During and after his time in WWE, Smothers also worked for ECW where he was part of the Full Blooded Italians (FBI) stable. Smothers held the ECW Tag Team Championships once with Little Guido.
Even after his ECW tenure ended in 2000, Smothers remained deeply rooted in the wrestling business. He was a constant presence on the independent scene, had a brief run in TNA and was part of some ECW reunion shows for WWE in 2005.
Smothers continued to wrestle well into his 50's and had a match as recently as September 2019 when he faced current AEW star Marko Stunt in GCW.
While Smothers was never a top star in any of the biggest wrestling companies, he was a headliner in the southern territories and his influence was felt throughout the wrestling world.