Alex Marvez’s latest column focuses on Norman Smiley being hired as a trainer for Florida Championship Wrestling, WWE’s developmental league. How would you like an excerpt?
Smiley has fought to get into WWE since WCW folded in 2001. He wrestled numerous tryout matches and had strong internal support from long-time friends like Rey Mysterio and MVP, who worked with Smiley on the South Florida independent circuit as Antonio Banks.
Smiley, though, inexplicably couldn’t catch a break.
“Even my mother has told me how strange it is that WWE wouldn’t hire me to wrestle but to teach their guys,” a laughing Smiley said. “But regardless of how you cut it, I have a job there and who knows what could happen.”
I think I know what could happen, and I don’t like the options. Either my homeboy “Screamin'” Norman — who was one of the highlights of Monday Nitro after Vince Russo took over — won’t get a full-time WWE wrestling job, or he will only show up once on Smackdown to do a job to Vladimir Kozlov and then the next week on ECW to job to Mike Knox. Hey, maybe he can team with D-Lo Brown to lose to some tag teams. I fondly remember Smiley doing the silly archer pose in Florida in the ’80s, then on WCW Saturday Night before doing the hilarious screamer gimmick. But my memories of his wrestling skills are equally fond, and while I miss Norm on my TV, I really think this is a good, smart move by WWE. -Eric