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JT Smith.jpg

John T. Smith[2][1] is an American retired professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, J.T. Smith. He is best known for his appearances with Extreme Championship Wrestling in the 1990s.

Smith's greatest success came as a result of a legitimate mistake. In 1995, in his first match back after recovering from a previous injury, Smith attempted a suicide dive to the outside, but failed to get enough elevation; his knee pads caught on the ropes and he landed head-first on the arena floor. This resulted in a large, softball-sized swelling on his head, but Smith was able to improvise a finish to the match. Paul Heyman turned this into a comedic storyline where Smith's injury and resulting concussion gave him mild brain damage, and he began believing he was Italian, even talking with an Italian accent. Smith also began pretending to botch other maneuvers on a regular basis. He befriended Italian wrestler "Big" Val Puccio, and started behaving like a cheerful but arrogant villain. The ECW fans jeered Smith when he attempted a maneuver and failed, but this time with a degree of affection.

This successful gimmick continued, and resulted in the formation a faction known as The Full Blooded Italians along with Little Guido, Tracy Smothers and Tommy Rich. While the F.B.I. claimed to be purebred Italians, the fact that Smothers and Rich were Southern and Smith was African American made this claim obviously dubious. Nonetheless, the F.B.I. achieved a degree of success as they won the World Tag Team Championship twice.

See Also

ECW Alumni

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