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29We are continuing to pay tribute here at Mr. X’s Punch Out to all the amazing African Americans that have stepped foot into the squared circle for Black History Month. For today, we are covering a man who probably doesn’t get enough credit for his career, but he is currently helping to launch others careers in NXT. I am talking about the one and only Norman Smiley and the match that I am covering with him is his match with former Nasty Boys member Brian Knobbs. WCW decided to introduce a hardcore championship to the company to counter the WWE who had introduced it the year before. So at WCW Mayhem 1999 from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Smiley would face Knobs in the finals with Knobs being accompanied to the ring by the “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart. Norman dressed in a full Toronto Maple Leafs goalie outfit and gear made his way down to ringside, but before he could get in the ring, Knobs would attack him right away. He started beating Norman with the trash can and trash can lid repeatedly over the head. When he tried climbing the ropes to do a splash with the trash can, Norman moved out of the way and intercepted the incoming trash can that Hart threw in the ring.

30Norman would return the favor with the trash can as well as the goalie stick, but Norman’s problem would be the showboating as Knobs was able to regain control. The two would eventually take the fight right to the backstage area where they used chairs, trash can lids, and other goodies. I mean these two were beating each other senseless like Norman with a broom or Knobs with a crutch, table, etc. At one point in the match, Knobs threw Smiley into a freight elevator and started to attack him. Before Jimmy Hart could enter, the freight elevator closed. With a trash can in hand, Jimmy was ready to assault Smiley, but as soon as the doors reopened, he hit Knobs by accident which was the opening that Smiley needed. Despite losing the match, Knobs attacked both Jimmy Hart and Norman Smiley leaving them lying in a pile of food. Norman was the very first WCW Hardcore Champion.

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