CM Punk Inspired By Tracy Smothers For His ‘Heels’ Character: I Wish He Was Here To See This, I Think He’d Love It
Photo Credit: STARZ
Legends never die, as is the case for the late Tracy Smothers.
AEW star CM Punk recently appeared at a screening to promote the STARZ hit series Heels and he was asked about some of the pro wrestlers that inspired his “Ricky Rabies” character on the show. Punk previously teased the character by saying hardcore fans would know what to look for in his portrayal. He told WrestleZone that fans would be “tickled pink” by his take on Ricky Rabies, and now told the audience in Chicago (via Wrestling Inc.) about how much Smothers inspired his character, and how he influenced his own wrestling career.
“Ricky Rabies is Tracy Smothers. We lost Tracy a couple of years ago and he was a guy, he was the first name I ever wrestled. I wrestled Tracy Smothers in a barn in Southern Indiana in 1999 or 2000, something like that. And he just walked up to me and said ‘hey man. I’ve seen you work, you’re good. Listen, I can’t remember sh-t, so is it okay if we just go out there and do it? I can’t memorize this and that. We can talk about it but I’ll just forget it. So can we go out there?’ And I was terrified because at that stage of my career I would have to sit down and be like ‘you want to do this and then I’ll do this and then we’ll go do this?’ So I went out there and Tracy knew what he was doing.”
Punk then explained how Smothers improvised during one match they had and wanted to use nachos as a weapon. Punk was initially skeptical but said Smothers told him how to work through it, and he went on to credit Tracy with teaching him how to work.
“And I remember at one time in the match he grabbed somebody’s nachos. And he had the nacho cheese in his hand. Now I’m in a barn in Southern Indiana, there’s no shower, there’s no nothing. I drive from Chicago all the way down there, five and a half, six hours, and then we get the car and we drive back. And we’re lucky if we get gas money. He’s about to hit me with this and he goes ‘block it. Hit me with the cheese brother.’ I was like ‘f-ck yeah!’ I learned how to work because of Tracy Smothers. I only wish he was here to see this ridiculous sh-t, because I think he’d love it.”
— player/coach (@CMPunk) August 29, 2021
You can watch CM Punk’s debut in episode three on STARZ now. Punk spoke with WrestleZone about his preparation for the character and if he considered taking anything from his Heels run as a keepsake.
“I may or may not have a few things of Ricky Rabies. I don’t know. I’ll just say allegedly, maybe, I have a rat or two. You gotta wait and see the show to know what I’m talking about, but I do have a Ricky Rabies shirt that the crew graciously gave me, and I wear it proudly,” Punk stated. “I got some Ricky Rabies stickers too because Ricky was a big merch guy. He was selling stickers and t-shirts at intermission.”