REAL NAME: Peter Smith
BORN: August 5, 1967 in Halifax, Nova Scotia
6’6″, 300 pounds
AKA: Kingman, The Mighty Hercules, The Patriot, Brody Steele
Turns out The Mighty Hercules is a pretty good name for Peter Smith, who is on his second tour of duty with Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling this summer.
Smith, 32, actually competed in Maritime strongman competitions before getting involved in wrestling. His specialty was “grip strength”, carrying things like railroad ties or big dumb-bells in each hand — about 200-250 pounds a side. On one occasion, he went 1,200 feet with 250 pounds in each hand.
Now he is using that brute strength to topple opponent after opponent in the wrestling ring. Smith has only been at it since early 1998, when he got to know another Grand Prix wrestler, Wild Man Austin at a gym in his hometown of Shediac, New Brunswick. Austin got Smith to call promoter Emile Dupre but Dupre wasn’t interested. Not one to give up easily, Smith decided to pay Dupre a visit. One look at the 6’6″, 300 pound Smith and Dupre agreed to take him on.
Smith debuted in the summer of 1998 along with fellow trainee Rene Rougeau. Besides being in strongman competitions, he also played competitive softball and won a provincial bodybuilding competition one year. While he was at St. Mary’s University for two years, the football team tried to recruit him, but Smith wasn’t interested.
The Mighty Hercules’s first match – and win – came against Butcher Vachon (not Paul Vachon, but Roger Theriault). “I was scared to death,” remembered Smith for SlamWrestling.net. “I’ve never been so nervous about anything in my whole life.”
When last year’s tour ended, he headed west with Austin to train with Leo Burke in Calgary for two months. “Wrestling’s a lot bigger out there because of the Hart family,” Smith said. “[There’s] wrestlers everywhere.”
Smith trained with Burke at Bret “Hitman” Hart’s house and will always remember the hospitality of Hart’s family.
He also has a lot of praise for Burke. “Everything I know right now” came from Burke, he said.
It isn’t quite the same story when it comes to Can-Am Wrestling, a Calgary-based promotion that heads throughout the Prairies. The promoter there put a mask on Smith and dubbed him The Patriot, even though he dwarfs the better-known Patriot, Del Wilkes.
“[They] were hell-bent on putting a mask on me,” Smith said. “I hated every match I had with a mask.”
“Facial expressions mean everything, especially when you’re a big guy,” he said.
Burke is also affiliated with WCW, and Paul Orndorff came out to Halifax this summer to scout for the Time Warner owned company. Smith is heading down to Atlanta in October, and hopes to sign some sort of contract then.
Besides Can-Am and Grand Prix, Smith has also competed in the Maine-based EWA as Brody Steele. He said that the “money’s good” and that in one night he makes more there than one week in Grand Prix. Smith also likes the chance to be a bad guy and hone his skills on TV.
The highlight of this year’s Grand Prix tour for Smith was “the first night we wrestled in Halifax” because all his family and friends were there. He said that his parents “were a little skeptical at first” about this move into wrestling but now they are “the biggest marks there are.”
I would like to share a memory about Giant Mighty Hercules. I wish I could say that I had a positive memory about him but I don’t.
During the summer of ’99 when Grand Prix was in North Sydney, every weekend Giant Mighty Hercules was always there. At first we paid attention to him because the way the advertisements were he seemed to show promise. Even when we first saw how big he was we expected a good amount from him. What we got was disappointing to say the least. He did two moves (not counting the punch). Later that summer when we were insulting him during a match he took it personally and (out of character) challenged a friend of mine to fight him. Two shows later, the only Grand Prix I missed that summer, a young boy threw a chair at Herc and he thought it was another friend of mine and he shoved him and went after him. Thankfully, Joe E. Legend (a class act) got Herc’s head back in place. I know it may sound stupid when I’m criticizing Herc for being terrible when I’ve never wrestled before but I pay my hard-earned money to see people like Legend, Chi Chi and even Rene Rougeau. These men are professional wrestlers. There was nothing professional about Herc’s attitude.
-Ian Chilly Morrison
The RAW Wrestling match in Charlottetown where Kingman (aka Hercules in the Grand Prix circuit) went nuts on the fans was all instigated when some idiot kid ran to the ring and grabbed his boot and twisted his ankle. Security was nowhere to be found so he took it into his own hands. He plowed over one guy to get to the kid who wrenched his foot. I was right there and saw the whole thing so I deemed that the little punk kid got what he deserved.
Real Action Wrestling has come to Stellarton/New Glasgow twice thus far, and each time there was the mighty Kingman. I am a fan who had altercations with him, but I have nothing but good things to say. His confrontation with me was purely excellency in playing to the fans. He pulled me over the guardrail in the first show, and teased a beating on me. On the second show, two weeks later, he spit on me, then shoved me back several rows. But I enjoyed this! He played to the crowd well, and later on in the match when he “ran into me again,” I laid into him with several forearm shots (fake of course) and he sold them (pretended to be hurt) I then held him while Chi Chi Cruz punched away. THAT is ultimate fan participation, and I enjoyed it so much! Kudos to Kingman… I just can’t wait to see how we further our “feud” next time RAW comes to town.
-Ben “the Lyon” McCully