John LaRocca talks Bison Smith

Hi Dave,
I am very sad to hear the passing of Bison Smith today.  Mark Smith was
probably one of the most impressive workers to ever graduate from the
APW Boot Camp.  I honestly only talked with Mark a few times in APW.  I
actually new his wife Amanda as we went to school together at Santa
Teresa High School in San Jose.  They met when she attended an APW show
and they married and had a son together.  Not sure if they stayed
together or not, but I haven't talked with her a long time.
Mark was always a quite and respectful guy.   About a year after his
debut was when I moved to Modesto.   In Modesto, I wasn't involved with
APW much then, but I did make it to a few shows here and there.  I
remember going to a show and seeing Mark Smith in his new gimmick as
Super Destroyer 2000.   As Mark Smith, he is a powerhouse wrestler, but
never really showed much charisma.  As the Super Destroyer 2000,  Mark
was able to find that charisma and learn to his body language to get
over emotion the mask hides.   I believe it was Michael Modest who
suggested the mask the Super Destroyer 2000 gimmick for Mark.   After
the mask was off, Mark fully understood how to work with facial
expressions and body language.  This led to being one of the most
successful gaijin's in NOAH.  With so many wrestlers passing away at a
young age, I have become numb to the news.  But Mark's passing really
hit home.

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