Rock 'n' Roll Express vs. Gangstas
Written by Adam Zimmerman
The Gangstas vs the Rock 'n' Roll Express is probably not a "mainstream feud" that most fans will remember but, for those that didn't get to see it unfold as it happened; you really missed out on one of the hottest feuds in pro wrestling! Not only one of the hottest feuds of the era but literally of all-time, in my opinion. The fans couldn't possibly have been more invested in seeing Ricky and Robert try to run this loud-mouthed, bigoted, violent group of troublemakers out of the promotion.
The Gangstas burst onto the Smoky Mountain Wrestling scene, seemingly out of nowhere. This was New Jack and Mustafa's first real run in the business so virtually no one watching had ever seen or heard of them before. They also seemingly showed up in the promotion for no other reason than to cause trouble and verbally berate the "rednecks" and "hillbillies" in the audience which (considering the old-school, "southern wrasslin" fans that SMW was geared toward) I'm sure there were quite a few of, in attendance, at all of their events.
The Rock 'n' Roll Express and The Gangstas proceeded to have a vicious blood-feud that would be a precursor to the level of violence that we would see from The Gangstas (especially New Jack) throughout the rest of their career.
Eventually, as with all great wrestling feuds, one team has to be the final victor. In this case, the Rock 'n' Roll Express fought the "good fight" and came out on top as The Gangstas eventually jumped ship to ECW, which is a promotion that was better suited for them, for sure. Still, for a brief period of time, The Gangstas and the Rock 'n' Roll Express had some of the most intense matches that I've ever seen! They're a must-see for any fan of the business.
On a personal side note, before I end this spotlight - whenever I talk about The Gangstas, I like to recount the time that my sister had her own run-in with New Jack at a Smoky Mountain Wrestling event. I asked her just the other day to recount it for me, as she best remembered...
She said she was coming back from the restrooms (I guess this was back in the day when a 9-10-year-old girl could actually go into a public restroom, unattended, without fear of something happening) and my family and I were in the stands waiting for the main event to start. That main event was, of course, The Gangstas vs Rock 'n' Roll Express. My sister was always a loud, boisterous (and perhaps obnoxious) kid so, she always liked to yell at the heel wrestlers when they were entering the ring. This being the case, she decided to stand by the entrance ramp and wait for The Gangstas to make their entrance.
As soon as they stepped through the curtain, my sister began to yell at them, "You suck! You suck!", which is admittedly pretty foul language coming from a 9-year-old girl. What was even fouler and more amusing was New Jack's response as he walked past her - he calmly turned and looked her in the face and said, "Yeah? Well, you will too when you get older".