The Furious Flashbacks – Smoky Mountain Wrestling TV Episodes 9 & 10
The Furious Flashbacks – Smoky Mountain Wrestling TV Episodes 9 & 10
The continuing adventures of Jim Cornette’s rasslin company
My bid to talk you all through the history of SMW got somewhat derailed when I went through a spell of not buying DVD’s after the Benoit tragedy. As soon as I was back in business one of the first orders of the day was to acquire some more Smoky so here we are with episodes 9 & 10. Just to remind you what was going on;
• Ron Wright had finally brought in a wrestler; Dirty White Boy (TL Hopper).
• Tim Horner had upset Rip Rogers by stopping his squat record bid then beat him in the ring the following week.
• The SMW tag title tournament was underway but Jim Cornette’s team was yet to be revealed.
• The Fantastics v the Wild Bunch has become the focus of the promotion in order to showcase the tag tournament.
• Still on the backburner is the previous top feud of Brian Lee v Dutch Mantell.
EPISODE #9. AIRDATE – March 28th 1992.
We’re in Knoxville, TN. Hosts are Bob Caudle & Dutch Mantell. Bob runs down the antics on tap for this evening. Mantell points out a singles tournament is forthcoming also.
Jumpin’ Joey Maggs v Dirty White Boy w/Ron Wright
Maggs is a former WCW jobber but as a face so he’s popular. Ron Wright joins the commentary to complain about the fans not sending him any money to help a poor old crippled man. He says the people can’t read too good around here so demands the charity “Mr Wright’s Operation” get an onscreen plug, which follows. DWB struggles to get going with Maggs armdragging him and using his superior speed. DWB clotheslines Maggs in the back of the neck and hits a neckbreaker for 2. Caudle chastises DWB for attacking from behind but Mantell claims Maggs was running away. I love heel commentators. Maggs comes back with a convoluted Enzuigiri. DWB clobbers him and nails the Bucksnort Blaster (back suplex into a chokeslam) for the pin. ½*. Jobber fodder Joey Maggs loses again!
BACKSTAGE Bob Armstrong announces a heavyweight tournament on May 15th. It’s Volunteer Slam the first big show from SMW and it’ll take place in Knoxville. Named as seeds already are Dirty White Boy, Brian Lee, Tim Horner, Robert Gibson and Jimmy Golden. There are six wildcards who have to compete against each other to get into the tournament; Dixie Dy-No-Mite, Dutch Mantell, Scott Anthony, Hector Guerrero, Buddy Landell and Paul Orndorff. So, hang on, Dirty White Boy gets seeded but Paul Orndorff doesn’t? What kind of crazy world is this? So the Wildcards face each other for the remaining spots and Volunteer Slam sees the final 8 men fight in a one night tournament. Dutch is confused as to why he’s not seeded. We get a profile of Tim Horner, which is incredibly cheesy. Sadly we get to hear him singing a country song to cap it off. BOOO! Ok, he’s heel to me now. The freeze frame at the end cracks me. We cut to Bob Holly who explains why he’s not in the title tournament. His logic is somewhat confusing although basically he doesn’t need to beat 3 guys in one night. He’ll just challenge the winner.
Tommy Angel v Jimmy Golden
Golden sportingly offers a handshake. Angel is quite a big guy for a jobber and throws Golden around. Shame about the mullet. Caudle says that the Koloff’s haven’t paid their fines for no showing last week so they’re out until they do. Golden is a tall guy so he uses his height with a big backdrop. Angel with a “flying” forearm. One of those Jericho ones where the protagonist doesn’t leave the mat. Golden busts out a dropkick and that’s enough for the quick pin. ½*. Another job match.
POST MATCH Golden stops his good sportsmanship and wails on Angel. Robert Gibson makes the save. Gibson heads over to the announce booth to say he’d love to get Golden in the tournament at Volunteer Slam. We take a break and we return with Jim Cornette. He has a new tape of his tag team. The reporter says that Cornette is 10 minutes late already. He turns up with no team present. He says secrecy is very important because his team is THAT big he can’t take them anywhere. A limo turns up but a pack of screaming girls show up so we can’t see them. Cornette blames the reporter. “You can’t bring stars to a hillbilly location”. He says next week he’ll unveil his team in privacy. We take another break and Dutch complains some more about the tournament. He calls shenanigans and promises a lawsuit.
Joe Cazana v Brian Lee
Lee is getting over just because he’s out here every show winning, which seems to work for SMW. Can’t argue with the logic. This match is pretty bad with both guys just punching at each other. Only neither guy has a good punch. Lee picks it up with armdrags and a powerslam. He’s taken to controlling Cazana and finishes with the Cancellation. ½*. These matches are getting briefer.
POST MATCH Lee goes over to the announce table to lay into Dutch verbally. He offers Dutch a shot next week. If Dutch wins he gets Lee’s spot in the tournament. Lee is desperate to put a beating on Dutch. That’s next week!
CLIPS we see the final moments of last week’s tag match. The Wild Bunch put a severe beating on the Fantastics to set up tonight’s match.
The Wild Bunch v The Fantastics
It’s Jackie Fulton rather than Tommy Rogers unfortunately. This starts out on the mat with some nice countering. The Wild Bunch are Joel Deaton and Billy Black. The Fulton’s work in some double teaming with a double hip toss. The Wild Bunch bring their own teaming and it seems every time a double team comes into play the tide changes. In come the Fulton’s and Black is Irish whipped into a dropkick. This is all nice stuff. Black comes back with a Russian legsweep and the floatover into the pin is slick. Deaton gets caught with a double dropkick and Black gets sent out too. The Wild Bunch consider violence to get back into it. The ref won’t let the chair come into play. Jackie gets suckered with Black clotheslining him in the back of the head. Meanwhile Deaton chokes him while Bobby has the ref distracted by complaining of the illegality of everything the Wild Bunch are doing. Jackie escapes a piledriver and gets the tag. The Wild Bunch pick off Bobby with double teaming. Black hits a great running flip senton. They’re so far advanced in the ring over everyone else in this company. It’s scary. Black hits a Northern Lights suplex for 2. Deaton is less good. He reminds me of a reject from the New Blackjacks. The heels pull illegal switches while drawing in Jackie, which is good old school tag team isolation work. Cut off the ring. Deaton with a Boston crab. Bobby manages to power out but how much does he have left? Deaton throws him out to Black who chokes him with a chair at ringside. Bobby forward rolls to avoid a big elbow and hot tags Jackie. He hits a sloppy German suplex with Black saving. Wild Bunch cheap shot Jackie from outside and Deaton hits a DDT. Way too slow to capitalise on that. Black heads up and the moonsault should finish but Bobby is up to stop it. Deaton should have kept him at bay and the Wild Bunch would have won. Bobby does just that with Deaton and the distracted Black gets schoolboyed by Jackie for the pin. ***. Solid formula tag and a good finish to a show peppered with mediocre wrestling. The Wild Bunch looked great. Especially Billy Black.
POST MATCH the Maulers tell the Fantastics they don’t respect them and they’ll knock them out of the tournament. Bob Caudle cuts off Jack Victory before he can say anything. BOOO! HIGH SPOT!
EPISODE #10. AIRDATE – 4TH April 1992.
We’re in Knoxville, TN. Hosts are Bob Caudle & Dutch Mantell. Bob runs down the card. Dutch is ready to wrestle and take Brian Lee’s spot at Volunteer Slam.
Barry Horowitz v Dixie Dynomite
Dixie is masked. He’s better known under his real name of Scott Armstrong. Not a surprise he’s competing in the same company as his old man. He wears confederacy colours, which wouldn’t go down too well in certain parts of the country or in front of certain audiences but here it’s fine. DD is much faster than your average SMW competitor. Horowitz is, as per usual, ready to sell and up for trying different moves and whatnot. DD tries some highflying but it doesn’t work well. Barry accidentally clotheslines the ring post allowing DD to hit a high crossbody for 2. Barry gets caught in an armbar but comes back with a leg whip. This is pretty good! Barry takes the leg and makes it one limb versus another. Dutch tells us how he was a straight A student, did 4 sports and worked 40 hours a week. Did you sleep Dutch? “Captain of the debate team”. Guess not. Barry really slows this down on the mat and hits another leg whip. They counter standing and sadly selling goes out the window as DD hits a superkick for the pin. **1/2. Now that was a REALLY FUCKING GOOD jobber match.
BACKSTAGE Bob Armstrong talks about drug abuse. He says SMW is opposed to steroids, in a shot at the WWF, and SMW is about wrestling not looks.
TJ Travis v Tim Horner
I like how they rotate jobbers. Shame really because it means we won’t get DD-Barry again. They start out with some sloppy standing counters. Looks like TJ isn’t particularly good. Matters improve on the mat with Horner walking TJ through everything and doing his own counters at freaky speed. Someone is motivated! High crossbody gets 2. Dutch points out how pointless this match is because regardless of whether he wins Horner is still seeded. Good point from Dutch although it somewhat brings down the vibe Horner had going. TJ looks so lame. Horner is so slick and fast by comparison. At least TJ can kind of follow what’s happening but anytime something complicated comes up he looks pretty bad. Dutch calls him unpolished. He’s shooting in this one. Horner breaks out the Rolling Prawn Hold for the pin. *1/2. Decent match made somewhat worse by how green TJ was.
BACKSTAGE Bob Caudle hypes the Volunteer Slam. He has Tim Horner, Brian Lee and Robert Gibson. The latter doing the devil horn’s as we fade out is tremendous. ROCK N’ ROLL! We get a quick advert before Jim Cornette turns up to start laying into the audience. We get another tape from Cornette and we’re at a hotel where Cornette wants to introduce his team. Cornette berates reporter Phil Rainey for blowing it last week. They try and get an interview with the team but the room is full of girls so we don’t see them. Cornette calls everyone in the company “yahoos” and promises to debut his team live next week. He wants each of the “corn-fed” local women to be strapped into their chairs in case they drool over the TV equipment and electrocute everyone. Cornette = awesome promos. So his team will actually debut next week after weeks of hype. We return with Caudle asking Killer Kyle why he didn’t enter the tournament. He won’t talk. Or tell us what’s in the violin case.
Keith Hart v Killer Kyle
It’s weird having Keith as a jobber. Kyle overpowers him and clotheslines him to the floor. Hart sells everything like death because he’s LIVING the jobber gimmick. Kyle presses Hart into the ring from the floor but refuses to pin. HUGE backbreaker and Kyle refuses the pin again. This is a massacre. Keith tries to come back with punches but Kyle totally no sells it. Keith comes off the top but gets caught in a bearhug into the spinebuster for the pin. 3/4*. Nice to see that effort from Keith and Kyle looked pretty good as the powerhouse heel.
BACKSTAGE Paul Orndorff. It’s actually a repeated version of the interview where he rants about not being able to use his finishing move; the piledriver, which is illegal in Smoky. Here are the rules once again – no over the top rope, no lowblows, no piledrivers, no hitting the ref, no foreign objects.
Paul Miller v Dirty White Boy w/Ron Wright
DWB gets Miller in the jobber rotation. Miller tries to use his superior speed but DWB just grabs him and beats him up. DWB also goes to the eyes and chokes on the ropes. Miller can’t get anything going unlike in his earlier bout against Bob Holly. DWB just takes him apart. Sideslam gets 2. Every time Miller tries something DWB goes to the eyes again. Bucksnort Blaster finishes. ¼*. I’m getting really tired of DWB just being in total squashes every time out. He needs competition.
POST MATCH DWB and Ron Wright head over to Bob Caudle. Ron calls the audience all sorts of names because nobody is sending any money in. “Hillbilly rednecks”. DWB hypes Volunteer Slam. Sure are hard selling that show huh? DWB in particular picks on Lee saying he’s beaten nobody. This brings Lee out for a chat. He wants DWB in the tournament.
Dutch Mantell v Brian Lee
Winner gets the seeded spot at Volunteer Slam. DWB runs in to chair shot Lee in the back before he can get in the ring. Bullet Bob kicks him out but the match is still on. I keep forgetting just how hairy Dutch Mantell’s back is. Suplex from Dutch but he’s keener on celebrating than getting the pinfall. Mantell has the common sense to work on the back though, which becomes his focus. Shades of Wilbur Snyder applied and Dutch typically uses the ropes for leverage. Boston crab puts Lee in trouble. The crowd aren’t biting on it though. The feeling is that Lee isn’t in as much trouble as he’s selling that he is. The crazy old granny in the front row is certainly animated but that’s about it. IT’S STILL REAL TO ME DAMNIT! Caudle gets in more plugs for Volunteer Slam. By the time that thing rolls around everyone will know about it that’s even seen a single match on SMW TV. That’s how you sell a big show. Lee gets back in charge but he’s working so soft and slow that it’s hard to get behind him. The execution of this match hasn’t been a patch on the booking that lead to it. Lee gets a cheeky roll up to retain his spot. *1/4. That wasn’t exactly inspiring.
BACKSTAGE Caudle plugs Volunteer Slam again. Jim Cornette arrives for the hard sell. Bob Armstrong joins us. He threatens to boot the Koloff’s out of the tag tournament if they don’t cough up their fine and drops $500 worth of fine on Dirty White Boy’s head while he’s about it.
The 411: The storylines are starting to gather pace and the booking is just starting to gain layering. In particular the tournaments and the stuff with Brian Lee. Plus you get a great tag match here with the Wild Bunch being country miles ahead of anything else in the company and Dixie Dynomite making his debut in impressive fashion. The basis for good stuff is in the works and we’re really on a course for Volunteer Slam, the first supercard from SMW. Again, this is great episodic TV with the audience always having something to look forward to. In this case they have two tournaments lined up and a big show just a month away.
|Final Score: 7.0 [ Good ] legend|