wrestling / Video Reviews

The Name on the Marquee: Smoky Mountain Wrestling (11.25.1995)

May 24, 2018 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Jim Cornette Smoky Mountain Wrestling
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The Name on the Marquee: Smoky Mountain Wrestling (11.25.1995)  

-Originally aired November 25, 1995.

-Your hosts are Chip Kessler & Les Thatcher.

-The jobber is introduced with a post office box for a hometown, which is cute. Davis is wrestling very aggressively and dominates Wolfman for a bit. The commentators speculate that he’s humiliated about losing to Sgt. Rock and is trying to save face. He puts his head down for a backdrop and Wolfman rolls him up with a cradle for the three-count. The commentators go nuts for this because it’s Wolfman’s first actual win in SMW, and the top faces all head into the ring to congratulate him.

-We look back at Butch Cassidy’s gift for Jim Cornette last week. We also get clips of the weird ass tag team main event from that show.

-We get live words from Butch Cassidy & Buddy Landell. Cassidy says “I got lots more things in my bag for you coming this weekend…” and then absolutely nothing else, and there’s this awkward pause for Les Thatcher realizes, “Oh, that’s it?” and moves on to Landell.

-We take a look once again at Joe LeDuc & Bob Armstrong’s crazy asses, set to “Bang Your Head.”

-We go to last week’s beatdown of the Wolfman at the hands of Sgt. Rock & Terry Gordy.

-Bad Brad Armstrong assures us that at Thanksgiving Thunder, he’s going to leave with his belt and he’s going to leave Terry Gordy as striped as a zebra.

-General Cornette & the Militia are ready for Thanksgiving Thunder. Sgt. Rock promises that the Wolfman will salute when she’s done. Terry Gordy is going to whip it out for Brad Armstrong. Robert Gibson is also ready and evil. Corny promises to chop little Butch Cassidy down to size. Tommy Rich promises that Wildfire will spread all over the Canadian lumberjack, Joe LeDuc. Brilliant, actually.

-We go again to last week, where Robert Gibson had a showdown with Tracy Smothers.


-They circle the ring and try a test of strength. Thrasher gets the upper hand, but Flanagan does some fancy flippery to get free. He sends Thrasher into the ropes and backdrops him. Dropkick follows and Thrasher retreats. Flanagan follows him out and moonsaults him from the apron. Back in, Flanagan works the leg. Thrasher gets back to his feet and powerslams Flanagan for two.

-Abdominal stretch into a slam by Thrasher. Spinning kick off the ropes gets another two. Thrasher does a Frankensteiner from the top rope and likes it so much that he tries to do it again. Flanagan punches him off the ropes and onto the mat. A splash gets three for Flanagan.

-Actually a hell of a main event. I guess they wanted to go out on a high note. Armstrong & Tom Pritchard start. They trade reversals and whatnot; Pritchard complains about hairpulling and holds up the match for a moment. In comes Dirty White Boy. He gets caught in the wrong corner but manages to fight his way free. Robert Gibson eventually makes his way to the ring but runs for cover and tags out when Tracy Smothers tries to get to him.

-Some well-timed referee distracting helps turn the tide. Brad Armstrong gets tossed to the floor and Sgt. Rock gets in some cheap shots. Robert Gibson mans up and comes in for a bit. Armstrong won’t stay down, though. He finally gets a lucky clothesline and makes the hot tag to Smothers. Smothers handles all three foes without taking a breath. Terry Gordy shows up and assaults Brad Armstrong on the floor. They head all the way back to the locker room, which turns the action into a handicap match.

-White Boy steps in and it’s now a total brawl with all five remaining men battling in the ring. White Boy is on the verge of a victory when Pritchard knocks him the hell out with his silver boot, and the Militia takes the victory. Armstrong returns to the ring and cleans house.

-We get some closing words from Armstrong and the Thugs. We’re promised that we’ll get a complete report on Thanksgiving Thunder, but those reports never came. Seeing the show close with a graphic reading “Tune in next week, same time, same channel!” is a heartbreaker.

-So since that report will never come, Joe LeDuc no-showed Thanksgiving Thunder and was replaced by The Bullet. The Thugs’ surprise partner was Ricky Morton, burying the hatchet with everyone just in time to wrestle for SMW one last time. Brad Armstrong won the title back from Terry Gordy to go down in history as the final champion. The final show ended with the entire roster, heels and faces, running into the ring, kicking Cornette’s ass, and letting the hardest-working referee in history, Mark Curtis, pin him. Cornette ended the company with $29,000 worth of debt to deal with. In a touching gesture, a bunch of SMW wrestlers began calling in every favor they were ever owed and rounding up enough money to keep the company going for a few months, but in another pretty amazing gesture, Cornette refused the gesture, saying that it couldn’t be repaid and he really didn’t see the point of taking people’s money just to keep the door open temporarily. In a what-might-have-been gesture, NWA official Howard Brody actually secured a TV deal for SMW in Japan for 1996, unaware that the company had closed up. And given the momentum that the Monday Night Wars started building that year, it’s interesting to contemplate what might have happened if Cornette had stuck things out for one more year, but…

#1. It’s pretty clear from the angle recycling that Corny was exhausted and creatively spent, so he needed an influx of cash AND a new booker.
#2. Best case scenario, it probably would have ended up in a similar situation to ECW, where, once Vince got SO dominant, he would have picked the talent clean and SMW wouldn’t have lived to see the millennium anyway.

And that was SMW. It’s been real, everybody. I think I know what I’ll start reviewing in place of this show, but I’m going to wait for a content dump on WWE Network to get started with it. I think I want to take a trip down south. Maybe not all the way down south. Maybe just mid-south or so.

The final score: review Average
The 411
Well, it made me wish I had been there for Thanksgiving Thunder, I'll say that much.