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The Name on the Marquee: Smoky Mountain Wrestling (10.2.1993)

June 12, 2016 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Smoky Mountain Wrestling
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The Name on the Marquee: Smoky Mountain Wrestling (10.2.1993)  

-Originally aired October 2, 1993.

-We’re in Oakwood, VA.

-Your hosts are Les Thatcher & Dutch Mantell, having major audio problems; it sounds like they’re calling the show through a desktop fan. Dark Secret is drawn for the Beat the Champ match.

-Smothers is mega-over with this crowd. He grabs Eagle in a waistlock and gets him down on the mat. Eagle gets out and tries a waistlock takedown of his own, but Smothers wriggles out and shoulderblocks him down. This is pretty straightforward mat wrestling right up until Smothers connects with the jawjacker to finish. Eagle staggers back to his feet after the match and shakes Smothers’ hand as a show of respect, and they leave the ring together.

-Les talks to Brian Lee, Tammy Fytch, and Mr. Ron Wright. Sherri makes Tammy Fytch nauseous, and having to be at the same building as her is infuriating. She shows off the new diamond ring that Mr. Ron Wright bought for her with his credit card, and Les asks Mr. Wright how he’s doing. Mr. Wright says he’d rather just talk to Dirty White Boy himself and let him know that Brian & Tammy really are taking proper care of him…but for some reason, Tammy and Brian won’t install a telephone in his room.

-We take a look back at Bob Armstrong losing his commissioner post AND his wrestlers’ license. And then we go to Brian Matthews at the offices of SMW, standing outside a conference room where Bob Armstrong is pleading his case to the board of directors due to the way he got screwed out of his spot in the company. Bob Armstrong, looking dejected, comes out from the office and says that his contracts for the matches were iron-clad and they have to stand by the stipulations. He says his final goodbyes to the fans, because you’re never going to see Bob Armstrong in SMW again…

-…But there is a silver lining to this. An old friend of Bob’s just signed a contract to begin competing actively in SMW, and he can’t wait for the fans to meet the new star, so he dashes back into the conference room to get him. We meet soon-to-be-debuting SMW star The Bullet, who is exactly the same height and weight as Bob Armstrong, dresses just like him, but wears a mask.

-By the way, in real life, the “Bullet” gimmick has an insane origin story. In 1974, Armstrong had a weightlifting mishap and his nose came right the hell off of his face. It took a while for plastic surgeons to rebuild his face, so to hide his disfigurement until the work was done, Armstrong wrestled under a mask as The Bullet.

-Jim Cornette storms out screaming about how The Bullet is obviously Bob Armstrong. SMW is against him! They’re impeaching him right out of his rightful job as commissioner and THEN this stupid company has the nerve to let Bob Armstrong wrestle under a mask and a fake name? Corny is being hornswaggled by everyone and he doesn’t appreciate it!

-Scott Armstrong knows everyone is trying to stir up a bunch of nonsense between the Armstrongs and the Rock & Roll Express, but they aren’t going to fall for it! Also, Killer Kyle has signed for a match against The Bullet, and The Bullet begs Kyle to bring Jim Cornette to come to ringside. He promises to smash Kyle’s nose in, and if Cornette shows his face at ringside, he’ll break Cornette’s nose too. The fixation with noses is kind of a neat way of weaving real life into the character.

-Les Thatcher welcomes a new manager to SMW, Darryl Van Horne. He’s shockingly unrecognizable given how little difference there is in his appearance, but it’s James Mitchell in a fez and sunglasses. Van Horne has just returned from a an extended stay in Cairo, where he enrolled in the University of Cairo, declared a double major, and earned degrees in Archaeology and Necrophilia(!) He also befriended a member of the Egyptian royal family who is on his way to SMW. He could have signed with the WWF, WCW, or Memphis, but he’s coming to SMW because that’s the company that the WWF, WCW, and Memphis are all keeping a close eye on anyway. And he’s coming to SMW even though it means wrestling in front of a bunch of cracker rednecks week in and week out. “I’d rather bob for apples in a colostomy bag!”

-First time in a long time that we’ve seen Kyle, and the crowd mistakes Jim Cornette’s absence for a face turn so they cheer for Kyle.

-Side suplex by Kyle as Cornette storms in. It’s so obvious that the Bullet is Bob Armstrong that SMW is clearly doing this just to screw with him, and there’s lawsuits coming. If he gets The Bullet’s mask ripped off and it’s Bob Armstrong, then not only is he banished from SMW forever, but SMW owes Cornette a ton of money for breach of contract.

-Kyle misses a corner charge and Gator tries to capitalize with right hands. Kyle grounds him with a short clothesline, and the Bubbaslam finishes.

-We go back to the closing moments of last week’s show, where a misunderstanding erupts between the Armstrongs and the Rock & Roll Express. That leads to Dutch interviewing the Rock & Roll Express. It was a misunderstanding, they’ve cleared things up, and no matter how much Dutch tries to stir up trouble, the Rock & Roll Express won’t fall for it, and they promise that it’s going to be a totally clean match at Parade of Champions.

-Hey, check out THAT jobber! Clean-shaven and wearing Hennig-style tights, he’s pretty hard to recognize, actually.

-Jimmy Del Ray starts with Jason West. Right hands by Del Ray, and he tags in Tom Pritchard. Pritchard whips West but misses a charge. West goes to work on the arm, but Pritchard punches his way out of trouble and slams West down. Neat double-team move with Pritchard atomic dropping Del Ray, but Del Ray flips over his partner and lands on top of West for a moonsault.

-Kanyon tags in and takes a neckbreaker from Pritchard. Slingshot suplex by Dr. Tom, and another moonsault from Del Ray gets the win.

-We get a war of words from the Steiners and the Heavenly Bodies. The Steiners are used to the WWF, they’ve never been someplace where they might get their eyes gouged out and then bodyslammed through a table. SMW is a whole other world. Jim Cornette summons the Bruise Brothers and tells them to watch the footage of the Heavenly Bodies laying out the Steiners at a WWF TV taping, saying the Bruise Brothers need to study the footage and learn what a real tag team looks like.

-We watch the disgraceful fake match from last week, where Chris Candido finally earns the right to take off his bonnet. Offering a title match when you wear a fake belt is meaningless. A real man earns a belt and then risks it, so he’s offering Candido a shot at the US Jr. Heavyweight Title at Parade of Champions. Candido comes out, Bobby Blaze throws an insult at Candido’s feathers, which would have been more effective if Candido had come out wearing his boa. They MORE than make up for it by trading some incredibly stiff punches at each other as Les hastily throws it to commercial.

-Tammy Fytch is worried that she’ll be kicked out of her sorority just for being around somebody as gross and mean as Sherri Martell. Jim Cornette storms in and promises that stinkin’ mask is coming right off the Bullet.

-We get words from Sherri Martel. I understand limited resources, but how hard would it have been for Sherri to change shirts between each of these promos they’ve been airing for several weeks? And maybe tie and untie her hair? And for god’s sake, she’s even standing in front of the same tree for each promo.

-We have 3:30 of TV time left when the bell sounds, so I don’t think this is going to be the week that kicks off the mega-push of Dark Secret. Tracy Smothers sticks around for commentary and reminds us that he still hasn’t forgotten about what Dirty White Trash did to him.

-DWB clamps on a side headlock while Brian Lee shows up and argues with Brian Lee on commentary. Fistfight breaks out and they take it into the ring. Brian Lee and Tracy Smothers duke it out and totally disrupt the match, which gives Dark Secret the win by DQ. Lee gets an edge at one point and sets Smothers up for a double-team move, but Dirty White Boy just shakes his head and leaves the ring without doing anything to Smothers.

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
The Bullet storyline is a nice dip into the old school bag of tricks, but the Armstrongs and the Rock & Roll Express actually genuinely working things out right before their big match was a completely underwhelming release of air from the tire.