wrestling / Video Reviews

The Name on the Marquee: Smoky Mountain Wrestling (2.1.1992)

August 5, 2015 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Jim Cornette - Jim Cornette’s
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The Name on the Marquee: Smoky Mountain Wrestling (2.1.1992)  

I’m going to keep recapping “WWF Prime Time Wrestling” from the Network whenever I manage to catch it on a not-freezing day but I thought I’d go ahead and add THIS to my pile of recapping goodness. Here’s a promotion that I’ve been wanting to sit down and watch for a long time. It was carried in my area at 1:30 a.m. on Sundays and videotape came at a premium in my household. It was either record “Smoky Mountain Wrestling” or preserve the HBO broadcast of Bill Cosby: Himself. In hindsight, I regret my choice.

-For anyone not familiar with Smoky Mountain Wrestling, the TL;DR is that Jim Cornette was totally fed up with WCW in general and Jim Herd in specific, so he threw a middle finger in the air one night, went home to Louisville, and launched his own wrestling promotion, with blackjack and hookers.

-Originally aired February 1, 1992.

-From Greenville, SC.

-Your hosts are Bob Caudle and Dutch Mantell (Zeb Colter, for you youngsters).

-Kyle is a former WCW jobber, now dressed like a Blues Brother, and he carries a violin case to the ring. Gibson appeared frequently in tag team matches for Jim Crockett.

-Shoulderblocks go nowhere, but Gibson takes him down with a clothesline for two. Kyle works the arm and elbows Gibson down with a two. Mantell mentions that the Rock & Roll Express once released a record that went Plywood with sales in excess of 75 copies. It almost went sheetrock.

-Kyle charges at Gibson in the corner, but Gibson anticipates him and makes it a sunset flip for three.

-We get word from the Fantastics V2 (Bobby Fulton and his brother Jack) about this week’s main event.

-Bob Caudle introduces us to the commissioner of Smoky Mountain Wrestling, Bob Armstrong. He doesn’t agree with wrestling the way it’s taken shape in the past few years and wants to bring it back to what it should be, with affordable ticket prices for families and heavy fines for wrestlers.

-You can tell from the commentary that Brian Lee is the guy that’s getting the brass ring here. He’s completely unrecognizable if you know him as Underfaker or Chainz, though.

-Horowitz gets the early edge with clotheslines and an uppercut. He fights dirty with some choking and you can see Lee starting to get a little angry. Dropkick by Horowitz gets two and this is a strange approach for the guy who’s getting a super-push. I get what they’re doing (Hogan formula) but Hogan would get a hot start in every match so you knew he was an ass-kicking machine. Lee’s been dominated from the opening bell.

-Horowiz misses a dropkick and Lee capitalizes with a backdrop. Lee finishes with the Cancellation (a backbreaker) three.

-We hear from manager Ron Wright, wheelchair-bound former wrestler who says a lifetime of leg injuries and hip injuries, and he wants to sign a few wrestlers who can make him a lot of money so he can get the surgery he needs for his hips and legs.

“White Lightning” TIM HORNER vs. “Golden Boy” JOE CAZANA
-Side headlock by Horner, but Cazana backs him into the corner and hammers him. Commentators discuss Ron Wright; Dutch Mantell feels bad about the pain that poor man is in, but Caudle finds it hard to believe that Wright is as injured as he says he is.

-Armdrags and an armbar by Horner. Forearms by Cazana, and he goes to work on the back. Cazana heads to the top but gets Flair-slammed off, and Horner simply rolls him up with a bridge for three.

-Bob Caudle talks to Jim Cornette, who complains about big corporations turning wrestling into a side show. It’s not about talent; it’s about how many steroids you can shoot up and how many dolls you can sell at Toys R Us. Damn! Corny announces that he’s putting together a revolutionary new tag team that’ll dominate wrestling like the Midnight Express dominated it.

-Scorpion is a masked wrestler who pretty much calls the kettle black on Corny’s “steroids” comment in the previous segment.

-Bodypress by Miller gets two, and Dutch Mantell can’t understand why such an unqualified star like Paul Miller is being forced to go so out of his league by wrestling Black Scorpion. So…we all know where this is going, right?
-Powerslam and a bodyslam by Scorpion. Legdrop follows and the commentators can’t believe the way Miller is being mauled. Inverted atomic drop and clothesline. Mantell thinks Miller should be punished for thinking he even stood a chance in this match. Almost on cue, Miller cradles Scorpion for three. Tremendous victory in wrestling for Paul Miller and a tremendous victory in symbolism for Jim Cornette.

-Brian Lee refers to the fan as “these great people” to let them know which side of the fence he’s on. He mentions that an SMW Heavyweight Title tournament is coming up and he’s entered. Mantell walks in and points out a bunch of mistakes Lee made during the match and says “I wouldn’t have wrestled like that.” Lee tells him “You’re right, you would have lost,” and then takes off.

-We get a WWF-style head-in-box promo from Koloff during the opening moments of the match. He’s going to make Fulton suffer.

-We see Ron Wright at ringside scouting both men while Fulton drop-toeholds Koloff down to the mat and works his arm. Dropkick by Fulton and he beals Koloff by the ears. Bodypress by Fulton gets two. Right hand sends Koloff out to the floor. They “brawl” but it’s all Fulton until Wright suddenly gets his attention and Koloff beheads Fulton with a clothesline. He rams Fulton into the post with an audible “ding” and sends him into a table and chairs.

-Back in the ring, Koloff offers a friendly handshake to Wright. He turns around and instantly Kos Fulton with a right hand, leading Caudle to think that something got passed during that handshake. Jack Fulton comes in the ring to avenge his brother by laying a beating on Koloff, but another Koloff nephew, Vladimir, attacks, and the Fultons get hanged.

-Bob Armstrong announces that foreign objects are specifically prohibited in SMW, so he’s fining Ivan Koloff $500, and since they want to fight each other’s battles, let’s just have a tag team match next week!

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
I can't exactly rave about this one but I think that's to be expected. Corny was doing as much as he could with the resources he had so he couldn't kick down any doors with guns blazing, but I find myself thinking he didn't want to anyway. This really did have the feel of a late '70s/early '80s territory TV taping, so if Mid-Atlantic Wrestling or Mid-South was your thing, you'll like SMW. Let's see where it goes from here.