wrestling / Video Reviews

The Name on the Marquee: SMW Bluegrass Brawl (4.2.1993)

February 2, 2016 | Posted by Adam Nedeff
Smoky Mountain Wrestling
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The Name on the Marquee: SMW Bluegrass Brawl (4.2.1993)  

-It’s April 2, 1993.

-We’re in Pikeville, KY.

-Your hosts are Les Thatcher and for some reason Lance Russell. I mean, I love Lance, but seriously, that’s unexpected. And actually, Russell winds up doing an incredible job of hyping the card, basically saying he got so excited when he heard the card that he volunteered to call the show for free just so he could be here.

-Will you all please rise and respect the singing of “My Old Kentucky Home.” Funny, as they’re using a recording and turn it off in the middle.

-Oh, hey, who forgot THAT guy was here?

-Morgan attacks at the bell, but Stomper rams a foot in his face and tosses him to the floor. Face into the table, face into the post, face into the post, and back into the ring they go. Shinne no make finishes. 0 for 1. The fact that this match was even on the card is awfully weird. Stomper was brought in for one program which closed out three months ago, and now with no fanfare, he’s returned to Kentucky to murder a debuting jobber?

-Brian Lee comes out, ready to ROLL THE DICE in the Russian Roulette match. This was originally hyped as a Russian Revolver match, but since everybody kept almost-slipping up and accidentally calling it a Russian Roulette match, they went with that. Lance Russell helpfully runs down the rules one more time. Brian will roll a single “dice.” A roll of 1 = Prince of Darkness match. 2 = Stretcher match. 3 = Handicap match. 4 = Fire match. 5 = Singapore spike match. 6 = Brian Lee’s choice. There are no zeros in the price of the car, and no numbers higher than six. If Lee lands exactly on Go, he wins $50,000.

-Lee rolls a wild 6 and makes a surprising but logical choice; he’s already been in a Singapore Spike match now, so he knows what he’s getting himself into and he knows his way around it now. So he wants a Singapore Spike match.

-Stalker spits a mouthful of water toward the heavens for his entrance. And I’m not saying this to be snarky, he does it better than Triple H; he has a solid stream going and it looks like an upside-down waterfall dissolving into the mists on a breezy night near the Kentucky Ocean. Most importantly, he doesn’t just let it fall back on him, it vanishes into the darkness and he takes a step forward to avoid re-entry.

-Horner ducks a right hand and connects with one of his own, at which point the mighty Night Stalker immediately whines to the referee about closed fists, even though he just tried to use one. That’s a nice little heel touch.

-Horner goes to the arm, Stalker reverses and then slams Horner. Horner fires back with a dropkick and Stalker goes to the floor to regroup. Stalker rips up a fan’s Tim Horner sign to show how pissed off he is. Lance Russell is disgusted by such action, because “Some fan worked really hard to make that poster.” The sign is literally a piece of posterboard with “TIM HORNER” written in magic marker. Not even bubble lettering. It looks like it took 20 seconds to make.

-Stalker knocks Horner out to the floor and the crowd is immediately distressed and begins the “Go Tim Go!” chant. Stalker slingshots himself back into the ring and onto Horner for two. Gutwrench suplex gets two. Bearhug is clamped on. Horner bites his way out. I’m going to tell you right now, after watching a year of Prime Time Wrestling, I’m giving this match a point just because Horner didn’t clap his hands.

-Stalker throws punches, Horner fights back with a hiptoss and a snap suplex (which is REALLY impressive given the size difference) for two. Sleeper by Horner, but Stalker just grabs him by the hair and whips him off. Horner tries the sleeper again, but Stalker rams him backward into the corner and powerslams him. Elbow misses, and Horner is determined to finish this with a sleeper. Stalker goes to the ropes and dumps Horner over the top and onto the floor to break the hold, but that’s a DQ and Tim Horner wins. 1 for 2. Cheap finish but decent wrestling.

-Brian Matthews talks to the misunderstood Kevin Sullivan, who says the Singapore Spike match will be more fun than a seal-clubbing holiday in Norway.

SINGAPORE SPIKE MATCH: “Prime Time” BRIAN LEE (with Tim Horner) vs “The Master” KEVIN SULLIVAN (with Night Stalker)
-Quick refresher: Each post has a wooden box on top. Three are empty. One is hiding a spike. The wrestler who finds a spike gets to use it. Each of the cornermen must be handcuffed to a post before the match can start. If you’re familiar with Al Snow’s mantra that “As soon as the bell rings, both guys should be trying to win the match,” you’ll hate this match because they immediately start throwing punches when the most logical thing is to start going to the boxes.

-Brawl goes to the floor immediately. Lee goes into a table and gets a couple of chairs to the back. Lee stops Sullivan from going to a box and punches him. Sullivan throws him back to the floor. Stalker uses his free arm to choke Lee. Sullivan goes to the box again and Lee stops him with a handful of tights and an eyeful of Kevin Sullivan’s ass.

-Sullivan throws Lee to the floor and opens a box to reveal…nothing. Sullivan goes to the opposite corner, but Lee drills him with a chair and opens the box himself. Empty. Fight goes back out to the floor. Ring bell and a hammer come onto play as Sullivan targets the shoulder. Stalker somehow has a pair of pliers and is using them to try to cut off his handcuffs. He passes them to Sullivan, who uses them the pliers to pinch Lee’s inner thigh, which some people are into.

-The third box is empty. There’s a bit of confusion as everyone forgets which boxes have already been opened, and the commentators and the crowd go SILENT when Sullivan opens a box and finds nothing instead of finding a spike. Stalker is up on the apron and somehow HE has the spike and the referee gets bumped. Stalker passes the spike to Sullivan. Lee punches him hard enough that he drops it. Stalker retrieves it, Sullivan charges at Lee but accidentally collides with Stalker. Stalker now refuses to give the spike to Sullivan the second time. They argue until Lee rolls Sullivan up and pins him. 1 for 3. Boy…I’m torn on this one because it REALLY fell to pieces in the last two minutes, but up to that point it was a good brawl. Good enough that I’d want to watch it again? Nah. Thumbs down.

-After the match, Stalker and Sullivan argue, and we get into a super-awkward situation. They’ve lost the key or the key isn’t working, so this little drama is being acted out while a referee and a security guard are dismantling the middle turnbuckle to get Stalker free from the post. Sullivan attacks with a chair just as he gets free and Sullivan gets out of town. Stalker is a month away from jumping to the WWF and becoming Adam Bomb, so it appears Jim Cornette is borrowing an old, weird tactic of Jerry Lawler’s, turning a guy who just gave his notice so you can pop one last big angle out of him.

-Tracy Smothers warns Dirty White Boy that tonight is the night where he settles the score. DWB is tough, but Tracy is just a little bit tougher.

-DWB is now billed “from New York City” to make his abandonment of his heritage complete.

-Tug of war to start, and DWB wins that with a right hand. Smothers goes into the ropes, but slides between DWB’s legs and jerks the chain upward. Match goes out to the floor and DWB goes into the table. Back into the ring, Smothers rams DWB into the turnbuckles 30 times and then touches three turnbuckles before getting slugged in the gut to halt his progress.

-Smothers shakes it off and connects with an enziguiri (and a darn impressive one, Smothers actually lands on his feet after the impact). Mr. Wright blocks another attempt to touch the turnbuckles, and DWB goes to the floor for a retreat. Of course, he’s attached to his opponent, so Smothers goes out there with him and chokes him with the chain.

-Smothers demands the microphone so he can call DWB “A goofy Yankee” and then tosses him across the ring. Smothers goes to the top rope, so DWB takes a step backward to make Smothers crotch himself on the top turnbuckle. Bout goes back out to the floor and DWB finally wraps the chain around his fist to land a punch. We cut to a wide shot of the ring with both wrestlers disappearing completely behind it on the floor, and like magic, Smothers emerges gushing blood. And the weird thing is I think they actually had referee Mark Curtis do the blading because he’s wearing wrist tape for no reason and he’s fiddling with it after they head back into the ring.

-DWB grinds the chain across Smothers’ face and decides to take his shot at touching the turnbuckles. He gets three before Smothers throws a desperate punch and whips him with the chain for good measure. DWB gets control of the chain back and wraps it around his arm for some well-measured elbows. Smothers is a gory mess, and this is for home video release so the camera zooms right in this time with no fear of getting the company killed in one fell swoop.

-DWB ties Smothers’ ankles together and does the turnbuckle walk yet again. Smothers uses his tied-together feet to kick DWB into the ropes and then monkeyflip him. That’s pretty great; as the commentators point out, it’s literally the ONLY move Smothers could have done from the position he was in, and he had enough presence of mind to think of it.

-Blows are exchanged and DWB gets the better end of it. Smothers blocks another turnbuckle touch and tries to follow it with a splash in the corner, but DWB ducks and chokes. Smothers appears to pass out from the choking, but he raises the arm the third time. DWB tries to touch the turnbuckles again, but Smothers blocks his progress by choking him out (And for no reason, the ring announcer yells “TRACYYYYYYYYY!” like a mental patient at this point).

-DWB hangs Tracy from the top rope. Smothers unties the noose and skins the cat back in, but DWB clotheslines him back down and heads to the top rope. Smothers yanks him down and throws all kinds of lefts and rights at him. Elbow sends DWB out to the floor, and Smothers heads out there and goes nuts on DWB with a chair, busting him open. Back in, Smothers is finally the one to connect with a move off the top rope, a chain-assisted axehandle. Smothers tries a nice tactic, doing a fireman’s carry as he touches the turnbuckles, but Mr. Wright trips Smothers to break the progress.

-And then we get the same finish that every chain/strap match in the history of wrestling has had, and Tracy Smothers is your NEW Smoky Mountain Wrestling Heavyweight Champion. 2 for 4. Gory, fun, entertaining brawl, predictable finish be damned.

-Lance Russell talks to Tracy Smothers. The wood paneling makes the “locker room area” at this show look like the basement of your parents’ cool friends. Smothers cuts a gracious promo until DWB runs in, knocks him out, punts him in the nuts, and promises another chain match.
-We get the most gloriously rednecky series of promos ever from the Stud Stable, Arn & The Express, and the Heavenly Bodies. Seriously, everybody stops just short of breaking a beer bottle and going to the ring with it.

-I have a feeling attempting to call this match will be a bit messy. All nine men are in the ring, so visually, it’s a battle royal with a referee. Elimination rules for this one, so two teams have to be eliminated before we have a winner.

-Stan Lane uses a garbage can lid in the ring. Jimmy Golden has a chain wrapped around his fist and uses it on Beautiful Bobby. Arn cleans house with a board. Fans are pelting the ring with garbage, which would be annoying if it didn’t add to the atmosphere as well as it seems to here. Still…don’t throw garbage in the ring. Except if you’re watching a nine-man street fight in Tennessee.

-Great bit as Morton and Eaton disappear from ringside and brawl, and a few minutes later, Eaton returns, staggering all over the place with a tire stuck to his torso. Cornette throws a rope into the ring. Arn doesn’t appreciate it so he gives Corny chase, and Corny has the rest of the garbage can to defend himself. Gibson s hanged from the top rope and Corny takes from free shots.

-Corny tosses a bucket into the ring. Fuller cleans house with a garbage can and just CHUCKS it at Cornette in a funny visual. Tom Pritchard is bleeding all over the place and Eaton’s bare ass is hanging out. Those two observations are unrelated, to be clear.

-Eaton and Robert Gibson head back to the locker room while Pritchard strangles Dutch Mantell with the bullwhip. EATON AND GIBSON ARE CLIMBING A BASKETBALL HOOP. Oh my god that’s great.

-Corny goes into the ring and tries to take action with his tennis racquet, but Mantell chokes him with the bullwhip and chases him outside. Security is now circling the ring like the good old days. Dutch lobs a chair into the ring, but Ricky Morton gets it and drills Robert Fuller with it, eliminating the Stud Stable.

-Golden & Mantell refuses to leave, choking and stomping Gibson into goo. Eaton returns to the ring just in time for a rocket launcher onto Morton for two. Rocket launcher with Pritchard gets two. And here comes the fire extinguisher! Bodies each get a faceful from Arn Anderson. DDT on Lane! DDT on Pritchard! DDT on Eaton!

-The Bodies are still alive, which just pisses Arn off, so they bring a table into the ring and mount it in the corner. Bodies get Irish whipped one by one into it. Lance Russell observes, “The only thing left to do is do that to Jim Cornette,” and by God, that’s EXACTLY what they do. Cornette goes into the table and it gets the single loudest pop of the entire show.

-Gibson clamps a figure four on Cornette, but nobody sees Pritchard load up his kneepad with something. He comes off the top rope with a kneedrop that knocks out Gibson. Pritchard goes for the pin, and THE WRONG FUCKING TEAM WINS THE STREET FIGHT. Oh my god, you should hear the air completely exit the building when the three is counted. The Heavenly Bodies are inexplicably, inexcusably the winners. This wasn’t even a title match, they could handle a loss tonight. 3 for 5. I’m giving it a point, but boy, that finish left me sour. Can you give a Cornette face to Cornette booking or would that rip a hole in the fabric of time and space?

The final score: review Average
The 411
Man, the finishes on this show left me cold. The wrestling IS good, but you need good payoffs for it to be really satisfying. Otherwise, it's like eating a full meal but still being hungry afterward.