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VIP - MITCHELL FEATURE: Chris Jericho In The Smoky Mountains: Another View (#1003)

Dec 19, 2007 - 3:04:40 PM


By Bruce Mitchell, Torch columnist

BRUCE MITCHELL FEATURE
Original Headline: "Chris Jericho In The Smoky Mountains: Another View"
Original Publish Date: December 22, 2007
Pro Wrestling Torch Newsletter #1003


Note: I've known K.C. O'Connor for twenty years, since the days when he was a teenager and a part of the "Front Row, Section D" regulars who faithfully attended the monthly wrestling shows at the Greensboro Coliseum in the '80s until the early-'90s. K.C. fit right in with us and had a real ringside ability to get under the skin of wrestlers like the late Eddie Gilbert and Ron Simmons (Psycho Sid Eudy once hocked a loogie at him after K.C. accurately critiqued his wrestling ability). K C. was more than just another smart-ass, though. It turned out he was, and is, a real student of the sport.

Jim Cornette was so impressed after spending just a couple of hours watching a Clash of the Champions with him one night (the old TBS two hour WCW wrestling specials - kind of a quarterly predecessor to Monday Night Raw) that he hired K.C. to be one of his assistants in his fledgling Smoky Mountain Wrestling promotion. K.C. had never worked a day in the pro wrestling business before Cornette gave him the job.

He moved to Tennessee shortly after and spent a few years driving up and down the two-lane highways and dirt roads for Cornette, doing every behind the scenes dirt job there was to do for the promotion. I even spent a week traveling with him, attending the Smoky Mountain Wrestling "Bluegrass Brawl" in Pikeville, Kentucky - featuring the Final Conflict Loser Leave Town Cage Match between Jim Cornette's Heavenly Bodies and the Rock & Roll Express. It was one of the best, hottest shows I ever attended. K.C., the ringside attendant that night, even knocked Cornette down at the cage door at the climax of the match, saving the day for Ricky 'n' Robert, which was a little ironic seeing as Jimmy Del Ray of the Heavenly Bodies was one of his roommates.

Then one day he called to tell me that Cornette had just attacked his car with a baseball bat, something about a dispute over back pay and a video camera.

K.C. is now a successful real estate broker in Wyoming and recently emailed me asking for some book and DVD recommendations. I had just finished Jericho's memoir and told him he ought to get it first, since K.C's name was actually on the lease of the apartment in Morristown that Chris Jericho lived in while in SMW and described so vividly in the book.

A week and a half later, I received the following email:


I'm 270 pages into Jericho's book, up till his working in WAR.

If the chapters on his time in SMW are any indication, he's taken as many creative liberties in his memoirs as every other bullshit artist before him.

I couldn't care less that he says the house was Anthony's, (Anthony Michael, one of the original Dudleys in ECW) when Anthony moved in with me after Del Ray moved out. It's irrelevant that he thinks he was invited to stay in my house and Rex and Bruiser weren't. Corny was the one who asked me, not Brian Hildebrand. Brian had his own place and said, "no," when Corny asked him to put Jericho up.

***image1***It's flat out false that he almost came to blows with Bruiser and Bruiser liked him. He piped off one time in the car and Bruiser shut him up with one line, end of story. I mean, really, we're supposed to believe he was gonna challenge Bruiser f---ing Bedlam to a fight over dirty dishes? Please! Whenever Bruiser went back to Hamilton for a few days, he made it clear to me that I could use his Jeep, but Chris wasn't allowed to touch it.

Bruiser particularly thought Jericho was the one guy in the locker room that would be voted most likely to "Honk On Bobo." (I will give Y2J for reminding me of that K9 classic, as I'd forgotten that one...) Bruiser especially thought Jericho was a piece of shit when he wouldn't cover me one night at Subway, when Chris was pulling down $900 a week while I was driving him around without being reimbursed for gas, and I was making $150 a week.

He never drove Murdoch around. That was my responsibility, to chauffeur Capt. Redneck. Jimmy would never ask his hot young babyface to drive his guest lead heel around for the tour. Kayfabe, ya know? Jericho heard me and Del Ray telling the story at home of tossing the beer bottles out the window as we were the ones in the car with Murdoch every night.

Same for the roaches in Boo's (Balls Mahoney) bed. He must have heard that from Anthony after he left, because Boo came in after Jericho was gone. And it was Anthony and D-Lo (Brown) that found the roaches. I was gone by then, too, and I left six months after Chris.

He didn't tape Corny at the drive thru, either, although he was in the car that night. J.R. Benson and Ron Hed, the sickies from CA, taped it. The Strange Kentucky People tape is 100 percent true. Even down to R&R and Jesus pics in the living room. Scariest thing I've ever seen.

I'm glad he admitted he had a shit attitude and f---ed Jimmy by not working the gimmick tables. He took, mocked, and gave nothing back to the company. Lance at least stuck around and worked with Brian Lee for $150 a night that summer. And Morristown wasn't a dry county; he just wouldn't go out with us. Del Ray and I invited him several times to the club in Mo-town, where we both got drunk and laid often. Even the Macho Man hit the club with us, but not Chris.

Yes, their videos did nothing for them. They were abysmal in theory and in fact.

Yes, the penalty box matches were a stupid idea and poorly executed.

Yes, he did skip a show one-night claiming car troubles when he really went to Nashville for a KISS reunion concert.

Yes, he used steroids. I saw the needles in his room and heard him talking to Bruiser about getting more.

Yes, he did kick it with a vampire stripper at the Mouse's Ear. Anthony and I goaded him all night to approach her. It was the only girl we saw him talk to the whole time we were there. He did leave with her.

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WWE NETWORK: Friday, August 29 Programming Schedule
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WWE NEWS: How is WWE trying to get Network re-subscriptions?
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PPV REPORTS
MCNEILL'S Exclusive PWTorch Deadblog of WWE Summerslam (which you can watch for $9.99)
CALDWELL'S WWE SUMMERSLAM PPV REPORT 8/17: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Cena vs. Lesnar
CALDWELL'S WWE SUMMERSLAM PPV REPORT 8/17 (Pre-Show): RVD vs. Cesaro, Flair on pre-show panel, more
RADICAN'S G1 CLIMAX: FINALS REPORT 8/10 - ROH stars shine, Jarrett joins Bullet Club, Okada-Nakamura MOTYC G1 Finals
RADICAN'S IPPV REPORT - EVOLVE 33 in Jacksonville, Fla.: Gargano vs. Swann go to war, big-time Ricochet vs. Galloway/McIntyre match, Style Battle Finals, more
CALDWELL'S NEW JAPAN G1 CLIMAX FINALS RESULTS 8/10: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of Okada vs. Nakamura tournament finals, Styles vs. Tanahashi, Jeff Jarrett, ROH tag champs, more
RADICAN'S IPPV REPORT - EVOLVE 32 in Orlando, Fla.: Ricochet vs. Sydal/Bourne for the DGUSA Title, Galloway/McIntyre's first night as EVOLVE champion, more
RADICAN'S NJPW G1 CLIMAX: NIGHT 11 REPORT 8/8 - Smith-Tanahashi, Ishii-Nagata MOTYC, Okada-Suzuki
RADICAN'S IPPV REPORT - EVOLVE 31 in Ybor City, Fla.: Galloway/McIntyre captures EVOLVE Title from Hero, plus Sydal/Bourne vs. Gargano
NEW JAPAN G1 CLIMAX RESULTS 8/8: Okada, Tanahashi, Styles, Nakamura lead into G1 Climax Finals
RADICAN'S NJPW G1 CLIMAX NIGHT 10 REPORT 8/6 - Honma's quest for a win continues, Okada and Tanahashi mirror each other again, Ishii-Shibata MOTYC
RADICAN'S NJPW G1 CLIMAX 24: NIGHT 9 REVIEW 8/4 - Honma-Smith, Styles-Anderson, Okada-Goto
TV REPORTS
JAMES'S WWE SUPERSTARS REPORT 8/28: Where to find Adam Rose, Fandango & R-Truth; Overall Reax
JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 8/28: New NXT GM named, new #1 contender(s) heading into Takeover, NXT champ in main event
CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 8/27: Match #1 in Tag Title series, Great Sanada, Chris Melendez introduced, more
CALDWELL'S WWE TV REVIEW: Shield documentary - the five-star recruit, the three-star, the walk-on, and WWE's messages
CALDWELL'S MAIN EVENT RESULTS 8/26: Rollins vs. RVD, Rhodes Bros. in tag action, Ryback written off TV, more
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PARKS'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 8/22: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Friday show, including Jack Swagger vs. Seth Rollins, Rob Van Dam vs. Randy Orton
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CALDWELL'S WWE MAIN EVENT REPORT 8/19: Big Show vs. Wyatt member main event, Triple H announces WWE Title re-match, U.S. champ, heel Bella, more
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ASK PWTORCH STAFF for 8/27: Would Vince McMahon offer Ted Turner a place in the WWE Hall of Fame? Did WWE give Lesnar the WWE Title too soon? Could Reigns end up being booed against Lesnar at WM31? Could Brock just relinquish the title?
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REFERENCE
TNA NEWS: Impact TV ratings are in - how did Week 2 on Wednesday nights fare?
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in - Raw falls below 3.0 week removed from Summerslam (w/Analysis)
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings are in - Friday's show drops to one-month low, plus mixed bag demo ratings
TITLES & CHAMPS: Ongoing list of 2014 Titleholders
TNA NEWS: Impact TV ratings are in for Wednesday's first show in the new timeslot
WWE NEWS: Raw TV quarter-hour ratings - Lesnar's title segment dominates like at Summerslam, plus how did Ambrose vs. Rollins fare in the main event?
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in - post-PPV Raw falls flat
TNA NEWS: Impact TV ratings are in - the final Thursday night episode hits two-month low
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TNA NEWS: Impact TV ratings for last Thursday's show, plus quarter-hour ratings break down
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PWTorch Free Podcast
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LIVECAST AUDIO: Wednesday PWTorch Livecast (8/27) now available - Kamala interview w/Pat McNeill
LIVECAST AUDIO: Tuesday PWTorch Livecast (8/26) now available - Wade Keller & Jason Powell of Prowrestling.net
LIVECAST AUDIO: Monday PWTorch Livecast (8/25) now available - Bruce Mitchell & Travis Bryant
LIVECAST AUDIO: Steve Austin Interview w/Wade Keller now available at PWTorchLivecast.com
LIVECAST AUDIO: Thursday PWTorch Livecast (8/21) now available - James Caldwell & Greg Parks
LIVECAST AUDIO: Wednesday PWTorch Livecast (8/20) now available - Pat McNeill interviews Jonny Fairplay
LIVECAST AUDIO: Tuesday PWTorch Livecast (8/19) now available - Bruce Mitchell & Jason Powell of Prowrestling.net
LIVECAST AUDIO: Monday PWTorch Livecast (8/18) now available - Bruce Mitchell & Travis Bryant
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LIVECAST AUDIO: Thursday PWTorch Livecast (8/14) now available - James Caldwell & Greg Parks
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VIP - 08/26 Wade Keller Hotline - The News: Perspective and analysis on Raw ratings drop this week, off-air Raw happenings, Thursday Smackdown update, GWF, Smackdown rating, WWE Network, Ross reacts to Raw, more (17 min.)