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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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SELECT LIST OF ARTICLES BY CATEGORY

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NEWS REPORTS
SUNDAY EVENTS: Jericho wraps MegaFest, NWO gathering at BTW, Young Bucks & TNA star & Mickie James at 2CW, Samoa Joe at PWX, Rhino at JCW (w/full line-up), ICW, more
WWE NETWORK: Sunday April 19 Schedule - Bryan's only title defense in 2014, more
SHOW RESULTS - 4/18 WWE in Zurich, Switzerland: Orton vs. Rollins wraps tour, Goldust goes old-school, more
SHOW RESULTS - 4/18 WWNLive in Orlando, Fla.: EVOLVE 42 iPPV with new Tag Champs & TNA star in action, FIP determines new Hvt. champion, two losses for Roderick Strong
SHOW RESULTS - 4/18 WWE in Nuremberg, Germany: Reigns vs. Show main event, BNB vs. Rowan, Balor, more
WWE EUROPEAN TOUR: Saturday wrap-up - top champs Cena & Rollins in Switzerland, but not Cesaro; Reigns in Germany (Reports Wanted)
WWNLIVE IPPVS: Saturday Doubleheader - EVOLVE 42 with DGUSA Tag Title match, Strong defends FIP Title, full line-ups
SHOW RESULTS - 4/17 EVOLVE 41 in Ybor City, Fla.: Strong vs. Thatcher 2/3 Falls, TNA star Davey Richards, more
SHOW RESULTS - 4/17 WWE in Antwerp, Belgium: Orton beats Rollins via DQ; big eight-man tag, Nikki defends Divas Title, more
SHOW RESULTS - 4/17 WWE in Dortmund, Germany: Reigns vs. Show Street Fight, Cesaro & Kidd defend Tag Titles, Bryan replaced, more
TNA NEWS: Knockouts theme next week - two big title matches, #1 contender match, new team debuting, more
IMPACT NEWS 4/17: Hardys capture vacant Tag Titles in Ultimate X, how Josh Mathews handled Taz's absence, full match results
PPV REPORTS
RADICAN'S NJPW INVASTION ATTACK PPV REPORT 4/5 - Young Bucks vs. RPG Vice, Okada-Fale, Styles-Ibushi main event
RADICAN'S WWN SUPERSHOW: MERCURY RISING 2015 iPPV REPORT 3/28 - Galloway-Gargano title vs. title & Hero-Thatcher MOTYCs, GeNext reunion, Shine Tag, more
RADICAN'S EVOLVE 40 IPPV REPORT: P.J. Black vs. Ricochet main event, Drew Galloway vs. Uhaa Nation, more; Overall Thoughts
CALDWELL'S WM31 PPV RESULTS 3/29: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of WWE World Title match, Taker's return, Sting vs. Triple H, Cena vs. Rusev, Rock/UFC surprise, more
CALDWELL'S WM31 PPV REPORT 3/29 (Pre-Show): Tag Title match, Andre Battle Royal, final WM31 hype, Stooges, more
MCNEILL'S PPV BLOG 3/29: Live WM31 Blog - ongoing thoughts & observations
RADICAN'S SHIMMER 71 IPPV REPORT 3/28: One-night-only ChickFight Tournament at WWNLive Weekend, plus SHIMMER Title match
RADICAN'S EVOLVE 39 iPPV REPORT: Gargano vs. Fox for DGUSA Title, Galloway vs. Black for EVOLVE Title, Hero, Premier Athlete Brand, set-up for title vs. title match
RADICAN'S NJPW "New Japan Cup 2015 Final" Report 3/15 - semi-final and final round matches, Okada and Tanahashi look for redemption, hot Hiroshima crowd
RADICAN'S EVOLVE 38 iPPV REPORT 3/8 - Cage, Black debut, Gulak-Hero, Richards-Nese, Galloway-Strong Steel Cage main event
KYGHT'S PPV EVALUATION - ROH 13th Anniv.: Best/Worst Match, Biggest Surprise, Best Move, more; Updated Rankings
RADICAN'S ROH 13TH ANNIV. PPV REVIEW: Briscoe defends ROH Title, Samoa Joe returns, Bucks vs. ReDragon, more
TV REPORTS
IMPACT NEWS 4/17: Hardys capture vacant Tag Titles in Ultimate X, how Josh Mathews handled Taz's absence, full match results
PARKS'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 4/16: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Thursday show, including Cesaro & Tyson Kidd vs. Daniel Bryan & John Cena
JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 4/15 - Week 148: Zayn vs. Rhyno #1 contender, departed wrestler in action, Dana Brooke in-ring debut, two big matches next week; Overall Reax
DEHNEL'S LUCHA UNDERGROUND REPORT 4/15: Team Puma vs. Team Cage Trios match, Best of Five Series concludes, more; Overall Reax
CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 4/13: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of London Raw - Cena's latest U.S. Title Open Challenge, battle royal, Extreme Rules hype, more
METZGER'S ROH TV REPORT 4/12: Big title matches of Joe vs. Briscoe for ROH World Title, Lethal vs. Liger for TV Title from WrestleMania Weekend
IMPACT NEWS & NOTES 4/10: Angle defends TNA Title, Homicide returns to TV to join BDC, Tag Title situation set up for next week; Full Match Results
PARKS'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 4/9: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Thursday show, including Miz TV, Neville's Smackdown debut
DEHNEL'S LUCHA UNDERGROUND REPORT 4/8: Prince Puma defends Lucha Underground Title, Trios tournament continues, Mask vs. Mask, more; Overall Reax
JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 4/8 - Week 147: WWE documents Hideo Itami's Road to WrestleMania, includes tons of stars commenting on NXT from Mania Weekend; Reax
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SD POLLS 4/16: Vote 0-10 & Select Best Match on Smackdown
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RAW POLLS 4/13: Vote 0-10 & Select Best Match of London Raw
SATURDAY’S ASK PWTORCH STAFF for 4/11: How should WWE cater to Texas at WM32? Does WWE using Sting and Hogan add to chances more TNA wrestlers are hired? Do NXT gimmick wrestlers have a chance? Is El Generico really Sami Zayn?
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THURSDAY’S ASK PWTORCH ALL-STARS 4/9: Are El Generico & Sami Zayn the same person? Next MITB cash-in for IC or U.S. belt? What match do you show non-fans so they get it? Why don’t heel teams cheat?
WEDNESDAY’S ASK PWTORCH ALL-STARS 4/8: Is Bryan’s health holding back his current push? Should WWE have signed more indy names 3-4 years ago? Do you rewatch PPVs and change your star ratings? Why St. Louis yet again?
MCNEILL LIVECAST POLL: Who is the best female wrestler right now?
RADICAN'S NJPW INVASTION ATTACK PPV REPORT 4/5 - Young Bucks vs. RPG Vice, Okada-Fale, Styles-Ibushi main event
RAW POLLS 4/6: Vote 0-10 & Select the Best Match of Raw
MONDAY’S ASK PWTORCH ALL-STARS 4/6: Ex-WWE Creative Team member and pro comedian Matt McCarthy joins All-Star Panel this week - topics include A.J. Styles, Reigns, Cameron, Cena on Kimmel Live
THE SPECIALISTS
HITS & MISSES - 4/13 WWE Raw: Cena vs. Barrett, Kane's Storyline, Reigns - Big Show, Extrem Rules Stipulations
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: New Book Traces WWE History through Promotional Posters
SPECIAL REPORT: What is the Average Length of a WWE Diva’s Career? (Read the Buzzworthy Column covering 1990s to today)
HITS & MISSES - 4/6 WWE Raw: Rollins - Kane, Rollins vs. Neville, Cena vs. Stardust, Miz vs. Mizdow, Reigns vs. Ryback vs. Orton
VALENTINO'S MAGIC, MEMORIES & MANIA: Live at WrestleMania 31 - A Mania With No Great Matches But Many Great Moments
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: A.J. Lee "Retires" - How the Collectibles Market Reacted
HITS & MISSES - 4/2 WWE Smackdown: Rollins - Orton, Cena - Rusev, Ambrose vs. Harper, Sheamus vs. Bryan, Two-Minute Divas match, more
HITS & MISSES - 3/30 WWE Raw: Lesnar and Heyman, Bryan vs. Ziggler, Cena vs. Ambrose, Saxton Fills In, Main Event tag match, more
COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: Review of Topps's 2015 WWE Dog Tags - A.J. to Edge
VALENTINO'S MAGIC, MEMORIES & MANIA: WrestleMania Weekend Log - The Afterparty
TUCKER'S LIVE INSTANT REACTION - Post-Mania Raw 3/30: Suddenly, there's a mid-card, but what about the main event scene?
HITS & MISSES: A Torch Specialist's First Live WrestleMania
PWTORCH EXCLUSIVES
ROH RETRO - Loaded ROH Show 10 yrs. ago today: Last five matches won by Lethal, C.M. Punk, Joe, Aries, Bryan; more details
RADICAN'S AIW "Girls Night Out 11" Report 3/29/14: Recent WWE signee Jasmin in action, outstanding Yim vs. Athena semi-main event, Kay-Von Dutch main event
RAW RETRO - London Raw 5 yrs. ago: Orton vs. Batista main event, Cena vs. Otunga, Hasselhoff guest-stars, more
WCW TITLE FLASHBACK - Hogan, Flair & Sting in same PPV title match 16 yrs. ago, but none wins the belt
AWA FLASHBACK - Super Clash 25 yrs. ago: Zbyszko captures AWA Title; questions about the future of the promotion
MANIA FLASHBACK - WrestleMania 29 two yrs. ago: Cena beats Rock to complete feud, Hunter vs. Lesnar, Punk vs. Taker, Jericho loses to Fandango, Keller's Star Ratings, more
WWF NEWS FLASHBACK: Introducing Brock Lesnar 15 years ago
MANIA FLASHBACK: The Best WrestleMania Match In History 6 yrs. ago today
TODAY IN HISTORY: Mega-Powers Explode at WM5 head-to-head with Flair-Steamboat
MANIA FLASHBACK: Hogan vs. Warrior 25 yrs. ago today at WM6
RAW RETRO - Shawn Michaels retires 5 yrs. ago on Raw, more WM26 fall-out, including Bret Hart, Cena & Orton, more
MNW FLASHBACK: Final WCW Nitro airs 14 yrs. ago today - Sting vs. Flair, Austin & Rock on Raw, more
REFERENCE
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in - Raw nearly hits year-low for U.K. Raw
TNA NEWS: Impact TV viewership for last Friday's show
TITLES & CHAMPS: Ongoing list of 2015 Titleholders
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings are in - Thursday's show dips, now dealing with competition from Spike TV
TNA NEWS: Impact viewership for last Friday's show, including large demos gap
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in - Monday's show falls nearly 25 percent, plus historical look at second Raw post-Mania vs. NCAA Title game
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings are in for post-Mania episode
WWE NEWS: Raw TV viewership slides for second Raw after WrestleMania, eerily similar pattern to post-Survivor Series
OBIT: Rickard, New Zealand promoter/former NWA Board member, dies at 85
WWE NEWS: Raw TV ratings are in - huge audience post-WM31
TNA NEWS: Impact TV viewership jumps on Friday night
WWE NEWS: Smackdown TV ratings are in for Thursday's show, plus overall WrestleMania Season Average, comparison to WM30 Season
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LIVECAST AUDIO: Monday PWTorch Livecast (4/6) available on-demand - James Caldwell's new Raw post-game show
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