SMW LOOKBACK – Ep. 2 (2-8-92): Paul Orndorff, Bob Holly, The Fantastics, “Dirty” Dutch Mantel, Armstrong, Koloffs

By Mike Mills, PWTorch Specialist



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SMOKY MOUNTAIN WRESTLING – Episode 2
FEBRUARY 8, 1992
AIRED ON REGIONAL TV STATIONS
Report by Mike Mills, PWTorch Specialist

Show Summary

– Bob Caudle and Jim Cornette are on commentary this week. Jim Cornette announces two main events. The main events are Scott Armstrong vs. Dutch Mantell and The Fantastics (Fulton’s) vs. Ivan & Vladimir Koloff.

(1) “Hollywood” Bob Holly vs. Tim Fry

This is a very quick match as it looks like Bob Holly is being positioned as a mid-card talent. It is hard for most who watch this today to accept that Bob Holly was indeed from Hollywood but go with it and you’ll be entertained as his character develops in SMW. Holly is wearing pink and for many who haven’t seen this version of Bob Holly, you will probably view him as having a bit of a Bret Hart look with the pink he’s wearing. We have a Ron Wright sighting in this match. Ron seems to be scouting talent. If you recall from episode 1 last week, Ron is looking to recruit a wrestler or two so that they can help him with his hip and knee implant surgeries he needs. Hollywood Holly wins with a kneedrop from the top rope that looks devastating.

– Koloffs Promo. Ivan and Vladimir are cutting a promo on the Fantastics that they’ll be wrestling later. Vladimir is the funniest looking supposedly scary Russian you’ll ever see. I think Ivan must have been laughing when he said you saw Nikita Koloff but Vladimir is just as intense. I couldn’t stop laughing. Ivan’s promo wasn’t terrible but putting over Vladimir was a bit of a stretch at this point. However, I do understand everyone must start somewhere.

– Robert Gibson Promo. Gibson tells us he’s happy to be back wrestling. He says he’s been out for 9 months due to knee surgery. It was a quick promo and nothing much here to really sink our teeth into. I took it as more of a chance to give 30 seconds of a promo to one of the more well-known talents in the promotion.

(2) “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff vs. Rip Rogers

This was a solid match. This is 1991 with it airing in 1992. Paul Orndoff was still a star to me back then. And when you see him he’s still in great shape and a really great wrestler during his run in SMW. During the match, Cornette praises Orndoff but then buries him and says he doesn’t like how Orndoff kisses butt to the hillbillies. Caudle says, “oh come on Jim.” Bob Caudle is a great “straight man” as a commentator that calls it down the middle. Hustler Rip Rogers is one heck of a wrestler. He is a bumping and selling master for Orndorff during this match. I also love how Orndoff used the mic but there’s no fine. But back to the match, Cornette is gold on commentary throwing some punches at the WWF and why Orndorff is no longer there by insinuating that Orndorff is in SMW because he doesn’t want to kiss tail and sell dolls and merchandise. The finish was a little messed up. Orndorff gives him a backdrop then drops down over him to get the pin. The ref seemed to not know the finish and stopped at the count of two but then continued. Paul Orndorff gets the win over Rip Rogers in an entertaining match.

-Nitro Danny Davis Promo Followed by Bullet Bob Armstrong SMW Commissioner. Nightmare Danny Davis talks for a minute. It’s nothing special just him saying he’s now Nitro Danny Davis and no longer Nightmare. He’s also trying to drum up interest to the fans in the Smoky Mountains to come out and see pro wrestling when it comes to their town. After Nitro Danny Davis, we have Bullet Bob come out. He talks about some of the great wrestlers they are working on getting to SMW. Remember, these are the first few episodes and the start of the promotion so everything is fairly basic. He repeats how he’s levying fines and no one will break rules.

– PrimeTime Brian Lee Promo. He cuts a promo on Dutch Mantell, obviously setting up some type of match for a future episode. Nothing is set in stone but there is certainly a slow build taking place.

(3) Scott Armstrong vs. “Dirty” Dutch Mantell

Dutch comes out to the old Rawhide theme song. It’s so fitting for him with his look of being an old-school wrestler. Jim Cornette throws us some gold on commentary when talking about Scott Armstrong. Cornette tells us that Bullet Bob Armstrong use to walk Scott Armstrong to school. Cornette follows up and says it came in handy that Bullet Bob walked Scott to school since they were in the same grade together. We get back to the match and Dutch gets disqualified when he beats Scott with his whip which is named “shoe baby.” Brian Lee runs in. Dutch grabs the mic and tells Brian Lee he’s got a whip and he’s going to beat 75 lbs. off Brian Lee. This was another solid old school heel vs. face matchup in early SMW. This match was used to set up the feud building between PrimeTime Brian Lee and Dirty Dutch Mantell.

– Following the match that just took place, Commissioner Bob Armstrong makes an appearance and is being interviewed by Bob Caudle. Bob Armstrong states that it is ok for Dutch Mantell to come to the ring with his bull whip “shoe baby” because it is a part of his paraphernalia but if Dutch uses shoe baby in any way that Dutch will be fined $500. Bob Armstrong also announces that next week it will be Dutch Mantell vs. PrimeTime Brian Lee because it seems that Dutch has a problem with Brian Lee. Bob Armstrong says they can solve their problems in the ring.

– Jim Cornette Promo. Jim Cornette follows Bob Armstrong with his own promo. Cornette says if Dutch wants to use his bull whip that maybe he’ll pay the fine. Cornette then turns his attention to his new tag team that he will be bringing into SMW. He sells them as a dynamic tag team that will make a big impact. He also rips the “other” wrestling organizations during that time period insinuating that in those places you win titles by not being a good wrestler but by how much merchandise you sell. He wraps it up with talking about how his tag team isn’t one of these merchandise selling talents but real men who aren’t unfamiliar to wearing titles.

– Wally Yamaguchi Promo. This is a very awkward promo with Mr. Yamaguchi. He does not seem sure what he wants to say but it appears that SMW based on the promo from Mr. Yamaguchi may be doing some business with pro wrestling talents in Japan.

– Recap of the Ivan Koloff and Bobby Fulton match. Ron Wright gives Ivan Koloff something to knock out Bobby Fulton with. Jackie Fulton hits the ring to help Bobby. Recall that the referee reversed the decision when he figures out that Ivan used a foreign object. We see the scene again where Jackie Fulton is hung via a Russian chain over the top rope. Cornette chimes in on commentary saying that’s right, those Fulton’s got what they deserved. They also show a recap of Bob Armstrong levying out the $500 fine due to the use of the foreign object and they show Bobby calling out Ron Wright for getting involved in the match and sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong.

– Ron Wright Promo. Ron Wright states that he was innocent. He says he is crippled man and he was just scouting talent. He says he is just minding his own business and he’s just a poor old crippled man trying to find a wrestler or a team to help him out with his surgeries he needs. It’s very important to stick with this Ron Wright story. Without spoiling anything, you will find Mr. Ron Wright very entertaining and the type of heel manager you just do not see any more in wrestling in my opinion.

(4) Ivan and Vladimir Koloff vs. The Fantastics (Bobby and Jackie Fulton)

There’s no talking here as the Fantastics hit the ring. Jackie was hung by a Russian chain last week and the Fantastics hit the ring with a purpose. None of this stuff you see on RAW or SmackDown these days where the talent talks for 10 minutes before things get going good. During the match, Caudle tells Cornette that the Koloffs better not cheat because Bullet Bob Armstrong will fine them. Cornette says “and you probably still believe if you put a tooth under a pillow the tooth fairy will bring you a $5 bill.” Caudle then starts asking what is exactly 215 kilos in weight (referencing when the Russians weight is given before the match starts). Cornette says “I don’t know but I think its 15-20 years in prison” to which Caudle lets out a laugh. Apparently at the end of the match they went with ECW rules because there was no semblance of a legal man but Jackie Fulton pins Ivan Koloff as he comes off the top rope with a cross body. This was an overall good tag match that you would see during the territory days. Cornette does point out that he thinks the referee lost contact with who the legal man was but it doesn’t matter as the Fantastics get the win.

– Jim Cornette followed by a very weird Terry Gordy Promo. Cornette gives a quick promo about how he needs to have a word with Armstrong because he doesn’t want to go to all of these hillbilly towns in SMW that he will be required to be at. Terry Gordy of the Freebirds then comes into the scene to be interviewed. He starts screaming about how he went from Freebird Mountain to Smoky Mountain and Bob Caudle is looking at him like what is going on. Gordy wraps up the promo telling us literally that the “skies will be illuminated!” I am not sure what to make of this promo in a literal sense but it is Terry Gordy from the world famous Freebirds so of course I am happy to see him in SMW as I am watching this.

– White Lightning Tim Horner Promo. Tim Horner seems lost during this promo as to what he wants to say. He pauses frequently and tries to cut a promo where he wants to say that unlike some of the “other” wrestling promotions and organization that SMW isn’t a body competition. However, he can’t seem to get the words out and it takes Bob Caudle to mention body builders to help Horner along with his promo. It may be one of the worst wrestling promos I have ever seen. Bob Caudle closes out the promo and tells us that he will see us next week.

Final Thoughts: This is an average episode of SMW TV from February 8, 1992. We are introduced to some more new faces to SMW with Scott Armstrong, Hollywood Bob Holly, Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff, and Rip Rogers. Some of these talents will certainly hang around in the coming months and will provide for some very entertaining and great wrestling matches and angles throughout SMW TV in 1992. Stick with us through it all right here and enjoy the ride!

NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: SMW LOOKBACK – Ep. 1 (2-1-92): The launch of Jim Cornette’s regional promotion, Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, Horowitz, Koloff, Dutch Mantel


Mike Mills is a PWTorch.com Smoky Mountain Wrestling TV Flashback Specialist, providing his point of view on Smoky Mountain Wrestling TV that aired between February of 1992 through November of 1995. You can follow Mike at @BTT_Podcast and @Mike504Saints on Twitter. An audio version of the Smoky Mountain flashbacks are also available at mikemills.podbean.com. You can e-mail Mike at BookingTheTerritory@gmail.com 

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