SMW LOOKBACK – Ep. 3 (2-15-1992): Cornette, Holly, Rip Rogers, Gibson, Horner, Horowitz, Koloff, Landel, Mantel, Brian Lee

By Mike Mills, PWTorch Specialist


FEBRUARY 15, 1992



– The show starts off with Jim Cornette and Bob Caudle going over the lineup for this week. Jim Cornette once again addresses the hillbillies as he frequently calls the fans of the Smoky Mountains.

(1) “Hollywood” Bob Holly vs. Pat Rose

Jim Cornette and Bob Caudle are on commentary. This is a typical quick match as Bob Holly is being established at this point as a good mid-card talent for the promotion. Holly’s knee drop of the top rope is the highlight of this match to which you hear the fans lose their minds to because back then coming off the top rope still meant something in 1992. The knee drop from the top rope is very impressive even by today’s standards. Bob Holly gets the pin in less than four minutes on Pat Rose.

– Promo with Bob Caudle, Bobby Fulton, and Jackie Fulton. We have a commercial promotion with White Lightning Tim Horner along with Bobby and Jackie. These guys are simply promoting that SMW is now on the road and will be coming to a town near the viewers soon.

– Promo with Bobby Fulton. Bobby teases us about Vladimir Koloff being gone but it doesn’t matter who Ivan brings in as his new partner because the Fantastics will be ready. This leads into the promo below.

– Ivan Koloff Promo. Ivan cuts a good promo. It’s so 1980s wrestling when Ivan says Vladimir is on official business back in Russia for an extended period of time. In the meantime, Ivan has aligned himself with Jimmy Golden now who is a “classy American” Ivan exclaims. Jimmy Golden says Vladimir had to leave to start a second coup over in Russia and to make sure it’s done right. While Vladimir is gone, Jimmy Golden is going to be taking his place. He wraps it up with saying they’ll win the tag belts but want a match with the Fantastic tonight. Note: At this time the tag belts are not in existence but we should assume he means once they are around.

(2) Hustler Rip Rogers vs. Jumping Joey Maggs

The match cannot even get started when Bob Caudle says, “look at the body on Joey Maggs.” To which Cornette says, “I don’t want to look at his body.” Rip Rogers is an outstanding talent. I truly enjoy watching him sell. During the match, Rogers goes to the top rope and jumps to the outside to the floor and the fans lose their mind. If you do that in today’s wrestling, the fans may let out a small cheer but the fans really cheered and gasped when he launched himself to the floor. Rip Rogers finishes Maggs with the Ripper Plex aka super plex for the win. That’s just another move in today’s wrestling. Back then it could be used as a finisher.

(3) Robert Gibson vs. The Mighty Yankee

Some would gloss over something that happens in the commentary but during the match Caudle mentions how Ricky Gibson (Robert’s brother) was in a bad car accident recently and that we want to wish him well. Cornette no sells this mention of Robert’s brother and keeps calling the match like Caudle didn’t say a word. If you watch RAW today, every wrestler or announcer would break character and share all their well wishes (even the heel announcers would). In the end this is another quick match where Gibson finishes off the Mighty Yankee with a bulldog out of the corner to get the pin.

– Jim Cornette Promo. This is a vicious and excellent heel promo from Jim Cornette. Cornette lays into it and states, “these people in this town look like a genetic experiment gone wrong. It’s a sad state of affairs in this country. You don’t know what to believe or who to believe in anymore. For example, Magic Johnson a sports hero to millions of Americans, come to find out he completes more passes off the court than he does on. Then you got PeeWee Herman, an idol for all the little children, come to find out he likes to play solitaire in a crowded theater. The state of Louisiana elects an indicted criminal to the highest office in the state cause he was the best choice. You got Jimmy Swaggert trying to save all the fallen the women, saving them all for himself. You don’t know who to believe anymore.” He sets all this up to say the only person you can believe is Jim Cornette and if Cornette tells you the sun isn’t going to come up tomorrow you better go buy a flashlight. Then Cornette promises a DYNAMIC tag team that’s coming to Smoky Mountain Wrestling which is the big tease of it all. Note: We will not let out any spoilers in case you are reading and listening along with us and have never watched SMW but this is a long build up to a good moment in SMW.

– Recap from Bob Caudle. Caudle and Cornette recap last week’s match with Scott Armstrong and Dutch Mantel with Dutch whipping Scott Armstrong with the bull whip and being disqualified. Recall that PrimeTime Brian Lee made the save and stopped the madness. Dutch again tells PrimeTime Brian Lee that his whip can stop a 2,000-pound bull and how Dutch repeats he will whip 75 pounds off PrimeTime Brian Lee.

– Dutch Mantel and Ron Wright. Bob then throws it over to a promo with Dutch and Ron Wright. Dutch is pouring his heart out saying how much he feels for Ron Wright and how much Ron needs help. Dutch asks for help from Ron for the main event today against PrimeTime Brian Lee. Ron Wright says Dutch you brought tears to my eyes asking or my help because Medicaid won’t help me with my bad hip. Back to Cornette and Bob, Cornette says, “I hope Ron Wright doesn’t get hurt out there with Dutch, Mr. Wright is so frail.” Pay close attention to Ron Wright everyone. He’s a big key to SMW as we are in week three of the promotion.

(4) Tim Horner vs. Barry Horowitz

Horner gets a ton of cheers as he comes out. As the match starts, Cornette talks about that little snot nosed kid holding the lightning bolt that Cornette is burying and Caudle says “what are you talking about?” Bob had no clue or if he did have a clue he played it straight as a straight commentator. Horowitz has to be one of the most underrated guys ever. He is so good in the ring. It’s a shame he never got the opportunity to show the world how good he was by getting a push in a major promotion. We do get an announcement in the middle of the match that next week’s main event which is the Fantastics Bobby and Jackie Fulton against Ivan Koloff and Jimmy Golden. Back to this match, we get the natural bridge once again as Tim Horner gets the win over Horowitz. Tim Horner cuts a short promo at the end of the match thanking the fans in Morristown, TN.

– Nature Boy Buddy Landel Promo. Landel basically buries WCW and WWF during that time period. He basically calls every wrestler in WCW and WWF sheep that follow what the big-name leaders say without questions. He says he’s a God around here. Buddy is really calling out the big-name promotions throughout this promo. It is not even subtle as he really does not care and is letting it be known.

(5) “Dirty” Dutch Mantel vs. “Prime Time” Brian Lee

The match gets underway and Cornette asked where Ron Wright is and says poor thing must’ve caught the flu or something. Soon after Ron Wright comes down to the ring in his wheelchair. Bob Caudle doesn’t like Ron Wright. He calls him despicable. Caudle says I can’t believe he’s not going to get involved in this match. Cornette says, “What’s poor old Ron Wright going to do to help out, sprout some wings to get out that wheelchair?” For people who don’t know, Ron Wright is one of the most despicable and hated wrestlers in the history of Tennessee wrestling. Therefore, Bob Caudle is not buying this Mr. Nice Guy routine from Ron Wright. There’s an old woman in the front row losing her mind during the match. Cornette says, I wonder if her undertaker knows she’s here as Cornette gives us some gold on commentary. We’re in the midst of the match when PrimeTime Brian Lee is by the ropes when Ron Wright gives Dutch some type of foreign object. PrimeTime Brian Lee takes the foreign object from Dutch and hits Dutch but the referee sees whatever it is and calls for the disqualification on Brian Lee. In the background, it is very subtle but Ron Wright literally “rolls” away from the scene of the crime. Again, the Ron Wright angle is one that will stick around and it is a great one as it plays out.

– Ron Wright, Hollywood Bob Holly, and then Cornette Promo. Ron Wright tells us he’s still scouting and looking for someone to help out so that he can get his hip surgery done. Hollywood Holly and Cornette are talking about the limo that’s waiting and Cornette is promoting SMW coming to your town soon. From an angle perspective, there isn’t much here. This is more or less Cornette, Wright, and Holly drumming up interest and to pay attention to when SMW comes to your town. SMW does this frequently throughout all their episodes at this time.

– Prime Time Brian Lee reacts to his match. Lee says since Dutch and Ron Wright are such good buddies now I will put Dutch in a wheel chair just like his buddy Ron. Lee says he’s been ripped off and he wants a rematch. Lee tells Dutch that Dutch may be good but you’re not ready for PrimeTime to close out his promo


This was an average episode of SMW TV. Considering that I know what is coming throughout 1992 and beyond, this episode leaves a lot to be desired. They did progress a couple of storylines with the Koloffs and Fantastics. They introduced Jimmy Golden who goes on to play a fairly big role throughout 1992 in SMW. They also progressed the PrimeTime Brian Lee versus Dutch Mantel angle. Jim Cornette did cut a fantastic promo in this episode. And lastly, Ron Wright made another appearance and I can only tell you that what you will see from Ron Wright will get much better as we progress. Stick with us for more each week and continue to enjoy the SMW ride we’re on!

NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ARTICLE: SMW LOOKBACK – Ep. 2 (2-8-92): Paul Orndorff, Bob Holly, The Fantastics, “Dirty” Dutch Mantel, Armstrong, Koloffs

(Mike Mills is a 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 You can e-mail Mike at

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