SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
SMOKY MOUNTAIN WRESTLING
FEBRUARY 29, 1992
TAPED IN KNOXVILLE, TENN. AT THE CIVIC COLISEUM
AIRED IN SYNDICATION REGIONALLY
REPORT BY MIKE MILLS, PWTORCH SPECIALIST
– Bob Caudle and Dutch Mantel kick off the show. Bob Caudle runs down the lineup of today’s action and sends us to the ring for our opening match.
(1) Nitro Danny Davis vs. Barry Horowitz
Nitro Danny Davis makes his SMW debut in this match. I’ve raved about Barry Horowitz on previous SMW and BTT podcast episodes and article on the PW Torch site but the guy is really a great technician and pro wrestler. There is a spot in the match where Horowitz went from an abdominal stretch to a cradle to the stinger death drop that Dutch mentions Horowitz is the only guy that uses that move. They don’t call it a death drop; Bob Caudle calls it a neck breaker of sorts but it’s a stinger death drop if I’ve ever seen one. They go through a series of moves where Davis hits Horowitz with a hip toss out of the corner and then a backdrop to Horowitz. The match ends when Davis rolls up Horowitz with an inside cradle. This is a good quick match as Davis gets his first win in his SMW debut match.
– JIMMY GOLDEN PROMO. After the match, we go to a Jimmy Golden promo. Jimmy tells Rock and Roll Robert Gibson he’s going to chop him down to size. It’s a solid promo and your regular early 1990s family friendly heel promo.
– We then get a recap of last week’s action with the Fulton’s and Koloff’s with Jimmy Golden that we discussed last week that turned into an all-out brawl. But we also get the Fulton’s cutting a promo talking about how they’re in Japan but they’ll be back to fight the Koloff’s and Golden soon enough. Back at the desk Bullet Bob Armstrong announces a $500 fine that will be levied out against all parties in the fight but that the Fulton’s do have a legal gripe and he is granting them a 6-man match against the Koloff’s and Golden when they return. If you remember, last week there was a big-time brawl at the end of the episode and Bullet Bob is making sure everyone knows that type of stuff won’t be allowed in SWM without a fine. Armstrong also tells Dutch that he’s made PrimeTime Brian Lee aware that as long as Dutch is at the desk he can’t touch him but when Dutch gets to that ring Lee can do as he pleases to Dutch.
– RON WRIGHT PROMO. Ron Wright is still looking for a man to manage but he has a message for all his fans. Ron Wright states, “I’d like to read one of the thousands of letters I’ve received from a fan. I love how you always showed good sportsmanship when those other wrestlers would try to harm and MAME you. Here is $5 that I’d like to give you for your surgery. Maybe some other good Christians will help you out.” Wright says, this nearly breaks me down, they know I was a good Christian and clean scientific wrestler.” It is hard to articulate how good of a heel manager promo this is without seeing it. Everyone watching knows that Ron Wright is full of bull but he is carrying out his role as an excellent heel manager would back in the day. Also, knowing the history of Ron Wright and how dirty of a heel that he was is what makes this promo of his even better.
(2) “Hollywood” Bob Holly vs. Tommy Angel
The highlight of this match is Bob Caudle questioning Dutch about why is Carl Styles standing behind Dutch as his body guard. Dutch says Brian Lee is dangerous and Carl is his protection. They get on the topic of Bob Holly who Dutch says is a great wrestler in the making and a future superstar. During the match, Ron Wright rolls out to ringside. Dutch goes into this speech about Wright and how sad it is that he’s in a wheel chair. Bob Caudle no sells this sympathy that Dutch is giving Mr. Ron Wright because Caudle knows how terrible of a person Ron Wright was when he was a wrestler. This is a relatively hard hitting match that of course Ron Wright helps out with as Wright grabs Angel’s leg as he’s going up to the top rope. As Angel is distracted, Holly get the advantage and ends up getting the upper hand on Angel. Bob Holly gets the pin after hitting his finisher. When Bob Caudle and Dutch are recapping the end of the match, Caudle says look at Ron Wright grabbing Angel’s foot and holding him from climbing the top rope to which Dutch says he’s stepping on Ron Wright’s hand and Angel got what he deserved when he was trying to step on poor Ron Wright’s hand.
– PAUL ORNDORF PROMO. After the match, we go to a Paul Orndorff promo. Orndorff is talking about how he’s held tons of titles everywhere and that SMW is a hotbed of wrestling right now that everyone is coming to. Orndorff does a fantastic job selling SMW as a great new promotion that all of the top talent is going to. Orndorff does say he needs to have a talk with Bob Armstrong about this no pile driver rule since that’s his finisher. A slight teaser here for you. The pile driver being banned becomes a big issue over the next few months in SMW.
– BRIAN LEE PROMO. After the Orndorff promo, we get a very quick Brian Lee promo and he’s got a message for Dutch Mantell. Lee tells Dutch that he knows he can’t touch Dutch when he’s at the desk but if he sets foot in a ring he’s all his and Dutch isn’t ready for PrimeTime. It’s a decent promo. Brian Lee is continuing to establish himself as one of if not the top face in the promotion.
(3) Carl Styles vs. Reno Riggins
Dutch is supposed to fight in this match but begins acting like he has the “Chinese Flu” as he says and how he’s got a 105 fever. Caudle calls him out and says he can’t believe he’s scared to step in the ring and he’s obviously not sick. Dutch sends Carl Styles his bodyguard to the ring to wrestling Riggins for him. Styles ends up getting the win. Brian Lee hits the ring at the end. Lee tells Styles he’s being made a fool of and that he has no problems with Styles. Lee challenges Dutch to get in the ring but Dutch says from the desk “I’ve got a fever and can’t do it.” Lee turns his back on Styles and Styles jumps him from behind. We go off the air with Lee and Styles slugging at each other without a solution as we fade away with Dutch Mantell playing the role as the chicken heel who wants no part of Brian Lee.
– JIM CORNETTE PROMO. Jim speculates on who his new tag team is going to be. He says that Bob Armstrong says you can’t enter a nameless team because it’s not fair to the others. Cornette says it’s only fair because if he did say who it was everyone would bail on the tournament and there would be no one left to compete. I continue to give Jim Cornette credit here. We are 5 weeks into SMW TV at this point and Jim continues to do a great job of teasing who his team will be. This is something that doesn’t seem to happen any longer in wrestling. Payoffs seem to happen much quicker especially when there are 3 hours of TV to fill on RAW weekly.
(4) Robert Gibson vs. Jimmy Golden
The match gets started but before we start talking about the competitors the topic is Dutch’s health. Dutch continues to talk about how he’s sick and not feeling well. Dutch and Bob Caudle then change topics and start discussing who Cornette’s new tag team is going to be. They finally get to the match after Dutch explains that he’s feeling better. He claims he took a few Advil and his 105 fever is gone. They talk about how Robert Gibson is now a singles wrestler. They then announce Terry Gordy from the Fabulous Freebirds is making his debut starting next week. During the match, Ivan and Vladimir show up at ringside. Bob Caudle immediately says something is up with the Koloff’s at ringside. Dutch says they’re just defending their friend and supporting him. Long story short, Gibson is on his way to victory when the Koloff’s jump in and decide to interfere giving Gibson the win by DQ. It’s a rather uneventful episode but still not terrible and only 48 minutes of my time with no commercials. But we’re not done as we see below.
Gibson and Brian Lee cut a promo with Bullet Bob Armstrong. Armstrong says to Gibson and Lee, you guys can get a few guys together and show those Koloff’s and Golden something. Armstrong says, “I’ll turn my back!” Which Armstrong seems to be saying if you cheat and use a foreign object that Armstrong won’t fine them or say a word. Gibson vows revenge on Golden. Lee then talks up his match with Carl Styles who jumped him earlier in the program. He’s going to go through Styles and eventually get his hands on Dutch and break Dutch in half.
It’s a rather uneventful episode but still not terrible and only 48 minutes of my time with no commercials. This is one of those early episodes that I like to say that SMW is getting their feet under them. This is only the fifth episode and there is not anything major that happens. I guess if it were on TV today as a wrestling product that is reviewed, one might say this was definitely not must see TV. If that statement was made, I would tend to agree. While this is not a must-see episode, there are a bunch of mainstays in this episode that become major players throughout the SMW early run. Therefore, in a sense it is good to see what guys like Jimmy Golden, Ron Wright, and Brian Lee do in the early on SMW TV episodes. On a scale of 1-10, I’d rate this episode a 5 and very average by SMW standards. However, like I said stick with us because SMW improves drastically in the coming weeks and months.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S SHOW REVIEW: SMW LOOKBACK – Ep. 4 (2-22-1992): Hector Guerrero, Killer Kyle, Brian Lee, Ivan Koloff, Jimmy Golden, Bobby and Jackie Fulton (The Fantastics)
(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.)