SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
SMOKY MOUNTAIN WRESTLING
MARCH 7, 1992
TAPED IN KNOXVILLE, TENN. AT THE CIVIC COLISEUM
AIRED IN SYNDICATION REGIONALLY
REPORT BY MIKE MILLS, PWTORCH SPECIALIST
– Show starts with a short Dutch Mantel promo talking about how Carl Styles is going to take care of PrimeTime Brian Lee in the main event today and Dutch will be in his corner for the match. Bob Caudle turns sideways as Bob has Rip Rogers next to him. Rip Rogers “rips” the fat disgusting out of shape folks to shreds as he calls them a bunch of hillbilly mountain folks. Rip says he’s in such good shape he’s going to do free squats the whole hour the show is going on. There will be more to come on this as the show develops. The funny part here is as Rip is letting the mountain folks have it, the camera pans over to a few overweight ladies in the crowd with one of them missing a few teeth. They were letting Rip have it right back too as they gave him some boos. But again, more to come on Rip Rogers later.
(1) Hollywood Bob Holly vs. Joey Maggs
We’re a few weeks not into SMW TV and Bob Caudle is talking about how Holly is undefeated. This is what’s great about this promotion. No 50/50 booking at this point. They’re establishing folks and putting people over. It is something small but it means a lot in professional wrestling. As the match goes on, Bob Caudle teases us with a ruling coming this hour with Bob Armstrong. Basically, as you know Ron Wright continues to interfere every single week on the show in a match and its finally time possibly for Bullet Bob to levy some justice. There’s a point in the match where Bob Caudle and Dutch are talking about Joey Maggs who’s putting on a good showing. Dutch says, “why do they call him Jumping Joey Mags?” To which Bob Caudle says, “well he might jump higher than he leaps Dutch.” Its cheesy but it’s awesome at the same time and I loved that line from Bob Caudle. The match is uneventful for the most part. Holly keeps his winning streak alive with a Randy Savage like elbow off the top rope. On a side note, as the match progresses Rip Rogers continues to do free squats just off of the set Bob Caudle and Dutch Mantel are on. He is close to 200 as the match wraps up.
– TIM HORNER PROMO. Rip Rogers is doing his free squats and these people are booing Rip as he tells Horner to shut up as Horner is trying to cut his promo. Rogers tells Horner to shut up because no one wants to hear from a Hillbilly. Rip proceeds to rip into the fat hillbillies as he says. Horner pulls out $500 and bets Rip that Rip can’t do free squats for the entire hour of SMW TV. Horner says he will return later to see if Rip is still doing free squats without a break at the end of an hour.
(2) Terry Gordy vs. Tommy Angel
Rather uneventful match as I assume we’re just building up Gordy for future shows. Dutch says at one point that Gordy is using Tommy Angel for target practice and its once again one of those things you won’t hear on today’s wrestling since I doubt jokes would be made about guns. In the background, Rip Rogers is still doing squats and is up to 500 now. From a distance, Rip says again there’s not a hillbilly around that can do what he’s doing. Gordy defeats Angel with a power bomb of sorts. It’s not a power bomb like you’d see today but it was how he finished the match in less than 4 minutes. Gordy heads over to the desk to talk to Bob Caudle after the match. Gordy says, “there’s not a man alive that can beat me!” that gets a great reaction from the small crowd in attendance. Most wrestling fans don’t need an explanation about who Terry Gordy is. Gordy seems to mean business.
– BULLET BOB ARMSTRONG AND RON WRIGHT PROMO. Bob Caudle acknowledges Rip Rogers who is still doing squats. Caudle then welcomes in Bullet Bob Armstrong. Bullet Bob has a few announcements. The first announcement is of the tag team title tournament that starts within two weeks of this TV episode. Armstrong then says that’s the good news, now I have some bad news. As Armstrong says that they show a few recaps of how Ron Wright has interfered in the matches that we’ve been reviewing. Wright interfered in the Bobby Fulton and Ivan Koloff match, the PrimeTime Brian Lee and Dutch Mantel match, and the Tommy Angel and Bob Holly match. They come back and Caudle says you’re right, we’ve all seen the interference. This is where it gets good to me. Armstrong then says “you know Ron Wright has a manager’s license so there’s nothing I can do but he’s got no right to come down to the ring when neither man in the ring is under contract to Ron Wright. For that I am now banning Ron Wright from ringside brother. Unless you get a contract with somebody you are to stay away from the ring.” Armstrong then tells us it’s not fair to the wrestlers and the fans and I’m banning him. They cut away to the fans during the segment who are in a mild uproar and are all lathered up. At this point, Ron Wright rolls down to the desk where Caudle and Armstrong are at. Ron Wright says, “I can’t believe you would come down here and try to mistreat a poor old crippled man like me! I’m one of the most finest upstanding wrestlers ever in my life, I’ve never harmed a man in my life. I’ve got a bad hip and…” (The look on Bob Armstrong’s face is one of man you are full of bull). Armstrong rips the mic from Ron Wright and says “You’re not going to feed that malarkey to me. I know you Ron Wright, you’re not fooling me. I’ve seen you hurt and destroy people. You’re not going to fool me. You’re not going to feed me that garbage. I know you Ron Wright. I’ve known you for 20 years brother. I’ve seen you take guys trying to get a start in this business and I’ve seen you scar them and cripple them and mash them before they could get started. You’re a low down somebody. You are barred from this ring” Ron Wright’s facial expressions are great. He has this look of being appalled like he is being violated by Bullet Bob and then Wright take the mic from Armstrong and says, “Let me tell you something Bob Armstrong, you’re lucky, if I wasn’t in this wheelchair I’d get out of it right now and deal with you right now. I’d have someone pick me up out of this chair and deal with you.” Armstrong gets tired of Wright and says the heck with this and rolls him off the set. Wright is fighting as much as he can while being rolled away. It is hard to describe how great of a promo this is between these two old school wrestling professionals. The fans are into it. Bullet Bob is a great commissioner and is really establishing himself like a true wrestling commissioner and not that evil authority figure nonsense you see on Monday night these days. This is an excellent segment.
– MR. WONDERFUL PAUL ORNDORFF PROMO. Orndorff goes off about not being able to use the pile driver and that he wants answers from Armstrong on why this is the case. People are using neck breakers, people are coming off the top rope, etc. and it’s all legal. It’s almost like he’s turning heel after just a couple of weeks of TV the way he’s delivering the promo but I guess we’ll see. And he does have a point about the piledriver. He ends the promo yelling about how he doesn’t need the piledriver because he’s got plenty of other moves. You will come to find over the next few months that Paul Orndorff might not be in WWF anymore at this time in 1992 but he hasn’t lost a step and still is a great promo guy.
(3) Paul Orndorff vs. Barry Horowitz
Dutch said something in this match that I do not think in my 41 years on earth and 35 years as a wrestling fan that I have ever heard. Mantel and Caudle start on with the piledriver comments and why is it illegal. And at this time Orndorff is laying on the ring apron with his head hanging off the side when Horowitz delivers an elbow across the throat. Dutch says, “why is the piledriver illegal when Horowitz can drop that elbow across the ‘voicebox’.” They continue to say this about 6-7 more times. I have never heard someone say he dropped an elbow on the voicebox but I’ll talk it because it’s Dutch Mantel and his commentary is great. Dutch is also consumed with PrimeTime Brian Lee during the match. Orndorff gets the victory in a short match.
– JIM CORNETTE PROMO. Bob Caudle mentions the tag team tournament starting in two weeks. Caudle then asked Cornette about his tag team but before Cornette talks about that he says “First off before I say anything, let’s look at this front row, it looks like they decided to remake Deliverance with the original cast” and tells the people to shut up because that’s what you do to get heat in that time period. Actually, it works nowadays also. Cornette starts in on Armstrong. He says again that he can’t tell us who his tag team is because it would create financial upheaval and socioeconomic calamity over the whole area. The whole way of life would fall into despair. As far as the tournament goes, if they (the other tag teams) knew who he had that every wrestler would jump out of the tournament. My team is more sexy than Madonna’s last video, built better than a bomb shelter, and more dangerous than a dinner party at Jeffrey Domer’s place! Cornette is once again at his best.
– DUTCH MANTEL AND BOB CAUDLE RECAP AND PROMO. They cut to the end of the last week on TV recapping Carl Styles attacking Brian Lee after Lee’s match. Dutch says if I ever saw a coward, it was in the form of Brian Lee. This coming from the great heel Dutch is because Dutch couldn’t fight Brian Lee last week because he had a mysterious Chinese flu as Dutch said. Dutch calls Brian Lee a coward. He says Brian Lee has an egg sucking carcass and that Carl Styles is going to take Brian Lee out.
(4) Carl Styles vs. PrimeTime Brian Lee
Cornette is on commentary during this match. Brian Lee’s music hits the ring for him to come out, Lee hits the ring and goes straight after Dutch. He catches Dutch but is stopped from doing any harm when Carl Styles catches Lee from behind with a blow to the back. This happens again and again. Every time Lee bumps Styles, Lee is steadily going after Dutch. Bob Caudle says at one point we’re going to put Dutch in a track meet he’s doing so much running out there. Cornette also adds that Dutch ran a 4.5 second 40-yard dash recently at Oil Trough High School. They get back to the match and they continue to follow the same pattern with Lee bumping Styles and Lee then chasing Dutch. Back to the match, Lee gets the win with a power bomb finisher, Dutch comes in the ring at the end of the match as the referee is counting to three and Dutch and Styles attempt to put the boots to Lee. Lee clears the ring on his own. The match outcome is not the important thing here but rather Dutch getting his heat and people going nuts as they get invested into the ongoing feud.
JIM CORNETTE PROMO. Cornette is selling SMW and not a circus or a sideshow. He repeats that the fans are a genetic experiment gone wrong but hey SMW is coming to your town soon so don’t miss it.
TIM HORNER, RIP ROGERS, PROMO. Just as Rip is about to finish up his free squats, Horner kicks the chair he is using out from under him and Rip falls. This means that Rip did not continued doing free squats for the entire hour and now Rip just missed out on the $500 he bet. We go off air and are left to believe that this is not the end of Rip and Horner.
Final Thoughts: This episode of Smoky Mountain is one of the weaker episodes you will find throughout the Smoky Mountain run. When you know what is coming in the future, it can be difficult to look at this episode and rate is more than a “C+” rating. The highlight of the episode is the Ron Wright and Bullet Bob Armstrong segment. Bullet Bob is developing into a solid commissioner. Mr. Ron Wright is becoming an outstanding heel manager. Bullet Bob’s announcement of the tag team tournament is also a positive during this week’s episode that leaves us something to look forward to in the coming weeks of SMW TV. Cornette also teases us with his tag team that he will be bringing in for the tournament but does not make mention to who these men will be. As average of an episode as this is, it does get much better. As always, stick with us right here and enjoy the journey. You can also enjoy our audio version of the walk thru anytime at mikemills.podbean.com. Until next week, so long for now!
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ARTICLE: SMW LOOKBACK – Ep. 5 (2-29-1992): Danny Davis, Barry Horowitz, Bob Holly, Ron Wright, Paul Orndorff, Brian Lee, 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.