SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
SMOKY MOUNTAIN WRESTLING
MARCH 21, 1992
TAPED IN KNOXVILLE, TENN. AT THE CIVIC COLISEUM
AIRED IN SYNDICATION REGIONALLY
REPORT BY MIKE MILLS, PWTORCH SPECIALIST
(1) Rock & Roll Robert Gibson vs. Joe Cazana
We go to the ring after a brief introduction from Dutch Mantel and Bob Caudle at the top of the show. We get a lot of “Rock & Roll” chants to start the match and our favorite old lady (I believe this is Bueller Bush a long time SMW fan) is back at ringside in a red sweater this time. Dutch starts talking about the lack of strategy people employ usually against Gibson. Dutch says “you know, if I was wrestling Robert Gibson I’d walk right up to Gibson and slap him right across the chops one time cause once you do that it’s like you have mind control over your opponent.” Bob Caudle responds to this with, “I heard it’s like a mule when you take that mule to get that mule’s attention.” Dutch responds with, “I have no clue what you’re talking about, I’ve never heard this mule story you’re talking about Bob Caudle.” Bob chuckles and they get back to the match. Quick match here that ends when Cazana goes to the top rope and misses an elbow. Gibson picks him up and shoots him into the ropes and give Cazana a back drop, Gibson Irish whips Cazana into the corner, follows him in and comes out with an old-school bulldog as he gets the win on Cazana in a short uneventful match but with a little zinger on the commentary from Dutch and Bob Caudle.
– PROMO WITH BULLET BOB ARMSTRONG. Bob Armstrong delivers a promo announcing the teams that will be in the tag team tournament that is starting this week. Bullet Bob Armstrong is still talking about how he needs to still find out who Cornette’s team will be and he’s about to get to that shortly. The first-round matches will be: The Maulers (Jack Victory & Rip Morgan) vs. Johnny & Davey Rich, The Fantastics vs. The Wild Bunch (Joel Deaton & Billy Black), The Koloffs vs. Danny Davis & Joey Maggs, The Batten Twins vs. Jim Cornette’s Tag Team. Matches begin next week on television, with the finals being held at a later date. As a side note, although Bullet Bob just said the tournament will begin next week, it will begin later in this hour.
– VIDEO PACKAGE OF THE MAULERS. We go to a video package of The Maulers from their time in Japan. I must say, these dudes are some bruisers and maulers no pun intended. These guys are putting a whooping on the talent in Japan. They’re doing high risk moves like moonsaults and flying around with reckless abandon. I really liked this and it reminded me of one of the cool things from the territories. The territories were cool because you’d have these teams or people that would come in but sometimes before they came in, you’d get a video package like this so that you would get to see them on TV a few times before they came into the territory.
(2) Hector Guerrero vs. Keith Hart
When they announce Keith Hart, there’s a guy looking like he’s mad in the front row. He looked like he was in line at Luby’s and just got told they were out of mashed potatoes and he was salty about it. On to the match, Bob Caudle starts the commentary with talking about how Hector is like a bug in that ring. Dutch starts laying into Bob Caudle before he can get going about Bob’s overuse of the word “quick.” Dutch questions Bob when he says “are you going to start telling me again about how quick these guys are? It’s not just quickness that wins a match Bob Caudle.” These two as usual ignore the match for the most part. They get into talking about how Bullet Bob is on a mission to find out who Cornette’s tag team is. Then out of the blue Bob Caudle says, “by the way, where is Styles.” Dutch says “Who?” Caudle says “Where is Styles?” Dutch says I don’t really want to talk about it.” Caudle says “come one Dutch, where is he? Where’s Styles.” Dutch says, “I don’t want to talk about this, it’s a long story.” Caudle, “Dutch come on, where is he?” Dutch say, “what do you not understand, I don’t want to talk about it.” They keep going back and forth till Dutch finally says, “Bob Armstrong says Carl Styles can’t come out here anymore but I’m working on getting to the bottom of it, are you happy now Bob Caudle?” We do eventually find out where Styles was and why he was missing for a short time period. This is announced in the weeks to come. Back to the match, Hector Guerrero does this move where it’s almost like a head scissors take over but he crosses his ankles and takes over Keith Hart with his feet around Hart’s head and neck. Dutch says, “I wish that Hector Guerrero would put his feet in my face like that. I’d rip his leg off and beat him in the head with it.” Bob Caudle chuckles and says, “Dutch, that would take some doing.” Dutch says, “it might take some doing for most guys but not for me.” Bob Caudle then continues jabbing Dutch and says “Yeah well I’ll tell you what if Hector ever got you in that jalapeno pepper roll it would be curtains for Dutch Mantel.” Dutch says, “no way, I’d take some Rolaids and get right out of that deal.” Back to the match, Hart attempts what I would term a modified version of what we now call a Chris Jericho Lionsault. He misses it when Hector puts up his legs that Hart lands on. Hector then proceeds to get Hart into the Jalapeno pepper roll. The referee counts to three and Hector Guerrero gets himself a victory.
– JIM CORNETTE PROMO. Jim Cornette gets going with another great promo when he states the following: “Look at this place, it looks like a green room in an acid flashback. I’ve never seen such ugly people in my life.” Recall, this segment is supposed to be where Cornette is about to introduce his new tag team. Cornette goes offsite for this adventure. They pull up to Hooters to meet the tag team. Cornette says he’s rented the entire place out. Cornette brings the reporter to the table with his tag team BUT they’re surrounding by Hooter girls and we don’t get a glimpse of them. We go back to the live interview where Cornette is still with Bob Caudle. Caudle says I didn’t see anything but a bunch of girls there. Cornette says, the problem is it’s been so long since the women in this part of the country have seen a real man that they didn’t know what to do. This is what happens when you bring superstars to this neck of the woods says Cornette. Now, here’s the thing about this segment. Everyone watching really believed that they were finally about to see Cornette’s tag team. And yet they pull the wool over the fans eyes and don’t give them what they want so now we’re waiting ANOTHER week to finally see Cornette’s tag team. Common theme again here is a “slow burn.” And once again, we never seem to see slow burning storylines in wrestling anymore.
(3) Hollywood Bob Holly vs. Paul Miller
We’ve got Paul Miller and Bob Holly who’s a close personal friend of Julia Roberts, or so he says he is. We haven’t seen Paul Miller since week 1 when he beat the Black Scorpion. Of course, Dutch and Bob Caudle start throwing jabs at each other. It’s about Cornette once again as Caudle says Cornette is telling a lie since he didn’t present his tag team this week to everyone. Bob Caudle claims that the preceding video was fake and Jim Cornette probably just paid those Hooters waitresses to pretend they were excited. Back to the actual match, Paul Miller gets a lot of offense in this quick match. I like Miller. He seems like he’s a good talent. I don’t remember if they ever do anything more with him in SMW but I’m semi-impressed. Bob Holly wins the match with a drop kick off the top rope which was a big move back then.
– RON WRIGHT AND DIRTY WHITE BOY PROMO. Ron Wright starts with how disheartened he is that there’s no checks coming into his mailbox. He’s disappointed because none of the fans are getting around to supporting this poor old broke down man and sending him any checks in the mail. Remember, Ron Wright is a poor old crippled old man in a wheelchair and he’s wanting the good SMW fans to donate to him. Dirty White Boy says “it makes me sick to my stomach to see this legend in this condition. There’s going to be a tournament and I’m going to win it and I’ll get you out of this chair one way or another and if I can’t I’ll buy you the best gold chair there is!” The written version of this episode still can’t convey how effective the Dirty White Boy and Ron Wright are at getting some great heat. They both are great talkers and are underrated when it comes to cutting effective promos. In just eight weeks of SMW TV, the fans have come to despise Ron Wright and now his wrestler the Dirty White Boy.
(4) Rip Morgan & Jack Victory (The Maulers) vs. Johnny & Davey Rich
First thing that gave me a laugh was when Johnny and Davey Rich came out to “Too Legit To Quit” by MC Hammer. I remember this song like it was yesterday because this was like the Atlanta Falcons theme song in 91 and 92. MC Hammer was traveling with the Falcons and was always a special guest for Jerry Glanville. Kind of funny watching these two coming out dancing to MC Hammer. Now, really quick before I say anymore. Yes, I know Bullet Bob said the tag team tournament would begin next week but apparently, we’re starting it this week! Dutch starts giving us a history lesson at the beginning of the match about Morgan and Victory. Evidently, according to Dutch, these guys were previously in the Royal Family but the queen disowned them because she did not like what they stood for. Therefore, Morgan and Victory burnt their robes and burnt their flag. Again, this is according to Dutch. The Rich’s look good. The crowd is into this match. It’s a true old school tag match where the heels get some heat on one of the face’s. We go to the end of the match when one of the Rich’s have Victory in a sleeper but Morgan gets a hold of a boot. He slugs one of the Rich brothers in the upper back/neck with the boot. Rich takes a bump. Victory falls on him for the 1-2-3 and Rip Morgan and Jack Victory move on to the second round of the SMW tag team title tournament.
– PROMO WITH BOBBY & JACKIE FULTON. It’s Bobby Fulton introducing their mystery member for the 6-man tag match that’s about to come up that we believe will be against Jimmy Golden, Ivan Koloff, and Vladimir Koloff. Bobby introduces the partner and it is none other than the original member of the Fantastics, Tommy Rogers. Bob Caudle throws it to the ring. But as he is doing so Jimmy Golden comes out and says he just got a phone call just now from his two partners Ivan and Vladimir Koloff and Golden says, “their (Both Koloffs) two wives are having babies right now, I don’t guess there’s going to be a match.” Tommy Rogers runs over to the desk and says, “hey wait, hold up I just travelled a thousand miles and you mean to tell me we’re not going to have a match.” And then unlike today when two guys have issues with each other, Tommy Rogers says the heck with this, I’m about to whoop somebody and he starts slugging. Rogers and Golden fight to the ring and out runs the Wild Bunch who are a part of the tag team tournament. And these guys, The Wild Bunch, are two rough looking guys who are ready and just looking for a fight.
(4) The Fantastics (Bobby & Jackie Fulton w/Tommy Rogers) vs. The Wild Bunch (Billy Black & Joel Deaton w/Jimmy Golden)
The match is on now, they finally get things under order for it to be a traditional 6-man tag match. Deaton and Black are some big dudes that are there for a fight. Of course, Bob Caudle and Dutch do some verbal sparring. Dutch says at one point, “Bob Caudle I’m going to use your term, the Fantastics better be quick.” These guys just really lay it in during this match. The match ends with Bobby Fulton pinning Jimmy Golden so the Fantastics get the win but all mayhem breaks loose with the bell ringing at the end for some help in the ring. While Bobby Fulton did get the pin on Golden, I got the feeling nothing was really settled and that we haven’t seen the end of the Fantastics and Jimmy Golden but I guess we will see.
-BULLET BOB ARMSTRONG PROMO. A very quick promo at the end of the episode before we wrap up. Remember, the Koloffs didn’t show up for the 6-man tag match in the main event that we just watched which was the advertised main event for the week. Bob Armstrong is imposing a fine of $500 on the Koloffs because they no showed the TV taping; additionally, the Koloffs are not allowed to compete in the tag tournament until they pay the fine. We go off air.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Not the best episode of SMW but it’s not the worst either. I gave it a “B” rating. The big news of the episode was Cornette’s tag team not appearing on the show after we were promised that we would get to find out who they are. This was a positive though because to me this is the continuation of seeing a slow burn. We also found out about the tag team tournament bracket and got a glimpse of the teams that would be competing for the SMW Tag Team titles. Additionally, we did get a first round match of the SMW tag team title tournament with The Maulers advancing in the tournament. I enjoyed this because we were introduced to some new teams in this episode such as the Rich brothers. The Maulers, and The Wild Bunch. Although some of these teams may or may not be around in the territory for long, it was always good to see some new faces come into the territory back in the day. If you would like, you can follow along on our audio version of the SMW Flashbacks also anytime on the go at mikemills.podbean.com. In the meantime, as Bob Caudle says “we’ll catch you next week fans and so long for now!”
NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS REPORT: SMW LOOKBACK – Ep. 7 (3-14-1992): Terry Gordy, Bob Holly, Jerry Lynn, Hector Guerrero, Fantastics, Ivan Koloff, Rip Rogers, more
(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.)