SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
SMOKY MOUNTAIN WRESTLING
MARCH 28, 2017
AIRED ON REGIONAL TV STATIONS
Report by Mike Mills, PW Torch Specialist
– Standard opening of the show with Dutch and Bob Caudle. Caudle lays out the card for today’s TV show. This is the first time they’ve talked at the top of the show about the singles tournament for the SMW Heavyweight title coming which Dutch Mantel tells us that he emphatically is going to win. Bullet Bob Armstrong is going to tell us more about that later in this hour telecast. Caudle throws us to the ring for today’s opening match.
(1) Dirty White Boy (DWB) vs Joey Maggs
Few people in the front row seem to be doing a little cheering for Ron Wright and DWB. Dutch and Caudle continued to talk about how DWB is trying to help Ron Wright get his knee and hip surgery done. Ron Wright rolls to the desk and Caudle provides him with a mic. Wright says, “I’ve been trying to figure out why these good fans haven’t sent the money in for my surgery, I know a lot of these fans are a little slow and can’t read and write, I want you to put up the address up on the screen so that they all can see it.” I came unglued as I was taking notes for this column when in bold letters the on-screen graphic stated “Mr. Wright’s Operation” PO Box 1279 Morristown, TN 37816. Caudle reads the address on air. Caudle says “this is not a charity approved by SMW.” Dutch says “why not, it should be, Ron Wright gave his life to professional wrestling.” Dutch keeps on about how pitiful Ron Wright looks and how much help he needs but Caudle isn’t buying it and says how terrible of a person Ron Wright is and was. Back to the match, DWB is a nasty heel. Dutch says, DWB subscribes to the 3 yards and a cloud of dust type of offense meaning that he’ll punish you is how I took it. DWB ends up finishing off Maggs with what Dutch calls a side suplex. It was almost like an atomic drop but instead of dropping him on his knee he moves to the side and flat back bumps him. I like DWB as we’re now getting to see him more. You can see he’s a nasty heel and early on I see why they paired him with Ron Wright.
– BULLET BOB ARMSTRONG PROMO. Armstrong announced the tournament. Lots of cities have put in bids to have the tournament. The tournament will be at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum which is the same building they’re at this episode with 12 wrestlers chosen by the SMW board of directors and promoters. Bullet Bob says the top 5 seeds are DWB, PrimeTime Brian Lee, Tim Horner, Robert Gibson, and Jimmy Golden. Bullet Bob also says there are 6 wildcard entrants that include Dixie DyNoMite, Scott Anthony, Dutch Mantel, Hector Guerrero, Buddy Landel, and Paul Orndorff. Of these 6, 3 will emerge and go on to the tournament. Dutch comes into the screen and isn’t happy with the fact that he’s a wildcard.
– TIM HORNER SINGS COUNTRY MUSIC. In what was the longest and worse 2 minutes of television I have ever seen; Tim Horner is on screen displaying his horrendous country singing skills. Words will never be able to describe how terrible this segment was. I suggest you do a google search on Tim Horner singing country music and then come back and finish this column. You will see why I say this was unbearable to watch.
– HOLLYWOOD BOB HOLLY PROMO. Holly is not in the SMW Heavyweight title tournament. We jump to a promo where he explains why. Holly says, “I was driving down sunset Blvd. with Julie Roberts close by my side if you know what I mean when Roberts asked me are you going to be in the SMW tournament for the HW title? I says to her no baby why would I do that? I’ll just wait to see whoever wins and I’ll go beat him.” This was funny and I must say that I understand Holly’s philosophy here. You know, why go through a tournament and 3 matches when you can just wait to see who wins and beat that person. Makes perfect sense.
(2) Jimmy Golden vs. Tommy Angel
As the match kicks off Dutch is mad that he’s a wildcard in the tournament. Evidently, he hasn’t won enough matches to be automatically in the tournament. I thought something funny during the match they’re having a discussion about people telling lies and Dutch says if he wants to listen to lies he will listen to George Bush or Bill Clinton. I guess he means all politicians lie and I have to agree with Dutch. Most of this match is really slow. They do a test of strength at one point that eats up a bunch of time. Golden takes an atomic drop and he powders out. The match does speed up with Angel showing some power with a few moves on Golden before Golden then takes over. After shooting Angel into the ropes, Golden drops down but then gets up as Angel comes off the ropes and Golden hits Angel with a drop kick and then gets the pin. Golden after the match starts putting the boots to Angel. Robert Gibson comes out to help Angel and then proceeds to cut a promo about the tournament for the SMW Heavyweight Title. Just a quick note here. Jimmy Golden throws a beautiful drop kick for a guy that’s 6’6”.
– JIM CORNETTE PROMO. Cornette always starts off insulting the good fans in SMW and says look at this section right here it looks like all the people that live downstream from the nuclear plant. Cornette tries to describe what happened last week with the introduction of his tag team and why they weren’t presented as promised. They roll some new footage of the news reporter and Cornette who claims he must go sneaking around because if everyone knew his team was here that people would flock to them. Once again, just as Cornette is about to introduce his new team as the limo pulls up, tons of girls come from out of nowhere and the limo keeps rolling. We cut back to the studio where Caudle is looking at Jim Cornette again with a look of a skeptic! Caudle is mad at Cornette as he looks at him like Cornette continues to lie to him. Caudle seems to believe Jim is just pulling his leg and that he doesn’t really have a tag team. This is a slow burn of a story and it’s great. I promise at some point we will find out who the team is but it’ll have to wait at least another week.
– DUTCH MANTEL PROMO. This is short but Dutch is very mad and is complaining about the fact that he’s only a wildcard in the SMW Heavyweight Title tournament. It’s under his skin that Brian Lee is in the tournament as one of the top 5 but Dutch isn’t in it. Dutch is angry and is letting it be known. More to come on this shortly.
(3) PrimeTime Brian Lee vs. Joe Cazana
The entire match with Lee and Cazana is nothing but Dutch complaining and fussing about Lee getting a shot in the tournament with an automatic bid. Dutch is fantastic on commentary as usual playing the heel announcer. Lee does get the pin on Cazana very quickly. Might have been only a 2-minute match at the longest that was uneventful. I do understand though. Lee is being built as the big baby face in the promotion.
– LEE AND DUTCH PROMO. After the match Lee heads over to the old wooden desk that Dutch and Caudle call home each episode. Lee says Dutch you’ve been running from me since day 1. If you want a guaranteed seat in the tournament come face me next week. Now this is very confusing because Lee seems to say if you just wrestle me you’ll get my place in the tournament but then Dutch says wait, I don’t have to beat you but you have to beat me to stay in the tournament. I don’t know for sure what the stipulation is it was confusing. I think Lee was trying to say that if Dutch wins, Lee is out of the tournament. But if Dutch loses, it doesn’t matter because Dutch will still be a wildcard. The delivery was terrible on Lee’s part though and confused the audience watching. To this day, I have watched this segment numerous times and still do not understand with 100% certainty what the stipulation was supposed to be.
(4) The Fantastics vs. The Wild Bunch (Joel Deaton & Billy Black)
This is a first round match in the SMW Tag Team Title tournament. Bobby Fulton begins with Deaton. Basic match as we start. This is old school territory tag team wrestling. The heels are cheating and the faces are taking the heat. Bobby is doing his best Ricky Morton imitation. Bobby finally ducks a charge out of the corner and gets the hot tag. Jackie comes in and is on fire and he hits a German suplex, but Black breaks up the pin. The referee is constantly distracted throughout the entire match. At this point, the referee is distracted as he is trying to tell Bobby who is on the floor to get back up on the ring apron. While distracted, Deaton capitalizes with a DDT. We then see a moonsault by Black that nearly finishes Jackie. Once again, I believe I said this before but seeing a moonsault was not something you saw every single week when you watched wrestling in the early 90s. Caudle doesn’t even call it a moonsault but rather he calls it a backflip out of the corner off of the rope which feels like he undersold how high risk of a maneuver this was and really still is in wrestling today. Back to the match, now it’s Bobby’s turn to break the count as Bobby enters the ring and hits Black to break up the pin. Bobby’s still hurt so they throw him to the floor. Wild Bunch is so happy with the beat down they’re giving out that they stop to give each other a high five. During the high five, Bobby grabs Deaton’s leg from under the rope and the floor and pulls Deaton to him trying to pull him to the outside. Black sees this and turns his back on Jackie who’s still in the ring. Black and Bobby start playing tug of war with Deaton. Jackie then school boys and rolls up Black from behind and gets the pin on Black which eliminates the Wild Bunch from the tag team tournament.
– THE MAULER’S PROMO. The Maulers cut a very good promo telling the Fantastics that they’re going to defeat them badly next week as the tag team tournament is supposed to continue.
Final Thoughts: This was an average episode of SMW. When I first saw The Wild Bunch, I really liked them and hoped they would stick around. Unfortunately, they lost in the first round but they did have a tough match-up with The Fantastics. We’re still being strung along in regards to Cornette’s mystery tag team. Cornette has promised a few times that he will present his team but yet here we are two months into SMW and still no team to discuss. It’s key to point out that the tournament has started and we still do not know who the team will be. I liked that the DWB and Ron Wright made an appearance. It is always a good episode when these two are on. Again, an average episode with some outstanding TV coming in the future as we continue the SMW journey. In the meantime, check out the audio version of the show at tinyurl.com/BTTPod and enjoy the journey with us. As Bob Caudle says each and every week, “we’ll catch you next week fans, so long for now!”
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S LOOKBACK: SMW LOOKBACK – Ep. 8 (3-21-1992): Robert Gibson, Bob Armstrong, Hector Guerrero, Cornette, Holly, Dirty White Boy, Fantastics, Rogers
(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.)