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Tuesday, September 26th 2017.
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SMW Fire on the Mountain ‘92

by Scrooge McSuck

Smoky Mountain Wrestling

- Taped from the Freedom Hall Civic Center in Johnson City, TN on August 8th, 1992, it’s a Super-Card presented by Smoky Mountain Wrestling, with Les Thatcher and Phil Rainey at ringside to call all the action, unless otherwise noted.

"I Quit" Match: "White Lightnin" Tim Horner vs. "Nature Boy" Buddy Landel:

Simple backstory to this one: Landel cheated to win a Mountain Mayhem (a.k.a Royal Rumble) Match with a prize of $5,000. Horner was awarded a singles match for the money, since he legally eliminated Landel from the match, but the referee missed it. Landel lost, but decided to attack Horner and shove the ripped up check down his throat. The following weeks, each man cost the other a Championship match, 1st Landel interfering in a Tag Title Match of Horner’s against the Heavenly Bodies, and then Horner helping Brian Lee retain the Heavyweight Title via distraction roll-up. A strap match at the Summer Blast wasn’t enough to settle things, so now we’ve got a good old fashion I Quit Match.

We cut ahead in the action, with Landel working over Horner in the corner. Horner fights back with rights, shoots Landel to the ropes, and takes him over with a back drop. Cutting ahead again, with Landel selling the leg. He chokes Horner across the top rope, but Horner won’t quit. Landel rakes the eyes across the top rope. Whip to the corner, Horner gets a boot up on the charge. Horner pounds away with rights, keeping Landel from falling with handfuls of hair. Horner with knees to the midsection and a suplex, but Landell won’t quit. Clipping ahead again and Landel is pulling Horner to the corner, crotching him across the post. Landel uses the microphone as a weapon, smacking Horner in the face and choking him with the cord. Snap mare out of the corner, still using the microphone wire, but he can’t get Horner to give up. Horner grabs Landel by the throat, wrestles the microphone away, and gives him a taste of his own medicine. They trade blows and cheap shots to the eyes. Horner with a hip throw across the ring, but misses a knee drop. Landel picks the leg, but Horner fights him off. Whip to the ropes and Horner slaps on an abdominal stretch. Horner goes for a spinning toe hold, but Landel takes him over with a handful of hair. Horner turns him over with a Scorpion Deathlock, but Landel crawls to the ropes and pulls himself out of the ring. Whip to the ropes, Landel lands a boot to the chest, and slaps the Figure-Four on in the center of the ring. Horner hangs on and rocks back and forth to reverse the pressure, again sending Landel scurrying to the ropes to escape. Landel goes back to the knee, wrenching on it from a seated position. Horner goes for a slam, but collapses under the weight of Landel. Landel with a slam. He takes his time climbing the ropes and gets knocked off for his troubles. Horner quickly takes advantage, locking Landel in an inverted Indian Deathlock, and Landel gives up (without actually saying "I Quit") at 15:17 shown of an announced 23:24. Felt in the neighborhood of *** with all the clipping. Good heated work and nice submission sequence at the end. I guess Horner had issues with the way Landel worked the match, but with 8+ minutes clipped out, who knows what happened beyond a cornball line on the microphone early on.

Piledriver Match: Ronnie Garvin vs. "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff:

Simple set-up for this one: Brian Lee brought in Garvin for a Tag Team Match against Orndorff and the Dirty White Boy at Summer Blast, and Orndorff laid him out with a Piledriver after the match. No theme music for either man, so you know they’re old school grapplers. First man to execute a piledriver wins the match. Orndorff hides in the corner to avoid contact. We cut ahead to them fighting over a wrist-lock. Whip to the ropes and a collision puts both men down. Orndorff goes for a Piledriver, bur Garvin counters with a back drop. Orndorff stalls on the floor as the crowd musters a mild "Paula" chant. Garvin unloads with rights, sending Orndorff back out of the ring. Orndorff with a cheap shot in the corner, followed by a series of rights and stomps. Orndorff with a snap mare out of the corner, followed by an elbow drop. Garvin fights back with rights and lefts. Knee to the butt and a knee to the face. He claws the back of Mr. Wonderful and gnaws at his forehead. Garvin goes for a pin, but you can’t win the match that way. Garvin goes for the Piledriver on the floor, but Orndorff counters. Orndorff puts the boots to him and chokes away with the microphone. The referee counts, but he knows he can’t do anything about it since there’s no Disqualifications or Count-Outs. Orndorff grabs a soft drink cup and scrapes it across Garvin’s face. Garvin mounts the comeback, sending Orndorff repeatedly to the buckle. He finally removes the cord that was wrapped around his neck and unleashes the GARVIN STOMP! Orndorff blocks the Piledriver, despite being victim of one of wrestling’s worst wedgies I’ve ever seen. Garvin puts Orndorff out with a sleeper and again goes for a cover. Orndorff goes low to avoid another Piledriver attempt and comes off the second rope with an elbow. The referee gets bumped during another attempt. Orndorff lays out Garvin and informs the revived referee he did indeed do a piledriver, so Mark Curtis calls for the bell at 18:47, but then "Nitro" Danny Davis comes out to inform the referee of the truth and he waves it off. Orndorff gives Davis a Piledriver for sticking his nose in his business. Garvin makes another comeback, so Orndorff walks off and the referee awards the match to Garvin. ** An OK fight, but could’ve stood to shave a little bit of time, and the lack of a finish in a match that doesn’t require a real job is just inexcusable, especially when you award it to the babyface.

The Rock N’ Roll Express vs. Jimmy Golden & Robert Fuller:

Robert Gibson and Jimmy Golden have spent most of the SMW’s short history feuding with each other. Golden eventually brought in his Cousin, "The Tennessee Stud" Robert Fuller, so Gibson is bringing in Ricky Morton to reform the R-n-R Express. WCW fans might recognize Fuller as Col. Robert Parker, and Golden as Bunkhouse Buck. The crowd goes nuts for Ricky and Robert, riding the wave of nostalgia. In 1992. Golden and Fuller attack them before the bell, but the Express quickly turns things around and clear the ring. Gibson and Golden start. Gibson quickly takes him down with an atomic drop. Lots of stalling. Morton a dropkick, followed by an arm drag. The Express with a wish-bone to Golden and a double shot to Fuller on the apron. They continue to dominate the action until… you guessed it, Ricky Morton gets to play the face-in-peril. Fuller pounds away with rights and Morton is already bleeding. Whip to the ropes and Golden with a big boot. Morton gets sent to the floor and is introduced to the post. Gibson gets suckered in, allowing extended double teaming. Golden with a bear-hug, and we get the fake tag spot. Whip to the ropes and Fuller spikes Morton for a near fall. After two matches without pin-fall stipulations, I was caught by surprise. Morton with a sunset flip, but the referee is distracted. Small package for two. He scrambles between the legs of Golden and finally tags Gibson. He unloads with rights and hits Golden with a diving body press for two. We get heel miscommunication, and a double dropkick to Golden only gets two. Gibson grabs a sleeper, but Fuller comes from behind with an axe-handle. Golden lands on top, but Morton turns it over, and Gibson is on top for the three count at 14:36. Post-match, Gibson and Morton take a pretty vicious beating. **3/4 Started off slow, but then it was the vintage Ricky Morton Show™, taking a good beating until making the hot tag. The post-match beat-down means the war is far from over between these two teams.

SMW Heavyweight Championship Match:
"Prime Time" Brian Lee © vs. The Dirty White Boy (w/ Mr. Ron Wright):

Lee won the Championship in a Tournament held at the Volunteer Slam back on May 22nd, beating among others, the White Boy on his way to the crown. Ron Wright is a retired Southern grappler who appears to be confined to a wheel chair, bleeding sympathy about needing money for hip and knee replacement surgeries. Lee’s reign as Champion has been unremarkable, with two notable TV matches being a DQ loss to the White Boy, and a cheap roll-up on Landel. If Brian Lee wins, the Dirty White Boy must leave Smoky Mountain Wrestling. We immediately clip ahead in the action, with Lee connecting with an atomic drop and press slam. He sends the DWB to the floor with a clothesline, then brings him back in with a suplex for two. Clipped ahead to the White Boy being knocked across the ring. Whip to the ropes and Wright trips Lee up, allowing DWB to knock Lee to the floor. White Boy pounds away and hangs Lee across the top rope. He connects with a swinging neck breaker for a two count. White Boy with a DDT for two. Whip to the ropes and Lee with a sunset flip for two. White Boy with another DDT for two. Whip to the ropes and Lee hits a DDT of his own. Lee with clotheslines and a dropkick, followed by a Powerslam for two. Lee grabs something from Wright and nails Lee with it, but it only gets a two count. Whip to the ropes and Lee connects with a diving clothesline. He comes off the top rope, missing a splash. Lee pounds away on the White Boy at ringside. Wright hooks the referee’s leg as Lee hits the Cancelation on White Boy. Suddenly, a mysterious figure enters the ring and lays Lee out with a clothesline. Wright finally lets the referee go, and he counts the fall at 8:37 shown at an announced 13:18, and we have a NEW SMW Heavyweight Champion. *1/2 Not too much to this one considering the run-in and the clipping, and the bullsh*t finish was expected considering the stipulations surrounding the Dirty White Boy. On the plus side, it took the belt off a vanilla baby-face and put it on an entertaining heel.

SMW Tag Team Championship; Barbwire Cage Match:
The Heavenly Bodies © (w/ Jim Cornette) vs. The Fantastics:

(Tom Prichard & Stan Lane vs. Bobby & Jackie Fulton)
Special Referee for the match is Commissioner Bob Armstrong. This all started during the Tag Team Championship Tournament when Cornette goaded the Fantastics into having the match for the belts two weeks early. The Bodies won the match, but most importantly, tried to put Jackie Fulton out of wrestling by viciously attacking his leg. When the Fantastics came back healthy for a return match at Summer Blast, the Bodies got themselves disqualified to retain the titles. A backstage brawl erupted, with the Fantastics getting the better of the Champions. Both teams would continue to provoke each other into brawls until Armstrong made this match, originally with Cornette barred from ringside. After pitching a fit, the Fantastics agreed to allow Cornette at ringside, but with the added stipulation of Commissioner Armstrong being the special referee. Somewhere along the line, Stan Lane has started wearing protective head-gear for an alleged busted ear-drum, a sure sign of using the gear as an illegal weapon.

It's Texas Tornado rules, which means all four men are legal. The Fantastics ram the Champions into each other and connect with a pair of dropkicks. Lane desperately tries to avoid being introduced to the barbwire and makes the save for Prichard. Bobby with a snap mare and elbow drop to Prichard for two. Lane with a pair of kicks to Bobby Fulton for two. Bobby with a small package, but Prichard breaks it. Jackie with a pump-handle slam on Prichard for two. Lots of teased spots with the barbwire, but so far no color. Prichard with a suplex on Bobby for two. Bobby Fulton meets the cage for the first time as Stan stomps away at Jackie. Prichard rakes the face of Bobby across the wire, and he’s lacerated. Prichard sends him into the wire again for a near fall. Cornette with some cheap shots from outside the cage with his racket to Jackie, and he’s bleeding as well. The Bodies maintain solid control, with one Fulton typically in a compromising position. The Fultons try to rally, unsuccessfully. Prichard with a Figure-Four on Bobby. Lane avoids a dropkick and quickly goes for a cover for a two count. Lane and Prichard with chin-locks. Both Fultons escape and turn control in their favor. Prichard gets introduced to the barbwire repeatedly and he’s bleeding. Cornette throws powder at Bobby Fulton, so Bob Armstrong ejects him from ringside! Jackie finally removes the head gear from Lane and sends him into the barbwire, so now all four men are bleeding. Prichard with a sit-out Powerbomb on Jackie for a long two count. Lane with a Russian leg sweep on Bobby for two. Prichard with a suplex on Jackie, but he misses an elbow from the second rope. Cornette returns to toss Prichard his tennis racket, but Armstrong pulls it away and in the distraction Bobby Fulton rolls Prichard up for the three count and the Tag Team Titles at 13:18. That just came out of nowhere. ***1/2 Non-stop action and good intensity, but you could consider it barbaric to have a major part of the match just being the drama waiting for everyone to bleed.

Final Thoughts: An entertaining two hours of professional wrestling. Most of the work was simple yet effective, with storylines that were easy to get invested in. On a five match card, mostly everything delivered to the standards expected. On the negative side of things, there were a handful of questionable finishes, some that were acceptable for the sake of advancing the story, and one that was just awful. An I Quit Match where the stipulation says you have to say I Quit and backing out of it (so-so), a Piledriver Match ending inconclusively (awful), a cheap run-in to rob the babyface out of the Championship (good), and the Tag Titles being switched because of a referee’s inadvertent distraction of one of the competitors (acceptable). You don’t have to be a fan of Southern style booking to enjoy this, but it would probably help.

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