Feels like forever since we've covered Smoky Mountain Wrestling, doesn't it? We only scratched the surface, having yet to establish the Heavyweight or Tag Team Champions, but the product seems promising, and I've got months of the show ready to go, so let's return to...uh... the Smoky Mountains. Last week on SMW TV...The Tag Team Tournament began! Jack Victory and Rip Morgan advanced to the Semi-Finals, defeating Johnny and Davey Rich… Jim Cornette brought a camera crew to meet his new team at Hooters, but that didn't go as well as planned. He also had a limo driver named Herd... The Fantastics revealed Tommy Rogers as their mystery partner, but wouldn't you know it, both Ivan and Vladimir had wives going into labor at the same time, switching the advertised Main Event (the Koloffs didn't appear at the taping, so maybe transportation or last-minute booking issues, rather than classic bait-and-switch).
Taped on March 12th, 1992 from the Civic Coliseum Ballroom in Knoxville, TN. Bob Caudle and "Dirty" Dutch Mantel are calling the action, unless otherwise noted. Looks like Carl Stiles might also had an issue making the taping, because he does return at the next set, beginning with the April 11th episode. Advertised for today is another 1st Round Tag Team Tournament Match, featuring The Fantastics and The Wild Bunch (Joel Deaton & Billy Black). "Primetime" Brian Lee and the Dirty White Boy will also be here, and we are going to give it another go at getting a look at Jim Cornette's team.
Bob Armstrong is standing by with big news for the SMW Heavyweight Title Tournament! It will take place on May the 15th, at an event called "Volunteer Slam", held at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum. The Top 5 Seeds have been announced: The Dirty White Boy, "Primetime" Brian Lee, White Lightnin' Tim Horner, "Rock & Roll" Robert Gibson, and Jimmy Golden. The remaining names will compete for the remaining spots, called Wild Card Spots. Those names are..Dixie Dy-No-Mite, Scott Anthony, "Dirty" Dutch Mantel, Hector Guerrero, Buddy Landel, and "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff. Wait.. how can some of these names be eligible when they haven't even had a match, or in Scott Anthony's case, never made a single appearance?!
We throw it to a "Personality Profile" on Morristown, TN's own Tim Horner. It's a fluff piece, and they actually use footage from Jim Crockett Promotions during it, but the big takeaway is Horner singing Shameless, and HOLY HELL, is this not entertaining television. I jokingly give Horner crap for Cornette's disliking of him, but the guy is a pretty good wrestler, so why focus on his "singing" ability when none appears to exist?
"Hollywood" Bob Holly is standing by to let us know why he's not in the SMW Championship Tournament. He told Julia Roberts no, because there's no point in beating three guys in one night, when he can wait for the Champion to be crowned, and simply beat him instead.
Bob Caudle intercepts Robert Gibson, who says he hopes he gets to face Jimmy Golden in the 1st Round of the Championship Tournament. Then he mutters something that can't be heard and walks away. Again, this wasn't glossing over a long promo, that was the entire segment.
Jim Cornette is standing by with our second attempt at showing off his new tag team, but first, he makes fun of some fans in the front row, insisting they live across the street from the Nuclear Power Plant. Phil Raney is on location, a more discreet location, than last week. Cornette arrives, yelling at Raney to keep the noise down so that there isn't chaos. He had to sneak through the bushes just to avoid any attention. He compares his team to Madonna, Michael Jackson, and the Beatles, when it comes to drawing attention and causing near-riots. Their car arrives, and before they can come out, they're swarmed, once again, by a flock of attractive young women. I guess we'll have to wait until... wait for it.. NEXT WEEK.
Dutch Mantel is STILL upset over being disrespected as a "Wild Card" for the Tournament brackets. Maybe someone like Carl Stiles should be a Wild Card, but not himself. He's going to sue Smoky Mountain Wrestling for conspiracy.
Post-match, Brian Lee challenges Dutch Mantel to a match next week. If Lee can't beat him, then Dutch Mantel gets his seed in the SMW Championship Tournament. Lee's clumsy promo work made that hard to understand, but Caudle and Mantel picked him up and carried the segment to something more than a dumpster fire.
Bobby runs into a drop toe hold and gets trapped in the wrong side of town, making him our good ol' boy in peril. Black with a somersault leg drop and assisted moonsault for a near fall. Northern Lights Suplex for two. Black with a handspring elbow and Deaton follows with a clothesline. Monkey flip and elbow drop for another two-count. Deaton with a slam and second rope elbow drop. Deaton cuts off a tag attempt and turns Bobby over with a Boston Crab. Black comes off the apron with an elbow and presses a folding chair into the throat (all behind the referee's back, of course). Deaton misses a charging elbow, and Jackie finally gets the hot tag. He sends Black out of the ring with a dropkick and takes Deaton over with a German Suplex for two. Black with a blow from the apron and Deaton plants Jackie with a DDT. Black with a moonsault from the top rope for two. Bobby gets tossed out again, but he takes Deaton with him, allowing Jackie to roll Black up from behind for three at 11:52. God, I hate those finishes. Good match, with the Wild Bunch utilizing impressive high spots and the Fantastics doing their usual fine job as plucky babyfaces looking for any opening to spark a comeback. Best match on SMW TV, so far. ***
The Maulers are standing by with comments. The Fantastics victory was a fluke. They have no respect for the Queen, and they have no respect for the Fantastics. Morgan throws it to Victory, but Bob Caudle interrupts and we're out of time. Oh, wait... NEXT WEEK: Primetime Brian Lee vs. Dutch Mantel.
Final Thoughts: Another big week, with the announcement of the SMW Heavyweight Championship Tournament. Interesting concept, announcing seeded participants, and a handful of wild card entrees, including a head-scratcher like Paul Orndorff. I wonder if that will lead to anything significant? The Tag Title Tournament rolls on, with The Fantastics advancing to face the Maulers, victorious over the Wild Bunch in a pretty good match, and next week should be the end of the Brian Lee/Dutch Mantel saga, especially with the Dirty White Boy in to give more credibility to the heel depth chart. No offense to Mantel, but he feels like his best work at this stage of his career is behind the scenes and being a color commentator.