Written by: Nick Power
Welcome to the start of a VERY long journey back in time. I am aiming to review EVERY single SMW TV episode from the start in 1992 up until the end in 1995. As i said this will be a long journey, but hopefully it will be an enjoyable one.
Before we get to the first review a brief background on myself. Im Nick Power and i’m from Australia. I have been a wrestling fan for as long as i can remember and grew loving HulkHogan, like most young kids back in the day.
In 2006 i was lucky enough to head to america from 31 August until 03 OCtober, during this time i went to PWG ‘Battle of Los Angeles’ , RoH ‘Glory By Honor 5’ which featured one of RoH’s best matches ever in Danielson vs Kenta, Chikara ‘Once in a Lifetime’ and IWA Mid South.
Also, this is my first time writing reviews, so hopefully you will enjoy them
Enough about me, lets get on with the SMW reviews!
If anyone wants to contact me add me on twitter: @powertron12
Smoky Mountain Wrestling TV, Episode 1
Air Date: 01 February 1992
Hosts: Bob Caudle and Dutch Mantell
As a side note, i have decided not to do match ratings. I feel that it’s very hard to rate TV matches. If i come across any matches that are worthy of a star rating then i will give it. Onto the show….
Bob Caudle opens the show up with a very well said line “Smoky Mountain Wrestling, Professional wrestling the way it used to be and the way you like it”
We cut to Bob Caudle, who lets us know we will be seeing such outstanding stars as ‘White Lightning’ Tim Horner, Bobby Fulton from the Fantastics and ‘Prime Time’ Brian Lee as well as the mysterious “Black Scorpion”. Bob Caudle also mentions that we will hear from two of the managers Ron Wright and Jim Cornette as well as the Commissioner Bob Armstrong. The Main Event for this week is Bobby Fulton vs. Ivan Koloff.
Dutch Mantell tells us he is here to see the main event, he also calls out Brian Lee and wants to see what he has got. Onto the first match.
Killer Kyle (w/case) vs Robert Gibson
And as the norm, as soon as Robert Gibson enters the arena you can hear the girls screaming for him.
Lock up to start and Kyle pushes Gibson to the corner, tie up again Gibson whips Kyle to the ropes and he shoulder-blocks Gibson. Kyle with the side headlock on Gibson, who pushes Kyle off the ropes and Gibson drops down and stands up to hip-toss Kyle over. Lock up again, Gibson with the side headlock and run off the ropes, Gibson attempts to shouldblock Kyle down twice to no avail, third times a charm though as Gibson hits a sit down lariat and gets a 2 count.
Gibson whips Kyle to the corner and charges in for a shoulder-block but misses and hits his shoulder on the steel ring post. Kyle starts to work on Gibsons left shoulder.Kyle whips Gibson into the ropes and hits a back elbow for a 2 count, Kyle continues to work on the shoulder. Gibson attempts to whip KYle to the corner but thats reversed, Kyle charges at Gibson who catches him in a sunset flip and gets the 1,2,3.
Match thoughts: A decent opener for SMW TV, a smart move to open the show with a very familiar face in Robert Gibson. Killer Kyle didn’t show to much, as he only got in one or two offensive moves.
We head to the back to hear from The Fantastics (Bobby and Jackie Fulton). I cant help but be amused by Jackie’s purple and black stripped top with long blonde hair. Jackie cuts a promo on the ‘Russian Bear’ about their upcoming main event.
Commissioner Bob Armstrong is here. He puts over professional wrestling and what its done for his family. He states he isn’t happy with the wrestling he has seen in the last few years and was more than happy to be the commish when SMW directors approached him. Bob lets us know that there will be heavy fines, for any infraction of the rules which are as follows: No throwing your opponent over the top rope, no foreign objects and the wrestlers are not allowed to touch the referees.
Barry Horowitz vs. ‘Prime Time’ Brian Lee
Lock up to start, with Lee gaining the advantage with some arm wrenches. Barry attempted to reverse these but no luck, so he resorts to an elbow to the face. A series of Leap Frogs occur and Lee hip tosses Barry, it appears that Horowitz was meant to reverse the hip toss, as he landed a bit awkward. Lee takes control with a hip toss into an arm lock. Horowitz whips Lee into the ropes and hits a rather low elbow, and then runs off the ropes and hits a big clothesline. Horowitz hits a swinging neck breaker and a leg drop for a 2 count.
Lee starts to fight back but a poke to the eye stops that, a knee to the face of Lee puts him into the ropes. Barry Horowitz hits a beautiful Belly-to-Belly Suplex for a 2 count, I must admit i’m a sucker for a good suplex. Horowitz hits a snap mare out of the corner. Lee fights back again with kicks and punches but yet again a rake to the eyes stops that. Horowitz rolls Lee up for a two count, and Dutch lets us know on commentary that he doesn’t like Brian Lee.
Barry Horowitz misses a dropkick and Lee plays to the crowd and takes control. Punches to the corner and whip into a backdrop on Horowitz. Big clothesline by Lee, Boot the mid section and Brian Lee picks Horowitz up and hits his finisher ‘The Cancellation’ (A sit down Back breaker) for the 1,2,3.
Match Thoughts: Based off the commentary you can clearly tell that ‘Prime Time’ is being pushed as the mega babyface, Bob is putting over is past accomplishments in football. Also the seeds are being planted for a program with Lee and Dutch, after most of Lee’s offense, Mantell would state how he would have done it. As for the match, again nothing special but it was done well.
We head to the interview area with Ron Wright, who is in a wheelchair. He lets us know that he needs a hip implant and a knee implant (im guessing he meant replacement). He is letting all the wrestlers know that he is putting he services up for grabs and wants to get a contract with a wrestler so he can get some money and have his surgery.
Joe Cazana vs. ‘White Lightning’ Tim Horner
Lock up to start with Horner overpowering Cazana to the corner, Some quick wrestling exchanges lead to a 2 count by Horner. Horner takes Cazana down with a head lock, Cazana takes Horner into the corner and lays in with some punches. Whip to the corner by Cazana but Horner jumps up and over Cazana and catches him with a hip toss and big dropkick. Arm drag into another armlock by Horner.
Cazana takes over with his own headlock, Horner tries to reverse out, he whips Cazana into the ropes and takes him down with a foot trip and Horner rolls through to another headlock. Cazana with an elbow to the face in the corner and some elbows to the back of Horner to. Cazana chokes Horner across the ropes. Cazana hits a body drop on Horner and starts working over his back.
Cazana picks Horner up for a body slam, and then climbs to the top rope. Horner catches him and throws him off the top rope. Horner slams Cazanas head into the top rope and heads a back elbow in the corner. A reversal off the ropes leads to a Tim Horner roll up for the three count.
Match Thoughts: Not a very exciting match at all, it seemed everytime Cazana started to quicken the pace, Horner would put on a headlock. I think i would prefer Horner working the quicker paced match ups.
We now head to Bob Caudle and Jim Cornette, This should be good. Jim Cornette lets us know that he is a big celebrity, and all the big companies have turned professional wrestling into a circus. its not whether you can wrestle anymore, its whether you want to wear a silly costume, its not whether you can fight its whether you can sell a doll over at Toys r’ us, its not whether you got guts, its how juiced up on steroids you are.
Cornette lets us know that he turned his back on them, he will be bringing in a new tag team in a few weeks that will revolutionize professional wrestling.
Excellent promo by the man, Jim Cornette.
Paul Miller vs. ‘The Black Scorpion’
Lock up to start, and Scorpion just starts laying into Miller. Miller tries to take over with a dropkick and a flying forearm, neither of these faze Scorpion too much, A big cross body finally takes scorpion off his feet. Miller attempts another dropkick, but Scorpion holds onto the ropes.
Big body slam by Scorpion, who hits an elbow. Scorpion picks up Miller and hits a gut wrench suplex. Whip to the ropes and a big clothesline puts Miller down. Scorpion is just beating on Miller at the moment. Rack to the eye on Miller stops any offence he had going. Miller whips Scorpion into the ropes, Miller charges for a monkey flip but Scorpion catches him and hits an atomic drop. Another big clothesline by Scorpion, who then picks Miller up and bodyslams him back down twice. Miller catches Scorpion with a quick roll up for the surprise 1,2,3.
Match Thoughts: Uhhh, what was the point of that? Bob and Dutch were hyping up Scorpion all night long for him to lose after beating on Miller. Scorpion looked good with his power moves, and Miller didn’t get to show too much.
We head to the back to hear from ‘Prime Time’ Brian Lee. Lee cuts a very babyface promo, and also announces that the Heavyweight Title Tournament will be coming up shortly, and with the fans support he knows he can win the title.
Dutch Mantell interrupts Lee’s promo. He tries to give ‘Prime Time’ some constructive criticism. Lee says that Dutch would have wrestled the match differently and lost.
Main Event is up Next!!!
Bobby Fulton vs ‘The Russian Bear’ Ivan Koloff
Lock up to start, Ivan Koloff takes control and Fulton slams him down. A promo from Ivan plays during some mat wrestling from the two. Fulton with a go behind and a roll up for a two count. Ivan takes Fulton down and chokes him on the mat. Fulton takes control with an Arm Wringer, Koloff takes Fulton down and starts to work on his arm. Dutch announces that he will be wrestling next week, and he wants Brian Lee to pay attention to that match.
Fulton and Koloff start trading blows, and Fulton attempts to whip Koloff. We are shown Ron Wright sitting at ringside, scouting some talent. Leg Takedown by Fulton who rolls into a arm bar on Ivan. Ivan takes over with a kick to the mid section and a punch to the throat. Dropkick by Fulton send Ivan down, Fulton sends Koloff down with a big toss. Fulton with a headlock, but Ivan reverses that into a back suplex.
Koloff whips Fulton off the ropes, Koloff attempts a back elbow but Fulton ducks that and hits a cross body for a two count. Fulton sends Koloff to the floor after some punches, the two start brawling on the floor. Ron Wright distracts Fulton by offering a handshake and Koloff clotheslines Fulton down to the ground. Koloff slams Fultons head into the ring post and then hits him with a chair. They head back into the ring, and Koloff continues to beat on Fulton. Koloff with a swinging neckbreaker for 2.
Fulton fights back and Koloff falls into the ropes, which gives Ron Wright the opportunity to hand Koloff a pair of Brass Knux and Ivan gets the 1,2,3 for the win.
Jackie Fulton runs down and starts brawling with Ivan Koloff, the referee has noticed the Knux and has reversed the decision to give Bobby Fulton the win. Out comes Vladmir Koloff to help out Ivan. The Koloffs have a chain and are HANGING Jackie over the top rope, Bobby chases the Koloffs off.
We are out.
Match Thoughts: A good main event, and Ivan Koloff can definitely still go. These two worked really well together. I wonder if Ivan will be fined by Bob Armstrong for the use of those Brass Knuckles?
Show Thoughts: Not a bad first show from SMW. The have already started three story lines from the first show, Ron Wright and his need of money for his operations, Brian Lee and Dutch Mantell, and it appears a feud will has started between the Fantastics and The Koloffs. Thumbs up for the first SMW TV show.