In early 1993, “Primetime” Brian Lee was seen as the top baby face in Smoky Mountain Wrestling. Lee was a former SMW Heavyweight Champion and had been involved in feuds with Kevin Sullivan and the current SMW Heavyweight Champion Dirty White Boy since losing the title. However, when Lee wasn’t able to regain the title, fans started to lose faith in him and look for a new hero.
Fans didn’t have to look too far. Tracy Smothers made his long awaited debut in SMW in January 1993 and quickly found himself fighting for the SMW Heavyweight Championship. In fact, at the Bluegrass Brawl in April, Smothers won the championship from Dirty White Boy in a brutal chain match.
Smothers finally defeated the hated heel and the fans loved him for it. While the fans may have loved Smothers, Brian Lee didn’t. Yes, they were friends, but Lee wanted what Smothers had. On Smoky Mountain Wrestling TV it became more and more evident that Lee was getting annoyed with the popularity that Smothers was receiving from fans and announcers. Often times, Lee would leave an interview that he was having with Smothers because the focus was solely on Smothers.
For weeks, Tammy Fytch had been looking for someone to manage to the SMW Heavyweight Championship. Several wrestlers rejected her advances, including Smothers and Lee. However, on the July 3rd edition of SMW TV, it was revealed that Lee had actually signed with Tammy, and it was because he was tired of SMW not having his back. Lee had several arguments about the title not being held for him like Smothers had and his brutal feud with Kevin Sullivan seeing nobody have his back in that, either. Tammy was determined to lead her man to the championship.
Prior to the reveal, Lee had turned on Smothers when he clotheslined Smothers out of a chair. The reveal of his association with Fytch explained his motives. On July 17th, 1994 in Johnson City, Tennessee, Lee regained the SMW Heavyweight Championship when he pinned Smothers. Two weeks on SMW TV, Lee attacked Smothers at a car dealership ruining a car commercial and nearly hitting Smothers with a tire iron.
Often times, Smothers would claim that Fytch wore the pants in the relationship and insulted Fytch by calling her a tramp. Admittedly, at the time, Tammy was one of the most compelling characters that SMW had to offer and she added to the program very well.
At Fire On The Mountain on August 14th, Smothers challenged Lee for the championship in a coal miners glove match. Thanks to Dirty White Boy hitting Smothers with a chair, Lee was able to retain the championship in an enjoyable match.
Since Smothers was having problems with both Tammy Fytch and Dirty White Boy getting involved in his matches, Sherri Martel made her debut for SMW working as a short-lived manager for Smothers.
On the October 9th edition of SMW TV, Smothers battled Lee in a non-title coal miners glove rematch. This time, Smothers was able to pin Lee after Dirty White Boy’s interference backfired. On the same day, at a house show, Smothers failed to win the title from Lee even with Sherri in his corner. With the loss, Smothers focus on the championship slowed down a bit.
In early 1994, Smothers started to team with Dirty White Boy to battle Brian Lee and Chris Candido in tag team matches. The feud between Smothers and Lee was over by the end of ’93, really.
Personally, I enjoyed the feud between Brian Lee and Tracy Smothers. It was really a buffer feud before Lee continued his feud with Dirty White Boy. The partnership between Tammy and Brian was great and Smothers role as the face chasing the heels for the championship was logical. Their angle advancements on television were fun and kept me interested when I was reviewing them. I think it’s a feud often forgotten about in SMW since the Lee/White Boy feud was more heavily hyped.
What are your memories on the feud?
Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.