While Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) paved the road for wrestling’s future by the end of the decade, Smoky Mountain Wrestling (SMW) was a product yearning for the past. Started by former Midnight Express manager and Louisville native Jim Cornette, and bankrolled by record producer Rick Rubin, in 1991, SMW billed itself as “professional wrestling like it used to be and the way you like it.” Running shows in the Appalachian areas of Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and the Carolinas, the promotion’s presentation and booking mirrored the territory days, with a traditional babyface-heel alignment and the adoption of Southern wrestling customs like disqualifications for wrestlers who tossed their opponents over the top rope. SMW relied on older NWA talents to boost houses, reviving the careers of the Rock N’ Roll Express and Buddy Landel, but it also became a haven for new acts that would later make their mark in the big time as Chris Jericho, Chris Candido, Tammy Sytch, Boo Bradley (the future Balls Mahoney), D’Lo Brown, the Gangstas, Lance Storm, and Unabomb (the future Kane) spent time in the company.
The King of the Ring 2000 PPV saw The Rock become the new WWF Champion and Kurt Angle won the King of the Ring tournament. Edge and Christian also won back the WWF Tag Team Titles. This Raw signified a change in direction for WWE. The heel McMahon-Helmsley group had dominated TV for months, but that was about to change. I’m excited to go through the second half of 2000 again. I remember a lot of good things happening.
The synopsis for this episode on WWE Network is: “Shawn Michaels returns to introduce the new Commissioner of WWE. Plus, Triple H, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, and many more in action!”
Taped from New York, NY
Airdate: June 14, 1993
Hosted by Vince McMahon, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
What can happen during the fallout from King of the Ring ‘93? Can Jannetty overcome the nefariousness of Doink and defeat him? How will Lawler behave following his destruction of Bret last night? Let’s find out!
Live from Dayton, OH
Airdate: June 13, 1993
Attendance: 8,000 (7,000 paid)
Hosted by Jim Ross, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
Who will become the 1993 King of the Ring? Will Yokozuna regain the WWF title or will Hogan keep his “toy”? Let’s find out!
Taped from New York, NY
Airdate: April 5, 1993 (taped 3/22)
Attendance: 1,000 (sold out)
Hosted by Vince McMahon & “Macho Man” Randy Savage
Lawler makes his RAW debut, so this episode is special, right? There couldn’t be celebrity guests trying to attach themselves to this glorious moment, are there?
(My reviews are a little out of order as I accidentally posted the Monday Night RAW that happened the night after this show on Friday instead of posting this In Your House review. So if you missed that review, you can read this one and then go back and check that one out. I will finish this series of 1995 WWF columns on Friday).
–Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are doing commentary and they are live from Hershey, Pennsylvania.
–Razor Ramon reads an adaptation of A Night Before Christmas to preview In Your House 5.
–Vince McMahon, Mr. Perfect, and Jim Ross are in the booth and they are concluding the tapings in Salisbury, Maryland. The Superstars theme song has been updated to reflect some of the changes in the company’s roster as Dean Douglas and Waylon Mercy have been removed from it.
–A video package recaps the Bret Hart-Bob Backlund feud, which limits the history between the two to Backlund’s actions over the past two weeks.
–Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are the broadcast team and due to a quirk in the taping schedule due to the Thanksgiving holiday they are from Salisbury, Maryland, the site of the Superstars tapings for mid-December. This is the last RAW before In Your House.
–Vince McMahon narrates tonight’s promo video for the Razor Ramon-Dean Douglas Intercontinental title match and Sid-Marty Jannetty encounter. Sid and Jannetty give dueling promos, with Jannetty promising to light Sid up.
–McMahon and Jerry Lawler are tonight’s commentary team and they are taped from Richmond, Virginia.
–Vince McMahon recaps Shawn Michaels collapsing on last week’s show, taking the chance to remind fans that bad things can happen inside of the squared circle.
–McMahon and Jerry Lawler are doing commentary and they are still in Richmond, Virginia.
–Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler, and Jim Ross are today’s commentary team and they are taped from Richmond, Virginia. This episode was taped at the same location as RAW because the company had get Superstars ready to air a day early because of Thanksgiving.
–Highlights of the 1-2-3 Kid’s ongoing issue with Marty Jannetty are shown, including Sid’s attack on Jannetty on RAW.
–Howard Finkel announces Mr. Perfect, who is returning to the company after a year and a half hiatus. Perfect comes to ringside to serve as a color commentator.
–Vince McMahon, Mr. Perfect, and Jim Ross are doing commentary and they are live from Landover, Maryland.
–A great movie-style preview of Goldust opens the show with Todd Pettengill narrating. Goldust says that he is ready for his close up and that has finally arrived on Superstars. Pettengill also says that they will show us the shocking footage of the 1-2-3 Kid’s heel turn on RAW.
–Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler, and Jim Ross are calling the action and they are concluding the tapings in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
–A video package hypes tonight’s Razor Ramon-Sid matchup that has the 1-2-3 Kid as the referee. Vince McMahon announces interim WWF President Gorilla Monsoon has grown suspicious of the 1-2-3 Kid’s actions after a recent house show tour and has decided that tonight’s match will not be for the Intercontinental Championship. More on this storyline development at the end of the recap.
–Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are calling tonight’s action and are concluding the tapings in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada since Survivor Series is this Sunday.
–A video package shows the outcome of the Smoking Gunns-Razor Ramon & 1-2-3 Kid match at In Your House 4 and how the Kid apologized to the Gunns later. Razor and the Kid warn the Gunns that they are coming after them in today’s rematch.
–Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler, and Jim Ross are today’s broadcasters and this is the third of four taped episodes from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
–Todd Pettengill recaps Ahmed Johnson slamming Yokozuna on last week’s show and hypes tonight’s big contests.
–Vince McMahon and Dok Hendrix are tonight’s commentary team and they are still in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada.
–Toni Wilson sings “O Canada” to kick off the show. Vince McMahon bills her as an “up and coming star” but no significant achievements came to her career the best I can tell.
–Interim WWF President Gorilla Monsoon tells the viewing audience that due to Shawn Michaels concussion he will not allow him to compete. Monsoon promises that there will still be an Intercontinental title match tonight as Michaels will be asked to forfeit the title to Dean Douglas, who will then defend it against Razor Ramon. The crowd is heard noticeably booing this announcement from the arena as the company has yet another “bait and switch” for the second pay-per-view in a row.
–Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler, and Jim Ross are doing commentary and they are live from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
–Isaac Yankem and Bret Hart cut dueling promos against each other from inside of a steel cage to hype their match tonight. Jerry Lawler adds his thoughts for good measure. The setting looks cool as the ring is only illuminated by a few stage lights while the rest of the arena is dark.
–Vince McMahon and Lawler are in the booth and they are concluding the tapings from Grand Rapids, Michigan. This is the last RAW before In Your House 4. McMahon lets us know that Dean Douglas and Mabel were each fined $7,500 for their actions after the six man tag team match on last week’s RAW. The Undertaker is temporarily written off television by the WWF saying that he suffered his facial injury due to Mabel’s attack.
–Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are tonight’s commentary team and they are taped from Grand Rapids, Michigan.
–Clips of Shawn Michaels appearing at the Survivor Series press conference in Washington, D.C. and crying about how kids see him as a role model are shown.
–Footage of the Smoking Gunns winning the WWF tag team titles on last week’s RAW is shown.
–Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler are doing commentary and they are taped from Grand Rapids, Michigan.