SMOKY MOUNTAIN WRESTLING TV – February 8th, 1992
Taped: October 30th, 1991; Memorial Auditorium; Greenville, SC
– Last week on SMW TV… Lots of faces were introduced to the viewing audience! Robert Gibson is here, but not Ricky Morton, Tim Horner and Brian Lee look like they’ll be positioned near the top of the babyface depth chart, and Bobby and Jackie Fulton posing as the Fantastics will be the top babyface tag team… From the heel side of things, Jim Cornette is promising a new tag team that will rival the Midnight Express in terms of success, Killer Kyle looks like he was made from the same mold as Big Bubba Rogers, and Ivan Koloff is here, along with “nephew” Vladimir (a poor man’s Nikita Koloff)… Commissioner Bob Armstrong made a point to say that rules will be followed or fines will be handed out like water… The Black Scorpion arrived and lost to an unknown enhancement talent… Color Commentator Dutch Mantel picked a fight with Brian Lee over the latter’s performance in a match against Barry Horowitz… Legendary Ron Wright, confined to a wheel chair, is looking for someone to manage to pay for his hip and knee implants (his words!).
– Bob Caudle and Jim Cornette are calling the action, with Dutch Mantel scheduled to compete tonight against Scott Armstrong. Also on the card, as noted last week, is a tag team encounter between The “Fantastics” and Ivan and Vladimir Koloff. “Hollywood” Bob Holly and “Hustler” Rip Rogers will also be in action.
– “Hollywood” Bob Holly vs. Tim Frye:
Yes, it’s THAT Bob Holly, and no, he doesn’t have the pink and black robe… yet. Bob Holly playing a Hollywood playboy just seems odd. He comes out to “Fame” by David Bowie. Lockup and Holly quickly goes to work on the left arm. Ron Wright shows up at ringside to scout the talent. Frye turns things around, working the arm of Holly. Frye with a series of arm drags and into the arm-bar. Holly escapes with an elbow across the jaw. Snap mare and he hits a leg drop for a two count. Holly with a back breaker and elbow drop, but a lazy cover only gets two. Suplex for another two count. Frye manages to catch Holly with another arm drag. Whip to the corner, but Frye meets an elbow on the charge attempt. Holly plants him with a slam, and an impressive flying knee drop finishes at 4:30. Cornette compares the move to something he’d see from Bobby Eaton. Holly was only a few years in the business, but his offense looked really good.
– Ivan and Vladimir Koloff are standing by with comments about tonight’s Main Event. Koloff does all the talking, trying to put Vladimir over as a better competitor than Nikita Koloff. He promises to rip the hearts out of the Fantastics.
– Robert Gibson cuts a promo about coming back from a serious knee injury that sidelined him for a considerable amount of time. The promo literally lasts about 10-seconds.
– “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff vs. “Hustler” Rip Rogers:
Orndorff is presented as the baby-face, but I’m sure that will be short-lived. Getting Orndorff is always a good move for a small promotion at the time, if you utilize him correctly. Rogers is a cut above the usual enhancement talent, having worked around the world, mostly looking up at the lights, but a reliable hand. He’s also the loudest wrestler I’ve ever heard, constantly screaming and grunting with every spot. Rogers attacks from behind. Orndorff quickly comes back with a hip toss and clotheslines. He hollows Rogers to the floor and nails him with a microphone. Back inside, Orndorff comes off the top rope with an elbow. Orndorff with a slam and arm drag. Rogers rakes the back to escape an arm-bar and drops Orndorff with a clothesline. Rogers sends him to the floor and whips him into the security rail. Rogers with a snap mare and elbow drop. Whip and Rogers hooks a sleeper. Orndorff refuses to let the arm drop three times and uses his momentum to throw Rogers face-first into the turnbuckle. Small package gets a two count. Orndorff blocks a suplex and counters with his own. Rogers gets trapped in the ropes, but Orndorff shows no mercy. Rogers catches Orndorff with a boot, but a piledriver is blocked. Orndorff back drops out of it and sits down on a sunset flip attempt for three at 6:28. That was a clunky finish. Did I mention that Piledrivers are illegal in Smoky Mountain Wrestling? ** This was more competitive than I anticipated. Solid work from both.
– Bob Caudle is standing by with “Nitro” Danny Davis. You see, he used to be known as “Nightmare”, but that’s a thing of the past, because he’s like a bottle of nitroglycerin, and he’s going to explode. Bob Armstrong comes in from the other side of the camera to put over that SMW is a family friendly atmosphere, AT AFFORDABLE PRICES. He urges everyone watching to come see Smoky Mountain Wrestling when they come to a town near you.
– Bob Caudle is standing by with “Primetime” Brian Lee. He wastes no time throwing shade at Dutch Mantel. He’s 6’5” and 275 pounds, so he’s not hard to find if he’s looking for a fight.
– Scott Armstrong vs. “Dirty” Dutch Mantel:
Jesus, how many Armstrong sons were there? We’ve got Brad (working in WCW), Brian (who was in the U.S. military), Steve (in WCW as a Young Pistol/Southern Boy with Tracy Smothers), and now Scott. I’m positive Scott became a lead official in WWE before being retired to a backstage role in 2013. Mantel (known to the WWE universe as Zeb Colter) had a long career, but is probably better known for his backstage presence as a creative contributor/booker than in-ring ability. Dutch comes out to the world’s worst recording of “Rawhide” and is introduced from Oil Trough, TX, wherever that is. Armstrong wastes no time going for the arm. Whip to the ropes, Armstrong with an arm drag and dropkick. Dutch rams Armstrong into the turnbuckle and takes him over with a snap mare. He hooks an abdominal stretch, and yes, he uses the ropes for leverage. He must’ve taught Mike Rotunda that move. Armstrong with a surprise small package for two. Dutch avoids a dropkick and drops Scott with a short clothesline. Armstrong tries to fight out of an arm-bar with rights, but Mantel yanks the hair. Whip to the ropes and Armstrong catches Mantel with a boot to the chest. He unloads with rights. Mantel says screw this, grabs his bull whip, and clotheslines Armstrong with it for the Disqualification at 4:47. He lays into Armstrong with it until Brian Lee chases him off. Not much here, but Dutch did a good job of using every heel tactic in the book in less than 5-minutes.
– Jerry Williams, “The Principal” of the Morristown, TN Elementary School, puts over Smoky Mountain Wrestling. Good call, Jerry.
– Bob Armstrong is standing by to announce that Dutch Mantel is fined $500 for using the bull whip, and hints the fine will be higher with each time after that. He says that next week, Dutch Mantel and Brian Lee will settle it in the ring. Jim Cornette storms in to say he’d pay the fine for the privilege of watching Scott Armstrong being whipped. He teases his new tag team, but we still don’t have any names to go with this mysterious tag team. It can’t be the Midnight Express, since Bobby Eaton is still under contract to WCW. This turns into a rant about earning title matches by being the better man, not getting roles on situation comedies or selling bubblegum cards.
– Bob Caudle is standing by with Wally Yamaguchi from “Universal Wrestling of Japan” as part of an exchange of talent and broadcast rights for SMW. Yes, Wally Yamaguchi of WWF Kaientai “I choppy-choppy your pee-pee” fame, without the stereotype. It’s almost weird seeing people presented as, *gasp*, real people, and not ridiculous stereotypes who have trouble speaking basic English.
– Highlights from last week’s Main Event between Bobby Fulton and Ivan Koloff.
– Ron Wright is standing by to claim innocence over last week’s incident. He didn’t do anything wrong when he was at ringside, and he never harmed a hair on any man in his life. He’s just a poor, old, crippled man, trying to mind his own business, and he’s looking for a team or a man that can make him the money for his hip surgery.
– The Fantastics vs. The Koloffs:
(Bobby & Jackie Fulton vs. Ivan & Vladimir Koloff)
Main Event of the Night. If you don’t know why this match is taking place, I’m sure I’ve already covered it in detail last week. All four men brawl before the Fultons could be properly introduced. Jackie and Vladimir start once the dust settles. Lockup and Vladimir sends him into the corner. Jackie goes to work on the arm and takes Vladimir over with a cross arm-breaker. Ivan tags in and a roll-up for a two count. Bobby takes him over with a pair of monkey flips into a cover, and they go through a series of counters for near falls. Bobby with a drop toe hold into an arm-bar. Jackie tags in and leap frogs Bobby to crash across the arm. Jackie with a takedown into a short arm-scissors. Whip to the corner and Bobby with the whiplash elbow for two. Vladimir comes off the top with an axe-handle while the referee is distracted. Whip and the Russians with a double elbow. Vladimir catches Bobby off the ropes with a back breaker for two. Bobby rolls away from an elbow, but Ivan cuts off a tag attempt. Vladimir with a hard whip to the corner. Bobby with a sunset flip, but the referee is out of position. Ivan comes off the ropes with a leg drop for two. Ivan takes a cheap shot at Jackie, drawing him into the ring. Double Suplex from the Koloffs for two. Bobby fights out of a chin-lock and finally hot tags his brother. Jackie with dropkicks and slams too both Koloffs. He takes both over with a combination headlock and head scissors. The Koloffs dump Jackie and double team on Bobby. He fights off a double back drop, Jackie comes off the top with a flying body press on Ivan for three at 9:02. **1/2 Solid match. Vladimir looked lost half the time, but Bobby Fulton and Ivan Koloff carried the bulk of the match.
– Bob Caudle is standing by with Jim Cornette (clearly a pre-taped interview compared to their “studio” segments covering the matches). He says it’s an albatross coming to these hillbilly, redneck towns. Terry Gordy shows up and cuts a whacked-out promo about Freebird Mountain, and I’m pretty sure we don’t see much of him, so this feels completely out of place.
– Bob Caudle is standing by with White LIGHTNIN’ Tim Horner. Not Lightning. He’s from Morristown, TN and looks to be the pride of Smoky Mountain Wrestling. He completely butchers his promo to the point that Bob Caudle has to chime in and fix his words. Seriously, stuff like this would live on in infamy for years if it happened during today’s era of social media and YouTube, but since it’s 1992 and the internet wasn’t the humiliating force it is today, it would be quickly forgotten.
Final Thoughts: The in-ring quality isn’t anything special, but all the matches had a purpose, and nothing was bad or something worth openly complaining about (other than Vladimir Koloff. He stunk). Paul Orndorff showing up instantly makes him one of the top names in the company, whether it be as a babyface or a heel. Jim Cornette continues to promise to deliver a new tag team, and Ron Wright continues to play the innocent old man, looking for a meal ticket to pay for his hip surgery. Bob Holly shows promise as a mid-card heel, and we’ve been introduced to the “new and improved” NITRO Danny Davis. Brian Lee and Dutch Mantel continue their short-term program, and who knows if this is the end for the Fultons and Koloffs rivalry.