What the World Was Watching: Smoky Mountain TV – January 21, 1995

Jim Ross and Les Thatcher are in the booth and they are still taped from Sevierville, Tennessee.

Opening Contest for the Beat the Champ Television Championship Match:  Buddy Landel (Champion) (1-0) beats Tommy Pitner via submission to a figure-four leg lock at 1:40:

Pitner was an East Tennessee native who wrestled for SMW as an enhancement talent.  Coupled with a George South squash last week, Landel is showing that he is the smartest man in the business by beating weak competition to earn $1,000.  Landel pounds away on Pitner in the corner, drops the corkscrew elbow, and locks on the figure-four to stay unbeaten on the year.

Ross interviews Landel, who says that his agent has gotten him a license so he can be a timekeeper at Super Saturday Night Fever for the Dirty White Boy-Jerry Lawler SMW Championship match.  Landel warns the White Boy that he will be his worst nightmare.

Footage of Lawler and Jim Cornette beating up the Dirty White Boy in last year’s NWA Champion tournament is shown.

Another video package from Memphis hypes Lawler.

Ross interviews SMW Champion the Dirty White Boy.  The champion says he does not like Landel being the timekeeper, and if Landel tries to interfere then they will start their lights out match early.  The White Boy tells Lawler that he is ready for K-Town.

A taped segment shows Cactus Jack looking for Boo Bradley, who is found looking at ducks on a pond.  To help Bradley destroy Chris Candido at Super Saturday Night Fever, Jack gives Bradley his tights from the night he lost his ear in Munich, Germany.  Bradley says that since he has the tights and Boots’ spirit he will give Candido the longest night of his life.

Candido delivers a taped promo where he tells Bradley that he is a moron and he is going to feed him dog food at Super Saturday Night Fever.

Boo Bradley (1-0) beats Chris Candido via reverse decision at 3:09:

Candido was trained at the age of fourteen by Larry Sharpe, founder of the famous Monster Factory that also trained wrestlers like Bam Bam Bigelow, D’Lo Brown, Tatanka, and Raven.  He and girlfriend Tammy Lynn Sytch were signed by Jim Cornette in 1992 and Candido split time between SMW and ECW, where he teamed with Johnny Hotbody and Chris Michaels as the Suicide Blondes and won the promotion’s tag team titles twice.  By 1995 he was the NWA Heavyweight Champion, winning a ten-man tournament the previous November.  His stock was also on the rise, with the WWF interested in acquiring his services and Candido telling the locker room in December 1994 that he was going to New York.  SMW has been hyping a battle between these two for weeks and Ross complains early on that Bradley needs to quit wearing boxer shorts to wrestle in.  Bradley no sells Candido’s offense, only to have Tammy Fytch come to ringside dressed as an old woman and after referee Mark Curtis is bumped, she sprays Bradley’s eyes.  Candido pins Bradley after a body press off the ropes but after the bell Curtis finds out that the old woman is Fytch and he reverses the original decision.  Was this finish necessary?  It would have been better for Candido to score a cheap win so Bradley is motivated even more for revenge.  Rating:  *½

After the match, Candido force feeds Bradley dog food and runs away when his old ally recovers.

From the WWF, the Heavenly Bodies and Jim Cornette criticize the racial complaints made by the Gangstas.  Cornette says that some white people are racist, and nothing will ever change that and New Jack is not helping the situation and people do not like him because he is a jerk.  Then Cornette criticizes Al Sharpton and says New Jack alleges racial discrimination to make money, serves as a bad symbol of black culture for white audiences, and that New Jack does not care about black people.  To conclude, Cornette says that Gangstas will rue the day they attacked him last month.  According to Dave Meltzer, the WWF was uncomfortable with the content of this promo and Cornette got some heat over it.  After it airs, Ross tells fans that the views expressed are Cornette’s alone and do not represent the views of the station airing the program or SMW, showing how this angle was making advertisers and station executives uncomfortable as well.

Ross interviews the Gangstas, who confront Commissioner Bob Armstrong.  New Jack says that Armstrong and Cornette are racist and in cahoots together.  Armstrong refutes that, telling the Gangstas that he has not fined or suspended hem even when they have given him cause to do so and calling them assholes.  New Jack does not take kindly to that, issuing an opening challenge for any Armstrong son to wrestle him today.

The next segment is supposed to be a New Jack-Steve Armstrong match but before it starts Jim Cornette comes to the ring and hands referee Mark Curtis an injunction that bars Mustafa and D’Lo Brown from ringside.  The Gangstas do not like this, so they do a three-on-two beatdown, beating Steve with a club and using Cornette’s tennis racquet on his bad knee.  Bob eventually does a run-in with a baseball bat to clear the Gangstas out of the ring.

Call 1-900-73-SMOKY to vote in the fan poll about whether Jim Cornette has changed his ways!

Thatcher interviews Eddie Gilbert backstage and asks who his mystery partner is.  Gilbert refuses to disclose his partner’s name but he is excited about it.

Non-Title Match:  Rock N’ Roll Express (SMW Tag Team Champions) beat Eddie Gilbert & Unabomb via disqualification when Gilbert pulls down the top rope and causes Robert Gibson to crash to the arena floor at 6:06:

Unabomb, real name Glenn Jacobs, started his wrestling career three years earlier in St. Louis as part of the Central States Wrestling Association (CSWA).  His billed height was typically more than seven feet and that frame caused him to be booked as the Christmas Creature in the USWA, one of the most ridiculous gimmicks Memphis ever produced.  For this gimmick he looked like Lord Humungus of Mad Max 2:  The Road Warrior, sporting a red hockey mask and leather straps across his chest during his entrance.  This match marks his debut in the promotion.  Unabomb is only knocked out of the ring for a brief moment by the Express’ double dropkick finisher.  The heat segment on Ricky Morton is tame as the match is pressed for time.  Shortly after a hot tag to Gibson, Gilbert pulls down the top rope when Gibson runs the ropes in view of the referee and that gets his team disqualified.  There was not a lot of action to this one and neither team seemed on the verge of getting a decision.  Rating:  *

After the bell, the heels try to do a two-on-one beatdown, but Gibson grabs a chair and they run away.

The Last Word:  The big event on the show was the debut of Unabomb, who would become one of the promotion’s big acts in the coming months.  It may not have been the best move to put the Dirty White Boy’s promos after Buddy Landel as Landel is much better than he is on the stick and it makes the White Boy look bad in comparison.  Looking back, the Gangstas act was in poor taste, not to mention counterproductive if Smoky Mountain wanted to expand its audience and it reinforced some negative stereotypes about the South.

SMW ran a few house shows in Tennessee on January 20 and 21.  Here were the results of those cards (courtesy of prowrestlinghistory.com):

Newport, Tennessee – Newport Grammar School – January 20, 1995 (225):  Tracy Smothers beat Bryant Anderson…Boo Bradley defeated Chris Candido…SMW Champion the Dirty White Boy beat Buddy Landel via disqualification…SMW Tag Team Champions the Rock N’ Roll Express beat the Gangstas.

Morristown, Tennessee – Talley Ward Recreation Center – January 21, 1995 (500): Tracy Smothers beat Bryant Anderson in an “I quit” match…Chris Candido pinned Boo Bradley…Buddy Landel defeated SMW Champion the Dirty White Boy via disqualification…SMW Tag Team Champions the Rock N’ Roll Express beat the Gangstas…Tracy Smothers won a Smoky Mountain Rumble.

Backstage News*:        New Jack was arrested after the house show in Morristown, Tennessee for allegedly hitting a fourteen-year-old fan that was heckling him during the main event.  When police got involved, New Jack reportedly shoved and cursed them, causing him to be charged with two counts of assault on an officer, one count of disorderly conduct, and one count of assault on a minor. Despite the arrest, New Jack will likely appear at Super Saturday Night Fever.  The Morristown main event, where Tracy Smothers won a Smoky Mountain Rumble by eliminating the Gangstas, did not end well.  The plan called for the Gangstas to do a three-on-one beatdown on Smothers, who would be saved in a surprise run-in from Scott Armstrong.  Scott would then be attacked with a billy club to mirror what happened to his brother Steve on television, but D’Lo Brown hit Smothers instead and then the Gangstas focused on Scott’s shoulder.  This caused Smothers, Scott, and referee Mark Curtis to yell at the Gangstas that they were not doing the angle correctly, all of which could be heard on the front row, so SMW may wish to retape the segment at another show.  Roanoke television will soon air SMW shows.  In talent relations news, Eddie Gilbert abruptly left the promotion to book in Puerto Rico, disrupting the long-term angle between he and the Rock N’ Roll Express that was supposed to continue through Super Saturday Night Fever.

*Backstage news courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for January 30.

Up Next:  Smoky Mountain TV for January 28!