What the World Was Watching: Smoky Mountain Wrestling – July 8, 1995

Chip Kessler and Les Thatcher are in the booth and they are concluding the tapings in Sevierville, Tennessee.

The closing moments of the Buddy Landel-Brad Armstrong SMW Championship match in Barbourville, Kentucky are shown.  Timekeeper Kenny Rison, referee Mark Curtis, and Tracy Smothers recap the crazy endings of Jim Cornette ringing the bell prematurely to keep Armstrong from winning, Landel using a foreign object to get a pin until Tracy Smothers got Curtis to restart it, and Armstrong pinning Landel after a side Russian leg sweep.  Cornette and Landel are incensed about Armstrong having the SMW title, and Landel calls Armstrong a thief while Cornette hilariously punches a wall and hurts himself.  Armstrong says the belt is his because possession is nine-tenths of the law.  Commissioner Bob Armstrong says the situation is a mess, so he declares the SMW Championship vacant until Landel and Armstrong meet again for the title in Knoxville.

The Headbangers do a pre-taped promo where they thank SMW fans for spitting on them.  They are the team of the 1990s after all.

Opening Contest:  The THUGS (4-1) defeat Larry Santo & D’Lo Brown after Tracy Smothers pins Santo after a spinning elbow off the top rope at 2:34:

Randy Hales joins commentary during the match because the THUGS have an upcoming match against PG-13 in Cookeville, Tennessee for the USWA Tag Team Championship.  Hales spends time criticizing the promotion, its fans, and Mark Curtis.  Brown’s teaming with Santo shows he is going nowhere on the card.  The THUGS run through some nice double team moves, clotheslining Brown over the top rope and the Dirty White Boy holds Santo in place for a Smothers spinning elbow off the top for the THUGS third-straight win.

Thatcher talks with the THUGS about their match in Cookeville against PG-13.  Smothers repeats the tired criticism that PG-13 are Vanilla Ice wannabes, while the White Boy goes Deliverance, PG style, by threatening to pull their pants down, spank them, and send them back to Memphis.

Super Bowl of Wrestling news announces that Billy Jack Haynes will defend the USWA Southern Heavyweight Championship there and Chris Benoit will defend the “Canadian title” at the show.

The Punisher (w/Jim Cornette) pins Mike Mason after a flying leg drop in 47 seconds:

A rookie in 1995, the Punisher was a talent on the Georgia independent scene before coming to SMW.  He later found success in the WWE as Bull Buchanan.  Mason tears into the Punisher with some fists but they are not sold.  A chokeslam, gorilla press slam, and flying leg drop give the Punisher his first SMW win in less than a minute.

After recapping the end of last week’s Boo Bradley-Terry Gordy main event, Bradley cries over the remains of his teddy bear.  He likens the destruction of his bear, Bobo, to the death of Boots the cat at the hands of Chris Candido at the end of the previous year.  Bradley vows revenge against the Militia.

Jim Cornette, Buddy Landel, and the Punisher do a pre-taped promo.  Cornette says that Gordy has been sent on a tour of Japan for the Militia and Tommy Rich will keep Bradley occupied for the time being.  He also puts over the thunderdome cage match between the Dynamic Duo and the Rock N’ Roll Express in Johnson City, Tennessee.  Cornette claims that Landel is the legitimate SMW titleholder, and Landel echoes those comments when he gets a turn to speak.  The only problem with the positioning of the SMW titleholder getting a title shot at the WWF Intercontinental Champion is that it makes the SMW belt look inferior by comparison.

In a promo with a lot of editing, Brad Armstrong recaps his career and says he is in SMW because he was not given enough title shots in WCW because he was not flamboyant or over the top.  He chalks up his poor performances there to not being motivated enough after he was told he was not marketable.  The promo finishes with Armstrong vowing to go through the Militia to prove something to himself and to avenge his father.  Despite the editing, he cannot remember what WWF title is going to be defended at The Super Bowl of Wrestling as he thinks he is going to get a chance at the WWF Championship rather than the Intercontinental Championship.

The lineup for the Summer Blast show in Knoxville is as follows:  SMW Tag Team Champions the Dynamic Duo defending the titles against the careers of the Rock N’ Roll Express in a no time limit, no disqualification match; Brad Armstrong wrestling Buddy Landel for the vacant SMW Championship; the THUGS going against the Headbangers; Steve Armstrong faces the Punisher; Mark Curtis wrestles Randy Hales in a special challenge match; and Boo Bradley goes against Tommy Rich.

Brad Armstrong (2-0) defeats Killer Kyle (6-5) after a side Russian leg sweep at 4:40:

Kessler maintains the story from Armstrong’s promo segments earlier, alleging that WCW held down Armstrong while he was there.  Kyle slowly beats on Armstrong, scoring a few near-falls along the way, until Armstrong uses a headscissors to counter a backbreaker effort.  A few flips allow Armstrong to hit his finisher and stay undefeated.  This match never got out of first gear.  Rating:  *

Thatcher chats with Commissioner Bob Armstrong, who reiterates the stipulations for the Dynamic Duo-Rock N’ Roll Express match at Summer Blast in Knoxville.  He puts over that there must be a winner when the teams face off.

SMW Tag Team Championship Match:  The Rock N’ Roll Express (4-3) beat the Dynamic Duo (Champions w/Jim Cornette & the Punisher) (6-4-1) via disqualification when Al Snow tosses Ricky Morton over the top rope at 2:35:

This is supposed to be the Duo against the Wolfman and Lee Thomas, but as Cornette announces that the match is going to be for the SMW Tag Team Championship, the Express come out and the jobbers give up their spot.  The Express tear into the champions and dominate all of the action.  Desperate to escape with the titles, Snow enters the ring illegally and tosses Morton over the top rope, bringing the match to an end just before television time expires.

Tune in next week to see the debut of Tommy Rich!

The Last Word:  As was the case with a lot of the shows at the end of a television taping, this one was sad to watch as the crowd was dead for all of the matches and the wrestlers were going through the motions.  The Punisher looked good in his squash even though it was short.

Aside from doing a new television taping in Jellico, Tennessee, SMW held cards in Virginia and Johnson City, Tennessee, as well as a fairground card in Kentucky.  Here were the results of those shows, courtesy of prowrestlinghistory.com:

Clinchport, Virginia – Rye Cove High School – July 7, 1995 (300):    Boo Bradley pinned Killer Kyle…The THUGS beat the Headbangers…Brad Armstrong wrestled Buddy Landel to a double disqualification for the SMW Championship…The Rock N’ Roll Express beat SMW Tag Team Champions the Dynamic Duo via count out in a non-title match…Brad Armstrong won a “pole battle royal.”

Johnson City, Tennessee – Freedom Hall – July 8, 1995 (500):  Firebreaker Chip pinned the Mighty Destroyer (Mike Sampson)…The THUGS beat the Headbangers when Tracy Smothers pinned Mosh…The Punisher pinned Boo Bradley…Brad Armstrong beat Buddy Landel via disqualification in a match for the held-up SMW Championship…The Rock N’ Roll Express defeated SMW Tag Team Champions the Dynamic Duo in a non-title, thundercage match when Robert Gibson pinned Unabom.

Monticello, Kentucky – Wayne County Fairgrounds – July 8, 1995 (800 – unpaid):   Larry Santo pinned the Centurion…Bobby Blayze pinned Brian Logan…Bob Armstrong & Steve Armstrong defeated Killer Kyle & D’Lo Brown in a two-out-of-three falls match…Bob Armstrong won a battle royal.

Backstage News*:        Firebreaker Chip’s match against Mike Sampson in Johnson City was a tryout, but arena reports said that the match was bad because Chip did a lot of rest holds.

*Chris Benoit will not be able to make The Super Bowl of Wrestling card on August 4 because his Japanese tour was extended.  He will be replaced on the card by Marty Jannetty, with Jannetty defending the Midwest Territorial Wrestling Championship against Al Snow.  It is also expected that the Steiner Brothers will be at the show and will be plugged in to face the Headbangers.  Jim Cornette hoped that he could get Jos LeDuc to team with Boo Bradley against Terry Gordy and Tommy Rich but had to settle for the Mongolian Stomper instead.

*SMW might do a tournament for the held-up SMW Championship.  If they go that route, it will wrap up in late August.

*Jim Cornette admitted at the ECW Internet Convention that checks have bounced in the past but SMW always made good on them.  However, the company still owes money to Cactus Jack and owed $100 to Mustafa when he began no-showing.  Cornette said Jack had a check bounce because he waited too long to cash it and cashed it at a time when the company was short of funds.  When Cornette tried to catch Jack’s payments up, he mailed the check to the wrong address because Jack did not tell him that he no longer lived in Atlanta.  Both sides have reportedly made up on the issue, but Cornette is still waiting for Jack to give him his correct address to finish his SMW paychecks.  Cornette is upset that checks bouncing in SMW has become a big news story when ECW owes money to talent and other stakeholders.  He is also mad that ECW took the Gangstas too early when he had planned to finish them up on July 1.  According to Cornette, he tried to get the Gangstas work in the WWF and USWA but neither promotion was interested.

*Backstage new is provided courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for July 17.

Up Next:  Smoky Mountain TV for July 15!