What the World Was Watching: Smoky Mountain TV – September 23, 1995

Chip Kessler and Les Thatcher are calling the action in the second round of tapings in Cookeville, Tennessee.

Opening Contest:  Tommy Rich (w/Jim Cornette & the Punisher) (3-1) pins Larry Santo after a DDT at 1:58:

Rich does some token pounding on Santo before catching the jobber with a DDT.  After the match, Cornette makes fun of Buddy Landel’s past alcoholism.

A recap of Buddy Landel going after Jim Cornette after Cornette insulted his wife last week is shown before Thatcher chats with Rich, Cornette, and the Punisher, a faction that is down three members since Fire on the Mountain.  Cornette says that Rich will drive Landel out of professional wrestling.

Robert Gibson tells Chris Michaels that if he keeps his mouth shut and ears open, he is going to learn how to be a better professional wrestler.

SMW Tag Team Champions the Heavenly Bodies and Jim Cornette are dismissive of Gibson taking Michaels under their wing.  Dr. Tom Prichard says that as long as the Bodies have his boot they are going to keep the tag team titles.

SMW Tag Team Championship Match:  The Heavenly Bodies (Champions w/Jim Cornette) (3-1-1) defeat Robert Gibson & Chris Michaels via disqualification when the THUGS interfere at 6:04:

Cornette yells during the match that he does not know who Michaels, despite the fact that Michaels wrestled the Bodies in a squash match on last week’s program.  Jimmy del Ray does remember, planting Michaels with a powerbomb when Michaels tries to a do a hurricanrana, a move he pulled off in last week’s match.  This is just a formulaic tag team match that builds to Dr. Tom Prichard using his loaded boot to knock Michaels out of the ring and pound away on Robert Gibson for a long time before the THUGS run-in to put a stop to it.  The loaded boot gimmick got exposed by the finish because Gibson took three shots from it and did not appear any worse for wear than taking a normal kick.  Rating:  *¾

After showing highlights of SMW Champion Brad Armstrong wrestling Al Snow on last week’s telecast, Terry Gordy and Jim Cornette cut a promo.  Cornette says that SMW officials saved Armstrong from a big beating, a beating that is coming if Armstrong does not give Gordy the SMW title.

For “Kessler’s Corner,” Kessler interviews Armstrong.  Armstrong dismisses Gordy and Cornette’s talk about how Gordy is the rightful SMW champion.  He lets SMW fans know that he loves and fights for them.

Tommy Noe hypes the “Halloween Scream Tour” that will visit Knoxville, Tennessee on October 20; Morristown, Tennessee on October 21; Cookeville, Tennessee on October 27; and Johnson City, Tennessee on October 28.  Kids in Halloween costume get in for free and there will be candy and prizes.  Two SMW stars will face off in a “Four Faces of Fear” challenge.

Buddy Landel (14-13-1) beats Killer Kyle (6-6) via submission to the figure-four leg lock at 4:06:

For the second straight week, Kessler and Thatcher make fun of Kyle’s tights because they have artistic designs on them.  Even though he is a babyface, Landel still uses heel mannerisms by poking Kyle in the eyes, rakes his eyes with his boot, and punching him in the face when referee Mark Curtis tries to separate the two men in the corner.  Kyle musters no offense, reinforcing his status as a glorified jobber.  That also means it is not worth rating this bout.

Thatcher interviews Landel, who says he would be happy to wrestle Tommy Rich immediately if Rich had the guts to do it.  He says that if Rich is the best man Cornette can muster to face him then Cornette might as well leave the promotion.

Thatcher talks with the THUGS about Dr. Tom’s Prichard’s loaded boot.  The Dirty White Boy vows to get the boot off Prichard’s foot and beat him to death with it.  Tracy Smothers adds nothing of importance.

Boo Bradley (17-7) beats the Punisher (w/Jim Cornette) (4-0) via disqualification when the Punisher uses a chair at 5:42:

This is an unusual match to plug into the main event slot because of the limitations of each participant.  Bradley is also less over than he was at the beginning of the year, getting little reaction from the crowd.  The match grinds to a halt early and often as the Punisher uses a bevy of chinlocks to wear Bradley out.  The Punisher gets a visual pin after a slingshot splash off the top rope, but he picks Bradley up, all so the match can eventually go outside where the Punisher wears Bradley out with a chair to lose his undefeated streak.  Rating:  ½*

After the bell, the Punisher continues to beat on Bradley’s leg with the chair until Bob and Brad Armstrong make the save.

Thatcher interviews Commissioner Bob Armstrong, who announces a $500 fine for the Punisher.  He also says that he wants to see proof from the THUGS that Dr. Tom Prichard is using a loaded boot.  Armstrong challenges Cornette to a match on next week’s show where he vows to wrestle with one arm tied behind his back.

Tune in next week to see Buddy Landel face Mosh!  Also, Bob Armstrong faces Jim Cornette with one arm tied behind his back!

The Last Word:  Much of this show is just SMW spinning its wheels.  Fans have already seen Jim Cornette against Bob Armstrong a handful of times over the last few years and the other feuds just saw words exchanged via the microphone.  And in a bad sign for the promotion, there have been no new debuts at this taping thus far, so a small roster just keeps getting smaller.

SMW ran several house shows in Tennessee and North Carolina before its next television episode.  Here were the results of those shows, courtesy of prowrestlinghistory.com:

Manchester, Tennessee – Coffee County Fairgrounds – September 21, 1995 (1,200): Robert Gibson pinned Killer Kyle…SMW Champion Brad Armstrong pinned Terry Gordy…The THUGS beat the Headbangers…Buddy Landel beat Tommy Rich…Killer Kyle won a battle royal.

Lenoir, North Carolina – The Mulberry Street Recreational Center – September 22, 1995 (250):  Robert Gibson pinned Thrasher…Terry Gordy beat SMW Champion Brad Armstrong via disqualification…SMW Tag Team Champions the Heavenly Bodies beat the THUGS…Buddy Landel wrestled Tommy Rich to a double count out.

Backstage News*:        WCW’s recent Monday Nitro telecast took place from Freedom Hall in Johnson City, SMW’s second-biggest market.  At the show, Jim Cornette’s girlfriend, Heather Norton, got into an argument with WCW’s Chief of Security, Doug Dillinger, for refusing to hand over signs that said “We Want it RAW” and “J.C. loves Eric Jerkoff.”

*Part of the reason why SMW drew a big house for its card in Manchester was that it rained and the wrestling card was one of the few things happening indoors.

*Several nights later, SMW had its Saltville, Virginia show cancelled by local promoters due to weather.  Talent was not told, though, which did little for backstage morale.

*Backstage news is courtesy of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for September 25.

Up Next:  Smoky Mountain TV for September 30!