What the World Was Watching: Smoky Mountain TV – November 4, 1995

Chip Kessler and Les Thatcher are in the booth and they are concluding the tapings in Harlan, Kentucky.

Opening Contest:  Flash Flanagan (2-0) pins Mike Samples after a missile dropkick at 2:41:

Samples got his start in Memphis in 1990, trained by the legendary Jerry Jarrett and Tojo Yamamoto.  He wrestled for the USWA throughout the 1990s and worked as an enhancement talent for the WWF and WCW in 1991 and 1992.  The larger samples tries to keep the match on the ground but Flanagan explodes with a bevy of high-risk moves, diving onto Samples from the second rope to the arena floor.  A somersault plancha is botched as Flanagan comes nowhere close to hitting his opponent but they cover for it well, going back into the ring where Flanagan gets to the top after being whipped into the corner and using a missile dropkick to stay undefeated in singles competition.  This was on the better matches of this taping but most of the crowd went home and missed it.

After replaying the closing stages of the chain match between Buddy Landel and Tommy Rich, footage is shown of the Landel-Rich barbed wire match in Johnson City.  Landel used Jim Cornette’s tennis racquet to win but earned another beatdown by the Militia.  As was the case in Knoxville, no one came to Landel’s aid.

Landel cuts a promo in a used car lot, saying that he and his friend Wade offered a 1992 Ford Mustang to Jos LeDuc to be his partner at Thanksgiving Thunder against Rich and the Punisher.  According to Landel, LeDuc accepted his offer.  For the match, Commissioner Bob Armstrong will patrol the outside of the ring with a baseball bat.

A video package puts over Jos LeDuc’s career in Memphis.  SMW uses the same one the USWA used to hype LeDuc’s appearance at A Night to Remember in Louisville a few months prior.  SMW also plays an interview LeDuc gave when feuding with Jerry Lawler in the 1970s where LeDuc cut his arm open with an ax.

Kessler interviews Jim Cornette, Tommy Rich, and the Punisher.  They are not happy about LeDuc’s participation at Thanksgiving Thunder, with Cornette warning that the Militia is facing its toughest challenge and if it is not careful it may not survive the event.

Cornette argues with Sandy Scott backstage in Johnson City over the stipulations of the “Trick or Treat” match between Brad Armstrong and the Wolfman and Terry Gordy and Thrasher.  Cornette successfully gets the ten-lash stipulation switched from Gordy to Armstrong because Gordy is now the SMW Champion and would have had two stipulations against him if he took the fall whereas Armstrong would have had none.  Footage of the end of the match is shown where Mosh interferes and pins Armstrong, which referee Mark Curtis does not notice.  As per the pre-match stipulations, Gordy gets to whip Armstrong with a belt ten times but the Wolfman pulls Thrasher from underneath the ring to show Curtis that an illegal fall was made.  Curtis tries to stop the whipping Armstrong is taking but gets pushed aside and Gordy and the Headbangers beat up Armstrong and the Wolfman until the THUGS make the save.

Thatcher interviews Armstrong, who says he has a plan to regain the SMW Championship.  He proposes a Badstreet Death match for Thanksgiving Thunder where each man will have a three-foot strap in their hands to use as a weapon.

Non-Title Match:  Terry Gordy (Champion w/Jim Cornette) (5-1) pins Ron Davis after a powerbomb at 1:48:

Cornette is unconcerned with the outcome of the match, doing guest commentary for it.  Cornette says that Gordy will accept the Badstreet Death match challenge from Armstrong.  Gordy slowly works his way through the squash and wins with a powerbomb.

After showing Cornette’s altercation with Butch Cassidy last week, Thatcher interviews Cornette and the Punisher.  Cornette hypes the arrival of Sergeant Rock next week.  Rock’s first test will be to eliminate the Wolfman because the Wolfman dared to help Brad Armstrong.  Thatcher tells Cornette that Commissioner Bob Armstrong has booked him to face Cassidy at Thanksgiving Thunder.  Cornette is not happy about that.

The Punisher (w/Jim Cornette) (5-2) defeats Chris Michaels (2-1) after a flying leg drop at 1:36:

The smaller Michaels goes right after the Punisher, but the Punisher sells little of his offense.  A chokeslam, powerslam, and flying leg drop put Michaels down for the count.

Robert Gibson’s turn on the THUGS in the double chain elimination match for the SMW Tag Team Championship at the end of the Halloween Scream Tour in Johnson City, Tennessee airs.  Tommy Noe says that he tried to talk to the THUGS after the match, but they were in mood to give an interview. 

Butch Cassidy talks with Thatcher, who is full of fire, proclaiming himself “the toughest midget wrestler of all-time.”  Jim Cornette makes a long shrimp analogy while he has Tommy Rich hold Cassidy in place, spraying the mini with ketchup.

Buddy Landel (18-13-1) wrestles Tommy Rich (w/Jim Cornette) (6-4) to an inconclusive finish at 2:32:

This is scheduled to be Rich against the Wolfman, but Landel persuades the Wolfman to go to the locker room and allow him to face Rich instead.  Landel and Rich trade strikes until Cornette hits Landel in the throat with his tennis racquet.  That prompts Cassidy to chase Cornette to the locker room and Rich chokes Landel with a piece of wrist tape as the program runs out of time.

The Last Word:  For whatever reason, SMW has started to get into the habit of running “We are out of time!” finishes for its main events.  While that does set up a reason to watch next week’s episode, it also provides a flat ending for the broadcast.  The opener was solid but everything else missed the mark.  Why would Jos LeDuc care about a car?  And why not give Robert Gibson a promo opportunity as a follow up to airing his big turn in Johnson City?

SMW ran several house shows in Eastern Kentucky after the conclusion of the Halloween Scream Tour.  Here were the results of those shows, courtesy of prowrestlinghistory.com:

Betsy Lane, Kentucky – Betsy Lane High School – November 2, 1995 (200):  Robert Gibson pinned Bobby Blayze…The THUGS beat the Headbangers…Brad Armstrong defeated SMW Champion Terry Gordy via disqualification…Buddy Landel beat Tommy Rich via disqualification…Buddy Landel wrestled Jim Cornette to a no-contest…Brad Armstrong won a battle royal.

Paintsville, Kentucky – Paintsville High School – November 4, 1995 (350):  Robert Gibson beat Bobby Blayze…The THUGS beat the Headbangers…Brad Armstrong defeated SMW Champion Terry Gordy via disqualification…Buddy Landel pinned Robert Gibson…Buddy Landel pinned Jim Cornette.

Backstage News*:  Terry Gordy will only be able to appear on one night of the Thanksgiving Thunder shows, scheduled for November 25 and 26 because he will be part of an NWA tag team tournament in Japan.  However, SMW is billing him on both shows because they fear it would give away the outcome to the Gordy-Brad Armstrong SMW Championship match on the first night.

*Dr. Tom Prichard was late for a new television taping in Cumberland, Kentucky on November 6 because of flight problems but he still earned a lot of respect in the locker room for making the effort to get there.

*SMW will be hosting an elimination tournament for its Christmas show featuring Buddy Landel, Tommy Rich, the Punisher, and Brad Armstrong where the winner will get a spot in the WWF Royal Rumble.

*In talent relations news, the reason Stan Lane cannot compete at Thanksgiving Thunder was because he is having eye surgery.  Cornette’s plan to use a wrestling bear in his place was scuttled when he learned Tennessee law prohibited it.

*Backstage news is sourced from Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer for November 13.

Up Next:  Smoky Mountain TV for November 11!