While Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) paved the road for wrestling’s future by the end of the decade, Smoky Mountain Wrestling (SMW) was a product yearning for the past. Started by former Midnight Express manager and Louisville native Jim Cornette, and bankrolled by record producer Rick Rubin, in 1991, SMW billed itself as “professional wrestling like it used to be and the way you like it.” Running shows in the Appalachian areas of Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and the Carolinas, the promotion’s presentation and booking mirrored the territory days, with a traditional babyface-heel alignment and the adoption of Southern wrestling customs like disqualifications for wrestlers who tossed their opponents over the top rope. SMW relied on older NWA talents to boost houses, reviving the careers of the Rock N’ Roll Express and Buddy Landel, but it also became a haven for new acts that would later make their mark in the big time as Chris Jericho, Chris Candido, Tammy Sytch, Boo Bradley (the future Balls Mahoney), D’Lo Brown, the Gangstas, Lance Storm, and Unabomb (the future Kane) spent time in the company.
SMOKY MOUNTAIN WRESTLING TV – OCTOBER 3RD, 1992
– Last week on SMW TV… The Dirty White Boy finally had enough of Tim Horner, attacking him from behind and stringing him up from the top rope, Paul Orndorff failed to cash-in on the $10,000 bounty over Brian Lee’s head, The Stud Stable accused The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express of being drug addicts like Guns ‘n’ Roses, Ronnie Garvin is still upset over his towel being destroyed, and the Mystery Man behind the bounty on Lee’s head has offered to meet him in the ring at an unspecified date.
SMOKY MOUNTAIN WRESTLING TV – SEPTEMBER 26TH, 1992
– Last week on SMW TV… Tim Horner defeated the Dirty White Boy in a Non-Title Match, Jimmy Golden and Robert Fuller cost the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express their chance at the Heavenly Bodies’ Tag Team Championship, “Primetime” Brian Lee was attacked, again, by the Mongolian Mauler, and Paul Orndorff has promised to stick a bunch of people, including Brian Lee, who has a $10,000 bounty over his head.
SMOKY MOUNTAIN WRESTLING TV – SEPTEMBER 19TH, 1992
– Last week on SMW TV… The Dirty White Boy defended his SMW Heavyweight Title against “top contender” Newton Steffey, but it was revealed as a sham when the name he pulled was really Tim Horner’s… The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express assisted Dixie Dy-No-Mite and Danny Davis in upsetting The Stud Stable and have been granted a random title opportunity from Jim Cornette himself. If you don’t smell something fishy, I don’t know what to tell you… Someone is still out for Brian Lee’s blood, having sent a 2nd letter to Commissioner Bob Armstrong… Paul Orndorff and Ronne Garvin still hate each other, nothing is resolved, lather, rinse, repeat.
SMOKY MOUNTAIN WRESTLING TV – SEPTEMBER 12TH, 1992
– Last week on SMW TV… The Heavenly Bodies defeated The Fantastics to become the 2-time SMW Tag Team Champions when Jim Cornette assaulted Bobby Fulton with an ether-soaked rag. Whoops, sorry, he was treating a cut and that no-good alcoholic passed out in the ring. The win not only netted them the Tag Team gold but saved Mama Cornette’s $20,000 as well… Brian Lee’s been attacked again, but now we find out through an anonymous letter that the (games)master behind the attacks will reveal himself in due time. I think that hint gave it away, but it’s a reference that’s 30+ years old, so maybe it’ll jump over the heads of my readers… Tim Horner still wants a title shot, Dirty White Boy thinks Tim Horner is a bum, and the Piledriver War wages on between Mr. Wonderful and the Hands of Stone.
SMOKY MOUNTAIN WRESTLING TV – SEPTEMBER 5TH, 1992
– Last week on SMW TV… The contract is signed, and the stipulations are confirmed: The Fantastics defend the Tag Team Titles against former Champions, The Heavenly Bodies, where there will be No DQ’s, and the winning team takes home $20,000, courtesy the bank account of Mama Cornette. Oh, and Jim Cornette’s tennis racket is barred from ringside… The Dirty White Boy continues to be a fighting Champion, drawing “Nitro” Danny Davis’ name from a hat and barely getting by him after using a foreign object. Paul Orndorff and Ronnie Garvin still hate each other and are threatening to cripple the other with a piledriver. In the TV Main Event, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express and Stud Stable fought to a Double Disqualification, prolonging their rivalry.
SMOKY MOUNTAIN WRESTLING TV – AUGUST 29TH, 1992
– Last week on SMW TV… The saga surrounding Brian Lee continues, as we found out there’s a $10,000 bounty on his head, as well as a second attack from the mysterious (and yet to be named) Mongolian Mauler… Jim Cornette offered $10,000 of his mama’s cash for the Fantastics to give them their rematch ASAP, but was turned down… Paul Orndorff and Ronnie Garvin wrestled another non-finish with the Piledriver as the center-piece of the match….The Dirty White Boy is offering a title shot to anyone who wants one, except Tim Horner, because he doesn’t deserve it, obviously… The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express and Stud Stable are on a collision course and scheduled to meet this week.
SMOKY MOUNTAIN WRESTLING TV – AUGUST 22ND, 1992
– Last week on SMW TV, we got a detailed recap of all the big happenings at Fire on the Mountain, including Brian Lee being attacked by a mysterious man that looked like a Genie. The only new content from last week featured Tim Horner issuing a challenge for the SMW Heavyweight Title, and the Dirty White Boy successfully defending the title against Dixie Dy-No-Mite, with a little bit of help from the dastardly Killer Kyle.
SMOKY MOUNTAIN WRESTLING TV – August 15th, 1992
– Last time on SMW TV, we covered the “Fire on the Mountain” Super Card that took place on August 8th, 1992 from the Freedom Hall Civic Center in Johnson City, TN. It’s been a while since we’ve covered some Smoky Mountain Wrestling. In the last recap I published, I noted there might be a delay in the follow-up episodes due to Hurricane Irma, and yes, for a couple of weeks, I did lose electricity, and doing recaps was the furthest from my mind. At the same time, I found out my fiancée and I were expecting our first child together, and suddenly my time to watch wrestling has dwindled. I continued to do projects elsewhere, but the coverage of SMW went quiet… until now. Due to unpopular demand, we shall pick up where we left off, almost 16 months ago, as we cover the fallout from Fire on the Mountain. Hopefully another natural disaster doesn’t interfere with things.
–Jim Ross recaps how the Intercontinental title was held up as a result of last week’s controversial finish to the Jeff Jarrett-Bob Holly match.
–Ross and Todd Pettengill are in the booth and they are doing the second week of tapings in Moline, Illinois.
SMOKY MOUNTAIN WRESTLING TV – July 11th, 1992
– Last week on SMW TV… The “Main Event” of The Batten Twins vs. Dixie Dy-No-Mite and Danny Davis was immediately interrupted by a scuffle with The Fantastics and Heavenly Bodies… Paul Orndorff and the Dirty White Boy aren’t scared of Ron Garvin, but Mr. Ron Wright isn’t as confident… Brian Lee continues to be a fighting Champion, easily vanquishing Paul Lee… Jimmy Golden pinned Robert Gibson under dubious circumstances, so they’ll rematch at Summer Blast… Buddy Landell and Tim Horner have incorporated a leather strap into their feud, and are also on a collision course for Summer Blast…
SMOKY MOUNTAIN WRESTLING TV – June 6th, 1992
– Last week on SMW TV… We recapped the entire Volunteer Slam, with highlights from all seven Tournament matches, as well as the Tag Team Championship Match between the Heavenly Bodies and Party Patrol… Bobby Fulton had unkind words for the Heavenly Bodies, vowing revenge when his brother, Jackie, recovers… Tim Horner pinned Buddy Landell for the Mountain Mayhem paycheck, but Landell bloodied him up afterwards, tore the check up, and stuffed it down his throat.
SMOKY MOUNTAIN WRESTLING TV – April 25th, 1992
– Last week on SMW TV… The Field of Eight for the Volunteer Slam’s Championship Tournament has been confirmed: Brian Lee, Tim Horner, Robert Gibson, Dixie Dy-No-Mite, Dirty White Boy, Jimmy Golden, Paul Orndorff, and Buddy Landel… The relationship between Dutch Mantel and Carl Stiles appears to be over… Bob Armstrong has fined Orndorff $2,500 for his piledriver parade, but that’s just a drop in the bucket for Mr. Wonderful… Buddy Landel made his in-ring debut and miraculously didn’t pull a no-show…
SMOKY MOUNTAIN WRESTLING TV – April 4th, 1992
– Last week on SMW TV… The Fantastics defeated The Wild Bunch to join The Maulers in the Semi-Finals of the Tag Team Title Tournament… Tim Horner was given a “personality profile”, and sings “Shameless”… The Volunteer Slam has been announced, featuring an 8-Man Single Elimination Tournament for the SMW Heavyweight Title… Brian Lee offered his guaranteed spot in the tournament for a rematch with Dutch Mantel… Bob Holly says he’s not in the tournament because it’s smarter to just beat the Champion than waste time wrestling three matches in one night… Jim Cornette failed to deliver footage of his tag team for the second week in a row.
SMOKY MOUNTAIN WRESTLING TV – March 28th, 1992
– Last week on SMW TV… The Tag Team Tournament began! Jack Victory and Rip Morgan advanced to the Semi-Finals, defeating Johnny and Davey Rich… Jim Cornette brought a camera crew to meet his new team at Hooters, but that didn’t go as well as planned. He also had a limo driver named Herd… The Fantastics revealed Tommy Rogers as their mystery partner, but wouldn’t you know it, both Ivan and Vladimir had wives going into labor at the same time, switching the advertised Main Event (the Koloffs didn’t appear at the taping, so maybe transportation or last-minute booking issues, rather than classic bait-and-switch).
SMOKY MOUNTAIN WRESTLING TV
Broadcast Date: March 7th, 1992
Taping Date: February 1992; Knoxville, TN
– Last week on SMW TV… Commissioner Bob Armstrong had a busy week, encouraging Robert Gibson to find back-up after being beaten up by the Koloffs and Jimmy Golden, booking a Six-Man Tag for the Fantastics and fining everyone in the brawl that ended the February 22nd episode, and let Dutch Mantel know that as long as he’s at the announcers table, Brian Lee can’t touch him. Dutch, of course, comes down with a cold when his match is scheduled to take place, and has Carl Stiles take his spot… Mr. Ron Wright encourages fans to send him money, reading a fake letter for sympathy… the Tag Team Title Tournament is coming soon, we promise!
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!).
SMOKY MOUNTAIN WRESTLING TV
Broadcast Date: February 1st, 1992
Taped: October 30th, 1991; Greenville, SC
– Salutations. Blogger Garth Holmberg, formerly and briefly known as Dino Bravo apologist “Dino Bravo is A-OK” here (I dropped the gimmick due to a lack of sincerity) to bring you the weekly content of Smoky Mountain Wrestling. I’ll be covering the entire run of episodes televised between February ’92 and November ’95, and as many of the large events as I can come across. Sit back and enjoy, professional wrestling the way it used to be, and the way you like it.