What the World Was Watching: USWA Championship Wrestling – June 17, 1995

(I was doing a 2.5 hour move yesterday, so I was not able to get my regular USWA column up.  Read below about what was happening in Memphis in mid-June 1995!)

Dave Brown and Corey Maclin are handling the announcing today and they are broadcasting from the WMC-TV5 studio in Memphis, Tennessee.

Brown interviews Brandon Baxter, who proclaims a new era in the USWA.  He welcomes out Doug Gilbert, Brian Lee, and Jimmy Harris and dubs his group “the Legend Slayers.”

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: USWA Championship Wrestling – June 17, 1995

What the World Was Watching: USWA: A Night to Remember

This show took place at the Louisville Gardens in Louisville, Kentucky on June 11.  According to Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer, the show drew a crowd of 3,500 and a gate of $25,000.

Corey Maclin welcomes out Jim Cornette, who walks to the COPS theme and is sporting his military-style jacket from WrestleMania X.  Cornette puts over how the Gardens is better than the Omni or Madison Square Garden and then welcomes out Lance Russell.  Russell and Maclin will be doing commentary.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: USWA: A Night to Remember

What the World Was Watching: USWA Championship Wrestling – June 3, 1995

Lance Russell and Dave Brown call the action and they are broadcasting from the WMC-TV5 studio in Memphis, Tennessee.

Russell interviews newcomer Billy Jack Haynes.  Haynes puts himself over as a heel and demands respect from the crowd, who get on his case.  This segment started well but Haynes got distracted by the crowd and he lost his train of thought.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: USWA Championship Wrestling – June 3, 1995

What the World Was Watching: Smoky Mountain Wrestling – April 22, 1995

Chip Kessler and Les Thornton are doing play-by-play duties, with this being Kessler’s first broadcast in that role.  Thatcher tells fans that Jim Ross is no longer handling television due to his growing WWF responsibilities.  They kick off a new round of tapings from Warrensville, North Carolina that took place at Northwest Ashe High School.  According to prowrestlinghistory.com, the tapings on April 13 drew 350 fans.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: Smoky Mountain Wrestling – April 22, 1995

What the World Was Watching: Smoky Mountain TV – April 15, 1995

Chip Kessler tells the audience that today’s broadcast will recap the events of the Bluegrass Brawl where fans were turned away in Pikeville, Kentucky.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: Smoky Mountain TV – April 15, 1995

What the World Was Watching: Smoky Mountain TV – April 8, 1995

Jim Ross and Les Thatcher are in the booth and they are concluding the television tapings in Council, Virginia.  Tonight is the big Fright Night card in Johnson City, Tennessee, so Ross spends a lot of the match hyping it.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: Smoky Mountain TV – April 8, 1995

What the World Was Watching: Smoky Mountain TV – April 1, 1995

Jim Ross and Les Thatcher are doing commentary and they are still in Council, Virginia.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: Smoky Mountain TV – April 1, 1995

What the World Was Watching: Smoky Mountain TV – March 18, 1995

Jim Ross and Les Thatcher are tasked with commentary and they are kicking off a new set of tapings in Council, Virginia.  According to prowrestlinghistory.com, the shows in this new round of tapings were held on March 6 and drew 425 fans.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: Smoky Mountain TV – March 18, 1995

What the World Was Watching: Smoky Mountain TV – March 11, 1995

Jim Ross and Les Thatcher are handling commentary and are wrapping up the television tapings in Lenoir, North Carolina.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: Smoky Mountain TV – March 11, 1995

What the World Was Watching: Sunday Blood Sunday II

Like Super Saturday Night Fever, this card was taped from a fan in the crowd.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the show drew 1,100 fans to Knoxville’s Civic Coliseum.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: Sunday Blood Sunday II

What the World Was Watching: SMW Super Saturday Night Fever ’95

(So I actually did have a copy of this show sitting in my home office, so we got a little ahead of ourselves in the SMW reviews by doing the February 4 television show.  We will rewind to review this big event and then move to February 11 next week)

Smoky Mountain Wrestling never put out a VHS release of Super Saturday Night Fever so existing footage is from a fan cam.  According to thehistoryofwwe.com, the show, which took place at the City Coliseum in Knoxville, Tennessee, drew 2,000 fans and a $16,000 gate.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: SMW Super Saturday Night Fever ’95

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

Today’s show features some of the matches that took place at Super Saturday Night Fever in Knoxville, Tennessee on January 28.  Les Thatcher does commentary on the matches.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: Smoky Mountain TV – February 4, 1995

What the World Was Watching: Smoky Mountain TV – January 28, 1995

Jim Ross and Les Thatcher oversee commentary and they are still taped from Sevierville, Tennessee.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: Smoky Mountain TV – January 28, 1995

What the World Was Watching: Smoky Mountain TV – January 7, 1995

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.

Read moreWhat the World Was Watching: Smoky Mountain TV – January 7, 1995