VENUE: Memorial Auditorium (Greenville, SC)
COMMENTATORS: Bob Caudle & “Dirty” Dutch Mantell
The inaugural episode of Smoky Mountain Wrestling features Bobby Fulton of The Fantastics taking on Ivan Koloff in the main event, plus folks like Tim Horner, Brian Lee, and Robert Gibson in action. An outlaw mud show if I’ve ever heard of one.
- Robert Gibson vs. Killer Kyle (**)
- Brian Lee vs. Barry Horowitz (*1/2)
- Tim Horner vs. Joe Cazana (*3/4)
- The Black Scorpion vs. Paul Miller (*1/4)
- Bobby Fulton vs. Ivan Koloff (*3/4)
-Caudle and Mantell welcome the home audience. Apparently The Black Scorpion is going to be here? It can’t be THAT Black Scorpion, can it? Noooo, that would be…nooooo. Mantell is excited for the Fulton/Koloff main event as well as “Prime Time” Brian Lee as he’s heard a lot about him.
“Rock & Roll” Robert Gibson vs. Killer Kyle
Killer Kyle is better known to WCW fans as longtime enhancement talent Mark Kyle, but here he’s in a suit and appears to have some sort of 50s gangster gimmick. Odd to see Robert Gibson all by his lonesome, but I appreciate SMW giving him a Jerry Lee Lewis entrance theme.
Kyle tosses Gibson in the corner in a show of strength. Caudle wants to know what’s in Kyle’s violin case, Mantell wants him to mind his business. Kyle drops Gibson with a shoulderblock, Gibson responds with a hip toss. Gibson grabs a side headlock, Kyle whips him off and barely moves when the Rock & Roll man runs into him. Gibson switches gears and grabs the head, bringing Kyle to the mat for a two-count. Kyle sidesteps a corner splash, Gibson eats the post with his shoulder. Kyle works on the arm, twisting the arm and bringing him to his knees with a wristlock, and wrapping it around the top rope. Gibson hops over Kyle in the corner and rolls him up with a sunset flip for the 1…2…3.
Robert Gibson defeated Killer Kyle via pinfall (3:18)
- Mark Kyle playing to his strengths and making Robert Gibson look good in his victory. I hope he gets to do more though, I appreciate the Killer Kyle gimmick and I want to see him ONE match before I die or give up on watching SMW. Commentators talked about Gibson’s knee injury but the match focused on his arm instead which I found strange. Fine match overall, basic stuff but done well. (**)
–The Fantastics (Bobby & Jackie Fulton) cut a pre-recorded promo. They are fired up about tonight, Bobby Fulton tells Ivan Koloff to be prepared for the fight of his life.
-EARLIER TODAY: Caudle interviews SMW Commissioner “Bullet” Bob Armstrong. Armstrong says he doesn’t agree with what he’s seen in pro wrestling over the past few years, and he’s here to bring back wrestling as it should be. The fines will be heavy, the prices for families will be cheap, no over the top rope or foreign objects. Armstrong wants the fans to be part of the SMW community.
- THIS PRO WRESTLING IS REAL. THIS PRO WRESTLING F*CKS. EAT IT, WWF. God I’m glad Twitter didn’t exist when SMW was around.
“Prime Time” Brian Lee vs. Barry Horowitz
Brian Lee appears to be one of the new stars SMW wants to push. Lots of love on commentary. I can understand why: he’s not only big but he’s got a TREMENDOUS mullet. Lee shows off his athleticism then settles things down with an armbar after an awkward armdrag. Horowitz tries to whip him off, Lee hangs on. Horowitz mounts some offense, using the hair to bring Lee to the mat. Well-deserved pat on the back. Mantell throws some shade at Lee making some rookie mistakes, Horowitz tries to pin him with a legdrop but Lee hops out. Horowitz allows him to throw a little tantrum and pokes him in the eye to stop the momentum. Horowitz connects with a belly-to-belly suplex for the 1…2…Lee kicks out. Horowitz dropkicks Lee into the corner, snapmare and neck snap a la Mr. Perfect. Lee fights back with a series of jabs, another poke to the eye stops that. Another snapmare, Horowitz rolls him up with a crucifix for the 1…2…Lee kicks out, Horowitz protests. Lee dodges a dropkick and sends Horowitz flying with a backdrop. Horowitz tries to escape, Lee pulls him back, flattens him with a clothesline, and finishes him off with the Cancellation (over the shoulder backbreaker) for the 1…2…3.
Brian Lee defeated Barry Horowitz via pinfall (4:39)
- Always happy to see Barry Horowitz. He did a decent enough job putting over Lee, but Lee’s movements all felt a little awkward. SMW seems to love the dude though and Mantell seems to be selling a possible feud with him so I should get used to seeing Prime Time around. (*1/2)
–Ron Wright says he’s in a wheelchair because he needs a knee and hip replacement, and is here to scout wrestlers to make some money to pay for the surgery. Wright says he’s one of the most famous well-known RASSLERS, and one of these days he’s going to sign them to a contract.
- Well that was very…honest and almost desperate of him.
“White Lightning” Tim Horner vs. “Golden Boy” Joe Cazana
Tim Horner AND Joe Cazana? Is this Smoky Mountain Wrestling or an episode of WCW Power Hour from 1991? Caudle calls Horner “White Lightning Tim Lightning” and now I wish that was his actual ring name. That made me laugh a lot harder than it should’ve. Horner controls things early with a side headlock, Mantell and Caudle talk about feeling sorry for Ron Wright. Same. Horner with a hip toss, dropkick and an armdrag takedown. Cazana grabs a headlock, Horner whips him off and takes him to the mat with a drop toehold and quickly transitions into a side headlock. Cazana backs him into the corner and connects with a cheap shot elbow and buckle shot. Cazana connects with a backdrop and drops a knee across the spine, as Mantell brags about holding the Guinness World Record for holding his breath. Cool, put it on your Tinder profile, or whatever the 1992 version is. A bulletin board, maybe? Cazana heads to the top, Horner slams him off and regains control. Horner confuses Cazana and rolls him up with a bridge for the 1…2…3.
Tim Horner defeated Joe Cazana via pinfall (4:27)
- Yup this was totally a WCW C-show match from 1991 but for a different company. Respect. Horner is great though, worked a much quicker pace than most of his peers at the time. (*3/4)
-Caudle is standing by with Jim Cornette. Cornette says he’s here because he’s heard professional wrestling is coming back after years of corporations turning the sport into a circus. They turned pro wrestling into a joke and he turned his back on them. Cornette says he made his name managing a real team in The Midnight Express, and announces he’ll be bringing a new dynamic tag team that will revolutionize things the same way the Express did in the 80s.
The Black Scorpion vs. Paul Miller
This isn’t the magic trick-wielding, voice box talkin’ Black Scorpion from 1990-era NWA, this is just a big dude in generic black tights/black mask. Nothing Scorpion about him, unless scorpions also have steroid bacne (pretty funny considering Cornette slagged the corporate companies for steroids like five seconds ago). Miller gets a couple of quick shots in before Scorpion takes over. Miller does what he can to make Scorpion look good, turning himself inside out for a clothesline and selling a slam like the end of the world. Miller tries a monkey flip, Scorpion counters with an inverted atomic drop and a big lariat. Scorpion with a series of slams, Miller counters the third with the 1…2…3!
Paul Miller defeated The Black Scorpion via pinfall (3:15)
- Paul Miller is the 1-2-3 Kid of Smoky Mountain Wrestling! Upset win for the man who didn’t even get theme music, I hope Black Scorpion lost as a shot at WCW for that stupid sh*t they pulled in 1990. (*1/4)
-Caudle is standing by with “Prime Time” Brian Lee. Lee says in the weeks to come there’s going to be a Heavyweight Title tournament and he plans to win/hold the gold. Dutch Mantell interrupts to give Lee some advice, saying he would’ve wrestled Lee’s match differently. Lee says Mantell is right, and he would have lost the match, and tells Mantell he’s not ready for Prime Time. OH SNAP.
Bobby Fulton vs. “The Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff
Fulton’s got “Sharp Dressed Man” by ZZ Top as his entrance theme, no doubt because of his bowtie. Jimmy Garvin must be FUMING…or doesn’t care at all.
“USA” chants as they do a little chain wrestling to start. Koloff says The Fantastics are OVER via insert promo. Not the good over, I’m pretty sure. Koloff with a front chancery, Fulton counters in a hammerlock and roll-up for a two-count. Koloff with a double leg takedown into a Greco-Roman choke which angers Fulton. Koloff grabs a wristlock and pulls Fulton to the mat by the hair. Dutch Mantell announces he’ll be making his in-ring debut for SMW next week, and hopes Brian Lee will be watching. Fulton kicks Koloff away, Koloff bails to the corner and the ref forces a reset. Ron Wright is shown watching the match in his wheelchair, scouting as he said he would earlier. Fulton grabs an almost Fujiwara Armbar, Koloff pushes him into the ropes for a break. Koloff clubs Fulton and connects with a concealed closed fist that the camera misses but we all know what he do. Fulton responds with a dropkick and throws him across the mat by the ears. Koloff counters a headlock with a belly-to-back suplex. Fulton ducks a back elbow and catches Koloff with a flying crossbody for the 1…2…not yet. Fulton connects with a series of jabs that send Koloff to the floor. Fulton follows him out and continues clobbering The Russian Bear. Wright tries to shake Fulton’s hand for some reason, Koloff takes advantage and clotheslines him, then sends him into the ring post (creating a DING). Koloff rolls Fulton back in and stomps away followed by a swinging neckbreaker for the 1…2…Fulton kicks out. Fulton sends Koloff into the middle rope, Wright shakes his hand, Koloff belts Fulton with the same hand knocking him out for the 1…2…3.
Ivan Koloff defeated Bobby Fulton via pinfall (6:59)
Jackie Fulton immediately comes out to protest and attacks Koloff. Ref decides to reverse the decision as Vladimir Koloff shows up to attack Jackie from behind and help his uncle. Ivan grabs his chain and they HANG Jackie! Bobby puts a stop to it and chases The Russians away.
Bobby Fulton defeated Ivan Koloff via DQ (6:59)
- And the first main event in SMW’s television history is…fine, I guess. Again just real basic pro wrestling 101 stuff but I did like the DING Fulton’s head made against the post. Ron Wright coming out and seemingly handing Ivan Koloff a foreign object, something Bob Armstrong said would be tolerated earlier in the night, was interesting as well. Appeared that he tried to do that for Fulton earlier but Fulton refused it. His loss…well I guess he win by DQ. (*3/4)
-Caudle is with The Fantastics and Bob Armstrong. Armstrong fines Ivan Koloff 500 dollars for using a foreign object, and announces a tag team match between The Fantastics and The Koloffs. Bobby Fulton says the “goof” in the wheelchair handed Ivan something, and they’re going to fight fire with fire in next week’s main event. Bobby says the next time Ron Wright interferes in a match of his, he will kick him right in the booty. THE BOOTY. The south is something else.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Not the most exciting first episode I’ve seen of a wrestling program but I came of age as a wrestling fan during the Monday Night Wars so I think my expectations are a little high when it comes to that. This was a decent episode overall, introducing Brian Lee as a star to watch and showcasing some of their bigger name talent (and also The Black Scorpion), and the Ron Wright story got a wrinkle with his seemingly heel ways returning to him despite being stuck in a wheelchair. Having a v2 Fantastics vs. a v2 version of The Koloffs is a little lame though; Vladimir and Jackie are not good replacements for Nikita Koloff and Tommy Rogers.
- MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Robert Gibson vs. Killer Kyle
- MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: Bob Caudle calls Tim Horner “White Lightning Tim Lightning”