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Showing posts with label Fire on the Mountain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fire on the Mountain. Show all posts

Thursday, 13 August 2020

EVENT REVIEW: Smoky Mountain Wrestling - Fire on the Mountain 1993

Smoky Mountain Wrestling - Fire on the Mountain 1993 Review - Event GraphicAugust 14th, 1993
Freedom Hall, Johnson City, Tennessee

Perhaps one of the strangest and most unique things about Smoky Mountain Wrestling is its origins.

This little-territory-that-could, so steeped in a tradition of southern-style wrestling that was becoming ever more unfashionable with the larger global community and so beloved by what many of the company's own stars called 'hillbillies' was bankrolled by none other than Rick Rubin, the famous music producer known for working many of the most popular and cutting edge artists for the better part of four decades.





Still, it was perhaps a testament to Rubin's hands-off approach that there was no sign  of anything particularly cutting edge on a hot summer's night in Johnson City when Smoky Mountain Wrestling Wrestling came to town.

Here's what went down at Fire on the Mountain 1993.

Welcome to Fire on the Mountain

Smoky Mountain Wrestling - Fire on the Mountain 1993 Review - Les Thatcher and Dutch Mantel called the event
We began tonight with our announcers, Les Thatcher and Dr. Dutch Mantell standing center ring.

Apparently, Mantell had earned his Ph.D. since we last saw him back at Smoky Mountain Wrestling Bluegrass Brawl 1993, but that's beside the point.

The two announcers talked us through some of the main attractions on tonight's card, including Tracy Smothers defending his title against Brian Lee, and a main event 'Rage in the Cage' match between Cornette's Criminals and Armstrong's Army.

Speaking of Rage in the Cage, the winner of our opening contest would earn an advantage for his team in the said main event.

'Gigolo' Jimmy Del Ray (w/ Jim Cornette) vs. Steve Armstrong

Smoky Mountain Wrestling - Fire on the Mountain 1993 Review - Gigelo Jimmy Del Ray beat Steve Armstrong in the opening match
Before the bell, Jim Cornette got up on the mic to talk about how much he'd love to slap 'smart alecs' like the ones in attendance.

Man, say what you want about Corny, he sure knew how to get a crowd worked up. The Johnson City faithfull really hated this guy, and made more noise for him than they did for the actual match.

That's something of a shame because Gigolo Jimmy Del Ray and Steve Armstrong did put on a competent opening match which, while hardly spectacular, did at least entertain from bell to bell.

After a decent seven-minute outing, the dastardly Cornette wallopped Armstrong with his tennis racket behind the back of referee Mark Curtis. He then helped Del Ray get his foot on the ropes to ensure an ill-gotten victory.
Your Winner: Jimmy Del Ray

The fact that the winner of that match gained a 2-on-1 advantage in the upcoming Rage in the Cage match pretty much telegraphed a win for the heels right from the start, but it was still a fun effort despite the telegraphed finish.

You Fight, I Fight...

Out in the back, Brian Matthews interviewed Dirty White Boy about his upcoming match with The Mongolian Stomper.

Sounding incredibly excited about the impending battle, White Boy acknowledged The Stomper's legendary status but insisted that he'd learned everything he needed to know in order to defeat him from another legend, Ron Wright.

'Stomper,' said White Boy. 'You fight, I fight, and that's just the way I like it!'

That match was next.

'Battle of the Brutes'
Dirty White Boy vs. The Mongolian Stomper

Smoky Mountain Wrestling - Fire on the Mountain 1993 Review - Dirty White Boy faced The Mongolian Stomper
The last time we saw Dirty White Boy in action, he was dropping his world title to Tracy Smothers back at Bluegrass Brawl.

That match was pretty awesome.

This one, not so much.

White Boy attacked Stomper as the legendary grappler came through the ropes and from that point on, neither man let up, giving us five, unrelenting minutes of clobbering blows, the occasional bit of biting and... well, not much else.

Though watching the two men wail on each other wasn't bad, it was a little underwhelming.

After five minutes, the two were so engrossed in punching each other that they both shoved Mark Curtis aside when he tried to break them up.

That led to the double disqualification and this one was over.
Double DQ

Post-match, Stomper and White Boy brawled all the way to the back.

Who Will Drink From a Baby Bottle?

Smoky Mountain Wrestling - Fire on the Mountain 1993 Review - White Lightning Tim Horner faced Chris Candido
Up next, 'White Lightning' Tim Horner was set to take on 'Suicide Blonde' Chris Candido in a bout that had one unique stipulation:

Yep, the loser would have to drink from a baby bottle.

Before the match, Brian Matthews interviewed both participants. I'm not sure if Tim Horner intentionally meant to be so funny, but as he ranted on about how Chris Candido would have no problem sucking from a baby bottle because that's what he did 'all night, all the time,' you couldn't help but laugh out loud.

Chris Candido was a little more put-together in his promo.

One of the most underrated heels ever, 'Suicide Blonde' protested the indignity that he, the so-called 'Real World's champion' had to compete in a baby bottle match when the likes of Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair would never have to go through such humiliation.

With that out of the way, it was down to ringside.

'Loser Must Suck From a Baby Bottle'
WWA Heavyweight Champion 'Suicide Blonde' Chris Candido vs. 'White Lightning' Tim Horner

Smoky Mountain Wrestling - Fire on the Mountain 1993 Review - Chris Candido faced White Lightning Tim Horner
To be honest, I'm not quite sure where the WWA title that Chris Candido was wearing came from as I can't seem to find much information on it. If anybody reading this could fill me in, I'd be very grateful.

I'm also not sure whether Tim Horner knew that 'White Lightning' is a cheap brand of cider in the UK closely associated with alcoholics, but that's neither here nor there.

The match itself was pretty good stuff.

As with most Smoky Mountain bouts, you were never going to get a five-star classic here, but Candido and Horner did at least give us a solid see-saw battle with plenty of enjoyable moments.

Towards the finish, referee Mark Curtis tried to dive out of harm's way but got knocked to the outside by the two wrestlers.

Candido then tried charging at Horner, but White Lightning side-stepped, causing the Suicide Blonde to go crashing onto the outside.

Only seeing part of this, Curtis returned to the ring and called for the bell. Apparently thinking that Horner had deliberately thrown his opponent over the top, the referee awarded the match to Candido on the grounds that throwing someone over the top rope was illegal in SMW.
Your Winner via Disqualification: Chris Candido

Smoky Mountain Wrestling - Fire on the Mountain 1993 Review - Tim Horner cut an angry promo after his match with Chris Candido
Ignoring the fact that this was the second match in a row to end on a DQ finish of some kind, Candido smashed Horner in the face with his WWA title belt, then pushed him into the ropes where he tried -and failed- to tie him up using wrist tape.

Though he couldn't get him tied up, Candido did at least force his rival to suck from a baby bottle, so there was that at least.

Backstage, Brian Matthews caught up with Horner, who vowed that in revenge for Candido squirting milk on him, he was going to -and I quote- "squirt something on you, and it's not going to be milk!"

The less said about that, the better.

We're Ready for the Coal Miner's Glove Match

Smoky Mountain Wrestling - Fire on the Mountain 1993 Review - Brian Matthews interviews Tammy Fytch and Prime Time Brian Lee
Up next, we got pre-recorded comments from SMW Champion Prime Time Brian Lee and his manager, Tammy Fytch.

With Brian Matthews holding the microphone, Fytch expressed her disgust that her man Lee should have to compete in a coal miner's glove match before both of them went on about how much of a pervert Tracy Smothers was.

In one of the better promos of the evening, Lee promised that by the time he was done with his opponent, Smothers wouldn't be able to perv on Fytch any more.

We then went to more pre-recorded comments, this time from the challengers.

Pointing at himself, Smothers declared "the light's on but nobody's home." Surely that's up there with Sid Vicious' "I only have half the brain that you do" moment when it comes to inadvertently cutting a promo on yourself?

That dumb moment aside, The Wild-Eyed Southern Boy admitted that he was a hillbilly, a redneck, and all of the other terms that Lee had tried to use as an insult against him before vowing to dethrone his rival and become the Smoky Mountain Wrestling Champion for the third time.

Coal Miner's Glove Match for the Smoky Mountain Wrestling Heavyweight Title
SMW Heavyweight Champion Prime Time Brian Lee (w/ Tammy Fytch) vs. Tracy Smothers

Smoky Mountain Wrestling - Fire on the Mountain 1993 Review - Tracy Smothers challenged Prime Time Brian Lee for the SMW title
Prior to the bell, Tammy Fyth got on the microphone to address the crowd. When the Tennessee faithful roundly booed her and Lee, the SMW Champion declared that if they carried on, he and Fyth would simply leave.

It was an effective move to get the crowd well pumped up, but it didn't see the champ and his manager leave. Instead, they were yelled at by Tracy Smothers who -for like the tenth time on the show so far- referred to the future Sunny as 'Tammy Witch with a Capital B.'

Later, Smothers interrupted the match to take the microphone again, this time calling Brian Lee a 'f*ggot' much to the delight of the crowd.

Ah, the early 1990s, when casual homophobia was still a reason to cheer.

That aside, this was another pretty solid effort. Nothing flashy, nothing altogether memorable, but decent old-school wrestling that kept the crowd -and this writer- suitably entertained.

Sure, it would have been better if the two had made more of an effort to reach for the coal miner's glove rather than applying rest holds, but that aside, it was a good showing.

After close to twenty minutes, the champion retrieved the glove, which turned out to be nothing more than a rubber washing-up glove painted silver. Before he could use it, Smother's attacked with a dropkick slipped on the rubber glove and smashed his foe in the mush.

It was that point that shenanigans came into play.

Tammy distracted the referee while Dirty White Boy ran in and walloped Smothers with a chair. He put the glove onto Lee, draped Lee's arm across Smother's chest, and left the ring.

One three count later and this one was over.
Your Winner and Still SMW Champion: Brian Lee

Post-match, Smothers sought revenge, attacking his rivals and bending Tammy over for a good old fashioned spanking. White Boy and Lee retaliated, attacking the fallen babyface until Mark Curtis got on the mic and threatened to have them permanently suspended if they laid another finger on The Wild Eyed Southern Boy.

I won't lie, Curtis' voice was surprisingly deep for such a small dude.

Dissension in the Ranks

Smoky Mountain Wrestling - Fire on the Mountain 1993 Review -  Prime Time Brian Lee, Tammy Fytch and Dirty White Boy celebrate
Making their way backstage, White Boy, Lee, and Fytch stopped by for an interview with the ever-present Brian Matthews. After Tammy got done calling Smothers a 'woman beater,' Prime Time boasted that not only was he still the champion, but that he'd also now be able to collect a $20,000 bounty put on the head of The Wild Eyed Southern Boy by Ron Wright.

"Wait, what do you mean you'll get the $20,000?" asked Dirty White Boy. "I'm the one that took Smothers out."

The two began a little argument, but before it could escalate into anything, we were taken to the ring where Les Thatcher and Dutch Mantell introduced us to some pre-recorded comments from tonight's main event teams.

Ready for War

First up, Jim Cornette stood by in an empty dressing room with his team, Cornette's Criminals. Ever a convincing act on the microphone, Cornette promised that his team were ready for war, with The Bruise Brothers (Ron & Don Harris) serving as the big tanks that would mow everybody down before his 'Secret Service' of The Heavenly Bodies went in to finish the job.

Offering a retort, Bullet Bob Armstrong got insisted that his Armstrong's Army were all gunning directly for Cornette and that they would go through The Bruise Brothers and The Heavenly Bodies just to get their hands on the outspoken manager.

Rage in a Cage
Cornette's Criminals (SMW Tag Team Champions The Bruise Brothers, The Heavenly Bodies, and Jim Cornette) vs. Armstrong's Army (Bullet Bob Armstrong, Scott Armstrong, Steve Armstrong, and Rock N’ Roll Express)

Smoky Mountain Wrestling - Fire on the Mountain 1993 Review - Armstrong's Army cut a backstage promo before facing Cornette's CriminalsSpecial Guest referee: The Big Boss Man

Let's get this out of the way right now, shall we?

This was just about the worst-looking cage in the history of pro wrestling. Cobbled together using timber and chicken wire, it looked like something some half-assed backyard wrestling fed would get laughed at for using.

Seriously, it could hardly contain a couple of chickens, let alone ten human beings.

Still, it did a good job of containing our special guest referee for this evening, The Big Boss Man.

Having left the WWF earlier in the year (though not without first appearing on Wrestlemania: The Album), the former Big Bubba Rogers had made his way to SMW for a conflict with Cornette, for whom he'd previously been a bodyguard way back in the day.

Before the match, Cornette lambasted Boss Man and questioned whether he really had 'changed his ways' as he'd claimed. Finally, Jimmy introduced us to his team before the opposition made their way out.

The match began, and from that point on, Big Boss Man might as well have not been there. He simply walked around aimlessly while the other men went at it.

In case you're wondering just what 'Rage in the Cage' was, it was basically a low-rent War Games with the added stipulation that along with submitting someone, you could also win by handcuffing all of the opposing team to the cage.

It was a novel concept, however, much like the nine-man mess from Bluegrass Brawl, this one was hard to watch at points.

Fortunately, at other points, it provided some genuinely engrossing moments.

Ricky Morton got busted open about ten seconds into the match and proceeded to gush like a fountain for the remainder. Bullet Bob went crazy when he finally made his way into the ring as the last man for Armstrong's Army, and the remaining contestants saw to it that this was a very lively brawl indeed.

In the end, Armstrong's Army had all of Cornette's Criminals handcuffed to the cage, allowing Bullet Bob to clamp Jim Cornette himself into a submission hold and win the match.
Your Winners: Armstrong's Army

Though not exactly this writer's favorite type of wrestling, I can certainly see the appeal of a match like Rage in the Cage.

Special Bonus Feature:
Lumberjack Match
Bullet Bob Armstrong (w/ Armstrong's Army) vs. Jim Cornette (w/ Cornette's Criminals)

Special Guest Referee: Big Boss Man

Smoky Mountain Wrestling - Fire on the Mountain 1993 Review - Cornette's Criminals cut a backstage promo before facing  Armstrong's Army
This match didn't actually take place at SMW Fire on the Mountain 1993 but took place at some other event and was tacked onto this recording as a bonus.

This time, Boss Man was a little more involved, demanding Cornette get in the ring after the cowardly manager tried everything from feigning an injury to presenting a note from his mother to get out of the match.

Once things got underway, Boss Man continued to ensure law, order, and justice prevailed as he presided over a fun little contest in which Cornette used heel shenanigans (namely, interference) to get the upper hand.

All the while, The Bruise Brothers, The Heavenly Bodies, The Rock & Roll Express, and The Armstrong Brothers all hung around ringside in their role as lumberjacks, each man brandishing one of Cornette's trademark tennis rackets.

At the finish, Bullet Bob drilled James E. with not one but two piledrivers, one of which the announcer called an atomic drop.
Your Winner: Bullet Bob Armstrong

Post-match, a bloody Jim Cornette sold the piledrivers like he'd just been murdered and had to be stretchered out of the arena into a waiting ambulance. The whole thing played out as we listened to Bullet Bob Armstrong's theme song, Bad to the Bone by George Thoroughgood.

It was, admittedly, really cool, and probably the most unique end to a pro wrestling event this writer has seen in a long time.





All in all then, another good show from the southern promotion.

As I said last time, you're never going to get five-star quality from a promotion like Smoky Mountain Wrestling, but you will get plenty of entertaining, even if a lot of that entertainment seems incredibly dated (and, in the case of Smothers' slurs, pretty darn offensive) by today's standards.

Match of the night goes to Candido vs. Horner, if only because that terrible-looking cage made the main event look a bit ridiculous.

Other 1993 event reviews:

Other Smoky Mountain Wrestling Reviews:
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