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Showing posts with label Thanksgiving Thunder. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thanksgiving Thunder. Show all posts

Thursday, 26 November 2020

EVENT REVIEW: Smoky Mountain Wrestling - Thanksgiving Thunder 1993

Smoky Mountain Wrestling - Thanksgiving Thunder 1993
November 28th, 1993
Freedom Hall Civic Center, Johnson City, Tennessee

Much like the National Wrestling Alliance had done with The Great American Bash tour in the 1980s, Smoky Mountain Wrestling promoted a series of events across their region all under the same name, Thanksgiving Thunder.

In truth, there wasn't a tremendous amount of difference from one event to the next, so it took a little bit of detective work to figure out that the event we're about to review from this  YouTube video was indeed the November 28th stop in Johnson City, Tennessee.

To be honest, it wouldn't make much of a difference if it wasn't.

Look into it, and it soon becomes apparent that the cards were pretty much the same for every stop.

Anyway, whatever date it happened to be, here's what went down at Thanksgiving Thunder 1993.





The Loser is the Winner...or something

After a brief introduction from our announcers, Dirty Dutch Mantell and Les Thatcher, we went to some pre-recorded comments from 'Suicide Blonde' Chris Candido and Bobby Blaze.

Smoky Mountain Wrestling - Chris Candido faced Bobby Blaze for a turkey
The two were set to square off in tonight's opening contest with the stipulation that the loser would get tarred and feathered.

That was a relatively straight forward concept, and if they'd left it at that, we'd all be fine.

Instead, Blaze and Candido kept talking about how 'the loser would be the winner' without actually explaining what the hell that actually meant.

Ultimately, it turned out that if you lost the match, you'd be crowd the 'Turkey Champion' and that getting tarred and feathered would be your 'prize.'

There really was no need for that.

A straight-forward 'something bad will happen to the loser' gimmick works just fine without having to complicate it.

Anyway, both promos were fine, with Candido proving once again why he was such an effective heel.

Loser Gets Tarred & Feathered

WWA World and WWA Junior Heavyweight Champion 'Suicide Blonde' Chris Candido vs. Bobby Blaze

Smoky Mountain Wrestling -   Bobby Blaze faced Chris Candido in a 'loser gets tarred and featured' match
Neither of Candido's titles were on the line in what proved to be a pretty solid, 20-minute opening contest.

I've often said that Candido was an underrated performer, and it saddens me that we never got to see him enjoy a more credible singles run in the World Wrestling Federation.

Stripped of the ridiculous gimmick, Candido had the makings of a decent Intercontinental Champion. It's a shame that circumstances got in the way of that.

Regardless, Candido and Blaze performed well together here, building up a traditional heel vs. face match with what was -at the time- fairly fast-paced energy.

Towards the finish, Candido planted Blaze with an awesome top-rope powerbomb, but for some reason, that wasn't enough to put his opponent away. Instead, the two had to keep at it until the Suicide Blonde was able to cheat his way to a pinfall by using the ropes for leverage.
Your Winner: Chris Candido

Except, that wasn't quite the end of it.

Candido immediately got to work on tarring and feathering his rival, but before he could do too much damage, SMW official Sandy Scott came out an ordered the match to be restarted due to Candido's shenanigans.

The WWA Champion immediately attacked Blaze and tarred and feathered him anyway, causing Sandy Scott to fine him $1,000.

That was pretty much that. Apparently, Candido was disqualified, but that was never officially announced.

Daryl Van Horne Promises to End Tim Horner

Out in the back, Daryl Van Horne (Father James Mitchell) promised that the reign of Prince Kharis was about to begin in Smoky Mountain wrestling and that all the other wrestlers would fall to him.

'White Lightning' Tim Horner vs. Prince Kharis (w/ Daryl Van Horne)

Smoky Mountain Wrestling - Prince Kharis faced White Lightning Tim Horner
Daryl Van Horne continued to hype his man when he came to the ring, picking up the microphone and reminding Tim Horner that he'd already offered him an opportunity to back out of the match.

Since Horner had showed up, Horne promised that he was now in big trouble. He then raised a scroll and began chanting some gibberish that we were supposed to believe was ancient Egyptian as his wrestler, Prince Kharis, made his way to the ring.

I kid you not, Karis was the most ridiculous looking thing ever in pro wrestling.

If you thought it was bad enough the time that WCW dressed Ron Reis up as a mummy and called him 'The Yetti,' trust me, you ain't seen nothing yet.

SMW's mummy looked like somebody had bought a cheap knock off of The Yetti' costume and wore it at the most piss-poor Halloween party ever. I mean, he looked like a really shit version of one of those creepypasta stories the kids are into these days.

He looked like somebody doing a bad parody of what they thought a wrestling mummy should look like.

He looked, in a word, like crap.

The match eventually got underway, with Kharis no-selling most of Horner's offense. Every time White Lightning struck the walking toilet paper man, a load of dust came off his body because, you know, he was a 4,500-year-old mummy.

In other circumstances, I imagine that might have looked pretty impressive, but here, it looked just as ridiculous as the rest of the match.

After getting his ass whooped, Horner finally mounted a comeback and left the mummy reeling, but then Daryl Van Horne interfered because the best way to get a seven-foot invincible monster over is to have your tiny manager interfere on your behalf.

The interference was enough to allow Kharis to clobber Horner over the back and knock him out cold.

Referee Mark Curtis raised Horner's hand three times, but when Horner was unable to show that he was still conscious, Curtis ruled the match over.
Your Winner via knockout: Prince Kharis

My goodness. I've reviewed some crap over the years here on Retro Pro Wrestling, but that was just about the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen.

Post-match, Kharis locked Tim Horner in a cobra clutch, that classic move that was so wildly popular back in the days of ancient Egypt.

Eventually, Dirty White Boy -now apparently a face- ran out to make the save.

The Bullet and The Master are Going to Stab Each Other

Smoky Mountain Wrestling - Kevin Sullivan threatened to stab The Bullet
Backstage, 'The Master' Kevin Sullivan claimed that he was jealous of Bob Armstrong because 'The Bullet' had a split personality and he wanted it.

Since he didn't have that particular mental illness, the always-deranged Sulivan vowed that he was going to stab Bullet right in the heart and liver in their upcoming Singapore Spike match.

Offering a retort, Bob Armstrong promised to be just as violent towards Sullivan.

Both gave pretty compelling promos, though it would have been nice if they'd explained exactly why Armstrong was now wearing a mask and answering only to the name of 'The Bullet.'

Singapore Spike Match
Kevin Sullivan vs. The Bullet

Smoky Mountain Wrestling - The Bullet threatened to stab Kevin Sullivan in a Singapore Spike match
If I've learned anything from watching Smoky Mountain Wrestling over the last year, it's that major events like this one barely had any matches that didn't clock in around the 20-minute mark.

This one was the exception to that particular rule.

Lasting an incredibly short time for an SMW bout, this one saw Bullet and Sullivan engage in a reasonably enjoyable brawl before the masked Armstrong got the win.
Your Winner: The Bullet

Out in the back, The Rock 'n' Roll Express insisted that they weren't scared that Jim Cornette had brought The Moondogs into SMW to take them out while Jim Cornette ranted and raved about how much The Moondogs were going to beat Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson.

As Cornette screamed into the microphone, Rex and Spot trashed the backstage area.

Streetfight
The Rock 'n' Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson) vs. The Moondogs (Moondog Rex & Moondog Spot)

Smoky Mountain Wrestling - The Rock 'n' Roll Express faced The Moondogs
I'll be honest with you, ladies and gentleman, I enjoyed this match way more than I thought I would.

Neither time wasted any time in beating the crap out of the other, attacking with 2x4s, trashcans and whatever junk they could find around ringside.

The result was a fun, old-school brawl which, while devoid of any high spots, sure was a riot to watch.

In the end, one of the Moondogs walloped Mark Curtis, causing the official to ring for the bell.
No Contest

Afterward, both teams continued to brawl. Even Jim Cornette got involved and battered Robert Gibson with a stop sign. The Rock 'n' Roll Express continually goaded The Moondogs to get back in the ring, but this ultimately went nowhere.

The Heavyweight Championship is Next

Smoky Mountain Wrestling - Prime Time Brian Lee (w. Tammy Fytch) defended the SMW title against Dirty White Boy
Out in the back, Smoky Mountain Wrestling Heavyweight Champion Prime Time Brian Lee and Tammy Fytch talked smack about Lee's upcoming opponent, The Dirty White Boy.

Offering a response, DWB and his new valet, the imaginatively-named Dirty White Girl promised to take out the champ and his manager in the upcoming contest.

I'll be honest with you, this 25+ year recording hasn't aged all that well and it was kind of difficult to make out whether these promos were actually any good or not. All I know is that the two men and two women hated each other and would square off next.

Smoky Mountain Wrestling Heavyweight Championship
SMW Heavyweight Champion Prime Time Brian Lee (w/ Tammy Fytch) vs. The Dirty White Boy (w/ The Dirty White Girl)

Smoky Mountain Wrestling - Dirty White Boy (w/ Dirty White Girl) challenged Prime Time Brian Lee for the SMW championship
All in all, this was a good match. Not a great match, not an all-time classic, but a good match with a hot crowd and some solid action.

After a lengthy back-and-forth, Dirty White Boy looked to have the whole thing in the bag. Tammy Fytch got up on the apron to distract the referee, allowing her man Brian Lee to waffle the champion with an International Object.

Irate, Dirty White Girl jumped in the ring and leaped onto the champion's back, flashing her knickers in the process.

It was at that point that Mark Curtis turned around, saw White Girl, bare ass and all, and called for the bell.
Your Winner via disqualification and still SMW Champion: Prime Time Brian Lee

Post-match, Lee and Fytch did a number on DWB, but he and Dirty White Girl regrouped and stood tall in the middle of the ring, much to the delight of the live crowd.

Get a haircut, and get a real job

After a quick word from the announce team, we next went to a video package highlighting SMW tag team champions The Bruise Brothers.

To be honest, the video wasn't that interesting. It was basically clips of the future Skull & 8-Ball laying waste to a variety of opponents set to the song 'Get a Haircut
and Get a Real Job' by George Thorogood.

Jim Cornette and The Heavenly Bodies are Ready for The Bruise Brothers

The Bruise Brothers, you see, used to be in Jim Cornette's stable, but had a falling out with them and turned face, leading to tonight's match - a "gang fight" falls count anywhere match against The Heavenly Bodies.

Before the bout, Cornette, Gigolo Jimmy Del Ray, and Dr. Tom Pritchard cut a raving promo in which they declared that they weren't scared of the bigger, burlier Bruise Boys and besides, they had something up their sleeve.

Tag Team Gang Fight
The Heavenly Bodies (Gigolo Jimmy Del Ray & Dr. Tom Pritchard w/ Jim Cornette) vs. SMW Tag Team Champion The Bruise Brothers (Ron & Don)

Smoky Mountain Wrestling - The Heavenly Bodies faced The Bruise Brothers in a Tag Team Gang Fight
The Bruise Brothers' tag team titles weren't on the line in this match, a 'bring your favorite weapon' contest fought under Falls Count Anywhere rules.

Before the bell, Cornette and his men got on the microphone to rile up the crowd, ensuring everyone was more than ready to see them get their asses kicked.

And get their asses kicked they did..at least at first.

The Bruise Brothers stormed the ring and immediately set about laying waste to their opponents. In the opening moments, a wooden door was set up in the corner of the ring and Jimmy Del Ray was sent crashing through it. To give credit where it's due, the cameraman got a great shot of Del Ray's head sticking through the wooden door like something out of a Tom & Jerry cartoon.

From there, the bedlam continued.

There were no high spots, no jaw-dropping moments, just four angry dudes beating the hell out of each other with whatever they could get their hands on.

Sure, the fact that neither the cameras nor the commentators could keep up with the action when all four men paired off and scattered themselves around the arena, but apart from that, this was a fun main event.

The finish came when Mark Curtis took a tumble, giving  Jim Cornette the opportunity to douse a white rag in ether and smother one of the Bruise Brothers with it until he passed out. Before he could revive Curtis to make the match-winning count, however, the other Brother returned to the ring, tossed Jimmy through a table, then used the rag to knock Tom Pritchard out cold.  Curtis was revived, a ten count was delivered, and this one was over.
Your Winners: The Bruise Brothers

Except, it wasn't really.

After the bell, The Moondogs wobbled to the ring and helped Jimmy Del Ray and Jim Cornette beat up on Ron and Don, all while Pritchard lay out cold on the apron.

"Now who's the baddest street fights in Smoky Mountain Wrestling?" yelled Cornette as his team's arch-rivals writhed in agony on the floor.

Just when you thought it was over, we went backstage for a post-show wrap-up from Les Thatcher, not that Thatcher had an opportunity to say much as he was immediately interrupted by Ron and Don.

Last seeing sprawled out, half-dead in the middle of the ring, the duo had made a miraculous recovery and were fully pumped-up as they ranted and raved about getting revenge and even vowed to attack the Moondogs with an angle grinder.

I'm not kidding about that last part either.





It's a shame that the video I have for SMW Thanksgiving Thunder 1993 is of such poor quality because it really did make the whole event that much more difficult to watch. Looking past that, however, this was mostly a fun show.

Ignore the stupid Turkey Champion thing, and you had a pretty decent opener in Candido vs. Blaze. Add the entertaining SMW title fight and the old-school chaos of the main event, and you can almost forgive SMW for putting the abomination known as Prince Kharis on this show.

Overall, Thanksgiving Thunder '93 may not have been Smoky Mountain Wrestling's finest hour, but it certainly wasn't terrible.


Other 1993 event reviews:

Other Smoky Mountain Wrestling Reviews:
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