Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Showing posts with label Tim Horner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tim Horner. Show all posts

Monday, 4 April 2022

PPV REVIEW: WCW/NJPW Supershow 1 (1991)

March 21, 1991
Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan

WCW/NJPW Supershow 1 (1991) Review - Event graphic


The first WCW/New Japan Supershow is one of the few more noticeable omissions from the WWE Network’s huge archive of Pay Per Views.

As such, I’m reviewing this event as it’s presented in a video I found on DailyMotion.






You can watch the video for yourself below, or read on to read my thoughts on the first of three annual Supershows promoted by WCW and NJPW.


The Rumble in the Rising Sun

After a standard TV opening featuring clips of all your favourite WCW Superstars, announcers Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone welcomed us to the Tokyo Eggdome before putting over the magnitude of tonight’s major event.

WCW/NJPW Supershow 1 (1991) Review - Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone get set to call all the action


The duo then showed us clips from a recent press conference and ‘Launch party event’ (a giant buffet, basically) while explaining that our matches tonight would adopt Japanese rules in the form of a 20 count for count outs (rather than 10) and the rule that titles would change hands on a disqualification.

With all that out of the way, it was onto our first match.

Flyin’ Brian Pillman, The Z-Man, and Tim Horner vs. Takayuki Iizuka, Kuniaki Kobayashi, and Shiro Koshinaka

WCW/NJPW Supershow 1 (1991) Review - Tom Zenk gets stretched


You know, I’m watching this about 10 minutes after wrapping up my last WCW review, and I’m honestly just relieved to see that Brian Pillman was OK after getting dropped on his head by Sid in that nasty spot at the end of WCW Wrestle War ‘91.

Here, he looked in fine form as he, Z-Man, and Tim Horner dominated the bulk of this enjoyable match.

As they did so, Ross further explained that not only was throwing someone over the top not a grounds for disqualification, it was an actual artform here in Japan.

He and Schiavone also explained that the lack of reaction from the crowd wasn’t a sign of boredom but rather respect.

That was until Horner unleashed a poor version of a moonsault and the audience just laughed their collective ass off at him.

Anyway, After a good effort, things broke down between the six men, resulting in a win for the Japanese team when Takayuki Iizuka planted Horner with a truly beautiful dragon suplex.
Your Winners: Takayuki Iizuka, Kuniaki Kobayashi, and Shiro Koshinaka

Moving swiftly on...

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Jushin “Thunder” Liger v Akira Nogami

WCW/NJPW Supershow 1 (1991) Review - Akira Nogami gets set to battle Jushin 'Thunder' Liger


As this one got underway, our announcers told us that Akira Nogami has forced himself to take a year out to train after losing to Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger the last time they met for for the title.

Unfortunately for Nogami, it didn’t seem to do him much good as he succumbed to Liger’s top-rope DDT after just four minutes.

The good news is that everything leading up to those four minutes was golden.

Though short, this was a fine, fine match indeed.
Your Winner and Still IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Jushin Liger.

After another word with our announcers, it was back to the action.

Arn Anderson & Barry Windham vs. Masahiro Chono & Masa Saito

WCW/NJPW Supershow 1 (1991) Review - Arn Anderson puts a hurting on Masahiro Chono


This was another solid match with non-stop action and a lot to like about it.

Arn Anderson & Barry Windham heeled it up big time here, using every trick in the book that they knew to get the advantage over Masahiro Chono and Mr Saito, but the NJPW boys just wouldn’t be kept down.

Eventually, the latter of the two drilled both of his opponents with some wicked Saito suplexes, but Windham popped back to his feet and Anderson got the fall.
Your Winners: Arn Anderson & Barry Windham

Post match, the Japanese men proved that they couldn’t be kept down and sent the Horsemen packing.

Before the next match, Schiavone and Ross thought we might want to look at how different the Japanese concession stands were to their US counterparts.

The Big Cat vs. El Gigante

WCW/NJPW Supershow 1 (1991) Review - El Gigante

I honestly thought this was going to be awful, but it really wasn’t.

The Japanese crowd were clearly in love with the enormous El Gigante, and the Argentinian clearly loved the attention.

Playing up to the crowd, the big man pulverised The Big Cat in no time at all, finishing him off with a huge vertical suplex and The Claw.

OK, so Gigante was never a great wrestler in terms of his technical ability, but he was very obviously having the time of his life here, and this fan for one found it rather endearing.
Your Winner: El Gigante

Moving on quickly…

WCW World Tag Team Championship vs. IWGP World Tag Team Championship
WCW World Tag Team Champions The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) vs. Hiroshi Hase & Kensuke Sasaki

As The Steiner Brothers made their way to ring, JR told us that Rick & Scott were not only the WCW world tag team champions but also technically the US champs as well, so if they won tonight they’d have three sets of tag belts simultaneously.

Cool.

The first of two winner-takes-all title-versus-title matches then got underway, and quickly turned into one of the best matches this fan has ever seen.

Stiff, brutal, with hard hitting slams and suplexes galore, this match is an absolute must-watch for any serious pro wrestling fan.

Yes, I may be prone to getting overly excited sometimes and rating matches higher than they deserve, but i swear to you that this was a masterpiece.

Of course, it helped tremendously that the crowd were well on the side of Kensuke Sasaki and Hiroshi Hase, a fact that seemed to piss off Scott Steiner to the extend that he flashed us shades of the angry heel character he’d portray at the tail end of the decade.

Speaking of the future Big Poppa Pump, it was he who ended this incredible match by landing the Frankensteiner for the cover, the count, and the fall.
Your Winners and New IWGP Tag Team Chanpions (and still WCW tag team champions): The Steiner Brothers

Afterwards, Rick and Scott were handed their titles and a seemingly never-ending assortment of winner’s trophies, all of which they undoubtedly earned.

They also shook hands with their opponents, much to the delight of the live audience.


The Great Muta vs. Sting

A return match, of sorts, from the 1989 Great American Bash, this one saw The Great Muta go after Sting right from the opening bell before the two waged war on each other in a solid but not spectacular battle.

WCW/NJPW Supershow 1 (1991) Review - The Great Muta wears down Sting


Both men worked hard here, giving us a number of genuinely exciting sequences that flowed well from one to the other to create an exciting match that ended when Muta blinded Sting with the Green Mist and nailed him with a crossbody for the fall.
Your Winner: Sting

Post-match, Stint got a modicum of revenge by nailing his rival with a Stinger Splash in the corner and slapping on the Scorpion Deathlock, giving us the great visual of both men’s teams of seconds trying to break it up.

National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship vs. IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Tatsumi ‘Dragon’ Fujinami vs. NWA World Heavyweight Champion ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair

WCW/NJPW Supershow 1 (1991) Review - Bill Alfonso lays down the law to Ric Flair and Tatsumi Fujinami


To demonstrate the importance of this match, the usual in-ring introductions were preceded by the national anthems of each man’s country.

All the while, Ross and Schiavone went over the rules of this match, noting that while title changes on DQs and 20-count count-outs were still in force, WCW’s over-the-top-rope-DQ rule was also in effect here for the first time tonight.

The announcers all made sure to stress the significance of Bill Alfonso as the only official on record for this match, explaining how it was important to have a single official who knew what he was doing in order to avoid the kind of controversy that went down at the Mike Tyson vs. Buster Douglas boxing match which has also taken place in the Tokyo Dome.

Both of these points would prove to make a big difference to the ending of this contest.

Before we got there, Ric Flair and Tatsumi Fujinami gave us a battle for the ages.

A lengthy match which went longer than half the other bouts on this card combined, both champions traded the advantage several times in a compelling contest that kept this reviewer hooked from start to finish.

Towards the end, Flair ran right into Alfonso, knocking the official goofy and sending him right out of the ring.

From there, Nature Boy ran at his opponent, only to be backdropped over the top rope, a move which, if you recall, meant an automatic DQ.

Still, with Fonzie laying prone on the outside, there was no one around to make that call, nor was there anyone around when Fujinami rolled up his rival for multiple pinfalls.

Eventually, Fujinami made another cover and, this time, a Japanese official hit the ring to give the NJPW star the win.
Your Winner and New NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Tatsumi Fujinami

Out in the back, Jim Ross killed time before a scheduled press conference by sending us to pre-recorded comments from Sting.

Battered, bruised and covered in green mist, WCW’s franchise player was irate that Muta’s shenanigans were not what he expected when he came to Japan in search of good, old-fashioned competition.

Clearly, this was far from over.

Finally, Fujinami was in the middle of a press conference when an angry Nature Boy stormed in and stole the title, claiming he had won the match all along.

The two would meet in a rematch at Superbrawl.






WCW/NJPW Supershow 1991 was an excellent card from start to finish.

The last two matches in particular were fantastic, with the tag team title bout being one of the greatest tag matches of all time.

Elsewhere, Sting/Muta, the Junior Heavyweight Championship, the opening six man, and the Horsemen/Chono & Saito matches were all enjoyable in their own right, and even the Gigante/Cat exhibition proved not to be as terrible as it had the potential to be.

All in all, one of WCW’s better PPV efforts and one of the best PPVs of the early 90s.

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

EVENT REVIEW: WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Fall Brawl '90: Mountain Madness

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Fall Brawl '90: March Madness
September 5, 1990 
Asheville Civic Center, Asheville, North Carolina.

Clash of the Champions X11: Fall Brawl '90 - Mountain Madness sounds like the kind of name you get when a committee can't agree on what to call their event and compromise by simply adding all of their favorite suggestions together.

It's a little excessive, and, of course, confusing, but hey, we're not here to talk about event names, we're here to talk about the event itself, so let's get on with that, shall we?





Welcome to Fall Brawl 2: Mountain Madness

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Jim Ross & Bob Caudle
Just to confuse things further, Jim Ross called the event Fall Brawl 2, which is technically accurate but still confusing if your opening intro is going to call it '90. 

Speaking of the intro, it was very non-descript - basically seeing clips of tonight's stars in small boxes which flew across some animated mountains.

From there, Ross and co-announcer Bob Caudle hyped the ten upcoming matches on our show, including Lex Luger defending the US title against Ric Flair and Sting defending his newly won World Heavyweight Championship for the first time on national TV against The Black Scorpion.

Speaking of Sting, our announce team informed us that the Stinger was live on the WCW Hotline, but of course, you wouldn't want to call right now, because then you'd miss this:

Badstreet USA

Prior to our opening contest, we got a look at a music video in which Michael 'P.S' Hayes strutted around singing Badstreet USA. 

Personally, this writer has never really seen the appeal of the Freebirds, but even I have to admit it was a pretty decent video, albeit one that looks very dated today.

The Fabulous Freebirds (w/ Michael 'P.S' Hayes & Jimmy 'Jam' Garvin w/ Buddy Roberts) vs. The Southern Boys (Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong w/ 'Bullet' Bob Armstrong.

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Michael 'P.S' Hayes
Speaking of things being dated...there was so much confederate flag symbolism in this match that there's no way this match would air on TV today.

Hayes and Jimmy Garvin both switched their traditional tights for confederate ones and had their faces painted with the flag, as did their cornerman, Buddy Roberts. Meanwhile, the Southern Boys whole gimmick was to wave that confederate flag and they did so here with pride.

Dated gimmicks aside, this was another good meeting between these two teams. 

Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong won the match thanks to a couple of sunset flips.
Your Winners: The Southern Boys

Post-match, The Freebirds beat up their rivals and hurled them out of the ring. 

The Steiners Have Nothing on Their Minds

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Tony Schiavone interviews The Steiner Brothers
Following the commercial break, Tony Schiavone spoke backstage with The Steiner Brothers, who had recently defeated The Midnight Express to become US tag team champions.

Scott Steiner fumbled his way through his half of the promo, reminding us that being US tag team champions meant they were number one contenders to the world tag team champions and calling out Doom for a match.

For his part, Rick Steiner admitted that he and his brother had never even heard of their upcoming opponents, Maximum Overdrive and had no plan and "nothing on their minds" when they went to the ring.

This was entertaining, but only in the way that watching a Steiner Brothers promo can be.

Buddy Landell vs. Mike Rotunda (w/ Cindy Anderson) 

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Buddy Landell shows off his Skid Row "tattoo"
Prior to the bell, Buddy Landell proudly showed off a terrible Skid Row tattoo because apparently, he was now friends with the band's guitarist, Dave "The Snake" Sabo

Well, I suppose if you've gotta have a gimmick, "I know a musician" is certainly..erm..something.

Meanwhile, if you're wondering who Cindy Anderson is, she apparently won a Burger King poetry contest and her prize was to accompany Mike Rotunda to the ring. 

I swear I'm not making that up. 

All credit to Cindy, I'm sure she's a lovely person and wrote a great poem, but just trying to get my head around the idea that Burger King sponsored a wrestling-themed poetry contest and the prize was to walk Captain Mike to the ring just blows my mind. 

Honestly, these Clash shows were bonkers. 

I say all that because it's far more interesting than anything that actually happened in this match.

It's not that it was bad. Both Landell and Rotunda were competent performers, but this was only ever going ot be a filler match and it was. 

After five and a half minutes of decent but entirely forgettable action, Rotunda secured the win thanks to a jaw-dropping backslide.
Your Winner: Mike Rotunda

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Tony Schiavone interviews The Fabulous Freebirds
Up next, Tony Schiavone interviewed The Fabulous Freebirds who were very angry about losing to The Southern Boys and shouted A LOT.

 It was OK though, because "The Greatest Rock & Roll Band in the World" were able to console themselves by showing us footage of their recent trip to Hollywood.

Hayes and Garvin pulled up in a limo and were swarmed with fans. They then just seemed to have a day out, standing in front of the Hollywood sign and dancing and later eating a hot dog before getting swarmed by yet more fans.

It wasn't entirely clear why the boys were in Hollywood, but for all intents and purposes, it just looked as though we were watching clips from their vacation. 

'White Lightning' Tim Horner & The Candy Man Brad Armstrong vs. The Master Blazers (Iron & Steel)

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Kevin Nash made his debut as part of The Master Blasters
Let's gloss over the fact that Brad Armstrong was now creepily called "The Candy Man" for some reason and talk about what's really important here: 

The debut of Kevin Nash as Master Blaster Steel. 

Honestly, this writer has been a big fan of Big Daddy Cool in the past but even I can't deny that he and Master Blaster Iron looked like the absolute dirt worst tag team you've ever seen in your life.

None of Nash's offence looked like it actually hurt. It was weak and made the whole match look fake. 

Iron's offense was even worse. 

In fact, at one point, he went to hit a diving headbutt on Tim Horner and missed by at least a foot. Horner sold it anyway and the crowds booed both men for daring to give such a shoddy performance.

I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I actually recommend watchng this match just to appreciate how good pro wrestlers are at making what they do look believable and how utterly ridiculous wrestling can look when they don't.

Unsurprisingly, The Master Blasters won their debut over a team comprised of a man named after a brand of cheap cider in the UK and a  man whose gimmick was literally that he handed sweets to kids.
Your Winners: The Master Blasters 

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Tony Schiavone interviews Brian Pillman
Backstage, Tony Schiavone interviewed Flyin' Brian Pillman.

Pillman first put over the main event discussed the mystery surrounding the ominous Black Scorpion before discussing his upcoming "Run the Gauntlet" challenge.

The idea was that one man would be selected to take on the challenge. On WCW Power Hour, that man would draw three names out of a hat and those three men would be his opponents over the course of three consecutive nights.

He -in this case, Pillman- would wrestle the first match on WCW Power Hour.

He would then wrestle the second match the following night on World Championship Wrestling.

Finally, he would wrestle the third match the night after that on Sunday Main Event.

If Pillman (or whoever else was taking on the challenge) won all three matches, he would win $15,000. If he lost, the prize money would be divided equally between his opponents.

Though it takes a little while to explain, that's actually not a bad concept, even if it did end up only lasting for three weeks.

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Missy Hyatt interviews Ric Flair
The Greatest World Champion of Ever

Out in the arena, Missy Hyatt introduced us to the man she called "The Greatest World Champion of Ever," the one and only Nature Boy Ric Flair.

As charismatic as ever, Naitch styled and profiled his way through a riveting promo in which he promised to dethrone Lex Luger for the US title on tonight's show. 


The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags) vs. Terry Taylor & Jackie Fulton

So, it turns out Kevin Nash wasn't the only one to make a big first appearance at this show. 

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - The Nasty Boys made their debut
The Nasty Boys
were also putting in their first appearance at a major event in a solid effort against the former Red Rooster Terry Taylor and Jackie Fulton.

It's surprising how relatively light, agile, and motivated to work Knobbs and Sags actually were here. Pair that with two capable opponents, and what you had here was a decent tag match which gave this writer no reason to complain.

The Nasties would be gone and in the World Wrestling Federation by December of that year, but for now they were on the rise in WCW after a predictable victory.
Your Winners: The Nasty Boys 

After another commercial break, Tony Schiavone caught up with Four Horsemen member Sid Vicious. Big Sid was very angry about Sting being the world champion and insisted that he -Sid- deserved a title shot. It wasn't so much a direct challenge, more an intense rant about Sid being title-worthy.

Wild Bill Irwin vs. Wildfire Tommy Rich

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Wild Bill Irwin
Going into this one, your writer expected it to be the kind of filler match that has no redeeming qualities. Indeed, half the crowd seemed to have the same idea and could be visibly seen leaving for the bathroom or concession stands as it got underway. 

Surprisingly, however, it wasn't a bad little match. Apart from one little spot where it looked like the match was going to devolve into one long chinlock, this was competently wrestled. Sure, it wasn't going to be an amazing match, and sure, it technically was filler, but it at least it was enjoyable filler.

After a few minutes of decent wrestling, Tommy Rich got the win thanks to a Lou Thesz Press.
Your Winner: Tommy Rich

Up next, Jim Ross and Bob Caudle introduced us to the new Top 10 rankings, with Lex Luger and The Steiners topping the singles and tag ranks respectively. I'm not sure how long this lasted, but I don't think it was very long at all. 

With tobacco spit staining his chest, Stan Hansen then ranted and raved to Tony Schiavone about only being number six on the list and insisted he was going to beat up everyone ahead of him until he got to Sting. 

Not because he wanted the glory of being champion or anything, Big Stan simply needed the money.

"SIX? SIX? SIX? That's bulls**t!" yelled The Larriat as he walked off, clevery making sure he was away from the microphone before dropping the expletive. 

Ladies Professional Wrestling Association World Championship
LPWA Women's Champion Susan Sexton vs. Bambi 

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Susan Sexton
Nobody cared about this "Women's Championship" match, a short-lived cross-over with the equally-as-short-lived LPWA. In fact, even JR didn't seem to know what was going on, telling us:

"Bambi is, I believe, the number one contender to the women's championship." 

Well, yes, Jim, she's standing in the ring about to challenge for the title, so that's pretty much a given. 

The match itself was reasonable. The crowd may not have cared, but Bambi and champion Susan Sexton worked hard regardless to give us a short, predominantly match-based match.

After a few minutes of hold-counterhold-repeat, Sexton reversed a roll-up attempt from Bambi to score the 1,2,3.
Your Winner and Still LPWA Champion: Susan Sexton

After a quick commercial break, it was onto our next match.

National Wrestling Allianace United States Tag Team Championship
NWA United States Tag Team Champions The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) vs. Maximum Overdrive (The Hunter and The Silencer)

Yes, this new team of Maximum Overdrive that nobody had ever heard of were called The Hunter and The Silencer. I don't know about you, but for me those names don't exactly fit with a tag team name like "Maximum Overdrive."

It didn't matter anyway, Hunter and Silencer were really only there to serve as warm bodies for Rick and Scott Steiner to hurl around the ring in an extended squash. It was good, but only because The Steiners were such an awesome tag team and super over with the crowd.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, the brothers retained their title.
Your Winners and Still NWA US Tag Team Champions: The Steiner Brothers 

Before the next commercial, Missy Hyatt reminded us to watch Sunday Main Event with her and Jim Ross and a whole bunch of Main Event Action.

Stan 'The Larriat' Hansen vs. The Z-Man Tom Zenk 

Hansen was a relatively new arrival to WCW, so it didn't come as much of a surprise when he simply dominated The Z-Man throughout this match. It was decent stuff, but it mattered so little that at one point the screen was divided so that we could hear from Lex Luger at the same time. 

Honestly, it was too difficult to both watch a match and listen to The Total Package, but I think he basically said that he was fully focussed on Ric Flair but if Hansen wanted a match, he'd give him  one.

Back in the ring, the actual was solid but unremarkable and ended with a predictable win for Hansen courtesy of The Larriat. 
Your Winner: Stan Hansen

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - Tony Schiavone interviews Lex Luger
Afterward, we got a look back at the Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger match from Wrestle War 90 before Tony Schiavone interviewed the US Champion for the second time on this show. 

Calm, cool, and collected, The Total Package reflected on the fact that all his previous encounters with Flair (including their great match at Great American Bash '88) had seen him chasing Flair. This time, Flair was chasing him, but Luger remained adamant that no matter how much Flair wanted his US title, he -Luger- was going to emerge victorious.

National Wrestling Alliance United States Championship
NWA US Champion Lex Luger vs. Nature Boy Ric Flair

Luger and Flair always had great matches together and this was no exception. Though it may not have been the absolute best they ever had, that's only because they'd already set the bar very high, and this was still damn good in its own right.

This writer also really appreciated the power rankings and the emphasis on Flair needing to beat Luger to become the number one contender to Sting's title again. It gave the occasion as much of a sense of legitimacy as its possible to give a scripted pro wrestling contest and only added to the intensity and excitement of the match.

However, just as Luger and Flair always had good matches, they also always had matches that ended without a clean finish. This one was no exception. 

Stan Hansen ran into attack Luger, causing the disqualification.
Your Winner via DQ and Still US Champion: Lex Luger

Prior to the main event, we got pre-recorded comments from the mysterious Black Scorpion who promised to reveal his identity if Sting beat him tonight.

Speaking to Tony Schiavone, a clearly worried Sting insisted that he was taking the Scorpion very seriously and was heading to the ring to get this done.

National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Sting vs. The Black Scorpion 

WCW Clash of the Champions XII - The Black Scorpion
As you might have predicted, this was not the greatest match in the world. 

Sure, there was a lot of intrigue surrounding the identity of The Black Scorpion, but the actual action was just not that interesting.

Sure, both champ and challenger put some effort into it, but the result of that effort was nowhere near as compelling as the mystery of the Scorpion himself. 

Predictably, Sting retained the gold in his first televised championship defense thanks to a simple crossbody.

By the way, in case you were wondering, the man behind the mask for this match was Al Perez.
Your Winner and Still NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Sting 

Post-match, Sting de-masked the Scorpion only to discover that his adversary was wearing a second mask underneath. At that point, another Black Scorpion character arrived on the scene, with the announcers deducing that this was the real Scorpion after all.

Following a quick commercial break, Sting spoke to Jim Ross about his frustrations in not finding out who his rival was and swore that this wasn't over. At that point, however, the champion was interrupted by Sid Vicious, who demanded a match against the champion.

Sting was in no mood for a challenge, telling The Ruler of the World that all he had to do was talk to the championship committee to be granted a match. UNhappy with the response, Sid attacked Sting and declared himself the next champion before Jim Ross signed off, wrapping up the 12th edition of Clash of the Champions. 






With the exception of the whole Black Scorpion angle, Clash of the Champions 12 featured less of the goofiness and wacky entertainment that we'd seen in recent clashes (Clash 10, I'm looking at you), and placed more of an emphasis on presenting pro wrestling as a true sporting competition, with the announcement of the "Run the Gauntlet Challenge," the power rankings, and Flair's need to dethrone Luger to get back into the title picture all making this seem like serious business.

Unfortunately, despite the emphasis on competition, most of the actual in-ring action wasn't that great. The best match on the card by a good mile was Flair/Luger, and while the opening tag team match was also good and the Nasty Boys debut was decent for what it was, nothing else really stood out as being a must-watch.

Load up this event to see the WCW debut of the aforementioned Nasties and Kevin Nash, skip to Luger/Flair, and that's all you need to see here. 

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.


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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.

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