You're about to see the hottest show in town.
The biggest stars and the biggest brawls
The biggest hits and the biggest falls.
Non stop action no messin' around, pretty soon we're comin' to your town.
The way you like it way it used to be...Smoky Mountain Wrestling's on TV."
Smoky Mountain Wrestling (SMW) was Jim Cornette's own Professional Wrestling promotion based in Knoxville, TN, running from October 1991 through December 1995. Cornette established the promotion after having cut ties with WCW, with initial financial backing from Record Producer Rick Rubin. SMW emphasized an old-school mentality, with clear Faces and Heels. In 1993, Cornette established a working relationship with WWE, leading to him making his surprise debut on the August 2 (taped July 25) episode of Monday Night Raw. Eventually, dwindling audiences led to the promotion shutting down at the end of 1995.
Along with various Ring Oldies, SMW also provided early exposure for Glenn Jacobs, best known in WWE as Kane, Chris Candido and Tammy "Sunny" Sytch (here as Tammy Fytch), Jonathan Rechner (here as Boo Bradley, better known as ECW's Balls Mahoney), as well as introducing the U.S. to the Thrillseekers (Chris Jericho and Lance Storm).
"Tropes the way they used to be, and the way you like it!":
- Action Girl: Sgt. Rock (Jacqueline)
- Alliterative Name: Several.
- Bruiser Bedlam
- Billy Black
- Bobby Blaze
- Boo Bradley
- Chris Cometnote
- Danny Davisnote
- Dixie Dynamite (Scott Armstrong under a mask)
- Derek Domino
- Killer Kyle
- Angry Black Men/Scary Black Men/Politically Incorrect Villains: This is where the Gangstas (New Jack and Mustafa, w/D'Lo Brown and Killer Kyle) came together as a tag team whose whole act was based on playing on the racial fears of SMW's very white audiences.
- Ax-Crazy: Kevin Sullivan.
- Captain Ersatz/Writing Around Trademarks: Brian Hildebrand as Cowabunga the Ninja Turtle.
- Charlie Brown from Outta Town: Bob Armstrong as "The Bullet."
- The Rock 'n' Roll Express d. SMW Tag Team Champions the Heavenly Bodies (Stan Lane/Tom Prichard) by DQ at WCW SuperBrawl III, February 21, 1993.
- As part of SMW's relationship with WWE, WWE wrestlers would sometimes appear on SMW shows.
- The Heavenly Bodies (Prichard/Jimmy Del Ray) d. the Rock N Roll Express for the SMW Tag Team Titles at WWE Survivor Series 1993.
- Deep South/Sweet Home Alabama
- Based in Tennessee, also did shows in Kentucky, North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia.
- Subverted when they worked with the National Wrestling Alliance and co-promoted shows in Philadelphia and New Jersey.
- Enemy Mine: The Gangstas pushed Cornette to the point that he actually aligned himself with his perennial nemeses the Rock N Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson), and even led to THE UNDERTAKER coming in to team with Tracy Smothers against them at SMW Bluegrass Brawl III, April 7, 1995, and with Smothers and "Bullet" Bob Armstrong at SMW Fright Night, April 8, 1995.
- Expy: The Thrill Seekers entered Smokey Mountain as expies to the already present Rock N' Roll Express. They even used the same finishing move at first.
- Facial Markings: The Tazmaniac, Kevin Sullivan
- Foreign Wrestling Heel: "The Russian Bear" Ivan Koloff and Vladimir Koloff made some appearances in late 1991 and early 1992, even after the Soviet Union was dissolved.
- Fun with Acronyms:
"T is for Terrible
- Cornette's "union", Federation of International Thugs and Eliminators.
- Tracy Smothers and the Dirty White Boy's Tag Team the T.H.U.G.S. had the following Catchphrase:
H is for Hell
U is for Ugly
G is for Gaol cuz a THUG can't spell!"note
- Gimmick Matches: Cage matches, street fights, taped fist matches, battle royals, falls count anywhere matches, first blood matches, Singapore spike (courtesy of Kevin Sullivan) matches, etc.
- Loser Leaves Town: As one example: At The Last Tango in Tennessee, May 15, 1993, the Rock N Roll Express d. the Heavenly Bodies (Lane/Prichard) for the SMW Tag Team Titles in a "Loser of the fall leaves SMW" match when Gibson pinned Lane.
- Mêlée à Trois: As one example: The Rock N Roll Express d. Dutch Mantel/Jimmy Golden and the Heavenly Bodies (Lane/Prichard) in a three-way match at SMW's March 28, 1993 show.
- Humiliating Wager: At SMW Fire on the Mountain 1995, Trasher and Mosh tried to make Robert Gibson wear a dress, but failed to defeat him in a handicap match.
- Identity Impersonator: Al Snow faced Ricky Morton once in a cage match so that Unabomb, who was masked and supposedly chained outside, couldn't interfere. Unabomb (Jacobs) did, coming up through the mat from under the ring. The masked Unabomb here was Barry "Recon"/"Bull" Buchanan.
- Mummy: Prince Kharis, real name Rob Mayze, who had about as much staying power as other mummy gimmicks had. There was one slight bit of cleverness though. He "bled" sand.
- Ninja: The Black Ninja (Larry Santo) d. Bob Armstrong in a "Jim Cornette vs. Bob Armstrong Loser Leaves Town Match" on September 17, 1993, though a second ninja (actually Bob's son Brian) was the one who scored the pinfall.
- Parts Unknown: Rick Davis, from "P.O. Box 43."
- Power Stable:
- Armstrong's Army (all five family members, plus the Rock N Roll Express and Tracy Smothers)
- The Stud Stable (Robert Fuller, Jimmy Golden, "Dirty" Dutch Mantel)
- The Heavenly Bodies (Stan Lane, Tom Prichard, Bobby Eaton and Jimmy Del Ray, w/Cornette)
- Cornette's Criminals (Cornette, Kevin Sullivan, the Tazmaniac, Prichard, Del Ray,Bruiser Bedlam, the Bruise Brothers [Ron and Don Harris], The Moondogs [Spot and Cujo])
- Cornette's Army (Cornette, Unabomb, Terry Gordy, Buddy Landel, Al Snow, Robert Gibson, the Punisher [Barry "Recon"/"Bull" Buchanan], Sgt. Rock, Tommy Rich, Prichard, Del Ray).
- F.I.T.E. (Federation of International Thugs and Eliminators) (Cornette, the Funk Brothers, Bruiser Bedlam, Killer Kyle, "Conan" Chris Walker)
- Rated M for Manly: It was a promotion filled with old school southern brawlers and tough guys, what else would you expect?
- Real Men Wear Pink: They had been teaming together for awhile, but this is where Mosh and Thrasher started developing their The Headbangers gimmick. Real men wear skirts!
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Commissioner "Bullet" Bob Armstrong, except, of course, if you were Cornette or Kevin Sullivan.
- Ricky Morton: Well, duh. You can't have the Rock N Roll Express win the SMW Tag Team Titles 10 times without the Trope Namers.
- Ring Oldies: Bob Armstrong, "Cowboy" Bob Orton Jr., the Moondogs, Dick Murdoch, the Mongolian Stomper, the Funk Brothers (Terry and Dory), the Stud Stable...
- Then, of course, there was Prince Kharis, who was supposed to be 4,000 years old.
- Run the Gauntlet: Revived the "Beat The Champ" Television Title for a 1990s audience, where the current "champion" had to beat randomly selected challengers for five weeks in a row or pay the former champ a hundred dollars.
- Samurai: Kendo the Samurai, a masked gimmick first used by "White Lightning" Tim Horner, and later Bobby Blaze, Scotty Antol (WCW's Scotty Riggs) and others.
- Spiritual Predecessor
- Smoky Mountain need of money and desiring attention of television companies, WCW in need of new stars and angles, began to work together, with not only WCW taking stars from Smoky Mountain but a Smoky Mountain invasion angle being teased. Instead, Jim Cornette's anti WCW rant was edited out of WCW television and the invasion angle ended up being transferred to the outsiders who became the nWo a year after Smoky Mountain closed. Furthermore, a year after Smoky Mountain closed, the Heartland Wrestling Association opened up and started farming talent into WCW.
- Ohio Valley Wrestling, which started in 1997 was bought out from the National Wrestling Alliance (WWF/E agreed to cover 30% of its operating expenses) and eventually came under the ownership of Jim Cornette, operating as a farm league to both WWE and TNA.
- Squash Match: The TV show was usually made up of these.
- Tag Team Twins:
- The Bruise Brothers (Ron and Don)
- The Batten Twins (Bart and Brad)
- Take That!: For Chad Austin's one appearance in SMW, he was billed from "Extreme, PA", because of Cornette's longstanding feud with Paul Heyman.
- Talk Show with Fists: "Down and Dirty with Dutch Mantel"
- Thanksgiving Episode: One of SMW's big annual events was Thanksgiving Thunder.
- Christmas Episode: One of SMW's big annual events was Christmas Chaos.
- Tournament Arc: The King of Kentucky tournament was held on June 24, 1993, with Brian Lee defeating Tracy Smothers in the final.
- Turtle Power: Kowabunga, the wrestling ninja turtle Surfer Dude.
- World's Strongest Man: Doug Furnas was billed as this.
- Wrestling Family: This being a promotion in Tennessee, there were a few:
- The Armstrongs (Bob, Brad, Scott, Steve, Brian "Road Dogg"/"BG Jammes" James
- The Fullers (Robert Fuller and Jimmy Golden)
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Subverted, in that they are one of the few promotions the NWA came to for help and then turned away from when they were no longer needed.