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[1992-05-22-SMW-TV] Paul Orndorff vs Brian Lee


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  • 1 month later...

Highlights of Lee winning the SMW title. Orndorff and DWB beat him up, even though he was already wrestling the match bandaged up. This did nothing for me. Surprised to see Bob Armstrong get physically involved so early on. Were we supposed to forget that?

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I really disliked the finish to this. It made Bob Armstrong look like the real top babyface in SMW, not Brian Lee. Lee looked weak for winning the SMW heavyweight title on a DQ and needing an old man to come in and save him from the top heels. Brian Lee was a guy with a good look and not a lot else, and who needed all the help he could get from the booking, and didn't really get it while he was the top babyface. I don't know that he ever beat Paul Orndorff cleanly, for one, and Orndorff had the biggest name in the company.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 7 months later...
  • 3 months later...

Finals of the SMW Heavyweight title tournament, Orndorff is awarded the belt via forfeit due to injuries sustained by Brian Lee but it's a SWERVE, BABY. The action itself is pretty good, and then we get a contrived ref spot where Mark Curtis practically plants his nose into Orndorff's shoulder so he can go down when Orndorff rears back his arm. Dirty White Boy tosses Orndorff a foreign object, and eventually he gets caught with it for the DQ. AWFUL finish--I guess Orndorff probably refused to do a pinfall job, which raises the question of why Landell or somebody wasn't in the finals instead. Also way too early for Armstrong to be punching out heels, even if he's got the object in his hand.


Lee was far from an ideal choice as the company's first top babyface but this booking didn't do him any favors at all. He wins the title on a DQ and then gets laid out afterwards.


Orndorff is still in 1991 making Gulf War references, but cuts a good angry promo decrying this SMOKY MOUNTAIN RIPOFF.

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 2 years later...

Lee had defeated Tony Anthony in the semi finals of the tournament and had bled fairly profusely during the match. The introductions are being made for the final and Bob Armstrong is in the ring with Paul Orndorff. Armstrong says that Lee lost a lot of blood, has a shoulder injury and as a result has no other alternative but to award the belt to Orndorff. Lee comes out all bandaged up, carrying his shoulder and says that he's come too far to let some doctor tell him he can't win the belt. The action is okay and Lee works hard, but the finish is something else. Referee Mark Curtis get KO'ed from a very contrived Orndorff elbow and then Bob Armstrong gets in the ring to try an revive him. Behind his back the Dirty White Boy comes out and throws some knux to Orndorff. He ends up trying to punch Lee with them but he blocks it, they start fighting over the knux, Armstrong turns round sees them on Orndorff's fist and DQ's him awarding the belt to Lee. Anthony and Orndorff attack Lee after the match at which point Armstrong gets physically involved, dropping Anthony and then Buddy Landell and Barry Horowitz who both come out for some reason. The locker room empties to try and separate everyone. In the dressing room Orndorff says that there has been a conspiracy against him ever since he arrived, and next time Bob Armstrong sticks his nose in his business he's going to piledrive him as he's sick and tired of all this.


So SMW awarded their first Heavyweight championship on a DQ finish. When I saw Lee come out I was expecting Orndorff to take the whole match and Lee to get almost a 'fluke' roll up win, but what we got was far worst. Despite coming out for the match all beaten up, the finish made Lee look weak and no idea what they were doing having Armstrong playing Superman against everyone. At least Orndorff's post match interview was great, but this was one terrible ending. If Pete's guess was correct and Orndorff didn't want to job, just DQ him against Horner in the first round and let someone else do the clean finish in the final. Completely ass backwards booking.

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  • 5 months later...

I disagree that Lee was supposed to come out of this as top babyface. The problem with SMW isn't that the top faces (Horner and Lee) need someone to do their talking for them, it's that its real top face (Bullet Bob) needs two or three guys to do his full-time wrestling for him. Seriously, Bullet Bob was a known commodity in Knoxville, someone who didn't need to be packaged or built. He just needed not to wrestle all the time, so Corny put him in as commissioner while making sure he got enough face time and physical action that everyone knew who the real star was. He was also a much better foil for Corny than either Horner or Lee would have been, particularly on the mic.


If you look at this match through the prism I just laid out, it all fits perfectly. Bob has to be seen as the law-and-order commissioner in order to stay over, so Mark Curtis has to be eliminated, and there has to be a finish that everyone knows as cheap so Bob can come off as the hero for awarding the belt to Lee. Then comes the time for the physical stuff; Pete's theory may be right, but instead of not wanting to job clean to Lee, Paul may not have wanted to be knocked out by the Bullet. That's why he and Lee stayed in the corner while Bob cleaned up on Landell, Horowitz, and Anthony. It also keeps Paul as a viable threat to guys like Lee and Horner (and eventually, just maybe, the commish himself).


Bottom line: From start to finish, no matter what other mini-feuds may be going on at the time, SMW can be boiled down to Bullet Bob vs. Corny. Right now, both men are getting themselves ready, but they'll be at it soon, and literally everything else will take a back seat. Orndorff vs. Lee is merely an appetizer for the main course to come; tasty in itself, but nothing that's supposed to mean much in the end.


Line of the segment: "HE'S GOT IT ON HIS HAND!"

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  • GSR changed the title to [1992-05-22-SMW-TV] Paul Orndorff vs Brian Lee
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