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[1992-07-18-SMW-TV] Contract Signing: The Fantastics vs Heavenly Bodies

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Bob Armstrong, always a great talker, sets a barbed wire match for 8/8 with Cornette banned from ringside. Cornette refuses to comply, and says he'll get his lawyers involved to make sure he can be at ringside. Fulton offers a solution -- Cornette can come to ringside, but Armstrong is the referee. Cornette takes bumps off just the announcement! Awesome!

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A few things there. First, Bob Armstrong is one of the best authority figure I've seen. Stern, great on the mic, credible. Second, Cornette takes a great bump out of throwing a fit, it's hilarious.

What strikes me in this segment is how lively and organic it is. Today, everything is : one guy talks on the mic, then another guy talks on the mic, then the other guy respond, and everything is awkward and looks fake. Here, things happen in the ring, everyone is reacting to what's being said, Cornette is talking whether he's given the mic or not, it feels "real", it flows. This is so refreshing compared to the dull monologues exchanges that we have on TV now.

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Cornette was great here from being all pissed about not being allowed ringside, finding out he will be allowed and then hearing Armstrong as the referee. Him throwing himself on the mat was funny.

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Armstrong announces a barbed wire cage match with Cornette barred from ringside at Fire on the Mountain. Cornette protests and the Fantastics counter with allowing him at ringside but Armstrong is the guest ref. Cornette throws a great hissy fit selling it, but I can't get into Armstrong as the territory's top babyface.

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Cornette is talking whether he's given the mic or not, it feels "real", it flows. This is so refreshing compared to the dull monologues exchanges that we have on TV now.

And in fact, he has the best line in this segment and it's a total throwaway. As Bobby is whispering to Armstrong, he incredulously asks, "What, do they get a chainsaw now or something?!"

 

This is an almost to-the-letter redux of the Midnights/Fantastics contract signing in World Class with Cornette banned from ringside, bargaining that stipulation away, and ending up with a worse one. There it was Cornette having to be guarded by "Little John" and here it's Bob Armstrong appointing himself guest referee. Guess which version I like better. Cornette's tantrum is a classic, though one wonders just how effectual Cornette would be if the ring is going to be surrounded by barbed wire.

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Bob Armstrong is conducting the signing and says that since these two teams started wrestling each other we've had more trouble than anybody we've had trouble with before. If they're not fighting in the ring, it's in the parking lot, in an area where they shouldn't be, in the crowd etc. He says that on August 8th he's going to solve the two problems that these teams face, in that they will not stay in the ring and that Jim Cornette interferes in every match (a statement that Cornette vehemently denies). He plans to do this by surrounding the ring in barbed wire and then by barring Cornette from ringside. Cornette isn't happy about this and says that he's watched Armstrong stack the deck against his men for long enough to try and get the belts off them and run them out of town and won't stand for it anymore. He's got lawyers and with this being America you can sue anybody over anything, he'll call one of them and get this tied up in court for so long that Armstrong will be dead before it's settled. Bobby Fulton then has an idea and whispers something to Armstrong. He then makes one further stipulation to the match, he will allow Jim Cornette to come to ringside, but he'll be the special referee for the bout. Cornette is even less happy, getting on his knees and begging not for this before throwing a temper tantrum in the ring.

 

Another good segment in the Fantastics vs Heavenly Bodies feud and Cornette and Armstrong are great playing off each other.

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This is where the Bullet Bob/Corny feud that defined SMW started, and you can tell already it's going to be a doozy. What I like best is that Corny is able to stand up to Bullet Bob; that's what separates him from other authority figures like Jack Tunney and Jimmy Crockett Jr. I can't imagine someone like Heenan daring to get in Jack Tunney's face and call him an old fossil; of course, that's mostly because Tunney was seldom near an arena. But Corny's hubris has a price, which is that Bullet Bob is now actively involved in the match as the referee.

 

I actually think this is good for the match; at this point, Corny's the known quantity, so to bar him from ringside takes most of the show away for the fans. Pete's right; a wimp like Corny isn't going to risk hurting himself climbing barbed wire just to throw powder or get in a racquet shot, so his ability to do physical damage is nearly nullified. Thus we get the best of both worlds: Corny working ringside and what should be a bloody classic between the Fultons and the Bodies.

 

I liked that Bullet Bob becoming the referee was seen to be Bobby's idea. If Bullet Bob himself had suggested it, it would have seemed like he was bullying the Bodies and trying to stack the deck against them, which would have validated Corny's complaints.

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Cornette throwing the tantrum was incredible.  Bob and Corny really work well together and i am looking forward to watching them squabble.

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