Night Of The Legends (DVD Review)
Rated: UR/Region: 0/1:33/Number of disc: 1
Available from VCI Home Entertainment
For those of you who aren’t aware, this DVD in the VCI Wrestling Gold series is actually none other than the entire Night of Legends event for Smokey Mountain Wrestling. SMW was owned by Jim Cornette and this show taking place on August 5, 1994 was their biggest show they ever had, with the largest crowd the promotion ever drew. The show is coming to you by way of Knoxville Tennessee and has none other than Jim Ross and Les Thatcher for the commentary team. The disc also offers up “Insider commentary” with Jim Cornette and Dave Meltzer, which I’d recommend to anyone. The show feels insanely long due to the detail they put into the video packages recapping the storylines for some matches. And the actual legends segment seems to really drag on a lot. Still, it is a nice look back at a promotion that probably over achieved given the roster and how well they were able to tap into southern wrestling nostalgia to draw people in. Anyway, let’s dive into this 3 1/2 hour DVD.
Killer Kyle vs. Doug Furnas
Furnas is a big guy, who has been everywhere but only really was a draw here in Tennessee. Kyle was a guy I’d actually never heard of until now. The two have a typical and acceptable big person/power match. Nothing wrong with the match, but it doesn’t really excite you either.
– We get promos from both the teams of “Cowboy” Bob Orton & Dick Slater as well as Mongolian Stomper & Ronnie Garvin leading into the “Legends Match” for the show. Good old school promo stuff here
“Cowboy” Bob Orton & Dick Slater vs. Mongolian Stomper & Ronnie Garvin
Our legends match here is about as old school a tag team match as any match you’ll see. Everyone here knows what they are doing because they have all being doing it for years. Everyone here is at least in their 50’s, but you’d not know it by how they are moving around in the ring. It boils down to an old school face team vs and old school heel team and all the tricks in the book are used, until the legend ref kinda botches the ending.
– Good Ol’ JR introduces us to Da Gangstaz (along with D-Lo Brown) for an in-ring promo. New Jack gets on the mic here and shows us why everyone loved or loved to hate Da Gangstaz back in the day. Some didn’t like New Jack at the time and called this somewhat edge for the time promo “the wrong kind of heat”. Maybe it was in the south, but overall this is good stuff. Clearly New Jack and Mustafa was more fit for ECW (Where they’d end up going) than Smokey Mountain.
– Promo time again backstage with both Brian Lee & Chris Candido, with Tammy Lynn Fytch (Sunny for all you fans of mid-90’s WWF). They are the SMW Tag Team Champs and they are about to defend those belts against The Rock N Roll Express, who cut a fiery babyface promo. Turns out for the next match Tammy will be handcuffed to Ricky Gibson.
Brian Lee & Chris Candido vs. The Rock N Roll Express (SMW Tag Team Titles Match)
Lee and Candido are another couple of guys who I think did their best work in ECW, but you can see here why they would go there and why’d they’d stay a team, more or less there. The R n R are legends and if you’ve seen one match of theirs, then you’ve basically seen them all. Doesn’t mean it still isn’t fun to see again here.
– For the next 40 Minutes you’ll have the segments remembering Knoxville wrestling and then the hall of fame ceremony.
– From there we get a video package showing what led up to the next match between The Heavenly Bodies and The Thrill Seekers. The Seekers are made-up of Chris Jericho and Lance Storm for those keeping track at home.
The Heavenly Bodies vs. The Thrillseekers
This match is probably more infamous than famous because Jericho broke his arm the morning of the show and still wrestled the match with a cast. He also bleeds buckets in the match, which not only adds to the match, but gives you a great visual to look at as well if you do like some blood in matches. The story here carries this one, as it ends up being the best match on the entire DVD and as you know, both Jericho and Storm go on to do better things.
– Promo time in the back again as “The Dirty White Boy” is talking some smack to Terry Gordy before their SMW Title Match
Dirty White Boy vs. Terry Gordy (SMW Title Match)
Well, at this point Gordy wasn’t really Gordy anymore and The Dirty White Boy couldn’t do much to make this one saveable. They end up stumbling around, punching, kicking, and choking, but the match is sort of a mess that never gets off the ground. Which is a shame for a show this big and it being THE SMW Title match. Thankfully, it wasn’t the main event.
– If you thought the last video package was long, we recap the entire Bob Armstrong/Jim Cornette feud here as we are leading into the big “Coward Waves the Flag” six man main event.
Hawk, Tracy Smothers & Bob Armstrong vs. Terry Funk, Dory Funk Jr. & Bruiser Bedlam (Coward Waves the Flag)
Legend Ron White is taking care of the flag for the good guys, while Cornett has the flag for his men. This just a brawl all around the ring type match for the most part, which is fun, but sort of hard to keep up with here a bit. The match is still fun enough and gives us some legends to see in a place we aren’t use to seeing them. Not a bad way to end the show.
– Wrestler Bios
– Alternative Commentary with Jim Cornette and Dave Meltzer