Today, we are going to take a little walk down memory lane and have a look at what happened to Smoky Mountain Wrestling.
Smoky Mountain Wrestling is a little-known wrestling promotion that was founded in 1991 by Jim Cornette who had, at the time, just left WCW.
Other names that helped in the founding of this promotion were:
- Tim Horner
- Sandy Scott
- ‘Sweet’ Stan Lane
The money bag behind the whole thing was Rick Rubin, who is a well-known wrestling fan and music producer.
Smoky Mountain Wrestling was based in Tennessee, Knoxville to be precise. The first of its events were held towards the end of 1991 and were aired in February 1992.
And although there were very high hopes of the promotion being a success, this was not to be as only a few years later it would close its doors and effectively run out of business.
Why did Smoky Mountain Wrestling go out of business?
Below we shall have a look at some of the reasons that led to the eventual demise of Smoky Mountain Wrestling:
- They opted to bring back to life the old-time territory days of wrestling and this was really tough to do at the time as other more modern wrestling promotions like the WWF were very quickly growing at the time. Jim Cornette, in 1993, decided to work hand in hand with the WWF to bring in that extra spark that was missing but this did very little to inject some much-needed life into the SMW.
- The SMW could also not secure a lucrative TV deal and needless to say, this hampered in a big way their financial growth and exposure to a lot of the general public.
- It is also said that the man behind the money, Rick Rubin, decided to withdraw his financial backing on realizing that the promotion was not going to be a fruitful business venture after all. Jim Cornette pointed that if the promotion was to go on for a few more months then he would have had to dig into his own pockets for funds and this was not a risk that he was willing to embark on.
- Other wrestling promotions had the resources to acquire lucrative TV deals that reached out to a far wider audience and this, in turn, led to the SMW’s total obliteration from the wrestling industry.
Jim Cornette, after giving up on Smoke Mountain Wrestling, joined the WWE and went on to have a very solid career there where he held several roles from manager, colorful commentator to being a member of the booking committee.
They did, however, churn out some very decent wrestlers and some of them went on to do very well in other wrestling promotions when the SMW went out of business.
Some of these wrestlers were Tracy Smothers, who was a fan-favorite and widely loved by all SMW fans at the time. He, however, died on October 8th, 2020 of Lymphoma.
The Dirty White Boy and Boo Bradley were others that went on to make a name for themselves in other wrestling promotions..