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Another great match on the card was the "Legend " match pitting Dick Slater and Bob Orton, Jr. against The Mongolian Stomper and Ronnie "Hands of Stone" Garvin. Though it had been close to ten years since Slater and Orton worked together, the former NWA World Tag Team Champions displayed teamwork like they were still defending the prestigious straps. Garvin and the Stomper were no pushovers however and had a few tricks of their own. The teams fought to a double disqualification as the crowd went wild to salute a great match and four legitimate wrestling legends. 

However, the most phenomenal match of the night was between Jim Cornette's Heavenly Bodies (Tom Prichard and Jimmy Del Ray) and the Thrillseekers (Chris Jericho and Lance Storm). SMW was the first U.S. promotion to give the future Y2J and Mr. " ... If I can be serious for a minute ..." a break. It all started innocently enough, when Jericho and Storm were presented a cake by the fans at a TV taping. Jim Cornette (apparently not learning his lesson from Mid-South Wrestling) interrupted the interview, proceeded to insult Storm and Jericho and ended up with a bigger piece of the cake than he intended to get, if you catch my drift. (The 'Seekers shoved his ugly mug in the cake...) The next week, as Storm and Jericho were signing an autograph for a young fan, Jim Cornette and two men dressed in black and wearing ski masks attacked them and proceeded to beat the beloved heroes black and blue. (I always wondered why the assault took place in front of the video camera... didn't the 'Bodies know that got the L.A.P.D. in trouble???) Storm and Jericho knew it was the Heavenly Bodies who attacked them and asked the World Wrestling Federation to send Prichard and Del Ray back to SMW so they could get their revenge. The Thrillseekers took the fight right to The Heavenly Bodies and got their ten pounds of flesh that night... along with a few pints of blood. In Knoxville on Aug. 5, 1994... two superstars were born and their names were Chris Jericho and Lance Storm. Cornette and company learned the hard way what folks in Smoky Mountain already knew... Storm and Jericho were FOR REAL! 

The legends ceremony was excellent. Ron and Don Wright, Don and Al Greene (who, as pointed out by Hall of Famer Les Thatcher, in the segments leading up to the inductions in weeks past on TV, were the first team to use the Moniker of "The Heavenly Bodies"), J.C. "Whitey" Caldwell, Don Bass, and a man who a few years later became a personal friend of mine, Nelson Royal. On a personal note, I would like to add my thanks to the men in the Knoxville Hall of Fame. Were it not for them, there would have been no Smoky Mountain Wrestling. 

I would like to thank Jim Cornette for bringing Smoky Mountain Wrestling to life. As I sit and write this column and think about SMW and the guys who worked there, the words of a Boys II Men song come to my mind... "... It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday..."


Bob Armstrong vs. Jim Cornette

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