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Smokey Mountain High

It was time to hit the road and check out the small but very cool Smokey Mountain Wrestling group. I called my friend Jim Cornette and he said to please make a few signs for Tracy Smothers.

Smothers was being pushed as the top baby face in this group and he needed a little help getting over. If a sign or two could help, I was more than willing to do it after all that night my friend Diamond Dan Grondy was wrestling on the show.

This TV taping was in Lenoir North Carolina at a small rec center and it was going to be a blast. I had quite a crew with me, Obin, Big Eddie, Mike Gunter, Bruce and Bud Grondy too. Bud could get a little too excited whenever Dan wrestled so part of my job was to remind Bud that Dan was fine and this was all a show.

Once in Burlington, Bud just about hit the bleaches to save Dan from a crowd of frothing rednecks. I swear I had to grab the guy and calm him down. But looking back I should have let him go. Bud is a big guy and with Dan, they could have cleaned house and then I could have told you a really cool story.

So we get to Lenoir and a crowd of about two fifty in attendance. At the Smokey Mountain shows the promotion would set up tables for the good guys to sell gimmicks and to sign autographs before the show started. At one of the tables was the Rock and Roll Express and I stopped by to say hello to Little Ricky Morton. Morton and I go way back and he was very friendly. As we talked, Robert Gibson wanted to know if we made him any signs. He had noticed the Tracy signs in the audience and he wanted a push.

I just looked at him and said, "Hell no! You guys are already over and Smothers needs some help!"

Morton thought that was very funny but Gibson was pissed.
Hey pal, I am working for the booker, not you.

I did have one Rock and Roll poster in my stack but I wasnít telling Ricky and Robert! After all the crap I gave those guys, one simple sign would shock the hell out of them.

This was going to be a ton of fun because it was a TV taping and every one of the big names in this promotion was going to rassle that night.

About three or four matches out walks Dan and his partner Robbie Eagle. (Yes, the guy that became The Maestro on WCW.) The ring announcer then announces that Dan is now, "John Hitchcock, from Parts Unknown!"

I just about lost a ball laughing at that one!

It turned out that Dan asked Jimmy Cornette if he could come out as John Hitchcock. Cornette looked at him and said, "From Parts Unknown!" They both thought it would be a blast to mess with me and I was quite honored.

And Eagle and Hitchcock's opponents, The Rock and Roll Express!

Ricky and Robert both walked to the ring and Ricky looked at me and said, "Is that your brother? I always wanted to kick your ass!"

The TV taping caught this whole moment perfectly. As the match began, you could see me holding a poster for the Rock and Roll.

Now this is a very odd thing to think about. I am on the front row cheering against myself!

But the really classic part of this was the TV announcers calling the match were Mid-Atlantic Legend Bob Caudle and Dutch Mantel. When 'John Hitchcock' lost the match to the dreaded Double Drop Kick, the match call was absolutely hysterical.
Mantel says, "Well, a double Drop Kick may work on a John Hitchcock but I doubt it will work that well on the Moondogs!"

Hitchcock now an established jobber, then gets to taste a run in by those same Moondogs later in the show. And trust me that coward Hitchcock took one shot from a stop sign and just laid there like a dead fish.

But to be truthfully honest would any one expect any more effort from a bum like me?

I found out later that the other guy in the ring carrying Hitchcock volunteered to take the vacuum cleaner shot from the Moondogs so maybe Hitchcock was a little smarter than I thought. This match was very, very brutal and I was glad that the Bizarro World Hitchcock was in the ring instead of me.

And with a little luck our pal Billy of TVparty will put up a few clips of my cowardice for your enjoyment.

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