Commentators: Joe Galli & Jim Cornette
The National Wrestling Alliance is putting on a weekly studio wrestling show in 201bygawd19. Of course I watched it. But will I continue? Let’s find out!
- NWA WORLD’S HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: “The National Treasure” Nick Aldis
- NWA NATIONAL HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: “The Cowboy” James Storm
- NWA WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPION: Allysin Kay
- NWA TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Wild Cards (Tom Latimer & Royce Isaacs)
- The Dawsons vs. Sal Rinauro & Billy Buck
- Eli Drake vs. Caleb Konley (**1/2)
- The Wild Cards vs. Danny White & Mims
- James Storm vs. Jocephus
- Nick Aldis [c] vs. Tim Storm for the NWA WORLD’S HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (***)
-Opening 80s-ass montage with 80s-ass Dokken tune “Into the Fire”. YEEEEEAH.
-Galli and Cornette welcome the home audience, and Cornette goes into a quick history lesson of studio wrestling’s history in Atlanta. Now it’s back.
-Cut to the interview area where Dave Marquez (the PERFECT hire if you want a Solie-sounding voice) welcomes World Champ Nick Aldis and his manager (?) Kamille. Aldis puts over the other champions in the NWA and how this is a company of MEN, not BOYS. WCW would shake their fist if they weren’t long dead and also a person instead of a company. Aldis is dressed to the nines to give off that Flair-style World Champion vibe and he definitely looks the part.
The Dawsons (Sam & Zane Dawson) defeated Sal Rinauro & Billy Buck (1:44)
THE GRAPHIC OVERLAYS, MAN. The first match in the new NWA is a squash for the Dawsons, a hossy hoss hoss tag team that make short work of Rinauro (who did a GREAT job selling) and Buck with a splash/slam combo.
-The Dawsons join Marquez into the interview area and say they own the National Wrestling Alliance now. Who will topple these monsters? We will find out.
–Austin Idol here to hype his pro wrestling school, including a “Promotional Consideration Paid for by the Following” read in his best terrible British accent. I LOVE IT. Commercial is straight up local TV-style too. NWA is committed to the look and I respect it.
-Galli welcomes Eli Drake out. More about the NWA being full of men and how Atlanta is NWA country. He’s easily the most charismatic man on the roster and I hope he gets one of the singles titles sooner rather than later.
Eli Drake defeated Caleb Konley (4:25)
A tight, competitive four-and-a-half-minute match. Konley was technically in the enhancement position for this one but he had some great bouts of offense until Drake’s experience helped him win in the end with the Gravy Train. I enjoyed this a lot. (**1/2)
-Video hypes the Nick Aldis/Tim Storm main event. If Storm loses he never gets another shot at the World Heavyweight Championship.
-Galli and Cornette’s conversation is interrupted by Jocephus, who continually calls for STORM, including through the “commercial break”. Commentators thinks he means TIM, but instead out comes JAMES Storm, the National Heavyweight Champion. Storm calls Jocephus a fake tough weekend warrior, and obviously a brawl breaks out because that sh*t was rude. Officials break it up…for now.
The Wild Cards (Tom Latimer & Royce Isaacs) defeated Danny White & Mims (2:07)
A showcase squash for the NWA World Tag Team Champions, who came together at the Crockett Cup earlier in the year en route to forming a cohesive tag team.
-The Wild Cards’ post-match interview is interrupted by Eddie Kingston of all people, feeling REAL out of place in the old school-feeling NWA but in a good way. Kingston makes fun of Latimer, calling him Bram (his TNA name), and The Wild Cards wipe out the interview desk to get in his face. Out comes Homicide to back Kingston up, but THEY’RE interrupted by James Storm and Jocephus, who are still brawling. They fight up the stairs in the crowd and around the ring, Jocephus rolls Storm in and a ref runs out as a match is apparently happening…
“The Cowboy” James Storm defeated Jocephus (0:19)
…sort-of. Jocephus calls for Storm to put his hands behind his back, and then to turn around. He enters the ring, bell rings, and Storm lays him out with the Last Call (Superkick) to get the win. After the match Storm connects with a second Last Call then sticks Jocephus’ thumb into his own mouth and lays him on the mat like a baby. Jocephus used to be part of Billy Corgan’s Chicago indie I forgot the name of so I’m not surprised to see him here as well.
-Another Aldis/Tim Storm hype video plays, this time highlighting the 50+ year old Storm’s Cinderella story…which came to an end when Aldis beat him for the title two years ago.
-Tim Storm comes out to ringside for some pre-match comments, talking about his 94 year old mother (cue the “MOMMA STORM” chants) and how nothing is more important to him than the World Title. It’s a great impassioned promo. Storm was the World Champ when Corgan first took over and people spoke highly of his reign and the “Ten Pounds of Gold” YouTube series that followed him and his story, but I never watched any of that. Now I kind of wish I did.
“The National Treasure” Nick Aldis [c] [w/ Kamille] defeated Tim Storm to retain the NWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (12:08)
Storm is a house of fire to start, forcing the champ to retreat at every conceivable opportunity to break his momentum. Action moves to the floor, Aldis sends Storm into the post to take control, which includes a few restholds as well as a great chop from Aldis that he celebrates Steamboat-style. I appreciated that a lot. Storm mounts a comeback and, sensing that this might be his last chance, TAKES TO THE AIR with a flying crossbody (ugly but in a great way) and a Superplex. Aldis accidentally hits the ref and Storm HITS A LOW BLOW into the Perfect Storm but the champ kicks out just in time, dashing his challenger’s hopes. Both men tumble to the floor after a headbutt and Aldis accidentally clotheslines Kamille. Storm sends Aldis into the post and rolls him into the ring; back inside Storm goes for a suplex but Aldis counters with an inside cradle for the 1…2…3! Aldis retains and Storm can no longer challenge for the World Title. Bummer.
It had moments that were a little slower than I would have liked but I thought the match told a great story, especially with Storm trying things he’s not comfortable doing in order to pull out a win and ascend back to the top of the mountain. The action was good and impactful, and Aldis barely escaping with the win made Storm look good in defeat. Good main event for the first ever episode. (***)
-Aldis walks over to Galli at the interview area, and puts over Storm as one of the most authentic people he’s ever met in pro wrestling, a helluva champion and man. Galli tries to ask Kamille about getting clotheslined but she refuses to speak and Aldis tell him to shove it with his attempts at clickbait. Aldis salutes Storm one more time before the show concludes, COMPLETE WITH CREDITS.
FINAL THOUGHTS: NWA Powerrr was everything I was hoping for. The aesthetic, from the production to the look of the studio, was damn-near perfect and did a great job hitting that nostalgia sweet spot while also presenting a compelling show that breezed by. The presentation was tremendous, even if seeing 80s-inspired graphics on a show shot in 1080p took a bit to get used to. What an hour of joy this was, and I can’t wait to watch next week’s show. This might be the weekly wrestling show I have been waiting for.