What’s old is new again with the premiere episode of NWA Powerrr! Also, properrr spelling is apparently with three R’s. Anyway, the environment is clearly an attempt to recapture the look and feel of the studio setting from the classic Crockett tapings. More on that later, but first, the results!
Speaking of retro, the opening montage was set to “Into The Fire” by Dokken. We see glimpses of James Storm, Tim Storm, NWA Womens Champion Allysin Kaye, Tag Team Champions The Wild Cards, and of course NWA World Champion Nick Aldis. Announcers Joe Galli and Jim Cornette welcomed us to the show, and Cornette quickly but thoroughly ran down the history of wrestling in Atlanta.
David Marquez interviewed NWA Champion Nick Aldis who said it was coming up on one year as champion. Actually, with the exception of Cody’s run, Aldis has been champion for the better part of three years. But anyway, Aldis also put over the other champions James Storm, and Allysin Kaye. He said anything from the food on his son’s table to his Jaguar has been paid by wrestling.
The Dawsons b. Sal Rinaouro & Billy Buck when Dawson #1 pinned Buck with a powerslam – This was a great squash match. Right down to Sal chopping Dawson #1 and then running for his life when the chop got no-sold. The finish saw Dawson #1 lift up Buck for a powerslam. Dawson #2 then ran into #1 to squish Buck with their girth.
After the match, The Dawsons cut a heel promo to the crowd.
Austin Idol cut a promo for his wrestling school.
Eli Drake was interviewed and cut a promo putting himself and the NWA over.
Eli Drake p. Caleb Conley with a Gravy Train – This was a bit of an Impact reunion since both guys were on Impact wrestling earlier this year. It was also a bit more competitive.
A video from Championship Wrestling From Hollywood aired recapping Tim Storm’s latest championship challenge where Aldis granted the title shot under the condition that it was Storm’s final title shot.
Back in the studio, Josephus interrupted the show saying “Get Storm out here!”. Since losing his hair and beard, and adopting a more traditional attire, Josephus looks a bit more like Jim Duggan than Bruiser Brody. James Storm then made his way out, playing up that there are two men names Storm in the promotion. The two had a pull apart as they went to break.
NWA Tag Team Champions Wildcard (Tom Latimer & Royce Isaacs) b. Danny White & Mims when Latimer pinned White after Isaacs hit a German Suplex – Another squash that made the heels look strong.
Wildcard cut a heel promo when Eddie Kingston interrupted. He called Latimer “Bram” and said they don’t speak for the outlaws. Latimer pushed the desk (and Marquez) aside and got in Kingston’s face. Homicide came out to back up Kingston. Somehow Josephus and James Storm came to blows elsewhere, and they went to commercial.
An ad showing the strong positive fan reaction aired. One of the fans was the “It’s still real to me dammit” guy.
When they came back from break Storm continued to chase Josephus around the studio like something out of a Benny Hill sketch. Storm got in the ring and motioned for Josephus to get in. However, Josephus showed that he would not get into the ring until Storm put his hands behind his back.
James Storm p. Josephus with a superkick – Storm turned his back completely and Josephus finally got in the ring. Before Josephus could attack, Storm hit the superkick and got the pin.
After the match, Storm hit a second superkick and put Josephus’s thumb into his own mouth, making him look like a sleeping baby.
Another video recapped Tim Storm’s run as NWA Champion. Storm came out and cut a promo saying he would reclaim the title.
NWA World Champion Nick Aldis w/Camille p. Tim Storm with a small package – Storm outfought Aldis early on. Aldis was able to gain control by ramming Storm into the ringpost on the floor. The crowd chanted “Mama Storm” as Storm made his comeback. Storm used a Figure Four and also hit a Superplex. When Aldis kicked out Storm hit a top rope cross-body for another near fall. Aldis dodged a somersault senton and hit his own top rope elbow to regain control of the match. Aldis put Storm in the Cloverleaf. Storm made the rope break and shoved Aldis into referee Brian Hebner. This moved Hebner enough so the referee couldn’t see Storm hit a low blow. Storm followed up with a Perfect Storm but Aldis kicked out. Again Storm climed to the top rope. Aldis met him and knocked each other to the floor. While still on the floor, Aldis tried for a lariat. Storm ducked and Aldis knocked Camille to the floor. Back in the ring, Storm went for a suplex only for Aldis to reverse into a small package and get the pin.
After the match, the fans chanted “NWA”. Aldis cut a promo saying that Storm was authentic as they come. Joe tried to ask Camille questions that she did not answer. Aldis and Camille left as they went to credits.
Overall, this was a successful debut. I personally think they tried a little too hard to look like a 1980s studio show. I love nostalgia as much as the next guy, but I don’t think there’s any longevity to it. Of all promotions, I think it was TNA that did a good job of presenting 21st Century Studio Wrestling. Obviously I’m not saying NWA needs to copy TNA entirely, but I think there is a happy medium between Studio Nostalgia and a 21st Century feel that can be achieved with a little tweaking.
That said, the overboard on nostalgia was the only low point. All the wrestlers were clear cut babyfaces and heels. All the announcers did their jobs and let the audience think for themselves. And above all, the in-ring content was good. The main event isn’t going to top anybody’s Match Of The Year lists, but it was a fitting final chapter to a rivalry.
Next week, Allysin Kay is advertised and we already know The Rock & Roll Express will be around soon.