Welcome ladies & gentlemen, boys & girls, children of all ages. Today, I bring you NWA Powerrr through telegram, fax, and possibly via homing pigeon. For just three cents a week, you can sign up to our newsletter which may be delivered by horse, dog, or camel (depending on living status) right to your door. We’re going so retro that the light bulb could still be considered a miracle invention. But before we get in to the show itself, let’s dive head first in to a little song known as “Into The Fire”; just to get us in the mood.
Is It Time Travel?
Have you ever seen Doctor Who? Well, it’s almost like the NWA asked The Doctor for a favour. Getting major compliments from former wrestlers The Rock & Edge, the NWA’s new weekly program (found exclusively on their YouTube channel) has captured the hearts and imaginations of many. ‘Member when wrestling was great? Well, that’s what NWA Powerrr attempts to recreate.
It takes all the elements from professional wrestling in the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s, and incorporates them into a 2019 production with current wrestling stars. Part of its appeal is that it’s only an hour-long and we can watch it anytime we like. And while there’s tons of wrestling out there, this piece attempts to outline the reasons behind adding it to my ever-increasing weekly schedule. There’s so much wrestling to watch(!), but why should we waste an hour a week on something resembling a bygone era ? Is NWA Powerrr worth our time? Does the gimmick work? And just how long can they do shows in this fashion before it gets really old?
– Billy Corgan (lead singer of Smashing Pumpkins, formerly co-owned Impact Wrestling) has done an amazing job of taking a once dominant governing body, and dragging it out from the doldrums of bingo halls and school gymnasiums. Restoring prestige to the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship, Nick Aldis (fka Magnus in TNA) often cites himself as the “real World Champion”; referring to the fact the NWA title is directly connected to the Original World Heavyweight Championship last held by Lou Thesz. Aldis carries himself like a champion, and has somehow made his reign believable.
– The presentation of the show sees the audience, commentary table and interview panel close to the ring, along with flags on display to show how international the NWA’s always been. And as it’s all taped in the same studio, I bet it saves a ton of money in production. I also enjoy the intimacy of it, as the crowd often join in during promos and are loud enough (during matches) to make it sound like there’s more attending than there actually is.
– Speaking of promos, you can find some of the most entertaining segments right here. The roster has a few guys who are nothing but shy on the mic, and the fan participation makes it sound more real and organic. Aron Stevens (fka Damien Sandow) for example, is reaching ‘Freddie Mercury’ status when it comes to getting the fans to react to every little thing he does. It’s a pleasure to watch, and it goes to show what can be done when talents are given creative freedoms.
– While I am impressed by the army of former WWE/TNA/ROH guys: Nick Aldis, James Storm, Colt Cabana, Trevor Murdoch, Mr. Anderson, Eli Drake, Thom Latimer AKA Bram, Eddie Kingston, Homicide, Allysin Kay AKA Sienna, Marti Belle, Caleb Konley etc. The NWA have already created some new stars in the process. I would say I am most impressed by The Dawsons tag team, Tim Storm, Thunder Rosa and Ricky Starks. I also want to give a special mention to Aldis’ manager Kamille; who has made quite the name for herself despite not saying a single word as of this writing.
– I love the look of the titles, and they have the right balance for a 1 hour show: the NWA World, NWA National, NWA World Women’s, and NWA World Tag Team titles. There’s no time for anymore.
– With the show being in its infancy and being praised so highly already, Billy Corgan has promised more is on the way; including a more active NWA PPV schedule. Corgan has expressed a desire to build a wrestling promotion for many years. This is likely the best chance he will ever have to achieve success and realize his dreams.
– While the show is short, there’s still room to have some decent matches sometimes. Usually the best contests are saved for the main event though. They’ve got plenty of guys who can put on good matches, but time restraints mean they have to be very selective over who gets the opportunities to work the show.
Some of this stuff is subjective or may be things I’m reading too much into. There’s nothing super wrong with the show, but of course… no show can, or will ever be perfect for everyone.
– The first thing most will notice is how quick the matches are. I know we’re used to this in WWE, but NWA Powerrr’s average match time is even shorter. This could be a deliberate nod to old school booking though, when it was standard practice. They can only work 3-5 matches in to each episode, so it’s understandable that they keep matches short to get more talent booked. But if you’re a fan of longer matches? You’ll have to wait for PPVs.
– Jim Cornette is still there despite being known for screwing up by being needlessly controversial: NWA Releases Statement over Jim Cornette’s Recent Controversial Remarks – It’s cool to have a connection to the old school ways from a guy who has seen it all, but Cornette is an acquired taste. Something I noticed from this weeks episode was a line he said about the women. I’d have to go back and find the exact quote, but he said something like: “I’m not usually a fan of the women wrestlers, but I like this Thunder Rosa”.
I don’t want him to lose his job or whatever, but if you really hate Cornette… or if you don’t care for his outdated view on wrestling? Then I can see him being a turn off for you. If you can get past his loud, blunt opinions, he makes for a decent commentator most the time.
– Not to agree with Cornette in anyway, but the women’s division is the weakest. They have a long way to go if they want it to be anywhere near Impact, AEW’s or NXT’s.
– Billy Corgan still feels resentment towards Anthem Sports and Impact Wrestling. Anthem bought the promotion from under his nose after he did so much to help Impact from going under. Because of this, the NWA refuses to do any business with Impact Wrestling (which is a shame as they could really help each other), but they are willing to cross promote with others.
– The commercials between matches are regularly produced in a retro style which some may find very alien. It can work well at times, but at others it can come across as cheap. The psychedelic throwbacks will elicit feelings of nostalgia from older viewers, but it may confuse the younger audience who never watched TV in the 70’s/80’s. One of my favourites is Nick Aldis selling the upcoming RetroMania(!) video game.
As first seen on #NWAPowerrr (even the commercials are can't-miss)
Play as me, compete in the NWA Powerrr Studio level, even challenge for the #tenpoundsofgold!
Coming in 2020…brother pic.twitter.com/Qe1qrPVjqH
— What's causin' Aldis (@RealNickAldis) November 7, 2019
The fact that NWA Powerrr has already established itself speaks volumes. It tells us there is a niche to adopt gimmicks like this; showing the world there’s more than one way to market wrestling. We go to museums to learn history, and if anyone wants to see how wrestling used to be? They can tune in to Powerrr and get an idea. There’s so many great talents who have been overlooked in recent years wanting to prove their worth, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a few more join their ranks soon. Melina is set to return this week, which could be an interesting addition to an otherwise weak women’s division.
How long will Nick Aldis hang on to the Worlds Championship with guys like James Storm breathing down his neck? Just how great of a tag team can The Dawsons get? And will Kamille ever speak!? We’re only six episodes in, and I think they’re doing an awesome job with the roster. However, we do have to consider Powerrr’s long-term prospects. Will this old school gimmick become popular? Is it bound to go the same way as the former NWA/WCW?
Usually, when wrestling relies on nostalgia and maintaining the age-old formula, it soon becomes tiresome and stagnates. You have to move forward to grow, and at some point Billy Corgan (and co.) may have to consider producing shows with a more modern feel. It depends on the wrestling fan; will this style be considered a timeless classic? Or an old-fashioned rehash of a magical time which can never be relived? For now, I’ll enjoy everything they give us; along with the new stars who will sprout from the electricity of NWA Powerrr. The important thing is they are giving us yet another alternative, for the talent and fans alike.
What do you think of NWA Powerrr? Are you enjoying it as much as other shows? Or did you try watching but didn’t get it? How could they improve the show? Please let us know your thoughts on NWA Powerrr, and who the next breakout star will be. Have a good day, and thanks for reading.