Welcome NWA Fam to this week’s review of NWA Powerrr. It’s set to be a big show, with Jax Dane finally getting his hands on Slice Boogie in a falls count anywhere match, while the team of Chris Adonis and Tom Latimer are set to face NWA Tag Team Champions Aron Stevens and Kratos in the main event!
Let’s go down to the ring and get into it!
Are Strictly Business On The Same Page?
We open this week with Nick Aldis, Thom Latimer, Chris Adonis and Kamille at the podium with Joe Galli, and boy, is Nick Aldis not happy. Claiming Billy Corgan wants to live in the attitude era rather than the “gratitude era”, Aldis criticised Galli, May Valentine (who apparently undressed him with his eyes), and the fact that the NWA were holding a 14-man battle royal to determine who would challenge him for the most prestigious title in the world. “What are we doing here?” asked Aldis, seemingly unaware of the irony that several fans have been saying the same thing about the battle royal, feeling it to beneath the Ten Pounds of Gold.
Further to his point, Aldis praised his partners in crime, Chris Adonis and Thom Latimer, and claimed Latimer would have been the TV champion had Pope not spent the match running around the ring like Usain Bolt. He also praised Kamille as the next Women’s champion. Kamille putting Joe Galli down in quite a sweet way, using the fact they follow each other on social media to put down Joe as thinking they’re friend, was a nice touch.
Aldis wasn’t finished, however. He referred to the fact that current NWA champions can’t take part in the battle royal. With that in mind, Aldis said that Billy Corgan is not going to drive a wedge between Strictly Business and that the tag match was off. Clearly, this hadn’t been discussed, as Adonis, Latimer and Kamille all looked shocked and upset by the announcement. But Aldis was adamant. The match wasn’t happening.
As he led his band of unmerry men and woman away from the podium, the question popped up in my mind: surely Aldis wants Latimer to get the tag titles? Then it would mean he wouldn’t be challenged by his second-in-command in the battle royal. Ah, but therin lies the logic. When Aldis said he had to think about the team, he really meant himself. If Latimer wins the battle royal, can we safely assume Aldis will expect him to lie down so that Aldis can keep the title?
I think so. But I don’t see Latime lying down either…
Matthew Mimms vs. Matt Cross
This was a number one contender’s match for the NWA TV title. Did Mimms and Cross not fall down the rankings after losing to Tyrus the other week? Maybe Mimms and Cross are the rankings. I mean, give Jordan Clearwater a shot. You’re not doing anything with him at the moment.
Still, this was a good match in that Cross’ aerial ability was countered by the power of the ‘Big Strong Boy’, who threw Cross around easily, slinging him into the corner and pulling him off the top turnbuckle so Cross cracked his head on the buckle. A spine buster looked to put Cross away but a springboard cutter out of nowhere gave Cross the victory.
I do think Mimms would have benefited more from getting the win but Cross is certainly a solid talent that will be able to have a good match with Pope.
The Pope Can’t Take a Compliment
As Mimms and Cross left, Tyrus and Austin Idol made an appearance at the podium, demanding Pope make an appearance. Confronted by the TV champion, Idol took a new tact. He told Pope he likes what he’s doing and gave him the back-handed compliment of congratulating him on keeping up with Tyrus—although, with a couple of more minutes, Idol reckoned Tyrus would have won!
Idol wanted to finish by shaking Pope’s hand for being four wins away from being able to challenge for the Ten Pounds of Gold. This gesture seemed to rattle Pope, as he walked away without saying a word. The mind games of Idol might just be starting to take their toll…
Aron Stevens Believes in the Tradition of the Titles
Backstage with May Valentine, Aron Stevens didn’t seem concerned about whether Strictly Business would appear for their title match in the main event, instead insisting that since his change in attitude, his focus had become centred on representing the Tag Titles as best he could.
Asked by May about Kratos, Stevens acknowledged he brought Kratos in as a mercenary, a job he did very well. However, Stevens felt Orator should do things more by the book to honour the Tradition of the titles and believes Kratos can change.
Stevens is really nailing this change in character. He’s going to be disappointed by Kratos, though. Speaking of Kratos…
Sal Rinauro vs. JR Kratos
Sal gave a brief promo at the podium beforehand where he said that he was living his dream by being in the NWA, but Kratos had disrespected him and, while Sal appreciated the help he’s received from May Valentine, Tim Storm and Danny Deals, he has to deal with this by himself.
At first, he wasn’t doing too bad, moving just enough to frustrate the big man. However, a massive knee, to counter a springboard dive, near enough killed Sal. It should have been a three count but Kratos pulled Sal up at two, clearly wanting to hurt the guy further. A brutal-looking German suplex finally got the 1-2-3 as Sal looked like he was going to feel that one for weeks.
Thunder Rosa To Put AEW On The Line?
I’d be lying if I said I was looking forward to another podium summit between Thunder Rosa and Kamille. Thankfully, this time both Rosa and Kamille were allowed to speak and consequently this segment greatly improved on their previous one.
It also helped that Rosa showed real passion and pride as she spoke about the difficulties NWA women have had while trying to wrestle and that even people like Mildred Burke still don’t really get the respect they deserve, which is something Rosa thinks about every time she represents the NWA and women’s wrestling.
Intriguingly, Kamille picked on Ross’s social media, claiming the Brickhouse only needs to show how good she is, she doesn’t have to see it all the time too. She also took exception to Rosa claiming to represent the NWA when she is seen wrestling regularly elsewhere. It’s an interesting point, except—does that make Rosa the heel here? That’s the only thing I’m confused about. Because it’s true; Kamille has stuck it out with the NWA. She hasn’t gone elsewhere.
Kamille laid down the stipulation; if Rosa wants a shot at her number one contendership for the Women’s Title, she needs to put her ability to wrestle in other companies on the line too, meaning Rosa will only be able to wrestle in the NWA if she loses. Rosa agrees, which brings up an interesting scenario; Rosa can’t lose because she’s obviously going to appear in AEW. If Kamille loses though, does she fall back a step by losing the number one contendership? It’s curious, to say the least.
Still, after several weeks, I’m finally invested in this feud. Good work.
Falls Count Anywhere: Jax Dane vs. Slice Boogie
This had the potential to be a barn burner and thankfully it didn’t disappoint as both men went straight for each other with flying fists as the bell rang. Dane seemed to get the advantage early, slicing Boogie down with a ferocious clothesline and colossal belly to belly suplex. Boogie slid to the outside though and as Jax joined him, Boogie moved out of the way of the charging big man, who consequently went crashing shoulder-first into the steel ring post. Ouch!
Boogie went on the attack, smashing Dane into the podium, battering him with blows and a big kick to the head. These only earned him a couple of two counts on the floor. Slice found the time to say hello to Tim Storm on commentary as he threw a series of chops at Dane. The big man seemed unfazed, however, and he returned fire with one hell of a chop in return. I mean, that was WALTER-esque.
Boogie tried to reclaim the advantage with a suplex on the floor but Dane countered it into a suplex of his own for a two count. Boogie returned fire by dropping Dane on the apron and sitting him on a chair for an attempted kick. Dane, though, near-killed Boogie by standing up and dropping him with a forearm sandwich for a two count. Boogie slammed Jax’s face into the steel steps before kicking said steps into Dane. A flying leap from the steps were countered with a catch and a charge into the ring post, smashing Boogie in the back and earning Dane another two count for a near fall.
Boogie regained the advantage by sending Dane straight into the ring post before hitting an insane running dive over the top rope onto Dane on the floor. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Boogie do that before and it looked damn impressive. The move did have the consequence, however, of bringing out Jax Dane’s tag partner, Crimson, as Boogie slammed a steel chair down hard over Dane’s back. Dane was noticeably carrying a towel. Bear that in mind.
Boogie carried on hitting Dane with hard shots with the chair, all the while telling Crimson to throw in the towel. Crimson refused. Boogie retaliated by wrapping the chair around Dane’s head and neck and sitting him in the corner. Whatever would have followed would not have benefitted Dane’s health, I’m sure. This was the final straw for Crimson, who threw the towel in only for Boogie to catch and throw it back. In the meantime, Dane got up and charged at Boogie, who moved, leaving Dane to slam right into Crimson on the apron and sending his partner down to the concrete studio floor with an almighty smack.
Seeing the condition of his partner, Dane, who was more concerned about his injured partner, threw in the towel to end the match so he could take care of his friend. While Boogie celebrated, two refs and Dane walked Crimson out, who sold his bump much better than Dane did several weeks ago…
A Note On Crimson/Dane Online Criticism
I’ve seen criticism of this match online, mainly for the ending. I’ll start by saying I hated the Dane bump angle they did several weeks ago. I thought the bump in question was not enough to suspend disbelief on the fact Dane was hurt. With this match, it’s a different story. I might be in a minority and that’s fine, it’s not a competition, but I really, really enjoyed this one. Everything up to the ending was brilliant. Both men went at each other with fire and fury and there was a genuine heat to what they were doing. Both men took some big bumps that made sense to the match and added to the sense of drama and tension. In fact, I’d go so far as to say this was the best I’ve seen Boogie and that this really should be seen as a star-making encounter. This was Boogie hitting the next level for me.
As for the ending? Again, I sort of see where people are coming from, but I didn’t hate it. At all. It made more sense, in fact, this time. Remember when Dane took that bump previously? It was Crimson who got mad because Dane left him on his own. This time, Crimson who was the one who actually brought in the towel, and Dane wanted to take care of his friend, the opposite to Crimson’s reaction last time. I fully expect Crimson to turn on Dane soon and denounce his friend as having lost his killer edge, leading Crimson to want to beat it back into him. It wouldn’t surprise me if the towel was a set-up too.
Would I rather see the War Kings together dominating the tag division? Yes, absolutely. Especially when the division’s a little thin at the moment. But am I enjoying where this Crimson/Dane story is going? I am now. The pieces are starting to fall into place and, as we were presented with a fine match before the angle, I have absolutely no issues with what went down and I am invested now in where this story is going.
Which is more than I can say about everything…
Strictly Business Has Left The Building
It should have been main event time: Latimer and Adonis taking on the tag champs for the titles. But it seems like Nick Aldis is a man of his word. As Joe Galli, Tim Storm and Velvet Sky fumbled with their headsets, it emerged they were being told by the producer that Strictly Business had left the building. What? So get more challengers in, no? No, as it turns out. Joe Galli even asked that question before he told viewers there would be no main event. And that was that. Show over.
This is not good business, strictly or otherwise.
Since returning in March, there have been several swerves on advertised matches, with these matches either not happening when advertised or falling apart after a minute. Remember, people are investing in the NWA by being these NWA subscriptions. So, although the amount is not much per month, the NWA still has to consider that it is dealing with paying customers. If the company can’t deliver on what they’re advertising, it is only going to drive people away.
Not only that, but the way it was done was so flat. You could have had Stevens and Kratos come out and then, just as Latimer and Adonis hit the ring, Aldis could have come out and got on the mic and told his boys to get to the back. That at least would have been more satisfactory than just saying, ‘they’re not here.’ It’s things like that which will push fans away if they’re not careful and it’s becoming a big problem.
It was a strange show this week, with a mix of the good, bad and ugly.
In all honesty, the good was not what I necessarily expected to be good. Boogie and Dane killed it and I thought the angle afterwards with Crimson was well done. I also enjoyed Kamille and Rosa’s parley, as they were finally allowed to speak and put their points across passionately. Now we have reason to invest in their feud.
Mimms and Cross and Sal and Kratos were good but nothing necessarily special. I can live with that when they’ve got a match like the falls count anywhere match as the main event.
But all that stuff with Strictly Business? They’ve got to stop sweving the audience. The need all the fans they can get at the moment.
I’ll see you next week NWA fans as we go once more…into the fire!