With the United Wrestling Network and the NWA’s partnership show, Primetime Live, quickly approaching, this week’s CW30 Memphis edition of Championship Wrestling warms us up with a look at some NWA champions who have made the trip to Hollywood.
So without further adieu, let’s go straight to the ring!
NWA National Heavyweight Champion James Storm vs. Piranhacarana
It’s always a treat to see ‘The Cowboy’ in action. I’d forgotten that he was National Champion, but you can see why he was given the belt: he just exudes toughness and legitimacy.
Storm starts by getting on the mic and putting Championship Wrestling From Hollywood over, talking about how the talent here can headline anywhere in the world. Storm wanted to see the talent for himself and has hand picked his opponent . Enter Piranhacarana.
From the sound of commentary, nobody expects Piranhacarana to have a chance in hell. A lariet, powerbomb and ‘The Last Call’ superkick later, and commentary was proven right.
Storm got on the mic afterwards and told everyone to take notice. We always do, James, we always do…
NWA Women’s Champion Jazz vs. Heather Monroe
“Jazz is gonna kill you!” goes the chant from the crowd. There’s a good chance she might…I’d forgotten how terrifying Jazz can be! As she paces the ring methodically during her entrance, mask on face so as to intimidate all around her, she looks like an executioner. Good luck, her opponent! That’s all I can see.
She has a quality challenger here, too. ‘The Killer Bae’ Heather Monroe has been making some positive strides in the business lately, challenging AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida for her title on last week’s Dynamite. She was definitely a worthy challenger for Jazz here, and I expect good things here.
Things start off a little slowly, with the two trying to feel each other out. Heather lets her mouth get the better of her and Jazz retorts with a middle finger and a hard shoulder block. Heather holds on with a strong headlock, forcing Jazz into a neat series of counters and reversals on the mat.
Heather found herself on the apron, but pulled Jazz through the ropes and battered her with knees to the head and a double stomp. Back in the ring, the ‘Killer Bae’ went for the ‘Seven Year Stretch’ submission, but Jazz was able to reach the ropes. The action spilled outside, where Jazz threw Heather Monroe like a rag doll into the ring steps.
Back in the ring, Jazz rocked Monroe with some hard jabs, but Heather hit a nifty ‘Eat Defeat’ from off the ropes to counter. This only earned a two count, though, and Jazz, the wily veteran, was able to counter a Michinoku Driver attempt with a ‘Jazz Stinger’ to retain her title.
This was a fun little match! Jazz is always good to watch, and Monroe has star written all over her. Plus, it was a pretty competitive encounter. Good stuff.
The Pitch: Dan Joseph
On ‘The Pitch’ this week, we get a sit down with Dan Joseph to look back over his career. He used to play hockey when he was younger and missed that physicality in sports, so wrestling seemed the natural choice. He’s wrestled for Championship Wrestling from Hollywood since pretty much the start of his career.
His career got waylaid by a knee injury followed by a hernia, but during this period David Marquez gave Dan a chance on commentary, and this gave Dan the chance to really study the wrestling game and see what worked, what didn’t and what makes the crowd pop. Now he’s the United TV Champion and he wants to have that title for as long as he can.
Dan seems a genuinely nice guy, and it was interesting to hear about how injury, in a roundabout way, helped his career. I look forward to seeing him in action when CWFH returns with new matches in September.
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis vs. Peter Avalon
This is a match from CWFH’s sister promotion, Championship Wrestling from Arizona. Mr. Avalon was set in his heel role here as ‘The Producer’, a sort of authority figure who controlled the programme. This was the gimmick he was doing when I first saw him wrestle, and it suits him.
And yet, for all his heelishness, he gets the crowd on board with him by relating how he was supposed to have this match before but Aldis no-showed, which Avalon saw as a slap to the face, not just to him but to every single one of the fans. Instantly, Aldis becomes the enemy and the crowd is invested in the match. Avalon has a lot to offer, and I wish AEW would do more with him.
Aldis just looks so authentic as a champ. Yes, he has his detractors of his in-ring ability (I enjoy him, personally), but you can’t deny he carries himself on-screen like a champion. It’s the little details, and Aldis carries them off so well.
The match started fairly evenly, with some fluid mat wrestling. There was a nice criss-cross spot where Avalon took Aldis down by the ankle, only for Aldis to float over into a face lock.
Aldis took the advantage by using his physicality, hitting Avalon with some big forearm smashes, before throwing him into the ring post and hitting a ‘Mack Daddy Driver’ for a near fall. Avalon, though, was able to use his speed, moving out of the way of an Aldis kick to the corner and dropkicking him in return. A topè to the outside followed, alongside a springboard crossbody for a near fall, the crowd noticeably getting behind ‘The Professional’.
Reversals followed, as Avalon countered a Figure Four attempt with a roll up, whilst Aldis reversed a swinging DDT attempt and struck with a tombstone piledriver. A big superplex and a splash from the top wasn’t enough to put Aldis away, nor was his ‘Martinis’ finisher. The ‘King’s Lynne Cloverleaf’, on the other hand, was the final nail in the coffin for Avalon, who finally tapped out, giving Aldis the victory.
This was a really good match, that had solid psychology (Avalon having to use his speed to outfox Aldis, whilst the champ used his smarts and experience) and benefitted from a hot crowd. I hope you were watching ‘The Professional’, Mr. Khan…
This was a solid episode that definitely got me in the mood for Primetime Live. James Storm brought the fun, Jazz and Heather Monroe had a solid encounter, and Aldis and Avalon stole the show in a match I really recommend. We get more Aldis next week too, which is something to look forward to.
I’ll see you next week, grapple fans, for another edition of Championship Wrestling!