Let’s take in the beginning of a new era of wrestling signified by old school presentation, the inane nonsense of Jim Cornette and a title that makes you think of pirates. It’s the 8th October 2019 and we’re in the GPB Studios of Atlanta, Georgia for the very first episode of NWA Powerrr! Your main event tonight: another meeting of Nick Aldis and Tim Storm for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship!
Ah, modern day NWA, a name and organisation scrambling for relevance any time you take a look at them. They’ve made some strides recently, and Youtube has been at the heart of that, with the “10 Pounds Of Gold” series and now this, NWA’s first proper weekly show in ages. Going into this market was always going to be a bit risky, especially since Youtube is far away from the level of network TV, but Billy Corgan and his team were making an effort. I remember taking in Powerrr at the time and, in truth, not being too impressed. But I was happy to give it another look, especially in the present circumstances, and see if I was, perhaps, too harsh.
80’s guitar (a super lame ballad called “Into The Fire”) and 80’s graphics welcome us to Powerrr. Our opening titles introduce us to some of the main players, like Nick Aldis, Tim Storm, Eli Drake, James Storm, the Wild Cards and Jocephus. Joe Galli and, ugh, Jim Cornette on commentary. An awkward “NWA” chant, which has just too many syllables to work. Cornette plays up the idea of studio wrestling, and we get thrown to David Marquez backstage with Nick Aldis and Kamille in a studio set-up straight from the 70’s. Aldis describes himself as “the real Worlds Champion”, and says the NWA is now a headline after being a punchline. Plays up some of the current NWA Champions and some of the current roster, before turning to Tim Storm. Respects Storm, but he isn’t here “to do the J-O-B in the A-T-L”, and he’ll make Storm understand why he is the Worlds Champion. Aldis trying to be the red-hot locker room leader type with a quasi-shot at the Fed, but he doesn’t really have the live-promo skills to pull this off.
Aldis walks off, and suddenly we’re in the ring, with the match literally starting.
Billy Buck & Sal Rinauro vs the Dawsons (Dave & Zane)
Four little known guys here, and Cornette doesn’t even have time to introduce it before moves are happening. The Dawsons give a delay double suplex to Rinauro, with Zane getting two. Buck in, floored with a huge clothesline. Dave in, takes an elbow, then delivers a boot and an assisted elbow. Rinauro taken out off a top rope nothing, Buck getting squished in something assembling a standing trash compactor, slam, and that’s all in just over a minute-and-a-half.
Winner: The Dawsons
Verdict: Happened so fast it was hard to know what was even happening. Opening this brand new venture with a forgettable squash is a rookie mistake.
No theme music greets the decision, as instead the Dawsons go to have a chat with Marquez. They want the world to get ready for what they’ve got, and there isn’t anything anybody can do about it. They’re the guys who bullied the audience for their lunch money, which gets some boos, before they stalk off.
A promo card promises an appearance from Eli Drake. Then an ad for Austin Idol, an 80’s style promo for a Universal Wrestling College, and I’m not sure what that’s about.
We’re back with Joe Galli, who introduces Eli Drake. He says he’s glad to be in “NWA Country” in Georgia, to the crowd’s enthusiasm. Says there is too many children in the business today, but the NWA is for men. Says he’s coming for all the belts (all of them?) and that’s a fact. He then hilariously goes straight to the ring, where his opponent must have been waiting patiently.
Eli Drake vs Caleb Konley
Konley a journeyman who has been in most places. Chains, Konley floored with a shoulder-charge. Back with roll-ups for two, then a big drop-kick. Chops, monkey flip, but Drake out of another one. Drake dodges a corner charge, then hits a jumping neckbreaker. Cornette on commentary mimics Drake in criticising “cosplayers” in the industry” unlike the “real men” of the NWA. Uh huh. Drake hits another jumping neckbreaker, stomps in the corner, but Conley coming back with chops. Drake with a knee to the head on the apron, springboard shoulder charge, that’s neat, but only two. Going for a reverse suplex, Konley lands on his feet. Enziguri, exchanging strikes, then Konley with a big roundhouse. Konley to the apron, hits the most telegraphed rope-assisted enziguri ever, then a corkscrew bomb for two.
Konley whipped into the corner, but then counters a charge with a double stomp. Konley follows up with a top-rope moonsault nothing that gets the knees. Drake with the Gravy Train for the 1, 2, 3 in around four-and-a-half.
Winner: Eli Drake, but of course.
Verdict: Short squash, but an effective one at least where Konley got in his licks.
Drake poses for the crowd as we get thrown to some backstory for the main event. Aldis and Storm have been going back-and-forth for a while, and Aldis has offered Storm a “Last Chance”, where if he loses he can’t challenge for the 10 Pounds Of Gold again. Storm accepts, knowing in his heart he can beat Aldis. Of course, he actually has beaten Aldis in the past, so he should know in actuality he can beat him.
Back to commentary, where Galli and Cornette are accosted by Jocephus, who wants to fight Tim Storm right now. Was he scheduled to fight Storm? We get an ad for upcoming shows, and when we are back Jocephus is still calling for Storm. “Are you a meteorologist? You’re looking for Storms!”. Brilliant Jim. Out comes James Storm to a big pop. Says he’s the only Storm Jocephus has to worry about. Says Jocephus is a fake tough guy, and the problem with the business these days. Tells him to go back to his desk job, “boy”, and leave wrestling to the real stars. He’s a joke, and a brawl ensues. Refs break it up, big “Let them fight” chants, but we cut very suddenly to an ad for the Ten Pounds Of Gold DVD set (DVD’s? Really? Get with the programme Corgan) and then we’re back for the next contest.
The Wild Cards (Royce Isaacs & Thomas Lattimer) vs Danny White & Mims (non-title)
Wild Cards have been NWA Tag Champs for around a month, as I recall they would lose them to the Rock N Roll Express of all people soon enough, now that was an embarrassment. White & Mims are non-name jobbers. Isaacs beating down White, then Lattimer beating down White, then Lattimer beating down Mims, then Isaacs beating down Mims. Lattimer hits a big spear, more beatdown, White back in to take a pop-up powerbomb, a full nelson suplex, and that’ll be all in just over two.
Winners: The Wild Cards
Wild Cards interviewed afterwards, they talk about how great they are until Eddie Kingston shows up. Says the Tag Titles are the best in the world (uh huh), but it means nothing to him that the Wild Cards hold them. They don’t speak for underdogs, stray dogs or renegades, and suddenly Homicide is here too, and they square up. Because this is just verging on overbooked, NWA pushes it over the edge with a brawl between Jocephus and James Storm suddenly erupting across the set.
We go to an ad for more NWA shows upcoming, and when we’re back Jocephus is in the ring calling Storm on. Storm charges in, Jocephus runs away, and there follows the world’s most awkward chase scene where Storm is at pains not to actually catch his opponent. They crowd brawl for a bit, Storm hits the ring, challenging Jocephus. Jocephus insists Storm has to turn his back as he gets in the ring, delaying things slightly, and when he’s in suddenly a bell is rung so I suppose this is an actual contest then.
James Storm vs Jocephus (non-title)
Jocephus charges, walks into a super-kick and that’s it.
Winner: The running time
Another super-kick follows, and the crowd is happy at least. Way to bury Jocephus though. Storm poses with the fans, and we get thrown to a video package for Aldis/Tim Storm. They did a decent job with the feud, with Storm as this late-in-career underdog and Aldis as this bastard newcomer, but it went on for way too long.
Storm out for a pre-match interview, and I should note now that there isn’t a trace of entrance music tonight. It ties into the retro theme, but it’s missing. Anyway, Storm rambles a bit about his family, about his reign as NWA Champ, and then quotes Eminem of all people. He doesn’t give a good promo really, though I generally like Storm. One more ad for the DVD’s, an announcement that Allysin Kay will be here next week, and then onto the main event.
Nick Aldis (c) w/Kamille vs Tim Storm (NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship) (Last Chance Match)
Ring announcer must be getting paid by the word, because he introduces Tim Storm by saying only “And this is Tim Storm”. Lock-up, and Aldis thrown back. Dueling chops, and Aldis knocked back. Whip chains, and Aldis knocked down a few times, so he takes a break at ringside. Storm pursues and we get some brawling. Storm out and put into the ring-post, but the camera angle, from the other side of the ring, makes it look rubbish.
Back in, and Aldis now with the advantage, elbow drops for two, then a big clothesline for two. Lengthy rest-hold as the crowd chants “Mama Storm” after Storm’s promo earlier. Storm battles out eventually, but then walks into a sleeper. Storm able to knock Aldis into the corner, then follows up with a few clotheslines and a big boot. Aldis able to take down Storm, looking for a cloverleaf, but Storm counters with a small package for two. Storm slaps on a Figure 4, but Aldis to the ropes after a minute. Aldis to the top, intercepted, Storm up after him, and hits a second rope superplex for two. They’ll have to do better than than to make me believe Storm could win this one.
Storm to the top, and hits a very awkward crossbody where it looks like he tripped on the way down, gets two. Aldis prone, Storm going back up, and goes for a telegraphed Swanton but nobody home. Aldis to the top now, and hits a rubbish-looking elbow drop where Aldis looked like he landed hard. Now locks in the Cloverleaf, but Storm not really capable of physically selling it to the required amount, looks like he’s just lying down. Gets to the ropes anyway.
Aldis looking for a slam, Storm out and in the process the ref takes a slight bump. Storm with an unexpected low blow to Aldis, then hits the Perfect Storm, but only two. Storm to the top again (why does he keep doing that?), intercepted, Aldis up after him, and both crashing down after a headbutt from Storm. Aldis goes for a clothesline, Storm ducks, and Aldis cleans out Kamille. Aldis into the ringpost, back in, Storm looking for a suplex, Aldis counter it into a roll-up, where it looks like Storm’s head got spiked, and that’s it in just over 12.
Winner (and still NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion): Nick Aldis
Verdict: It was OK, but had a few too many dodgy moments. Not sure that the ending was intended.
No music plays, but we do get a loud “NWA” chant. Aldis gives a post-match interview while Kamille stands awkwardly behind him. Aldis pays tribute to Storm, then Kamille gets asked a few questions, and doesn’t answer, or doesn’t get to answer with Aldis interrupting. And that’s all for episode #1.
Best Match: The main event gets it by default really, since it was the only one that wasn’t a squash.
Best Wrestler: I guess Eli Drake?
Worst Match: Storm/Jocephus was not needed.
Worst Wrestler: Jocephus did nothing here really, aside from look stupid.
Overall Verdict: In trying to bring wrestling back to the 80’s, Powerrr includes some of its worst aspects: poor production values, endless squash matches and lame promos. But it was only a start in fairness, and maybe Powerrr’s later episodes might be worth more of a look.
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