The Powerrr might have gone out with the pandemic, but the NWA is still alive. It’s the 1st December 2020 and we’re in the Thunder Studios of Long Beach, California for the inaugural episode of NWA Shockwave! Your main event tonight: Nick Aldis defends the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Title against Mike Bennett!
I had some time for Powerrr despite my occasional mockery. A Youtube based wrestling show with a more-than-decent roster was nothing to sniff it. But COVID, as it always does, ruined everything, and the NWA was left farting around with some half-formed ideas like Carneyland (what the hell was that?) before getting back to the ring properly with this show. This one takes its name from a defunct NWA territory from the early 2000’s and is appropriate, seeing as how that thing was one of the first wrestling organisations that saw the internet as the distribution tool it really could be, airing full shows online. This particular iteration is a nice bite-sized half hour and a bit, so let’s get right to it.
No intro, no music, no nothing as Clint introduces us to Nick Aldis. He plays up NWA’s new streaming service partnerships and the main event. He has “nothing to say” and then proceeds to talk for another minute, talking about his first-time ever contest with Mike Bennett. There’s a sentence here at the end I have to transcribe, it’s so run-on and clunky. “So tonight, Mike Bennett and Nick Aldis will get after it like men, for the ultimate symbol of excellent in professional wrestling, the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Wrestling Championship otherwise known as the 10 Pounds Of Gold and after tonight, Mike Bennett will realise that redemption comes at a price, and that price is not something that you pay when you’re the national treasure and the real Worlds Champion.” Jesus Christ Nick.
Now our main titles with some basic theme music and Joe Galli is here to welcome us to Shockwave. He runs down the three-match card sounding a bit too much like the “Boom Goes The Dynamite” guy. We get thrown to our first match.
Jordan Cruz vs Eli Drake
We come in as the two guys are in the ring, with Drake posing to a crowd of no-one. Galli, Todd Keneley and Alyssa Marino on commentary who, I’m sorry to say, are set-up like a poor mans Mauro, Nigel and Beth. Lock-up, Drake with a headlock, some takedowns, and Drake back with a hip-toss. Working over the elbow, more takedowns, more headlocks from both men. Drake with a hammerlock, Cruz out but floored with a shoulder charge. Cruz trying a hip-toss, Drake lands on his feet and hits a big clothesline. Swinging neckbreaker, looking for a back body-drop, countered into a Sunset Flip for two, Drake with his own pinning attempt for two. Cruz dodges a corner clothesline, hangs Drake on the top-rope from the apron, then strikes. Drop-kick into the corner, clothesline, but Drake back hard with his own lariat. Plants Cruz with a Scoop Slam, calls out to the crowd at home and hits a running elbow. Nails the Gravy Train for the 1, 2, 3 in just over five.
Winner: Eli Drake, picking up where he left off the last time we saw him.
Verdict: One-sided encounter, but Cruz didn’t look bad. Simple stuff, but it worked for what it was.
The bell has barely been rung when we go to break. An ad for some fine NWA merchandise and then we’re back with Galli to introduce our next match, from the women’s division.
Kamille vs Heather Monroe w/Halston Boddy
Kamille looks like a brick shithouse, seriously impressive bodywork. Monroe I know little about, and even less about who Boddy is. Monroe tossed around at the start, and doesn’t have the strength to get a hip-toss of her own. Floored off a shoulder block, then ambushes Kamille when her opponent jaws with Boddy. Kamille back with hard strikes in the corner, then a vicious looking chop on a whipped Monroe. Uppercuts, kicks in the corner, then tossed across the ring again. Nerve pinch, but Monroe to the ropes.
Gutwrench Suplex, Kamille looking for a big charge into the corner but Monroe pulled out by Boddy. Kamille pursues, scares Boddy away, catches Monroe on a crossbody attempt, but then pushed into the ring-post. Monroe does it a few more times off arm pulls. Back in, Monroe working over the arm a bit, but Kamille back with a Samoan Drop almost straight away. Monroe with knee drops and strikes to that arm. Locks in a weak looking Fujiwara, Kamille to the ropes. Arm-wrench takedown gives Kamille some room, corner splash, powerslam, two.
Monroe with another attack on the arm, hits a rope-assisted Codebreaker type thing, only two. Misses a kick, and Kamille picks her up into a Torture Rack, but drops her on account of the arm. Kamille still able to follow up with a swinging neckbreaker for a near fall. Boddy onto the apron to distract, Monroe just avoids him on a missed charge, then counters a spear attempt with a knee. Going for her Dressed To Kill finisher, Kamille out of it, nails a spear, and that’s it in just over eight.
Winner: Kamille, looks the business.
Verdict: Decent contest where both looked good. Kamille seriously impressive, but perhaps might need to work on her selling. Monroe not bad as the arrogant heel. Not sure what Boddy added though.
Cut straight away to Bennett, clean-shaven since his WWE release, being interviewed backstage, his wife beside him. He wants the view from the top of the mountain, says he’s been all around the world, even to Saudi Arabia (how was that Battle Royal Mike?) and he can change the life of him and his family with one win. He’s leaving tonight as the Worlds Champion. Good promo. That match is next, after another merch ad.
Nick Aldis (c) vs Mike Bennett w/Maria Kanellis-Bennett (NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship)
I talked about Bennett a bit before when I had an entry on 205 Live, a really great talent perpetually wasted in the Fed. Exchange of strikes right from the off and Bennett backs Aldis up. Beating down on him, going for a spear but Aldis dodges and the ref eats it instead. Not sure I’ve ever seen a ref bump that early in a match. To the outside where Bennett keeps up the offence. Chops on the ramp, Bennett with a charge but Aldis counters it into a Tombstone on the ramp. Maria tries to revive her husband as Aldis grabs the title belt. Maria gets in his face, and out comes Kamille to chase her away. The camera thus misses Bennett hitting a crossbody off the ramp, oops. We have a new ref as the first one is carried away, but both men back into the ring before a count of ten.
Dueling strikes, Bennett gets the advantage, then walks into a Driver that gets two. Aldis going for it again but Bennett out of it, hits a superkick, ripcord elbow, then a running clothesline for two. Elbows to the head, another ripcord elbow, but then walks into another Tombstone. Aldis to the top, lands a flying elbow, but only two for some reason. Bennett’s kick-out might have been a bigger deal with an audience, and this is happening way too quick. Aldis back to the top but intercepted with strikes, and Bennett hits a superplex, then a spear, but only two. Aldis getting his heat back, clearly.
Bennett looking for the Hail Mary piledriver but Aldis out of it, a few counters back-and-forth, another Bennett superkick, and now he does hit the Hail Mary. Slow to get the cover but Aldis able to put a foot on the rope. Maria grabs the belt and hands it to Bennett, he thinks about using it but that would be stupid so he drops it. Weird spot, the ref is right there. Going for the Hail Mary again, Aldis out of it, Bennett hits a boot, to the stop but a top-rope nothing sees him put into the Cloverleaf. In it for a bit as he screams “I need this, I need this, Ineedthisformyfamily!” which is amazing. Looks like he’s passed out, and the ref calls it in about nine.
Winner (and still NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion): Nick Aldis, who remains NWA’s “the guy”, but I have a feeling not for much longer.
Verdict: Bit of a crazy match with the way it went from 0-60 in a few seconds, like the two guys just decided to skip the first two acts. I suppose it made for unexpectedly riveting viewing, and both can go, but it had that rushed feeling for sure. Bad camerawork missed one spot, and the belt stuff was lame.
Aldis with a show of respect in the aftermath before we’re back to Galli to sum up the show and run down the card for next week, which includes a Womens Title match. And that’s the lot.
Best Match: The main event had an odd pace, but was a good bit of fun.
Best Wrestler: I honestly do think that Kamille might be worth a look from AEW or the Fed. The former could use her more.
Worst Match: I suppose the opener was pretty much just an extended squash in a lot of ways.
Worst Wrestler: I guess Cruz wasn’t really to show what he could do as much as he should have.
Overall Verdict: I’d watch more of this, even if NWA needs to get some of its production problems sorted out. Bite-sized show with a few decent matches: you can’t really ask for much more.
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