KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (12/5)
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After weeks of releasing short videos profiling current NWA Champion Tim Storm defending against Nick Aldis, the match took place today. The NWA is now owned and operated by Billy Corgan, lead singer for The Smashing Pumpkins who also funded and worked in Impact Wrestling until a falling out in the summer of 2016.
Below is a description of the match, some commentary afterward, and then a video link to watch the match yourself.
NOTE: Former WWE and TNA Creative Team member Dave Lagana is the V.P. of the NWA, and he spoke with me for two hours on my “Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast” on PodcastOne largely about the business plan for the NWA under his and Corgan’s guidance.
You can read a WRITTEN REVIEW recapping the interview at www.PWPodcasts.com HERE.
NWA CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING FROM HOLLYWOOD
NOVEMBER 12, 2017
AIRED LIVE ON FACEBOOK LIVE HERE
TIM STRONG vs. NICK ALDIS – NWA World Hvt. Title match
Todd Kennelly called it “the title of titles.” Another announcer called the NWA Title “the most prestigious prize in all of wrestling.” They said Aldis says he doesn’t fit into 2017 pro wrestling because he doesn’t care about social media and his purpose is to expose false narrative, beliefs, and heroes. Out walked Tim Strong. The announcers said it’s the first time in five years the NWA Title had been defended in Championship Wrestling from Hollywood.
Storm chomped on gum on his way to the ring and during their pre-match stare down, during which Aldis grinned. The announcers said it had a “big fight feel.” Storm punched Aldis a minute or two after a feeing out period. That sent Aldis into the corner to check for blood. They exchanged chops. Aldis landed on his knee and sold a possible injury. He rolled to the floor to walk it off. Storm held the ropes open. Magnus entered the ring, but kept a leery eye on Storm the whole way.
Storm landed a neckbreaker and got the first two count of the match. He chopped Aldis in the corner and then splashed him in the corner. Aldis kneed Storm and knocked him to the floor seconds later. He stomped on Storm at ringside, then rammed him into the ring apron. Storm sold a rib injury.
Storm re-entered at the eight count. Aldis gave Storm a backbreaker. Aldis settled into a chinlock. Storm stood up and carried Aldis on his back a minute later and rammed him into the turnbuckles. Aldis then applied a sleeper mid-ring. Storm back suplex out of it. Both were slow to get up after a collision. “Nail Biter City,” said the announcer. Storm stood first and then clotheslined a charging Aldis. Storm gave Aldis a boot to the face, then he climbed to the top rope, which felt uncharacteristic for him. A crossbody was good for a two count. Aldis came back with the Mad Daddy Driver out of nowhere for a near fall. Aldis called for Storm to stand, and when he did, he slipped out of a bodyslam and clipped his leg. He then applied a figure-four leglock. Aldis’s shoulders dropped back for a two count before he sat up to avoid a loss.
Aldis broke free, but Storm went for it again. Magnus kicked Storm to avoid the move and Storm went shoulder-first into the turnbuckles. Storm came back with a turning side slam called The Perfect Storm for a near fall. He mounted Magnus and punched him in the corner over and over. Aldis powered out and powerbombed Storm to the mat. It was awkward. Aldis leveraged Storm for a two count, then tried to roll him over for a cloverleaf. Storm is so inflexible it was tough to apply that fully. Aldis set up a piledriver or powerbomb, but Storm powered out and seemed winded. Storm surprised Aldis with a takedown and went for a sharpshooter. Aldis went for a small package, but Storm reversed it, struggled to push off the bottom rope, and scored a three count.
WINNER: Storm in 16:00.
Keller’s Analysis: Ouch. That was not pretty. Storm’s movements remind me of The Crusher in his 50s back in the 1980s, and there wasn’t a lot Crusher could do at that stage, either. Storm looked blown up early (maybe he got winded chomping on his gum so ferociously) and was whatever the thesaurus says the opposite of “limber” is. Magnus did what he could and put forth an honest effort, but it just wasn’t acceptable from an in-ring standpoint in 2017 in a high-profile setting, and for the NWA, this was high profile.
On the bright side, it had a vibe to it that felt old school with announcing that treated the match as announcers would have for a territorial visit of the NWA Champion in the 1970s. If that’s what they’re going for at this stage, and there’s some merit to trying to frame the promotion that way to really stand out from other groups, it worked. The videos building this up were well done, but eventually the in-ring action just has to be at a certain level, and this match didn’t reach whatever that certain level is.
Oh, I could do without Storm chomping on gum, too. It’s just hard to have sympathy for a babyface who’s doing that the way he did. Came across cocky or something less than serious.
Facebook says the match has been viewed 24,000 times. Not sure how many made it to the end, though.
Facebook Live comments included:
•“I can honestly say that the promo videos for this had me genuinely invested to watch this. This match was a let down. Storm was clearly blown up. The last few minutes have been sloppy at best.”
•“They are telling a very clear story. The story is starting off slow and tapering off from there.”
•“Tim Storm always looks like he just had endless breadsticks at the Olive Garden.”
•” I was hyped but all the botches including the finish were disappointing.”
•”The old guy looks like he needs some Geritol and a nap.”
•”Great match. Love it. Old school.”
•” It was a clumsy finish but the overall match wasn’t bad. Build up to the match was really good well done. The story and the wrestling was good. Looking forward to seeing what else the NWA/Billy Corgan have to offer.”
WATCH THE MATCH… (NWA Title match starts at 9:00 mark)