SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
NWA 70TH ANNIVERSARY PPV EVENT
OCTOBER 21, 2018
AIRED LIVE ON FITE TV
ANNOUNCERS: Joe Galli, Jim Cornette, Tony Schiavone
-Wade Keller here… They opened the show with a video package on the history of the NWA, but the audio was mistakenly the ring announcer revving up the crowd as “we are about to go live” on PPV. Not a smooth start. Then my stream locked up as Cornette, Galli, and Schiavone began talking about the main event. A quick refresh fixed it, but the audio stream is a fiasco out of the gate with the crowd noise mic on as they aired a video. The live chat room is full of people noting the audio issues.
We’re going to have tag team coverage tonight of the show so check in throughout the night for our coverage.
Rich Fann takes over from here…
By Rich Fann, PWTorch contributor / PWTorch Livecast host
Welcome to the NWA 70th Anniversary Live Coverage here at PWTorch.com!
-The show opened with the released video of Cody and Nick Aldis in preparation for their two-out-of-three falls match, as well as introduction of the announce team of Jim Cornette, Tony Schiavone, and Joe Galli. They then cut to Jenn Decker with Colt Cabana, Sammy Guevara, and a pre-tape with Scorpio Sky. Samuel Shaw is mentioned as the fourth competitor in the match, but only the announcers talk him up.
Fann’s Analysis: I don’t know if it’s my feed or the overall coverage, but I’m hearing nothing from the interviews and instead hearing the direction and/or announcers commenting. Additionally, the cut to the interviews held a bit too long on the announcers, leading to an awkward case of staring at someone who had no idea they were still on air.
(1) COLT CABANA vs. SAMMY GUEVARA vs. SCORPIO SKY vs. SAM SHAW – Four-way Qualifier for the NWA National Championship
Cabana was the first to enter the ring, followed by Sammy Guevara, Scorpio Sky, and Sam Shaw. The match opened with all four getting thrown in and out of the ring, with Cabana joining the high flyers by nailing a moonsault in ring. Guevara and Sky get into the ring and their face off is interrupted by Sam Shaw, he is playing the mean heavy role in the four-way. A fall away slam dumps Guevara and Sky out of the ring successively, which gave Cabana an opportunity to hide behind Shaw for shenanigans. Shaw wasn’t ready for Cabana’s glove slap attack, which results in everyone (including ref Brian Heber) received said slaps. The announcers reminded the audience that this is an elimination four way match, as Guevara hit a shooting star press from the top rope to Sam Shaw on the outside. A replay is shown, after which in-ring Cabana took control of Scorpio Sky. An Irish Whip results in a Scorpio Sky dive to Guevara outside – and Colt Cabana’s attempt at a dive is countered by Sam Shaw roll up (with tights), which eliminated Colt Cabana.
Sammy Guevara fired up the crowd with coast-to-coast dives and kicks to Scorpio Sky and Sam Shaw, until Shaw stops Guevara with a punch. A Shining Wizard by Scorpio Sky was all that was needed to put down Guevara, and Shaw dove on top of Sky immediately to win the first qualifier for the NWA National Championship.
WINNER: SAM SHAW VIA SPLASH in 15:00
Fann’s Analysis: Good match, albeit short. Guevara stood out as a great attraction in the match, with Scorpio Sky taking the back seat to Colt’s schtick. Overall all four did their job, with the massive Sam Shaw being the beast that moved on.
The announce team throws to Jenn Decker who is with Blue Demon Jr, however I did not get that, only a feed of the crowd. Eventually, they cut mid sentence to Jenn Decker at ringside with Blue Demon Jr., who was proud to represent NWA and his role as NWA Mexico President, as well as a challenge to the NWA Champion after Cody-Aldis.
(2) LAREDO KID vs. BARRETT BROWN
Laredo Kid took control early in the match countering everything that Brown could muster, which led to a moonsault on the outside. Cornette noted that had he overshot his opponent, Laredo Kid would’ve set himself up for a loss. A top rope leap by Laredo kid is countered with a dropkick by Barrett Brown, who followed Laredo outside the ring with a springboard somersault splash via his knees. Brown then threw Laredo Kid back into the ring, and hit a suplex for a one count. Laredo gets back up and attempted a Spanish Fly which Brown countered into a sick spike DDT for a 2.5 count. Barret Brown looked to push the pace, which Laredo Kid was happy to comply with, as Laredo hit a hurricanrana in ring. After Brown rolled out of the ring, Laredo Kid then hit a 450 splash from the apron to the floor. Laredo Kid then brought Brown back into the ring for a 2 count. Jim Cornette reminds the audience to look at the stomach of Barrett Brown, as that would show how much gas was in his tank.
To Cornette’s point, Brown hit a reverse hurricanrana on Laredo Kid, which led to Cornette rant on the fact that the poisoned rana is the most dangerously stupid move in pro wrestling for both wrestlers. Brown picked up Laredo Kid, putting him into the corner for punches to the head. Laredo Kid shoved Brown off, then moved when Brown attempted a dive in the corner, which resulted in a springboard cutter by Laredo Kid onto Barrett Brown for a two count. Laredo Kid attempted a top rope rana, which was countered by Brown. Laredo Kid missed a corkscrew splash and Barrett Brown wins with a Shining Wizard.
Fann’s Analysis: Nice cruiserweight match between the two, with some really innovative spots and nothing too dangerous outside of the nearly-overshot moonsault. Cornette’s annoyance at the poisoned rana seemed to be more concern for the competitors than old-man-yells-at-cloud as some can find him on Twitter
WINNER: Barret Brown in 11:00 via Shining Wizard
After the match, promos for the upcoming second four way was shown.
“It’s like a crapshoot” – Jim Cornette as the audio for Mike Parrow fails to load and we hear the announcer selling merch.
Audio for Mike Parrow’s interview, as well as Willie Mack were not good. We then had James Ellsworth appear to talk to Jenn Sterger and Jay Bradley. We couldn’t hear most of the promo and then were hard cut to Ricky Starks with a mic in hand demanding his video get played because he couldn’t trust “the monkeys in the back to get it right”.
A video of Starks in a 80s vibe was shown, with images such as him seated on moving cars with a gold chain, Starks wearing a white t-shirt and walking around in an empty ring and ending with stylized “Miami Vice” style writing of his name.
Fann’s Analysis: I will never complain about the production values of Ring of Honor again after tonight.
Immediately after this, there was a hard cut to the announcer ringside with NWA Legend Magnum T.A. Magnum mentions that the blood of legends like Ric Flair and Harley Race and Dusty Rhodes flow in those three letters and whoever wins will have the weight of the ten pounds of gold.
After this, the announcer talked over Jim Cornette, introducing the next four way elimination qualifier for the NWA National Championship.
(3) WILLIE MACK vs. MIKE PARROW vs. RICKY STARKS vs. JAY BRADLEY – Four-way qualifier for the NWA National Championship
Ricky Starks came out first, then Mike Parrow, whose rainbow banner led to Cornette saying “if you thinking being gay is a problem, tell it to that guy!”. Jay Bradley entered to little fanfare and “Chocolate” Thunder Willie Mack was by far beloved by the crowd second only to Parrow in the match.
Bradley and Parrow clear out Mack and Starks with power moves, then we were treated to the behemoths going at it in ring, with trades of go behinds, ending with a Parrow fall away slam to Bradley. Parrow hit a powerbomb on Bradley for two, which allowed Cornette to note that Willie Mack and Ricky Starks watched on from the outside. Stark snuck in and pulls the tights on Parrow to eliminate him at 2:00. Cornette notes (accurately) that Parrow’s shoulders weren’t down completely and the ref was mistaken to have called it.
With one big man eliminated, Bradley was able to throw Willie Mack and Ricky Starks with ease, at one point using Stark as a lawn dart into Mack. Cornette noted that Starks’ finisher is the Buster Keaton, “Which we won’t be seeing tonight” as Starks is butterfly suplexed into the air by Bradley.
Starks ran around the ring attempting to duck Bradley while Willie Mack is incapacitated, and ate a powerslam for his trouble. This gave Willie Mack a chance to get back into the match, and a powerbomb from Starks followed by a five star frog splash by Willie Mack eliminated Jay Bradley at 6:00.
Starks’ attempted spear on a surprised Willie Mack earned a two count – and his attempt at a Buster Keaton was thwarted and left Starks open for a Stone Cold Stunner by Willie Mack for the win.
WINNER: Willie Mack in 7:00 to become the second finalist for the NWA National Championship.
Fann’s Analysis: Fast pace to end that match, with the announcers focusing on the long road to be a champ. Really liked the smarminess of Starks, who really played well against his much bigger opposition. Willie Mack looked strong going into the title match.
Post-match, Jenn Sterger was at ringside to ask Willie how he felt to be a finalist. At Sterger’s request, Willie Mack and Sam Shaw stood to face off. Out of nowhere, Jay Bradley attacked Mack from behind. James Ellsworth comes to Willie Mack’s aid, as Sam Shaw backs away to save himself for the title match later in the evening.
A video highlight packaged aired, showing the violence that led to the Tim Storm – Peter Avalon match up next.
(4) TIM STORM vs PETER AVALON (w/Nikolas Marquez) – Kiss My Foot Match
Peter Avalon grabbed a mic and told the crowd to “hush the hell up” when he has the mic, and followed that up by asking Storm and the crowd to “kiss my foot” – due to the fact Storm had lost to Avalon on two separate occasions. Storm grabbed a mic and stated that Avalon’s foot fetish has now led to this match becoming a “Kiss my Foot” match, which Avalon accepts.
Peter Avalon jumped Storm before the bell rung, getting an early advantage on the chiseled schoolteacher turned former NWA champion. Storm got fired up after a big boot to Avalon, and followed that up with chops in the corner and a biel to the other side of the ring. A Storm double underhook suplex to Avalon earned a 2 count. Storm hit a back breaker and then a lariat on Avalon, while the crowd cheered in appreciation. A call for a Storm powerbomb on Avalon was answered, but only received a 2 count. Cornette cited that Billy Corgan’s leadership has been instrumental to NWA. As a follow-up, Jim Cornette mentioned “there are no invisible men or conga lines here in the NWA!”
Avalon rolled out of the ring after a Tim Storm slam, which allowed his manager Nikolas Marquez to distract Storm. After an attempt to use Marquez to distract the ref, Avalon instead his Marquez and walked into a Perfect Storm to give Tim Storm the win.
WINNER: Tim Storm in 6:00.
After the match, Tim Storm grabbed a chair and began untying his boot in preparation of Peter Avalon kissing his foot. The announcer stated over the PA that if Avalon didn’t kiss Storm’s foot, he would be fined $10,000. Avalon attempted to let his manager represent him with the kiss, which Marquez did to near gagging. Tim Storm grabs Avalon before he could leave, and drove Avalon into his foot, which left Storm to stand tall in the ring.
Fann’s Analysis: Really old school deal here as the set up for those like myself that don’t watch NWA regularly an opportunity to “get” the players in this match. Outside of the ten pounds of gold promo for Storm, I had nothing to go on from his opponent, but loved his cowardice and was sucked into the match.
A Jazz Promo interrupts the announcers, where she announced that her opponent “better have her sh—together because I’m not laying down for anyone.”
Hard cut to the crowd – and then backstage to Penelope Ford in a more laid back and respectful role than I’m used to.
Fann’s Analysis: I liked Jazz’s promo, as rough as it was. The Penelope Ford being demure and respectful really threw me, but nowhere near as much as hearing “cut” and having the camera and audio stay hot while we heard the post-promo eval from someone off-screen to the women.
(5) JAZZ vs. PENELOPE FORD – NWA Women’s Championship match
Jim Cornette mentioned that Jazz requested to come out first as an intimidation tactic.
Earl Hebner is the referee for the match.
A collar and elbow tie up started the match, with Jazz on top early. A tilt-a-whirl cutter by Ford changed the equation, which Penelope Ford followed up with a handspring spear and back elbow successively. Jazz powered out of a pin attempt, and followed up with a “Bitch Clamp” – but didn’t go for the cover. Jazz then went for a deep camel clutch with rabbit punches to the back of Penelope Ford’s head. Jazz pulled Ford’s head under the rope and continued the assault. A boot to the side of the face sent Ford to dream street, but she kicked out after a long 2 count to Jazz’s frustration.
Jazz began to hit jabs on Ford, who used her “Matrix Escape” to get a near 2 count. Ford followed up with an alligator roll for another 2 count, but failed to hit a standing moonsault. Jazz hit a Michinoku Driver, which led to a weird spot where Hebner didn’t count to three due to hitting Jazz in the head on the count. Jazz then put Ford in the STF for the submission victory and defense of her title.
WINNER: Jazz in 8:00.
Fann’s Analysis: This was an okay match, but very awkward with the statements during the match (when it was okay to say “bitch” etc) as well as the build being towards how will Earl Hebner screw up. Penelope was good in the match, but it seemed to be a case of “get your stuff in before Jazz Kills You” sort of scenario.
Post match, Jenn Sterger interviewed Jazz, who declared she was tired of not getting the respect and gold she deserves – citing that she should get an opportunity at the NWA World Heavyweight title. The fans applauded in agreement.
Fann’s Analysis: Jazz going for the title would be something. Good? Bad? No, Something. I was personally glad after watching her opening promo that she didn’t drop an F bomb live.
Jim Cornette moved to the ring, where he introduced Jeff Jarrett, who entered the ring with the NWA National Championship (and his old TNA theme). Cornette went through the Jarrett family’s ties to the area, which was followed by Jeff Jarrett requesting the fans give love to Jim Cornette. Both discussed the importance of wrestling in “this building” and the 70thanniversary of the National Wrestling Alliance and how excited he was for the upcoming match for the NWA Championship. A fan screamed “double cheese, extra mayo” at Jim Cornette, who did a marvelous job of no selling it.
Jeff Jarrett mentioned that in 1995 he won his first Intercontinental Championship, and in 1997 the US Title and now in 2018 the National Champion will be the “gateway to the NWA Champion”, with Magnum T.A. awarding the winner of the match the title.
Fann’s Analysis: The mutual admiration society aside, it was a great way to talk about the history of the NWA, while also introducing the National Championship as a launching pad to the championship. After Jazz’s promo, it makes sense that they’ve funneled the other titles into a support role for the NWA Champ, regardless of gender – which is intriguing and can also go really wrong.
(6) SAM SHAW vs WILLIE MACK – NWA National Championship Final
As Sam Shaw walked to the ring, Willie Mack ran down the aisle and hit him from behind. The match began with Mack on the front foot, with the announcers mentioning that it was important that Mack end this match early after the post-match attack earlier.
Shaw and Mack bounce around the ring a bit, with Shaw getting Mack into a trapezius hold ala Baron Corbin. Mack fights out of it and Shaw hit a fall away slam, which prompted Cornette to mention back in the day that move was called the “SOS” – which was “sack of something”. Shaw went to a chinlock to put Mack out. The ref counted Mack’s hand once, twice and on the near-third time a fightback again by Mack. After a few elbows, Mack escaped, and Shaw ate an exploder suplex after a rebound on the ropes. With both men down, Shaw was the first to get to his feet, but Mack hit a lariat, back spin elbow and leg drop in quick succession. Both men missed attacks in the corner, but Mack was able to hit a boot in the corner which he followed up with an upside down cannonball. Mack hit a standing moonsault for a near three count, to the chants of “Willie Mack” in the crowd. Shaw hit a faceplant buster for a two count and after an exchange Mack hit a Stunner for a “2.9” count. An exasperated Willie Mack was surprised by a superkick by Shaw for a quick 2 count. Shaw began to tune up the band for another kick, but Mack ducked and hit another stunner, which Shaw sold like Shawn Michaels for a 3 count. Willie Mack is the first NWA National Champion.
WINNER: Willie Mack in 11:00 to become NWA National Champion.
Fann’s Analysis: Really good match. While Shaw may not have been the most active at times, with his trap holds and sleepers, Mack’s ability to change the pace on a dime belied his size. The Stunner finish was a solid one and the fans were truly along for the ride with Willie Mack.
A video aired of Nick Aldis’ claims that there were a number of questionable elements in the All In title match, including Brandi Runnels’ appearance in the match, and his resulting insurance policy for tonight’s match, a brunette that it may be inferred to be Mickie James based on not showing her face.
Fann’s Analysis: I get that they want to play the card of “who is that woman” but depending on who the insurance policy is, it might not play out live the way they hope. Aldis is however dead on when he mentioned that Brandi wasn’t a licensed manager and her attempts at interference in Cody matches were well documented.
(7) CRIMSON & JAX DANE (w/Road Warrior Animal) vs. THE KINGDOM OF JOSEPHUS
Josephus was flanked by two women, his spiritual advisor who has never been in a ring – and a brunette named Hollywood from the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. While Animal protested fighting women, Crazy Steve and Shannon Moore snuck in to attack Crimson and Jax Dane.
Crimson was left in the ring alone to face Crazy Steve, and had the advantage until Josephus got onto the apron, allowing Shannon Moore to help turn the tide. Jax Dane came in to clear house, as Cornette mentioned that the Road Warriors were the only team to hold the NWA, AWA and WWE tag titles. Shannon Moore’s attempt to sneak up on Jax Dane slamming both men. A brawl resulted in War Kings isolating Shannon Moore and hitting a double team for the win.
WINNERS: Crimson & Jax Dane in 5:00.
Fann’s Analysis: Really interesting that the focus was so much about “they’re not gonna let them fight a girl are they” when you just had no less than 20 minutes ago the NWA Women’s Champ declare herself the number one contender. Short match
Animal post match had an announcement – The Crockett Cup will return in 2019!
A video package hard cut to Cody
Prior to the title match, Jenn Sterger was ringside with Dory Funk Jr. Sterger mentioned that he’s a man who needs no introduction, then called him Rory Funk Jr. The fans then chanted “Rory” for a moment. Funk mentioned his love for the NWA, and thanked the fans for coming.
Fann’s Analysis: Funk tried to keep it together, but from start to finish from Sterger’s flub to having this legend live wasn’t fair to him (or Sterger for that matter).
Yet still prior to the title match, Dory Funk Jr., Jax Dane, Tim Storm, Colt Cabana, Blue Demon Jr., and Jeff Jarrett entered as a mini parade of former champions to greet the contenders in the main event. Tony Schiavone has returned to do commentary in the main event.
(8) CODY (w/Brandi Rhodes) vs. NICK ALDIS (w/Kamila Kaine) – Best of three falls match for the NWA Championship
The ring announcer just spoiled the “neutralizer” – Camille in his pre-match. Camille and Aldis walk to the ring and await the champ. CODY walks to ring with Brandi and his NWA World Heavyweight Title – but no sign of his IWGP U.S. Championship. CODY takes the time to shake Dory Funk’s hand. The Ref announces that there will be a one minute break between falls. Cody did a great job of firing up the crowd far more than the rest of the evening pre-bell. Brian Hebner and Earl Hebner were announced to alternate referee duties between falls.
A handshake opens the match, followed by a collar and elbow tie up. After an exchange lands Cody outside, he went face to face with Camille, who appeared to be nearly as tall as the NWA champ. Back in the ring, a test of strength resulted in an Aldis bridge and exchange off the ropes. That allowed Cody to imitate Goldust, and then left the ring and got a kiss from Brandi and hugged fans ringside to Aldis’ chagrin. A stalled suplex by Rhodes onto Aldis generated a 2 count, and a flatliner by Rhodes elicited a 2.5 count. Rhodes then missed a second rope attack, and Aldis hit a series of German suplexes, followed by a brain buster with a cross-face pin attempt for a two count.
Aldis skinned the cat to baseball slide Rhodes out of the ring. Camille and Brandi faced off, and Rhodes returned to the ring and was subjected to a bow-and-arrow for a near fall. Aldis preened and paid for his pride with a powerslam by Rhodes – followed by a disaster kick for a near fall near the ropes.
After an attempt off the top rope, both men hit the mat and staggered to their feet. Cody was faster on the draw, and subjected Aldis to a figure four leglock. Aldis fought, and tried to avoid being pinned while in the hold – and eventually Aldis got the ropes after a failed attempt to reverse the leg lock.
At this point, Schiavone mentioned that this is the time for Cody to continue to go for the leg. Instead, Cody went for the Disaster Kick, but Aldis reversed into the Kingland Clover Leaf in the middle of the ring. Cody quickly tapped to save himself for the rest of the match.
FIRST FALL: Nick Aldis by submission in 14:00.
In the minute interim, Cody was chomping at the bit to get at a hobbled Aldis. Upon re-start of the match, Aldis took a powder to collect himself, and Cody hit a Tope Suicida outside to a chant of “The Elite” by the crowd. Cody then reset the count and threw Aldis into the first row, following up with a run around the ring cut off by Camille prior to getting to Aldis. The action spilled to the back of the arena, where Earl Hebner (the referee of note for the second fall) stated to the announcers he would not count the two men out and will let them fight where the pleased. That resulted in a brawl between Cody and Aldis in the concession stands, beer and soda thrown everywhere. Camera cut to both men brawling through the crowd, as Jim Cornette noted that back in the day fans could have knives in the crowd instead of phones.
Aldis dumped Rhodes onto the ramp, then Cody reversed a post shot and went for a chair. Despite allowing them to brawl throughout the arena, Earl Heber advised Cody that the American Nightmare couldn’t use the chair in his hand. Instead, Cody set up a table in a corner of the ring. Tim Storm hopped onto the apron to ask Cody not to use the table, and Cody punched him in the face, dropping him to the floor. Aldis then entered the ring and hit Cody low, following up with a DDT for a near fall.
Before Aldis could spear Cody through the table, Brandi entered the ring, prompting Camille to enter the ring. With the din, Aldis kneed Cody into Brandi, and followed with a pump-handle powerslam. As Cody languished in the ring, Nick Aldis grabbed the table (which Hebner had dumped out in the interim) and set it up outside. After a few shots to Cody, Aldis laid him onto the table and attempted an elbow from the top rope to the outside. Cody moved at the last second, and Aldis landed knees first – to the horror of the former NWA champs – still assembled on the top of the smallish ramp. Back in the ring Cody hit Cross-Rhodes for the pin.
SECOND FALL: Cody via pinfall at 27:00.
Aldis entered the third fall with a superkick to Rhodes, and avoided Cross-Rhodes for a second time. Cody went for a moonsault and missed due to Aldis’ knee having given out. Both men exchanged shots in the middle of the ring. Cody got the advantage using the Dusty Rhodes combo and both men hit the mat after a double clothesline.
Camille grabbed Brandi and threw her to the floor as Brandi cheered on Cody. Brandi leapt onto Camille and then both separated, with additional referees on the scene to control the melee. After a missed spear by Camille that resulted in a ref getting taken out, Brian Hebner removed the ladies and NWA champs from ringside.
Meanwhile, in ring, Aldis snuck up on Cody to hit Cross-Rhodes for a near fall. Cody then hit Aldis with the Kingland Cloverleaf in the middle of the ring, but had to release the submission when Aldis grabbed the ropes. Aldis got the best of the exchange after and hit a tombstone piledriver and his elbow off the top for a 2.8 count, anguish all over the face of the former NWA champ.
Aldis went for another elbow that was countered by a Cody boot and Rainmaker for 2.9. Aldis and Cody trash talked each other mid ring, and exchanged punches, until Cody was turned inside out by an Aldis lariat.
Cody snuck in a superkick that stunned Aldis, but not to put down the challenger. Aldis then removed Cody’s boot and after a reversed small package, Nick Aldis is again your NWA World Heavyweight Champion.
THIRD FALL and WINNER: Nick Aldis in 37:00.
Fann’s Analysis: In going nearly 40 minutes, this was a solid match – one I think both will be proud of. I don’t know if it was fatigue or spacing, but in the endgame, Cody’s superkick showed a ton of light and the camera didn’t do it any favors. The finish was sold with shock and surprise by the attendees and the participants, and Camille’s addition as the “neutralizer” added a bit of misdirection the match needed. Cody “only’ being IWGP US Champ now is an interesting twist, because I assumed he would hold onto the NWA title for longer than a month an change. Finally, having the former champs out early was a nice touch, then got really awkward as you just watched them stand around onstage on where ever they wouldn’t be in the way as the match continued.
Post match Cody sold the loss with stunned silence outside of the ring on the floor. Camille returned to celebrate with Nick Aldis and the announcers gave farewells to the audience and promised to be back next year.
FINAL THOUGHTS:The show overall was fun to me, but was woefully underprepared in terms of the production in sound, video and camera quality needed to be an effective promotion in 2018. While the throwback of having pre-match promos backstage, in ring and ringside were great, the constant jarring reminder that these folks putting this on needed to do much better than All In, a show run by first timers was jarring to say the least. That being said, despite all of those issues I cannot complain about the action or the good-to-great announcing and this was a solid 3 hour show.