SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
NWA/ROH CROCKETT CUP
APRIL 27, 2019
CONCORD, NC AT CABARRUS ARENA
AIRED ON ROH HONOR CLUB
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Joe Galli, Jim Cornette, Ian Riccaboni
The show opened with a video package on the Nick Aldis-Marty Scurll interactions that led to their world title match tonight.
-Joe Galli welcomed us to the show and introduced the commentary team as the camera panned the Crockett Cup and the new NWA tag title belts. All the battle royal entrants were already in the ring. They were introduced by the ring announcer but their names did not appear on screen.
(1) BATTLE ROYAL FOR THE FINAL BERTH IN THE CROCKETT CUP
The entrants were The Boys (Brandon & Brent), The Dawgs (Will Ferrara & Rhett Titus), Royce Isaacs & Thomas Latimer, Cam Carter & ???, Jay Bradley & Jocephus, Kevin Blue & Billy Buck, and The Dawson Brothers (Zane Dawson & Dave Dawson).
Titus posed mid-ring while the others stared. The Boys double-clotheslined Titus over. Riccaboni said both tag partners must be eliminated to lose this match. The commentators talked up The Dawson Brothers as the favorites by being locals and having the size advantage. They were both dumped out at 4:20. The Boys were left alone with Bradley and Jocephus at 6:00. The Boys ducked a charge and Bradley’s team went over. The Boys were then ambushed from behind by Isaacs and Latimer, presumed eliminated, who dumped out Dalton Castle’s kids to win. The commentators stressed that these two have never teamed together before.
WINNERS: Isaacs & Latimer in 6:33.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Embarrassing. A bunch of random indie wrestlers getting the “already in the ring” treatment with no graphics identifying their names. The finish is the most overused battle royal finish around and we literally just saw it a few weeks ago in the Honor Rumble at G1 Supercard. Then the winning team, getting the last slot in the tournament, have never wrestled a single tag match together.)
-Caprice Coleman stood on stage next to the Crockett Cup and showed the brackets to the tournament.
-A video package played on Flip Gordon. He spoke about being injured in this very arena.
-Gordon entered alone for the first tournament match. He wore a sombrero and called out his partner. Their opponents were representing CMLL.
(2) LOS BOMBARDIEROS (Guerrero Maya Jr. & Stuka Jr.) vs. FLIP GORDON & BANDIDO – CROCKETT CUP OPENING ROUND
Maya and Stuka worked well together, teaming up for double-team submissions on Gordon, then Bandido. Gordon broke up a double-team surfboard on Bandido. Stuka hit a torpedo plancha off the top rope that took out Bandido on the floor. Maya followed with a suicide dive. Bandido and Gordon hit some high flying of their own minutes later. Top rope frog-splash from Bandido for a two count at 8:45. Cornette admitted he didn’t know who was legal anymore as men have just been in and out consistently the entire match. Tower Of Doom at 9:20. Stuka with a torpedo splash to Gordon. Stuka with a Canadian Destroyer to Bandido. Gordon broke up the pin. Springboard spear to Maya. Mayan Sacrifice to Gordon but Bandido saved it. Bandido caught Stuka on a crossbody attempt. Gordon superkicked Maya off the apron. Bandido tossed Stuka to Gordon for a Star-Spangled Stunner.
WINNERS: Gordon & Bandido in 12:33. They face the winners of War Kings vs. Isaacs & Latimer.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Lots of fun and high-flying, exactly as you’d expect. Surprisingly long-ish as well for a night where the winning team must wrestle three times.)
-Another video package on Scurll-Aldis following their times coming from England to America.
(3) THE WAR KINGS (Crimson & Jax Dane) vs. ROYCE ISAACS & TOM LATIMER – CROCKETT CUP OPENING ROUND
War Kings were the only team representing the NWA in the tournament and the first team to qualify. The battle royal winners played the heels and double-teamed Crimson behind the ref’s back. They ended up stealing the victory with Isaacs’ feet on the ropes.
WINNERS: Isaacs & Latimer in 7:40.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Nothing special. I’d be stunned if the new team get past Bandido & Flip in the next round.)
-Promo from The Briscoes filmed in black and white at their chicken farm in Sandy Fork, Delaware. They vowed to put RNR out to pasture.
-Cornette entered the ring and introduced the five-time NWA tag team champions, WWE Hall Of Famers, and most-decorated tag team in all of wrestling. Cornette asked RNR if they knew what they were getting themselves into because the Briscoes don’t believe in feel-good happy endings. The Briscoes interrupted and Jay threatened Cornette out of the ring. Jay said RNR are legends but it’s 2019 and the Briscoes are the baddest tag team on the planet. He gave them the option of forfeiting or getting their asses retired on the spot. RNR attacked.
(4) THE BRISCOES (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) vs. THE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL EXPRESS (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson) – CROCKETT CUP OPENING ROUND
Hurricanrana and suicide dive from the 60 and 62 year-olds. Cornette talked about the RNR’s history in two of the previous installments of the Crockett Cup back in the mid-’80s. Morton was busted open from the forehead early. Morton was isolated by the brothers. He made the tag at 5:00 but Mark had the referee distracted so it wasn’t official. Gibson jumped in to fight them off, then made the tag. Rocket launcher sent Morton off the top rope onto Mark. Jay broke it up. Gibson got sent to the floor. Jay hit a death valley driver on Morton and Mark followed with a froggy-bow for the pin.
WINNERS: The Briscoes in 6:54. They face the winners of Villain Enterprises vs. Kojima & Nagata.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Probably the highlight of the night from an emotional and historical standpoint. I expect the Briscoes to win the whole tournament so losing to them doesn’t hurt RNR at all.)
-Video recap of Villain Enterprises defeating Lifeblood to win ROH’s Tag Wars tournament and earn their way into this tournament.
(5) SATOSHI KOJIMA & YUJI NAGATA vs. VILLAIN ENTERPRISES (PCO & Brody King) – CROCKETT CUP OPENING ROUND
King and Nagata started. Straightforward back and forth action with the aforementioned two carrying most of the action. Nagata got an armbar in at 7:00. Miscommunication between the villains. Kojima unloaded with a long barrage of chops on PCO but he didn’t know that only charges up the Canadian Frankenstein. Michinoku driver from PCO. Brainbuster from Kojima to King. Nagata and PCO fought on the floor. King with a fireman’s carry driver into a Michinoku driver on Kojima.
WINNERS: Villain Enterprises in 11:49.
(Pageot’s Perspective: A surprising win to me in that we now have three ROH teams in the final four and Villain Enterprises vs. The Briscoes in the next round is a bit of a boring choice, if only because we can see that one any time in ROH. CMLL, NWA, and NJPW each were given one slot in the tournament and each saw their team lose in the first round. Awkward.)
-Madusa made her entrance ahead of the women’s title match. She carried the women’s championship and read a speech from her phone but still managed to ramble and lose her place. Yikes. She completely lost the crowd.
(6) SANTANA GARRETT vs. ALLYSIN KAY – NWA WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Kay dominated the opening minutes. Garrett mounted a comeback at 6:00. Muta lock but Kay powered out and into a neckbreaker. Kay hit a discus lariat for the win.
WINNER: Allysin Kay in 8:51 to capture the vacant NWA women’s title.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Very basic, disappointingly so. I felt like I was watching an ’80s GLOW match at points.)
-Another video package on Aldis-Scurll. This one focused on Aldis defending the NWA title around the planet and both men appearing at G1 Supercard in Madison Square Garden.
-Coleman was at ringside with The Midnight Express (Stan Lane, Dennis Condrey, and Bobby Eaton). They each spoke briefly and Coleman announced Condrey has won his battle with cancer. He thanked his doctors and asked how it’s possible to talk without vocal chords or a voice box.
(7) FLIP GORDON & BANDIDO vs. ROYCE ISAACS & TOM LATIMER – CROCKETT CUP SEMI-FINAL
Bandido looked for a suicide dive onto the heels on the floor but Gordon stopped him and encouraged him to dance instead for some reason. The heels huddled with Madusa, who talked conspiratorially with them before heading backstage. The faces hit stereo suicide dives after all that anyway. Top rope 450 from Gordon but he appeared to re-injure his surgically-repaired knee in the process. The heels went after the knee. Gordon looked for the tag. Bandido was yanked off the apron. Gordon was rolled up with a handful of tights.
WINNERS: Isaacs & Latimer in 6:29.
(Pageot’s Perspective: I may be in the minority but I feel like it hurts the prestige and credibility of the tournament when two of the four semi-final teams have never teamed together before tonight. It makes the whole thing feel slapdash and basically says that experience and camaraderie mean nothing to tag team wrestling because two guys can just randomly be paired up and easily defeat some established partnerships.)
(8) VILLAIN ENTERPRISES (PCO & Brody King) vs. THE BRISCOES (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) – CROCKETT CUP SEMI-FINAL
King and Jay started. The Briscoes grabbed some steel chairs but abandoned them quickly. Riccaboni referenced both Meek Mill and Jean-Paul Sartre on commentary and Cornette was confused. Mark took out King on the floor with a corkscrew flip off the top rope. Jay choked PCO on the middle rope behind the ref’s back. King chopped PCO to power him up. Cannonball to Mark. Double chokeslam. Mark with a blockbuster off the apron to King. King chokeslammed Jay onto the apron. PCO with a cannonball through the ropes to Mark. Chokeslam to Mark on the apron. PCO did his somersault bump off the top rope off the edge of the apron. Mark with the Cactus Jack elbow off the apron. He ripped up the ringside mats while Jay hurled steel chairs into the ring. King bodyslammed Mark onto the exposed concrete. King into the guardrail. PCO into the ring post. All four men grabbed steel chairs and met in the ring. Mark pulled the ref into the corner. Jay swung at PCO. PCO avoided and King hit Jay with a chair behind the ref’s back. Mark hit King with a chair and referee Paul Turner called for the bell.
WINNERS: Villain Enterprises in 9:49 by disqualification.
-Huge boos from the fans at the cheap finish. The Briscoes attacked Turner and destroyed the Villains with chairs. Jay Driller to the referee. PCO was pulled onto the apron with three chairs wrapped around his arm and laid across his head. Mark hit PCO’s cannonball off the top rope onto PCO and the mess. Jay took a mic and yelled “Hell no! NWA, you want to do us like this? Hell no! You don’t realize who the hell we are.” PCO and King staggered to the back. PCO appeared to be in pain for the first time in ROH history. Jay insisted they don’t care about the Crockett Cup or the NWA.
(Pageot’s Perspective: The match was decent, if essentially the same thing we’ve already seen from both teams a couple times over the past two months in ROH. The finish was weak with one team getting DQed while all four men stood there swinging chairs. The fans wanted the fighting to continue. I guess we should just be grateful that it wasn’t a double DQ with Latimer & Isaacs winning the tag titles by default?)
-The commentators sent to a video package on Mack-Cabana but instead Cabana’s music played immediately. They also skipped in-ring introductions so we must be running long.
(9) WILLIE MACK vs. COLT CABANA – NWA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Mack looked for a running dropkick on Cabana in the corner at 2:30 but Mack soared through the ropes and crashed on the floor. Samoan drop, kip-up, standing moonsault from Mack at 5:00. Inverted cannonball in the corner. Elbows from Cabana. Springboard moonsault. Hook kick from Mack. Top rope frog-splash but Cabana moved. Top rope moonsault but Mack moved. Cabana with the Superman pin and it was good!
WINNER: Colt Cabana in 8:47 to capture the NWA national title.
-Handshake between the friends post-match. As Mack headed backstage he crossed paths with “Cowboy” James Storm. Storm entered the ring and looked at Cabana and his title. Storm spoke about challenging for the NWA title but thought the management was biased because they wanted a fancy-talkin’, suit-wearin’ guy like Aldis rather than a cowboy like him. Storm respects Cabana, though, because he makes the fans laugh and cheer. Storm believes that one surefire way to him holding the ten pounds of gold is to capture the national title first so he’s giving Cabana advance notice.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Wow. A surprising title change and a surprising post-match appearance by Storm. Cabana vs. Storm is a match with which the NWA can really hook some viewers. Perhaps this sets up Mack to challenge Aldis for the big belt in the future as well?)
-The Crockett Cup and NWA tag titles were relocated from the stage to the timekeeper’s table. Members of the Crockett family posed for a photo with the Cup, Billy Corgan, and ROH COO Joe Koff.
-Ring announcer Bobby Cruise introduced “The Russian Nightmare” Nikita Koloff. Koloff won the second Crockett Cup in 1987 with his partner Dusty Rhodes. Coleman met him in the ring and asked what he’s been up to. Koloff joked that he lost his accent after living in America for 35 years. Koloff said he’s been traveling and sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus. Koloff introduced Magnum T.A. Magnum came out on a segway and they met him at ringside. He spoke about participating in the very first Crockett Cup and coming back from his infamous car accident.
-Madusa accompanied the “wild cards” to the ring and whispered to them before they entered the ring. PCO and King staggered out while nursing their arms.
(10) VILLAIN ENTERPRISES (Brody King & PCO) vs. ROYCE ISAACS & TOM LATIMER (w/Madusa) – CROCKETT CUP FINALS FOR THE NWA WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
King and Isaacs started. The heels worked over King and isolated him in their corner. King and his two opponents were all down at 4:30. Tag to PCO. He yelled to King to fix his arm. King yanked his arm down over the top rope, apparently fixing PCO’s hurt arm. PCO was a house of fire on both opponents. Fireman’s carry Michinoku driver from King to Isaacs. Top rope moonsault from PCO to Latimer.
WINNERS: Villain Enterprises in 6:37 to win the 2019 Crockett Cup and capture the vacant NWA tag titles.
(Pageot’s Perspective: The Road Warriors, The Super Powers, Sting & Lex Luger, and Villain Enterprises, I guess. I questioned it when Villain Enterprises won the ROH tag titles at the 17th Anniversary Show and I somewhat question this too. They’ve only been teaming for four months and they’ve already held the ROH tag titles, ROH six-man tag titles, and now the NWA tag titles too. Oh, and they’re getting their own action figures as well. So my reticence aside, one thing is clear – ROH is all in on PCO and Brody. The commentators played up the idea that the Briscoes could be the first challengers since they got eliminated from the tournament so frivolously. There are roughly 8 or 9 tag teams in ROH at the moment and two sets of tag titles. Add in this one and you’ve now got three championships or one for every three teams. Seems a tad excessive.)
-One final video package on Aldis-Scurll, recapping the recent promo exchange that set up this next match.
(11) “THE NATIONAL TREASURE” NICK ALDIS (w/ Kamille) vs. “THE VILLAIN” MARTY SCURLL – NWA WORLD’S HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Veteran NWA referee Tommy Young delivered the pre-match rules and checked the men for foreign objects. Brian Hebner was the referee. The wrestlers fist-bumped rather than shaking hands. The bell rang at 10:04 EST. Scurll hit the ropes at 2:30, flopped behind the ref’s back, and claimed Kamille tripped him up. Hebner sent her to the back. Aldis chokeslammed Scurll through a table ringside at 6:30. Scurll spat at Aldis at 10:00 and hit a tornado DDT. Scurll chopped Aldis down. Suicide dive. Aldis bladed at ringside and came up bleeding badly. Figure four from Scurll in the center of the ring. Tombstone and top rope elbow drop from Aldis. Superplex from Scurll. Scurll blocked a cloverleaf attempt with joint manipulation. He called for the chicken-wing but took a right hand. CrossRhodes from Scurll! Scurll with a running clothesline but Aldis sidestepped and Scurll clotheslined the ref. Kamille ran back to the ring. She looked to spear Scurll but Aldis stopped her. He sent her to the back, saying he wanted to win this one on his own. Scurll kicked Aldis between the legs and hit Graduation. Aldis kicked out at 2.9 in an apparent double turn. Aldis doubled up Scurll for the same pin he beat Cody with. Kick out. Chicken-wing! Aldis faded, rolled over, and got Scurll’s shoulders down for two. Aldis into the corner. King’s Lynn Cloverleaf! Aldis sank it in and Scurll tapped to dead silence.
WINNER: Nick Aldis in 23:43 to retain the NWA title.
-The men hugged. Scurll spoke about his real life friendship and mentorship with Aldis. He said the better man won. Aldis spoke about rebuilding the name of the NWA. The show signed off after 3 hours and 35 minutes.
(Pageot’s Perspective: High drama down the stretch that won me over in a way I didn’t think they’d be able to, especially with all the excessive blood that I just can’t stomach. I don’t know why they thought a double turn would work, though. Are they not familiar with Marty Scurll? No matter what he does, the fans refuse to boo him. If Aldis sending away Kamille and subsequently getting kicked between the legs by Scurll didn’t get the fans on his side nothing else they could do would. So rather than the fans booing or cheering Aldis’ retention there was just disappointment and silence that their beloved Scurll lost his second main event world title match this month. Let the speculation continue that Scurll is finishing up with ROH soon and heading off to AEW or NXT. All he has left to his name right now is one ROH six-man title belt.)
Find Harley on Twitter @talkinghonor and listen to discussions of all things ROH every Wednesday on the PWTorch Dailycast “Talking Honor.”