70th Anniversary Show
October 21, 2018
Nashville Fairgrounds

Watch: Fite

Everything the NWA has done in this new regime so far has led to this show, all the work they have done on Ten Pounds of Gold, and all of the effort put in by champions Tim Storm, Nick Aldis & Cody, everything has led to this show.

An intriguing card on paper, but did it deliver in reality?

One more note before I begin the review – this show had as many production errors as you’d expect from a Jeff Jarrett-produced show. Most of these issues were ironed out by the second half, but it’s incredibly disappointing to see nevertheless. Let’s hope they can get this issue fixed for their next show.

NWA National Title Qualifier:
Sam Shaw def. Sammy Guevara, Colt Cabana & Scorpio Sky

Sammy Guevara is one hell of a high flyer, and he should have won this match. Out of all the potential choices to win this match, Sam Shaw was easily the worst one, and it really confuses me as to why he one this one. Shaw was presented as a tough guy with fighting gloves on, an act I could somewhat buy but not fully invest in, considering he is smaller than fellow participant Colt Cabana. Said gloves paid into an amusing comedy spot where all of the participants pretended that the glove was loaded, selling shots from it.

Guevara was fantastic here, and if the NWA wanted to run with him, I imagine that they could get a lot of buzz. Ultimately, this was a perfectly fine opener with some enjoyable highspots, my only misgiving being that the wrong man won. ***

Barrett Brown def. Laredo Kid

Everything I could have wanted and more is what I got from this match. This was just ten minutes of cool moves and sound psychology combining to form another great match. Laredo Kid always is impressive with how smooth he works, and Barrett Brown has officially gotten onto my radar after his performance here. Brown wasn’t flipping with Laredo Kid, but he worked very nicely as a counter to Kid’s abilities, grounding the action and adding a layer of story to the match. If everything on this card was like this, I wouldn’t have much to complain about. More of this, please! ***½

NWA National Title Qualifier
Willie Mack def. Mike Parrow, Jay Bradley & Ricky Starks

Before this match even began, Ricky Starks successfully won me over. He cut a promo at the commentary table and proceeded to play a pre-made video, all of which made him seem like a pretty cool guy. It took him twenty minutes for him to get over as a shithead heel, which shows that Starks has natural talent that many promoters have not yet tapped into. It was at that point that I realized why Joe Lanza was so high on Starks in his portion of the preview for this show.

Unlike the last match, the right man won here, as Mack has a great story to tell, and the in-ring skills to go with that. The match itself had a good power (Bradley, Parrow) vs. speed (Starks) dynamic that added a lot to the flow of it all. I found this to be much more enjoyable than the first qualifier, and as a result of this match, I am now interested in checking out more of what Ricky Starks has to offer. Good stuff all around. ***1/2

Tim Storm def. Peter Avalon

Picture the most generic Californian shindie shithead you can, and you’ll most likely have an image of Peter Avalon in your mind. In a way, it almost works perfectly – the fancy California boy against the rugged Texas veteran.

Unfortunately, neither of these men are great wrestlers, and even though the crowd was into Storm while hating Avalon, the match wasn’t one that most will remember soon after watching it. It was exactly what you’d expect a Tim Storm match to be, and that’s really all I can say about it. The most amusing thing about this segment was the side-bet of the loser having to kiss the foot of the winner, and after Storm’s victory, Storm took about three minutes to fully untie his boot. Good stuff, especially if you are into wrestlers kissing their opponents’ feet. ***

NWA World Women’s Championship
Jazz © def. Penelope Ford

Penelope Ford may have been the younger talent, but this match was all about Jazz. After watching her performance here, I’m amazed that she isn’t a bigger star in the current independent landscape. She dismantled Ford here in a very fun bout, showing no signs of wear and tear despite her age. Going into this title defense, I thought putting Ford over was the right call for the NWA to make, but I’m now all in on Jazz getting her much-deserved spotlight.

On top of being great in-ring, Jazz has a fantastic story to tell, is a good promo, and seems like a very likeable woman. As for Ford, she showed more of the athletic prowess that she showed at ALL IN, but she remains a little shaky when wrestling an entire match. However, she undeniably has something special about her, and it’ll only come down to who can help her realize her potential. Very enjoyable match here, even if it was short like everything else so far on this card. ***¼

Jeff Jarrett came out before the National title match with the ugly looking title, and for a moment, I was half expecting him to call out the winner. In retrospect, I wish he would have. Side note – I look forward to his hair match with Dr. Wagner Jr. coming up in the next week. I love Jeff Jarrett, and it’s a miracle that he even got himself involved in this show to begin with, considering his current reputation.

NWA National Championship
Willie Mack def. Sam Shaw 

I think I was wrong for doubting Sam Shaw. This match was easily the best match of the show to this point, a perfectly worked old school affair with two guys who fit their roles perfectly. I can’t say it enough – Willie Mack is such a good pro wrestler. He gets the little things right, his mannerisms, his work, everything combines to make a damn good total package. This wasn’t a carry job either, as Sam Shaw easily carried his weight in this match. Shaw took some awesome looking bumps from Mack’s stunner, jumping what looked to be nearly five feet in the air.

This is what I love about pro wrestling – seeing greatness when you least expect it. Bravo to both of these men, they made a match that most looked down upon into something that I’d recommend everyone with mild interest to check out immediately. Is Sam Shaw good? ****

No Rules Tag Team Match
War Kings (Crimson & Jax Dane) def. Jocephus-gun (Crazzy Steve & Shannon Moore)

I can’t believe that, in the year 2018, I am reviewing a Crazzy Steve match. Nevertheless, here we are. This is what life has become.

Unless you stan Jocephus or Crazzy Steve, just skip this match. I may like Jocephus in a meme fashion, but in reality, I’d be very happy if he were to just go back to his real job teaching video production or whatever to college kids. The only positive that came out of this was Road Warrior Animal announcing that the Crockett Cup was coming back in 2019. It’ll be very interesting to see the talent the NWA can assemble for that. That was a nice surprise that quickly washed away the annoyance I had due to Jocephus. **

NWA World’s Heavyweight Championship – ⅔ Falls
Nick Aldis def. Cody ©

Well, that was an interesting match. There’s a lot to digest here, so let’s start with the match itself. It was pretty good – despite some minor personal grievances with it. I enjoyed the natural escalation between falls, and how it helped tell the story these two men were attempting to tell. It felt like a meaningful fight, and I could believe that both guys actually wanted to be better than the other. The commentary did a good job selling the action, making it seem like more than it was, which helps during Nick Aldis matches.

Where the match lost me was related to the action outside of the ring.

In order to combat Brandi Rhodes including herself in the match like she did at ALL IN, Aldis brought a mystery woman named Camille as an insurance policy. At multiple times during the match, these two took the attention away from the ring and towards themselves, which is not what I was looking for out of this match. Not many wrestlers are worse than Nick Aldis, but Brandi Rhodes may be one of them. The majority of the second fall can be thrown in the bin, as it was largely boring crowd brawling that the camera crews were having a hard time following. The one amusing thing about that is that it led a prestigious crew of former NWA champions (including Double J) to the ring to attempt to restore action. Shocker – it didn’t work well. But for the most part, the in-ring portion of this match was surprisingly competent, leading to a match that I enjoyed despite it being slightly over thirty minutes long.

What I can not defend, however, is the decision to put the title back on Nick Aldis. I was in the crowd at ALL IN, and when Cody won the title, it felt like the NWA finally had real momentum behind them for the first time since the initial Tim Storm videos. Nick Aldis is a dud – plain and simple. His only redeeming value is that he looks good in a suit. He lacks a compelling story, has sub-par wrestling skills, and just kind of sucks at everything he does in the context of the wrestling business. Many people lost interest in the NWA during Aldis’ title run due to this, myself included, and when Cody won, I felt my NWA passion coming back. I understand why Cody may have wanted to lose the title. He, along with The Young Bucks & Kenny Omega, have been teasing that they could go to WWE when their contracts run out. Personally, I don’t buy any of that for one second. Cody says every chance that he gets that he can never picture himself having a boss in wrestling ever again, and The Young Bucks & Kenny Omega most likely think very similarly. I am so confident that The Elite aren’t going to WWE that I’d bet money on it. But if Cody truly wants to lose the title to carry on his shitty tease, why must Aldis be the man to win it? There were many talented performers on this card. Why couldn’t Willie Mack have won it? Why couldn’t Sammy Guevara have won it? Hell, why couldn’t Jeff Jarrett have won it? They all would have been much more interesting as champion than Nick Aldis.

I’m glad the NWA seems to have found a niche in this Ten Pounds of Gold era, as independent wrestling could use a company like them. However, with the result of this match, my interest in the NWA going forward is near non-existent. I hope Dave Lagana & Billy Corgan enjoy Nick Aldis as champion again, because I and many others sure won’t. ***½

Final Thoughts

What more can I say about this show? Nick Aldis winning is a horrible call, and it sucks any interest I may have had in the NWA right away. Despite this booking travesty, the rest of the show was quite good. Nothing was bad, and almost everything was good. If you’re short on time – check out Mack vs. Shaw, a legitimately great match that was a pleasant surprise. And, even if you have all the time in the world, skip Jocephus. It’s not worth it, people, it’s not worth it.