National Wrestling Alliance
August 28, 2021
Khorassan Ballroom At Chase Park Plaza Hotel
St. Louis, Missouri
NWA EmPowerrr is the very first show in the organization’s storied history that features only women wrestlers. The first of four nights of wrestling held at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel since 1984, EmPowerrr also preceded the NWA’s 73rd Anniversary Show. Gathering talent from several promotions (specifically All Elite Wrestling and Impact) and around the world, show producer, Mickie James, was adamant about sending the message that women’s wrestling does sell.
Skye Blue def. Christi Jaynes
I didn’t have much of an impression from this match. There is no story or conflict to get me invested. It was my first experience watching Jaynes, and I only recently become aware of Skye Blue on NWA Powerrr. The work in the match didn’t interest me on the whole. There Christi James were a handful of attacks that hit just right like her running knee strike. However, the pace felt sluggish, and Jaynes losing her grip on Skye Blue when she had her on her shoulder is a shame. It was a short contest, and props to the crowd for being supportive. **
The Pre-Show concludes with May Valentine interviewing Melina.
The show properly opens with a hype video for EmPowerrr.
Next is a “vintage” black and white promo with May Valentine circa 1948 interviewing Shooter Stevens and Krusher Kratos. It boils down to old-timey Stevens being sexist, doubting women will have tag team championships in the NWA, and the NWA will continue to dominate worldwide and stay united.
Mickie James comes to the ring. The crowd puts her over, but she said the night is not about her. Tonight is for the performers on the card who had to work twice as hard for half the respect. She gets choked up halfway through, not thinking a night like EmPowerrr would be possible. She thanks the crowd and says that she and the NWA love them.
Battle of the Brands Triple Threat Match
Diamante def. Chik Tormenta & Kylie Rae
As the opener to the show proper, the match was a lot of fun. It wasn’t the best 3-way I’ve seen, as not every transition between the opponents was seamless. There were, however, a lot of strikes, high-flying and creative spots. Diamante, Tomenta, and Kylie were able to do a lot for the time given in the match. A great choice to start the show. ***3/4
NWA Women’s Tag Team Tournament Semi-Finals
The Hex (Allysin Kay & Marti Belle) def.The Hell on Heels (Renee Michelle & Sahara 7)
The match was pretty standard. Aside from the tag team chemistry from the Hex, there was nothing that jumped out at me. Belle played the babyface in peril for this one. Once Kay got the hot tag, it was over for Hell on Heels. ***
NWA Women’s Tag Team Tournament Semi-Finals
Red Velvet & KiLynn King def. The Freebabes (Jazzy Yang & Miranda Gordy) (with Hollyhood Haley J)
With Haley as the heel manager and Jazzy Yang not getting into the match too often, Miranda Gordy did most of the wrestling for the Freebabes. This match is just alright. The heel shenanigans from the Freebabes and the work from Velvet and King held my attention. Like the last semi-final, there wasn’t anything that put it as anything other than a mid-card match. ***
May Valentine interviews the Hex. Kay boasts about being the first to hold the NWA Women’s Title in its current form. Belle is passionate about being the first first-ever legitimately recognized Dominican NWA Champion.
Gail Kim comes out to cut a heartfelt promo only to be interrupted by Taryn Terrell. Flanked by Jennacide and Paola Mayfield, an envious Tarrell tried to force her to leave.
Awesome Kong arrives and takes out Jennacide and Mayfield. Terrell retreats, and the crowd loves all of this. Kong grabs the mic and says that Gail Kim was the reason she’s at EmPowerrr. After a year of hardship at the Kong household, Kong implies that she’s retired from wrestling. After Kong tells Gail that she loves her, Gail says the two have a bond for life. The former TNA/Impact rivals hug and leave the ring together.
Impact Knockouts Title
Deonna Purrazzo (c) def. Melina Perez
I love brutal matches like this. Deonna Purrazzo was so vicious at working on Melina’s limbs that I became invested in Melina’s uphill fight in short order. Every hope spot Melina received felt like she was fighting for her life. The selling of her right knee was superb as she fights through the pain to continue the match. Even when Melina would get the better of Deonna, she would eventually come back enough times to take the victory. This great crowd noticed it too and showed their appreciation for this match. Deonna is so good as a heel, and she showed it here. Aside from the Last Call botch in the corner, this match delivered. ****1/4
NWA Women’s Tag Team Tournament Finals for the NWA World Women’s Tag Team Titles
The Hex (Allysin Kay & Marti Belle) def. Red Velvet & KiLynn King
Madusa is on guest commentary for this match. This match was great. Belle was on fire, bringing out intensity to her performance. It seemed like she had an answer for most of the opposition’s offense. Kay’s displays of power were fun. She and King’s face-off at the beginning was fun. As expected, the Hex had great chemistry, but King and Velvet gelled well for two wrestlers who usually don’t team with each other. Like most of the show, the crowd added to the atmosphere of this match. The pop that Kay and Belle received and the emotion the two showed after winning felt so good. ****1/4
Post-match, Madusa rewarded the Hex the titles, and Velvet and King congratulated them. With this win, Marti Belle becomes the first-ever NWA champion of Dominican descent.
NWA World Women’s Title
Kamille (c) def. Leyla Hirsch
Before the match, Billy Corgan arrives and presents Mildred Burke’s original NWA World Women’s Championship. In this contest, Hirsch proved early on to the champ not to underestimate her. Kamille kept control of the match throughout. That didn’t stop Hirsch from reversing her Superplex into a top rope German Suplex or locking her into several cross armbreakers. In the end, Kamile hit the Spear to pin and win. This match was another one that the crowd was behind. It had that feeling befitting of a championship match. This match could have easily been a Kamille just bullying Hirsch and winning handily. Instead, Kamille had to fight for her victory, and Hirsch looked great in defeat. ****1/2
Post-match, Kamille celebrated with Strickly Business, who was in the crowd. Trevor Murdoch appears and gets into a shouting match with the men’s NWA Champion, Nick Aldis, setting up their face-off for the 23rd Anniversary show.
NWA Women’s Invitational Cup
Chelsea Green def. Bianca Carrelli, Debbie Malenko, Lady Frost, Jamie Senegal (with Pollo Del Mar), Jennacide (with Taryn Terrell), Kiera Hogan, Masha Slamovich, Thunder Kitty & Tootie Lynn
The invitational works like the New Japan Rambo, with competitors getting eliminated by pinfall or submission. The difference between the Rambo and the Royal Rumble is that no one gets eliminated going over the top rope. Everything that made the opener fun intensified in this match. While chaotic at times, there were a lot of great spots and action.
It had two things going against it. The first one was that St. Louis’ own Tootie Lynn was over with the hometown crowd. So seeing her being the last one beaten was a bit deflating. As always, this crowd was amazingly supportive anyway, not running Green’s moment as Lynn got her moment as well. The other issue was the camera focused on one shot for what seemed like an eternity. Hate to say it, but it was distracting.
That said, I discovered several wrestlers that I can’t wait to see more of moving forward. In the end, it delivered as the Main Event. ****
Mickie James can finally dust that chip off her shoulder. She and the NWA returned to the Chase for the first time in decades and rightfully earning the praise of a sold-out crowd. They all share responsibility for how great EmPowerrr turned out. It was a complete show with great action, solid stories, and many heartwarming moments. Here’s hoping NWA can make this wave of momentum last for as long a possible.