Under the auspices of Billy Corgan’s management, the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) is a promotion that I’ve regularly checked in on without always being a dedicated weekly viewer.
It’s never going to be a promotion that blows you away in the ring, particularly with their TV offerings, but it’s solid and well-booked for the most part. They also use a lot of different talent to what you see elsewhere, something that’s good in certain ways but not so good in others.
Articulated in a number of interviews in recent years, Billy Corgan clearly has a vision of what he wants his wrestling to be. At the moment, they’re seemingly doubling down on guys with size (in terms of height and weight) and expanding the number of titles they have available. With the aim being to move to five PPVs next year rather than four, the latter makes sense.
Anyway, they invariably draw good live crowds and this coming weekend (August 27 and 28) they’ve got their biggest weekend of the year as they return to the Chase in St. Louis for their 74th Anniversary Show double-header. I thought that was a good point to jump in to offer my thoughts on both shows.
National Wrestling Alliance
NWA 74th Anniversary Show – Night 1
August 27, 2022
Chase’s Khorassan Ballroom
St. Louis, Missouri
The Country Gentlemen (AJ Cazana & Anthony Andrews) (w/ Joe Cazana) vs. Gold Rushhh (Jordan Clearwater & Marshe Rockett) (w/ Austin Idol)
This match is a preview of the following night’s Battle Royal, which both these teams are part of, to determine the new NWA USA Tag Team Champions.
Cazana and Andrews have mostly been an enhancement team so far, with Rockett and Clearwater much more tenured and established. That likely indicates how this will go. Prediction: Gold Rushhh
Luke Hawx vs. VSK
Night One of the 74th Anniversary Show has got a strong Cardona family feel to it, with Matt and Mike Knox in action on the main show and VSK battling Luke Hawx here on the pre-show.
For that reason, I feel like VSK will probably win to give the group a bit of momentum. However, he’s now a part of The Trustbusters in AEW, so I’m not sure how much he will be featured in the NWA moving forward. With that in mind, I’ll lean the other way and say they give Hawx the rub ahead of him teaming with his son in the following day’s Battle Royal. Prediction: Luke Hawx
The Pope vs. Rodney Mack (w/ Aron Stevens)
Aron Stevens supposedly retired from wrestling earlier in the year. He returned shortly after that ‘last match’ though in the capacity of Rodney Mack’s manager. He’s been heeling it up a fair bit, instigating in matches and helping Mack pick up wins.
Truthfully, I don’t see a lot of value in Mack at this point as he’s got a very clear ceiling. Pope is a different case entirely but as this is a pre-show match, I suspect the Stevens thing will roll on and Mack will get the win. Prediction: Rodney Mack
Beelzebub’s Bedlam Match
The Miserably Faithful (Judais, Sal The Pal & Gaagz The Gymp) (w/ Father James Mitchell) vs. The Ill Begotten (Alex Taylor, Jeremiah Plunkett & Danny Dealz)
I’ve not got a clue what a Beelzebub’s Bedlam match entails but the gist seems to be that it’s just a wacky No DQ match. A wacky No DQ match that involves a man billed as Gaagz the Gymp.
The Ill Begotten have become the NWA’s resident jobber faction and after kicking out Rush Freeman and not replacing him, they’re reliant on bringing in their manager Danny Dealz, who goes around with a fake neck brace, as the third man.
The Miserably Faithful, meanwhile, are a peculiar bunch and clearly a gimmick that’s come direct from Corgan’s brain. They are a proper trio though so they should win here. Prediction: Miserably Faithful
Chris Adonis vs. Odinson
As you’d expect with a two-day show, there’s a fair few matches booked for the weekend that have limited back stories or, in some cases, none at all really. This match, a late addition, falls into that second camp.
I’ve always felt that there was a window for Adonis to be a big star in wrestling and it just never quite came together for him. I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t get the win here in what should be a decent match for however long it lasts. Prediction: Chris Adonis
EC3 vs. Matthew Mims
EC3 is making his NWA debut here against a guy in Mims who did some enhancement spots for Impact during the pandemic before being given a real opportunity to grow with the NWA.
I do think they’ve got something in Mims but he’s a work in progress and EC3 should be winning in this spot. Does his involvement mean an inevitable integration of other guys from Control Your Narrative? I can see Billy booking it. Prediction: EC3
Matt Cardona vs. TBA
Former NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Matt Cardona has his in-ring return from a bicep tear against a hand-picked opponent.
In the build-up he’s talked about jumping right back in to take on Trevor Murdoch and reclaim the title he had to forfeit back in June. The sensible booking to get his heat back though would be for him to have some kind of squash match and then cut a promo. Prediction: Matt Cardona
Burke Invitational Gauntlet for an NWA World Women’s Championship Match
Samantha Starr (w/ Baby Doll) vs. KiLynn King vs. Tootie Lynn vs. Missa Kate vs. Max The Impaler (w/ Father James Mitchell) vs. Madi Wrenkowski vs. Angelina Love vs. Jennacide vs. Natalia Markova vs. Taryn Terrell
There’s a couple of notable things here. One is that Samantha Starr is a third-generation talent and she’ll be accompanied by her mother, Baby Doll. The other is that KiLynn King volunteered to go first, saying that running through the nine other women would prove she’s ready for another shot at Kamille.
Coming into this show, the three likeliest winners were King, Angelina Love and Max The Impaler. Given that King is now starting she’s almost certainly out of the picture, as seemingly is Love as she’s been booked in a match with Taryn Terrell on the following day’s pre-show. That leaves me with Max, who I was leaning towards anyway. Prediction: Max The Impaler
Bully Ray vs. Mike Knox
Oh yes, a Bully Ray match on PPV in 2022.
Being honest, I’ve liked the story they’ve told. Bully was there for Alwayz Ready and he and Knox were quite pally. On subsequent episodes of Powerrr Knox got mad, calling back to his and Bully’s time in Aces and Eights in Impact and saying that Bully had left him high and dry. That frustration culminated in Knox putting Ray through a table and leading us here.
Given who we know him to be and his relationship with Billy Corgan, it’s hard to see Bully being one and done with the NWA after this show. If he’s sticking around, he’s got to win here as he’s effectively coming in to his speciality match as the babyface in this story. Prediction: Bully Ray
NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship
Homicide (c) vs. Kerry Morton
He’s obviously not what he once was in the ring but Homicide has been very fun in this run as World Junior Heavyweight Champ.
The build here has been simple. Homicide praised Morton as a decent prospect but said that he lacked that ‘it factor’ to make it to the top level of pro wrestling. Morton got fired up, saying he’d prove that he did by winning the title previously held by his father.
Morton does have something but he’s still very green. This is a good showcase spot for him to go in there for a longer match with a solid, vet hand. He shouldn’t win, though. Prediction: Homicide
NWA National Heavyweight Championship
Jax Dane (w/ Chris Silvio, Esq.) (c) vs. Cyon (w/ Austin Idol)
Cyon is Robert Anthony working a mask gimmick and in NWA canon he’s the son of Austin Idol. Since they ‘revealed’ that, he linked up with Idolmania Sports Management and beat Rodney Mack to win this title shot.
I loved the way Jax Dane won the title from Crimson earlier in the year and his subsequent moniker as the Dane Event is a winner as far as I’m concerned. I’m not sold on him needing a manager but, look, you can’t have everything.
In terms of booking, I’m honestly not sure on this one. I’m not sure Dane is ready to drop it but this does seem one of the belts prime for a switch during the weekend. Prediction: Cyon
NWA World Tag Team Championship
The Commonwealth Connection (Doug Williams & Harry Smith) (c) vs. La Rebelión (Bestia 666 & Mecha Wolf 450) (w/ Damián 666)
Smith and Williams beat La Rebelión earlier in the year for the belts but it was with a screwy finish as Smith was in the ring for close to a minute at the end without being the legal man. Smith and Williams won the rematch under Lucha Rules but they’re running it back again after La Rebelión got past Matt Taven and Mike Bennett.
There’s a very high chance that this is the best match of Night One. Both teams are good and their previous matches have been enjoyable. I’ve got an inkling Bestia and Mecha win, particularly as Damian is in the corner, although Smith and Williams sweeping them 3-0 wouldn’t stun me. Prediction: La Rebelión
NWA World Women’s Championship
Kamille (c) vs. Taya Valkyrie
Kamille is by far and away the NWA’s greatest asset. She’s got a great look, she’s homegrown for want of a better word, her matches are regularly the best on these shows and she’s been fantastic as Women’s Champion.
I like Taya more than some others around these parts and I think this will be decent but she definitely shouldn’t be winning here. They’re running an angle that Kamille thinks Billy Corgan is conspiring against her by making her defend on successive nights. So, if Kamille is dropping the belt this weekend, the most logical time for her to do so would be Night Two. Prediction: Kamille
National Wrestling Alliance
NWA 74th Anniversary Show – Night 2
August 28, 2022
Chase’s Khorassan Ballroom
St. Louis, Missouri
Angelina Love v Taryn Terrell
When this got confirmed, my first thought was that I must have seen it in Impact before. A brief look in Cagematch shows they’ve had two singles matches before, with Terrell winning both, although I have no memory of either.
My guess is that there’ll be some kind of setup for this the night before during the Burke gauntlet. Given that Love has been more featured recently, unsuccessfully lobbying Velvet Sky for a title shot that she eventually gave to Tim Storm, I suspect she wins. Prediction: Angelina Love
Mercurio vs. “Magic” Jake Dumas (with Christi Jaynes)
I’ve seen Dumas a bit in the NWA and I’ve never been blown away. He just seems to have a pretty limited ceiling and his act doesn’t click with me. Mercurio, meanwhile, is a fashion model gimmick for Bryan Idol which has been solid so far.
With Christi Jaynes at ringside, my feeling is that she interferes to help Dumas win. That then gives you the potential for a Mixed Tag followup on Powerrr and also a potential link for however they’re going to determine the first Women’s TV champion. Prediction: Jake Dumas
Colby Corino vs. Caprice Coleman
I’ve liked Colby Corino’s work of late as this slimy heel and he’s got ongoing issues with Hawx Aerie. Coleman, meanwhile, has been talking a lot about challenging Homicide for the Junior title.
Coleman losing to Chris Adonis on the go-home show for this does give me some pause for thought about him winning but that does still feel like the more likely outcome. Prediction: Caprice Coleman
Thom Latimer vs. Judais (w/ Father James Mitchell)
Judais is the muscle of the Miserably Faithful group. He used to wrestle as Murphy in TNA. Not the big buff Aussie, but rather the bloke who teamed with the Forgotten Son we’d all rather stayed forgotten.
Latimer was in the World title mix coming into this show and I don’t see the NWA making a move to change that anytime soon. Instead, this seems to be a simple way to get him a good win on PPV. Prediction: Thom Latimer
Nick Aldis vs. Flip Gordon
Aldis is opening Night One with an ‘open forum’, wherein he’s going to address the issues that saw him removed from Night Two’s main event. If it is a work, it’s surely building towards an Aldis v Corgan story. Either way, there’s a decent chance that this might not even happen.
If this does go ahead, it should be solid and one of the better matches during the weekend. These two haven’t had the best chemistry in the past but they’re both good workers and Gordon is mostly always entertaining despite whatever is going on in his brain. If it does happen, Aldis should win but I wouldn’t rule out some shenanigans. Prediction: Nick Aldis
MLW National Openweight Championship
Davey Richards (c) vs. Thrillbilly Silas (w/ Pollo Del Mar)
I do find it amusing that this will be the second PPV defence of a title that Davey, in MLW canon, hasn’t technically won yet.
Ultimately, this is a way to show off cross-promotion between the NWA and MLW. Thrillbilly is winless in the NWA so far and that won’t change here. I think this will probably be quite quick, perhaps allowing them to set something up afterwards. Prediction: Davey Richards
Tag Team Battle Royal for the vacant NWA United States Tag Team Championship
Gold Rushhh (Jordan Clearwater & Marshe Rockett) vs. The Miserably Faithful (Sal The Pal & Gaagz The Gymp) (w/ Father James Mitchell) vs. The NOW (Hale Collins & Vik Dalishus) vs. The Ill Begotten (Alex Taylor & Jeremiah Plunkett) (w/ Danny Dealz) vs. Ruff ‘n’ Ready (D’Vin Graves & Diante) vs. The Fixers (Jay Bradley & Wrecking Ball Legursky) vs. Hawx Aerie (Luke Hawx & PJ Hawx) vs. The Country Gentlemen (AJ Cazana & Anthony Andrews) vs. Team Ambition (Mike Outlaw & Camaro Jackson) vs. The Spectaculars (Brady Pierce & Rush Freeman) (w/ Rolando Freeman)
More titles! Look, if you’ve got them, flaunt them, that’s what I say.
These belts were originally created in 1986, with Krusher Khrushchev and Ivan Koloff being the inaugural champions. The belts moved over to WCW in 1991 before then being retired in 1992. Corgan is now bringing them back, ostensibly as a secondary tag title to help give structure to some of the lower tier teams.
Looking at this Battle Royal, there’s a couple of stories at play. I think the Spectaculars will eliminate the Ill Begotten to continue their issues, Team Ambition’s truce will likely come to nothing and Hawx Aerie will resume hostilities with The Fixers.
In terms of likely winners, I think it’s between Gold Rushhh, The Fixers and Hawx Aerie. Marshe Rockett and Jay Bradley are very much Billy Corgan guys so I could see them getting rewarded but I feel like the moment they’ll want on this show is the babyfaces winning and getting their moment. Prediction: Hawx Aerie
Kingshighway Street Fight for the NWA World Women’s Tag Team Championship
Pretty Empowered (Ella Envy & Kenzie Paige) (c) vs. The Hex (Allysin Kay & Marti Belle)
These two team have been feuding over these titles for a few months now and this match is set to be the blowoff.
Pretty Empowered cheated to end The Hex’s title reign and then did the same to win the rematch. To put an end to that, they’ll face off here in a No Countout, No DQ match which could well go off the rails (and not in a good way).
A sub-story in this program has been the tension between Ella Envy and Kenzie Paige, with Paige growing increasingly annoyed by Envy’s cheating. With the Women’s TV belt coming, splitting these two up and keeping their feud running alongside the title picture makes sense. Who The Hex then feud with, I have no idea? Perhaps Angelina Love and Chelsea Green. Prediction: The Hex
NWA World Women’s Championship
Kamille or Taya Valkyrie (c) vs. Burke Invitational Gauntlet Winner
So I’m working on the basis that the Gauntlet winner is Max the Impaler and they’re facing Kamille in her second defence of the weekend.
Kamille has been champion for more than 400 days now and while I’m not sure she needs to drop it yet, I think they want to give her character a new angle and the best way to do that is Max winning. Prediction: Max The Impaler.
NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship
Trevor Murdoch (c) vs. Tyrus
Yikes. Whatever is going on with Corgan and Aldis, I’m not sure any story is really a justification for putting Tyrus in this spot.
Aldis won The Race to The Chase tournament they put on to determine the title challenge for this show, only for Billy Corgan to then take that away from him for Aldis supposedly politicking. Aldis was then replaced by Tyrus, who had earned a Worlds title match after successfully defending the TV belt seven times.
There’s a good chance this is downright horrible. Tyrus was never any great shakes in the ring but now he’s slow, he gets blown up two minutes into every match and his offence looks awful. Murdoch is fine and he’s been a good success story for the NWA but he’s not someone who can do a great carry job or, let’s be honest, work miracles.
Sadly, you can’t rule out Tyrus winning this. He’s on Fox all the time, showing off his TV title, and you’ve got to be sure that the NWA would love him showing off the Ten Pounds of Gold in that setting.
Still, I’m somewhat confident that they’ll now pivot back to their original plans for this year with Cardrona now healthy again. It makes much more sense for him to beat Murdoch for the strap than it does Tyrus. Fingers crossed that’s the plan, anyway. Prediction: Trevor Murdoch