NWA Powerrr Episode 2: All About The Anderson

Previously on NWA Powerrr: We check out the first episode of the National Wrestling Alliance’s new studio wrestling show featuring realistic sounding promos, an old school presentation, and some charmingly simple professional wrestling matches. It’s what current wrestling would be if you gave it a year-long enema.

If you’d like to keep up with these columns, you can do so on the NWA Powerrr tag page. Again, no idea why there are so many Rs on the end, unless we find out a few weeks from now that Billy Corgan sold the NWA to the Kansas City Royals’ mascot.

Remember, NWA Powerrr and all its extra Rs is free to watch on YouTube, so check out episode two if you haven’t already:

Somewhere In Hollywood, The Miz Is Pretending He’s On A Good Wrestling Show

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This week’s Powerrr — the only way a hoverboard can work on water — opens with an appearance from Aron Stevens, former WWE cult hero Damien Sandow.

In case you weren’t watching circa 2012-2016, he was absolutely stellar as the “intellectual savior of the masses,” and we all wondered, “why isn’t he a top guy?” They teamed him up with Cody Rhodes (Team Rhodes Scholars for life) (minus the concept of having to put “Team” in front of their name so you knew they were a team) and he was still great, and we all wondered, “why aren’t they the company’s top tag team?” Rhodes Scholars broke up and Sandow won Money in the Bank, and we were finally like, “HE’S GONNA BE A TOP GUY” … until a one-armed John Cena made him look as bad as humanly possible. Sandow plummeted to the underest of under-cards and started doing impersonations, and whoops, he started to get over again. That landed him a gig impersonating The Miz as his “stunt double,” and he was so goddamn fantastic at it that he became arguably the hottest act in the company. How did WWE reward him for being thrown away and still reaching for the brass ring? By having his big breakaway from The Miz happen in the middle of a WrestleMania pre-show battle royal, then making him look like an idiot for several weeks of TV until his heat burned out again and nobody cared. Then they stuck him on Main Event for a year and fired him. He got a great, forgotten little run in Impact Wrestling under the name “Aron Rex,” eventually doing a Gorgeous George meets Liberace thing with Drake Maverick dressed like one of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, but it was Impact, so it just stopped and nobody noticed.

Anyway, Aron Stevens is back and he’s back in the NWA as a … modern Jimmy Garvin, I think? He doesn’t want the interviewer or any of the fans to make eye contact with him while he’s around. It’s essentially Damien Mizdow without The Miz around, which I’m into … Stevens as a deluded Hollywood type who believes a supporting role as “angry house owner” in a The Janoskians movie makes him too good to be looked at in the eye by wrestling fans. Good stuff. I hope he finds a woman to follow him around spraying hairspray everywhere.

A Starks Contrast

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This week’s opening match features the ideal looking wrestler from 1974 Georgia, Trevor Murdoch, versus the ideal looking wrestler from 2012 NXT, Ricky Starks. It’s well-booked not only from an “older star losing to a younger guy so the younger guy can be the star” perspective, but as a study of contrast. Can you imagine two more diametrically opposed adult men? It’s fascinating to look at before they’ve even done anything.

Since this is apparently the “history from a time even WWE has forgotten” edition of the column, you may remember Trevor Murdoch from his WWE run alongside the late Lance Cade from around 2005-2008. He got three Tag Team Championship runs out of it, but in true WWE fashion, the company lost interest in the team and the last thing anybody remembers is Murdoch randomly singing Garth Brooks while standing on the Raw announce table. As for Starks, he’s been killing it on the independent scene for years. You may know him as the guy who got potato salad in his year thanks to Ryback or from his occasional enhancement talent appearances on WWE and NXT.

Starks wins with a crucifix, which gets him approached and vocally put over by Murdoch after the match. The thing about Starks is that he’s got almost too much charisma, like a glass filled to the rim with water. If the NWA’s able to focus it and use it constructively, they’ve got a big star on their hands.

Mr. Horse

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That’s what we’ve gotta call a Ken Anderson and Colt Cabana tag team, right?

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Mr. Horse gets their first win as a tag team against Jordan Kingsley and somehow already recurring jobber Sal Rinauro. It’s a great use for two recognizable stars who you wouldn’t necessarily bring in right away and be like, “these are our top guys.” It lends some credibility to the tag team division, and gives Powerrr a couple of names and faces recognizable to folks who don’t watch Impact. The “Mr. Cabana!” “Cabana!” “And Mr. Anderson!” “Cabana!” bit was cute. So is the “flying apple.”

I think Colt’s positioned to do really well on this show as a modern Dusty Rhodes type who managed to use his podcast to connect with fans in a way that not a lot of other people have, and therefore became a de facto “man of the people” whether that was the intention or not. If you keep the character humbled and self-deprecating, it’ll play well against one of the many I’M THE TAWP STAR IN THE N-DUBYA-A “massive ego” types hanging around.

Speaking Of Those

I really appreciate the NWA still understanding that a secondary championship only exists to establish a true number one contender to the primary championship. You don’t always see that going straight into the United States Champion challenging the World Heavyweight Champion, or whatever, but it’s a clear indication that you are the next best guy. The World Champion ranks #1, the secondary champion ranks #2. That means you’re the top contender, whether you’re the next contender or not. So before Nick Aldis and Kamille give Award-Winning Broadcast Journalist® Joe Galli some more listicles for his clickbait blog, we get National Heavyweight Champion James Storm and gravy-enthusiast Eli Drake arguing with each other about Aldis’ ten pounds of gold, and the comparative value of each. WORLD BUILDING, Y’ALL. It’s not just for fantasy lands!

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There’s not much to the Aldis interview other than continuing his compelling tweener status as champion — where he can’t decide if he wants to be Ric Flair or Magnum T.A. and tries to fart around somewhere in the middle, which makes him more Tully Blanchard than anything — and establishing that Kamille is staying mute by choice. I’ve gotta say though, Galli’s rapidly rising up my list of favorite Broadcast Journalists on wrestling shows. I can’t put him above Queen Cathy or Radzi yet, but he’s brilliant. He’s like Mean Gene in Colin Jost’s body.

This Commercial Is The Greatest Thing I’ve Ever Seen

Is this going to end with Tony Falk transforming into The Fiend?

Clash Of Some Champions

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We get our first look at the NWA’s women’s division this week as Women’s World Champion Allysin Kay makes short work of Sea Star Ashley Vox. In case you haven’t seen it, the NWA brought back the extremely old Mildred Burke championship concept with the little selfie in the center. Check it out:

I like the look of the belt a lot, but having a little picture of yourself on your waist feels pretty embarrassing in 2019. Like, how bad would you feel if you won the belt, got your picture put in, and immediately lost it? The person who wins it from you should get to deface your photo and hang it up like one of the flags in the studio.

Anyway, this told a simple but good little story about Kay bringing in one of her friends to “give her an opportunity.” Maybe I wasn’t supposed to read it like this, but that kinda made it feel like she hand-picked an easy-to-defeat opponent, especially when Vox is like half her size. It looked like Undertaker was in there wrestling Johnny Gargano. Vox is great, don’t get me wrong, I’m just speaking from an introductory perspective. Kay seemed to make it obvious when she called her friend over after the match to be like, “hey kid you did great and I’m happy you’re here but SUCK IT I’M THE CHAMP.”

More of the women’s division, please and thank you! That’s one thing you can dramatically improve from the NWA’s original version of this show.

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Finally we have the Tag Team Championship match between the Wild Cards and Eddie Kingston and Homicide that was set up on last week’s show. Unfortunately this one ends before it can get good with interference from the Dawsons, presumably setting up some kind of triple threat match. I don’t exactly know when it happens on the tapings, but if you’ve been on social media over the past month, you’ve probably heard where the Tag Team Championship belts eventually end up. I … can’t say I’m not excited to write about it, so we’ll have to wait and see. Hoping the run-in to end a match is a rare thing, and not something we’re going to need to get used to.

Another good showing from the NWA this week. There’s something serene about watching a weekly wrestling show that is what it is, doesn’t drag itself down by trying to be “action movies” or “Wile E. Coyote,” and doesn’t try to overwhelm with stimulus response and non-stop dream matches. Those things are all great, but in the world and climate we’re currently living through, we’ve got enough of those … give me at least one hour a week where I can watch some pro wrestling like I used to on a blanket stretched out in my mom and dad’s living room.

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