Previously on NWA Powerrr: Aron Stevens quit to go make a California samurai movie, Kamille’s extended cinematic universe expanded to include the Wild Cards, and The Question Mark debuted and killed a guy with the Touch of Death.
If you’d like to keep up with these columns, you can do so on the NWA Powerrr tag page. Remember, NWA Powerrr and all its extra Rs is free to watch on YouTube, so check out episode seven if you haven’t already:
Put What On His Back And Ride A Motor Scooter Through Where Now?
— "Wholesome" Baby Billy Hawkins (@CeeHawk) November 19, 2019
Unfortunately we can’t talk about this week’s episode without mentioning the above line of commentary, which got the show pulled down and re-edited after it was uploaded, and led to the resignation of Jim Cornette from the National Wrestling Alliance.
In case you missed it, it was a folksy southern colloquialism you might hear your surprisingly racist grandma say about how a guy’s so tough he could “strap a bucket of fried chicken to his back and ride a motor scooter through Ethiopia.” It’s the James E. equivalent of Jim Ross saying someone’s like a, “long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs,” or whatever, and something he’s said on commentary for other shows before. From my write-up of the resignation:
If your first response to that was, “he was just joking about how hungry starving people are,” first of all, what, and second of all, consider that Cornette could’ve said, I don’t know, “pizza” or “hamburgers” and not hit that very specific tone he was going for. Additionally, there are parts of early 1980s southern wrestling we just don’t have to keep alive.
So here’s to a version of NWA’s very enjoyable studio wrestling show without Cornette, and to six more months of Corny calling people gay pussy snowflakes on Twitter for not thinking southern closet racism should get the same amount of laughs and applause on a global platform in 2019 as it did in the various Tennessee and Carolina towns on his territory loop in 1982.
I like Jim Cornette’s voice a lot, and if you go back and watch NWA shows from the actual 1980s, he’s a revelation on almost every single one. Unfortunately he’s never going to get to use that tactically brilliant wrestling mind to benefit anyone because he can’t get over the immediate call-and-response of “getting under people’s skin” and saying “heel” things to “piss them off” and “get a rise out of them,” whether he’s playing an exaggerated and privileged mama’s boy we’re supposed to hate or “playing” a crotchety old veteran on the Internet who can’t seem to process anything that isn’t completely in line with his narrow-ass view of how pro wrestling works. It’s a shame. That said, I’m still looking forward to a version of the show without him, and not being able to fit in on a show tailor-made for him from the ground up for seven weeks without royally fucking it up is a real accomplishment.
I know sometimes people say shit without thinking — I’ve said and done some of the stupidest shit imaginable without thinking myself, so I’m not pretending I’m better than anyone or above it — but the knowledge that Cornette couldn’t have humbleness and humility about something if you held a gun to his head and the fact that this is a taped show wherein somebody at some point could’ve just said, “that’s not gonna play in 2019, let’s snip that out,” is, to borrow a phrase from Bill Goldberg, a perfect storm of crappiness.
Hey, why not put Billy Corgan on commentary in his place? He’d never say anything stupid.
Also, A Match Happened
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis is continuing to pretend to be a Good Dude Who Loves Fair Play And Competition while never putting his title on the line, only ever wrestling cans, and manipulating all of his top competitors into fighting each other so he doesn’t have to fight any of them. This week he gives an opportunity to Trevor Murdoch of all people, seen here losing the match with maybe the worst top rope move ever performed. It gets worse the more you watch it. It’s like an Erik Watts missle dropkick, somehow.
At the end of the night, James Storm shows up and makes this same point — about Aldis being real two-faced about his title run, not about the second-hand embarrassment of that top rope attack — and is stopped mid-rant by a wild Kamille. Kamille, who is still mute as far as the audience is concerned, whispers something in Storm’s ear that immediately chills him out and ends the promo.
Kamille gets another mention on the show during a promo battle involving the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express and NWA Tag Team Champions The Wild Cards, featuring Kamille’s real-life boyfriend, Thom Latimer. Sorry, I spelled his first name wrong. Bram Latimer. Dave Marquez asks Bram what’s up with Kamille, and dude’s like, “uhhhhh we’re just friends.” [Family Feud clap] good answer, good answer. I hope what Kamille whispered into James Storm’s ear was, “if you shut up we’ll let you be in Aces And 1988s with Bram and Magnus. And probably Crimson. BTW do you still have Bobby Roode’s phone number?”
On a related note, I wanna point out that Kirkland brand Aiden English Royce Isaacs is one of the worst promos in the game right now. He’s like the only guy in the company that can’t talk.
“Nine times? I could care less about nine times! Could you look at THOM, and you look at ROYCE, and you see, like, two machines that were CURRATED to WRESTLE, and to win, world championships! That’s what we’re here to do, that’s what we’ve done, and now we’re just gonna defend ’em! Birds of a feather … flock together! WILD CARD!”
He just needed to open it with, “…. yip!” Brother’s out here making Bram sound like CM Punk.
In Other Impact Wrestling News
Mr. Anderson and Eli Drake really hate each other, and it builds to Drake using a turnbuckle — the actual metal buckle that turns, not the pad that usually gets mistaken for “the turnbuckle” — to attack him. I’ll be honest, I’ve watched seven episodes of Powerrr and listened to this entire segment and I’m still not sure why they’re beefing, really, besides both characters being shifty-ass loudmouths.
Who’s That Walking Down To The Ring?
The NWA women’s division seems built on just adding a new person when they’ve run out of ideas, so here’s “walking legend” Melina to help Marti Belle and Thunder Rosa defeat Allysin Kay and her young girl Ashley Vox. They form a trio afterwards that I’m assuming we’re gonna call M-Moon-M. Shut up, I love that joke, I’m leaving it in.
Firstly, calling Melina a “walking legend” is pretty generous, although I guess “person you’d recognize if you watched WWE 10 years ago” isn’t wildly flattering. Secondly, there’s a whole lot of boring WWE-style booking on this episode, from the distraction finishes and post-match beatdowns to a short match early in the episode turning into a tag team main event. 1980s-style studio wrestling is not necessarily modern Raw, guys. Thirdly, I hope Melina randomly disappears next week and gets replaced by Taya Valkyrie again.
Early in the show, Ricky Starks (who should clearly be the most supported and popular guy on this roster) gets completely overshadowed by ?The Question Mark?. Listen to that pop The Question Mark gets when he walks through the curtain. They need to add the sound of glass breaking to him not having an entrance theme.
Starks tries to wrestle him against the WAVE of support The Question Mark suddenly has, and is straight-up getting booed at points for getting in offense. Question Mark showed up one time and hit one jobber with one I Love You Uppercut and is SUPER, SUPER OVER. The benefit of studio wrestling in front of the same crowd each episode, I guess. See also most of the ridiculous early NXT characters that got over by being funny and different, like Tyler Breeze.
Aron Stevens shows up to attack Starks and cause a disqualification, and even the guy DESIGNED to get boos from these people can’t keep The Question Mark from being cheered. The crowd’s chanting “one more time” for a beatdown of, ostensibly, the show’s only top young homegrown babyface. So they have to lean into it, and play up Stevens being jealous of his new friend’s unbridled popularity. Hilarious. Not particularly constructive, really — why wasn’t Cornette complaining about THIS getting over at the expense of old school wrestling when he gets mad at literally everything Joey Ryan and Orange Cassidy do in the same vein — but perversely, confusingly entertaining.
This sets up the main event: The Question Mark and Aron Stevens versus Ricky Starks and NWA National Heavyweight Champion Colt Cabana. Cabana’s a terrible friend here, by the way. He’s on commentary watching Starks get beaten down 2-on-1 earlier in the night, and doesn’t step in until The Question Mark’s about to hit Starks with a third Touch of Death. In the main event, he just stands on the apron for the finish and watches Starks get pinned. You uh, got something you’d rather be doing?
After the match (which featured Question Mark winning, but being forced to tag out so Stevens could steal the pin), Stevens cuts a short promo about how they won thanks to, “the power of karate.” Question Mark corrects him: “KARA … TAY!!!” More applause.
Wrestling is so weird.