Crockett Cup 2019
Date: April 27, 2019
Location: Cabarrus Arena, Concord, North Carolina
Commentators: Ian Riccaboni, Jim Cornette, Joe Galli
This is something that actually caught my attention with the card alone and the promotion was secondary. The NWA has been trying to fight back over the last year or two and they’re getting close to making something of quality. In this case we have a tag team tournament to crown the new NWA Tag Team Champions, plus a few bonus matches in what could be quite the tradition. Let’s get to it.
The opening video features NWA World Champion Nick Aldis talking about his mission to return the NWA to prominence. He’s facing his best friend Marty Scurll for the title, because that’s what a villain like Marty does.
The announcers welcome us to the show and Cornette is VERY pleased to be here.
The arena looks AWESOME as it’s designed like an old school NWA ring, complete with the big NWA lettering on the mat, plus old school graphics.
Tag Team Battle Royal
The Dawgs, The Boys, Dawson Brothers, Jocephus/Jay Bradley, Royce Isaacs/Thom Latimer, Kevin Blue/Billy Buck, Cam Carter/LaBron Kozone
This is for the eighth spot, both members have to be eliminated, and Latimer is better known as Bram. Titus poses to start and gets clotheslined out by the Boys in less than a minute. With the titles and cup in a great position in the middle of the stage overlooking the ring (that looks great) and the announcers explaining the concept in a rather natural way, everyone brawls to start because it’s a battle royal and that’s how they always start. Blue is knocked out, followed by Buck and Kozone as the ring starts to empty out a bit.
The Dawsons get together and toss Carter but Zane Dawson eliminates his brother Dave by mistake. The Boys take care of Zane a few seconds later and we’re down to four teams left. Will Ferrara is out to get rid of the Dawgs, leaving us with Isaacs/Latimer vs. Jocephus/Jay Bradley vs. the Boys. Latimer and Isaacs get sent through the ropes and I think you know where this is going. The Boys low bridge Jocephus and Jay out but get dumped by Latimer and Isaacs for the win at 6:39.
Rating: D+. The key here was the speed as they were in and out quickly and didn’t waste time. There’s no need to go with a lot of drama for a team that isn’t likely to win the whole thing so getting in and out in less than seven minutes was the right move. It’s an energized start to the show and that’s a good idea on something that needs to hit on all cylinders.
That gives us our first look at the full brackets:
Rock N Roll Express
Satoshi Kojima/Yuji Nagata
Stuka Jr./Guerrero Maya Jr.
Thom Latimer/Royce Isaacs
Of note: Latimer/Isaacs and Gordon/Bandido have never teamed before until tonight. That’s probably not a good sign.
Correspondent Caprice Coleman….doesn’t talk to Isaacs and Latimer, who walk by him. Instead he shows us the bracket to keep it from being a total loss.
Video on Flip Gordon, who ruined his knee in this very building and wants to show the people what he can do when he’s healthy.
Crockett Cup First Round: Bandido/Flip Gordon vs. Stuka Jr./Guerrero Maya Jr.
Flip is wearing a sombrero to fit in with his partner. The fans are behind Bandido, who starts with Stuka. The flipping and spinning begin early on with neither being able to get anywhere. Gordon and Maya come in for a handshake of their own and some fast armdrags from Maya. Bandido’s attempted assistance fails early on and it’s a pair of backbreakers to send Gordon and Bandido outside.
After Maya….I guess the term is dances, it’s Stuka coming back in to take over on Gordon. A double submission attempt is quickly broken up by Bandido, who gets taken down just as quickly. Bandido gets caught in a double surfboard as they don’t seem to be following standard rules here. Gordon makes the save and gets armdragged to the floor, setting up a suicide flip dive to take him out again. Back in and Gordon hits a springboard missile dropkick on Maya before monkey flipping Bandido into a hurricanrana on Stuka.
Bandido hits his big running flip dive and the fans are rather pleased. Back in and Bandido’s frog splash gets two on Maya but the required Tower of Doom brings Gordon down. Stuka’s frog splash connects for two more and it’s a Canadian Destroyer for another two. Gordon comes back in with the springboard spear for two on Maya, who is right back with the Mayan Sacrifice (a suplex shoulder breaker). Bandido takes Maya out though, leaving Gordon to hit a TKO for the pin on Stuka at 12:32.
Rating: B. Fun match with Gordon being more than able to hang in the lucha libre style. They didn’t bother with anything more than an insane match here as the regular wrestling can come later on in the show. Gordon getting the pin is a smart idea as he’s going to be going after the ROH World Title soon enough so this worked on almost all levels.
Marty Scurll talks about having to work for his opportunities while Nick Aldis had a lot of his handed to him. They’ve been friends for years and now Marty wants his chance.
Crockett Cup First Round: Royce Isaacs/Thom Latimer vs. Jax Dane/Crimson
Crimson and Dane take over on Latimer in the corner to start. It’s quickly off to Royce, who walks into a t-bone suplex. Dane’s running clothesline sets up a top rope elbow from Crimson. We hear about Dane’s extensive resume, including reigns as NWA World and Tag Team Champions. The referee gets Dane out of the ring and it’s Crimson getting double choked in the corner.
Stomping and chopping wakes Crimson up a bit so Royce dropkicks his knee out to cut him off. Dane gets drawn in and the double teaming continues as Latimer and Royce are keeping it strong with the heel formula. In keeping with that formula, Crimson sends them together and makes the hot tag off to Dane for the house cleaning. Dane Samoan drops both of them at once but Ground Zero (a fireman’s carry flapjack into a cutter) is broken up. Crimson’s knee gets wrapped around the post, allowing Royce to grab a rollup with feet on the ropes for the pin at 7:49.
Rating: C-. Crimson and Dane weren’t great but they were better than the rather generic Isaacs and Latimer. I’m not sure why they’re getting this kind of a push in the tournament, but if you want to give them some credibility, putting them over some former Tag Team Champions isn’t the worst idea in the world. Just be a little more interesting next time.
We recap the Briscoes vs. the Rock N Roll Express. The Briscoes talk about the tournament initially taking place when they were babies and the Express going out in the first time. This year, they’ll be having the same fate. Jay says his goal in life right now is to put the Express out to pasture.
Jim Cornette is in the ring to introduce the Express to the ring and this just feels wrong on so many levels. Cornette praises the team but points out the one problem: they might die in this match. Ricky Morton is ready to wrestle one more time and all it’s going to take is a cup of soup and a good night’s sleep and they’ll be fine. The Briscoes come out and threaten Cornette away before offering the Express the chance to forfeit because it’s 2019 and this is going to hurt. Ricky kicks Jay low and we’re off and running.
Crockett Cup First Round: Rock N Roll Express vs. Briscoes
They start fast and it’s a running knee into a hurricanrana to send Mark outside and it’s a suicide dive to take the Briscoes again. This time doesn’t work as well though as Mark posts Morton to take over. Morton is already busted open and the beating is on in a hurry. The reverse chinlock goes on and Cornette is in his element going over the history of the Express, spouting off attendance records and gate figures because that’s why they brought him in for this.
Morton’s superkick has no effect as Jay kicks him in the face. A charge allows the hot tag but the referee doesn’t see it (you knew that was coming in here somehow) so the hot tag goes through a few seconds later (still annoying even though they’re legends). The Rocket Launcher of all things gets two on Mark but Gibson gets pulled to the floor. That leaves Morton to take the Death Valley Driver into the Froggy Bow for the pin at 6:55.
Rating: C. This is much more of a curiosity than anything else and Morton took a beating as only he could. The Express are both in their 60s so this was only going to be so good, but they can still hang in there and certainly didn’t embarrass themselves. Not a bad match at all, but this was rather impressive in its own right.
We look at Villain Enterprises winning Tag Wars 2019.
Crockett Cup First Round: Villain Enterprises vs. Satoshi Kojima/Yuji Nagata
That would be PCO/Brody King for you non-ROH fans. Nagata and King start things off and Nagata’s running shoulders have no effect. Some leg kicks work a bit better so it’s the Nagata Lock to some more avail. PCO and Kojima come in with Kojima’s shoulders actually taking the big man down. That just earns Kojima a discus lariat to the floor, followed by a suicide dive because the 51 year old PCO can do suicide dives.
Brody comes in to chop Kojima into the corner before slamming PCO onto him for two. A DDT out of the corner gets two and a double suplex is good for the same. Kojima is right back with a DDT of his own and it’s back to Nagata for some kicks to King’s chest. They trade forearms to the face and big boots with Nagata pulling him down into a Disarm-Her to do some damage to the arm.
PCO makes the save so King uses the good arm for a clothesline. PCO comes back in and gets taken into the corner, allowing Kojima to come back in for some crazy fast chops. This time it’s PCO popping back up (not human and all that) and his own chops have Kojima in trouble. A Michinoku Driver gives Kojima two and it’s King’s backsplash getting two. Kojima gets in a brainbuster for two of his own but the lariat is countered with a hard clothesline. King grabs a Samoan driver for the pin on Kojima at 11:49.
Rating: B. This was a lot better than I was expecting with the three old guys holding up their end and King being able to hang in there more than well enough. I had a good time with this and Villain Enterprises gets better and better every single time they’re out there. Good match, and Kojima/Nagata are rather entertaining as well.
Here are the updated brackets:
Royce Isaacs/Thom Latimer
Here’s Madusa to present the vacant Women’s Title to the winner of the next match. She seems to get rather lost in her promo and stalls a few times while talking about how important the title is to wrestling history.
NWA Women’s Title: Allysin Kay vs. Santana Garrett
The title is vacant coming in (the former champion Jazz (yes that Jazz) got hurt) and Garrett is a former champion. Kay takes her into the corner and gets in a quick shot to the face for some mild annoyance. That earns her a kick to the face to give Garrett two but Kay gets in an elbow to the face to take over. A shoulder runs Garrett over and it’s off to a quickly broken chinlock. Kay plants her with a facebuster for two and it’s off to a neck crank.
Eat Defeat is broken up and stereo big boots to the face put them both down. Some big forearms rock Kay and the running versions put her down. The Muta Lock goes on (without the leg lock) keeps Kay in trouble but Garrett has to let go due to reasons of that hold is hard to maintain. Cornette seems to get the women backwards but gets them right as Garrett anklescissors Kay off the top. A handspring moonsault misses though and Kay hits a discus lariat for the pin and the title at 8:57.
Rating: C+. These two hit each other rather hard and that’s the kind of match this needed to be. Both of them could be stars in the future on the bigger stage (and they both already kind of had) and I could go with seeing more of them in the future. Kay winning makes sense as she has the better overall resume, but Garrett was far from slacking here.
We get another video on Aldis vs. Scurll, featuring footage from the Madison Square Garden show with Aldis saying he’s the senior and Marty comes to him for advice. In the ring, Aldis is the senior.
The Midnight Express (Sweet Stan Lane, Loverboy Dennis Condrey and Beautiful Bobby Eaton) is here and Eaton has very little to say (shocking). Lane is a North Carolina boy and puts over the fans. Condrey is very happy to have recently beaten cancer and can still talk without a voicebox or vocal chords. Cornette is very pleased with this one, as you would expect.
We recap the first round.
Crockett Cup Semifinals: Thom Latimer/Royce Isaacs vs. Flip Gordon/Bandido
Latimer shoves Gordon down to start, who is right back with a dropkick and anklescissors. Bandido comes in to work on Isaacs’ arm and adds a snazzy nipup into a dead lift suplex. Everything breaks down and the villains are superkicked out to the floor. For some reason Madusa is still here and starts coaching Latimer and Isaacs, who get taken out by suicide dives anyway.
Back in and something like a reverse Unprettier plants Isaacs, setting up a 450 from Gordon. That’s a problem though as Gordon comes up holding his knee. The villains start in on the knee but since they’re not very good at this stuff, that means a bunch of stomping. Gordon dives over for the tag attempt but Isaacs pulls Bandido off the apron. The distraction is enough for the rollup with tights to pin Gordon at 7:17.
Rating: D. Latimer and Isaacs are as generic of a set of villains as you can have and I have no idea why they’re going to the finals already. This wasn’t a good match with Latimer and Isaacs managed to pull down one of the more entertaining teams in the tournament. Bad stuff here, and I really don’t get the thinking here, other than a big layup of a final.
Crockett Cup Semifinals: Briscoes vs. Villain Enterprises
Brody and Jay slug it out to start with Jay being knocked out to the floor. The Briscoes head outside and grab some chairs before it’s back to Mark vs. PCO for some chopping. Everything breaks down again and Mark moonsaults down onto King to take over. Back in and PCO gets choked on the ropes as things settle down but a missed charge allows the tag to King. A Cannonball in the corner crushes Mark and a sitout slam gives PCO two.
Mark flips out of a backdrop though and makes the hot tag to Jay as everything breaks down again. Jay gets chokeslammed onto the apron and PCO adds a suicide flip dive onto Mark. The flip dive onto the apron misses though and PCO bangs his back again, this time allowing Mark to hit the Bang Bang elbow off the apron. All four grab chairs and Jay blasts King in the back for the DQ at 9:46.
Rating: B. This was the wild brawl that it needed to be and there’s nothing wrong with that. These four have had some awesome matches over the last few months it makes sense to go with what works. It’s a heck of a fight and while they were hampered by time, it was a nice addition to the show.
Post match the Briscoes wreck Villain Enterprises with chairs and Pillmanize his arm with a top rope flip dive onto the apron. The Briscoes rant about the tournament and finally leave.
So the finals are:
Thom Latimer/Royce Isaacs
There isn’t a recap video for the National Title match, even though we go to one.
National Title: Colt Cabana vs. Willie Mack
Mack is defending and that title is hideous. Cabana spins out of a wristlock to start as Cornette is trying as hard as he can not to rip into Cabana for being a comedy guy. Another standoff gives us a handshake and it’s Mack running him down to take over. The big legdrop looks to set up a running dropkick in the corner but Mack crashes HARD out to the floor.
Cabana follows up with a chinlock but Mack fights up and it’s a double knockdown. Mack’s Samoan drop into a standing moonsault gets two, setting up the reverse Cannonball in the corner. Some elbows to the head rock Mack though and a standing Lionsault gets two. Cabana shoves him off the top and hits his lame splash but misses a moonsault. Mack charges into a boot in the corner and the diving cradle (Cabana uses his feet to pin down Mack’s legs) gives Cabana the pin and the title at 8:57.
Rating: C. They played this one completely straight and that’s the right move for someone like Cabana, who can wrestle a clean match very well when he’s willing to try. Cabana winning the title is fine as he can drop it to a more traditional star later on. This could have been far, far worse so a straight match was a big relief.
Post match James Storm comes out to say he’s not what the NWA wants to see as a champion. Therefore, he’s going to win the National Title anyway. Storm is still a great talker and TNA managing to not make him a megastar continues to astound me.
ROH COO Joe Koff, NWA President Billy Corgan and members of the Crockett Family are here.
Here’s Nikita Koloff, who won the tournament in 1987, to present the cup to the winners. Koloff talks about how great it is to be back and praises the Crockett Family for giving him a chance. Coleman: “What happened to your accent?” Koloff: “It’s been thirty five years dude. My English got better.” Koloff talks about his ministry and brings in Magnum TA, who doesn’t quite look great but it’s cool to see him here. Magnum, still with that great voice, talks about how important the Cup and the Crocketts are both to wrestling and his life.
We recap the first two rounds.
Crockett Cup Finals/Tag Team Titles: Villain Enterprises vs. Thom Latimer/Royce Isaacs
The titles are vacant coming in and Madusa is now here with Latimer and Isaacs. PCO and King are banged up, just in case you didn’t know the ending already. King and Isaacs start things off as the announcers aren’t sure how to handle PCO looking hurt. The double stomping has King down on the floor as this isn’t exactly inspiring stuff so far.
Isaacs grabs the chinlock but gets suplexed into the corner, allowing the hot tag off to PCO. Hang on though as PCO tells King to FIX HIS ARM, meaning snapping it across the top rope, which seems to fix everything. The fired up PCO cleans house and a Samoan driver from King plants Isaacs. The moonsault finishes Latimer at 6:39.
Rating: D. This felt like a main event match in a movie about wrestling where the filmmakers don’t know anything about wrestling. Latimer and Isaacs are guys who might as well have had the word VILLAIN tattooed on their chests. There was nothing to see here and thankfully PCO didn’t bother selling anything as soon as he got the hot tag. Keeping it short was smart, but better opponents would have made this worthwhile.
Post match Koloff presents the cup.
We recap Nick Aldis vs. Marty Scurll. They’re old friends but Marty wants the chance that Aldis got. Fair enough, and it feels like a feud instead of a tacked on title match.
NWA World Title: Marty Scurll vs. Nick Aldis
Aldis is defending and has Kamille Kane in his corner. We get one more cameo with Tommy Young giving us the in-ring instructions and a weapons check. They bump fists instead of shaking hands and Aldis towers over Marty. Nick goes with the wristlock to start so Marty spins out and takes the champ down for an arm crank of his own. A similar sequence has Aldis a little frustrated so he grabs the hair to escape and sends Marty into the ropes.
Marty falls down and claims a trip from Kamille, who is about four feet from the apron. That’s enough for an ejection and Marty chops away on the floor. Back in and Aldis scores with a fall away slam and a clothesline. A super fall away slam sends Marty outside and Aldis chokeslams him through a table, which seems rather out of place here. Back in and a knee to the ribs keeps Scurll in trouble, setting up the double arm pull. Marty gets up and staggers over the to corner, where a slap to the face ticks Aldis off. That’s enough for Scurll to grab a tornado DDT for a knockdown.
They slug it out with Scurll getting the better of it and stomping him down in the corner. Cornette tries to figure out the difference between a Villain and a National Treasure as Scurll kicks him down to the floor. Right hands against the barricade keeps Aldis in trouble and it’s a 619 back inside. Marty goes old school with a Figure Four as Aldis has been busted open somewhere in there.
The rope is grabbed and Aldis hits a very quick Tombstone. The top rope elbow gets two and a Michinoku Driver gives the champ the same. Scurll catches him going up again and this time it’s a top rope superplex to give Marty his own near fall. Aldis gets in a powerbomb and tries the King’s Lynn Cloverleaf but Marty snaps the fingers for the block. Er, break. Er, block and break.
The chickenwing is broken up so Scurll goes with Cross Rhodes but the referee gets bumped. Cue Kamille, who Aldis tells to leave so he can do this himself. The distraction is enough for Scurll to get in a low blow and Graduation for a VERY close two. Now it’s the chickenwing but Aldis flips back for two and the break. The package piledriver is countered into the Cloverleaf though and Scurll taps at 23:41.
Rating: A-. This was a rather strong match and the kind of thing that felt like a main event. Aldis fits this role very well as he looks like a championship wrestler and can have a good match against just about anyone. Scurll is a star in the making though and one day he’s going to win a big match and become a World Champion. It’s ok that he lost here though, as he’s building up a lot of stock value with these matches.
Post match they hug and Marty grabs the mic, saying Aldis was the first person to take him under his wing in this business. They just had an awesome match and the NWA is back. Aldis puts over Marty and the NWA, saying that it seemed crazy when they started this rebirth project but now it’s working. Celebrations end the show.
Overall Rating: B. I had a good feeling about this show coming in and they didn’t disappoint. Other than the weird pushing of Latimer and Isaacs, nothing was bad here with solid action up and down and a very good main event. The talent was there and I had a great time watching these guys. Cornette was awesome on commentary as he was clearly having a blast with the historical stuff and the other two were just fine as well. It might not be worth going out of your way to see, but if you want a three and a half hour show that flies by and has nothing overstay its welcome, this is worth seeing.
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