The SmarK Rant for NWA Shockwave Ep01 – 12.01.20
Going back in time a bit to catch up on these Shockwave shows, which are essentially compilations of stuff from the odd weekly PPVs that Corgan was doing with the “United Wrestling Network” group. I had no desire to spend money on those shows, but for free on YouTube? We’ll give these a look, especially since NWA Powerrr was such a fun show and this has mostly the same cast of characters.
Of course, much like that show and AEW Dark, this one starts at an easily-digestible length and then immediately starts running longer as the weeks go by.
Hosted by Joe Galli, with Alyssa Marino and Todd Keneley on commentary with him.
Taped from an empty arena somewhere. I dunno where. I’m immediately not enthused about carrying on with this because I’m really sick of empty arena shows and we don’t need another one.
Nick Aldis joins us to hype the main event for our debut show, as he’s facing Mike Bennett and doesn’t have much to say for once.
Eli Drake v. Jordan Cruz
Cruz works a headlock and takes Drake down with an armbar, but Eli flips out of it and takes over with a clothesline. Cruz tries a rollup and Drake blocks him and hits a neckbreaker, but Cruz gets a sunset flip for two. Cruz makes a comeback with a dropkick and corner clothesline, not really putting anything together of any note, but Drake puts him down with a Russian legsweep and a snap powerslam to set up the Drake Elbow and Air Raid Crash to finish at 5:12. This was a match that happened. *1/2 Notably, Drake’s whole deal is completely sunk without a crowd to play off, especially when he’s doing the goofy “E-LI-DRAKE” chant thing to silence.
Kamille v. Heather Monroe
I think Heather did a couple of AEW shots but mostly is just in Championship Wrestling from Hollywood. Monroe tries a headlock on Kamille but gets tossed down and beat up in the corner. Kamille keeps throwing her around the ring, but Heather suckers her into a chase outside and sends her into the ringpost a few times. Back in, Heather works the arm and chokes Kamille out on the ropes before adding a double stomp for two. Selling does not appear to be Kamille’s strong suit. Kamille comes back with a corner splash and a powerslam gets two. Monroe goes back to the arm, but Kamille hoists her into a torture rack and then hits a neckbreaker for two. Kamille goes after Heather’s manager, but Heather catches her from behind, and then Kamille breaks free and hits the spear for the pin at 8:19. Just a match. ** It’s brutally obvious how all of Kamille’s flaws get exposed without the Powerrr crowd’s reactions to her covering them up. Monroe looked good and I’m surprised she hasn’t gotten a steady gig with AEW because she seems like she’d fit right in.
NWA World title: Nick Aldis v. Mike Bennett
Amazingly, Aldis has been champion since October of 2018 now with no end in sight. Bennett attacks and the ref is immediately bumped, and they fight to the ramp, where Aldis catches him with a tombstone while Maria freaks out. So Aldis calls out Kamille to pick up as his insurance policy again, but Bennett hits a crossbody off the ramp, which the camera completely missed. Back in, they slug it out and Aldis hits a Michinoku Driver for two. Bennett comes back with a short clothesline for two, but Aldis gives him another tombstone and goes up with a flying elbow for two. Bennett fights back with a superplex into a spear for two and they’re doing that weird thing where they sell for the fans but there’s no fans so it falls flat. Aldis tries another piledriver, but Bennett superkicks him and hits his own for two. Maria brings him the NWA title for some reason, but Mike goes for a piledriver instead and Aldis escapes. Bennett goes up and lands in the cloverleaf while Mike yells about how he can’t quit because he needs the title for his family. And then he passes out at 9:09 and Aldis retains. Short but hard-hitting and it made up for the lack of crowd pretty well by doing all the big moves in succession. ***
This isn’t for me. They took all the stuff I loved about Powerrr (goofy promos, tongue in cheek commercials, hot crowd, episodic storylines) and just reduced it down to the weakest part of the show, the in-ring product. I didn’t watch for the matches, and that’s literally all this is, just some matches. I mean, look at how boring this rant was. I’m probably gonna have to repost something today to keep the blog from going bankrupt due to my readership dropping dead from boredom, which Bruce Mitchell will then blame on COVID.
I dunno, it feels like this was advertised as a continuation of Powerrr and ended up like a weird sitcom spinoff show from the 80s, like “THE NWA IS BACK AND IT’S ALL THE SAME CHARACTERS FROM BEFORE!” and then it’s technically the same characters on Joanie Loves Chachi but they’re written differently and all the stuff you loved from Happy Days is gone and it’s on a different network and produced by a different studio and then really what is even the point of watching?