NWA Smoky Mountain Summer Bash 2016

Summer Bash 2016
Date: June 24, 2016
Location: Evolution Sports Gym, Elizabethtown, Tennessee
Commentators: Matt Rhodes, Mike Cooper, Heath Snead

This is from NWA Smoky Mountain as I continue a trek through some random independent companies (or as independent as the NWA is). As usual, I have no idea what to expect from this show but it’s the NWA in Tennessee so you can imagine the fans are going to be pretty into the show. Let’s get to it.

Keep in mind that I have no idea what is going on here from a storyline or character perspective so please bear with me.

There is no intro video and we’re going straight to the first match.

White Trash Millionaires vs. Air America vs. Hardliners

That would be Corey Smith/Lenny Stratton (with Taylor Hennig (I think?)) vs. Gavin Daring/Skylar Kruze vs. Bryan Montgomery/Jeff Connelly (with Travis Stikes). I think you can get the idea of the debuting Millionaires and Air America seem to be hometown high fliers. Kruze spins out of a wristlock and cranks on Stratton’s wrist before handing it off to Daring for more of the same.

Back up and Stratton hits a shoulder, only to get armdragged into the corner. Smith, in overalls, comes in to power Daring into the corner for a right hand to the face. It’s back to Kruze for a double drop toehold and a front facelock but Smith is back up without much effort. Stratton comes in and gets to face Montgomery, the latter of whom starts with a Rick Rude hip swivel. A rather high hiptoss puts Montgomery down and a kick to the head puts him on the floor.

Kruze jumps to the apron and kicks the Millionaires down (Cooper: “They’re worth about $1.50 right now!”) before Stratton gets back in. Smith’s knee from the apron cuts Kruze down and there’s the gorilla press toss face first onto the turnbuckle. Stratton comes back in with a slingshot spear for two but Montgomery tags himself in to plant Darling for two. A Russian legsweep/dropkick combination gets two so Connelly grabs an STF.

Montgomery comes back in to cut off a comeback bit and something like a Russian legsweep cuts Darling off again. Darling finally comes back with a Sling Blade and the hot tag brings in Kruze to clean house. A springboard bulldog hits Montgomery but Connelly isn’t even going to let him get one. Everything breaks down with the parade of finishers, including a fireman’s carry slam, which is called a version of the Go To Sleep by commentators who aren’t as good as they think they are.

Darling catapults Stratton into a superkick (with commentary getting in one of the most annoying calls I’ve ever heard by calling it a SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUPERKICK in a loud voice) from Kruze. Stikes breaks up something on the top so Darling dives onto him and Smith, leaving the hardliners to hit a Downward Spiral 3D to finish Kruze at 12:31.

Rating: C+. This definitely felt like lower level stars trying to do a match that they have seen others do better, but it worked out fairly well. The finish looked cool and Air America is a good name for a team, though the Millionaires were barely a factor here. Good enough choice for an opener here, even if I want the commentators tied up to a wall and pummeled with various clubs and sticks.

The Agency (seems to be a rather large heel stable) throws out the interviewer (who might be Heath Snead) and says they are going to dominate everyone tonight. The leader, or at least the main talker, is ready for Buff Bagwell in the main event.

Vince Brent vs. Axton Ray

This is champion (Brent is the Mountain Empire Champion and Ray is the TV Champion) vs. champion but it’s non-title. Brent is part of the Agency and has a bunch of people, including a woman named Kayla, with him. On the other hand, Ray is still around to this day and popped up on AEW Dark as a jobber. They take their time circling each other before going to one of the weakest lockups I can remember seeing.

A battle over wrist control goes to Ray but he gets armdragged down, allowing Brent to dab. Back up and Ray flips out of a headscissors and armdrags him out to the floor. Ray’s dive is cut off though and they brawl out into the fans. Axton gets sent over the bleachers but dives over them, setting up a dive off said bleachers. Back in and Ray sends him outside again, this time setting up the big slingshot dive. They go inside again, with Brent grabbing a Backstabber for two this time.

The chinlock goes on for a bit before Brent’s suplex gets a rather cocky near fall. Brent grabs a front facelock before sending Ray outside for a running flip dive. Back in and we hit the chinlock, with the camera showing the WIDE gap between Brent’s arm and anything but Ray’s jaw. Even commentary has to point out that it’s not doing anything as Ray fights up and hits a Russian legsweep for a breather.

They slug it out from their knees until Ray is up with a dropkick for two. Brent is right back with a Codebreaker for two of his own but Ray hits a slam. Ray loads up a People’s Elbow but rolls over Ray and springboards into the elbow drop (ok that was clever) for two of his own. They both go up top with Ray getting pulled face down onto the turnbuckle, setting up a running knee for another near fall.

Brent gets sent into the corner though and it’s a springboard missile dropkick for two, as part of the Agency pulled Ray out. Ray misses a top rope double stomp though and it’s the Killshot (jumping Downward Spiral) for the really near fall. The Agency offers another distraction though, allowing Brent to get a chain. Said chain knocks a springboarding Ray silly and Brent gets the pin at 17:55.

Rating: B. One of the best compliments I can give a match in a promotion I don’t watch is that I wanted to know who was going to win. That was the case here, as they got the drama rolling very well. The action was certainly good for a show of this level and Ray seems to have something. I liked this one quite a bit and it was a lot better than I would have expected.

Post match Brent celebrates….but here is someone named Toby Farley, who shows the referee that Brent left part of the chain hanging out of his tights (like a moron). That’s good for a restart, allowing Ray to roll him up for the pin at 18:46. Oh yeah this is a Tennessee show.

United States Tag Team Titles: Cabal vs. Heatseekers

The Heatseekers (Elliott Russell/Sigmon) are defending against the Cabal (Jason Kincaid/Travis Lee), who are creepy/weird, complete with a manager (Brian Wayne) with a stop sign covered with a smiley face. Lee, a monster, has the title belts despite the Cabal being the champions. Kincaid (who I’ve seen before and is a bit odd) sits down to look at the champs before starting with Sigmon.

After nothing happens there, Lee comes in to throw Sigmon into the corner and hit him with a headbutt. It’s back to Kincaid, who gets stomped down in the corner before the champs give him a double back elbow. Sigmon’s suplex sets up Russell’s Russian legsweep for two, followed by some forearms to the back. Lee gets in a cheap shot from the apron though and it’s Russell getting stomped down in the corner for a change.

That’s enough for Lee to start going nuts and ram his own head into the buckle, allowing the tag back to Sigmon. For some reason the champs try a suplex on the nearly 400lb Lee, earning themselves a double suplex right back. A chokebreaker drops Sigmon again and it’s Kincaid raking Sigmon’s back. Lee front facelocks Sigmon as Kincaid has a seat on the top. The slow beating continues and Kincaid, the creepy/crazy one, grabs a creepy/crazy chinlock.

Back up and Sigmon hits a good dropkick to get himself out of trouble but the tag is broken up again. This time it’s Sigmon getting sent outside so Wayne can get in some stompings. Sigmon gets back in again, where a seated Kincaid is waiting on him to block the tag again. Kincaid gets smart by taking Russell off the apron but has to kick out of a quick rollup attempt. Lee stomps on Sigmon’s back (the “shoulderplexus” according to commentary) but a Russell distraction lets Sigmon get in a dropkick.

This hasn’t gone on long enough though and it’s Lee hitting a catapult into the corner. Kincaid charges into an elbow in the corner but goes up for no logically explored reason, allowing Lee to cheap shot him. A Diamond Cutter onto the knee gives Kincaid two but he misses a top rope double stomp (second match in a row with that one). Sigmon gets in a German suplex and it’s FINALLY back to Russell to pick up the pace. There’s a neckbreaker to Kincaid and a belly to belly gives Russell a delayed two.

Kincaid snaps off a powerslam though and it’s a jumping double stomp. A springboard is loaded up but Kincaid dives into a belly to back suplex/neckbreaker combination. That’s still not enough though as Kincaid is back with a running clothesline against the ropes. The slingshot Blockbuster (to a bent over Russell) gets two more but Russell is back with a boot to the chest for a double knockdown.

Lee goes after them but it’s a double superplex to take him down, with the impact crotching Kincaid on top. Sigmon’s suicide dive takes Lee down on the floor and it’s a super hurricanrana to Kincaid. The fireman’s carry onto the knee finishes Kincaid to retain the titles at 18:37.

Rating: C. This was LONG and that is the kind of match that gets annoying in a hurry. It felt like it just kept going and I was waiting for it to get over with already, which is never the kind of feeling that you want. The Heatseekers weren’t exactly a thrilling team and Lee was little more than your standard monster. Kincaid is different, but not an entertaining match as it went on FAR too long.

Dani Fererra/Rock-C vs. Kaela/Nicole Stratton

That isn’t future Ring of Honor Women’s Champion Rok-C and Stratton is Lenny’s wife. Kaela is part of the Agency so part of the team is here with her. Rock-C has a stuffed Flounder from the Little Mermaid to make her a bit better. Kaela and Fererra start things off with commentary talking about how attractive the women are in a bad flashback. It’s off to Stratton almost immediately and Fererra slams her down, allowing the tag off to Rock-C.

Kaela comes in but gets sent into Stratton, leaving Rock-C to chest bump Stratton down. Back up and Stratton German suplexes Fererra as commentary talks about how much these two dislike each other. They hit stereo…flying head attacks I guess you would call them for a double knockdown. That means it’s back to Kaela vs. Rock-C with the former having to escape a fireman’s carry. Everything breaks down and Kaela hits a running knee to finish Rock-C at 3:46.

Rating: D. Yeah this was bad as it felt like a match that was there for the sake of having a women’s match on the show. It wasn’t much above the Divas era of WWE and that is rather striking given that this is a year after the Women’s Revolution. It was sloppy and the women did not exactly look polished or ready to be on anything above the lowest level show.

Post match Fererra gets taken out as well.

Colby Corino vs. Timmy Lou Retton

Believe it or not, Retton is a gymnast. The villainous Corino offers a handshake but then misses a kick to the head. A suplex drops Corino and a standing shooting star makes it worse. Back up and Corino avoids a charge into the corner as commentary points out that Retton looks like Big E. Corino knocks him outside and teases a dive but instead slides to the floor for a chop.

Back in and Retton gets kicked in the chest, followed by a running kick to the head for a delayed two. Corino chops him up against the ropes and a right hand to the face puts Retton down again. There’s a dropkick for two more and it’s off to something like a seated abdominal stretch. Commentary keeps making New Day references as Corino hits some running knees in the corner.

Double knees to the face knock Retton silly and he looks out in the corner. Retton manages to pull himself up though and it’s a Pele to drop Corino. A corner splash sets up a leg lariat into a reverse Cannonball in the corner. Corino avoids a corner charge though and a Stunner gets two on Retton. Back up and Retton says hit him harder before flipping Corino down into a spinebuster. A nice looking moonsault finishes Corino at 10:00.

Rating: C. Corino is a rather small guy and it is kind of hard to buy him as a physical threat to just about anyone. Retton is rather athletic and the gymnastics background helped him a lot here. The moonsault looked good too and I could see Retton doing fairly well going forward. He has appeared for AEW as well so there is something to him.

Post match Corino spits on Retton, who chases him out of the arena.

Buff Bagwell/Toby Farley vs. Jordan Kage/Chris Richards

It isn’t a good sign when your big name is Buff Bagwell. Richards and Kage are part of the Agency so the team is here with them. This is Farley’s return after a shoulder injury so he gets a big entrance. Bagwell’s is bigger though, as he gets the still awesome WCW theme but his right shoulder is in a big brace and he can only slap hands with fans using his left hand. Before the match, a fan wins some kind of a contest, with commentary saying we could have done that after this was over.

We hit the stall button before the bell as Kage isn’t happy with the fans throwing toilet paper at him. Bagwell can barely get through the ropes to the apron due to his shoulder so it’s Kage vs. Farley to start. Actually we’ll make that Farley vs. the very tall Richards instead, with Farley being tossed down. That works so well that they do it again so let’s try Bagwell vs. Kage. The one armed Bagwell can still strut and pose (kind of) as the fans mock Kage by calling him a princess.

Kage shoulders him down and gets to pose as Bagwell isn’t looking happy. Back up and Bagwell’s shoulder works a bit better and some atomic drops send Kage into the corner. Richards gets knocked off the apron as well and the good guys clear the ring without much effort. That means more stalling on the floor as this hasn’t exactly been interesting so far. Back in and a double elbow puts Kage down again, setting up Farley’s (loudly called) backdrop.

Kage gets in a shot of his own though and it’s Richards coming back in for some choking. It’s back to Kage for two off a dropkick, allowing Richards to stand on Farley’s throat. Some spitting draws Bagwell in, leaving Farley to get caught in a Hart Attack for two. Bagwell tries to come in again so the referee doesn’t see Farley’s rollup on Kage. Instead Farley knocks Kage down and the hot tag brings in Bagwell for the one armed house cleaning. Everything breaks down and Bagwell hits Richards with I guess you would say a one armed Pedigree for the pin at 11:00.

Rating: C-. I know Bagwell was hurt but this was bad even with that added in. He couldn’t do much of anything and most of his offense was lame because of the injury. The rest of the match was what you would have expected and that wasn’t exactly much to see. Farley seems like someone the fans would care about, but he was mainly selling here until Bagwell got the win. Not much to this one, even with Bagwell’s injury holding him back.

Bagwell and Farley pose to end the show.

Of note: the IndependentWrestling.TV preview for this show mentions an opening match between Wild Bull and Onslaught, which apparently took place but isn’t mentioned here. In addition, the splash image preview is of the Outsiders, who were apparently there for a meet and greet and were mentioned on commentary, but never appeared either. What a weird double bit of false advertising.

Overall Rating: C-. There was some decent enough stuff on here but the last two matches were lame and I’m not wild on waiting on something to take place after it was listed. Brent vs. Ray and the opener were both good, but the rest of the show was pretty much downhill after that. Not a good show, and it didn’t make me want to see anything else from this company, save for maybe Ray.

 

 

 

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