HomeTelevisionNWA Powerrr Review: Corgan & Lagana's Vision of Studio Wrestling Begins Brilliantly

NWA Powerrr Review: Corgan & Lagana’s Vision of Studio Wrestling Begins Brilliantly

“Premiere Week” in professional wrestling didn’t end with WWE’s Smackdown on Fox.  With all the talk of network TV history and “Wednesday Night War,” Billy Corgan and David Lagana got The Wayback Machine up to 88mph and debuted NWA Powerrr on YouTube.  Pre-taped in front of a live audience at the Georgia public Broadcasting Studios in Atlanta, Powerrr brings us a look and feel based on the studio wrestling NWA shows from the past. From the sets to the style to Jim Cornette on commentary and a 6:05 Eastern start time, there is a retro flavor that doesn’t come off as hokey or even tongue-in-cheek. Even the theme of “Into the Fire” by Dokken (that’s right, freaking Dokken) just works.

After a ten-second history lesson from Corny and Joe Galli, we go to David Marquez and his guest, National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Champion, Nick Aldis. Accompanied by the stunning Kamille, Aldis addresses his championship match with Tim Storm in tonight’s main event. Recently, Tim Storm has asked for another shot and Nick Aldis granted it with one condition: If Storm loses, he can never challenge for the NWA World Title again.  He respects Storm as a wrestler and as a man but, man-to-man and champion-to-champion, he’s going to be the best man who wins.

For those who haven’t been watching NWA’s “Ten Pounds of Gold” series on YouTube throughout the past two years, it was profiling Tim Storm, inexplicably finding himself as NWA champion in his 50s, that was the first step in rebuilding the prestige in the title and thus the NWA.  Tim Storm’s story gave way to Nick Aldis’ after a 400 day reign. Since then, Aldis has defended the title against the likes of Flip Gordon, Jake Hager, Colt Cabana, and both lost it to and regained it from Cody Rhodes. Aldis uses the bulk of his promo time to hype how he and the other NWA champions have taken the NWA from “a punchline to the headline.” After years of being abandoned by WCW, ECW, and TNA/Impact, being defended on Ring of Honor mid cards at the same prestige level as Dragon Gate USA and Full Impact Pro titles, his words ring true.

The Dawsons vs Sal Rinauro & Billy Buck

Dave & Zane Dawson are bull-sized bruisers who run roughshod over indy mainstays, Rinauro & Buck, even interrupting a sure three count to deal out more misery. They plant Buck with a sandwich powerslam to end it. Afterwards they run a classic, by-the-numbers promo about how they’re the biggest and baddest around and remind the studio audience that they’re the type of bullies they should fear.

Largely commercial-free, there are adverts for Austin Idol’s Universal Wrestling College and the DVD collection set of Ten Pounds of Gold, featuring Tim Storm, Nick Aldis, and Cody Rhodes.

Joe Galli introduces Eli Drake for his pre-match promo and viewers get a minute plus of one of the best doing what he does best.  Eli says that a lot is going on in the world of professional wrestling but most of it children playing at being wrestlers. Here in the NWA, you’ve got real men fighting for real titles and all of them are eventually going to end up being his.  Of course, “That is not an insult. That is just a fact of life.”

Eli Drake vs Caleb Konley

Until recently, both men have been prominent in Impact with Eli Drake at the top of the card as a former champion and Caleb Konley in the X-Division and tag scene alongside Trevor Lee (NXT’s Cameron Grimes.)  This match seemed to be a showcase for the smaller, athletic Konley. Sporting a cleaned-up look, Konley kept Drake on his toes with creative counters and by taking flight multiple times. In the end, though, Drake’s powerful strikes and sly opportunism make up the difference.  The Defiant One starts up the Gravy Train and Konley is standing on the tracks when it comes through.

At the announce position, Cornette and Galli get interrupted by the mystic madman, Jocephus.  He is frantic and bellowing about “Storm.” He has a history with Tim Storm but the former champion has a match to focus on tonight.  It turns out that any Storm in port will work. The NWA National champ and former TNA/Impact legend, James Storm, comes out to tell him what’s what.  He’s sorry about Jocephus’ damn luck but he’s got no business being in the same business as “James Mother Effin’ Storm.” The two grab each other by the necks and it’s Frye-Takayama time as they batter each other towards the backstage area.


The Wild Cards (Royce Issacs & Thom Latimer) vs Danny White & Mims

Royce Isaacs and Thom Latimer (formerly Bram in TNA) were literally the wild card team at 2019’s Crockett Cup Tournament, thrown together to fill a spot. Since then, they have gone on to defeat Villain Inc and become champions. These are two guys who “look the part,” loaded with muscles and sporting kilts with occult iconography.  They’re also two guys who move fast and clean with a hard-hitting style and seemingly psychic synchronicity. A pop-up powerbomb by Latimer on Danny White would do the job but he’s rolled up backwards into a dragon suplex variation by Isaacs just for funsies.

Afterwards, The Wild Cards meet with David Marquez but they cut his questions off to hype themselves. This brings out Eddie Kingston. He takes the disrespect they showed Marquez and turns the dial up, calling Latimer “Bram” and saying that they don’t speak for the tag division because their muscles don’t mean anything to him. They get in his face but he has backup in the form of Homicide. The King and The Notorious 187 are ready to throw down but they’re all distracted by the return of the brawling James Storm and the half-brawling-and-half-fleeing Jocephus.

James Storm vs Jocephus

Jocephus demands and is granted a match but fears getting jumped by Storm when entering the ring.  He refuses to start unless James Storm turns around to face the corner with his hands down. Storm complies and, when Jocephus tries to rush him for a cheap shot, drops him with a superkick.  Jocephus is laid down with his thumb in his mouth as The Cowboy gets a win.

A retrospective with Tim Storm goes over his story: a schoolteacher and grandfather who reached the height of his career in middle age and, amazingly, elevated the title.  He meets with Joe Galli at ringside to talk about the pressure and the meaning of the championship to him and his family, including the concerns of his 94-year-old mother about his safety.  He quotes Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” and manages to get a “Mama Storm” chant going to explain that he has no choice but to win.

Nick Aldis (c) vs Tim Storm for the NWA World Heavyweight Champion

There’s a lot of complaining by fans in pro wrestling.  Social media comments are full of comments about “stupid gimmicks,” “overhyped spot monkeys,” and “[mid-carder] deserves to be champion but it’ll never happen because [promoter] has a stupid agenda.”  There’s no room for that in this match. These two are seasoned veterans and consummate professionals and what they gave us was a wrestling match.

Galli and Cornette did a great job of talking up the 53-year-old Storm as a credible threat by citing his powerlifting background and Sherman tank physique. We were constantly told to keep an eye on Aldis’ valet, Kamille, but it ends up being Storm that takes a shortcut while referee Brian Hebner is distracted. The challenger pulls out all the stops. He goes to uncomfortable territory on the top rope with great commentary by Cornette to dress up a near stumble. He digs to deep to make it to the ropes after a lengthy cloverleaf hold.  When he ducks a clothesline on the outside that ends up flattening Kamille instead, Storm capitalizes to hit his Eye of the Storm swinging slam but it’s not enough. Eventually, Aldis manages to small package Storm off an attempted suplex and retains.

After the match, Nick Aldis praises Tim Storm for everything he’s done for the NWA and everything that he is as a man. This garners great respect from the crowd and prompts them to cheer for Storm. The crowd changes it’s tune quickly, though, when Joe Galli makes a few attempts to ask Kamille about how she’s feeling after getting clotheslined and he is cut off by Aldis each time (including a wicked glare that lets him know it’s time to stop talking.)


Billy Corgan and David Lagana had a distinct vision of what they wanted to do with the NWA after purchasing it in 2017, a 20-year plan.  If this wasn’t exactly what they were going for with NWA Powerrr, I can’t imagine what they could have been attempting. The retro feel and high level talents made it clear that this is not “sports entertainment” or “performance art” or “costumed murder gymnastics” or any other term that anyone wants to use except “professional wrestling.” 

The diverse Atlanta crowd of only a few hundred people was into every moment and time between segments was used for man-on-the-street responses from them (including “It’s still real to me, damnit!” guy) to describe the atmosphere and the action. Eighteen years left in Billy Corgan’s plans and, if the future doesn’t pan out as well as this return to history, it won’t be for lack of a good start.

NWA Powerrr airs Tuesday nights at 6:05 p.m. EST on YouTube.




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