Thanksgiving 1986: Remembering the Skywalkers

Starrcade 1986!

If you have the WWE Network then I recommend checking out Starrcade 86: Night of the Skywalkers. This event isn’t exactly quality wrestling, it’s not exactly bad, it’s just not exactly good either. It’s a card that shows the huge gap in talent that the NWA at the time had at the time. With main event quality competitors like Ric Flair, the Andersons, the Road Warriors, and the Midnight Express being featured on a card that also includes the team of Tim Horner and Nelson Royal…Royal who was beyond past his prime at this point.

The main events of the night were the Rock N Roll Express vs the Andersons, in a steel cage, and Ric Flair vs Nikita Koloff for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. However the match that the card derives it’s name is the Skywalkers Match(Scaffold Match) between the Road Warriors and the Midnight Express.

God they built up this match and by the time of the event it was clear that someone was going to get killed… What we actually got was a match that only lasted 7 minutes, ended in legitimate injuries, and probably should never have taken place to begin with…sadly this wouldn’t be the last scaffold match we’d see in wrestling.

The match itself is awful, and it was going to be awful considering that Road Warrior Animal was wrestling a gimmick match with a broken leg, but if it had been a regular tag match this injury might have been hidden by allowing Hawk to take most of the match. Instead we got a match with four competitors who are all visibly horrified to be that far up above the ring.

This match would probably go down as just another bad gimmick match if not for the bump at the end. Jim Cornette was set up to fall from the ring and land in the arms of Big Bubba Rogers, what happened though is Rogers missed his spot, Cornette fell to the ring, and landed in such a way that destroyed his knees. It’s a horrific sight to see and you can tell things are not ok from the moment he hits the mat.

This match should have been an example that gimmicks shouldn’t be placed above the safety of the wrestlers involved, however as we all know it did not work out that way. Scaffold matches have continued to be held with huge numbers of injuries, they are always awful matches, and the wrestling world has created even more dangerous matches since then.

So if you have some time on your hands this Thanksgiving, pull this one up, sit back, and enjoy. It’s not the greatest event but it does feature some great matches and classic Starrcade events should always be a Thanksgiving tradition!

Stop Punching At The Competition, AEW!

After AEW Dynamite went off the air this was posted on Twitter;

In the above clip Cody Rhodes comes out and points to a sign that says, “Vince Suck It.” Some folks loved it, others hated it, but I’m here to tell AEW they need to stop doing it. For one it’s long been an acknowledged trope in wrestling history that you only mention your competition if you are #2, if you’re #1 you act as if your competition doesn’t exist. There’s good reason for this and I am going to try and explain it as quickly as possible.

Acknowledging the competition shows that you are still actively trying to outdo them but at the same time it puts your promotion in a place of weakness. AEW is, by taking these shots, readily admitting that they are the lesser promotion, and what’s more it just comes off as petty. Biting the hand that fed the majority of your for so long is not a good look in anyone’s eyes and while it may pop the smarks it does little for the casual or new fan of your product.

This is also why I feel it is ridiculous for AEW to use old WCW trademarks, such as the upcoming “Bash at the Beach.” You’re egging on the WWE and using the trademarks of a failed company in order to promote your current one? How did that make sense to anyone?

Anyway, I hope that AEW can learn and move past these things soon. Trying to be the modern WCW is almost certainly bound to repeat the mistakes of the former WCW. I want this company to succeed, but it won’t do so by trying to be a company that died many years ago.

Scorpio Sky: A License To Print Money

Scorpio Sky is a rising star in the AEW

Short one this morning. Just wanted to take a minute and give props to Scorpio Sky who has been on quite a rise over the last couple of months. Going from independent hot shot, shot to AEW World Tag Team Champion with Kazarian, to championship contender against Chris Jericho in just two short months is nothing to balk at.

Last night Scorpio Sky showed exactly why his future is so bright. We got a promo from the man that set him apart from others in his same position. Not only can Sky move flawlessly throughout the squared circle but he can talk the talk as good as anyone, in fact this might just be the tip of the iceberg. He had the crowd really behind him last night and folks are clamoring to see next weeks match.

This is no one hit wonder, with folks like Sky, Cody Rhodes, and MJF on the roster, the art of the promo is live and well in AEW.

NWA Predictions: The End Is Closer Than You Think

I decided to sit down tonight and write down a few thoughts on where I see the NWA going over the next couple of months. We already know that Cornette is out, David Marquez appears to be on the way out as well. Who else might be questioning their employment is anyone’s guess but the writing appears to be on the wall and it’s not good.

For starters we’re not even two months into this promotion and it’s already been embroiled in controversy. With a couple big names on the TV show leaving and several openly questioning the direction of the company it seems that cracks are appearing here nearly as fast as they did in the early 2000’s with the now long defunct World Wrestling All-Stars.

Other things that don’t add up to me, we’re three weeks away from their first pay-per-view and we’ve yet to hear a single match announced for the program. Either they are hoping people will pre-order and not care what is on the card or they are doing a pretty damn bad job at building towards their first post tv show ppv. Many people have pre-ordered, I know I did(I’ve now had that refunded), but this is not going to make up for PPV buys that would have been gained from good feud building and planning.

So with that out of the way, here are my top 5 predictions for the future of the NWA.

Prediction 1: More Exits

It will be interesting to see who is there for the second set of tapings and who is missing. To be honest we might not see all that many exits during the next set of taped episodes but I do believe they are on the way. I’ve noticed the amount of outside dates that the workers for the NWA are doing outside of the company, it seems pretty obvious the NWA isn’t a cash cow and when push comes to shove, how many of these workers will stick with the company if the stress level starts to rise? Several of the stars of the NWA today could easily use this promotion as a jumping off spot for other promotions with bigger paydays. So I expect to see some more exits within the second and third tape schedules.

Prediction 2: Programming Changes

When I first started watching NWA Powerrr I was really excited about the old school feel but to be perfectly honest it’s never been clear whether this is a promotion that wants to be taken seriously as an old-school style promotion or a promotion that wants to be seen as a parody of an old-school style promotion. This confusion may explain some of the issues that the NWA has faced with having a returning fanbase.

The first episode of NWA Powerrr has garnered nearly 560,000 views, the second 324,000, the third 227 and on downward. The last episode of Powerrr is sitting at near 70,000 views, the original episode was taken down nearly as soon as it had finished and if prior weeks are a clue it probably gathered about 10-15k views during it’s first hour. So will go with the large end and say it’s gotten 85,000 views so far, far less than any episode to date and while the NWA keeps pushing that they are happy with their numbers, that large of a drop has to be weighing on those with money on the line.

So what does this mean, at least in my opinion? Programming changes are more than likely on the way. I honestly think that we will see a shift from wrestling driven to segment driven shows within the next few months.

Prediction 3: Scramble to Figure Out Their FanBase

This first PPV after the debut of Powerrr is going to be a struggle for the company, especially with the current controversy they’ve faced. The removal of Cornette and Marquez will see a small but not insignificant portion of the audience go away. With no way to change programming until after the next set of TV tapings there are still a few episodes with the old crew in line. This could actually hurt them from both sides of the controversy. Those that wanted Cornette removed will not be happy seeing him on the next several weeks of programming, those that didn’t want him removed will see the next several weeks of programming as a sad reminder that he will soon be gone.

I would predict the next few weeks heading into the PPV will be on the low end for viewers and thus the next set of TV tapings could be a jumbled mess as the higher ups try to grasp hold of who will fill their new fanbase. I’ve yet to see a promotion, apart from the WWE, successfully make it through one of these scramble periods and end up better off in the end.

Prediction 4: NWA Becomes Just Another Indy Wrestling Show On YouTube

It’s no secret that several of the top talent in the NWA today have been through situations like this before in larger companies with far deeper pockets than the NWA. If the PPV payout is underwhelming, if the stress levels rise due to dwindling viewers and programming changes, and if any of the larger named talents walk away from the company we could see a mass exodus and in the end be left with an indy show that has less production values than other indy shows already on YouTube.

Championship Wrestling from Hollywood has better production values, they’ve been on YouTube longer and have actual TV in several markets. If the NWA underwhelms in terms of the PPV and YouTube viewership, expect them to move more towards the style of CWFH, an Impact wrestling clone, or they could try and reproduce what the WWE does with a fraction of the budget. None of these would be good for the company and the last one would be absolutely disastrous.

Prediction 5: NWA, As It Is Now, Ceases to Exist Within A Year

Billy Corgan doesn’t have the connections or business savvy of Vince McMahon, He doesn’t own the platform that his promotion appears on unlike Impact, and his pockets are empty when you compare them to the deep pools in Tony Khans pants. While he does seem to have a passion for the wrestling industry, that passion can’t force people to buy tickets, merch, or grow their viewership.

Billy is a business man, and if it begins to appear as if this promotion is going to be consistently in the red I have little doubt that he’ll cut ties and sell off the company to the next person that wants to give the NWA letters a try. A few years back Jim Cornette mentioned in a shoot interview that the professional wrestling industry was dead and sports entertainment killed it. Even though I had hopes that the NWA would lead to a resurgence of old school style professional wrestling action, my hopes are becoming slimmer and slimmer.

And so my last prediction here is that the Corgan version of the NWA is gone within the next year. It was a good try, worked well as an idea, but modern business practices and the modern environment cannot allow for an Old-School NWA to exist.

In Conclusion:

In reality we’ve been rooting for an NWA skin. This isn’t a group of promoters working together promoting across the globe, this is a singular entity working under the letters of the NWA. There isn’t a cooperation among many small parts as was the case during the territory days, this is an NWA case on a modern promotion, looking at it that way now it’s hard not to see that this company and idea was doomed to fail from the very beginning. Eventually the case wears out and you have to get a new one or else expose what’s actually there. A musician who tried to purchase one already failed promotion, lost that opportunity, and so attempted to resurrect a promotion that has been gone so long that we would grasp at any small hope it might make a comeback.

NWA: Not Watching Anymore

Earlier I wrote of the faux outrage that the higher ups at the NWA were throwing out in order to cover their own asses, for a line that they chose to leave in a show, that was recorded two months ago. Well after that was written the NWA released this on Twitter.

And with that I’m done watching. Let me be clear, I wish the company well. I hope they succeed and thrive, I hope the workers there earn more than enough to survive and thrive on but once I get the smell of bullshit in my nostrils it doesn’t go away easily. Once Again this was a single line of commentary recorded two months ago, everyone who heard that line in the editing process was fine with it until all of a sudden they pretend to be shocked that it had been made. That’s bullshit, plain and simple. This says nothing of the wrestlers or the talent that had nothing to do with the video production, but it’s a piss poor excuse of a production company that allows an employee to be tanked due to a line that could have been removed and dubbed over months ago.

Again, I do hope they succeed but my efforts will be spent elsewhere.

Written By,
Jeffrey Kinkaid

NWA: New Whining Alliance

Good morning folks, I’m pissed off today and I’ll tell you why. Last night during a two month old recorded episode of NWA Powerrr, a line of commentary set the world on fire. However, this isn’t about the line of commentary. This is about the response that the National Wrestling Association had to this line of commentary that they somehow left in the show, which again was recorded almost two months ago.

After a fantastic episode of NWA Powerrr, I jump on twitter to find this status, by NWA Vice President Dave Lagana;

Now I had just watched this episode and so I wondered, what on earth could this be in reference to, so I did some digging and found this tweet;

So let’s preface, this is a line that Cornette has consistently used in reference to wrestling tough guys since the 1980’s. Why is that important? Well, during the 1980’s and 1990’s, Ethiopia experienced a severe famine. So the line is in reference to being tough enough to drive through a crowd of starving people with food on your back, and not in reference to race. With that said I can understand why some people would take issue with it, the line is outdated, ethiopia is actually a fairly thriving country today, and the days of laughing about famines is far past us.

But… the real problem I have with this is the idea that this line came as a shock to anyone in the National Wrestling Association. Allow me to share a list…

Now do you see a problem here? That episode passed through person after person, editor after editor, getting approval at every stage of production. It was recorded two months ago and released yesterday, it wasn’t a live performance, it is a pre-taped episode and so the idea that this line came as a shock to anyone is insulting to say the least.

So Dave, when you took this episode down last night, this was after you had already given your approval to the episode at an earlier date, you heard the line and had no issue with it, or you had an issue with the line but left it in for reasons? What reason could that be? Well one that pops out to me is pretty obvious, you want rid of Cornette. You’ve already bent to the will of the internet clique that hates Cornette in the past and maybe you feel like you’d be better off without him. So you leave a line in that you know will get an angry reaction and act shocked after the fact.

As someone who has loved the product produced by the NWA, I have to admit, this leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It signals that the NWA is in actuality going to be an average modern pro wrestling promotion with the NWA skin slapped on it. It’s a sign that one of the only things that connects you with the NWA of the past, Jim Cornette, will soon be gone from the program and we’ll be left with a mockery of a promotion so many of us grew up loving.

So yes I’m pissed. Should that line be in a modern program? I would say it’s past it’s expiration date and doesn’t make sense to today’s world, I think it’s a line that can easily be misconstrued and held up as a rallying cry against Jim Cornette in an effort to have him removed. But you can’t say you were shocked by it, you can’t act like it took you by surprise, and you can’t remove the fact that you put your seal of approval on this episode prior to feigning remorse over that line.

In the words of Cornette, Thank you, Fuck you, Bye.

Written By,
Jeffrey Kinkaid

(Too Hot for YouTube?) NWA Powerrr Review 11/19/2019

Update: This episode has been taken down by the folks at the NWA due to a comment that some have taken to be a racist remark by Cornette. My own feelings on the matter were that while the comment probably wasn’t the best thought out, it was not in reference to race but was in reference to being so tough you could drive through a starving country with a bucket of food on your back. I feel like the NWA really dropped the ball by pulling the episode and this doesn’t seem to be a great sign for the future.

Non-Title MAtch: Murdoch Vs Aldis

Good back and forth match between Murdoch and Aldis, Aldis plays the reluctant heel really well. Him calling out Trevor for not being at peak fighting shape was pretty damn brutal before the match began. This match ended with a botched jump off the top rope by Murdock leading to a submission at the hands of Aldis. Aldis held the submission a bit longer than necessary after the bell had rung to rub salt into the wound of Murdoch. Something tells me that this is not the last that we’ll be seeing between the two men in the NWA.

Result: Nick Aldis:

Promo: R&R Express / The Wild Cards

the Rock and Roll Express are still great when it comes to getting the crowd going, they’re ready for their shot at the NWA title. Once they left the Wild Cards showed up to let the R&R express know they’re ready for them and will come out victorious. David Marquez asks what the relationship between Camille and the Wild Cards is and is told they’re just friends.

Match : ??? Vs Ricky Starks

Question mark is pretty damn dominant once again. Starks does put in some offense but it’s not enough to overcome the most devastating force on God’s green earth. Ricky illegally dove out of the ring attacking question mark during a small break in the action which brings in the greatest actor in Hollywood history, Aron Stevens to teach Starks a lesson in civility. Colt Cabana, in what can only be described as an act of cowardice came at Stevens and ??? with the National belt.

Result: No Contest??? Weird call to be honest.

Promo: Eli Drake

Eli Drake comes out to give a promo but the fans are still enamoured with ???. Some nice heat by Eli towards the crowd as he challenges Mr Anderson to a bout. Anderson Answers the challenge and claims he want’s to do it right now. It looks as if we’re going to have a match, when Drake attacks Anderson from behind culminating with a smack to the back of the head with a steel turnbuckle. Great segment!

Tag Team Match: Thunder Rosa & Marti Belle Vs Allysin Kay and Ashley Vox

Vox and Belle start the match out a bit slow. Vox hits an old fashioned drop toe hold which was pretty cool. Belle takes the initiative and dishes out some punishment before tagging in Thunder Rosa. Tosa throwa a devastating chop and a modified armbar before smashing Vox headfirst into the mat. Rosa tags Belle back in and Belle starts showing off some ruthless offense. Vox is able to get in a bit of offense in and makes the hot tag. Now it’s Rosa and Kay in the ring together and they really go at it. Rosa gets the upperhand and goes to the top rope before being caught by Kay. Back and forth on the top rope leading to a superplex by Kay.
Melina is here and she makes her way to the corner of Belle and Rosa, distracting kay. ROsa sneaks up from behind and takes the win with a rollup.

Result: Marti Belle and Thunder Rosa

Main Event: Colt Cabana and Ricky Starks Vs Aron Stevens and ???

Starting out the match is Stevens and Starks. Starks chases Stevens to the outside before tagging in ???. Starks takes the upperhand laying in some punishment before tagging in Cabana. The people love ??? who takes the lead and tags in Stevens. Starks is in and he once again chases Stevens out of the ring. Stevens tags out again. Now the ??? has Stevens where he wants him laying in some hard hits, a choke in the corner, followed up with a back body drop. Stevens is back in and he finally gets in a chop before tagging ???. This repeats several times with Stevens getting booed while his partner is cheered.
Starks lands a flying clothesline and tags in Cabana. Not much here before Cabana tags back out. Starks continues the offense a bit and then tags back in Cabana. So far Cabana and starks are the better at working together. Stevens tags back in ??? who lands the “Mongrovian Spike?” Come on it’s the Hard Stop… ??? tags back in Stevens who makes the pin.

Result: Aron Stevens and ???

Promo: James Storm

Storm wants to know why Aldis is getting away with non-title matches and Cabana with tag matches. He wants Aldis in the ring but then Kamille comes out, whispers something in Storms ear. Storm tells Marquez, “Sorry about your damn luck” and walks out following Kamille.

Final Thoughts:

This was a great show, I would have preferred to see Murdoch and Aldis go a bit longer but everything tonight flowed really well. We’re really starting to see this roster take shape and I’m excited for next week. One thing that concerns me a bit is we still haven’t had any matches set up for Into the Fire but I would assume those will come within the next week or so. Melina showing up was pretty awesome and Drakes beatdown of Anderson was a high point not to be missed.

I also feel as if tonight the commentary really came together with some classic lines from Jim Cornette. Great show!

Wednesday Night War: Now This Means Business

WWE NXT has been putting on decent shows but they haven’t been the type of shows that you would consider as fighting for a ratings win. Well that all changes tomorrow night. It’s looking like NXT is finally out for blood and looking for a win in the ratings. Will it pay off? Let’s look at the card.

Ladder Match: Adam Cole vs. Dominick Dijakovic

I’m going to come out and state that I don’t really get the point here. It’s a gimmick match leading into a gimmick match, what’s more it’s a better gimmick match than the match it is done in preparation for. So the only point here can be trying for a good bump in the ratings with a gimmick being tossed out here. Both of these competitors are good on their own with no gimmick necessary so it’s sure to be a decent match even though I don’t quite understand the mindset going into it.

Tag Team Match: The Undisputed Era vs. The Revival

This match might be the one that really gets me thinking that this show is for a ratings boost and nothing more. Everyone wants to see these two teams go at it. They are, in my own opinion, the two best teams in the WWE and so it’s a PPV quality match being presented for free on WWE’s C-Brand show. This match is going to be awesome and the fact that they are willing to do it without the big money payoff means one thing, they want a good rating.

Triple Threat: Killian Dane vs. Damien Priest vs. Pete Dunne

Remember when a triple threat match was something special? This isn’t a knock on any of the workers in this match it just seems like another gimmick match in a show that’s already featuring another gimmick match. Triple threat matches are not easy to pull off well, three men in the ring together may seem like a simple equation but in order to put on an awesome match they all have to be prepared to give and take.

Conclusion:

To me this is honestly the first real return shot from the WWE in the Wednesday Night Wars. It’s sure to be an all out show and one that might just be enough to pull the fans in the direction of NXT. While most of these matches are not my cup of tea, I am looking forward to the Undisputed Era Vs The Revival. I feel like that match alone might be enough to push them over the edge this week.

Rosamania is Running Wild in the National Wrestling Alliance!

Thunder Rosa Made a huge splash on NWA Powerrr!

Good afternoon wrestling fans, today we’re going to take a quick look at Thunder Rosa, one of the new faces in the reborn National Wrestling Alliance. Even though we’ve only seen Thunder Rosa a couple of times on NWA Powerrr, she’s made a tremendous splash in the promotions women’s division.

What we do know about Thunder Rosa comes mostly from the fantastic interview that she gave with the “This is the NWA Podcast.” In this interview we learn a lot about what pushes her forward in the wrestling business. Thunder Rosa has faced numerous challenges on her journey to the NWA and I can say one thing for sure, she isn’t going to let anyone get in her way.

Tonight, on NWA Powerrr: Episode, Thunder Rosa will be tagging up with her new found friend, Marti Belle to take on the team of Allysin Kay and Ashley Vox. This one is sure to be one for the ages as Marti Belle, former friend of women’s division champion Allysin Kay, will finally get a chance to prove herself against the champ. Having Thunder Rosa in her corner will surely be a great help and an injection of confidence for Marti Belle.

Tune in at 6:05 ET for this match and much more!

NWA Big Announcement Falls Flat In My Eyes…

NWA Logo for New Program

Today at 8am ET the NWA Announced a new program, scheduled to begin in mid September, The Circle Squared. This show will feature new talents trying out for a chance to win a contract with the National Wrestling Alliance. According to the NWA Website;

“This series will allow new talents an opportunity to put their money where their mouth is to get a chance to earn an NWA Talent contract. This competition show allows talents selected to step up to the circle of the podium to exhibit their talents on the microphone before stepping into the square of the ring to show their physical abilities in a wrestling match.”

-Billy Corgan NWA President

So from the information released today it seems to be some sort of American Idol contest for promo skills, and that’s why it fell flat for me.

First off let me point out that I’m calling this a flat announcement, meaning I don’t see it as good or bad but more or less a cup of warm but bland soup. While I’m incredibly excited to see new talents enter the NWA, and I believe that promo skills are absolutely crucial to a successful wrestling career, I don’t know that a promo contest is something that will really connect with me or the fan base that the NWA has grown so far. To me this shouldn’t have been used as a “Big Announcement” that had everyone talking, so in that respect I feel like they somewhat swerved us fans.

In truth, only time will tell whether this idea is a success or a failure on the part of the National Wrestling Alliance and the NWA President, Billy Corgan. What I can say is that this announcement didn’t persuade me to watch their current product any more or any less. I still see the NWA as the best professional wrestling program on air today and will be sticking around to see exactly what they have in store for us in the future.

Maddie McAtee

Honest Thoughts Update: To be honest, this announcement seems like something exciting for professional wrestlers and not for wrestling fans. In the past this would have been a 30 second on screen graphic letting people know the promotion was holding a tryout. Instead we’re getting what more or less amounts to a reality TV program, for a promotion that’s built around taking things back to the basics. Sadly, given a couple of hours to contemplate this announcement, I have to increase this from falling flat to a complete letdown.