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.

(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.

Nick Aldis vs Trevor Murdoch (High Class vs. Total Crass)

According to the NWA’s twitter page;

This is big news people! Trevor Murdoch Vs Nick Aldis. We can now report that this match will be non-title which just might give the upper hand to Murdoch. The Champ, Mr Aldis, might just have bigger things on his mind and this could be a great opportunity for his opponent to cement his place in the National Wrestling Alliance.

Trevor Murdoch

Murdoch has the experience edge, being a 23 year veteran of the sport in comparison to Aldis and his 14 year career. However, let’s not forget ring rust may come into play and while Murdoch has had some good showings in the NWA his first bout was a loss to Ricky Starks which had to be a big upset for the returning veteran. Since then Murdoch has been dominant and dare I say looks better than ever.

Nick Aldis,
Current NWA World Heavyweight Champion!

Aldis on the other hand is the working champ, carrying the NWA World Heavyweight title from coast to coast defending it against contender after contender. Absolutely no ring rust here but the fact that it’s a non-title bout could come into play. As the champ, Aldis always has to have his mind heavily focused on his next defense of that belt. So will he come into the ring unprepared against Murdoch?

One thing is for certain, this is guaranteed to be one hell of a match the likes that this country hasn’t seen for many years. Both Aldis and Murdoch spent time in Harley Races Wrestling Academy where they honed their skills. Murdoch is obviously the more Race like contender with size and brute force to do his talking for him, Aldis on the other hand has shown that even though he can style and profile with the best of them, he’s no joke once the bell rings.

My guess is Murdoch comes out victorious in the end, his sheer size is enough to make him a formidable opponent to anyone in the ring and with the recent loss to Ricky Starks, more than likely still plaguing his mind, he will be ready for whatever the champ has to throw at him. No doubt this will be one match you won’t want to miss! Tune in at 6:05 ET on YouTube for NWA Power!

Update:

Also Announced for the Card:
Ricky Starks Vs The Question Mark
Marti Belle and Thunder Rosa Vs Allysin Kay(c) and Ashley Vox

Who Is That Masked Man?

The Man, the Myth, the Enigma!

One question is on the minds of everyone who watches NWA Powerrr? Who is that masked man, The Question Mark? While little is known about this enigma, one thing is certain, he is the talk of the wrestling world today! With moves and a presence that is equal to greats like Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Stan Lane, Harley Race, Frank Gotch, and Terry Funk, this masked man is capable of laying waste to the entire roster of the NWA.

We reached out to a fan at ringside, who wishes to remain anonymous, that had this to say;

Granny Doe

“Everything seemed fine and then a heaviness filled the air, you could have heard a pin drop, and then we saw him. When he dropped his opponent an inaudible shriek was let out by everyone in the audience. I honestly thought he had killed the lad!”

While little is still known about this masked man we are sure to be seeing more of him on NWA Powerrr, Tuesdays at 6:05ET on YouTube! Tune in and stand in awe of this amazing physical specimen.

Written by,
Jeffrey Kinkaid

Sometimes Less Is More

When the NWA announced that they were going to be starting a professional wrestling promotion on YouTube, I have to admit that I was probably one of the more skeptical people out there. What the hell does Billy Corgan know about running a wrestling promotion? What are they going to be able to bring that isn’t already fulfilled by countless other promotions out there in the world today? How on Earth will they bring prestige back to championship titles that have been tossed aside by so many promotions of the past?

NWA Into The Fire Poster

A few days ago I pre-ordered Into the Fire, the first PPV of the NWA since they started on YouTube. Not only is this their first major PPV since they redebuted but it also happens to be the very first PPV that I have ever pre-ordered. As of yet not a single match has been announced but the pre-order was a no-brainer, not because of what the NWA will do but because of what they don’t do.

For the last 20+ years professional wrestling has become so formula driven as to make watching the product completely unnecessary in order to know what occurred on the program. The first 20 minutes are given to some asinine cookie cutter promo given by one of the promotions top stars, this ends in a challenge for a match at the end of the night. Next up you’ll have a match that’s almost always meaningless which will be interrupted by one of the heels in the company, almost never does this actually lead to anything, it’s just done to get the crowd going. Another tag or singles match will follow, this one may or may not progress a feud but it will almost never end cleanly.

Once you reach the second hour you might as well turn it off and find some better use of your time because nothing happens during the second hour. It’s primarily filled with backstage segments, maybe a squash match, and hype for the next PPV.

Cookie Cutter Shaped Like Vince Russo

The third hour begins much like the first, another promo, usually given by the opposing side of the earlier promo. Once again it’s cookie cutter, so you don’t get any passion or excitement from it as it could have been given by any of the hundreds of wrestlers in the promotion. We get another filler match or two, done to make the main event seem spectacular.

Finally we reach the main event and by this time you’re just ready for it to be over but it’s generally a decent match but almost never does it end cleanly, you don’t tend to care because we’ve been trained to believe that this is how it’s always been and you only get clean finishes on PPV’s. By the end of it, if you’re like me, you look at the clock, wonder why you spent the last three hours watching a program you didn’t like, and realize work is just a few hours away.

Why was this hard to understand?

So what does the NWA do here that the other promotions don’t? Well it’s one hour of wrestling for starters. The interviews forward the stories but they’re short and to the point. Somehow the NWA fills one hour with more wrestling than other promotions put into a two or three hour program. What the NWA has done is create an entertaining wrestling program instead of an entertainment program that happens to feature some wrestling.

Secondly, I care about the people in the ring. We’re not seeing a roster of hundreds but a select group of wrestlers, much as it was in years past. From my understanding workers will come and go in the promotion on short term deals which will keep the promotion fresh while also constantly feeding new challengers to their top stars. Ricky Starks, Thunder Rosa, Nick Aldis, Tim Storm, Marti Belle, The Dawsons, each and every one of these wrestlers have been introduced to us in such a way as to make them both down to Earth but also still larger than life.

All the action, none of the bull.

Newer fans will be taken back by the lack of elaborate entrances, entrance music, and long celebration sequences with that same music blaring. However this is actually a blessing as it equates to more time for wrestling. Your average entrance sequence is between 3 and 5 minutes on TV, consider that on a three hour program you’re seeing 15-20 entrances and you realize, damn that’s a lot of watching people walk to and from the ring. Older fans will remember when the big entrances were something special, seen only at big events and I’m hoping that is the case with the NWA. Even if it’s not it’s something that I’m perfectly happy to give up in exchange for more wrestling.

Lastly, I’ve yet to see any sort of spot heavy match in the NWA. All of these workers know how to wrestle and they don’t need a triple threat burning table on a ladder match to highlight their capabilities. It’s wrestling plain and simple, which I absolutely love. If you would have told me that the key to an excellent promotion would be to strip away everything we’ve become so used to and go back to the very basics of professional wrestling, I would have called you a liar, but that’s exactly what the NWA has done.

The future is bright for the NWA!