Tim Storm def. Crimson and Thom Latimer in a Brawl in the Lou
A Brawl in the Lou is basically another name for a No Disqualification match and they took full advantage of the stipulation. I mean, that dive from Latimer onto Storm through a piece of the barricade was wild. Props to all three men involved because they put forth a hell of an effort. This was a lot better than I thought it was going to be. Storm was by far the oldest person in the match, but because he's an NWA OG, I had no problem with him going over, especially since it was the anniversary show.
Mickie James def. Kylie Rae
Both of these ladies were in WWE and AEW just over two years ago, so it was cool to see them finally going one-on-one in an NWA ring. James hasn't wrestled regularly since early 2019, but she clearly hasn't lost a step. Meanwhile, Rae is quite great as well. This was a very good match while it lasted, though I wish it had gone a bit longer. Deonna Purrazzo emerged afterward to attack James and seemingly set up a clash for IMPACT's Bound for Glory pay-per-view in October, and if that's the plan, I'm looking forward to it.
NWA Television Champion Tyrus, The Masked Man and Jordan Clearwater def. Da Pope and The End
Tyrus and Pope have been feuding for many months and I'm hoping this marked the end of the line for that rivalry. Pope has done what he can, but Tyrus is just abysmal at this stage of his career and he was in the ring way too much here. In fact, this entire match went on much longer than it should have. Pope brought the energy, but the rest of this match was random and didn't feature man exciting moments. Masked Man appears to have his sights set on the TV title based on his staredown with Tyrus at the end. By the way, Masked Man apparently has a new name, but I couldn't make out what it was.
NWA National Champion Chris Adonis def. James Storm
These guys have been doing this a long time and it showed. They're pros who had a super solid match. Again, I don't know if this needed as much time as it got, but they kept it entertaining I thought and the crowd rallied behind Storm throughout. The finish was basic heel shenanigans, though it made the referee look like a moron. At any rate, it was cool seeing Storm back in the NWA for the anniversary show, but time will tell if this was one-off or he's back for another run.
Ric Flair Addressed the Audience
Holy shit, was this over the place or what? Flair was a great get for NWA 73 given his ties to the promotion, but Billy Corgan telling Flair he could talk for as long as he wanted (what is this, the 2008 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony?) was probably a poor decision in retrospect given how many matches were left in the show. If nothing else, it was nice to hear him speak from the heart and relive some fond memories of his, even if he mentioned WWE, Vince McMahon and Triple H what felt like a million times. Like most people, I'm convinced WWE let him go and not the other way around. Still, though, I never imagined Flair appearing on an NWA pay-per-view in 2021. Crazy times.
Judais Won an NWA National Championship No. 1 Contender's Battle Royal
Similar to the Invitational Gauntlet match in the main event of EmPowerrr, there were a handful of people who participated I wasn't familiar with whatsoever. Even Judais, who I had no idea was Murphy from TNA years ago until I looked it up on Twitter. Couldn't the NWA have introduced viewers to who some of these people were on Powerrr leading up to the event? Otherwise, this was basically any Battle Royal you've ever seen. The final stretch was well done with JTG having a strong showing before falling short to Judais. Judais was fine, but I'm just happy this means we might get to see Father James Mitchell with on Powerrr.
NWA World Women's Champion Kamille def. Chelsea Green
Green earned the shot by winning the Invitational Gauntlet match at EmPowerrr. Speaking of EmPowerrr, I enjoyed Kamille vs. Leyla Hirsch much more than this. It had a better pace and the crowd was far more engaged. Green is talented, but I feel like we have yet to see her have a breakout performance anywhere she's been. She carries herself like a star, but she and Kamille didn't have the strongest chemistry together. This fell below expectations, which is a shame.
La Rebelion def. Aron Stevens and Kratos to Win the NWA World Tag Team Championship
La Rebelion were accompanied to the ring by Konnan, who has also appeared for AAA and AEW in recent months. This dude is all over the place in 2021. I hope he sticks around in the NWA as a mouthpiece for La Rebelion because more of Konnan is never a bad thing. La Rebelion are a terrific team and put the belts on them here was the right call. You had to know Stevens and Kratos were going to lose when the commentators mentioned that they were finally starting to get along. Hopefully they can go their separate ways coming out of this. This was an entertaining affair.
Trevor Murdoch def. Nick Aldis in a Title vs. Career Match to Win the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship
I don't know if the pre-match brawl in the crowd was necessary given the show was already approaching the three-hour mark, but this had a big fight feel, nonetheless. Murdoch may be in the twilight of his career, but this crowd bought into him like he was the biggest babyface in the world. Aldis went to his usual bag of heel tricks, which was predictable, but the overall match featured exceptional storytelling. The nearfalls got more and more suspenseful and the drama was fantastic. Murdoch winning made for an awesome moment, especially once Flair and Murdoch's family entered the ring to celebrate with him. Given the story they told coming into this event with Harley Race and everything else, he was the right guy to dethrone Aldis after almost three years. This was an excellent way to close out the show.
First and foremost, this was the most amount of people I've seen in attendance for an NWA event since I started watching the product in 2019 and it definitely added to the atmosphere of the event. I hope they can have similar success in the future with their bigger shows because it makes a difference. That said, EmPowerrr was the stronger of the two shows this weekend. It had a tighter runtime and better matches on the whole, but this was still solid by recent NWA standards. The middle portion dragged on and some of the matches should have been shorter, but I appreciated the emphasis on the in-ring action as the NWA usually doesn't focus too much on the wrestling. The title change at the end was obviously the biggest moment of the night along with Flair's appearance. The buzz around the NWA product in 2021 has been nearly nonexistent, but hopefully this weekend gets them some attention and pushes them to produce better weekly shows.