Pre-Show: Kyle Davis Interviewed Nick Aldis
Aldis can always be counted on for an excellent last-minute promo to sell viewers on a pay-per-view match and this was no exception. We heard from him and Matt Cardona on the go-home edition of Powerrr this past week and this was strong stuff as well. He's the polar opposite of Cardona, so it's been fun hearing him lay into him. This was perfect for the pre-show even though their championship clash isn't until Day 2.
Pre-Show: Magic Jake Dumas def. Captain YUMA
I got my first look at Dumas on a recent edition of Powerrr (or was it NWA USA?) and was wondering if he'd be brought back. Well, he was, and I thought he had another solid showing. The "magic" shtick, while campy, is interesting, if nothing else, and he's clearly competent in the ring. YUMA was also a good choice for his opponent because he can take a beating and the people like him, so I thought this worked.
Pre-Show: The Bad News Boyz def. The Heatseekers, Violence Is Forever, and The Rip City Shooters in a Crockett Cup Play-In Match
The Bad News Boyz were the only team I was remotely familiar with in this match, so I'm happy they went over. For those unaware (though you should recognize them just by looking at them), they were formerly known as The Boys with Dalton Castle in Ring of Honor. I don't know if Castle will be heading back to ROH or not, but it'd be cool for all of them to be reunited in the NWA. They actually just got their asses kicked by Brock Lesnar as extras on SmackDown last week, and they've also made an appearance or two on AEW Dark. Nonetheless, this was chaotic and all over the place, but at least the right team won.
Pre-Show: The Briscoes def. The Now in a Crockett Cup First-Round Match
This is a match I would've really liked to see on the main card, but since a majority of the NWA audience probably has no idea who The Now are, then I can't say I'm surprised it was slotted on the pre-show. The Now are largely based out of the northeast, and I know that because I've watched them wrestle for the last decade on and off in Northeast Wrestling. Hale Collins has been doing his own thing as of late and I like them as a duo. They fared well for themselves, but this was all about The Briscoes and there was no way they were losing this early in the tournament.
Hawk Aerie def. The End in a Crockett Cup First-Round Match
I believe this was the rematch from the finals of the number one contender's tournament NWA did a few months ago, but I could be wrong. The End wound up winning that if I remember correctly, so I liked that they went with the opposite outcome here, especially since Hawk Aerie had more momentum coming into the Crockett Cup. They're a fun father-and-son duo and I'd like to see them involved in the tag title chase a bit more. This was a solid opener to the show.
The Cardonas def. Da Pope and Mims in a Crockett Cup First-Round Match
Yes, Mike Knox and VSK represented Matt Cardona by calling themselves The Cardonas and entering themselves into the Crockett Cup. It's not exactly an original name, but putting them together is better than keeping Mike Knox on his own, so I'm in favor of it. It also allows us to see more of VSK in the ring. He's talented, but he needs to develop more of a personality so he doesn't come off as generic. This match was well wrestled and made sense given the unresolved bad blood between Knox and Pope, and the heels winning was surprising. Will Pope ever get one over on Knox?
NWA World Women's Champion Kamille Addressed Chelsea Green
I'm sure this has been said by many other people, but Kamille really shouldn't be speaking as much as she has been over the last year. I honestly think having her stay silent for so long was the right call. It's not that she should never talk, but it's better in small doses. She isn't the best promo at all and she seems to get off track quite a bit. If nothing else, she did a decent job of hyping up her title defense against Green for Day 2.
The Dirty Sexy Boys def. Aron Stevens and The Blue Meanie in a Crockett Cup First-Round Match
Kratos wasn't able to make it to the show for some reason (it might have been travel related but I don't remember), so Blue Meanie was named his replacement. The crowd obviously knew who he was based on the reaction he got, so that was cool. Blue Meanie's shtick doesn't do a ton for me personally, but the crowd enjoyed it and he had a fun dynamic with Steven as well as with Dirty Dango and JTG. There were more shenanigans than I would've liked, but it was mostly fine for what it was.
Gold Rushhh def. Strictly Business (Thom Latimer and Chris Adonis) in a Crockett Cup First-Round Match
Gold Rushhhh is a a subsidiary of Idolmania Sports Management consisting of Jordan Clearwater and Marshe Rockett. I'm totally fine with them teaming provided that Austin Idol and Tyrus stay as far away as possible. Clearwater and Rockett are actually entertaining in the ring and have potential. I don't know who fans were supposed to cheer for given this was heels vs. heels, but it was well wrestled. Latimer and Adonis getting bumped from the first round isn't a positive sign for the future of Strictly Business.
Doug Williams and Harry Smith def. The Ill Begotten (Alex Taylor and Rush Freeman) in a Crockett Cup First-Round Match
Williams and Nick Aldis were scheduled to take part in the Crockett Cup as British Invasion (which would've been awesome) before Aldis was announced as Cardona's challenge on Day 2, so Smith took Aldis' spot instead. He was an excellent choice and I loved the chemistry the two of them had. If Aldis is going to be busy with Cardona for the time being, I'd definitely be down for Williams and Smith becoming a regular tandem or Smith being straight up added to British Invasion. They got off to a strong start here with a decisive win over The Ill Begotten.
NWA World Tag Team Champions La Rebelion def. The Bad News Boyz in a Crockett Cup First-Round Match
Despite impressing on the pre-show, The Bad News Boyz didn't stand a chance here. La Rebelion have been on a roll since becoming champions last summer and this was a layup for them. It was a nice little match with Bad News Boys scoring minimal offense, but this was basically an extended squash for La Rebelion to get them to the next round with ease. Props to Bad News Boyz for playing their roles well, though.
The Cardonas def. The Fixers in a Crockett Cup Quarterfinal Match
Much like The Cardonas' first-round match, this also pitted two heel teams against each other. It was even more apparent in this match because The Fixers have more heat than Gold Rushhh do. I give them credit for putting together a competent contest, but it was hurt by the strange dynamic and I didn't find much of the action interesting. I was disappointed The Fixers were eliminated here because they're more of a team than Knox and VSK are.
The Briscoes def. The Dirty Sexy Boys in a Crockett Cup Quarterfinal Match
What a wild clash of styles. Dirty Dango and JTG seem to be more entertainment-based, while The Briscoes are more of the hard-hitting type. I was certainly intrigued by this bout on paper, I'll say that much. It ended up being an enjoyable affair with the two teams working well together. The Dirty Sexy Boys were more of a threat to The Briscoes than The Now were, but I still didn't think the outcome was in doubt.
NWA World Tag Team Champions La Rebelion def. Hawk Aerie in a Crockett Cup Quarterfinal Match
I don't know whether it was legitimate or not, but Luke Hawx was apparently hurt during the first-round match with The End and couldn't compete here. That left PJ Hawx to go at it alone and I thought he did a commendable job. They told a compelling story with it being a Handicap match and I liked how Hawx was able to fight from underneath for a bit before ultimately falling short. NWA can always go back to this down the road if they wanted because there's a built-in story with Hawx Aerie not getting a fair shot.
Doug Williams and Harry Smith def. Gold Rushhh in a Crockett Cup Quarterfinal Match
Once again, Williams and Smith proved they gel wonderfully as a tandem. Gold Rushhh can go in the ring, but I wis they'd be broken away from the rest of the Idolmania Sports Management group. Tyrus and Idol are holding them back in my opinion and I hated having to hear them before this got underway. It was one of the better bouts in the Crockett Cup up to this point and the crowd was into Williams and Smith, making them the correct choice to advance to the semifinals.
Kyle Davis Interviewed NWA World Tag Team Champions La Rebelion
Yes, this was what closed the show. Seriously. La Rebelion weren't even in the last match, but they were brought back out to talk about advancing to the semifinals and basically putting the NWA tag team division on notice. It was an effective promo and I can almost appreciate the NWA closing the show with the tag team champs, but this was a bizarre way to finish off the night. This would've been better suited for after they defeated PJ Hawx.
There was plenty of time remaining in the broadcast after that interview with La Rebelion, so I thought we might be getting another match. Instead, the commentators filled the time at ringside by previewing Day 2 and recapping everything that went down on Day 1. I heard enough of that stuff on Tuesday's Powerrr, so I skipped over all of it. Day 1 was pretty much what you'd expect since it centered around the first few rounds of the Crokett Cup, but I can't say it was overly exciting. You're probably just better off waiting until Day 2 for the bigger bouts because this was one long setup show. That isn't to say it was bad, but I wouldn't say it was worth the three hours. In the future, I'd prefer to see the tournament take place over several weeks' worth of TV to make the matches on Powerrr more meaningful, but I know that's not the way it's been done historically.