NWA The Crockett Cup
April 27, 2019
Cabarrus Arena in Concord, North Carolina
I don’t really talk about pro wrestling much on this blog. Maybe I should because it’s been a huge part of my life growing up, and it still is. I don’t watch WWE anymore. I’m not a fan of the policies and outlooks of the people that run it, and also the product itself has been terrible for years. These days, New Japan Pro Wrestling (based in Japan!) is the promotion I watch the most. Major League Wrestling (MLW), the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), Impact Wrestling and the upcoming All Elite Wrestling (AEW) are the other promotions I am most interested in.
Anyways, after watching a lot of New Japan shows last week, I’m caught up and ready to dive into the NWA’s most recent show– The Crockett Cup!
This is the fourth Crockett Cup to be held in the history of the NWA (the first three took place in 1986, 1987 and 1988) and it is another welcome attempt from NWA owner (and Smashing Pumpkins frontman) Billy Corgan to connect his modern-day NWA to the 1970’s and 1980’s glory days of the promotion. Corgan’s vision of today’s NWA is not “sports entertainment”, but rather traditional professional wrestling that draws heavily on the legacy of professional wrestling, the National Wrestling Alliance specifically.
New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), Ring of Honor (ROH) and Mexico-based Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) all lent talent to the tournament. I really love seeing this. It’s great to see promotions from all over the world working together. It’s become a common occurrence over the last few years for many wrestling companies to share wrestlers or loan them out to other companies, and I think that’s great.
The Crockett Cup itself is a tag team tournament where the winners traditionally win a trophy and bragging rights at the end. With the Cup’s return for 2019, the stakes were higher as not only was there a trophy to win, but the winning team would also be crowned the new NWA World Tag Team Champions (and the first tag team champions of the Corgan era). The three other current NWA titles (World/National/Women’s) were announced to be defended on the show as well.
Thoughts on the matches…
- Wild Card Tag Team Battle Royal (Participants: Will Ferrara & Rhett Titus, The Boys, Jay Bradley & Josephus, Royce Isaacs & Thomas Latimer, The Dawson Brothers).
- This was a match to determine the final team to gain entry into the Crocket Cup tournament. Isaacs & Latimer (Bram from TNA) won. The match was your everyday generic battle royal.
- Crockett Cup First Round Match: Flip Gordon & Bandido [ROH] defeated Guerrero Maya Jr. and Stuka Jr. [CMLL]
- This was a really good match full of fast-paced action. I’m not familiar with the CMLL guys, but I knew that Flip can do some cool stuff and that Bandido is amazing.
- Crockett Cup First Round Match: Royce Isaacs & Thomas Latimer defeated The War Kings (Crimson and Jax Dane)
- Isaacs & Latimer is an odd team. I’m familiar with Latimer from his TNA days playing the crazy Bram (and still dressed the part for this show). Isaacs carries himself more like a smug and cheesy ’80s heel. So, yeah, there were an odd couple. I’m surprised The War Kings didn’t win since they’ve been “NWA guys” for awhile now, but it was a nice surprise as I figured it was pretty much guaranteed they were going to win this tournament.
- Crockett Cup First Round Match: The Briscoe Brothers (Mark & Jay Briscoe) [ROH] defeated The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson)
- Not a typo. The Rock ‘n’ Rolls are still wrestling in 2019. Commentators noted that they first teamed together 36 years ago. Match went bout 7 minutes and had some fun moments such as 62-year old Ricky Morton hitting a Frankensteiner and doing a suicide dive to the floor. He also did a blade job and played his usual role of babyface-in-peril. This was a very traditional old school punch ‘n’ kick match given the limitations of Gibson & Morton, and it was fine.
- Crocket Cup First Round Match: Villain Enterprises (Brody King & PCO) [ROH] defeated Satoshi Kojima & Yuji Nagata [NJPW]
- Solid match. Hopefully PCO & King get a run in New Japan at some point. I’d love to see them go against the Killer Elite Squad (Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr)!
- NWA Women’s Title Match: Allison Kay defeated Santana Garrett
- Santana Garrett is gorgeous, so it’s a shame she didn’t win. I can’t believe she isn’t signed exclusively to any company, but I think wrestling is a part-time gig for her, so maybe she doesn’t want to be signed and full-time. The title was vacated a week or so previous to show. The original match was scheduled to be Jazz defending the title against Kay, but Jazz vacated the belt and dropped out of the match due to “personal reasons”. I hope she’s doing well and will return at some point to challenge for the belt again.
- Crockett Cup Semi-Final Match: Royce Isaacs & Thomas Latimer defeated Flip Gordon & Bandido
- Another solid match with Isaacs & Latimer playing the power game (they were a bit outsized compared to the War Kings earlier) and beating down their smaller opponents. Weird that they had to pull the tights to win, though.
- Crockett Cup Semi-Final Match: Villain Enterprises defeated The Briscoe Brothers
- Villains win via a screwy DQ finish when the match becomes a wild brawl with steel chairs. The crowd was not happy and was chanting “LET THEM FIGHT” and went wild when the Briscoes attacked the referee. The Briscoes continued to assault PCO & Brody with chairs. To be continued in Ring of Honor, I guess…
- NWA National Title Match: Colt Cabana defeated Willie Mack (c)
- Cabana was entertaining on a previous tour of NJPW, but I’m ultimately indifferent to him, just as I am indifferent to Willie Mack. Being a ROH mainstay, I guess this just strengthens the partnership between ROH & NWA. James Storm came out afterwards to get into Cabana’s face.
- Crockett Cup Finals/NWA World Tag Team Title Match: Villain Enterprises defeated Royce Isaacs & Thomas Latimer
- So PCO & Brody were recently ROH tag champs, but dropped those belts to NJPW tag champs Guerillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) at the ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard at Madison Square Garden in a match that included the previous ROH tag champs the Briscoes Brothers and previous NJPW tag champs Evil & Sanada. With an upcoming match between Briscoes & G.O.D. on the horizon and the issues between the Briscoes and PCO & Brody seemingly not over, is it possible we’ll get a winners-take-all match involving the NJPW, ROH and NWA tag titles?
- NWA World Title Match: Nick Aldis (c) defeated Marty Scurll
- This was very good. Aldis bled so much all over the place that it looked like Scurll was bleeding, too. Great old school professional wrestling match (similar to the two matches Aldis had with Cody Rhodes)
Overall, the show was enjoyable. Nothing was bad, there were no production mishaps like the 70th Anniversary Show had back in October, and the main event was very good.
With WWE, MLW, NJPW, ROH and now AEW fighting for and signing so much talent, Corgan has an uphill battle and maybe that’s why it seems like there are zero plans for any type of weekly TV/internet wrestling show or even monthly events. For the moment, Corgan has partnered with ROH to promote the NWA and use ROH talent. Corgan previously worked with Championship Wrestling from Hollywood, but if the NWA ever finds itself without another company to latch onto with access to their roster and TV production crew, I’m not sure what’s going to happen.
Still, I’m pulling for the NWA, the ‘Ten Pounds of Gold’ YouTube series is excellent, and I’m more than happy to watch traditional professional wrestling over some of the garbage that’s out there to today!