On October 8thof this year, in the Georgia Public Broadcasting studio in Atlanta, Georgia, old school studio wrestling made it’s triumphant return!
NWA Power (or Powerrr to some) has been a fun, weekly hour that has made me fall in love with wrestling all over again. A throwback to a time that I wasn’t quite old enough to remember, the show is such a wonderfully put together show that is unique from anything else in the wrestling world today.
So, with a few episodes already out on the NWA YouTube page, I figured I would break down some of the great aspects of the show and give you lovely people my top five takeaways for what I’ve seen from NWA Power so far.
1. BULLET POINTS ROCK!
One of the first things that stands out with the show is the fact that promos have a very authentic feel to them. No one is handed a script to memorize, but are told they have a certain amount of time to go out and either get a program or themselves over.
I’ve seen a lot of great stuff from several people, including Eli Drake, Homicide and Eddie Kingston, Aron Stevens, and the World champ Nick Aldis. The highlight for me though has been James Storm. That guy is someone who can talk people into a building and get over with just a minute or two on the mic.
From the first episode, it’s this authentic, un-scripted feel that has made this show stand out to me the most. I know AEW has prided itself on not handing wrestlers scripts, and that’s a good thing, but NWA has so many segments allotted for talent to speak that I feel like I’ve gotten to hear from, and really learn about, more people on this show than any other major wrestling show today.
Also, while I’m on the subject of talking, I’d be remised if I didn’t mention the announce team. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the team of Joe Galli and Jim Cornette.
2. AN HOUR IS PERFECT
This is definitely a top takeaway for me. In a world of three hour Raws, marathon PPVs, and a plethora of two hour shows, it’s nice to sit down and watch a full episode of wrestling in an hour (less than, actually). I actually think NXT has lost some of its charm by expanding to two hours, but NWA Power has that charm and more.
The best thing is that I feel like the creative behind the NWA has been able to fill the shows with plenty of storytelling (more on that later) without feeling too busy but also without having any real filler. It boils down to solid pacing. Power’s pacing feels so natural for a pro wrestling show and makes it not only easy to watch but also fun to watch as well.
3. SQUASH MATCHES WORK
Some of my issues with certain promotions that shall remain nameless is this insistence of making nearly every match look and feel like a PPV main event. I understand wrestlers wanting to maximize their minutes and really take advantage of the time they have on national television, but I get exhausted with so many false-finishes and what amounts to meaningless moves.
Sometimes the purpose of a pro wrestling match is to get someone over or to just tell a story in a short amount of time. It’s a tradition that’s as old as wrestling. Not everything has to be a five-star classic in order to be a good wrestling match. The NWA has managed to use “squash” matches with underneath talent going up against stars that the promotion wants to highlight and I think they’ve done so beautifully.
I wasn’t very familiar with tag teams like The Dawsons and The Wild Cards, so putting them in short matches which last just a couple of minutes, really helps me as a viewer understand who they are, how they work, and what their gimmick is. It’s a welcome change to what other places might be doing.
4. CROWD INTERACTIONS
One really fun thing about the studio layout of the show is the ability for the wrestlers to interact easier with the fans. The fans are so close to the action and the studio is shaped in such a way that fans can hear the wrestlers without mics, and vice versa. So wrestlers can listen to the crowd during matches and promos and play off of that really well during the show.
Plus, with the smaller crowd size, it seems easier for chants to organically form. Seeing how quickly Tim Storm’s “Mama” has gotten over is a great example of how the studio atmosphere can really affect what happens on the show. It adds to the organic feel of the show, knowing that things can change based off of how the crowd reacts to something. It just feels more real that way.
5. ENJOY THE BUILD
All of the above really culminates in this point. Things are able to build from episode to episode and it’s so easy to watch it from week to week. The promos, the short matches, the fans’ input, it all comes together each hour to tell a story that is playing out over time. The matches that get more time, like the NWA Title Match from the first episode, or the tag team main event from the second and third, feel bigger because of how the show is presented.
And all of it is going to lead the first NWA PPV of the Power Era, NWA Into the Fire. I’m already looking forward to seeing the payoffs to the stories that are just now starting to take shape in the GPB Studios in Atlanta. The anticipation of seeing two stars finally meet in the ring is so refreshing. I love watching stars in other promotions lock up on weekly shows, but we’ve definitely been spoiled by it. Having to wait to see the big matches will not only make them that much more special, but it’ll be yet another trait that sets this new NWA apart from the rest of the pack.
So, that’s just some of the things I’ve taken away from the first few episodes of NWA Power. Let me know what you’ve enjoyed about the show by reaching out over on my Twitter below!
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @THExWilliam. Thanks for reading!