Since the NWA ceased operating earlier this year, a lot has gone on – and it is fair to say that 2020 has not been a good year for them.
After the resignation of Jim Cornette at the tail end of 2019 for racially offensive remarks while on commentary, the alliance was plunged into more controversy when then-Vice President David Lagana and new signing and number one contender to the heavyweight title Marty Scurll were named in the speaking out movement and subsequently left the company. Multiple other talents have also followed them out the door, and some of those still on the books have been showing up on rival company’s shows to keep busy- some with questionable booking.
In no particular order Zicky Dice, Colt Cabana, Ricky Starks, Eddie Kingston, ODB and Scott Steiner have left. This is not a complete list but just shows the star power that has walked out the door in recent months. NWA Women’s Champion Thunder Rosa has appeared on AEW recently with the belt (And will defend in on AEW Dynamite on September 16th), and announcer Stu Bennett (aka Wade Barrett) has returned to WWE television by stepping into the NXT commentary booth to fill the void left by Mauro Ranallo.
Rosa’s time in AEW has heralded its plaudits and injected some much-needed energy into the women’s division. But the build-up to her debut match against AEW champ’ Shida left a lot to be desired and did not show the NWA champion in a great light.
After appearing on Saturday Night Dynamite and challenging Shida out of the blue, she was awarded the match without having to “earn” the spot, showing that she does have some weight behind her name and by carrying the NWA title shows she is rightfully a top contender wherever she goes. So when the time came to make her in-ring debut for AEW on the go-home show before her title match, she went up against Serena Deeb, who was also making her AEW debut but received the dreaded “no entrance” only used for enhancement talent. Although the announcers did their best to hype up Deeb and list her previous WWE plaudits, to a 2020 audience the former Straight Edge Society member was not made to look like a star by AEW.
So it was extra confusing to why she took Rosa to her limits and gave the NWA champion a real run for her money, before (thankfully) eventually falling to Rosa’s Thunder driver. But going into her first major match in AEW, for the title, you would expect the NWA champion to walk over someone who is being presented as an enhancement talent wouldn’t you? If there was any hype for Rosa before her match with Deeb in preparation for Shida, some of it would have been dowsed as you were shown that she can’t quickly or easily put away enhancement talent, so how is she ever going to be a credible challenger for the AEW champion? Thankfully the match against Shida was a real showcase for both involved and both came away with a positive performance. But ideally, Rosa should have been kept really strong going into the Shida match, and use that pay per view stage to give the performance she and Shida put on.
Colt Cabana, Ricky Starks, and Eddie Kingston have also been permanently snapped up by AEW and have slotted into their new roles nicely. Colt has joined a cult but is still showing the mannerisms of the fun-loving Cabana we know and love, the promise of victories were too much to pass up and he became part of the Mr. Brodie Lee’s Dark Order. Ricky Starks joined forces with Brian Cage and Taz as part of Team Taz and is in the middle of a program with one of AEW’s brightest and popular stars: Darby Allin. Eddie Kingston is being used perfectly as a mouthpiece for the Butcher & Blade, and the Lucha Brothers, but don’t be surprised to see him get in on the action too, a Gedo style manager who can still wrestle is perfect for Kingston at this stage of his career.
All three are huge losses for the NWA, and if possible avenues or agreements should be looked at in order to keep them as part of the NWA roster.
So some stars have been keeping busy while the NWA and their flagship show “Powerrr” has been out of commission, so what are the plans for Powerrr to return? The short answer is, not a lot. The start-up of the new weekly pay per view show with UWN should fill the void for new fresh “NWA” material, but the lack of a main online free-to-air show for the company could set them back when comparing the alliance to other companies of similar size. Impact Wrestling has been back filming for a while now, ROH and MLW have returns lined up, and larger independents such as GCW have been springing up shows since the protocols around holding events during the pandemic have been developed.
Don’t get me wrong, any show taking place during these uncertain times hold a risk of localized spreading of the virus, but as fans are desperate to see new live or taped wrestling and the companies are taking the needed precautionary measures in order to produce the shows, the NWA shouldn’t be seen to be falling behind and would be best placed to get back to a “normal” taping schedule as they possibly can.