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Give Me A Vision: Thoughts on Current NWA Product


Who is the audience for the NWA? 

That's a recurring thought for me after attempting to give the National Wrestling Alliance another shot with its change to the CW App. 

We all know the product's reputation and common critique - it was fascinating and promising before COVID-19 dropped an elbow drop the likes it has yet to recover from. There was some intriguing talent, a notable and credible world champion, a catchy theme song, and a comfortable niche and presentation that separated the product from everything else. 

The NWA captured right out of the gate quite possibly what Billy Corgan and his vision set out to do - capture the past with a blend of the current. Or...that's what the NWA is supposed to be. Right? 

Quite frankly, the NWA is the historian's historian's nostalgia. Many pro wrestling fans under the age of forty recall WCW, ECW, and the days of Stone Cold smashing beer cans as the "good ol' days", while the NWA is for a generation that's farther in connection, and likely, enough to hold the vision afloat. 

After all, the studio-style presentation and the vintage appearance of the championship belts aren't enough to resurrect the brand into the current space. And that's despite the 10 Pounds of Gold, which I'm willing to argue is still the coolest part about the company. And even that took some hits once Tyrus became champion, and now, EC3. Nothing against those men, but Nick Aldis carried and represented the company in a manner that felt authentic and "just right" for the once again, supposed "vision". 

Nonetheless, there has to be more, and for me, that something should be an element that "the vision" goes all in on. Again, I'm not sure of Corgan's vision other than trying to recreate something that he was a fan of. Sometimes the company does feel like a promotion that caters to a small wrasslin' audience by way of the characters, talent appearance, and booking decisions (e.g. Again, Tyrus as Champion). 

POSITIVES 

In recently trying to view the episodes via the CW App, the company isn't outright terrible. The internet continues to not just be a cruel place but often can be the spawn of groupthink. The NWA isn't great (my opinion), but it's not the worst pro wrestling that you can run into. 

The first thing you will easily notice is that the production for the program is VERY well done. The way it is shot, captured, produced, and presented does a great job of creating a unique feel, as well as maximizing the small crowds and venues it shoots in. 

To follow, the social media on Instagram is a great follow. 

There are also some interesting talents like Kenzie Paige along with Pretty Empowered; Jax Dane, Mims, The King Bees, "Thrillbilly" Silas Mason, Blunt Force Trauma, Max "The Impaler" and of course, the always entertaining Aron Stevens. 

That's not to say there are not talented people on the roster, it's just that so many of them have not been defined at all with a character that is worthy of this viewer. 

Again, if the vision is old school wrasslin', give me just that with wacky characters, blood feuds, and tons of Memphis-style shenanigans. Give us stories. Give us people to hate. People to love. People we desire to enjoy their journey. Thus far, so much of the roster looks, talks, wrestles, and ultimately feels the same. 

NEGATIVE 

For starters, why are there so many championships? 

Like, useless championships. It almost feels like Corgan just wanted to produce belts for the sake of fanboyism. Just my take...

The characters are bland. And if they aren't, they are rough. The Southern Six I can get into. We've seen and felt those kind of groups in pro wrestling before. However, as for The Brothers of Funstruction - ummm, yah, no. 

Unfortunately, the NWA roster feels like a roster of many who have been around the industry and have settled comfortably there, and others who are getting their big breaks in their careers. In a pro wrestling landscape where there is so much, the NWA often feels like it's trying to ride the wave of current trends with old-school easter eggs.

Again, what is the damn vision? 

OPPORTUNITY

With the amount of pro wrestling, I'm not sure I need to waste time slamming a company. There is enough of that already out there. And quite frankly, watch what makes you happy - there is a lot of good out there. 

But the NWA, by name alone, has an opportunity to do something really cool in harkening old-school wrestling in a market that is kicking out of ten finishers on the tail end of a "fighting spirit" back and forth session to close a match. 

Of course, all of it capped off by "fight for-ev-ver" chants. 

If Corgan and the NWA want to bring back an old school feel to pro wrestling, bring it back. Bring it completely back! The presentation is there. Work with new talent and get them gimmicks that give them color and substance. Give me interviews at the podium once again that are compelling. 

Go deeper in the back - bring back some of the older trades that have gone away that may be fresh to newer viewers and a real treat for those who remember it. 

Aldis made me watch. Stevens and the Question Mark were must-see segments. The Pope, Ricky Starks, and Eli Drake (aka LA Knight) were doing new things on the mic at the podium every episode.

---

All I'm saying is give me moments I can pull from your company (not a cocaine spot that is pointless). Make me feel. Give me pro wrestling as you want to, just go all the way. 

Give me the passion of those days. 

Give me a vision. 

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