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    Thursday, October 24, 2019

    The Hourrr of Powerrr (10/22/19): No Country For Old Storms

    Hello, one and all, and welcome to another brand new wrestling review column on Smark Henry. Wrestling in 2019 is experiencing such an unusual boom (we honestly thought we'd never get this much content again) that we try to ride the wave as much as we can.

    As many of you probably already know, a couple of weeks ago the National Wrestling Alliance (yes, that NWA) launched an all new weekly hourlong YouTube show called Powerrr. The name is a reference to the old WCW Power Hour, just with three Rs to make it stand out (remember, the objective of the game is to get talked about as much as possible).

    The show's caught on with a subsection of wrestling fans who are probably looking for something that's either different or nostalgic, and the beauty of it is that it mostly features contemporary talents, making sure it isn't a silly throwback by any means.

    If you haven't seen any episode of Powerrr yet, here's what you should expect:
    • It's got the best theme in wrestling right now.
    • The first thing you have to know is—and they'll beat you over the head with this—everything is shot in a studio. This is unusual for almost every wrestling fan, who is used to wrestling in arenas.
    • The second most important thing is how most of the matches go. If you've ever seen an NWA rerun on the old WWE 24/7 channel or on the Network, you'd know that the undercard features a bunch of short matches between established stars and, uh, local competitors, with the main event being the longest match on the card. There is a lot of that on Powerrr. It's just like NXT, but shorter.
    • The presentation is obviously hi-definition '80s. The aesthetic is well-executed, which is a plus.
    • The wrestling style is contemporary North American, because—surprise!—most of the talent are Impact Wrestling alums. You won't see super old-school things here; it's just good ol' easy-to-digest TV-style rasslin'.
    • The studio is set up in a way that allows for a lot of interview segments. Wrestlers can either do an interview and head straight to a match, or do an interview on their way to the match. That's why you'll see a lot of talking.
    • Speaking of talking, you'll get the old-school promo style full of shouting and bravado from most of the wrestlers. If you're into that, this is the show for you.
    • Entrance music isn't a thing.
    • Jim Cornette is on commentary.
    With all of that said, on to the review!

    Before anything, because Powerrr is a free show on YouTube, I can do this without consequence:

    Yes, that's the entire episode, for those who haven't seen it yet. Now you've got no excuse, especially if you're going to read this.

    Poor Old Tim Storm

    Like most hourly shows, Powerrr actually shifts its focus between different storylines every week, but it still does a good job of preserving some sort of arc for viewers to keep track of. Right now, the main event arc deals with former NWA World Heavyweight Champion Tim Storm (who is 54 years old) losing faith in himself after failing to beat current champ Nick Aldis, which means he can no longer compete for the title presumably while Aldis reigns.

    So Eli Drake, of all people, comes to cheer him on and get him to pick himself up, because there are other titles to be had—like the NWA Tag Team Championship. 

    Eli does Storm the courtesy of booking themselves in a match against the Dawsons, a hoss team making waves in the tag title division after interrupting the title match between the Wild Cards (Royce Isaacs and Thom Latimer fka Bram on Impact fka Kenneth Cameron on NXT) and the team of Eddie Kingston and Homicide. Sorry, that was a mouthful. Now you're up to speed.

    So they have a match, and it seems like everything is going fine—after all, Storm is a hardened vet who could still go—but here's the thing: they lose. The Dawsons prove to be too much, and Storm eats the pin after a huge double team finisher. It's clear, now, what this is: it's your Rocky Balboa has-been storyline, an older guy trying to prove he's still got what it takes.

    It looks like this is the storyline we'll be getting while Nick Aldis searches for a new contender, and to be honest with you, I'm really not sure what to make of it. Tim Storm, while legit for still being able to go at that age, doesn't really appeal to me. Maybe it's because he's a guy I honestly wasn't familiar with at all before this show, even with the Ten Pounds of Gold miniseries. Maybe I just need time to let him win me over, but other than his age, dude doesn't really stand out to me.

    Right now, I'm definitely interested in where Tim Storm goes from here, but not too invested enough to want to see it every week. There's gotta be something to Eli Drake, a career heel playing a bit of an anti-hero in the NWA, being so nice to someone like Storm. That's about it.

    So far, if there's anything keeping me watching Powerrr, it's the distinct presentation and the thrill of discovering something new, even though I've seen many of these wrestlers elsewhere. It's all good, because at least I know I'll be getting a credible, if not groundbreaking wrestling program. My expectations for what this is—which is a fun diversion from the higher-stakes brands out there—are firmly couched as I hit play on YouTube.

    NWA Powerrr 10/22/19 Grade: A solid but short Caleb Konley win and the Dawsons looking really good saves this ho-hum episode. If this is your first, it's not the most ideal; go watch Episode 1 instead. B

    The Power Train

    • One more thing you have to know, if you haven't clicked play yet: there are a lot of goofy vignettes. Which is totally fine, as they play up the intentional campiness of the show. One such goofy segment this episode is Aron Stevens (fka Damien Sandow) debuting a trailer for a fake-ass movie. It was An Attempt.
    • The NWA might as well be named Impact Wrestling 2.0 thanks to all the alums on board for this show. It's just a little hard to dissociate when they're all there in force.
    • I feel like the NWA could benefit so much from a ladder-based ranking system (here I go again) especially with all the random matches happening. I guess I don't care how the system works, as long as there's a clearly-defined system of how people get title shots and all that.
    • Why does Joe Galli want Kamille to talk so bad? She's already made it clear that she doesn't want to speak—this constant needling, even if Kamille is a heel, makes Joe look super creepy.
    • On the flip side, I do love how incredibly nuanced Nick Aldis is as a character. He acts like a babyface toward the other wrestlers, still has an edge when he needs it, and actually justifies his having a bodyguard/valet (a heel move) by pointing to previous instances where he was outnumbered. Outside of he, Tim Storm, Eddie Kingston, and maybe Eli Drake, everyone else seems one-dimensional, and I hope whoever's running the NWA can address this soon enough.
    • Speaking of Eddie Kingston, whoever thought of having him speak every week is a genius.
    • Speaking of whoever's running the NWA, despite his online persona, hearing Jim Cornette on commentary is a treat. He's still terrible, though.

    Romeo Moran (@roiswaris the Editor in Chief of Smark Henry, one of the three hosts of the Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast, and is associated with Philippine Wrestling Revolution. He gets by in this hard knock life through working in publishing. Smark Henry was his and Stan Sy's original vision of a watering hole for local wrestling fans. He roots for the undersized guys who hit hard, but really hates Davey Richards with his entire soul. He likes taking your wrestling questions over on his Curiouscat account.
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    Item Reviewed: The Hourrr of Powerrr (10/22/19): No Country For Old Storms Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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