ROH vs NWA - Crockett Cup 2019 - 27th April 2019

I haven't been especially inclined to dip into Billy Corgan's relaunched NWA brand too heavily. I loved the Cody/Aldis stuff for All In, and enjoyed the rematch at NWA 70 as well, but really couldn't get into the rest of that show and when Powerrr launched in late-2019 I found it didn't particularly suit my taste either. But I did pick up this show on DVD, mostly because it is very much a co-promoted effort with ROH. They are running a building ROH usually promotes, the show is being broadcast on Honor Club, using most of ROH's production, have Bobby Cruise for ring announcing and the NWA roster has been substantially beefed up tonight not only by ROH's talent, but also ROH's connection to talents from NJPW and CMLL too. We are here for the return of the famous Crockett Cup - a one-night tournament which will see new NWA Tag Champions crowned too. Participants include the Briscoes, the legendary Rock'n'Roll Express, the 'New Japan Dads' of Kojima and Nagata, a team of CMLL luchadors, Villain Enterprises of Brody King and PCO plus NWA's War Kings and a team to be determined via a 'Wildcard Battle Royal'. The rest of the line-up for this show is an interesting one. Allysin Kay and Santana Garrett do battle for the vacant NWA Women's Title, Colt Cabana challenges Willie Mack for the NWA National Title...then comes our hotly-anticipated main event as former best friends Nick Aldis and Marty Scurll collide with the NWA World's Heavyweight Title at stake. We are in Concord, NC - with commentary provided by NWA's Joe Galli and Jim Cornette, joined by ROH's Ian Riccaboni.

SIDENOTE - The theming for this event is brilliant, with lots of old-school graphics, an old-school arena lay-out and even the old (Cary-era) ROH logo everywhere. It even extends to the DVD menus. A top effort from everyone involved.

Wildcard Battle Royal
This battle royal brings together seven teams vying for the final spot in the Crockett Cup. ROH's representatives are The Boys (aka the Tate Twins) and The Dawgs of Rhett Titus and Will Ferrara (back together after reuniting at G1 Supercard). NWA contribute The Dawsons (Dave & Zane), Jay Bradley & Jocephus, Cam Carter & LaBron Kozone, Thom Latimer & Royce Isaacs (teaming up for the first time tonight) and Kevin Blue/Billy Buck. Some of the NWA guys are pretty new to me...

Titus orders the entire field to give him some space so he can flex and pose. The Boys duly eliminate him whilst he does so to get the party started. As always with battle royals, the ring is just filled with bodies clobbering each other without much substance. Kevin Blue is the next man eliminated, with his partner Billy Buck following him soon after. Kozone is eliminated by Zane Dawson, who joins with Dave to grab Carter for a BIEL straight over the top rope to the floor. The Boys use their chicanery to eliminate the Dawsons. Isaacs sneaks up behind Ferrara - who has been competing by himself since the opening seconds - and knocks him out. We're down to the final three teams, and the two NWA teams split off to pick off The Boys. Isaacs and Latimer topple through the middle ropes and The Boys pull down the ropes to topple out Bradley and Jocephus. The Boys think they've won, only for Latimer and Isaacs to sneak up behind and eliminate them. Thom and Royce advance at 06:36

Rating - DUD - The biggest positive I have for this is that they kept it short. There wasn't much to work with here, just a bunch of dudes swinging punches in a big mess. For some reason The Boys got a decent showing, which doesn't make sense from either an NWA or an ROH perspective in my opinion, but of all the options we had I'm not sure any are more (or less) interesting than Isaacs & Latimer in the tournament.

Flip Gordon/Bandido vs Stuka Jr./Guerrero Maya Jr.
Gordon and Bandido have been thrown together to form something of a 'dream team'. But they have also joined forces out of a mutual respect and admiration for each other's skills. They went to war in a thrilling four corner match at Masters Of The Craft, and were actually scheduled to compete in a singles match back during the Road To G1 Supercard Texas triple shot weekend. That was match was cancelled after Flip blew out his knee in this very building at Honor Reigns Supreme. Now teaming up to make up for the lost singles encounter, they represent ROH against CMLL's contribution to the Crockett Cup. Guerrero Maya and Stuka have both visited ROH before, with Maya actually going to the Survival Of The Fittest final last year. How will the luchadors interact with Bandido, a man who left CMLL to pursue a career in the US? Jim Cornette commentating on this foursome should be fun.

Flip comes out wearing Bandido's sombrero, whilst Bandido wears a Flip shirt in a display of unity. Stuka starts with Bandido, and finds him too fast to pin down with his power size. But similarly Bandido finds that Stuka is able to keep up with the Lifeblood member at every step. Maya and Flip in next; the latter walking straight into a springboard reverse elbow. Flip reacts by inadvertently superkicking his own partner, then eating a tilta-whirl backbreaker. ROLLING BACKBREAKERS from Guerrero to Bandido when he tries to aid his partner. Stuka steamrolls in too, back-flipping because he can then hitting a couple of monkey flips for good measure. Team CMLL work a double submission on poor Flip, who again needs his partner to bail him out. Stuka and Maya smash Bandido into the guardrails and press slam him into the apron too; repeatedly teaming up to ensure their opponents are separated. TORPEDO SUICIDA TO THE FLOOR by Stuka! TOPE CON HILO by Maya Jr! Flip hits back with a springboard dropkick, then MONKEY FLIPS BANDIDO into a headscissors on Stuka! TOPE ATOMICO NAILED! SPRINGBOARD MOONSAULT TO THE FLOOR BY FLIP! He hits another back into the ring and gets a 2-count on Stuka, whilst setting up a FROG SPLASH by Bandido for 2! Spear from Guerrero to Bandido, who gets up in time to grab Maya for a powerbomb...not realising that Guerrero has hooked Flip for a superplex at the same time! Everyone goes down as Stuka hits a Torpedo Splash for 2. Crazy victory roll from Bandido to Stuka gets two as well. This is nuts! DESTROYER from Stuka...and Gordon breaks the pin. Pele on Maya, followed by the Springboard Spear. HIPTOSS GOURDBUSTER from Maya to Flip as the ROH star thinks about a springboard. Sacrificio Maya nailed, only for Bandido to hit a diving double stomp to break the pin. Stuka tries a crossbody, but is CAUGHT by Bandido and fed into the FLIP-5! Gordon pins Stuka to advance at 12:32

Rating - *** - The whole match was silly but it felt chaotic, it felt wild and felt like we were receiving an authentic lucha libre experience. Poor Jim Cornette didn't have the foggiest idea what was going on at points. I did like the idea that Stuka and Maya Jr have teamed more so, spent most of the match trying to separate and dominate their ROH adversaries, but they really only briefly explored that. Most of this match was whacky lucha highspots...yet that was exactly what the crowd wanted to see. The whole bout was a blast

An interview/video package builds up to Aldis/Scurll. It is really well done and goes deep into their friendship and origins coming up in the business together out of the UK. The idea is that Nick has had an easier ride and that Marty has had to scrap and fight for every opportunity. By 'goes deep' I mean it even references TNA's British Boot Camp, which Scurll cites as a turning point in his creation of 'The Villain' character...

Royce Isaacs/Thom Latimer vs The War Kings
It feels harsh to send Isaacs and Latimer back out there so soon after their Battle Royal victory to earn this spot. They are rank outsiders, on their first night as a team against a regular team and imposing duo in the form of The War Kings (Jax Dane and Crimson). Dane and Crimson have teamed together in the NWA, OVW and TNA, whilst Dane has also made a handful of appearances in ROH too. The War Kings were apparently the first team confirmed for the Crockett Cup, so are certainly among the favourites to win it.

Dane positions himself to cut Latimer off from his partner so the seasoned team can quickly use their power to overwhelm the Englishman. Even when Isaacs gets a tag, he suffers a similar fate and is completely overwhelmed by the War Kings. In the end Royce has to distract Crimson to enable Latimer to jump him from behind. Money Clip suplex scores and gets 2 for Isaacs, leading the fight for his team whilst Riccaboni and Galli discuss all of Latimer's previously-failed teams in TNA. The Wildcard Battle Royal winners continue to manipulate the rules as they wear Crimson down and ensure he has no chance to unleash Dane. Finally Crimson lands a big clothesline on Latimer, setting up big tags all round. Jax mauls Isaacs and looks to line up The 300. Latimer trips him before he can land that big Spear though. DOUBLE SAMOAN DROP onto both opponents by Dane. Latimer crotches Crimson and smashes his knee into the ringpost...then leads an angry Dane away whilst Royce pins him with feet on the ropes. Isaacs wins at 07:39

Rating - DUD - I don't watch NWA with any regularity so I don't know whether regular NWA fans will have gotten more out of this, but personally I felt this was poor. It seemed to go on forever, it showed almost no imagination and ended with a goofy finish which eliminated the established team (whom NWA fans seemed into) in favour of a thrown together duo. Perhaps NWA were looking to protect The War Kings and avoid them having to interact with (or put over) anyone from ROH - but even then there are better ways to do that. 

Rock'n'Roll Express vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe
The R'nR's participated in the very first Crockett Cup back in 1986. The Briscoes have sent in a pre-match video which points out that in 1986 they were aged 1 & 2 and to remind Ricky and Robert that they were eliminated in their first match (by the Sheepherders/Bushwhackers). Jay and Mark enter this as one of the favourites; ten-time ROH Tag Champions and now seasoned professionals with huge chips on their shoulders. They are sore at losing the ROH Tag Titles to Villain Enterprises, sore about failing to win them back at G1 Supercard...and pissed off that the NWA asked them to qualify for the 2019 Crockett Cup rather than just give them a spot. They defeated Jeff Cobb and Willie Mack to get here, and promise to inflict another crushing early exit on the beloved old-timers tonight. Jim Cornette leaves commentary to introduce Ricky and Robert, who get by far the biggest pop of the night so far. He also warns them that the Briscoes are dangerous and won't be here for 'feel-good moments'.

Jay grabs Cornette's microphone and says that since he respects the veterans, he will give them the chance to forfeit the match rather than get forcibly retired tonight. Morton answers by PUNTING him in the balls to get us started! Hurricanrana on Mark, followed by the double dropkick to send him packing! The Briscoes are reeling! TOPE SUICIDA BY RICKY! But going to the floor is a mistake he quickly regrets as Mark and Jay take turns tossing him head-first into the ringpost. By the time the ROH team return him to the ring his forehead has been split open. Mark makes a point of turning Morton to the camera so it can zoom in on the bloody head before he starts cross-facing him violently. Ricky tries to get some of his old strikes going...but Jay simply ignores them and starts choking him in the ropes like a savage. Even when Morton does make a tag, Jay had already acted to distract the referee meaning he doesn't see it. Gibson charges in and throws his own partner across the ring so they can tag! Robert in, putting Mark on his neck with a big clothesline. ROCKET LAUNCHER on Mark! Jay breaks the pin at 2! He boots Gibson out of the ring and sets Morton up for the Sick Kick. Froggy Bow by Mark! Briscoes advance at 06:52, leaving Ricky a bloody mess on the canvas.

Rating - *** - Within the confines of what they were able to do, this was a fantastic match that got the crowd absolutely rocking. Morton and Gibson are really amazing, still blessed with great timing and still mobile enough to play some of the hits despite both being in their 60's. They had great chemistry with Jay and Mark, who bumped like crazy for the veterans when the occasion called but mostly attacked the match with the kind of savagery and aggression which really got the fans into it. A wonderful mash-up of a nostalgic past and the present day, it isn't at all surprising that ROH officials decided they wanted a piece of the action with these teams and booked a rematch at an ROH show later in the year...

Brody King/PCO vs Satoshi Kojima/Yuji Nagata
Villain Enterprises earned their spot in this tournament by winning Tag Wars 2019 in ROH; the second part of a double-headed prize which also saw then earn a Tag Title shot at ROH's 17th Anniversary (which they won). They'll be eager to reignite their rivalry with the Briscoes in the semi-finals of the tournament - but they face a stern test if they are to do so. Kojima and Nagata, known affectionately by some as the 'New Japan Dads', represent NJPW in this tournament. Although they aren't the youngest, they remain dangerous competitors. Both have held the IWGP Heavyweight Title, both have won the G1 Climax Tournament (as well as AJPW's Champion Carnival). Can the Dads add a Crockett Cup win to their already-spectacular careers? 

King and Nagata start, the New Japan star quickly realising he can't overpower Brody so using his street-smarts and striking him to the ground and into the Nagata Lock. Kojima and PCO tag and collide in the centre of the ring with incredible force. Koji thinks he gets the better of his foe, except he doesn't see PCO pop straight back up to clobber him with a discus lariat. TOPE SUICIDA nailed with complete disregard for his own safety by PCO. He then has his own partner body slam him into a senton for 2. Brody wants in and reddens Kojima's chest with some violent chops...only for the veteran to shake them all off and level him with a DDT. Exploder suplex scores for Nagata...and barely gets a 1-count! Big boot by King...only for Nagata to drift into a Fujiwara armbar! PCO realises he has to dive in and break that up, but despite that damage has already been done to King's arm. He uses his good arm to deliver a lariat and smartly tags out to the Monster. DOUBLE CHOKESLAM on Nagata gets 2. Nagata then shows his veteran experience by tricking the Villains into taking each other out! Machine Gun Chops from Kojima to PCO! WHO NO SELLS! Machine Gun Chops on Kojima! KOJI CUTTER! PCO gets up and delivers a Michinoku Driver! BRAINBUSTER ON BRODY! PCO breaks the pin! He and Nagata brawl on the outside, whilst inside the ring King COUNTERS Kojima's lariat! Michinoku Driver I gets the win at 11:50! Villains complete the semi-final bracket

Rating - *** - It seemed like Kojima, Nagata and PCO were all having fun here. That those three can all get to be the age they are and still have enough in their bodies to enjoy beating each other to pieces says a lot about their love for pro-wrestling. This was a bit silly and certainly a little bit messy and ungainly at times, but all four participants felt enthusiastic and really did feel like they were knocking the sh*t out of each other; it's hard not to both like and respect that. Brody winning was a nice touch amidst all the grizzled veterans on display, and it sets up a juicy semi-final clash against the Villains' ROH rivals the Briscoe Brothers.

Allysin Kay vs Santana Garrett - NWA Women's Title Match
This was originally scheduled to be Jazz defending the NWA Women's Title against Kay. Unfortunately the experienced former-WWE star pulled out of the event citing health reasons, meaning the title was vacated and a new opponent for Allysin found. They will compete for the vacant title, which will be presented and awarded by the legendary Madusa (Alundra Blayze) who delivers a seriously terrible but obviously well-intentioned speech pre-match. The two combatants are both very experienced. Kay is recognisable as Sienna from Impact, but has also worked for RISE, SHIMMER, SHINE, Evolve, WWE, ROH, Smash, Sendai Girls, Diana and more. Garrett (who was months away from signing for WWE at this point) has obviously taken the match at short notice - but in a career where she's spent time in Stardom, SHINE, SHIMMER, The Crash, TNA and more, she will back her skills to pose a real threat to Kay this evening. She's also already a former NWA Women's Champion...

Brian Hebner is referee for this one, and he quickly misses Kay taking a cheap slap in Garrett's direction as he tries to enforce a clean break. Santana retorts with a straight kick to the THROAT for 2. She tries to work an octopus stretch as well, only for Allysin to drill her with a Samoan drop and a guillotine over the top rope. Kay starts to bully Santana, literally ignoring a wheelbarrow attempt and drilling her with a sit-out facebuster for 2. Santana demonstrates her toughness by hanging in there, going strike for strike with Kay before finally both women simultaneously boot each other off their feet. Still Allysin tries to intimidate her foe, but the wily Garrett continually evades and out-wits her. Sole Food scores for Santana, into a handspring elbow out of the corner. Last Chancery applied...only for Allysin to STAND UP and counter to a neckbreaker! Palm strike in the corner by Santana, then a headstand frankensteiner! Shining Star Press misses, allowing Kay to land the Big D. Allysin is the new champion at 08:50

Rating - ** - Not the finest example of either women's work, but still a tenacious effort which told a clear story. Kay was the bully trying to use her height and strike-power to dominate; Santana was the brightly coloured, plucky and athletic babyface repelling the inflammatory tactics of her opponent and almost securing victory. With Kay seemingly set to be an NWA regular and Santana a late replacement the result probably wasn't in much jeopardy - as the sullen crowd is somewhat evident of. I don't think either will woman will think they produced their best performance, but in the circumstances it really did have some admirable qualities.

Allysin Kay snatches the belt out of Madusa's grasp and shrugs both her and Brian Hebner away so she can celebrate in the limelight by herself. She also declines to shake Santana's hand on the way out...

Another video package dips into the history between Nick Aldis and Marty Scurll. The Villain poses that Aldis may be jealous that he didn't get to wrestle in a main event at Madison Square Garden. Nick, meanwhile, outright states that within their relationship he is the 'senior' and that Marty 'knows his place'. They also make plain Aldis' disappointment that Scurll failed to win the ROH World Title meaning that for a second time he is denied a title vs title match.

Caprice Coleman is at ringside to interview the Midnight Express. He says it's the 'first time in over thirty years that all three members have been together'. Just in an ROH context that isn't right, given that in 2004 they had an entire event entitled 'Midnight Express Reunion' featuring the three of them (check out Joe/Danielson from that show if you can, it is fantastic). Dennis Condrey is here after overcoming cancer and gets a wonderful ovation. 

Royce Isaacs/Thom Latimer vs Flip Gordon/Bandido
Crockett Cup semi-final time, and the unlikely team of Isaacs and Latimer now compete in their third match of the night. They survived the Wildcard Battle Royal then pulled off an upset to overcome The War Kings (albeit using nefarious tactics). They now meet the explosive Gordon and Bandido. The ROH pair won't be without fatigue though, as their first-round victory over Stuka Jr. and Guerrero Maya Jr. only went a minute or so shorter than both of Isaacs and Latimer's matches combined.

Latimer and Flip start with the former-Bram easily over-powering his foe. Flip rebounds off the ropes into a headscissors, so Thom grabs a handful of hair and jerks him back across the ring. Bandido in to back-flip under a clothesline then knee Royce in the face when he looks for the Money Clip. Dead-lift suplex by Bandido, dropping Isaacs with one of his own moves. The NWA guys don't let that so join up for a brawl...only to get superkicked out of the ring by Flip and Bandido. Madusa returns to ringside and gives Isaacs and Latimer a pep-talk...which doesn't work out well as they immediately eat stereo topes. Stalling German from Bandido to Latimer! He then hooks up with Flip, who WHEELBARROWS him into a cannonball senton on Isaacs. 450 SPLASH by Gordon! But that hurts his suspect knee and Latimer instantly spots it. He tags in and immediately attacks it. Both Wildcards take turns targeting the knee, including Royce giving him a gutwrench turnbuckle shinbreaker. Flip desperately tries to escape, only for Royce to haul Bandido out of his corner. Latimer rolls Gordon up using the tights for another cheap victory. 'The Wildcards' are going to the finals at 07:15

Rating - ** - As I've said a couple of times already, I don't watch the NWA's product so I don't know what they were shooting for with this Latimer/Isaacs angle. I can say that it is coming off about as well as some of ROH's choices at G1 Supercard when it comes to reeling in new viewers though. In all fairness the body of this match was pretty good. Latimer trying to use his power to dominate Flip made sense, as did the NWA guys going after Gordon's knee when he injured it. Similarly 'Team ROH's dominance when it came to tossing around high spots was great because Flip and Bandido are great exponents of that style. Unfortunately another trashy finish and Madusa's random appearance rather cut this one off just as it was starting to get interesting.

Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Brody King/PCO
This match determines who meets Isaacs and Latimer, but so much more will be at stake than just that spot in the Crockett Cup Final. The Briscoes and the Villains really don't like each other at this point. They had to be separated in Texas, they fought in a grotesque Street Fight at the 17th Anniversary which saw Brody and PCO end the Briscoes' tenth reign as ROH Tag Champions. They went to Baltimore and wound up in such an intense brawl that the match was thrown out...then both failed to capture the belts back at G1 Supercard when Guerrillas Of Destiny waltzed back to Japan with ROH's top tag prize in tow. In truth inflicting pain on the opposition is probably as important to all four of these men as leaving tonight with the Crockett Cup and the NWA Tag Titles would be...

Both teams are low key in their entrances, putting over their eagerness to get back into the ring together and fight. Brody and Jay start by smashing into each other and its King comes out on top and drives the former ROH Champion to the floor. Mark and PCO in, straight into another chop-fest which has come to define their own personal sub-plot within this rivalry. The Briscoes smartly work their way into a position of dominance; splitting PCO off for a couple of double teams then incapacitating King as Mark hits a flying corkscrew senton to the floor. Riccaboni makes me pop on commentary by using a 2006-era Jim Cornette description of CZW to describe the Briscoes pre-ROH career. Brody returns and fires up PCO by chopping the sh*t out of him...then dropping Mark with a cannonball senton. Double chokeslam pinballs Mark's head off the canvas as well. He makes a critical tag to Jay, who gets payback for earlier by knocking Brody out of the ring. APRON BLOCKBUSTER by Mark, then the Day One Neckbreaker by his brother for 2. Brody counters by running to the outside and chokeslamming Jay onto the apron! TOPE CON HILO BY PCO! King then picks up the other Briscoe for an apron chokeslam as well. SOMERSAULT SENTON ONTO THEN APRON MISSES FOR PCO! CACTUS ELBOW BY MARK! The Briscoes chuck a few chairs into the ring, but turn their back on Brody who violently slams Mark onto the exposed concrete floor. PCO is alive, but seems to have injured his arm on that last dive. The Villains and the Briscoes all tool up with chairs then march back into the ring. PCO SOCKS JAY! Referee Paul Turner doesn't see that one, but he does see Mark retaliate by hammering Brody...and he disqualifies the Briscoes at 09:49!

Rating - *** - These teams have great chemistry and this was another decent match to follow up on their exploits in Vegas, Baltimore and MSG. The problem I had with this is that it didn't feel like they did anything fresh or different. It wasn't bad, but it was largely a condensed repeat of the Road To G1 Supercard Baltimore clash. It was, however, the most intense match on the show so far by a considerable distance.

Both the fans and the Briscoes are furious at the decision. Jay and Mark assault Paul Turner, grab the chairs again and start wearing out the Villains with them. JAY DRILLER ON TURNER! They then tie up PCO's injured arm in a steel chair...and bury it under more chairs! TOP ROPE CANNONBALL SENTON THROUGH THE CHAIRS BY MARK! He may have broken PCO's arm! Jay gets a microphone and buries the NWA and the Crockett Cup on the way out...

Willie Mack vs Colt Cabana - NWA National Title Match
Mack has an ambition to defend the National Title in all 50 US states. He's short of that right now, and he's also recently gone full-time with Impact Wrestling. Will he continue to work for both organisations, or can Colt get the belt back and send Mack packing to his 'other' employers? Colt is a former NWA Heavyweight Champion, is vastly experienced and has spent years working with Willie. He even teamed with him in ROH's 2019 Tag Wars Tournament too. 

Jim Cornette tries to justify some of his historic comments about Cabana on commentary, but just makes it worse. The opening is really fun as they take turns showing off how unorthodox they both are; Colt doing some comedy or some whacky World Of Sport sequences...then Mack pinging off the ropes and pulling a lucha armdrag from nowhere. He looks for a cannonball senton...but Colt moves and Willie goes THROUGH THE ROPES TO THE FLOOR! Cabana stays right on him, getting Mack back into the ring and climbing on top of him with a rear chinlock. The champion maintains consciousness there, but is almost knocked out moments later via Bionic Elbow. STANDING Meteora by Willie! He then nips up to deliver the Samoan drop/standing moonsault combo for 2. Yakuza Kick nailed, followed by then high cannonball at second time of asking. Colt starts hitting him in the head again...and absolutely floors him with the quebrada press. No sold by Willie who retorts with an exploder suplex. Frog Splash misses...CABANA MOONSAULT MISSES! Superman Pin...and Colt wins! He is the new National Champion at 08:45

Rating - ** - There were parts of this I liked, and parts I didn't. I was actually taken aback by how intense and forthright it was. Both men curtailed a lot of their usual routines and approached the match with real aggression. When Willie wiped out to the floor Colt didn't play the nice guy - he got the champ back in the ring and repeatedly beat him round the head trying to KO him. The final third of the match didn't do as much to draw me in and mostly played out as a succession of no-selling, randomly placed spots...but there was enough excitement in there, coupled with the surprisingly decent middle portion to mean I enjoyed this.

Cabana's victory celebrations are interrupted by 'Cowboy' James Storm. He talks about NWA playing politics with who they promote and doesn't think he is what NWA's 'management' wants...but he plans to take the NWA National Title anyway. He tells Colt to be ready.

The Crockett Cup and the NWA Tag Title belts are transported to ringside (by Dak Draper and Brian Johnson) in preparation for the finals. Billy Corgan and Joe Koff bring out members of the Crockett family. Nikita Koloff is brought out to present the trophy to the winners - and he still looks fantastic. Magnum TA is out next to watch from ringside with Nikita...

Royce Isaacs/Thom Latimer vs Brody King/PCO - 2019 Crockett Cup Final/NWA Tag Title Match
Clips show how both teams reached the finals, and it is fair to say neither covered themselves in glory. Latimer pulled the tights to pin an injured Flip Gordon in one, whilst the Villains got the better of a dodgy referee call in a chair-swinging brawl with the Briscoes. Neither team were regular duos at the dawn of the 2019, so whomever wins this is a remarkable story. 'The Wildcards' were thrown together for the show-opening battle royal and have found a way through three matches already just to be here. Brody and PCO, meanwhile, have already won ROH's Tag Wars Tournament, ROH's Tag Titles, ROH's Six-Man Titles and competed at Madison Square Garden. However, PCO comes into this carrying an arm injury inflicted by the Briscoes...whilst Royce and Latimer now appear to have Madusa in their corner offering them advice.

The Villains both come out carrying arm injuries from their semi-final, and PCO hasn't even made it onto the apron as the bell rings with King squaring off against Isaacs. Brody uses his good arm to throw strikes, but soon has to fight off both opponents at once and gets overwhelmed. Latimer beats on King outside the ring, with Madusa watching on approvingly. Brody keeps fighting, launching Royce into the ringpost then back dropping Latimer into the turnbuckles as he follows in. PCO can barely get his arm over the ropes to reach for a tag...and then sells King's tag like an electric shock. Yelling at Brody, PCO hangs his arm back over the rope and orders his partner to hit a TOP ROPE ARMBREAKER! If that was the issue why couldn't a medical professional do that backstage!? PCO goes on a no-sell rampage and clobbers Isaacs and Latimer around for fun. Michinoku Driver by Brody! Bossman Slam on Latimer...into the PCO-SAULT! Villains win at 06:38

Rating - * - Among the most low-key and uninteresting pay-offs for a night-long tournament I've ever seen. Brody and PCO winning feels like ROH pulling a New Japan on the NWA, but even considering that this was just an uninteresting, short and forgettable tournament final. The stuff with PCO's arm was incredibly dumb. It was funny and got a pop (even from me) but when you really think about it, it just doesn't make sense whatsoever and was simply a stunt designed to get a reaction because everything else in the match was bland. Even when they were trying to get heat, the work from Isaacs and Latimer was plain boring. 

Nick Aldis vs Marty Scurll - NWA Heavyweight Title Match
This is a match which throws together two men who have been friends since they first started training together in the UK. Aldis has always been the 'big brother' of the duo. He was on TV in the UK first in the reboot of 'Gladiators', he was the one that made it to the US first. He's bigger, he is stronger, he is more chiselled - he is the archetypal World Champion. Scurll has taken a different route to this match. He made a reputation as one of the best on the UK independent scene, and when even that wasn't enough to get him a look in the US he created his 'Villain' persona and never looked back. When he and Nick met in the ring at ROH's TV tapings in Las Vegas it seemed like these two friends were going to team up in the Crockett Cup - but Scurll swerved on everyone and challenged Aldis for the NWA Championship. After countless years as 'little brother', he wants to change the dynamic of their relationship, and comes in extra motivated after failing to become ROH Champion at G1 Supercard.

Aldis offers Scurll a handshake, but in the end they both settle for a fist-bump to signify their lingering respect for each other. The champion stands tall over The Villain and trash-talks for much of the first minute. He uses his size to control a slow and methodical pace, repeatedly closing down some of Marty's games and showmanship on the canvas. Scurll gets his own back; he drops to the mat out of nowhere and feigns injury as if Kamille had attacked him from behind. Referee Brian Hebner falls for it and ejects Kamille from ringside! Nick tries to get her back and gets jumped in the aisle by the challenger. He needs every bit of his championship composure - and returns the match to the ring where he can go back to using his power and start suplexing Marty with ease. Avalanche fallaway slam nailed as well to underline the strength advantage the National Treasure enjoys. Now looking to send a message, he tosses Scurll to the outside then gives him an emphatic body slam on the floor. A backbreaker to the apron follows before Marty even knows where he is. CHOKESLAM THROUGH A TABLE! He struts away as if he is daring Hebner to disqualify him, or get to work counting The Villain out. The match continues, albeit with Marty now carrying serious injuries to the midsection. Aldis looks laser-focused and every bit the big brother trying to put 'little brother' in his place. So Scurll slaps him...then SPITS in his face! He scrambles up the champion to hit a tornado DDT, injuring his own body further in the process. The Villain is on a roll; stomping Nick so ferociously into the corner that the ref has to physically haul him away. Tope suicida scores - he has Aldis on the run, and now has him bleeding everywhere. Marty boots the wound with a 619...but can't connect with the Ghostbuster. Cloverleaf blocked...Just Kidding blocked...Figure 4 Leglock by The Villain. TOMBSTONE by Aldis! Fighting through such heavy blood-loss you wonder if he can even see, Nick scales the ropes and flies into the top rope elbow across the damaged ribs. Michinoku Driver nailed for 2. The champ thinks about another elbow drop, but this time takes too long about it and eats a superplex. Powerbomb by Nick...but when he tries for the Cloverleaf Marty COUNTERS TO THE FINGER SNAP! Chickenwing blocked...CROSS RHODES BY MARTY! ALDIS KICKS OUT! Marty tries to finish him with some heavyweight lariats, but accidentally clobbers the ref. Kamille takes the opportunity to return...but Aldis stops her from giving Marty a Spear! He wants to beat The Villain on his own! Right before Scurll punts him in the dick! Black Plague/Graduation...gets 2! Aldis goes for flash pins only to turn into the CHICKENWING! Aldis counters to a pin forcing  Marty to release the hold. Package Piledriver blocked, perhaps due to the back injury suffered earlier. Marty again tries to counter the King's Lynn Cloverleaf by snapping the fingers. HIGH ANGLE CLOVERLEAF! SCURLL TAPS! Aldis retains at 23:40

Rating - **** - This match got a lot of build and, with respect to the Crockett Cup, is probably the biggest draw on this show. In my estimation it absolutely lived up to the hype. It reminded me a lot of Cody/Aldis at All In. Obviously they were telling a different story, but the spectacle, pantomime and overbooked entertainment factor all resembled the All In NWA Title Match. Character-wise I thought they really nailed it. Aldis was composed, poised and a powerful embodiment for the values he upholds as NWA Champion. Marty in turn played the 'little brother' brilliantly; buzzing around Nick like a gnat, being a complete asshole when the occasion called (e.g. getting Kamille ejected, using Cody's finisher, or profiteering from Aldis' refusal to cheat). It is much less common in pro-wrestling these days, but it is hard to deny that the blood really did heighten the drama too. With all that said, this really wasn't the MOTYC or epic they were shooting for. There were some really sloppy, terrible moments in here; BIG mistakes like having to loudly remind each other they were in the middle of a roll-up spot in the climactic stretch. Similarly I thought Scurll's selling of the back/midsection was lousy. Compared to Aldis, who was still selling the Finger Snap right into his finishing hold when he didn't clasp the hands it really did look bad.

Aldis and Scurll hug, whilst on commentary Ian Riccaboni has hijacked the ending of the show to shill ROH's War Of The Worlds Tour VOD's... 

Tape Rating - ** - As I watched and reviewed this show I couldn't help but compare it to G1 Supercard. As events they aren't that similar, but I don't watch NWA's product regularly. Therefore Crockett Cup 2019 provided NWA with a platform to win my interest in and viewership of their product - much in the same way that G1 Supercard did for a great many fans with ROH. And whilst I don't think they made as many boo boo's as Ring Of Honor in MSG, this did feel like a spurned opportunity for the NWA. I have no idea what they were going for with the Isaacs/Latimer angle, but that really did kill the Crockett Cup for me - as did the gimmicky and pointlessly short final. Most of the good stuff on the show felt like it came from other companies (ROH, NJPW and CMLL) instead of the NWA. In the end this show started to feel extremely long and overloaded with too many short, lethargic matches...and was really only carried by the (admittedly very good) main event. Aldis/Scurll is worth checking out. It takes you on a real journey, it is as much a spectacle as it is a match and Aldis' performance was probably the only thing on the roster which really had me wanting to see more of NWA's product. 

Top 3 Matches
3) Brody King/PCO vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe (***)
2) Flip Gordon/Bandido vs Stuka Jr./Guerrero Maya Jr. (***)
1) Nick Aldis vs Marty Scurll (****)

Make a free website with Yola