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411 Wrestling Fact or Fiction: Is NWA Powerrr the Best Pro Wrestling TV Show Today?

November 8, 2019 | Posted by Jake Chambers
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Welcome back to the 411 Fact or Fiction – Wrestling Edition, I’m your host, Jake Chambers. Every week, Fact or Fiction poses statements on pro-wrestling history, culture and current events and then challenges writers to explain why they believe each statement is totally factual or completely fiction. No middle ground will be tolerated!

This week’s guest is: Bob Colling. Coming to you each week here at 411mania with his review of the new NWA Powerrr web-series, Bob is wrestling historian with a sweet tooth for the old school and therefore was the perfect big brain to pick about this wacky new show.

Statement #1: NWA Powerrr is the best pro-wrestling show out there right now.

Jake Chambers: FICTION – Powerrrr might be the cutest show, but it’s not the best. I liked the first episode because it was definitely different, but I’m not sure that throwback studio style holds up week to week. It didn’t for me by the second episode. I’d just like some mention of what it’s supposed to be exactly. When AEW copies the WWE style, I guess I’m OK that they don’t come out and give that as a mission statement, but when you’re mimicking a throwback style I’d like some context. Was there some kind of time machine involved, or maybe acknowledge how this is a tribute. Otherwise, I think the wrestling is fine, but not at the level you’re seeing on some other shows today. So for my money (literally) Beyond Wrestling’s Uncharted Territory is the best pure wrestling TV series out there, followed closely by NXT UK.

Bob Colling: FICTION – I’m a fan of NWA Power, but I’m not a delusional fan. The old school presentation is something I can greatly appreciate because in the last year or so I’ve gotten into Memphis wrestling and I really enjoy the studio atmosphere. There’s a lot to enjoy about Power, but the in-ring action on the program isn’t anywhere near the level of other professional wrestling companies. It’s a great 45-minute episode of a pro wrestling show, but it’s not the best form of entertainment. I don’t watch a lot of current day professional wrestling, but I’d give the nod to AEW.

Statement #2: In their prime, Dusty Rhodes was better than Ric Flair.

Jake Chambers: FACT People consider Ric Flair the greatest of all time, and that’s at least half based on the work he did in his prime with the NWA. Few put Dusty Rhodes on that pedestal and that might be because he didn’t have the fantastic back half of his in-ring career like Flair. But in their prime, in the NWA studio show era, Dusty was better than Ric. I’m not saying it was easy work for Flair, but he was a good looking guy, with a great stable, super athletic, and had the freedom to insult everyone ruthlessly. Dusty was sloppy looking, had a weird lisp, and needed people to love him more than their own families, and he made that work like few other babyfaces ever. So based on a degree of difficulty scale, I’m giving the nod to Dusty in his prime.

Bob Colling: FACT – When it comes to professional wrestling, I find Ric Flair to be incredibly overrated. Flair is a terrific talker and entertainer, but when it comes to entertaining matches with moves and whatnot, I’ve never been a big Flair fan. Personally, Dusty’s style entertained me more. Heck, even when Dusty was doing ECW shows and later on various independent shows, he was still doing fairly well for himself in the ring. Dusty overcame many obstacles and connected with fans in ways that Flair could never accomplish.

Statement #3: The current NWA roster has too many former TNA/IMPACT wrestlers for Powerrr to ever be a big success.

Jake Chambers: FACT – Here, I’ll list them: Nick Aldis, Mr. Anderson, James Storm, Aron Stevens, Eli Drake, Bram, Eddie Kingston & Homicide. Unfortunately, these guys were prominent in TNA during the company’s lamest of years. Other than Aldis who seems to have gotten rid of his British accent, none of them have really changed at all since TNA. This is not good. Plus the fact that the concept of Powerrr a bit Broken-verse lite, I fear the whole thing is going to tank if they don’t build up some new compelling stars and quick. I like that Ricky Starks, and Tim Storm is kind of cool, but I don’t want to see these guys wrestling the duds that brought down TNA.

Bob Colling: FICTION – Are there some TNA/Impact guys on Power? Absolutely. I don’t think there are “too many” of them, though. Aldis has become a hot commodity and was presented much differently when he was in TNA. Aron Stevens wasn’t even there for that long, that I recall. Same can be said for Eddie Kingston. I don’t consider Homicide a “TNA guy” by any means. That really leaves James Storm and Eli Drake. Two guys that are very entertaining and have a purpose on the program. When you include guys like the Dawsons, Caleb Konley, Ricky Starks, Tim Storm, Colt Cabana, Tim Storm, and Royce Isaacs, I think there’s enough fresh talent to not make it feel like a knockoff program. I’m hopeful that NWA has an influx of talent to get themselves away from older names, as well. However, as of right now I don’t feel like I’m watching a show primarily of former Impact wrestlers.

Fact or Fiction – Quick Hits
– one sentence is all you need for this FoF lightning round!

1. The NWA National Championship is the coolest looking active wrestling title belt.

Jake Chambers: FICTION – I do think it’s damn cool, but the Dragon Gate – Open the Dream Gate Championship will be the coolest belt as long as it is active.

Bob Colling: FICTION – I’m still a huge fan of the NWA Worlds Championship.

2. Jim Cornette is a great colour commentator. 

Bob Colling: FACT – Cornette gets the talent over and provides history context to justify what is happening, which is what a great color commentator does.

3. You have watched an enjoyed a full episode of AEW Dark.

Bob Colling: FACT – I believe I enjoyed the first two weeks of the program, but have fallen off in recent weeks from being able to watch it in a proper amount of time.

Jake Chambers: FICTION – I only went through one episode to cherry pick the Kenny Omega / Joey Janela singles match, seemed better than a “dark match” but not enough to get me to come back.

¡SWITCH!

Statement #4: Professional wrestlers older than 50 can still be pretty awesome in the ring.

Bob Colling: FACT – When reading the question my mind went right to Tim Storm and he alone proves that a wrestler over the age of 50 can still be awesome in the ring. Oh, and PCO, who gets crazier and crazier with each passing day.

Jake Chambers: FACT – I agree with Bob on Tim Storm and PCO, for sure, and right now there are guys like Minoru Suzuki, Jushin Liger, Negro Casas, LA Park who can hang in the ring with the best in the world. In my opinion, pro-wrestlers really hit their prime in their 40s, which is a shame considering how much potentially awesome wrestling we missed from legends like Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Stone Cold, The Rock, Edge and John Cena in the WWF/E.

Statement #5:  The women’s match at the Crown Jewel PPV proved that the WWE can promote cultural change in Saudi Arabia from the inside. 

Bob Colling: FACT – I guess technically they can promote the idea of cultural change, but really having a true impact in the country is an entirely different conversation. It’s just bizarre to me that they promote cultural change while they themselves have been behind the times in many different ways over the last several decades. 


Jake Chambers: FACT – I think even the staunchest critics of the WWE and their Saudi Arabia deal have to be impressed here. Sure, it wasn’t interesting wrestling, and they kind of looked ridiculous in the clothes they were required to wear, but the match did happen. We’re just over a year away from hearing about the supposed anger from some in that country over just seeing clips of women wrestling appear in video montages at one of these shows. For the WWE to get this match on the card, and to have it embraced by the crowd, it does send a pretty moderate signal to the outrage culture that wants to paint every citizen of Saudi Arabia as a violent misogynist.

Statement #6: There is no more room in your life for another weekly pro-wrestling TV show.

Bob Colling: FACT Recently, I saw that OVW was going to stream their weekly TV show on Youtube on Tuesday’s which makes three shows on Tuesdays that wrestling fans have an option to watch. Everyday of the week there is some kind of professional wrestling to watch that isn’t a rerun or repeat of prior episodes. Had this been going on 15 years ago, I would have been in heaven. However, as an adult with many other interests and hobbies, it’s impossible to watch everything. It would literally become a part-time job to do so. That kind of dedication, which is something Larry Csonka deserves much credit for, is nearly impossible to accomplish and remain sane in the process. I’ll keep it to two shows, Dynamite and Power, and catch highlights of whatever else sounds appealing on any given week.

Jake Chambers: FICTION – I would love to honestly answer this with FACT but the truth is, if the show was good enough I’d probably find a way. The NWA Powerrr show is a good example, as is AEW and Beyond Wrestling this year adding shows to a calendar I already thought was full. When Lucha Underground came along, it automatically zoomed to the top of my weekly TV viewing list, and if it came back I’d do it again. Thus is the doom of being a professional wrestling addict: I always want more. I wish I could separate myself from other adult interests and hobbies, like Bob said, but I’ve been reading Alan Moore’s novel Jerusalem for over 3 years now and I’m only halfway finished, meanwhile I just watched a week’s worth of NJPW Jr. Tag Team tournament matches the moment they came out. I don’t think I have other interests, as sad as that might be to admit at my age. So CHIKARA or PWG or whoever, when you get your weekly on like EPIX next year, I’ll be there!

Thanks again to Bob Colling for his participation this week. I hope you’ll follow along with his fair and old school-centric reviews of NWA Powerrr every week here at 411mania.

As well, Bob’s reviews of that show and a ton of other great content peruse his website Wrestling Recaps for some quality material, like a read through of ’80s wrestling mags and his re-booking of old school WWF, along with a vast archive of shows reviews from a variety of promotions. I dare you not to get stuck there for a while lost in the man’s words!

And I hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of Wrestling Fact or Fiction. And you know, these columns aren’t just one offs, there’s some evergreen content out there that you can always go back and check out, such as:

Beyond Wrestling’s Drew Corderio talking the state of indie wrestling.

411’s ZWI kayfabe legend Dino Zee on his love of IMPACT Wrestling.

Just to name a few! If you’re looking to get on the FoF train one day, follow me on Twitter and let me know!