It’s a new era for the NWA, as the company finally presents its much-hyped first championship match since Billy Corgan took ownership…
Tim Storm (C)
NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship
(Winner via pinfall: Tim Storm)
After a very public legal dispute with Dixie Carter and Impact Wrestling (or whatever it was called at that time – it’s hard to keep up!), Billy Corgan was able to leave his first venture into professional wrestling without any financial losses. Given the company he was working with, that in itself is an accomplishment, but perhaps more worth of a round of applause was his quick move to then purchase the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), grabbing a prestigious tape library whilst at the same time purchasing a brand name very familiar to wrestling fans, if perhaps far less significant and damaged in 2017 than it was several decades earlier.
Corgan has made his intentions for the re-launched NWA very clear, but with no television deal currently in place (I’d encourage them to launch their own streaming service, personally), he currently has to settle for a working arrangement with Championship Wrestling from Hollywood, an arrangement that would see the TV show feature the first title defence of Corgan’s run.
In the lead-up to this match, NWA put out some very good short movies, as they sought to familiarise 2017’s wrestling audience with they current champion (Tim Storm) and his opponent (Nick Aldis). These mini-documentaries were very good, and gave a good indication of how Corgan’s NWA will present itself as a media presentation in the months and years to come.
For me, a wrestling fan who genuinely had no idea who Tim Storm was up until a month or two ago, these short videos were a wonderful way to introduce me to the champion, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that they were all building toward Storm losing the championship. Such a decision would have made sense too, given the NWA probably want the face of their newly revamped brand to be much younger and appealing to wider audiences. It was a surprise, then, that Storm actually retained when he finally fought with Aldis in Los Angeles.
The match was actually quite good for what it was. It actually could have easily been a lot better too, but a few difficult transitions between spots took me out of the action more than once. That said, Storm was definitely giving it his all, and Aldis was a fun opponent for him.
So, with their first booking decision, Corgan and his team have surprised me. As the NWA continues to find a new place for itself within the wrestling business (or perhaps, reclaim its old place…?), they will eventually need to put the championship onto a younger face. But I am into Storms story right now, so let’s see where it takes us.