Recap: Smashing Pumpkins Frontman Billy Corgan's Evokes 'GLOW' With New Pro Wrestling TV Show 'NWA: Powerrr'

on Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Words: Saam Das

On October 1st 2017, Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan purchased the historic National Wrestling Alliance, founded in 1948. A leftfield move to some, it actually followed his involvement in another high profile American professional wrestling organisation, TNA. Two years on from the start of the Corgan era, 'NWA: Powerrr' (yes, three 'r's) premiered across the world for free on Facebook and YouTube. Here's a recap of the opening episode.

Filmed at Atlanta's GPB Studios, 'Powerrr' is a return to the olden days of "studio wrestling" rather than the more typical arena-based wrestling that has propelled WWE into the most dominant pro wrestling organisation of all time. NWA has wisely set its sights a tad lower but can already count The Rock as an early fan. The actor, who started his wrasslin' career in Memphis in similar environments, complimented the show's "cool vintage feel".

The 'NWA: Powerrr' Theme Song

Okay, so Dokken's 1980s hair metal effort 'Into The Fire' may fit appropriately thematically into the throwback that is 'NWA: Powerrr' but c'mon, you have Billy Corgan's entire back catalogue to plunder. A bit self-indulgent perhaps but we'd have gladly taken a return to the limelight for a Zwan track. Honestly.

"From A Punchline To A Headline"

The show's first segment showcased the NWA Worlds (pluralised for some reason) Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis accompanied by the Chyna-esque Kamille. A former World Heavyweight Champion in TNA as Magnus, as well as Oblivion in the rebooted version of 'Gladiators', the Brit offers a steady hand at the top and suitable marketability. A comprehensive introductory promo saw Aldis put over the latest evolution of NWA, "from a punchline to a headline" - one of the pro wrestling lines of the year.

Austin Idol's Baffling Wrestling School Commercial

The first match came and went in no time at all, with The Dawsons squashing Sal Rinauro and Billy Buck, then delivering a standard heel promo: "We're the bullies that took your lunch money." However, we were relatively unprepared for what came next as elder statesman Austin Idol promoted his wrestling school breathlessly. Pastiche or not? We're still not sure. Straight outta Netflix's 'GLOW' for this NWA segment.

Eli Drake? "Yeah?"

Eli Drake's mic skills took him to the top of Impact Wrestling as World Champion, and he channelled elements of The Rock and Stone Cold in his first 'Powerrr' promo - evoking comparisons of the latter's infamous "What?" chant with his "Yeah?" refrain. His subsequent match with Caleb Konley was another relatively brief affair, albeit with both men looking strong. Drake is a likely future challenger for the NWA Worlds Title, while Konley is a rising talent.

Storm Jocephus

In rather bizarre circumstances, half-man-half-beard Jocephus faced James Storm, having invaded the commentary area yelling in an inebriated fashion about finding "Storm". Wisely taking advantage of their multiple wrestlers with the same surname, NWA sent the ever-popular James Storm to answer the call. Following an elongated chase sequence reminiscent of 'Benny Hill', quite literally separated by a whole wrestling match in its interim, Storm put Jocephus away. And somewhat amusingly to sleep, softly placing an 'unconscious' Jocephus's thumb into his mouth following a superkick.

The NWA Tag Team Division

Episode One of 'Powerrr' was prominent in setting up the NWA tag division, with The Dawsons appearing early on and the introduction of a potential feud between Outlaw Inc. and current tag champs Thom Latimer (TNA's Bram) and Royce Isaacs. Eddie Kingston particularly felt effortless in his vocal antagonism of the title holders, while former Ring Of Honor World Champion Homicide (dethroning one Bryan Danielson, no less) adds a notable pedigree and his own unique spice to the Outlaw Inc. team.

The Main Event: Tim Storm vs Nick Aldis III

The 'Ten Pounds Of Gold' series on YouTube emphasised the endearing everyman nature of Tim Storm, a man in his fifties. Summed up in this episode as "not just a professional wrestler - he's a schoolteacher, he's a husband, he's a grandfather." Storm also delivered a fine promo ahead of the title match, quoting the "great philosopher" Eminem in a "one shot" speech.

Ultimately, it wasn't to be for Tim Storm, taken down by an inside cradle of all things. It seems that Storm's dalliance with the top slot in NWA has now formally come to end, with the stipulation of this being the challenger's final chance at the title. Unusually, Storm resorted to a low blow during the match, perhaps hinting at a heel turn - strangely later described as "a man as authentic as it gets" by his opponent. Indeed, it may instead be Aldis who turns heel, not allowing Kamille to speak when asked to comment on an inadvertent clattering by the Worlds Champ. Food for thought.

Episode One: Overall Thoughts

As opening episodes go, 'NWA Powerrr' Episode 1 was a promising start - introducing a series of characters and feuds successfully in a vibrant atmosphere, with an intimate and grounded feel, sold well by the commentary team of Joe Galli and a remarkably restrained Jim Cornette. Indeed, with stiff competition ranging from the likes of 'AEW Dynamite' to MLW, there's something unique about the NWA offering. So much so that it feels that this shouldn't be streaming at all, but released on VHS.

It was perhaps a mistake not to feature the NWA World (singular this time) Women's Champion Allysin Kay on the debut episode, an indication that women's wrestling is something of an afterthought here. The jarring transitions to adverts and replays are also somewhat distracting, albeit understandable for running time purposes. It's certainly considerably better than another recent studio wrestling effort, ITV's sadly disappointing 'WOS Wrestling'.

'NWA: Powerrr' airs for free every Tuesday worldwide on Facebook and YouTube. Find more info at

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