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Rekindled | 3 Hopes for NWA’s Return

by Zak Ralph
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Photo Credit: NWA

You might have felt a quiet discomfort over the weekend. You’re not sure what it was, but it was palpable. What you felt, friends, was the collective hearts of NWA fans skipping the proverbial beat. The organization had pulled all video content from their YouTube channel, including all episodes of their flagship program NWA Powerrr.

The pandemic hit all wrestling promotions and it was no different for NWA. Their third season had concluded in January of 2020 and they had yet to go onto record a fourth. They would go on to lose some of their most dynamic stars all going on to find a regular paycheck, and who can blame them?! All the same, the string of departures made their empty YouTube channel look like the nail in the coffin.

But then, NWA fans, we breathed a sigh of relief. FITE would issue a press release announcing that they would be the new home of NWA. Their partnership will manifest with “Back For The Attack” on pay-per-view followed by a new season of Powerrr! It’s good news on paper, and yours truly is rejoicing. In fact I haven’t felt this excited about wrestling in almost a year! But it’s foolish to think that the company doesn’t have an uphill battle ahead of them – fortunately, though, it’s a position they seem at ease with.

With that, I would like to ruminate on a few things I’d like to see from NWA in their latest revival. I won’t be defining a fixed criteria of what they should do – I’m a fan, not a booker – but I would like to share the broadstrokes of my hopes while trusting NWA with the details

Rebuilding their roster

This one’s a given. Since their hiatus began the company would go on to lose a large handful of talent that they were investing heavily into – Ricky Starks, Eli Drake, Colt Cabana, it’s a list I could deep dive into if I was worried about my word-count. I can only speculate how they will fill the holes in the roster, especially when they’re kicking off their return on pay-per-view, no less, but I believe they will be fortunate if they find talent a fraction as dynamic as those who had left the company.

And that’s not a slight on any free agents. I’m just saying Eddie Kingston left big shoes to fill.

Who would you like to see have a run in NWA? Let us know in the comments.

Rekindle their ROH partnership

Before “the Forbidden Door” became popular in our fandom’s lexicon a relationship between NWA and Ring of Honor had been developing, and it was an intriguing one to watch. Both rosters would launch excursions to the rival company and fans were rewarded with good-if-not-great television. Unfortunately, it did not have the chance to pay off as marquee events were inevitably canceled.

If a partnership between ROH can continue, then NWA would be wise to embrace that. Not only is their roster depleted of familiar faces, but invasions from the rival promotion evokes nostalgia to those who grew up loving the territory days of professional wrestling – a fanbase that has been very kind to NWA.

A Big Match for Aldis at Back For The Attack

Content Warning: References to people named in Speaking Out.

NWA had spent the third season of programming building up the cross-promotional rivalry between champion Nick Aldis and ROH’s Marty Scurll, with the championship match intended for the Crockett Cup. The match would be cancelled amid COVID-19, and Scurll would become persona non grata after being named in Speaking Out. Further on, NWA Vice President David Lagana would also be named. Lagana would resign from NWA, and ROH would part ways with Scurll.

It’s clear that this environment is thankfully unwelcome behind the scenes of NWA, but now it’s up to them to match their on-screen content to match such policies. I don’t suggest they acknowledge the dropped feud with Scurll, but quietly put as much distance between the names of Aldis/NWA and Scurll/Lagana as possible.

All that being said, Aldis is left high and dry without a major rival going into a pay-per-view. It wouldn’t be uncharacteristic for the champion not to defend on a major NWA event but in this particular case I don’t believe that’s the best course of action. Be it a rekindled rivalry with the likes of Tim Storm, a mystery opponent (so long as whoever it is delivers!) or something else entirely, we need to be talking about Aldis for all the right reasons. Frankly, he deserves it.

That’s my two cents. How about you? I asked who you’d like to see round out the NWA roster, but what other broad hopes do you have for your favourite throwback promotion? Let me know in the comments or go ahead and at me on Twitter.

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