Sam Shaw def. Scorpio Sky, Sammy Guevara and Colt Cabana in a NWA National Championship Fatal 4-Way Elimination Qualifying Match
I love how we heard from most of the competitors (everyone except for Shaw) beforehand. It raised the stakes of the match and made that NWA National Championship feel more important. For a four-way elimination match, this was way too short at seven minutes long. It was fun while it lasted, but the finish felt abrupt. Shaw was easily the weakest choice to go over, so that was surprising. However, Guevara stood out in a major way with all of his crazy high spots and Sky and Cabana also had solid showings.
Barrett Brown def. Laredo Kid
I'm familiar with Laredo Kid but have never heard of Barrett Brown before. They worked well together, but I felt it lacked a strong story and that extra spark that would've taken it to that next level. It's odd that these guys were given more time than the four-way, but at least the crowd was invested in more of the action. Laredo Kid is an AAA guy, so I assume that's why Brown picked up the win, even though I don't think I've seen him in the NWA since.
Willie Mack def. Ricky Starks, Jay Bradley and Mike Parrow in a NWA National Championship Fatal 4-Way Elimination Qualifying Match
Parrow was the only person I didn't already know, so I liked that we got to hear from him beforehand. I guess it didn't matter much since he was the first one eliminated. The rest of the match was enjoyable but not as exciting as the opener. I was shocked this four-way was just as brief as the other one, but on the bright side, Starks sold the hell out of that Stunner. Bradley attacked Mack at ringside afterward and James Ellsworth (yes, you read that right) made the save.
Tim Storm def. Peter Avalon in a Kiss My Foot Match
As dumb as the librarian gimmick Avalon has now in AEW is, at least it's less generic than whatever the hell his persona was here. I'm a fan of Storm, but he couldn't make this thing anything more than a basic bout in my opinion. The loser having to kiss the winner's foot didn't make it any better. It was nice for Storm to get some exposure as a former NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion, but this wasn't the best showcase of his abilities.
NWA Women's Championship Jazz def. Penelope Ford
Jim Cornette did not seem to be impressed with Ford's gymnastic-esque moves on commentary, but I was thoroughly impressed. She shined at All In when she interfered in Joey Janela vs. Adam Page and I thought she fared well for herself here. This was a quality contest, but that botch at the end from referee Earl Hebner was bizarre. It had to have been legitimate given.. Post-match, Jazz teased challenging for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship, which I don't think ever ended up happening.
Willie Mack def. Sam Shaw to Win the NWA National Championship
Jeff Jarrett introduced the NWA National Championship belt beforehand. It was interesting that he was allowed to use his old TNA theme song, but I assume IMPACT doesn't care. He also announced that wrestling legend Magnum T.A. would present the winner with the title, though I didn't spot him afterward. Nonetheless, this was much better than I was expecting. It's well established how talented Mack is, but I've never been sold on Shaw. That said, both guys performed well and had the crowd by the end, specifically when it came time for the finish. It's a shame Mack couldn't do more with the NWA before reporting full-time to IMPACT.
Crimson and Jax Dane def. Shannon Moore and Crazzy Steve
Crimson and Dane resembled The Road Warriors due to Animal accompanying them to ringside. The whole thing with Jocephus beforehand was just weird. He's so much better as The Question Mark now. Thankfully, Crimson and Dane faced the duo of Moore and Steve instead. The match was average at best and the crowd wasn't all that into the action. In fact, they were louder for Animal's announcement that the Crockett Cup would be returning in 2019.
Nick Aldis def. Cody in a 2-Out-of-3 Falls Match to Win the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship
The story coming into this was that Aldis blamed Brandi Rhodes for getting involved in his original encounter with Cody at All In and costing him the title. Instead of banning her from ringside, he introduced Kamille as his "insurance policy" and they cancelled each other out. Aldis has gone on record in saying that he prefers this rematch with Cody over the original and now I can see why. It was excellently executed with Cody tapping for the first fall (so he could avoid further damage being inflicted on his knee), Cody pinning Aldis following a Cross Rhodes for the second fall, and Aldis outsmarting Cody in a small package for the third fall. I think fans were expecting Cody to hold onto the gold for a little longer, so the finish felt like a genuine shock to most. This had a big fight feel as well as drama, exceptional action and spot-on storytelling, This just might be the best Aldis has ever had and was a hell of a way for him to get the belt back.
This aired in place of the March 17, 2020 edition of Powerrr because of editing issues (the coronavirus pandemic caused the company to change all plans they had for the Crockett Cup). I didn't watch the event when it originally aired, so it was fun to finally check it out. There was a lot of dead air in between the matches, so even though it clocks in at three hours long, it's probably a lot shorter than that when you skip over the filler. There were a lot of production issues throughout the three hours that made the show feel bush league. That said, I give it a thumbs-up overall, if only for that terrific main event and Mack's National title win going over so well. It was also a treat to see so many current AEW stars appear knowing where they are today.
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