Over two years ago, when Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan bought the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), everyone wondered what could be possibly done with the brand. We’re long removed from the days when the NWA was the governing body of professional wrestling or even relevant within the industry.
The last twenty plus years saw the vestiges of the promotion attach itself to any independent promotion willing to pay a membership fee. Most obtained membership out of nostalgia for the once-mighty company where iconic names such as Lou Thez, Harley Race, and Ric Flair showcased their skills.
Last week, NWA debuted their new show on YouTube called POWERRR filmed in front of a live studio audience in Atlanta. The set design is a replica of the old Georgia Championship Wrestling cable television show on channel 17 (TBS).
Old school production graphics are used, similar Georgia show format, and they even used the old yellow NWA logo. If that’s not cool enough, the show has a worldwide air time on Tuesday at 6:05 EST. The: 05 start time was a distinguished hallmark of TBS programming for many years and most synonymous with wrestling. Unforgettable start time is an excellent piece of marketing, and it’s free.
Powerrr is a one-hour commercial-free show with a mixture of squash matches and competitive matches between stars. Promos occur at the studio podium after the match where current storylines and advanced and future angles and born. This is precisely how Georgia Championship Wrestling was formatted.
However, what makes Powerr different from other nostalgia acts is the show’s old school motif coupled with contemporary wrestling. This gives the show a new school energy that makes it feel fresh. Industry leader WWE has thrown basic wrestling storytelling by the wayside. The NWA is giving older fans what they’ve missed while providing younger fans with a version of wrestling they never knew they wanted.
What a difference two years makes. In 2017, WWE was the only wrestling promotion that could get a viable television deal. Jeff Jarrett and Tobey Keith couldn’t even get a tv deal. The belief within the television industry was that wrestling’s popularity is fading, and WWE is the only company that can do it on a large scale.
Today, WWE has three shows on television worth billions of dollars, and AEW is making waves on TNT. Billy Corgan might have picked the perfect time to debut Powerrr. The response to the show has been overwhelmingly positive. Hopefully, continued success can be parlayed into a television deal to coincide with the recent resurgence of wrestling’s popularity.
The first two episodes are posted down below. I highly recommend giving NWA Powerrr a close look. The second episode features a wrestler I’ve had the pleasure fo working with named Ashley Vox who wrestles the NWA Women’s Champion in a non-title match.