NWA Convention closes with a whimper
By GREG OLIVER -- SLAM! Wrestling
NASHVILLE -- Sunday afternoon, the National Wrestling Alliance presented their Showcase of the Stars at the Nashville Fairgrounds. Unlike the Battle for the Belts the previous evening, this card didn't live up to its billing.
The matches featured wrestlers from the various NWA promotions across the U.S., and even England. While a few of the matches were pretty good (especially the wrestlers from England and NWA New Jersey), it just had the total feel of an indie show, with some of the wrestlers being terrible rip-offs of established stars and some not ready for even this showcase of less than 200 people.
The final match of the afternoon, 'Boston Bad Boy' Jason Rumble beating 'Backhome' Beau Douglas to win the NWA New England heavyweight title, was hardly main event deserving, even if the card was dedicated to the late NWA New England promoter Tony Rumble. The match was anti-climatic and left the weekend's festivities on a downswing.
Still, NWA President Howard Brody was pretty positive about the whole NWA 52nd Anniversary Convention weekend. "Last night's show was really good and the talent today got a chance to come out," he said after the event had ended.
This year's Convention was done differently than in previous years in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Charlotte, North Carolina. At those Conventions, fans got to meet many old-timers and legends of the past, as well as rising stars. (The 1998 show featured then-WWF trainees Kurt Angle, Test and Prince Albert as well as where-are-they-now wrestlers Tiger Ali Singh, Babu, Glenn Kulka, and Giant Silva.)
"In the past, it was always done through the collective," Brody explained. "This year, the local promoter paid a fee for it and they told me they made money and that's what the important thing is. So if they made money, the organization made money. The organization has its exposure for its different wrestlers, different promotions. And really, the main emphasis behind this show, and what we do every year, the weekend is really for the members to get together and discuss business for the coming year."
A decision was made not to 'hot-shot' and bring in big names, instead trying to make due with those in the NWA 'family.'
Brody praised the fans who did come out, with over 500 in the house Saturday night and 200 on Sunday afternoon (both numbers include the hangers-on, promoters, and families of the wrestlers on the shows, most of whom wouldn't have paid to get in).
"Over 700 people having a look at the NWA over the course of two days is pretty good," Brody said. "Fans in Nashville were really receptive. They got a chance to see a lot of people who they'd never ever seen before. I thought it was interesting they picked up right away who the good guys were and who the bad guys were."
Plans are already under way for next year's NWA Convention. Affiliated promoters have until November to submit their bids. One bid will come from Brody himself, who wants to bring the action to Tampa, Florida.
1. Blade Boudreaux beat Bulldog Raines to win the NWA Mid South title.
2. In easily the best 'wrestling' match of the afternoon, Johnny Moss beat Jon Ryan with a roll-up in a battle of competitors from the NWA UK Hammerlock promotion.
3. Majic beat Zieg, Eric Kreed and Biggie Biggs in a NWA New York Four Way Dance. Majic pinned Biggs and retained the NWA New York belt.
4. Amazing N8 Nattson beat Rico Rodriguez to win the NWA Michigan Jr. title.
5. Mr. Attitude (a dead-ringer for Terry Gordy) and Bobby Inbred (a Spike Dudley knock-off) beat Johnny Hard and Viper when Inbred pinned Hard. The four were from the NWA Ohio and NWA West Virginia.
6. In a pathetic attempt at a hardcore match from NWA Southwest, Mr. Mayhem beat Necro Butcher. Neither man was in anywhere close to decent shape and were winded early. That led to missed move after missed move -- including two missed table spots, one of which resulted in an injured fan.
INTERMISSION - During intermission, Mike Porter was introduced as the new promoter for NWA Nashville. Bert Prentice is moving on to work outside of wrestling.
7. Maniacal Crew (Brother Love & Joey Venture) beat The New Texas Outlaws for the NWA Mississippi tag titles. The Outlaws split up during the match, and that resulted in their loss.
8. In the first match (only match?) that had wrestlers that could conceivably be in a bigger promotion, Dave Mysterio (a blatant Rey Mysterio Jr. rip-off) & X-Factor (the best body on the card) beat Touch of Reality, two really big, King Kong Bundy-types. The match, brought to us by NWA New Jersey, ended with an attempted swing of a chair by one of Touch of Reality hitting his partner.
9. From the NWA East (PWX) promotion in Pittsburgh came Paul Atlas & Jimmy Angel beating Rage in the finals of the company's tag title tournament.
10. In the main event, 'Boston Bad Boy' Jason Rumble beat 'Backhome' Beau Douglas to win the NWA New England heavyweight title. The match was dedicated to the late NWA New England promoter Tony Rumble. His son, Jason, won the match with a Boston Crab submission.