Powerrr Up!

On The Web And In The Ring

I grew up in the 80’s watching Mid-South Wrestling. Mid-South was just one of the many territorial professional wrestling promotions organized under the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) banner. The NWA experienced multiple highs and lows over its existence and until the late 1980’s, it was the top promotion in North America. Without going too deep into the NWA’s history, many of its member promotions succumbed to the popularity of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) and it was eventually purchased by Billy Corgan (yes, of the Smashing Pumpkins) in 2017.

NWA owner Billy Corgan.

Corgan has steadily expanded the NWA brand, bringing in a mixture of established talent and young, hungry newcomers. He cross promoted with Ring of Honor, Championship Wrestling of Hollywood, and other promotions and continued to grow the brand. Beginning in October of 2019, the promotion began showing NWA Powerrr on YouTube and FITE TV.

David Marquez, Nick Aldis, and Kamille.

The series is a throwback to classic NWA television programming. It features matches recorded before a live studio audience and includes interviews, comedic segments during commercial breaks, and has featured tweets from the general public and popular wrestlers such as Adam Copeland (Edge) and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Thunder Rosa, Melina, and Marti Belle.

The program usually features four or five matches including the occasional championship defense. Commentary is handled by Joe Galli and, at least until last week, Jim Cornette. Cornette resigned after fans complained about remarks that he made during the 11/19 episode. The remarks have since been edited out of the episode. David Marquez is the announcer and an interviewer as well.

Marquez, Mr. Anderson, and Eli Drake.

There is a lot of banter between the audience and the wrestlers. The constant back-and-forth between the crowd and the stars is reminiscent of the loud and raucous episodes of Mid-South and other old promotions prior to the breaking of kayfabe. Kayfabe has lost a lot of its magic thanks to the internet, but NWA somehow manages to maintain some of that old school feel where everything was real and not staged. (Not sure what “kayfabe” is? Check out a detailed description here.)

Kamille and Nick Aldis.

NWA Powerrr has brought fun back to mainstream professional wrestling. It’s something that has been sorely missed in my opinion. I actually laugh out loud multiple times during the show. That, at least to me, shows just how excellent the roster is for NWA. All of the wrestlers can work the mic and work in the ring. Even though I’ve seen many of these wrestlers live at independent events and on television and have talked on numerous occasions to some of them in person, I buy into their characters while I’m watching the show.

Allysin Kay.

Specifically, I’ve had conversations at events with Ricky Starks and Thunder Rosa. Starks might be a cocky and brash wrestler with some of the best mic skills that I’ve ever seen in my forty-plus years, but in person, he’s one of the friendliest guys you could ever meet. Thunder Rosa is straight up sinister on NWA Powerrr, but I’ve rarely found a wrestler that is as loyal to their fans as she is to her followers. I’ve also seen Trevor Murdoch, Mr. Anderson, the Rock N’ Roll Express, James Storm, and Homicide in live action, and all of these guys have what it takes to keep NWA going for a long time.

Ricky Starks.

The rest of the roster is simply amazing. Nick Aldis, who is almost always seen with Kamille by his side, looks like a throwback NWA champion. While I won’t say that he’s Ric Flair, I will say that he has the same chiseled physique that Flair had in his NWA prime. The Wildcards (Royce Isaacs and Thomas Latimer) draw major heat from the crowd. The only other tag team in NWA’s lineup that might draw more heat, heel heat, would be the Dawsons (Dave and Zane). Much like Aldis, the Dawsons have a classic look to them that reminds me of some of the old school tag teams. Tim Storm, who had a legendary 400-plus day reign as the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion, serves as a bridge between the classic NWA and the new look NWA. Storm is big and strong, and knows how to work extremely well.

Tim Storm.

The Women’s division is headed up by the capable Allysin Kay, the current NWA World Women’s Champion. She’s met a massively popular foe in Thunder Rosa. Despite having watched Thunder Rosa for a few years now, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen be as mean as she is in NWA. With Thunder Rosa is Marti Belle. Belle used to be Kay’s friend, but she quickly turned heel whenever Thunder Rosa arrived on the scene. I look forward to the feud between Thunder Rosa, Belle, and Kay, who appears to have formed a friendship with Ashley Vox, a scrappy wrestler that I remember as being a part of the Sea Stars tag team.

Ashley Vox.

Other stars on the roster include Eli Drake, Jocephus, Colt Cabana, Crystal Rose, the legendary Rock N’ Roll Express, Eddie Kingston, the Question Mark, Melina, and more.

Colt Cabana, Joe Galli, and Mr. Anderson.

If you haven’t checked out NWA Powerrr yet, do so. You won’t regret it. I actually prefer NWA Powerrr over all of the WWE, AEW, and ROH shows. It’s fun, action-packed, and brings me back to Sunday afternoons watching the Rock N’ Roll Express whip up on the Midnight Express.

As always, thanks for reading. Here’s a list of the current NWA champions as of 11/26/19 and prior to the release of the newest episode of NWA Powerrr:

  • Worlds Heavyweight Champion: Nick Aldis
  • World Women’s Champion: Allysin Kay
  • World Tag Team Champions: The Wildcards
  • National Heavyweight Champion: Colt Cabana

Playing Catch Up!

October isn’t just for Halloween!

My regular readers know that I spent the entire month of October blogging daily about classic Universal horror films. Doing so left me little time to blog about anything else and aside from my post about the Texas Renaissance Festival, I’ve pretty much been MIA over the last few days. This post will cover a couple of things that I’ve done recently that deserve recognition.

Early in October I attended the Lake Charles Film Festival. I’ve attended this event regularly for a few years now. I ended up helping out with the event in an unofficial capacity and got to check out some great independent films and had the pleasure of meeting John Davey and Michael Gray from the classic 70’s children’s show Shazam! They were extremely nice gentlemen and I even got to talk about boxing with Mr. Davey, a former boxer himself.

I also got to attend the awards ceremony on Saturday, October 5th, and got to photograph the winners as they were given awards by the festival’s founder, Patrick Bennett. The ceremony was held at MacFarlane’s Celtic Pub in downtown Lake Charles. Check out the festival’s Facebook page for information on next year’s event.

Also at the beginning of October, I received my copy of the Cybertronic Spree‘s album Transformers 1986. The album covers tracks from the soundtrack for the classic Transformers film from 1986. I missed an opportunity earlier this year to see the band perform live in the Austin, TX area at Greater Austin Comic Con, but hopefully they’ll be coming to a city closer to me real soon. If you’ve never checked this band out, follow the link above to their Facebook page and prepare to be amazed!

Over the weekend I attended the first ever Beaumont Comic Con. I’ll be completely honest and admit that I had my doubts about this event. I heard absolutely nothing about this convention on television or radio until the Friday before the event. I happened to stumble upon a KBMT Channel 12 live report for the event and watched it. The report gave very little information about the event. On social media, it was hard to find out anything about the event as well until the last couple of days prior to the convention. Most of the posts that I saw were from individuals and groups that were attending the convention or hosting panels. A few individuals even posted negative comments about the event on the event Facebook page. Despite this, I decided to drive across the state line to Texas to check out the convention.

Thankfully the event was pretty good. In fact, it was probably the best-attended first year event in a city the size of Beaumont that I’ve ever been to since I started attending conventions. According to their Facebook page, over 4300 people attended the convention (not including children that were allowed in for free). This is a solid number for an event of this size.

I personally didn’t take that many photographs at the convention. It’s not that there weren’t any cool costumes or things to check out, it’s just that I’ve become one of those people that attend conventions to catch up with old friends and attend panels.

The layout for the convention was deceptive (but in a good way). When walking into the Ford Park convention hall, it looked as if there were tons of activities to do. In actuality, though, the north side of the hall featured four or five rows of vendors, cosplayers, artists, and guests mixed together and the south side was open up with a few more vendors and guests and a large stage for the cosplay contests. There were also some pretty cool customized vehicles as well.

One panel room was located in a separate room in the hall as was a gaming room for those interested in playing RPGs and other board games. The panel selection was slim, but it was full of interesting topics. I attended an 80’s toy panel that was essentially an open discussion about classic 80’s cartoons and the toys that were produced along with them. I won a G.I. Joe Firefly figure by answering a trivia question and having a Rock/Paper/Scissors battle with a gentleman cosplaying as Peter B. Parker from Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. The panel was hosted by another upcoming Texas convention, Nerd Con.

Sadly I was unable to attend the convention on Sunday, but photos from friends and others on social media showed me that the convention had another successful day. I have to say that I was amazed at the size of the crowd based upon the lack of publicity for the event. Word of mouth and the fact that this was the first event of its kind in Beaumont are probably the most logical reasons for the size of the crowd. Thankfully the event seems to have been a success and I hope to return to the convention next year.

One final note: I watched Joker during its opening week in October. This film was amazing. It is not a happy film, nor is it an action movie. It’s a brutal, unapologetic look into the life of a man suffering from abuse on multiple levels, the failure of society to help him, and his ultimate breakdown that causes him to stir a revolution in Gotham City. It’s the first film that I’ve ever witnessed in a theater where the entire audience walked out speechless. It’s a movie that stays with you for days long after the credits have rolled.

I’ve decided to review the film with spoilers once it is released on Blu-ray. It deserves more attention than a brief note at the end of a blog post that is a mixture of things that I was unable to cover properly. Look for that review soon.

In the meantime, I’ll be posting more reviews and my thoughts on the pop culture world around me. I’ve got a few things to say about DC Universe, Titans, and a few other shows and films I’ve watched on various streaming services. I also plan to eventually cover Universal Monsters collectables and games as promised in October.

As always, thank you for reading my post. Talk to all of you real soon!

Outpost: Texas Renaissance Festival 2019

Todd Mission, TX

I’ve been attending the Texas Renaissance Festival (TRF) faithfully for ten years. I only missed one year due to circumstances beyond my control. I love TRF more than pretty much every other event that I attend on a regular basis. It has something for everyone.

I start the festival each year by doing one of two things: 1) If I arrive early enough for the opening cannon, I watch Clan Tynker perform or 2) if I arrive later in the morning, I head to the Magic Garden, stroll around for a bit, and take a photo with the lovely lady behind me in the photo above. I jokingly refer to her as “a topless chick in Texas” and have taken a photo with her every time I visit TRF.

The Magic Garden is my favorite spot at the festival. It’s the quietest place on the grounds and you never know when you might run into a fairie while walking along the path. One of my fondest memories of TRF is the time that my daughter and I found a fairie peaking at us through the bushes. My daughter sat among the lush flora with the fairie and took a photo with her. The fairie was so kind and sweet to my daughter and put a smile on her face. As we strolled along, we found more fairies in the trees, along the path, and playing by the fairie throne (which was replaced this year).

After enjoying a few moments in the garden, I returned to the bustling festival grounds and ate some Irish nachos (cheese fries) for lunch. Then I caught my favorite show, Clan Tynker. I love Clan Tynker to death. They are my favorite performers at TRF and always will be. They are funny, family-friendly, and genuinely appear to love performing for the crowd. They always amaze me with their juggling, music, comedy, and magic. I recently started taking selfies with the individual members of the group. So far I have a photo with Serendipity and Santiago. This year I added Rebekah to my collection! I’ll add Sam and Elijah very soon.

I attended more shows throughout the day including the Fire Whip Show, Birds of Prey, Tartanic, and Ded Bob. I then made my way to the Agora to see two more of my favorite shows: Cirque Olympus and Gypsy Dance Theatre. If you’ve never checked out Cirque Olympus, do yourself a favor and add them to your itinerary for your next trip to TRF. I only discovered them last year. They perform excellent aerial acts, gymnastics, and juggling sets. They are also very funny and interact heavily with the crowd.

On the surface, Gypsy Dance Theatre looks like nothing more than a bunch of lovely ladies belly dancing for the crowd. While they definitely belly dance, they also engage the crowd with laugh-out-loud humor and silly antics. Oh, and their band is awesome! I own a couple of their CDs and highly recommend that you check their work out. Also, if you attend their live show, be sure to check out their yupkas! They encourage you to look at them!

As the day started to wind down, I made my way to the front gates. TRF is always fun. I love attending this festival. In fact, I love it so much that I’m considering moving to the area when I retire so that I can attend all of the festival weekends. Check out a few more photos that I took at the festival this year and let me know if you’ve ever been to TRF in the comments!

As always, thanks for reading. Feel free to share this post with other folks interested in attending this or any other Renaissance festival.