Saturday, June 10, 2017

National Championship Wrestling Ground Zero Review

From Larry Goodman:

“Ground Zero” was the first attempt at a major event stemming from the revival of weekly Friday night shows at Landmark Arena in Cornelia. At five buck a pop, NCW is clearly giving fans more than their money’s worth.

There was a lot to like about Ground Zero. The main event (Andrew Duckworth vs. Austin Theory vs. Jagged Edge), Billy Buck vs. Jeremy Foster, A. C. Mack vs. Matt Gilbert come to mind. Appearances by Bambi and Tommy Rich added a touch of nostalgia. 
It was also very rough in spots due to the inexperienced nature of their crew. NCW’s primary objective is to serve as a training ground for young talent and gives them a chance to work in a television environment. 

Nigel Sherrod is doing a fine job with the daunting task of booking a weekly show. 

NCW was kind enough to provide a video file of the show. It was raw footage so I can't speak to production values of the final product.  


The announce team of John Johnson and Triston Michaels opened with the traditional Wildside/Anarchy backstage stand up. They had some awkward moments early on but seemed to get more comfortable as as the show progressed. Triston doubled as ring announcer.

Original NCW co-owner Steve Martin made a surprise appearance during the opening. I marked out huge for this.

(1) The Barefoot Badboy” Matt Gilbert submitted NCW Junior Champion A.C. Mack at 6:20 in a no time-limit non-title submission match. Mack tapped to an ankle lock. The story was Gilbert schooling Mack with submissions and technical wrestling. Gilbert molested referee Darryl Hall about not awarding him the belt, like he didn’t know the stipulation? I thoroughly enjoy Mack’s heel act. Gilbert looked the part.

Promo from Schaff talking about his devastating debut in which he destroyed Gilbert and put Logan Creed to sleep. Schaff vowed to put Creed to sleep and take his spot as the big man in NCW (in a match at last night's show). I was not a buyer.

(2) Kenji Brea & Bolo defeated Terry Lawler & David Ali in 8:55. Triston dropped the knowledge that Brea and Bolo helped Duckworth win the NCW Heavyweight Championship. Brea is the artist formerly known as Ken Lee. He looked good here. Bolo speared Ali behind the ref’s back leaving him a sitting duck for Brea’s cover. The spear was more like a mini-spinebuster. Thank God for Terry Lawler on the finish because referee David Weakley looked totally clueless. 

The promo video for the NWA Wildside Reunion show on September 9 was one of my favorite things about this. How could it not be? 40, count ‘em, 40 superstars advertised. The cast of characters was unforgettable. In this short video alone you had Air Paris, David Young, Rick Michaels, Onyx, Lazz, Shank, Rock ‘N Roll Express, James Mitchell, Stone Mountain, Scottie Wrenn, White Trash and more.

Chris McCulley vs. Chris Nelms never happened.

Thank God.

“The Self-Proclaimed Chosen One” Chris Nelms (with retro Rick Michaels headband) came out to Johnny Cash theme music. Nelms said he didn’t work for NCW and if people wanted to see him wrestle in Cornelia they needed to come up the road to a better show (OSWA). He was outta there.

McCulley’s music hit and he acted like he had won a monumental victory. Any babyface worth their salt would have been furious.

(3)Katie Ohno defeated Harlow O’Hara with former NWA Women’s Champion Bambi as the special referee in 6:15. Ohno got the pin with double knees off the top. After administering a beating, the XXL O’Hara bumped for Ohno’s clothesline. O’Hara got bitchy about Bambi’s officiating and shoved her. Bambi gave O’Hara a stunner, making her a sitting duck for Ohno. I see something good in Harlow, although my sense was this was not one of her better matches.

Mr. Skins and Hoax came to ringside. Skins said Hoax wanted a special meet and greet with Bambi. Hoax tried to give Bambi a bouquet of flowers. Bambi wouldn’t take them. Hoax puckered up, closed his eyes and said how about a little sugar? Bambi laid Hoax out with a stunner and the flowers went flying. It was a brutal segment. Skins made my flesh crawl.

(4)Billy Buck defeated Jeremy Foster in 6:14 in a no time-limit rematch to advance to the Anarchy Heritage Tournament final. JJ pointed out that Buck cut his teeth on the NWA Wildside Friday night shows. Buck used Rave’s STO on the apron to take over. On the comeback, Foster was doing these crazy Honma headbutts. Foster got a close near fall with a flying bodypress but tweaked his knee in the process. Buck went for the superkick. Foster sidestepped and got an ankle lock. Buck made the ropes after a mighty struggle. Foster was chomping at the bit to hit his finisher and ran right into a wicked superkick, taking it flush on the jaw. Match was a cut above the rest of the show.

Buck faces “The Nightmare” Kyle Matthews to determine the champion at tonight’s Anarchy event.

(5)Tommy Rich & NCW Tag Team Champions Good Ole Boys (Cuzin Cletus & Cuzin Shaggy) defeated the 13th Floor (Trevor Aeon & Chris Bullet & Ike Cross) in 11:52. They did the deal where Shaggy crawled through Rich’s legs to pop Cross in the face. Rich foiled 13th Floor when they tried to play copy cat. Shaggy took the heat. Rich cleaned house in slow motion. Finish was a three-way collision amongst 13th Floor and Rich rolled Aeon up. The finish looked really bad. Rich did more than I expected he would. I wished he had done less. Aeon is way ahead of his partners who are painfully green.

(6)Andrew Duckworth retained the NCW Heavyweight Championship over Jagged Edge and Austin Theory in 9:56. They did a good job of navigating the inherent difficulties of a three-way match. Theory’s EVOLVE/Flo Slam exploits have been well documented. It’s no accident that Duckworth was included on Scott Hensley’s 17 to Watch in 2017 list. He’s a natural heel and his skills put him at the top of the class on the roster. Jagged was channeling JYD using “Another One Bites The Dust” for theme music and appeared to have the match won after hitting the Big Thump on Duckworth. Bolo interfered to break up the pin. Referee Hall called for the bell. Triston reminded the crowd that there were no DQs in a triple threat. Jagged battled to the back with Bolo. Theory pinned Duckworth with a TKO but Brea put Duckworth’s foot on the rope prompting a restart. Duckworth immediately low-blowed Theory and rolled him up.

Postmatch, Duckworth celebrated with Brea and Bolo on the ramp, while Jagged raised Theory’s hand in the ring. Duckworth & Brea vs. Jagged & Theory was the last night's main event.

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