Only a few days until we head to the Nashville Fairgrounds, Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20, for the Fifth Annual Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup Tag Team Tournament, or more commonly known as The Crockett Cup, and there is much action stacked up those two nights. The first Cup since 2019, this PPV will have double the tag teams, and it’s every man for himself as they fight for a chance at the coveted chalice, as well as a shot for the NWA Tag Team Championship. This will be a night that demands complete concentration and attention to the teams involved, which makes this the most exhausting activity to engage in, next to hockey finals.
And that’s Day One!
Day Two will be also extensive, as multiple titles will be on the line. Chief among them will be the crowning of a new NWA Junior Heavyweight champion, and the Ten Pounds of Gold will be up for grabs between the new NWA Heavyweight Champion, Matt Cardona, who is facing his first challenge against “The National Treasure” Nick Aldis. We’ll step Into The Fire, and go over all the action and developments of the double pay-per-view; plus I and SLAM! Writer, “Beautiful” Boris Roberto Aguilar, will give our predictions on what could take place this weekend.
With that, let’s start with…
Day One of the Crockett Cup
First of all, we’ve already spent some time on most of the tag teams that have been seeded in the Crockett Cup (so catch up here), but there were a few questions about other teams that would be featured in the tournament. Since the NWA went over the bracket a couple weeks ago, here’s are some new developments that took place. To wit:
- The Fixers advanced over The OGK during an episode of NWA POWERRR, ultimately earning a “bye” going into the second round
- Doug Williams was without a partner, as Aldis challenged Cardona for the Ten Pounds of Gold. Since then, The British Invasion star named as his replacement Harry Smith as his tag partner
- We finally got a team in the number fifteen slot of the Tournament: The Now, comprised of Vik Dalishus and Halle Collins. Mostly, these two have worked in the indies for promotions like NorthEast Wrestling, and this will be a huge opportunity for both men. They will be facing The Briscoes in the first round.
Finally, vying for a spot in the number sixteen slot in the “Play-In Match” will be four tag teams of pedigree like Violence Is Forever (Dominic Garrini and Kevin Ku), The Bad News Boyz (Brandon Tate and Brent Tate) , along with The Rip City Shooters (Joshua Bishop and Wes Barkley) , and finally, The HeatSeekers (Elliott Russell and Matt Sigmon) — and we like them, as Sigmon wrote a column about participating in the Crockett Cup.
Garrini and Ku were originally on Major League Wrestling as part of “Filthy” Tom Lawlor’s “Team Filthy.” As for the Bad News Boyz, you would have recognized them as being part of Dalton Castle’s “boys” in Ring of Honor.
The Rip City Shooters have been keeping busy in Absolute Intense Wrestling, and this will be the first time on a big PPV platform. The Heatseekers, on the other hand, are no strangers to the NWA, having won the NWA World tag belts four times in the past, and were managed at times by the late, great “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton. Whoever goes over will end up facing the number one seed, and current NWA Tag Team Champions, La Rebelion.
My Predictions: As for the “Play-In”, The HeatSeekers would be the best shot to get in the tournament. After that… I couldn’t begin to guess who would win the Cup. I can speculate that anybody from ROH will not be advancing, since the announcement of All Elite Wrestling buying up Ring of Honor, and Lord knows Tony Khan wasn’t too happy with NWA not giving some recognition when he last loaned talent for NWA 73, so don’t expect Dem Boys to go over, in any sense.
But my intuition feels that the Final Four will be La Rebelion facing Doug Williams/Harry Smith on one side, and The Fixers will confront Aron Stevens/Kratos on the other. With that, I would love to see Stevens and Kratos in an unofficial rematch with MechaWolf and Bestia 666 for the Cup and a chance at the belts again. hat would be fun to see in that capacity.
Boris’ Prediction: My finals prediction is Doug Williams and Harry Smith vs Kratos/Stevens. The winners will be Doug Williams and Harry Smith. This will play well with whatever the future holds for Nick Aldis and I believe that Harry Smith is such a underutilized talent that NWA will give him a good run and Williams/Smith will eventually win the Tag Team Titles.
So let’s move on to…
Day Two of the Crockett Cup
This one is loaded to the gills with title matches, and most tell a big story in and outside the ring. Among the biggest matches of that night will be for the…
NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Matt Cardona (c) vs. Nick Aldis
The Story So Far: Simply put, Cardona has come a long way from being the “Long Island Iced Z”, and he has made the most of his time away from the universe of Entertainment. He recently crashed the NWA during the Hard Times 2 PPV, and got all in Trevor Murdoch’s grill, proclaiming too “save the NWA” with intro music and excitement that will bring the promotion to the “NWA Universe.”
Murdoch had enough of the upstart, and challenged him to a match, and during the PowerrrTrip pop-up event, Cardona wrested the Ten Pounds of Gold to become the new champion. His celebration was short-lived as “The National Treasure” came out and exercised his rematch clause, much to Cardona’s chagrin. Cardona complained during a recent PowerrrSurge he won’t get a fair shake, and mused that there needs to be a special enforcer in the ring that night.
Well, ask and ye shall receive, Slapnuts! The match will have Jeff Jarrett officiating as a special referee that night, but will he call it down the middle? That is the question.
My Prediction: Cardona will do any and everything to weasel his way to keeping the tile, and Aldis is going to give him a fight. How Jarrett will get involved is another story, as his family name is synonymous with Tennessee wrestling royalty. Will he call it straight, or is a guitar going to find its way wrapped around someone’s head? One thing is for certain, it’s too early for Cardona to lose the Ten Pounds of gold, so expect shenanigans.
Boris’ Prediction: Jarrett will be the X-Factor in this match. Aldis is a pure and traditional champion while Cardona carries on as the foxy heel. This match has a great story just on those dynamics alone. That said, Cardona right now is the hottest independent wrestler out there today and an ongoing storyline between Aldis and Cardona is, as the kids say, money.
We’ll also have a four-way matchup that will crown the…
NWA Junior Heavyweight Championship: Austin Aries vs. Darius Lockhart vs. Colby Corino vs. Homicide
The Story So Far: On the newly introduced NWA USA streaming show on YouTube and Fite.TV was a tournament showcasing the best junior heavyweights to enter the re-introduced division. Among the standouts has been “The Revolutionary” Darius Lockhart, as he brings promo skills and in-ring savvy to get to the finals. Corino is another wrestler of heritage and pedigree, and he has shown he will do anything to win by hook or crook, or even “fix” a match (courtesy of his back up, The Fixers). Finally, Aries and Homicide are no strangers to fans who’ve witnessed their work in various promotions, and they can still go at the drop of a hat.
My Prediction: I think Lockhart and Homicide won’t be getting the belt, but would be solid in chasing for the belt down the road. While Aries would be the smart money to hold the belt, it’s his future in the NWA down the road that leaves his involvement in doubt, and he has been attached to the upstart Control The Narrative promotion. Therefore, it feels natural that the Junior Heavyweight championship go to Corino, as he has elevated his game, and with The Power of Douchenozzlery ™, he will end up securing the win.
Boris’ Prediction: Austin Aries and Homicide would be a nice champion in terms of having a known name holding the title. That said, this may be my own Colby Corino Bias but I feel as though over the last few months he has been not only the MVP of NWA USA but the most improved talent in the entire roster. Add the fact that he can continue the Corino legacy, and I firmly believe that this is his time to shine and be given the opportunity to hold a title.
NWA Women’s Championship: Kamille (c) vs. Kylie Rae vs. Chelsea Green
The Story So Far: Kamille is still dominant in the NWA, with no one to-date being able to unseat the Brickhouse from “The Burke.” Chelsea Green had a shot after winning the NWA Women’s Invitational at the EmPOWERRR PPV for a shot at the Burke, only to come up short at NWA 73 the next night. “Smiley” Kylie is also a mainstay of the NWA Women’s division, and looks to be just as much of a threat to unseat the champ. Kamille has been dominant in one-on-one competition, but a three-way changes things up, as she doesn’t have to be pinned to lose the belt.
My Prediction: Green recently injured her wrist, so it’s unclear how much involvement she can work in the match. Assuming that it turns out to be Kamille versus Kylie, then I would imagine that the Brickhouse will still be holding the belt high. On the flip side, if the three-way still goes through, it would be fantastic if Green won using a loaded cast, a la “Cowboy” Bob Orton, thus making her and Cardona true wrestling royalty in the NWA.
Boris’ Prediction: It is unknown how limited Green’s in-ring will be due to her wrist injury. We don’t know what the future will hold in regards to surgery or rehab so just from a consistency point of view I would have to give the win to Kamille. Kamille can then continue the inevitable clash with Kylie.
Now for something different, here’s the…
NWA Television Championship: Tyrus (c) vs. Rodney Mack
The Story So Far: Ever since winning the belt from Da Pope, Tyrus has shown dominance in defending the belt from anyone that dared challenged the “Man-ster.” With his manager Austin Idol at his side, along with members of the IdolMania Sports Entertainment, there has been no slowing his momentum. The closest to do so was the masked man, Cyon, but he came up short. Now, the husband of the Fighting Female Phenom, Jazz, the Redd Dogg looks to usurp the belt.
My Prediction: While it would be nice to have the belt on someone else, this is not that time. As I peer into my crystal ball (read: my crystal rocks glass filled with mescal), Tyrus will hold the belt for another defense, as IdolMania distracts the Dogg, but expect somewhere that night for Cyon to come to get in Tyrus’ head.
Boris’ Prediction: Tyrus just makes sense to win and continue his run with the belt. Austin Idol will get involved thought to keep the door open for a rematch down the road.
Now for a match with some sizzle, up next is the…
NWA National Championship: Anthony Mayweather (c) vs. Jax Dane
The Story So Far: It’s a tale as old as time; best friends turned bitter enemies, Dane has been living rent-free in the former “Crimson’s” head, having bested him at every turn, including a steel cage match at the Tried-N-True pop up event in Oak Grove, KY last year. This has led Mayweather in a funk, until his faced Chris Adonis on PowerrrTrip with the belt on the line. Mayweather dug deep and found the strength to pin “The Masterpiece” to get the prestigious belt. Now, in his first defense, he’ll be facing the self-proclaimed “Dane Event.”
My Prediction: This is a “pick ’em,” and there’s two schools of thought on how this ends: One is that Mayweather bests Dane, and lives to carry the belt another day. Another is that Dane pulls off something douche-tastic where he takes the belt, and Mayweather gives chases to win it back. The smart money says there is more interest in having the ’face chase after the belt, so as much as I hate to say it, I’ll go with Jax Dane being a National Champion.
Boris’ Prediction: My gut of guts says that this match will end with a controversial ending that will give Dane the championship. This opens the door for a few scenarios. I think that Dane will have a few matches before Mayweather eventually comes back into the picture for a rematch. I’m just a fan of the “bad guys” holding the titles.
And for the last match of the show, we get the…
NWA Women’s Tag Team Championship: The Hex (Allysin Kay and Marti Belle) (c) vs. Pretty Empowered (Ella Envy and Kenzie Paige)
The Story: Since acquiring the belts at the EmPOWERRR PPV, Kay and Belle have been unstoppable in the women’s tag ranks. But, not to put too fine point on it, the tag ranks are thin in comparison to the men’s division. As for viable challengers, they have been few and far between.
Enter Paige and Envy. Paige is no stranger to the NWA, and has had impressive showing in singles competition. Envy is the new face, having mostly spent time in the indies. So will this pairing be enough to put “the hex” and cause Belle and Kay to lose the belts?
My Prediction: As much as Paige is starting to grow on me as a wrestler, her pairing with Envy won’t be enough to upend the tag team chemistry The Hex has shown to-date. Simply put, Kay and Belle will still do that voodoo that they do so well in the ring.
Boris’ Prediction: The Hex. I would have loved to just leave it as that one sentence but the reality is that The Hex is one of wrestling’s best women’s tag teams out right now. They have tons of eyes on them and thus, the NWA product.
Be sure to subscribe to the Double PPV on Fite.TV, and we’ll have more recaps and interviews in the days ahead. So see you this weekend!
Guest column: Crockett Cup a path for more Heatseekers NWA glory