Things Look Smoky for the NWA

by Daniel Johnson

Air America vs. Mike Cooper and Elliot Russell

Yesterday, the NWA’s former star member, TNA had one of their biggest shows of the year. It is tough to believe that just a few years ago the NWA included a promotion with a national television deal and now arguably the group’s best promotion produced this match. Don’t get me wrong NWA Smoky Mountain actually puts on some decent matches. Still, TNA never quite had production quality at this modest level even in it’s very, very early days.

Anyway, let’s take a closer look at the match. Air America, which consists of Skylar Kruze and Gavin Darring look like they have some natural charisma even if they are pencil thin. It is also worth mentioning that despite the name, neither Kruze nor Darring are exactly bursting with aerial maneuvers. The team is still incredibly young so they can get there…maybe. The funniest part of the match has to be when Mike Cooper first gets tagged in and shouts to Russell, “Get out of the ring and watch this” only to be immediately met with an armdrag. Actually, I take that back. The funniest part of the match has to be the depressing background music that plays throughout. Readers, if you can identify that song you will get some bonus points. If you can identify what the heck that song is doing anywhere near this match then you will get bonus points on top of those.

The affair ends when Air America is able to have one member hit a frogsplash while another delivers a dropkick both of which look fairly good. It will be fun to see how Smoky Mountain develops in the future and when/if they leave the NWA.

Categories: Wrestling Clips

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4 replies

  1. Smoky Mountain is all that West Virginia has left of indy wrestling, and it doesn’t even tour that far into the state, if at all.

    Ten years ago, the NWA had a territory in my town (Parkersburg, WV.) Every month, they drew 200 easy. They didn’t have to bring in a bunch of has-beens and almost-was’s. They had their own talent. Zac Vincent, Omega Aaron Draven, Vance Desmond, those are three of the guys I remember who always gave you your money’s worth in their matches alone. Add in the rest of the card (which is hit and miss like any other indy promotion, but it was all still red-hot) and you had a recipe for awesomeness. Hell, I think the booker for NWA Tri-State got elected NWA President for a while. Rich Arpin was the guy.

    Today, you’re lucky to see fifty people in the building. And none of those guys are here anymore. I know some went to IWA-EC in Charleston, but I don’t even think they’re running shows anymore. Nobody in West Virginia knows how to put on a decent fucking indy show, and I’m begging for the NWA to come back and give us some real honest to God wrestling.


    • Thanks for the comment Madman! Wow, it’s surprising to hear that the indies are in such rough shape in West Virginia. Hopefully for the sake of fans there someone will fill that vacuum soon. I wouldn’t hold my breath expecting the NWA to do it though.

  2. It’s a damn shame. When the Humane Society across the river in Marietta, Ohio runs a charity show, they will only bring in one or two big draws (Mickie James was one, as well as Abyss – but it wasn’t uncommon to see Abyss in WV in the 2000s) and only use local talent for the rest of the card. They still draw a good 300-400 people every time, but it’s only once a year – twice if they need to make a quick fundraising buck since a lot of the money from the show goes to the humane society.


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