Two of the best wrestlers in the world today stopped by the Paste Studio in Atlanta this week to talk about their upcoming match for one of the most legendary championships in the history of the sport. Nick Aldis has held the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship for over 16 months, and will be putting the title on the line against “The Villain” Marty Scurll in the main event of the Crockett Cup on April 19. If that sounds familiar, it’s because the two also squared off over the same title at the 2019 Crockett Cup; this year’s rematch occurs in a very different wrestling landscape, though, one in which NWA Powerrr has established itself as one of the most entertaining weekly shows in the business, and one where Scurll has parlayed his talent and popularity into a new position as not just one of Ring of Honor’s top stars but as one of its guiding creative voices, as well.
It’s been four months since Paste last wrote about Billy Corgan’s revival of the legendary National Wrestling Alliance name, and although the company has weathered its fair share of controversy in that time, it heads into the Crockett Cup on a string of wildly entertaining shows and an exciting cross-promotional feud with Ring of Honor. Scurll, who was widely expected to join his former friends in the Elite in their All Elite Wrestling promotion, instead stepped into a powerful new role within Ring of Honor, and has focused on expanding its relationships with other promotions. As part of that he’s been a regular sight on NWA Powerrr since the NWA’s December pay-per-view, bringing his stable Villain Enterprises to the NWA’s home studio in Atlanta to feud with his old friend Nick Aldis and his Strictly Business squad. It’s the kind of cooperation that the wrestling industry should see more of in hopes of combating the business’s dominant force, WWE, which, despite its massively lucrative TV deals, has been losing fans consistently for years and is as creatively imperiled as it’s ever been. Aldis and Scurll’s feud doesn’t just unite two disparate promotions that can only benefit from working together: it provides wrestling fans with a legitimate alternative to what they can see in other promotions, with a realistic and authentic approach that mutes some of the more bombastic traits of pro wrestling.
What I’m saying is, it’s good—both Powerrr and the back-and-forth feud between Aldis and Scurll, two English-born wrestlers who have both wound up living in the American South to pursue their wrestling careers and prove they’re the best in the business. If you like the way wrestling used to present its stars and its feuds, you might really enjoy what today’s NWA is doing, and how it’s interacting with Ring of Honor.
Aldis and Scurll were recently in Atlanta promoting the upcoming Crockett Cup show, which will air live on pay-per-view on April 19 from the Gateway Arena in Atlanta, Ga. (Tickets are on sale today: find a link at the NWA’s website.) Afterward they came by our studio and had a cordial but occasionally heated discussion about their rivalry, the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship, and the state of the wrestling business today. If you’re at all interested in the one true art known as pro wrestling, you owe it to yourself to watch it right now.