Welcome to “Around The Alliance” where we will be taking an in depth look at last week’s Nova Pro Wrestling show that streamed on Powerbomb TV on June 9th, The Commonwealth Cup, in Annandale, Virginia, featuring a
National Wrestling Alliance Worlds Heavyweight Title match. I’m your host Scott Brown.
Nova Pro is a promotion based in Northern Virginia. They were established in 2015 by Mike King Jr. and his son, Mike E. King. They showcase the top talent of the Mid-Atlantic region. Nova Pro doesn’t have any of its own titles, but features the titles of partner promotions such as Powerbomb TV (who they air their shows on), the NWA (whose title was featured on last week’s show), and Pro Wrestling International (who they used to be a member of). Nova Pro’s entire library is on Powerbomb TV and they plan to continue streaming live on the service.
Powerbomb TV is a streaming service featuring 93 promotions. They have a free trial and are only $10 per month after the trial or $100 annually. There’s no commitment and it works on Apple TV, Xbox One, PS4, LG Smart TVs and they have FireTV coming soon. I am a Roku zealot and watched on Powerbomb TV’s Roku Beta Version. They also had a preshow on FacebookLIVE. You can sign up at http://powerbomb.tv.
I was impressed with both their use of a streaming service and FacebookLIVE. That’s not to say that there were no hitches, though. So lets get those out of the way first. And, to be fair, I didn’t pay as close attention to the preshow on FacebookLIVE as I did to the streaming show, but I had two complaints. First, some of the talent on the preshow appeared slightly green. That’s a pretty minor complaint for a free show. Second, there was no audio during entrances due to music copyrights. That almost made me turn it off before I realized what was going on as I thought it was a technical issue and figured I’d just wait for the streaming show. By the end of the preshow Nova Pro had sold me on the concept of a couple free matches on FacebookLIVE.
My other complaint was that I had difficulties signing up for PowerbombTV. Again, to be fair, pop up blockers on my tablet caused me some trouble, but I quickly caught on to that issue. The other issue had to do with the beta app on Roku. It was difficult to download and I had to try a couple times. In defense of Powerbomb TV it IS a beta app. They are still working out the kinks. I should know better than to wait for the last minute to download a beta. Yet, I waited until the preshow was over. And, missed the first couple matches because of it. Powerbomb TV does give you a 7 day free trial, though. And, Nova Pro extended it to 20 days with a promo code. So, it all balanced out in the end. Live stream interrupted once a match and had to be reloaded, but that’s a beta for you. I’m sure that will be ironed out by the time they go live. Plus, these issues were just for Roku. I’m sure people on the internet, Xbox, PlayStation and smart tv’s didn’t deal with them. Betas…
Since I missed the opening of the show I didn’t catch the names of the announce team, but I believe they were Jason Heath and Innocent Isaiah. They did a pretty good job putting over the talent and filling the audience in on the history of the competitiors and feuds. A couple things that I noticed right away was that the competitors went out of their way to make it seem like a sporting event with honor and handshakes. The production value was nothing special, but the camera work was very good. I also was entertained with a couple minor things like the main event graphics reminded me of early Wrestlemania graphics and when the competitors were first announced their names appeared above them along with a full power meter like in a fighting video game.
The Saturday night show was Nova Pro’s third of the weekend. On Friday night they held the men’s first round matches and on Saturday afternoon was the beginning of the ladies’ tournament. The show started with 4 semi final matches for the second annual men’s Commonwealth Cup tournament. I missed the first two. They opened the show with Tracy Williams facing Fred Yehi. Williams is the Powerbomb TV Independent Champion having won the title in February from Ring of Honor’s Jonathan Gresham. Yehi tagged with Williams in EVOLVE where they were the tag team champions. This match was between two of indy wrestling’s best and Williams came out the victor, punching his ticket to the main event where the winners of the four semi final matches would meet in a 4 way elimination match for the Commonwealth Cup. In the other match that I missed during technical difficulties, Sage Phillips faced Dominic Garrini. Phillips trained at the School of Rock by Billy Roc, who also trained Ruby Riot. Garrini trained at the AIW Training Center with Candice LeRae and Johnny Gargano and has a background in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Phillips came out on top and moved on to the finals. The third semi final featured Homocide facing off with the man billed as the future of Nova Pro more than once during the show, Wheeler Yuta. Homocide has held big time gold everywhere he has been. He’s a former X-Division champion, 2 time TNA Tag Team champion, former NWA World Tag Team champion, and former PWG heavyweight champion, as well as Ring of Honor World Heavyweight champion. Yuta has been featured on the indies biggest stages including EVOLVE, CZW, Beyond Wrestling, AAW, Game Changer Wrestling and MLW. Yuta won on a questionable 3 count that prompted a “What was that!?” chant from fans. The fourth and final semis match featured a resurgent Pierre Carl Oulette facing off against Arik Royal. Oulette is one half of the Quebequers tag team from twenty years ago. He beat CZW’s Nick Gage the night before to get to the semis and looks like a tank. He hit a suicide dive, a moonsault and a frogsplash, all at age 50 and the crowd showed their appreciation with a “PCO” chant. His opponent, Royal, took part in Tag Team Apocalypto for the TNA World Tag Team titles on the Hardy Compound and is very successful on the Mid-Atlantic indy circuit. Royal is a big guy and had enough in the tank to get the win and move on to the finals.
Next, was the finals for the women’s Commonwealth Cup. The rest of the tournament for the ladies was held earlier in the day on the afternoon card. The first competitor was Jordynn Grace. Grace has performed for Beyond Wrestling and SHINE. Her opponent was Allie Kat. Allie holds a victory over Impact’s Knockouts champion, Su Yung, just last month. She came to the ring to 2 Live Crew prompting “We want some p*ssy” chants at an otyerwise pretty family friendly show, up until this point. Grace ended up with the victory and was crowned the first ever Commonwealth Cup women’s winner.
During intermission of Nova Pro’s show they showed a match from their partner promotion, ACTION Wrestling, on the Powerbomb TV streaming broadcast. The competitors in this half time show were the previously mentioned Fred Yehi, who was popular with the crowd and recieved a number of chants in support of his efforts and Cain Justice, who has a collegiate wrestling background. The match ended when Justice tried to apply a triangle choke but it was reversed by Yehi into a powerbomb that led to a reverse chin lock followed by multiple strikes causing a referee stoppage for a victory.
The match coming out of intermission was between two men that had lost first round matches in the Commonwealth Cup the night before. On one side of the ring there was Jimmy Jacobs. Jacobs is currently featured on Impact Wrestling as the manager of Kongo Kong. On the other side of the ring was Alexander James. James was trained by Rich Swann and Adam Cole. He has appeared in CZW and is a trainer for wXw in Europe where he claims he is royalty and a top one percenter. Both men had supporters in the crowd resulting in battling “Zombie Princess” and “One percent” chants. When James claimed to be a “Brit” (he’s from Maryland) Jacobs claimed to be a princess, which incited a “royal wedding” chant from the crowd. Jacobs convinced James to bow like royalty would and then hit him with a cheap shot. James responded by stealing Jacob’s tiara, which caused the crowd to chant “break it”. Jacobs got revenge with a diving elbow smash off a folding chair. But, that wasn’t enough, as James secured a submission victory with a painful looking wristlock. Fun match.
Next, was the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Title match! The challenger was CRAB Wrestling champion, “Gifted” Isaiah Frazier. Frazier had won his championship on night one of the Commonwealth Cup, defeating his hated rival, Mack Buckler, to become champion of the Southern Maryland promotion. Frazier was announced as being from the fight capitol, Philadelphia, and came to the ring to a 1940s style version of “Gangsta’s Paradise”. He was accompanied by his trainer, Coach Gator. Out next was Nick Aldis along with his NWA championship belt. The match was announced as being sanctioned by the National Wrestling Alliance under the direction of William Corgan. At this point the crowd started an “NWA” chant. The referee gave the fighters instructions over the microphone as would happen with any big time championship match. The crowd was behind Frazier, chanting “Isaiah” and then chanting “Gifted”. The challenger was fast, mixing high flying and mat wrestling techniques. The announce team put over how young Frazier is and how he had been lead astray when he first started wrestling by some unsavory characters, Fuller’s House. They talked about how the fans got behind him after Coach Gator took him under his wing and got him on the right path. Aldis showed off his power by catching a crossbody block off the top rope and powering his opponent up from that position into a vertical suplex. At this point Aldis dominated with his superior strength and classic mat techniques. He hit an elbow drop off the top and caught the challenger in a sleeper. Frazier rsponded to the crowd chanting his name, escaping the hold and initiating a quicker pace to the match. A collision led to the ref counting both men out as they struggled to their feet. Aldis went for an ax handle shot but was caught with a drop kick. Frazier followed up with an enziguri into a slingshot, but Aldis’s power was too much for the young star. The reigning, defending, Worlds champion caught him with a powerbomb and transitioned directly into the cloverleaf submission for the victory. The two men shook hands and hugged after the decision was announced and the crowd showed the young challenger their appreciation with an “Isaiah” chant.
Next, was a tag match with some great indy talent. The first team was The Carnies, Kerry Awful and Nick Iggy, dressed to the tee as any ringmaster and sideshow act should be. These two have been highlighted in promotions like Beyond Wrestling and CZW. Their opponents were a strange combination. First we had the first and possibly most death defyingly decorated champion in CZW history, the ultra violent Nick Gage. And, his partner, known for his amateur wrestling background and part of the Safety Squad, Tim Donst. After coming to the ring to the 80s hit song “The Safety Dance”, Donst and the rest of the Safety Squad, all dressed in hard hats and bright orange vests, started a “safety first” chant. You had to question how Donst and Gage would get along from the beginning. When Donst got one of the Carnies down on the mat, he went to the second turn buckle for an elbow drop. At this point the Safety Squad stepped into the ring, each grabbed a limb of Donst’s and assisted him in the most safe elbow drop ever, gently setting him on his opponent. Chaos ensued when they stepped in to catch Gage and set him down safely during a suicide dive. After a powerbomb into the fans’ folding chairs the Safety Squad carried an injured Donst to the back as Gage and Awful did battle. The Carnies took advantage of the numbers game, punishing Gage with a fishhook. But, out comes a new partner for Gage! A much more hardcore looking Donst carrying a trash can! It’s announced that the match is now no DQ! Nick Iggy is hit with a double suplex. Gage hits a chokeslam backbreaker. Iggy with a suicide dive! Donst fills the ring with thumbtacks! Awful hits a piledriver, powerbomb and curb stomp, all into the thumbtacks! As the Carnies celebrate their win, Beau Crockett attacks them from behind with a shovel! As Gage is leaving the fans chant “Please, come back!” Gage wants to fight Donst for screwing up their match. It’s announced the two will face at Nova Pro’s July 6th show in a no rules match! Kimber Lee also is announced for that show. As Donst leaves the crowd rewards him with an “All your fault” chant. The ring crew comes out with brooms to clean up the thumbtacks and are greeted with the crowd chanting “Too sweep! Woot! Woot! Too sweep! Woot! Woot!”
They finished the show with the Commonwealth Cup finals. This was a 4 way elimination match between Sage Phillips, Wheeler Yuta, Arik Royal and Tracy Williams. It starts with a 3 on 1 beating of the big man, Royal. He manages to overpower them and faces off with Williams. That lasts a short time until Yuta jumps in to double team the big man, again. Phillips takes out everyone. Enziguri! Superkick! Clothesline! DVD! This leads to Williams and Royal exchanging blows. Royal comes out on top and eliminates the Powerbomb TV champion! Phillips attacks Royal with blows, but is countered with an European uppercut. Royal hits splashes on both Phillips and Yuta. Yuta knocks Royal over the top rope with a superkick. Suicide dive! Yuta hits a powerbomb and puts Phillips up top. Phillips hits Twisted Bliss. Royal out of nowhere with a spear and pinfall on Phillips. Yuta hits a series of chops on Royal. Royal fires back with punches. The announcers claim Yuta has only ever been beaten twice. More punches and chops. Royal uses his power to come out on top. But, Yuta makes a comeback. Royal hits a chokeslam backbreaker for a 2 count. Out on the apron Royal hits a facejam. They get caught up in the ropes. Uppercut! Powerbomb! 2 count! Both men battling, now! Dueling chants from the crowd! Royal with a spear! He works the leg, but Yuta reverses it into a crossface. It’s reversed to a leg lock. Yuta with elbows. A choke from Royal! More blows, into a leg lock/chin lock and that gets Yuta the submission win! Before getting a chance to celebrate his win, Yuta is attacked by his semi finals opponent, Homocide! A fan yells, “Cop killa!” Homocide takes the microphone and the Commonwealth Cup. He tells the fan, “Shut the Hell up or I’ll beat your ass!” He claims the ref in his semi final match was drunk and should be fired. He proceeds to destroy the Cup trophy! He calls out ROH and TNA. He threatens the announcer! He forces the announcer to announce him as the Cup winner. He takes off his belt and threatens kids in the crowd before leaving. The crowd chants for Yuta, who gathers his broken trophy as we fade to black.
I had the opportunity to speak with “Gifted” Isaiah Frazier after his Worlds title match. I was impressed with his combination of high flying skills and mat wrestling techniques and wanted to know where he learned them. Mr. Frazier responded, “I was trained by three great and very credible men. J-Sin who used to be a trainer at the In The Biz Wrestling Academy in Virginia, Brandon Greene, who has wrestled all over the east coast and Sonjay Dutt, who is currently working for Impact Wrestling. I started when I was 18. I turn 23 this month. So, a bit over 4 years I’ve been wrestling, now.” I was pretty impressed with Nova Pro and wanted to know what someone that worked for them had to say about the organization. Frazier told me, “I’ve been with Nova almost a year, now. Mike King Jr and Sr (the owners) are both great guys. They are always bringing in new talent and are giving men and women the platform to show their stuff and they are also booking some great matches.” I was interested in Coach Gator and The Gator Pit, his training facility. Isaiah had this to say, “Me and Coach got together early in my days in Nova. I was trying to find my way. Then, he came to me and kept giving me pointers after my matches. I listened and then I started taking him with me.” I wanted to know Isaiah Frazier’s greatest match to date and was impressed with his humility. “I can’t really answer that one, honestly…” This coming from a guy that just beat one of his biggest rivals for championship gold and then, the next night, looked good competing for one of the oldest and most coveted championships on the planet. I wanted to know where a young man with so much potential gets such a humble attitude from. “I’ve always looked up to my trainers and to any of the men and women who lace up a pair of boots. It takes special people to do what they do,” was the response I got. There was nothing but humility and respect coming out of this guy, but I’d seen this kid’s agression in the ring and I wanted to know where it comes from. “It’s explosive,” he told me. “I’m a 22 year old kid from Philly. The state of the underdogs. I may not be 6’5″ and jacked, but I’ve got heart. I’m willing to go to war with anybody and everybody!” There was no doubt who that explosive agression was aimed at the most in his past. “My most hated opponents are Fuller’s House. Josh Fuller. And, Mack Buckler. I used to run with them before I met Coach. Mack’s who I beat for the CRAB championship. When I was part of that group I was going down the wrong road.” When I asked where he was headed now, his humbleness came out again. “I’m just a regular dude. I play videos. I go to the gym. I work a regular 9 to 5 job. I’m studying to become a personal trainer.” And, he’s holding championship gold in a very difficult professional sport.
That’s it for this week! Come back next week for all the latest news on the National Wrestling Alliance and the Ten Pounds of Gold. Before you go would you cut and paste the link below and donate to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to help with suicide prevention programs nation wide? It’s a cause close to my heart and would mean a lot to me. The link is https://tinyurl.com/yaar69h4. Thank you and until next time, “in the mean time and in between time”, take care and so long!