The flagship of the National Wrestling Alliance delivered yet another strong performance for the oldest governing body in professional wrestling when NWA Smoky Mountain offered "Battle for the Belts" on Saturday in Kingsport, TN.
An action filled night was highlighted by a three way dance for the NWA World Tag Team Championship currently held by former NWA World Heavyweight Champion and former two time WWE Tag Team Champion "Ironman" Rob Conway and his partner Jax Dane.
Conway is in incredible shape and instead of losing a step in the ring seems to have gained an advantage over his opponents. Being paired with Dane, who is getting better every time out, has certainly helped the crafty veteran and the two are a formidable tag team.
The tag team champions squared off against members of the Legion of K.A.O.S (Lance Erickson/Damien Wayne) who have been chasing the champions for months but cannot seem to pull out a victory and members of The Illuminati (Chris Richards/Chase Owens). Owens is one of the best on the indie scene at the moment and he is on the radar of the WWE and TNA but there are those who feel he needs to "get bigger." Bigger is not always an asset simply because you lose some of the mobility that makes you great in the first place but then again, when you move to the main roster of either company you have to relearn. There is little doubt Owens is an asset to the NWA though.
Conway and Dane retained after interference by other members of The Illuminati backfired and Damien Wayne tried to take advantage of a beaten but aware Conway and was small packaged.
As an aside I have known Rob Conway personally for almost 15 years and he is the consummate professional and a class act, someone the NWA and any organization for that matter, should be proud to have represent them.
NWA Smoky Mountain Heavyweight Champion Jason Kincaid, (Kincaid is MONEY) who is one of the most unheralded stars in wrestling, had an incredible match against Vince Brent which saw the two give each other everything they had an more. A scary moment saw Brent hit the concrete outside the ring hard, so hard the sound resonated throughout the arena, after a clothesline by Kincaid. The match ended after The Illuminati interfered and attacked Kincaid but when Brent refused to pin the champion he too was attacked. Once Kincaid saw a prone Brent lying in the ring he too refused to pin him and was also attacked by The Illuminati and both were left laying in the ring after another attack.
Air America (Gavin Darlin/Skylar Kruze) retained their Smoky Mountain Tag Team Championship over The Heatseekers (Sigmon/Shawn Shultz) after Darling was pinned but had his foot on the ropes and the match was restarted with Air America winning after a schoolboy.
The NWA Smoky Mountain Television Champion Jeff Connelly retained his title by defeating Wade Adams in a great match. Connelly is yet another rising star in the NWA and on the indie scene and continues to improve to the point he should be on the radar of ROH at the very least.
Other matches saw Shane Andrews defeat Anthony Henry, Daniel Mulligan defeated Elliot Russell, Josh Crawford defeated Nick Hammonds in a match that really did not click and Zac Vincent defeated Matt Conard in another match that did not seem to flow well.
All-in-all NWA Smoky Mountain delivered when it counted and the group continues to show why they are the "flagship of the NWA."
Upcoming shows include April 5, 2014 in Sneedsville, NC, April 12, 2014 in Rogersville, TN with the debut of rising star Ryan Hunter and on April 19, 2014 is the yearly "Smoky Mountain Cup."
Follow me on Twitter @jlwiseman13