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March 9, 2022

NWA Crockett Cup 2022 HOT TAKE

The National Wrestling Alliance will once again ride the lightning and the thunderbolt as they return to FITE for the 2022 iteration of one of the most prestigious events in the history of the NWA, The Crockett Cup.

Initially envisioned as a way to pay tribute the late, great Jim Crockett Sr., the Crockett Cup invited tandems from around the globe to converge in the ultimate show of tag team supremacy over the course of a single elimination tournament that saw The Road Warriors, The Super Powers of Dusty Rhodes and Nikita Koloff and the explosive combination of Lex Luger and Sting all achieve the impossible from 1986 through 1988.

In 2019, under the direction of President William Corgan, today's NWA resurrected the tag team tradition in Crockett Country itself, North Carolina, as PCO and Brody King emerged victorious over The Wild Cards. After two tumultuous years, the National Wrestling Alliance proudly carries the dual flags of tradition and evolution into Nashville, broadcasting the 2022 Crockett Cup Tournament live on FITE on Saturday March 19th and Sunday March 20th.

While the eyes of pundits and fans alike have been tuned in to watch tag team royalty march to the ring in an attempt to carve their name into the annals of professional wrestling history, we'd be remiss to ignore the tumultuous insanity of recent weeks after Matt Cardona shocked the world to capture the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship from Trevor Murdoch, setting the stage for, of all people, Nick Aldis to stand up for all that is considered holy within the National Wrestling Alliance.

While all versions of the NWA have seen Horsemen run amuck, the erstwhile Zack Ryder may indeed be pestilence personified. After a career full of setbacks and heartaches, Cardona has flipped the switch by shunning everything he formerly held dear, mocking all conventions of professional wrestling tradition and honor, finding success across multiple promotions and realms by thumbing the eye of everything he ever celebrated as a fan or competitor. While he has found incredible success on the surface, Matt Cardona, the man who once championed and popularized the Internet within the professional wrestling world, had turned dark inside, morphing into the biggest troll of 2022.

There's no arguing his success in the moment but at the Crockett Cup, he'll be tasked his surpassing it with his biggest challenge to date in Nick Aldis, who has carried the traditions of Harley Race and Ric Flair into the 21st Century, revitalizing the importance and luster of Sweet Charlotte, the sixteen pounds of Gold in the process. While Aldis is no stranger to questionable tactics in his career, there is no denying that he carried a sense of pride as the flagbearer of the National Wrestling Alliance's resurgence alongside the chip on his shoulder. There's been an ache in his soul since losing that championship and if there's one person who exemplifies everything Matt Cardona has spit into the face of in recent months, of all people, believe it or not, it's Nick Aldis.

Aldis has always referred to himself as The National Treasure, but at the Crockett Cup, he finds himself in the shoes of an Indiana Jones, seeking to pursue and reclaim history from one who wishes to plunder it for their own benefit, Matt Cardona. Live on FITE, the battle for the heart and soul of the National Wrestling Alliance and the power it contains will transpire in Nashville.

While the NWA World Championship match may be about turning back pestilence, another championship match at the Crockett Cup on FITE may be about satiating the thirst that all combatants carry that can only be temporarily quenched by claiming gold in the center of the ring. Night Two of The Crockett Cup will also see the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship resurrected following a grueling tournament that has played out in recent months on both NWA USA and NWA Powerrr here on FITE.

With two veterans and two shining stars of today all poised to battle in the same ring at the same time, this explosive encounter will not only exemplify the greatest of today's in-ring mastery but once again bring the legacy that the NWA alone carries across decades for the truest fans of the sport of professional wrestling. Indeed, this bout will feature the hard-edged Homicide, the versatile and controversial Austin Aries, the breakout second-generation star Colby Corino and the man who may be the walking definition of the best secret in combat sports, Darius Lockhart. Four men with valid claims of being the best in the world step into this unique attraction, but only one man will find himself crowned king and emerge as the newly-minted World Junior Heavyweight Champion, live on FITE.

Of course, the most debated attraction of the Crockett Cup will be the tournament itself, where the lust for conquest will intersect with war itself. To emerge victorious, a team may have to score four wins over two nights against varied competition, some of whom they may not even have time to prepare for. Every single team has a target on their back because every competitor who enters the Crockett Cup wants the bragging rights, the proof of their supremacy and obviously, a future NWA World Tag Team Championship bout.

With Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett officially named the ambassador for this year's Crockett Cup, an incredible array of competitors are set to do battle in Nashville for the glory of ultimate victory!

The reigning NWA Tag Team Champions, Bestia 666 and Mecha Wolf 450 find themselves back in the position of the hunters. Having already conquered JR Kratos and Aron Stevens to ascend to the Championship,the ever-dangerous La Revolucion now seeks to stake an exclamation point through the hearts of every other competitor, proving once and for all that they are the dominant NWA dynasty.

The lure of The Crockett Cup has yielded an incredible bounty of teams from across the United States and beyond. Ring of Honor Hall of Famers Jay and Mark Briscoe intend to bring their hard-nosed tag team badassery to the Cup, facing the renowned veteran team of The NOW, Hale Collins and Vik Dalishus, who's blood feud across the Northeast and New England shockingly ended with the duo emerging as a united force. Their NWA debut will see them take on their biggest test to date in the Briscoes, who have never backed away from any fight in their lives.

Two teams that have left everything behind in the ring over the course of their tenures in the National Wrestling Alliance are The End and HawxAerie. Proudly representing New Orleans, the father-son combination of Luke Hawx and PJ Hawx have poured their heart and soul into competing in the NWA, even against each other. Odinson and Parrow are no strangers to the Hawx family, having battled them in November 2021 in the NWA Tag Team Contender's tournament. While The End emerged with the victory that night, PJ and Luke have never forgotten and The Crockett Cup may be the moment where life imitates art and they match their Hollywood success with a massive in-ring achievement.

The OGK, Matt Taven and Mike Bennett, have competed around the world in pursuit of proving themselves as the supreme duo in tag team wrestling. In the first round of the Crockett Cup, they'll find themselves having to solve the problem of The Fixers, Wrecking Ball Legursky and Jay Bradley. The no-nonsense brawlers have cracked skulls and broken bones in all corners of the NWA while backing Colby Corino, but in the OGK, they'll be forced to contend with veterans skilled in tag team wizardry in a true test of finesse vs. brawn.

Thom Latimer and Chris Adonis are, indeed, strictly business, hellraisers to the nth degree who may be two of the ultimate antagonists in the National Wrestling Alliance. If there's a team willing to truly dive into the devious end of the pool and deny their culpability at the same time, it's Strictly Business. They will commence their Crockett Cup campaign against Marshe Rockett and Jordan Clearwater, Gold Rushhh, a tandem that has captured the hearts and imagination of the NWA faithful with their hard work and high flying. If there was ever a bout that truly represented the duality of scientific professional wrestling and its eternal battle against the rulebreakers of the world, this may be it - and the winners might be the team that tip the scales of balance as the Cup rages on.

While every competitor in the Crockett Cup all want to achieve the ultimate victory, that may be secondary in nature to the goals of former NWA World Tag Team Champions Aron Stevens and JR Kratos. Indeed, redemption is the path they seek, hoping to not only put themselves back into contention for the belts they lost to La Revolucion but to change the trajectory of their careers by knocking everyone in their way off the mountain en route to reclaiming their throne at the summit. Their journey will begin with a battle against world renowned veterans JTG and Dirty Dango as the former WWE alumni seek to dance and fight their way to the greater riches that come with a Crockett Cup victory. Can their knowledge and swagger withstand the sheer juggernaut that is JR Kratos? Can Aron Stevens out-think and out-last the competition?

All of these answers and more will be revealed, in real time, live on FITE as the Crockett Cup once again reflects the spotlight from above, cascading over tandems from all corners of the globe as the most important tournament in the history of tag team wrestling returns, live from Nashville, TN - only on FITE!

Mike Johnson is the lead reporter for PWInsider.com and has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He can be found on Twitter @MikePWInsider and MikeJohnsonWrites.com.