Carnyland 001 – A Long Way From NWA Powerrr
By: Davie Portman
I just finished watching the first episode of NWA’s brand new series “Carnyland” and thought I would give you all a few thoughts.
At this time the NWA isn’t recording any empty arena matches during the pandemic but that doesn’t mean they’re not creating new content. We have seen many promotions try and be more creative during this time with Boneyard Matches, Stadium Stampedes, and Undead Realms and we are also seeing wrestlers themselves be more creative by using platforms such as Twitch and TikTok. The NWA has decided to not just dip their toe in the water but dive right in with their new show Carnyland. It is incredibly out there and is clearly giving the talent a lot of freedom.
Eddie Kingston Promo
Episode 1 starts with Eddie Kingston cutting a beautiful promo describing what wrestling means to him. He says that every wrestler out there misses performing. He says that wrestlers don’t perform for the money but perform for the legacy, to be remembered and live forever. He tells us that they all love and miss this sport and urges us to stay strong during the pandemic. Throughout the promo, there are still images taken from Season 1 of NWA Powerrr.
Davie’s thoughts: Kingston is one of the best speakers out here and this opening speech almost felt like poetry. As a viewer, it instantly wanted to give my support to everyone I was about to see in this unique show.
Welcome To Carnyland
We then get the opening titles for Carnyland, which features shots of mountains, casinos, airports, dumping grounds, couples, men in tin foil hats, frustrated construction workers, and much, much more. I felt that it was showing us that the whole world is Carnyland and we are all residents of it.
Joe Galli introduces us all to Carnyland but is quickly interrupted by the voice of Stu Bennett. Bennett tells us that he is the narrator of Carnyland but the NWA couldn’t afford to pay his onscreen rate. He makes Galli disappear and introduces us to NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Nick Aldis.
True Stories With Nick Aldis
Nick Aldis does a voice over for a segment called “True Stories”. Throughout the whole segment, there are images and actors playing out everything Aldis is describing. He tells us about when he worked for a promotion in Bristol, Tennessee affiliated with the NWA, and that a promoter he calls “Carny Chris” told him he booked a room in a hotel for him. When Aldis turned up at the hotel there was no record of a booking but he figured it was just a mistake. He put his credit card down for incidentals and called “Carny Chris” who assured him that he had sorted the problem. The next day as Aldis was driving to his next gig he got a phone call from the hotel manager furious with him as he left without paying. It turned out that “Carny Chris” had screenshotted the booking screen without actually booking the hotel and was hoping that they would just charge Aldis’ credit card.
Davie’s thoughts: This is a segment I would love to watch every week. Wrestlers giving road stories of times they have been “carnied” by promotors or wrestlers. Nick Aldis speaks very well and told the story much better than my recap could. The added images and clips during the story make it quite a fun watch.
Cliche Promo 101 With Allysin Kay
Allysin Kay breaks down a cliche promo. She describes in order pretty much everything 90% of wrestlers do during a promo. Starting with pretending to wash her hands as she is deep in thought. Avoiding eye contact to show she’s nervous. Stating the date, time, and place of the show. Naming the venue, the promotion the opponent, the championship. Bring up an unrelated quote that sounds impressive but doesn’t link to the actual promo. Give cliched threats. Pause and get close to the camera speaking quietly and then pull away and start screaming. Give a great closing line but then continue to speak for a while longer, eventually losing the interest of the crowd and actually finish with a weak closing line. Continue to stare until the camera fades out.
Davie’s thoughts: I thought this was pretty funny. Allysin Kay delivered the cliched promo very accurately. Part of me hopes that people see this and realize that a lot of promos have been cliche for a long time and actually start to change them up a bit.
On next week’s show, we will be looking at “Go Away Heat 101”
The Eli Drake Show
Eli Drake is in his own podcast studio at home and tells us that over the years his mouth has got him into a lot of trouble and he has lost a lot of jobs due to it. The camera cuts and he gives multiple examples of the kind of things that could have got him into trouble. He says that he is starting a new show called “The Eli Drake Show” where he will be able to say whatever he wants. He then puts on a tinfoil hat and climbs into a portal.
Davie’s thoughts: I like Eli Drake, I think he is another excellent talker and I’m sure “The Eli Drake Show” is going to be pretty entertaining. This was an introduction to the show rather than the show itself, so I’m still not entirely sure what to expect.
Tim Storm’s Carnyland History Lesson
Tim Storm gives us a history lesson about Benjamin Franklin. He starts off by telling us all of his accolades but then goes on to tell us all the stranger things that Benjamin Franklin did that we may no know about including writing “Fart Proudly”, “The Drinkers Dictionary” and “How To Pick A Mistress”. He tells us that it is speculated that he had fifteen illegitimate children and used to enjoy sitting in his window naked. Storm closes by posing the question “Is Benjamin Franklin the Founding Father of USA or Carnyland?
Davie’s thoughts: This was the point of the show where I realized that it is going to be anything goes. The only thing wrestling related to this segment was the fact that Tim Storm was in it. That being said, I love useless trivia and if he can keep serving us up some interesting facts like this, I’m all for it!
David Marquez The Carny Translator
David Marquez introduces us to the Carny Translator. It’s a device that can translate what a carny says to you. He then gives some examples. If a promotor says to you “the cheque’s in the mail” what he really means is “Hey brother, I need this 30 dollars for a downpayment on a replica championship belt.” If a wrestler says he’s “going to be there on time” what he really means is “Hey brother, the marks are buying me cocktails in the hotel lounge. I’ll arrive sometime after the 3rd match” When fans say “We’ll be back and bring lots of friends” what they’re really saying is “Hey brother, we’re gonna start seventeen new podcasts about your show but never pay for a ticket again.” So don’t let them carny you ever again.
How To Be A Champion by NWA Champion, Jocephus
Jocephus tells us that in these uncertain times we need concepts and principles to help guide us through. He says that his new book “How To Be A Champion” can help us with that. He opens the book and shows that all the pages are blank as he is yet to win a championship in NWA but for $19.99 you can get a placeholder for the book for when he eventually wins a championship.
What’s Causin Aldis
Nick Aldis tells us that he is starting a new Podcast style show with some close friends to talk about their lives in wrestling and the finer things about the business. He mocks interviewers that have clearly just looked at his Wikipedia page and clearly has not come up with any interesting questions and says that he wants to go more in-depth. He wants to talk all about the terrible gimmicks and how he got to where he is today. He admits to not being a professional broadcaster and that the show won’t be perfect but is excited about the project.
This Is Mongrovia Unmasked
The next segment was probably the weirdest of them all as Aron Stevens teaches us about the hidden mysteries of Mongrovian Geography. He is giving us lessons on Question Mark’s homeland by showing terribly drawn maps, volcanos, and other images.
Davie’s thoughts: This segment was very out there and I didn’t really get it but I appreciate the wackiness and I’m willing to go for the ride the next few weeks and see where this goes.
Entice Zicky Dice
Zicky Dice introduces us to his game show where people have to try and “entice” him. This week’s contestant is Fiona who is playing the game over Skype. Fiona does not know where she is or what she is doing and thought she was on the show to win a t-shirt. Every question is about what Fiona would do if she was on a date with him and she gets every question wrong. Fiona brings up the fact that Zicky Dice is married and he says “I’m engaged kayfabe”.
Davie’s thoughts: I didn’t find this segment particularly clever or funny, however, I am unfamiliar with the character of Zicky Dice. With tweaking, this could be more entertaining.
Joe Galli closes the show by promoting the Carnyland Patreon and previews other shows the NWA has coming up:
Mondays: What’s Causing Aldis?
Wednesdays: Inside The NWA (this week featuring David Lagana and Billy Corgan)
Thursdays: The Eli Drake Show
Fridays: Girl Powerrr
Davie’s thoughts: Carnyland isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s very out there and not all of the humor lands for me personally. That being said, I really respect that they are committing to putting out some sort of content without compromising anyone’s health by having them wrestle in empty arenas. The style of the show fits the NWA brand by feeling like a throwback. It also has a “Being The Elite” vibe with a lot of insider jokes and like “BTE” I can see some sketches really landing and others not. My favorite segments were the “True Stories” and “Cliche Promo 101” and I can see those segments working every week. The “Carny Translator” was pretty funny as well but I can see the joke wearing off after a couple of weeks. The Eddie Kingston promo at the top of the show was also excellent. With NWA being mainly about the promos and characters than the wrestling itself I feel this show will work well for them and could actually be used to build some new characters up before Powerrr comes back. Overall, I found this a pretty entertaining 30mins of TV and will be tuning in again next week!