NWA Smoky Mountain Wrestling
Civic Auditorium (Kingsport, Tennessee)
NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship
NWA Smoky Mountain billed this match as a student versus teach battle as well as perhaps Morton’s last chance to capture an NWA World singles title. The real intrigue – for me at least – was just to see how well 57-year old Ricky Morton could go, particularly in the main event of a show for a decent indie promotion.
Morton certainly did not wrestle like a 57-year old. He took somewhere in the neighborhood of ten back bumps, all of which looked good. Unfortunately, Owens didn’t take full advantage of Morton’s willingness to bump around the ring for him. Owens keeps his offense extremely basic as if he were working an older wrestler who wasn’t going to or wasn’t able to bump for him. Morton bumped anyway, so it would have been nice if Owens had thrown some better offense at him than he did.
Owens was also devoid of any sort of heel charisma. It should not be rocket science to get a crowd in Kingsport, TN behind Ricky Morton but Owens struggles to draw any heat. All of his heel mannerisms were robotic and failed to get much of a reaction at all out of the crowd.
Morton has one of his (presumably) many sons at ringside with him as his second. The kid seemed to have his Dad’s strong sense of timing in working a crowd. His clapping, pounding on the mat, and leading of “Rock ‘n Roll!” chants were well-placed and got a lukewarm crowd into the match at various times. Owens had some generic suit-wearing manager with him and it was clear after one minute who the better second was.
Morton’s offense looked good as well, particularly considering Morton was never known for his offense to begin with. He pulled of a quick arm drag that looked as good as when he did it thirty years ago. Morton saved his best offensive move for the finish, however. After a ref bump, Owens calls for reinforcements who go after Morton. They are eventually thwarted by Morton and Jason Kincaid, who runs out to stop Owens when he is about to use his loaded elbow pad. This allows Morton to do this to win the match and the championship:
The match itself is nothing special but it is well-worth watching to see Morton still go at a fairly high-level in 2014. The hurricanrana was the icing on the cake but really Morton moved well and looked good the entire match. Post-match the ring fills and Morton gives the usual speech. Someone (IWA-MS?) needs to book a Bill Dundee vs. Ricky Morton NWA Junior Heavyweight Championship match while Morton still has the title.
Juniors | Worthwhile | Individual Performance (Morton)