#AldisCrusade Takes on LA

We became aware of another National Wrestling Alliance match in California. So, that means road trip!! The current reigning champ, *Nick Aldis has attempted to hijack the NWA’s control by announcing a worldwide tour deemed the #AldisCrusade which was noteworthy on the NWA’s Twitter and YouTube. The Aldis Crusade kicked off at the Oceanview Pavillion on February 10th, the same venue we first saw previous title holder, Tim Storm and Championship Wrestling from Hollywood live.

Now, it’s two months later and our anticipation for this kickoff has been hot on Twitter, so we think, as we’ve been following Mr. Aldis very closely as he abuses the belt in his entitled “National Treasure” attitude. My husband and I were even blocked by Nick Aldis on Twitter. What a heel! So, you know we’re both doing something right.

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*Nick Aldis blocked first my husband, and now me. WTF.

Follow along with us again on our NWA Road Trip 2!

Day 1

Early risers as usual we hopped out of bed before dawn and headed on the road. Halfway in Barstow in the middle of the desert, my husband of course is hangry… so time to feed the drama queen. My plant-based diet experimentation would be tested here as we’re surrounded by fast food. Sigh, what’s a specific girl to do? Well, I successfully ordered a Mediterranean veggie sandwich, dairy and egg-free from Panera Bread. Boom Hacked! Moving on, we made great time, thanks to my husband for driving, because ffffff that! We made it to LA proper around 11:30AM.

Our first stop is Venice beach. We became aware that Billy Corgan’s side-project, rock band the Smashing Pumpkins, (sounds like some Halloween hoodlums) had their ice cream truck (but no ice cream) parked somewhere in Marina del Rey. Kind of funny cross promotion having Nick Aldis cut a promo in front of the bus, while actual Smashing Pumpkins fans I probably thinking… “who the bleep is this Brit in a Hawaiian shirt?? So, I’m watching Aldis in the car on Periscope trying to figure out where the bus is parked. Who bleeping knows. Once in Venice, Adam and I posted up at Hinano bar, a local joint near the boardwalk for veggie burgers and PBRs, constantly refreshing Twitter to see if the NWA would drop pin a location.

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Photo: National Wrestling Alliance

Running out of time, we headed back to the car, passing DJ Marshmallow along the way. I love LA, there’s always something random being filmed.

So, it’s around 1:30 and we still have a looong coastal drive up the PCH, past Malibu to naval town Oxnard, where the match is. We’ve about given up on this car chase to find the van. Finally, the tweet we’re waiting for comes through. So, we’re driving and hoping that this van is parked in an alleyway, easy to spot, and sure enough around the corner from Intelligentia Coffee, that black ice cream truck is there. Fu*k parking again, so Adam literally made a U-turn and boxed it in the alleyway.

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Photo: Smashing Pumpkins

With one hour to spare, here we go! The most gorgeous drive of my life. A motorcyclist’s paradise is nestled halfway up to Malibu, Neptune’s Net. I foresee a video at this establishment for sure on our next trip out there: “The new roadside America” well more like seaside America.

Even though Oxnard is a wee bit out of the general area of LA, the wrestling card from Championship Wrestling from Hollywood and the NWA did not disappoint. Again! The first time going into this place… I’m thinking to myself: “what did I just get drug out here to watch…?” And they started the card off with a cage match. So, this being our second time out for an NWA match, we both had high expectations.

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Photo: @nwa (can you see the two super fans in the upper right?)

Nick Aldis vs. ?????

The NWA left an element of surprise throughout the promos leading up to #AldisCrusade kickoff match. And, amazingly in this day in age of digital media circulation, no leaks occurred in production. So, we’re just as shocked as anyone when James Ellsworth was called up to go against Nick Aldis. Yes, Ellsworth from Money in the Bank-gate. Yes, Carmella’s squirmy on-screen boyfriend/sidekick/pet… the jobber from WWE. What can I say about the match…well it was partial Ellsworth being the comic-relief guy and mostly Nick Aldis beating him to a pulp. Which, in the wrestling world I think is called a squash match. It’s when you pair two wrestlers, where one is obviously more dominant and set up to win to gain more audience. Well played NWA. We even got a picture with the famous jobber after the match. Seeing the production for a second time has reinforced my growing confidence in where the NWA is taking the brand. Thus far, the NWA has produced a great product. It’s always evolving and our visit to see the #AldisCrusade kickoff match was very insightful. Just seeing the storytelling in action and two independent brands working together is really the “Thank You Economy” in action.  Billy Corgan, the owner of the NWA is making difficult creative decisions and writing a future for wrestling as a business. It’s hard to tell what direction the NWA is taking this early on, but they’re winning at increasing their audience. They’re doing their storytelling right. They are carrying a storyline for not only their wrestlers, but their brand. What I know about wrestling (not a lot) they stand out from many independent brands. Not to get too analytical, but the growth in their following is climbing and climbing and their #AldisCrusade tour will only continue to grow their brand. Check out the match here.

Hollywood

Get me to some civilization! The night is young, so after the match we drove back out to LA for some food at my favorite place: Toi on Sunset blvd.

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Seriously, the best. The vibe is always great either night or day. Classic rock everywhere, out of the speakers and all over the walls. Portions are ample, so Adam and I pretty much share the same thing every time: fried spring rolls for an appetizer and yellow veggie curry with brown rice. And a hot carafe of sake with a bottle of Sapporo.

Beetle House & Cha Cha

We WERE going to check out a new Tiki bar… but it was closed! So, we checked out another spot that I knew was on the map, especially in the Instagram community. I heard about a Tim Burton inspired “pop up” bar on Hollywood blvd. called Beetle House. There’s one in NYC and LA currently, who knows how long it will be up. I hope forever, because we got hooked up! Great barstaff, everyone’s welcome, (hence, you don’t need to be a gothic Disney princess to get in) and, of course it being Hollywood everyone’s trying to be an actor, as in, there are characters walking around. The Joker, Jack Skellington and probably a creepy Willy Wonka. Adam was apprehensive about it going in (with his bright Hawaiian shirt on) but, I think he talked to The Joker the ENTIRE time about wrestling. And I talked to the bartender about video games and boom! Free shots. Win win for us I’d say.

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Of course we end the night at Cha Cha up in Silver Lake. Again we’re usually there in the middle of the day as opening with no hipsters in sight. Not the same at night. Listen, I could write the guide on what times of day to go out, depending if you want little to no hipsters. Regardless, we’re always here when we come out to LA, since we used to go all the time in Seattle. The bartenders always hook it up if your cool like us, you know just throw them a little extra and good karma will always come back around to you. Sometimes karma is a tequila shot on the house.

Stay tuned for our full video of the trip. Until next time LA…

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