At a time when the National Wrestling Alliance wasn’t heavily talked about, Adam Pearce and Colt Cabana brought interest back to the promotion with their Seven Levels Of Hate. For years, Pearce and Cabana had been going at each other in NWA Hollywood with both men winning the NWA World Championship. At one point, they had become allies, but that was short-lived and they would go back to being bitter enemies looking to destroy each other and have the honor of being the NWA World Champion.
The series of matches would have a stipulation attached to each with the championship on the line. Their match would take place on May 13th, 2012 and their final match happened on October 27th, 2012. I’ll be reviewing each match in-depth in this article.
If Colt Cabana wins the series of matches, then Adam Pearce would leave the NWA forever.
Level #1: First Blood Match
NWA Hollywood TV
NWA World Champion Colt Cabana vs. Adam Pearce
Pearce runs into a right hand and is clotheslined over the top to the floor in the opening moment of the match and does a Flair flop on the floor this early in the match. Cabana sends Pearce face first into the ring post but Pearce isn’t busted open from it. Cabana rams Pearce face first onto the bleachers with the fans enjoying the up and close experience. Cabana bites the forehead of Pearce but Adam stops Colt with an eye rake. Cabana kicks Pearce in the corner and avoids a splash in the corner to hit a few elbow strikes. Cabana gets distracted by Heather Lynn and Pearce tosses Cabana over the top to the floor. Pearce comes off the apron and strikes Cabana and uses a camera from a fan to take a picture of Cabana. Pearce hits Cabana with a bucket of flowers and the actual flowers on the outside. Pearce misses a right hand and hits the ring post.
They return to the ring where Cabana briefly wrenched on the hand of Pearce but Adam decks Cabana with a right hand to gain control of the bout. Pearce is handed brass knuckles but gets punched in midair after coming off the middle rope. Cabana blocks a shot with the ring bell and kicks Pearce in the midsection. Pearce plants Cabana with a spine buster. Pearce heads to the top with the ring bell but Cabana kicks the referee into the ropes and Pearce flips over back into the ring. Cabana atomic drops Pearce and decks Pearce with several chops and a right hand. Pearce clotheslines Colt while Stu Stone held Cabana’s foot. Pearce goes for the piledriver but Cabana counters and catapults Pearce chest first into the corner. Stu Stone holds Cabana while on the apron and soon gets knocked off the apron. Colt jabs Pearce several times and an elbow strike. Cabana accidentally splashes the referee in the corner and Pearce takes advantage with a piledriver!
Pearce takes the turnbuckle pad off but Cabana rams Pearce face first into the exposed turnbuckle! Cabana rams Pearce head first into the corner several times and Pearce has been busted open to give Cabana the victory in the first match of the series. (***. The finish felt very 80s but it was an enjoyable match that didn’t have a lot of weapons used or anything. There weren’t any slow parts to the match and they kept a non-stop pace that made it an easy watch.)
Level #2: Boston Street Fight
NECW Stronger Than Hurt
NWA World Champion Colt Cabana vs. Adam Pearce
Pearce attacks Cabana before the bell and stomps away on the champion. Cabana takes Pearce down with an arm drag and a couple of chops. Cabana knocks Pearce over the top from the apron back into the ring. Colt tosses Pearce through the middle rope to the floor and comes off the apron to deliver a strike to the challenge. Pearce blocks being rammed into the ring post, but not on the second attempt. Cabana sits Pearce in the crowd and continues to work over Pearce with strikes. Cabana rams Pearce face first onto the chair but only get a near fall. Cabana holds Pearce and allows a few kids to chop Adam’s back a few times before returning to the ring. Colt plays to the crowd and that allows Pearce to hit a suicide dive in front of the kids!
Cabana is sent flipping into several empty chairs and Pearce continues to work over the champion in the crowd. Pearce sits Cabana down and delivers more strikes and bites his forehead. Adam sends Cabana through the middle rope to the floor and continues to hammer away on Cabana sending him face first into the wall, as well. Pearce scoop slams Cabana onto a table and hits a jumping elbow drop to put Colt through the table for a near fall. They return to the ring where Adam gets a near fall following a couple of clotheslines. Pearce has the championship but Cabana blocks being hit with it and decks Pearce with the championship instead!
Pearce has been busted wide open from the championship shot to the head. Cabana hammers away on Pearce several times followed by an elbow strike. Colt hammers away on Pearce and hits a leaping butt splash in the corner followed by a clothesline for a near fall. Cabana hits a top rope moonault but Pearce still kicks out at two on the cover!
Cabana goes to the floor and grabs a steel chair. Colt returns to the ring but Pearce is up and plants Colt with a DDT onto the steel chair! Pearce wedges a chair in the corner but misses a spear and hits the chair face first. Cabana locks in the Billy Goats Curse in the middle of the ring and passes out to give Cabana the victory. (***1/2. I thought this was a very good match and the emotion that got from the crowd was done very well. For a feud that has mainly happened in the California area, it translates very well all over the country. Plus, these two are pros and can get over with any crowd.)
Level #3: I Quit Match
NWA World Champion Colt Cabana vs. Adam Pearce
Cabana knocks Pearce down with a shoulder block and sends Pearce to the floor following a head scissors takedown. Pearce tells Cabana to kiss his ass and is knocked off the apron and falls chest first across the guard railing. Cabana hammers away on Pearce and delivers a few chops. Colt sends Pearce face first into the ring post and back first into the railing. They return to the ring where Cabana decks Pearce several times. Cabana kicks Pearce in the corner but Pearce plants Cabana with a spine buster to get control of the bout. Pearce continues to work over Colt sending the champ to the floor. Pearce comes off the apron to punch Cabana. Pearce tosses Cabana into the guard railing and hits Colt with a drink. Cabana gets control and lets a fan toss a drink into Adam’s face! Cabana has a steel chair but is kicked in the gut by Pearce who sends Colt into the ring post face first. Pearce has the chair and whacks Cabana over the back.
Back in the ring, Pearce strikes Cabana but Colt battles back with several forearm strikes until Pearce stops Colt with a chop block. Pearce locks in a figure four right in the middle of the ring but Cabana doesn’t quit the match. Cabana rolls Pearce over but Adam reverses again but neither man gives in to the pain. They roll to the floor with the hold still locked in by Pearce. Cabana says he will never give up and Pearce lets go of the hold to grab a steel chair on the floor. Pearce whacks Colt’s knee with the chair on the floor. Pearce shoves a fan and tosses several chairs into the ring. Pearce tosses a chair at Colt’s face in the corner as the champ struggles to get to his feet. Pearce hits Colt again with a chair but Cabana doesn’t give up. Cabana struggles to his feet but is hit with another steel chair. Pearce piles several chairs onto each other and places Cabana on the chairs. Pearce heads to the top rope but Cabana gets up and crotches Pearce on the top rope! Cabana hooks Pearce on the top rope and hits a superplex onto the pile of chairs!
Cabana continues his offense with several strikes and jabs. Cabana drops Pearce with an elbow strike. Cabana hits a running butt splash in the corner but Pearce cuts Colt off with a clothesline. Pearce hooks Colt for a piledriver but Cabana counters to put the Billy Goat’s Curse locked in however Pearce refuses to give in but a rope break doesn’t break the hold. Pearce crawls to the apron and drops to the floor to break the hold. Cabana sends Pearce into a fans chair at ringside and they brawl into the crowd where Colt tosses Adam into a few empty chairs. Colt sends Pearce into the glass for the hockey rink. They head back to ringside with Cabana coming off the apron to elbow strike a busted open Pearce. Pearce crotches Cabana to avoid a middle rope strike. Pearce quickly follows up and spikes Cabana with a piledriver!
Pearce spikes Cabana with a second piledriver, but Colt refuses to quit. Pearce goes to the floor and unhinges the top turnbuckle! Cabana blocks being hit with the piece of metal from the turnbuckle. Pearce low blows Cabana but doesn’t use the metal part and wraps the rope around Colt’s throat and chokes Colt with the rope. Cabana can’t answer the referee and has been choked out giving Pearce the match and the championship. Wait a minute, Cabana recovered and said he would never say I Quit. Cabana tells Pearce to get in the ring and finish the job. Pearce accepts that and returns to the ring to work over Cabana.
Cabana remains on his feet and gets a second wind just looking at Pearce. Cabana nails Pearce with an elbow strike and hammers away on Pearce several times. Colt continues with several elbow strikes and Pearce is laid out on the canvas. Pearce sends Cabana through the middle rope to the floor but Cabana has a steel chair and whacks Adam over the head with it from the floor! Cabana has the rope and begins to choke Pearce with the rope and locks in the Billy Goat’s Curse with the rope around Adam’s neck and Pearce is forced to say I Quit to give Cabana the victory! (****. Alright, I was fooled on the finish and I started to write my opinion on the match and everything before the restart. I was NOT expecting the restart. Thus, I thought this was fantastic and a clever finish to fool the audience. I’m surprised that Cabana was gone up 3-0 as usually the heel dominates the match and the face makes their comeback, but the matches have been very entertaining. This is my favorite match of the three matches to take place thus far.)
Level #4: Best Two Out Of Three Falls Match
MPW TV Taping
NWA World Champion Colt Cabana vs. Adam Pearce
Cabana blocks a kick and just spins Pearce around before dropping him to the canvas. Colt keeps Pearce on the mat with a headlock for a few moments. Cabana chops Pearce to the floor in the corner and Pearce flops on the wooden floor. Cabana taunts Pearce in the ring instead of following up with the advantage on the outside. Pearce returns to the ring and controls Colt on the canvas briefly. Cabana keeps a head scissors on Pearce but Adam manages to get out of the hold eventually. Pearce has a front face lock on Cabana but they trade holds on the canvas. Cabana hits a springboard moonsault but Pearce kicks out at two. Cabana drops Adam with a forearm strike and rolls Pearce up but both men have their shoulders on the mat with the referee giving the fall to both men. So, the match is tied at 1-1. I’ve never witnessed that in a 2/3 falls match.
Pearce comes off the apron to elbow strike Cabana during the thirty-second rest period. Pearce tosses Cabana onto the announcers table and flips the table over onto Cabana. Pearce sends Cabana face first into the ring post. They trade strikes on the floor until Pearce hooks Cabana on the apron looking for a suplex into the ring but Colt blocks the move. Pearce punches Colt on the side and hits a suplex on a second try for a near fall. Pearce continues his offense with a dropkick but Cabana kicks out at two on the pin attempt. Colt drops Adam after several strikes and has the fans heavily behind him. Cabana misses a middle rope big splash as Pearce rolled out of the way. Colt blocks a right hand and begins to fight back with more strikes but runs into a spine buster from Pearce for a near fall.
Cabana gets his boots up as Pearce jumped off the middle rope and falls to the floor. Colt sends Pearce arm first into the turnbuckle from the apron and hip tosses Pearce back into the ring from the apron. Cabana jabs Pearce several times followed by an elbow strike. Colt hits a flying butt splash in the corner and kicks Pearce in the corner for a two count. Cabana signals for the piledriver but Pearce counters and locks in the Billy Goat’s Curse! Colt struggles but reaches the bottom rope to break the hold. Cabana kicks a charging Pearce in the corner and hits a leaping butt splash but Pearce kicks out at two. Pearce counters a backdrop by hitting the piledriver but Cabana gets his arm on the bottom rope to stop the count! Pearce tries to use a chair but the referee prevents that from happening and Colt nearly wins with a rollup.
Pearce runs into a high knee lift and Colt delivers more jabs on the challenger. Pearce avoids an elbow strike with a knee lift but Cabana nearly wins with a crucifix pin. Pearce goes into his tights but misses a shot. Cabana goes for a back suplex but is punched by Pearce with a chain or something and gets the three count but Cabana has his boot on the bottom rope and the referee continues the match upon seeing it. Cabana takes Pearce down and locks in the Billy Goat’s Curse! Pearce rolls out of the move and the referee gets knocked down. Pearce nails Cabana with the championship and pins Cabana to win the fall and win the championship. (***. This felt like a match that should have happened earlier in the series, probably the first match or something like that. The dusty finish was entertaining, but coming right after the I Quit match kind of felt redundant. Pearce being the champion should make the chase by Cabana over the next three falls to be very entertaining.)
Level #5: Dog Collar Match
NECW Hot August Fight
NWA World Champion Adam Pearce vs. Colt Cabana
Cabana starts the match working over Pearce with strikes and a backdrop. Colt clotheslines Pearce over the top to the floor and yanks on the chain to flip Pearce back into the ring from the apron. Colt knocks Pearce to the floor and yanks Pearce chest first into the ring post! They continue to brawl on the floor as they have the chin wrapped around the ring post. Pearce takes advantage of that and yanks Cabana face first into the post. Pearce hammers away on Cabana with the chain as Colt has been busted wide open. Back in the ring, Pearce continues to work over Cabana and keeps the blood flowing from his rivals forehead.
Pearce knocks Colt down with a chain assisted clothesline and wraps the chain around Colt’s head. Pearce works over Cabana with several strikes and chokes Colt in the corner with the chain. Colt blocks a chain punch and hammers away on Pearce before hitting a leaping butt splash in the corner only to be yanked down to the canvas by the chain. Pearce wraps the chain around his knee to deliver a knee drop for a near fall. Pearce yells at Cabana that nobody believes Colt is going to win the match. Pearce comes off the middle rope with the chain wrapped around his fist but Colt gets his boots up to knock Pearce off his feet. Pearce plants Cabana with a piledriver for a near fall! Pearce chokes Cabana with the chain until Colt gets his knees up to low blow Pearce!
Cabana battles back with right hands before wrapping the chain around his elbow and low blows Pearce before hitting the elbow wrapped with chain for a near fall. Colt rams Pearce head first into his boot that had the chain wrapped around it and kicks Adam’s face against the middle turnbuckle for a near fall. Colt heads to the top rope but gets yanked down head first and Pearce wraps the chain around Cabana’s legs for a near fall. Cabana takes Pearce down and locks in the Billy Goat’s Curse but Pearce isn’t giving in to the hold.
Pearce bails to the floor to avoid the hold and wraps the chain around his arm while Colt can’t see him. Pearce is pulled back into the ring and Pearce decks Cabana with the chain a few times. Colt spins around and is tangled in the chain as Pearce plants Cabana with a piledriver for the win! (***. A good match like every match in the feud, but it wasn’t overly captivating and really not all that memorable for the series. I liked the finish, though.) After the match, Pearce hits another piledriver onto the championship and taunts Cabana saying he will never win the championship from him.
Level #6: Texas Death Match
NWA World Champion Adam Pearce vs. Colt Cabana
They start the match trading right hands with Colt getting the better and hits a backdrop. Cabana clotheslines Pearce in the corner but is stopped by a poke to the eye. Colt works over Pearce with strikes in the corner and chops Pearce to the canvas. They go to the outside where Cabana tosses Pearce into several chairs at ringside and Colt slam Pearce face first into a chair for a two count. Cabana sends Pearce into more chairs at ringside but isn’t able to get a three count on a cover attempt. Colt again sends Pearce into chairs at ringside but Pearce kicks out at two. Pearce fights back with several strikes and sends Cabana face first into chairs but can’t use the chair as Colt fights back with strikes as they return to the ring. Pearce kicks the middle rope to low blow Cabana. In the ring, Pearce keeps control of the match with strikes but quickly sends Cabana back to the floor.
Pearce comes off the apron to strike Cabana on the floor. Pearce sends Colt flipping into chairs at ringside. They are brawling into the bleachers section of the venue with Pearce taunting the fans. Pearce sends Cabana face first into the wall. Pearce misses a splash and hits the wall face first. Colt knocks Pearce down the bleachers to the floor. Pearce tosses a chair at Cabana before returning into the ring. Pearce comes in and keeps control of Cabana with basic strikes. Cabana is getting a second wind and wants Pearce to bring it on, which Pearce has no problem doing. Colt blocks a few right hands and begins to deck Pearce. Adam nails Colt with a clothesline but only gets a near fall. Cabana catapults Pearce over the top to the floor.
Cabana dropkicks Pearce off the apron to the floor and heads to the top rope. Pearce rolls into the ring but Colt hits a cross body and decks Pearce with several strikes. Colt kicks Adam’s face against the middle turnbuckle but hits a leaping butt splash in the corner followed by a clothesline for a near fall. Pearce gets stopped on the top rope by Cabana and Colt hits a superplex followed by a moonsault to get a three count, but Pearce has ten seconds to answer the count. Cedric the Hitman gives Pearce something from the floor. Cabana grabs Cedric and hits a GTS to knock him out. Cabana blocks a fireball attempt it looks but Pearce gets it back and uses the fireball on Cabana!
Cabana is laid out from the fireball and Pearce won’t allow anyone into the ring following the pin fall. Cabana isn’t able to answer the fall and Pearce win the match to tie the series at 3. (***1/4. It’s a fine match and the fireball inclusion makes sense considering how serious the feud has been since the beginning. They went all over the arena and they kept the pin falls to only two, which I liked.)
Level #7: Steel Cage Match
NWA World Champion Adam Pearce vs. Colt Cabana
They start the cage match trading right hands with Pearce getting the better of the exchange until Cabana counters being thrown into the cage and decks Adam. Cabana tries to escape the cage but Pearce pulls Colt back down into the ring and they have a standoff. Colt tries to leave through the door but is stopped and so is Pearce moments later. Colt works over Pearce to back him into the corner and ducks a clothesline to hit a head scissors. Cabana hammers away on Pearce in the corner and looks to escape over the top but Pearce prevents Colt from getting over the top. Colt kicks Pearce and comes off the top to nail Pearce with a fist drop for a near fall. They collide heads when Pearce charged towards Cabana in the corner.
Both men are on the top rope looking to escape and they begin to trade shots until they are both crotched on the top rope following head butts. Cabana shakes the ropes and Pearce falls over onto the canvas. Pearce counters the Billy Goat’s Curse and kicks Cabana head first into the steel cage. Pearce punches Colt several times as Cabana has been busted wide open thanks to the cage. Pearce rams Cabana into the cage again to maintain control in his favor. Pearce sends Cabana hard back first into the corner and a bloody Colt drops to his knees in the corner. Cabana fights back with several chops but Pearce runs over Cabana with a clothesline for a near fall.
Pearce tries to escape over the top of the cage but Colt stops Pearce only to be met with kicks to the head. They are both on the top rope where Cabana knocks Pearce off the top rope to the canvas and Colt hits a springboard moonsault to take Pearce out! Cabana continues with strikes on Pearce but Adam looks for a piledriver only for Cabana to catapult Pearce face first into the steel cage and Pearce does a rather obvious blade job as he is busted wide open. Cabana sends Pearce into the cage and delivers an elbow strike. Cabana drops a bloodied Pearce with another biotic elbow strike. Cabana splashes Pearce in the corner followed by a clothesline for a near fall.
Cabana calls for the door to open but Pearce grabs Colt’s boot. Pearce low blows Cabana and spikes Cabana with a piledriver! Pearce gets up first and begins to climb the cage looking to escape and win the match but Cabana gets up just in time to prevent Pearce from going too far. Colt hammers away on Pearce on the top and hip tosses Pearce off the top to the canvas! Cabana is on the top of the cage but isn’t going to the floor. Colt leaps off the top of the cage and hits a big splash for a near fall. Cabana locks in the Billy Goat’s Curse and wins the match by submission! (***1/2. It was a good way to end the feud and I was expecting something from the top of the cage which probably happens far too often. Nonetheless, it was a bloody cage match and it a great way to end the series of violent matches over a championship that regained prestige thanks to both men efforts.)
Adam Pearce grabs a microphone and thanks the fans and looks at Cabana to thank him as well for the fight. Pearce recalls wrestling Cabana for the first time and competing against Cabana all over the world. Pearce tells Cabana that he is very proud of him. Pearce says that the NWA would not sanctioned the match as a championship match. Pearce hands over the NWA World Championship to Colt Cabana. Cabana takes the belt from Pearce and has the microphone. Colt says the belt has so much pride, heritage, and prestige. He lists some notable names that held the NWA World Championship. Cabana isn’t interested about the past and wants to change the future. Cabana is trying to establish an underground movement and uses the internet to get himself exposure. Colt says that the NWA is the past and represents morons and people who don’t want evolve. Cabana says he doesn’t want to be part of the NWA because of that. Cabana realized that the towns they went to didn’t care about the NWA but rather the wrestlers. Cabana accepts the fact he won the title and won the feud, but he doesn’t accept the championship. Pearce says the NWA robbed Cabana and robbed all of the fans. Pearce says effectively he steps down as the NWA World Champion and says NWA pushed him out when they pushed Cabana out.
A truly great feud between two underrated talents and the ending promo was effective in the death of the NWA. This feud brought interest back into the NWA, but the NWA killed themselves in the end like most companies do.
What did you think of the 7 Levels Of Hate?
Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.