11/26 NWA POWER TV REPORT: The Question Mark vs. Zane Dawson in an Empty Arena match, Drake’s return interview, replay of James Storm vs. Colt Cabana, overall a bad recap episode that does damage

By Michael Taylor, PWTorch contributor


NOVEMBER 26, 2019

-The show opened with a video package highlighting the drama between NWA Heavyweight champion Nick Aldis and Kamille. The package ended with Kamille whispering in the ear of James Storm before leading him backstage. “Into the Fire” began as did the show’s intro video. Joe Galli was shown an undisclosed studio location. He said the number one contender for the NWA Heavyweight title would be announced later that evening. He followed by saying whoever faced Aldis for the title would do so in a two out of three falls match. Galli threw to footage of Hollywood Championship wrestling where NWA announcer Dave Marquez interviewed Eli Drake.

-Before Drake spoke the crowd greeted him with a “Welcome Back!” chant. Drake said that since he joined the NWA, people have told him they remind him of former wrestlers. He mentioned a man who “raises an eyebrow”, a man who “drinks beer and gives fingers” and a blonde man in a shiny robe that says “Woooo!” Drake said he didn’t mind those comparisons, but there was one that bothered him. He mocked Nick Aldis saying that Drake wanted to be like him and refuted that claim. He turned his attention to Ken Anderson noting that many fans were calling a match between him and Anderson a dream match. The crowd started an “Eli Drake!” chant. Drake said he and Anderson had a lot of similarities including being fired from some of the same places. He concluded by saying Anderson would never be like him before playing the crowd.

(Taylor’s Analysis: This was the start of several missteps throughout the night. Why did Drake cut such a confident, babyface promo after his actions last week? His attack on Anderson, with a weapon, was aggressive and uncalled for. This promo contradicted his actions and killed any heat he gained. Instead of turning on the audience, he basked in their adulation. Was this taped before the attack took place? If so, it shouldn’t have aired. This was a step backward and goes against logical pro-wrestling booking.)

-The camera returned to Joe Galli who talked about the NWA women’s division. Shots of Melina’s debut were shown as Galli said he would interview with Melina later in the evening. He closed by saying footage from “Into the Cage” would be shown highlighting Thunder Rosa’s MMA debut.

-A commercial for Into the Fire aired.

-A replay was shown of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express attacking The Wild Cards. Joe Galli announced that The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express would be challenging The Wild Cards for the NWA Tag Team titles. Short clips of interviews from both teams were shown.

-Galli threw to footage from “Into the Cage.” Rosa was shown training with face paint on in an MMA gym. She was shown talking to her coach about the upcoming fight. She went on to say how much her coach meat to her. She said she spoke to other MMA fighters about what to expect and how to prepare herself. The cameraman asked her about her nerves, and she said they were under control. The camera cut to Rosa getting her hair done before her fight. She talked to her hairstylist about her history working with neglected children before her pro-wrestling and MMA career. Rosa said the violence in both sports helped her deal with the pressure of not being able to help several of the kids she worked with. The show returned to Joe Galli who said more footage would be shown later in the evening. The show cut to a commercial.

(Taylor’s Analysis: So, Thunder Rosa is babyface now, right? The biggest babyface in the company? How do you air this footage after she’s been portrayed as a sinister heel in weeks previous? Leaving Belle and Melina so soon would be awkward, but it should be done. How can anyone boo her at this point?)

-A commercial for HighSpots.com aired.

-A replay of Colt Cabana beating James Storm for the National Heavyweight Title was shown.

-The show returned to Galli announcing that the number one contender for the National Heavyweight title would be determined next week. Galli turned his attention to The Question Mark and called him an “instant sensation”. Galli threw to Dave Marquez interviewing Aron Stevens and The Question Mark.

-Marquez said the upcoming match would be an empty arena match but did not name the wrestlers involved. Stevens said if “they” lost, Question Mark would unmask. He said he and Question Mark didn’t have a friendship, but rather a brotherhood. Stevens announced their opponents would be The Dawsons and that if The Dawsons lost, they would have to recite Shakespeare. They both then make their way to the ring.

(1) ?THE QUESTION MARK? vs. ZANE DAWSON – Empty Arena Match

(Taylor’s Analysis: The presentation of this match was very confusing. Everyone in the interview was speaking as if it were a tag match. It was not clear who was in the match until the text graphic was shown on the screen.)

-The match began with Dawson charging Question Mark in the corner. Question Mark avoided contact and hit Dawson with several karate chops. Dawson countered Question Mark and chocked him with the top rope. Question Mark took control and hit a drop-kick from the second rope. Question Mark then hit a strike to Dawson’s throat and pinned him for the win.

WINNER: ?The Question Mark? via pinfall

-After the match, Marquez stood between The Dawsons and Sevens and Question Mark at ringside. He told The Dawsons that one of them would have to recite Shakespeare. The Dawsons began dramatically reading as an orchestra played in the background. Stevens took a trash bin out from under the ring and gestured as if he was vomiting in it. The Dawsons grew more and more pleased with their reading as the show cut to a commercial.

(Taylor’s Analysis: This was a waste of time. It wasn’t funny or entertaining. It reeked of WWE style, make-Vince McMahon-laugh comedy. Also, do the writers involved understand the historical context of the empty arena stipulation? When used correctly, it can be an effective way to compliment an intense feud. Instead, it was wasted in a bad comedy segment.)

-A commercial for NWA merchandise aired.

-The show returned as Galli announced that Question Mark would be facing Trevor Murdoch at Into the Fire. He then threw to his interview with Melina. Galli excitedly welcomed Melina to the NWA and asked her what she loved about pro-wrestling. Melina said she has watched pro-wrestling since she was a kid and that she loved watching people fight for something. Galli asked why she decided to come to the NWA. She responded by saying she doesn’t go just anywhere and that she wanted to be a part of an organization that was unique. Galli asked if Melina takes credit for helping to revolutionize women’s wrestling as it stands today. Melina said before her no one cared about their entrance and that no one “used their flexibility”. She said she sees that happening now and takes that as her “thank you”. Galli brought up NWA Women’s champion Allysin Kay. Melina said Kay thinks she’s the best but she’s not until she beats the best. She said Kay has been carrying the title around like it’s an accessory. She called herself a living legend and said she would be the person to make Kay either appreciate what she has or appreciate what she had.

(Taylor’s Analysis: This was awful on so many levels. Firstly, why is Galli so happy to have Melina in the NWA? She interfered in a match and caused the Women’s champion to be pinned unfairly. Secondly, we’re supposed to believe that Melina revolutionized Women’s wrestling because she got other wrestlers to care about their entrances and use moves that require flexibility? Thirdly, she undercut the Women’s title by claiming it doesn’t make Kay the best in the division. This sounded like a first take and it should have never aired. I can’t believe these problems went unnoticed.)

-A commercial for NWA live dates aired.

-The show returned with NWA president William Patrick Corgan announcing the NWA’s new show called “The Circle Squared”. He said independent talent would be allowed to “cut promos” in front of a live audience, and that the audience would help decide who would join their roster. After the announcement, Galli threw to part two of “Into the Cage”.

-Rosa was shown leaving her hotel room and then driving to the arena. The camera followed her as she walked around the building and eventually into the octagon. She took in the moment as sentimental music played in the background. She was shown warming up in her dressing room and eventually huddling with her coaches. She was shown entering the octagon for the fight, but the footage was quickly interrupted by a graphic showing the results of the fight. Rosa was deemed the loser by unanimous decision. She was shown walking to the back and then crying in her dressing room. One of her coaches said he was very impressed by what he saw despite the loss. Rosa emotionally thanked her team and the footage faded to black.

-The camera returned to Galli who announced another match for Into the Fire. He said Allysin Kay would team with Ashley Vox against two opponents that would be chosen by Melina. Galli ran down the card for next week’s episode before running down the Into the Fire card. He announced that James Storm has been deemed the number one contender and they would speak to Nick Aldis on next week’s show.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Amazingly, a recap episode did a lot of damage. There was no booking to worry about here. There were no match outcomes to decide. There were no angles to shoot. The content featured put a spotlight on a surprising lack of fundamental discipline and logic. A show based on pro-wrestling tradition should not have these issues. Hopefully, this does persist in the weeks to come and Power can get back to the pro-wrestling basics.

CATCH UP… 11/19 NWA POWER TV REPORT: Nick Aldis vs. Trevor Murdoch, Cabana & Starks vs. Aron Stevens & Question Mark, Kay & Vox vs. Rosa & Belle

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