PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents a special Thursday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast featuring a WrestleMania 36 Preview with ex-WWE Creative Team member and professional stand-up comedian Matt McCarthy.
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NWA POWER TV REPORT
DECEMBER 3, 2019
ATLANTA, GA. AT GPB STUDIOS
REPORT BY MICHAEL TAYLOR, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Jim Cornette, Joe Galli
-The show opened with a montage of clips highlighting the first season of Power. It ended with The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express in the ring. Jim Cornette noted on commentary that it had been 34 years since they first won tag team gold, and tonight could mark the beginning of their ninth reign as champions. “Into the Fire” began as did the show’s intro video. The camera panned the audience and then cut to Joe Galli in a backstage studio. Galli quickly threw to the first match of the evening.
(1) COLT CABANA (CHAMPION) vs. ARON STEVENS – Non-title match
This match was originally announced as Colt Cabana against Ricky Starks. Formal ring introductions took place and the bell rang. Before any wrestling began, Aron Stevens and The Question Mark entered the interview booth with Dave Marquez. The crowd booed Stevens but cheered Question Mark. Stevens asked why he wasn’t granted a title shot for the NWA National Heavyweight title. Cabana left the ring and entered the booth and said if Stevens thought he could beat Starks, he could take his place against Starks tonight. He also said if Stevens won tonight, Cabana would grant him a title match. Stevens accepted and asked Question Mark to go to the back to ensure a fair outcome. The crowd booed heavily as Stevens entered the ring.
(Taylor’s Analysis: Cabana’s serious side was on display again which was great. However, it makes no sense that a wrestler would have the authority to change a match on the spot.)
-The bell rang again, and Stevens quickly beat Starks down in the corner. Starks responded with a running spear for a two count. Stevens retreated the outside of the ring and motioned that he hurt his knee. The referee attended to him as Question Mark made his way to the ring. Stevens called Dave Marquez to the ring and whispered in his ear. With the referee distracted, Question Mark attacked Starks from behind and spiked him in the throat. Stevens quickly returned to his feet and covered Starks for the win.
WINNER: Aron Stevens via pinfall
(Taylor’s Analysis: The crowd booed both Stevens and Question Mark after the interference, and I’m not sure this was the desired outcome. Did they mean to intentionally stop the cheers for Question Mark going forward? He has been one of the most popular wrestlers on the show since his debut, as the crowd has had fun cheering him. There’s still too much comedy in their act, but it will be interesting to see where the Stevens-Question Mark relationship goes from here.)
-A commercial for Into the Fire on Fite TV aired.
-The show returned to Galli backstage who talked about the two out of three falls match for the NWA Heavyweight Title at Into the Fire. Galli said both champion Nick Aldis and challenger James Storm would get to pick their own referee for the first two falls. He added that if a third fall was necessary, a coin flip would determine which of those referees would handle officiate. Galli threw to footage of James Storm who said Into the Fire would be live and there would no way to edit what happens. He expressed anger over a controversial finish at an NWA house show, and over the fact he was not booked for the first episode of Power. Previously unaired footage was shown of Storm winning a number one contender match for the Heavyweight title against Ken Anderson and Eli Drake. Storm said he should have been the number one contender from the beginning and that Aldis was avoiding him. He said he called NWA lead official Brian Hebner and asked if he could trust him. Hebner said he could be trusted and accepted Storm’s offer as his chosen referee. Storm concluded by saying if Aldis’ referee screwed him in any way, Into the Fire “would seem like a baby’s playground compared to what he would put him through”.
(Taylor’s Analysis: Storm always comes off as trying to sound controversial and edgy in his promos, but often misses the mark. It wasn’t a bad promo by any means but felt aimless and convoluted. His choice of a referee was a disappointment. What drama does this add to the match? Hebner is already an appointed official, not an outsider.)
-A vignette aired for The Question Mark. Question Mark was seen walking around various locations such as a city street and a fan convention. While the footage played a narrator talked about Question Mark’s love of the people and said, “the answer would be coming soon.”
-The show returned with footage of the Wresltecade SuperShow. Nick Aldis was shown confronting The Great Muta.
-Back in the studio, Dave Marquez introduced Melina who entered to some cheers. Melina said the women of NWA were “merely a commercial break” and that she had been through hell and back throughout her career. She said she brings the best out of people because that’s what a champion does. She turned her attention to NWA women’s champion Allysin Kay who quickly interrupted her. Kay said Melina had no idea what she started. She said Melina was afraid to fight her own battles and then challenged her to a fight right now. Kay entered the ring but was attacked by Marti Belle from behind. Thunder Rosa ran to the ring and attacked Kay. Melina, Rosa, and Belle stood over Kay as she writhed in pain on the mat.
(Taylor’s Analysis: The was a huge improvement over last week’s interview with Melina. She should be kept to shorter segments until she gets better at improvised promos.)
-A commercial for Tony Starks “Waffles and Tire Irons” aired.
-A pre-taped interview with The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express aired. Ricky Morton said their whole lives were based on professional wrestling and that another shot at the NWA tag titles was a dream come true.
-Footage of Nick Aldis was shown. Aldis started by addressing the unaired number one contender match that James Storm won. He said the match was not acknowledged because Storm didn’t belong in the match the first place, and that the only reason Storm was put in the match was because he threw a fit and backed management into a corner. Aldis sternly said, “James, we ain’t in TNA anymore”. Despite this, Aldis said he asked management to face Storm at Into the Fire so he could “drown the squeaky wheel in grease”. He announced that former NWA Heavyweight Champion Tim Storm would be his selected referee. His attention turned to Kamille and Aldis said their relationship was strained due to the constant questioning from announcers and NWA officials. He concluded by saying that at Into the Fire, Kamille would have the night off to ensure that there was no controversy during the match.
(Taylor’s Analysis: Aldis’ delivery was slow and measured, as he was letting his heel side dominate his words. The choice of Tim Storm adds the drama the match needs now that this referee stipulation is in place.)
-A Flag Under 14 commercial aired, raising awareness for childhood CTE from contact sports.
-The show returned with The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express entering the ring to loud cheers. The Wild Cards entered to boos, and the crowd started a “One more time!” chant.
(2) THE WILD CARDS vs. THE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL EXPRESS – NWA Tag Team Title match
Formal ring introductions took place and the bell rang. A “Rock and Roll!” chant broke out. The match started with Tom Latimer and Ricky Morton. Latimer cinched in a headlock then knocked Morton down with a shoulder tackle. Robert Gibson tagged in and they hit tandem offense on Latimer. From there, Gibson knocked Latimer to the mat and punched Royce Issacs off the ring apron. Issacs tagged in and dodged a charging Robert Gibson who went shoulder-first into the ring post. The Wild Cards kept control with frequent tags and targeted Gibson’s shoulder. Gibson created separation and made a hot tag to Morton who rallied and cleaned house. Morton and Gibson hit a double dropkick for a two count. Chaos ensued as the Wild Card attempted tandem offense on Gibson. Morton interrupted the moved and rolled Issacs up from behind for the win. After the match, Jim Cornette left the commentary booth and celebrated with the new champions.
WINNERS: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express to capture the NWA Tag Team Titles.
(Taylor’s Analysis: While this was certainly a feel-good moment for the crowd, it wasn’t the right move. This was the perfect opportunity to establish The Wild Cards as ruthless, dominant heels Instead, they lost decisively to a team almost twice their age. The active members of the NWA roster should never be sacrificed for the sake of nostalgia.)
-The camera returned to Joe Galli who thanked Jim Cornette for his time with the NWA. He turned his attention to Into the Fire and said a tag title rematch between The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express and The Wild Cards would take place. He ran down the rest of the card and threw to another pre-taped interview with Nick Aldis. Aldis announced that Stu Bennett would be joining the NWA broadcast team as Jim Cornette’s replacement. The ending credits began, and the show ended.
FINAL THOUGHTS: While it wasn’t overly drawn out, the on-air “thank you” to Jim Cornette was not a good look. Briefly thanking Cornette for his time in the NWA in a press release is one thing, but his name shouldn’t be associated with the show anymore. While there were some questionable booking decisions, this was an improvement over last week’s show. The card for Into the Fire has taken shape effectively and the addition of Stu Bennett on commentary adds intrigue to the show going forward.