NWA HITS & MISSES 12/17: Aron Stevens, Colt Cabana, Question Mark, C.W. Anderson, Rock & Roll Express

By J.R. Harris, PWTorch contributor


OPENING MONTAGE – HIT: It’s a bit jarring to not see the thread of Kamille and her saga as our intro into tonight’s Power but it’s a new season as well. This was a short lead-in that was simple and effective. Nick Aldis, after his tainted victory at Into the Fire, said there’s not a man alive who can take his title and here comes Marty Scurll. That’s a big deal and you can tell because of the shot where both men are in the ring, all of the audience has their phones out to record and take pictures.

ARON STEVENS W/ QUESTION MARK with MARQUEZ; COLT CABANA TOO – MISS: How good it is to be annoyed by Aron Stevens again. Honestly, this segment was just odd. I don’t know what the point was or what the narrative is shifting to, and heck, if y’all know, please inform me. I was through very early when Stevens, dressed in karate gi, shoved his hand in his belt like Al Bundy sitting on the couch. Just a bad visual all around. He went nowhere fast by declaring himself a third degree black belt in Mongrovian karate and it only took three weeks and also declared himself third degree National Champ. Yes, Aron, because that means something. What a muppet. This segment was just bad and I can wrap it up with the camera shot of a guy in a Supreme toboggan who face wipes himself from boredom. I feel you, sir. I feel you. If there was a bright spot to this, it’s Aron Stevens saying “belt” instead of title maybe seven times. Somewhere, Vince McMahon felt that in his spine. Colt Cabana comes out and just basically says what we all know and think – Aron stinks and he’s only champ thanks to Question Mark. Yeah, this was a throwaway segment.

THUNDER ROSA AND MELINA; ASHLEY VOX; VILLAINOUS TRIO BACKSTAGE – NEUTRAL: Thunder Rosa, who stood by the curtain as Aron and Question Mark walked by her, came out to ringside and made the audience be quiet and stand for Melina, the legend! Remember when Melina said she was a legend after weeks of everyone else saying she was too? And remember Melina saying her making entrances a thing cements her as a legend? Yeah, still waiting for a good one, Melina.

Anywho, before the heels can do whatever they were going to do, Ashley Vox rushes them from behind but is quickly cut down to size and almost has her arm broken before Allysin Kay and ODB come out for the save. I mean, so far this is just a big spoonful of whatever.

It continued backstage as Melina wondered where Belle was but they told her somewhere in the day to stay away and then she gets mad at her for staying away. I mean, y’all, what am I supposed to do with this? Ya know what? Sorry, this is a MISS. I’ve convinced myself.

TV TITLE PRELIMINARY MATCH – ZICKY DICE VS. SAL RINAURO VS. C.W. ANDERSON – MISS: So this isn’t a proper Television Title match but a play-in into the real tournament. The good part of all of this is the Power matches will have a 6:05 time limit. That’s a cute detail. And it was also cool seeing CW Anderson again. And the rest was a bunch of nothing. I don’t know Zicky Dice, but he looks like Eddie Gilbert and Vinny Marseglia had a child. I like both of those guys. I don’t like Zicky Dice, but mostly because his name is Zicky Dice. The biggest drawback I’ve always had against taking Dolph Ziggler seriously was the name Dolph Ziggler. Zicky Dice makes Dolph Ziggler, as a name, sound like Johnny Saint. Not much to see here, Zicky beat not-CW-Anderson with a neckbreaker. Okay, that’s cool seeing a transition spot win a match. I’ll give it that.

ZICKY DICE POST-MATCH W/ MARQUEZ; DAWSONS – NEUTRAL: This is the hardest Hits and Misses I’ve had to write because so many things overlapped, and yet, so little of it felt special. In a nutshell, Zicky wants us to know he’s OUTLANDISH Zicky Dice, which now makes Dolph Ziggler, as a name, sound like American Dream Dusty Rhodes. Woof.

The Dawsons decided to interrupt this just to confirm that Cowboy Storm is right; there is a conspiracy afoot in the NWA; the Wild Cards promised them title shots and money but now they’re ducking the Dawsons. I mean, I guess? Wild Cards came out with chairs and send the Dawsons scrambling, but as a whole, this would have just been better as the Dawsons and Marquez. Why they chose to do a post-match with Zicky freaking Dice just to have the Dawsons come out? No idea. Maybe this was a miss, but I think it’s just there. I’ll stick with neutral.

SCURLL W/MARQUEZ, POST-INTO THE FIRE – HIT: Here was the footage we didn’t get due to the feed cutting off but it was pretty good. Marty said he was looking to catch people off-guard and shake up the industry a little bit. He wants to challenge for the real World’s Heavyweight Title and he had a taste of the NWA at the Crockett Cup and decided why not make the 10 pounds of gold his first top championship? The fact that Marty has been popular all around but has never been top champion just makes me wonder what the hell was ROH doing for so long?! This is definitely the feud for the January show, Hard Times, and the crowd was very into it.

ROCK & ROLL EXPRESS VS. ZACH MOSLEY & SEAN SIMS – MISS: I’ve reached diminishing returns with Morton and Gibson. It was cool seeing them win the titles from a super boring team like Wild Cards and it was a disasterpiece seeing them retain against Wild Cards. But I’m over it nonetheless.
Eddie Kingston was with Galli and Bennett on commentary, but beyond the pre-match chatter of Homicide maybe being injured, he didn’t do anything else because the match was maybe two minutes long. There was a dumb spot of sending the two ham-and-eggers into each other and stereo dropkicks and theen Galli and Bennett thanked Kingston and that was it. Another worthless segment.

There was a post-match at the podium with Joe Galli, but the only news of note was that Ricky Morton said Aldis has a long way to go until he’s mentioned with Flair and Race. To be fair, Galli did ask them if they felt Aldis was worthy of Mount Rushmore. So this is setting up something? I reckon the Wild Cards getting their belts back. Why do I connect those? Just wait.

WILD CARDS VS THE DAWSONS – MISS: I’m sorry, y’all, but for a fallout show and season premiere, I haven’t the slightest what anyone was thinking.

This was a match, to quote Todd Martin again. Wild Cards have traded in their ugly Uno card pants from Saturday in for uglier dull grey trunks with Uno cards on the butt. Wild Cards (which is another thing–are they The Wild Cards, Wild Cards or Wild Card because they’re called all three depending on who’s speaking) were the heelier of the two teams and isolated Zane Dawson and stomped his hand to pieces for heat. (The) Wild Card(s) won with a team DVD and we moved on.

I know the Dawsons said the Wild Cards were in on this conspiracy, but I guess we’ll never know because how can you talk if one of the two Dawsons has a broken hand. I just don’t know what to say about this.
This segment got even more silly when Long Hair and 70s Porn go over to Marquez for post-match. They say the Dawsons are liars, much like Santa is a liar. Totally non sequitur, y’all, totally n–oh never mind, because Jocephus came out as Santa and tossed things into the audience. Jocephus loves a costume, doesn’t he?

JAMES STORM BACKSTAGE, POST-INTO THE FIRE – HIT: Good stuff from Cowboy in the aftermath of losing to Aldis. He did get a little screamy towards the end, but I bought into it more as passion. He reiterated that the fix is in due to how his lost transpired with so many shenanigans, but he promised that he’s going to get back to title contention and when he does, he’s going to turn back to the old him. Clear, concise, to the point and with passion but without playing wrestler.

TV TITLE FIELD DRAW W/ MARQUEZ AND KOLOFF; RICKY STARKS AND NICK ALDIS – HIT: This was a difficult segment to write up because do I break it into two or not? To hell with it, let’s do it together. Nikita Koloff was introduced as a way to connect the old with the new and was to draw the names of the participants for next week’s tournament matches.

Our overall field is comprised of Ricky Starks, Caleb Konley, Colt Cabana, Trevor Murdoch (good pop), Long Hair Wild Card, Question Mark (huge pop), Eddie Kingston, Tim Storm, both Dawsons, and Nick Aldis. Yes, that’s right. The World Heavyweight Champ is in the field. Next week’s tournament matches will be Starks vs Kingston and Cabana vs Question Mark. Pretty decent pairings there.

Nick Aldis, and well, Ricky Starks too, for some reason, stay with Dave Marquez at the podium and Aldis explains why he’s in the tournament. He wants to be the first dual champ in NWA history. Y’all, ever since champ-champ hit UFC, that stuff is seeping into the fabric of combat sport everywhere. Aldis says he’s beaten everyone and there’s nothing left to do, so may as well try to be double champ. Ricky Starks took offense to that comment, but only visually. HE STOOD THERE THE ENTIRE TIME AND NEVER SAID ANYTHING. Aldis saved this segment, though. He was dressed to the nines, complete with an NWA Power logo kerchief in his suit, dressed down all the men in NWA, cut Ricky Starks down even more saying he’s very capable of making the finals–just to lose to Aldis, that is, and informs us that Kamille is fired and he’ll be requiring a team instead.

He also pretty much summed up Marty Scurll as a hanger-on; Aldis worked so hard for two years to get the NWA to where it is while all these peasants talked trash but now want handouts and put on the card. Aldis really leaned into his heel characteristics tonight and it worked.

MARTY SCURLL RINGSIDE W/ STU BENNETT – MISS: Remember that earlier bit of Marty after Into the Fire? He basically said all the same stuff.

MAIN EVENT, ELI DRAKE VS KEN ANDERSON – RELUCTANT HIT: Tim Storm was on commentary but mostly just to set up the post-match closing bit.

This match was set up with Drake, prior to the match, selling the throat injuries from Ken Anderson, speaking with a sore throat. He declared this to be a no disqualification match since they’ve already both blindsided each other; this time they’re going to just battle it out once and for all, I hope at least.
Not much to say about this as a match. Both are about even in skill, but Ken is still bloated and slow. They walked and brawled up the stairs to the top of the audience, which Stu Bennett called the rafters for some reason, and then back down after some kicks to heads and slams into walls. By the end of the walk-and-brawl, the two got back to the ring and before Ken Anderson could execute a Mic Check on the open chair again, Drake takes control of the situation, picks up the chair as a weapon but decides against using it and goes for the Gravy Train for the win. Finally clarity in these two as characters as it now seems definitive that Drake is the babyface and Anderson is the heel.

CLOSING SEGMENT – HIT, BUT ON A SCALE FOR TONIGHT: As Drake walked back from winning, Nick Aldis came out and got in the face of Tim Storm on commentary. You couldn’t ever hear anything Tim said but Nick was clear about keeping his name out of Storm’s mouth and Storm staying out of his business. Storm fires up and wants to fight in the ring and as the two best dressed in the NWA undress, Long Hair and 70s Porn attack Tim Storm. Kamille comes out, hot about being fired, pushes Aldis–and then hits Storm with a really nice spear. That football background really helped. This wasn’t the usual performative spear in pro wrestling, but this was a nice thudding thick-sounding hit.
It ends with Kamille and Long Hair making out, the four people posing in ring to heat and more kicks to Storm’s head from Aldis.

So that’s why I think the Wild Cards are getting their titles back: they took out one of the Dawsons’ hands and they’ve sided with Aldis, who Ricky Morton said wasn’t great.

OVERALL – HUGE MISS: I thought this show was a bunch of things thrown at us, and at best, had connections that you as a viewer have to find on your own because they’re not making them. The pairing of Wild Card with Aldis? I don’t know why they did that because Aldis is too good and too polished to run with those two losers. Kamille and Long Hair making out? Joe Galli screamed that he thought they were just friends, which makes me wonder what did I miss because I don’t remember that. That grotesque play-in match? Did nothing and wasn’t needed, even if it was to introduce Zicky Dice.

This was the fallout show from your first PPV of the Power era, and yet, there was so little connective tissue between the two, and a whole lot of bad segments also, that just made this a slog of a show to watch.

CATCH UP… NWA INTO THE FIRE PPV HITS & MISSES 12/14: Rock & Roll Express vs. The Wild Cards, Nick Aldis vs. James Storm, Eli Drake vs. Ken Anderson, Trevor Murdoch vs. Question Mark

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