12/23 NWA POWER TV REPORT: Cabana vs. Question Mark in NWA TV Title qualifier, standout Tim Storm interview, plus Eli Drake, Nick Aldis, Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, James Storm

By Michael Taylor, PWTorch contributor


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

NWA POWER TV REPORT
DECEMBER 23, 2019
ATLANTA, GA. AT GPB STUDIOS
REPORT BY MICHAEL TAYLOR, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Announcers: Stu Bennett, Joe Galli

– The show opened with highlights of the end of the NWA Heavyweight Title match between Nick Aldis and James Storm. The highlights turned to the closing events of last week’s episode in which Aldis, The Wild Cards, and Kamille beat down Tim Storm in the ring. The newly formed faction celebrated as the highlights ended. “Into the Fire” began as did the Power intro video. In the studio, the camera panned the audience before landing on the announcers. Galli and Bennett called the closing events of last week’s episode “chaos” and threw to Dave Marquez.

-In the interview booth, Marquez interviewed Trevor Murdoch. Murdoch announced to the audience he officially signed a contract with NWA. The crowd cheered. Zicky Dice was standing alongside Marquez and interrupted the celebration. Dice said he was the future Television champion and demanded Murdoch show him respect. The interview was interrupted by the debut of The Pope who entered the studio to cheers. Pope said the NWA created change across the pro-wrestling landscape and mentioned several NWA legends that created change in the past. He said he was “searching for his horsemen” and said together, they would create a new trail across the pro-wrestling landscape. Dice asked Pope if he was the type of talent Pope was looking for. Pope ignored him and walked over to the commentary table.

(1) RICKY STARKS vs. EDDIE KINGSTON – NWA TV Title Qualifying Match

-The bell rang, and they locked up. Kingston knocked Starks to the mat with a tackle and cinched in a headlock. On commentary, Bennett asked if Kingston or Starks were the type of talent he was looking for. Pope didn’t answer but complemented both men. Starks hit a crossbody from the top rope for a two count. Both men returned to their feet and Kingston hit an overhead suplex for a two count. Starks responded with a sling blade and then hit a tornado DDT for a two count. Starks countered a charging Kingston and hit his Buster Keaton finisher for the win. After the match, Pope and Kingston briefly acknowledged each other at ringside.

WINNER: Ricky Starks via pinfall

(Taylor’s Analysis: Pope has great charisma on the microphone and should be effective in the managerial role. His stable recruitment is intriguing, as was his interaction with Kingston after the match. His debut overshadowed Murdoch’s contract announcement, however. This should have been separated into two different segments. Starks was correctly booked to win and seems like the favorite to win the tournament.)

-A commercial for NWA tapings aired, followed by a replay of Aldis and the Wildcards beating down Tim Storm.

-Back in the studio, Dave Marquez introduced Royce Issacs. Issacs entered with an unknown woman. Issacs introduced Mae Valentine and said she was the reason he was in a better mood. Marquez asked if Mae had any holiday plans. Mae asked Issacs if they had any plans and Issacs said their plans were their business. He then whispered something into Marquez’s ear. Marquez asked why Issacs would tell him something so personal. Issacs said it was time to talk about him and the crowd booed. He said he wanted to show off for his new girl and made an open challenge. James Storm walked out and accepted the challenge. Storm walked into the ring and Issacs slowly followed as the show cut to a commercial.

(2) ROYCE ISSACS vs. JAMES STORM

-Before the bell rang, Issacs stalled in the interview booth and ringside. He repeatedly asked Valentine for kisses and eventually a massage to help him warm-up. The crowd booed as Issacs walked around ringside. Storm left the ring and attacked Issacs and they brawled. Storm threw Issacs into the ring and the bell rang. He continued the beatdown and played to the crowd. Issacs retreated to the outside and left to the back with Valentine. Storm told the referee to speed up his ten count and encouraged the crowd to count with him. The bell rang again, and Storm was declared the winner.

WINNER: James Storm via count-out

(Taylor’s Analysis: I’m glad they are giving Issacs some character development so that he stands out from his tag partner, Latimer. He could be an effective, cowardly heel going forward. James Storm did not yell in his pre-match promo, which was a great change of pace.)

-A replay was shown of Stu Bennett announcing the return of the NWA Television title.

-Dave Marquez introduced Eli Drake who walked out with a nearly empty champagne bottle. Drake took the microphone from Marquez and played to the crowd with his signature “Yeah!” chant. He drunkenly announced that he had new goals for 2020. He said “goals” sounded like “gold” and the crowd cheered. He made the cameraman focus on his shoes and said they were the “shoes of a champion”. He pointed out his jacket and said it was “the shoes of a champion”. Drake laughed at his mistake and celebrated around ringside. Jocephus was shown at ringside in a Santa Claus costume alongside an unnamed woman dressed as Misses Claus. They sang “O, Come All Ye Faithful” and the crowd joined in. Drake continued to celebrate at ringside until he was interrupted by Nick Aldis, Kamille, and The Wild Cards.

-The faction entered the interview booth and Aldis wished Marquez a merry Christmas. He presented his faction members matching jackets. Marquez tried to ask Kamille a question but Aldis stopped him. He said all Kamille’s actions over the last several weeks were part of a master plan. Marquez asked Aldis about the comments made by Ricky Morton on last week’s episode. Aldis said he was the reason everyone was watching the show and then asked The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express to come out to the interview booth. They entered to cheers. Aldis asked Morton to clarify his comments. Morton said he was asked his opinion and he gave it honestly. He said Drake represents the greatest wrestling title in history. He continued by saying men like Dusty Rhodes, Harley Race, and The Rock ‘n’ Roll express built the NWA with their entire lives. He offered his hand to Aldis and apologized. Aldis shook his hand and said Morton should think carefully before he opened his mouth again.

(Taylor’s Analysis: This was one of the most bizarre segments on a wrestling show I have seen in quite some time. If Drake was acting drunk, he was doing a great job. I like that he is now fully defined as a babyface. I have no idea why his interview transitioned directly into Jocephus as Santa Claus. Furthermore, why did all of this come directly before a very serious Nick Aldis promo? It was a lot of fun, but the world champion should never follow a fun comedy segment so closely.)

-A commercial for Flag Under 14 aired.

-A replay of Thunder Rosa attacking Ashley Vox at Into the Fire aired, followed by a replay of the debut of ODB.

(3) MELINA & THUNDER ROSA & MARTI BELLE vs. ASHLEY VOX & ODB & ALLYSIN KAY

-Before the bell, the announcers said whoever won the fall would get a match against the opponent of their choosing from the opposing team. Galli interestingly called Rosa a “fan favorite” as she locked up with ODB. Kay tagged in but Rosa hit a neck breaker and tagged in Belle. Belle hit Samoan drop and tagged in Vox. Belle tagged in Melina. Vox rallied but Melina raked her eyes. Belle tagged back in a punished Vox’s arm. Eventually, Melina tagged back in and hit a DDT on Vox for a two count. From there, Vox created separation and tagged in Kay. Melina and Kay brawled before tagging in Rosa and ODB. Vox made a blind tag and hit a missile dropkick on Rosa. Chaos ensued as all women entered the ring and brawled. Vox locked in the real catch submission hold but was countered by Rosa. Rosa hit a modified shoulder breaker for the win. After the match, Marquez asked who Rosa’s choice of an opponent was. Before she could announce her decision, Melina interrupted her and said she chooses ODB. Rosa said, “I choose ODB, I guess” and the interview ended.

WINNERS: Melina & Thunder Rosa & Marie Belle

(Taylor’s Analysis: I hope they are not rushing a break-up between Rosa and Melina. Melina is great as the manipulative shot-caller of the group. Dissension among the two should play out over time.)

-A commercial for NWA tapings aired.

-Back in the studio, Tim Storm and The Dawsons stood in the interview booth with Dave Marquez. Marquez also introduced Anastasia Fleischer. Fleischer drew the next set of opponents in the TV title tournament. The names drawn were Tim Storm and Nick Aldis and the crowd cheered. Marquez turned his attention to Storm.

-Storm asked the crowd if he could get personal. He said Mama Storm turned 95 this week. A “Mama Storm!” chant broke out. Storm said his mother didn’t retire until she as 78 years old. He said he got his work ethic from her. He said at 78 his mother had to have been tired and he got emotional. He said when his dad left, he took every penny with him. He said his mother said there were days she didn’t want to go to work, but she did because she had something left to prove. He then paraphrased Dusty Rhodes and did an impersonation of him. Storm said he might be a little bit old and his body might be a little broken down, but he’s bad and they know he’s bad. The audience stood up and cheered. Storm said he still had something to prove, and it would start with Nick Aldis.

(Taylor’s Analysis: There are very few words to describe how good this promo was. It was one of the best babyface promos I have seen in a long time. It added importance to the TV title tournament and established Tim Storm as one of the best talkers in the business right now. The passion, cadence, and word choice were impeccable.)

(4) COLT CABANA vs. THE QUESTION MARK – NWA TV Title Qualifying Match

-Formal introductions took place and the bell rang. Cabana hit a series of arm drags and Question Mark responded with a chop. Cabana wrestled Question Mark to the mat and scored a pinfall. On commentary, Bennett said Cabana had wrestled all over the world, except Mongrovia, the home country of Question Mark. Both men traded strikes until Cabana hit a running elbow. Cabana hit a splash from the second rope for a two count. Both men returned to their feet and Cabana hit another running elbow. Cabana tried to hit another dive from the top rope, but Question Mark countered with the Mongrovian Spike for the win. After the match, Aron Stevens and Question Mark talked about their title aspirations. He said eventually, they would have all the belts because they had the power of karate. “Into the Fire” played and the show ended.

WINNER: The Question Mark via pinfall

(Taylor’s Analysis: Question Mark is one of, if not the most popular wrestler in the NWA right now. This was the right decision. Cabana can come back from this loss and get back the title hunt soon.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: Can you imagine how over Roman Reigns would be if he could cut a promo like Tim Storm did tonight? Wrestling, in general, would be in a better place if it featured more authentic, believable promos like that one. I don’t care if Tim Storm isn’t the best “in-ring performer.” I don’t care that he has a limited move set. I want to see him succeed based on his ability to get me to care about the outcomes of his matches. The rest of the show was far more focused than last week with logical storyline and character development. It was a return to form and a very effective hour of pro wrestling.


CATCH UP… 12/17 NWA POWER TV REPORT: Stu Bennett on color commentary, Marty Scurll sitdown interview, Eli Drake vs. Ken Anderson, Wild Cards vs. Dawson, Storm post-match interview from Into the Fire, Rock & Roll Express squash

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