1/21 NWA POWER TV REPORT: Nick Aldis vs. Ricky Morton, Thunder Rosa vs. Tasha Steelz, Trevor Murdoch vs. Tom Latimer, Marti Belle vs. Allysin Kay, Last Chance Gauntlet

By Michael Taylor, PWTorch contributor



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NWA POWER TV REPORT
JANUARY 21, 2020
ATLANTA, GA AT GPB STUDIOS
REPORT BY MICHAEL TAYLOR, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Announcers: Stu Bennett, Joe Galli

-The show opened with highlights of Nick Aldis challenging Ricky Morton to a Team Aldis vs. Team Morton six-man tag match. The highlights ended with Team Morton celebrating their victory which guaranteed Ricky Morton a shot at Nick Aldis and the NWA Heavyweight title. “Into the Fire” began as did the Power intro video. The camera entered the studio and panned the audience before landing on the announcers. Galli called this episode the “NWA super-show” as they headed into the Hard Times pay-per-view. Stu Bennett threw to Dave Marquez.

-In the interview booth, Marquez introduced Robert Gibson who entered to cheers. He asked Gibson what Morton’s title shot meant to him. Gibson said the match “felt like a Christmas present” and that he was Ricky’s number one fan. He rallied the fans to get behind Morton and the camera turned to the ring. Tasha Steelz made her ring entrance, followed by Thunder Rosa.

 (1) TASHA STEELZ vs. THUNDER ROSA 

-Before the bell, the crowd started a “Thunder Rosa!” chant. The bell rang, and the match began at a quick pace. Rosa knocked Steelz to the mat and kicked her into the corner. Steelz created separation, but Rosa charged and hit a running knee. From there, Rosa cinched in a reverse headlock. A dueling chant of “Let’s go Tasha!” and “Let’s go Rosa!” started. Rosa hit a neck breaker and whipped Steelz into the corner. Steelz countered a charging Rosa and attempted a dive from the second rope. Rosa countered steels and hit a modified pile driver for the win. After the match, Marquez asked Rosa what Melina’s plans were for the evening. Rosa said he should ask Melina because she was the only one who knew.

WINNER: Thunder Rosa via pinfall

(Taylor’s Analysis: While this wasn’t a complete squash, Rosa looked dominant which is exactly how she should be presented. Steelz shows promise in the ring but needs more experience before she can be a credible babyface.)

A pre-taped interview with Nick Aldis aired. He said Marty Scurll was just announced for the January 26th Power tapings. Aldis said Scurll went over his head to get into the NWA, but that he also had a surprise of his own. Aldis said he would be showing up at Ring of Honor’s Free Enterprise event in Baltimore. He rallied all NWA fans to show up wearing NWA colors to make sure the world knew Baltimore was NWA territory. He pointed fans to the Ring of Honor website, noting the tickets were free.

(Taylor’s Analysis: Promoting this event in the middle of a heel promo felt corny and contrived. The partnership between NWA and ROH can be fruitful, but this should have been presented differently. Why would Nick Aldis care if NWA fans are at an ROH show? Why would he care about declaring Baltimore as NWA territory?)

-The show returned to the studio with Joe Galli in the interview booth. He introduced Royce Issacs and Mae Valentine. Galli asked Issacs how Aldis had been preparing for the match with Morton. Issacs said Aldis was doing great as was Strictly Business as a whole. Galli pointed out that Issacs was on a losing streak, and said the losing streak began when Valentine started joining Issacs at ringside. Issacs asked if Galli was implying that the reason he was losing was that he and Mae hadn’t slept together yet. Valentine took the mike and said there was “nothing wrong with being pure or making your man wait.” She said Issacs would “always be a winner to her” and they both walked to the back.

-A commercial for Austin Idol’s wrestling school aired.

-The show returned with Tom Latimer making his ring entrance to boos from the audience. Trevor Murdoch entered to cheers.

(2) TOM LATIMER vs. TREVOR MURDOCH – NWA TV Title qualifying match 

The bell was about to ring when Latimer attacked Murdoch. The match officially began, and Latimer punished Murdoch with strikes. The announcers emphasized the 6:05 time limit. Latimer hit a running clothesline which caused Murdoch to retreat to the outside. They brawled around ringside and a “Trevor!” chant broke out. Back in the ring, Latimer hit a pop-up powerbomb for a two count. Eventually, Murdoch dodged a charging Latimer and rolled him up from behind for the win.

WINNER: Trevor Murdoch via pinfall

-A replay of Melina’s challenge to NWA Women’s champion Allysin Kay aired.

-A commercial for NWA.com aired.

-The show returned with Joe Galli interviewing both Allysin Kay and Melina. Melina said she wanted to make sure there were no further miscommunications between her and Kay. Kay began interrupting Melina. Melina responded by saying “I take as long as I want to take, so you just stand there and f*ckin’ listen.” The crowd was shocked, as were Kay and Galli. Melina said Kay was itching to get at someone from her “family”. Kay said she wanted Melina in a match tonight as Melina promised last week. Melina said Kay wasn’t ready for that, but Kay would be facing Thunder Rosa for the Women’s title. Kay insisted the match happen right away, but Melina said the match would be taking place at Hard Times. Melina said before Hard Times, Kay would face Marti Belle in a no DQ match. Kay accepted and told Melina she wouldn’t be able to dodge her forever. Kay mockingly kissed Melina on the lips and walked to the ring.

(Taylor’s Analysis: This felt spontaneous and real. Sometimes, Melina sounds completely lost on the mike. Other times, like this one, she’s great at sounding like a petty, arrogant heel. A short, but compelling segment.)  

-A commercial for NWA tapings aired.

-The show returned with Belle and Kay already in the ring,

(3) ALLYSIN KAY (CHAMPION) vs. MARTI BELLE – Non-title, no DQ match 

The bell rang, and they charged at each other. Belle took the early advantage with strikes. She backed Kay into the corner and stomped her. Kay responded with a running kick, and Belle retreated to the outside. They brawled around ringside until Belle slammed Kay into the ring steps. Belle grabbed a steel chair from the back and hit Kay in the midsection. Belle set the chair up and forced Kay’s head through the opening. With Kay’s head in the chair, Belle cinched in a modified camel clutch. Belle broke the hold and sat Kay upright in the chair. Kay dodged a charging Belle, causing Belle to go knee first into the chair. They brawled up the steps into the audience. Back in the ring, Kay threatened Belle with the chair, but Belle pleaded with her to drop it. Kay dropped the chair and slammed Belle face-first on it for the win.

WINNER: Allysin Kay via pinfall

(Taylor’s Analysis: Belle came across as a sadistic, believable heel throughout the match which is a step in the right direction for her. I don’t understand the logic of Kay needing to beat an opponent in order to defend her title against a challenger hand-picked by Melina. The match between Kay and Rosa for the title feels like it’s happening too early in this story, but it’s still an intriguing direction.)

-Highlights of the saga between Nick Aldis and Ricky Morton aired.

-A parody commercial for the Spiritual Advisor Self-Hypnosis VHS collection aired.

-The show returned with Marquez interviewing Pope and Eddie Kingston. Marquez called last week’s loss “tough.” Pope said he didn’t lose and that he puts people in a position to succeed. Pope said he was still “searching for his superpowers” and when he gathered them, he would “bring change to the NWA.” Marquez said he questioned Kingston and Homicide’s future. Kingston said Marquez shouldn’t question anything about them. He said he knew he and Homicide shouldn’t have had the match last week, but Pope pushed them to do it. Kingston said he wasn’t there to blame anyone, and they should have won. Marquez asked if Kingston would be taking Homicide’s place in the Last Chance Gauntlet. Kingston said Homicide was his “blood” and he wouldn’t be taking his place.

(Taylor’s Analysis: This was unfocused and confusing. I’m not sure what Pope was trying to get across. Kingston looked bored and uninterested as Pope was talking, which isn’t a good look if Pope eventually goes on to manage him.)

-A commercial for NWA.com aired.

-The show returned, and Stu Bennett announced that Kyle Davis would be filling in for Joe Galli on commentary as Galli “attended to business”. Bennett threw to Marquez in the interview booth with Aron Stevens.

-Marquez asked what Stevens was doing there. Stevens stood on a platform and took the mike. He said he would be performing a Mongrovian self-defense seminar and introduced The Question Mark. Question Mark entered the studio through the audience to cheers. Question Mark stood in the ring with two masked “students” holding the Mongrovian flag. Question Mark performed various Karate techniques as Stevens described them from the interview booth. The students and Question Mark sparred in the ring with Question Mark getting them better of them each time. The crowd applauded each demonstration. Stevens called for both students to attack at once. Question Mark knocked them both down with ease. The students stood and held a wooden board. Before Question Mark could break it, Stevens stopped him and said he was “ready for the fourth degree of Mongrovian Karate.” Stevens entered the ring and prepared himself to break the board, but one of the students attacked him with it. The student pulled off his mask and revealed himself to be Ricky Starks. Question Mark and Stevens retreated to the back. Starks took the mike and said, “Ricky Starks never, ever forgets.”

(Taylor’s Analysis: This segment went on about 5 minutes too long. Why would Starks care to attack Question Mark and Stevens at this point? He’s involved in a completely different title picture.) 

-A parody commercial for Tony Faulk’s Waffles and Tire Irons aired.

-The show returned with CW Anderson making his ring entrance, followed by Caleb Konley.

(4) NWA TV TITLE LAST CHANCE GAUNTLET 

A new participant enters every two minutes. Elimination occurs when thrown over the top rope, by pinfall, or submission.

The bell rang, and they traded holds on the mat. Both men returned to their feet, and Konley wrestled Anderson to the mat. Jocephus entered the ring but was thrown over the top rope by both Konley and Anderson. Anderson hit a superplex as Colt Cabana entered the ring. Cabana hit a springboard cross-body on both men. He hit a bionic elbow on Konley for a two count. Anderson hit a running clothesline on Cabana for a two count. Dave Dawson entered the ring and attacked all three men in the corner. He splashed Konley for a two count. Dawson hit a fall-away slam on Konley as Aron Stevens entered the ring. Stevens hid underneath the ring as Zicky Dice entered the interview both and took the mike. He called himself the future Television champion and that he wouldn’t be participating in the gauntlet. The crowd booed as Dice returned to the back.

-Sal Rinauro entered the ring hit a stunner on Anderson. Dawson dropkicked Rinauro and scored a two count. Konley hit a moonsault on Dawson and all participants pinned Dawson at once. Ken Anderson entered the ring and hit a flurry of offense on everyone except Cabana. He planted Rinauro face-first in the mat and pinned him. Ken Anderson did the same to Konley and eliminated him. Cabana and Ken Anderson double-teamed CW Anderson and pinned him. Question Mark stood on the apron as Stevens came out from under the ring and attacked Cabana and Anderson. Question Mark hit Stevens with the Mongrovian Spike by accident which allowed Anderson and Cabana to throw him over the top rope. From there, Anderson rolled Cabana up from behind and pinned him for the win. After the match, Anderson attacked Cabana and threw him face-first into the ring post. Anderson returned to the back as the crowd booed.

WINNER: Ken Anderson via pinfall

(Taylor’s Analysis: Was this an attempt to capitalize on Royal Rumble season? The addition of the pinfall eliminations made the whole match even more confusing. Cementing Anderson as a heel was the right move, but it came after a drawn-out, over-complicated, battle royal. The heat of the heel turn was diminished and wasted.)

-A video package for Hard Times aired.

-The show returned with Eli Drake and Tim Storm in the interview booth. Marquez asked Drake what he thought about the main event. Drake said they could have lightning in a bottle in their hands and Morton could become the new Heavyweight champion. Storm said Morton made him want to become a tag team wrestler. He said Morton showed him that the underdog can always win. Storm said Morton was in the back “hopped up on Mountain Dew”. He rallied the crowd behind Morton and asked them to stand and pray. He asked for God to give Ricky Morton the strength to beat Aldis. Drake said Aldis was complaining about the politics he first encountered when first coming to wrestle in America, but that he was glad Aldis stayed so that they give him an “American ass-whipping” for the rest of his life. Storm concluded by saying his signature “sorry about your damn luck” catchphrase.

-A commercial for NWA tapings aired.

– “Breaking News” flashed on the screen and Joe Galli announced the two mystery entrants in the NWA TV title tournament. He said Matt Cross would be taking on Ricky Starks. The camera cut to Quinn McKay with Ring of Honor who Dan Maff would be facing Zicky Dice. She introduced Maff who ran down a list of former NWA TV title champions. He said everyone in the tournament should heed his warning and that he would be the next TV champion. Galli threw to an interview with Flip Gordon. Gordon said Aldis came into his house, so he would return the favor. He said Scurll took him under his wing and that he was not the same person he was years ago. Galli said if Morton did not win the title against Aldis, The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express would defend the NWA Tag titles against both The Wild Cards and Drake and Storm at Hard Times. He concluded by saying Aron Stevens would be defending the NWA National Heavyweight title against Scott Steiner, also at Hard Times.

(Taylor’s Analysis: A random title match between Stevens and Steiner. This really hurts the prestige of all the titles in the NWA. Steiner did nothing to earn this match.)

-The camera entered the studio and Galli was back on commentary alongside Stu Bennett and NWA president William Patrick Corgan. Corgan said he was there to witness history and that he was proud of the main event. Ricky Morton made his ring entrance with Robert Gibson, followed by Nick Aldis and Strictly Business.

(5) NICK ALDIS (CHAMPION) vs. RICKY MORTON, NWA Heavyweight title match

Formal ring introductions took place. On commentary, Corgan asked for his mike to be muted and whispered something into Stu Bennett’s ear. Bennett grabbed a mike and said Corgan banned all seconds from the ringside area. Strictly Business protested as security escorted them to the back. Corgan said he wanted a pure finish and the bell rang. Aldis retreated to the outside and taunted the crowd. Eventually, Aldis entered the ring and they locked up. The crowd rallied behind Morton as he cinched in a headlock. Aldis tried to break the hold with a suplex, but Morton held on to Aldis and wrestled him to the mat. From there, Aldis broke the hold and returned to his feet. He challenged Morton to a test of strength and tried to blindside Morton with an armbar. Morton pushed Aldis into the corner and punched him ten times. Aldis retreated to the outside and stalled at ringside. Morton left the ring and they brawled around the ring. Aldis took control by slamming Morton spine-first into the ring post. Back in the ring, Aldis continued to punish Morton’s back by throwing him into the turnbuckle. Aldis scaled the top rope and attempted a diving ax handle, but Morton countered with a strike to the mid-section. After raking Morton’s eyes, Aldis scaled the ropes again. Morton threw Aldis to the mat and hit a hurricanrana for a two count. With Aldis on the mat, Morton cinched in a figure four leg lock. Aldis broke the hold and both men stood. Aldis surprised Morton with a small package for the win. After the match, a graphic took over the screen which read “Hard Times are here, Nick. See you Friday.” Images of Marty Scurll flashed behind the graphic as the show ended.

WINNER: Nick Aldis via pinfall

(Taylor’s Analysis: This was a bad match and a bad visual representation of the NWA Heavyweight title picture. It isn’t at all believable to see Aldis over-selling Morton’s limited offense. The crowd was invested in Morton and he is very valuable to the show. He really needs to be used in a different capacity than this, however.)   

FINAL THOUGHTS: The build to Hard Times has been cluttered, chaotic, and at times, confusing. There is, however, a lot of established feuds and several intriguing storyline possibilities heading into and out of the show. Power needs to be more focused going forward. Establish who the title challengers will be ahead of time and build to those matches with discipline. Stop forcing wrestlers into title matches they don’t belong in. The booking should match the traditional pro-wrestling atheistic of the show.


CATCH UP… 1/14 NWA POWER TV REPORT: Scott Steiner & Wild Cards vs. Team Morton, Melina vs. Ashley Vox, Aron Stevens & Question Mark vs. Outlaw Inc., Dawson vs. Dawson

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