In this episode of Wrestling Night in America, PWTorch columnist Greg Parks breaks down both nights of WrestleMania with callers and emailers. Topics include the quality of the Firefly Funhouse match, the decision to put Charlotte over Rhea Ripley, the potential of wrestlers getting more creative freedom in the current environment, and more.
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•TIM STORM W/ MARQUEZ – MISS: Well, this was a strange opening segment. Tim Storm is usually great at kicking off the show, standing at the podium, talking to the NWA family and putting us over as cousins on his journey in wrestling. That wasn’t this. This was just a weird segment. Tim puts over Latimer and Strictly Business and says he’ll continue fighting on whether he’s with them or not… Uh, Tim, what? You’re the babyface. These dudes have been picking at you for months! Why would you be fighting with them ever?! Puts over Latimer and confirms he ain’t quitting yet.
Things get a little crazier because Thom Latimer comes out just to call Tim old news and walks off and while Tim is searching for fake Mama Storm, Danny Deals comes out in the world’s worst suit jacket. After some back and forth, Danny offers a deal of a handpicked tag partner for Tim or a match against the same person. Tim mostly just wants to fight Danny, so he strikes a deal, and I don’t know if this is better or worse than the one Aldis and Scurll came to. Tim has to beat Danny’s guy and if he does, Danny will give Tim five minutes to kick his butt BUT if Tim loses, Tim has to make sure to get the guy a contract with NWA. Who’s the guy? Former NWA Champ, Jax Dane!
I liked the reveal of Jax Dane, especially considering the history over the NWA Title the two have, but this was so convoluted and contrived to get there that it just felt too long and unnecessary. Latimer wasn’t needed; Tim’s promo wasn’t focused; we only know Danny Deals from High Spots ads on Power; this whole segment was like a wet fart in church.
•NIKITA KOLOFF’S MAN CAMP! – HIT: I don’t know why, but I liked this ad much better than the first but probably because I already know Nikita Koloff is out here trying to win souls for the Christ. But also, yall, this ad was just great. He’s got a 40 acre MAN CAMP where yall can hang out with Nikita and his deacon or bishop or Cardinal, I forgot whatever term he used, co-founder, Lex Luger! Anything to forget and move on from what happened with Li-ya know, let’s not bring that up.
•MATT CROSS VS. ZICKY DICE VS RICKY STARKS – HIT! I’d first like to say I never want to see Ricky Starks and Matt Cross wrestle ever again. Three times in five weeks or so is WWE territory. I don’t need this to become the new Roman vs Baron. This match was the Zicky Dice show and I was so here for it. Here’s how committed to the gimmick and bit he is- he’s billed from Cocoa Beach, FL! Cheesy gimmicks like Johnny Polo, Scotty Flamingo, Barry Horowitz, Dolph Ziggler, they’re all from beach towns in Florida. Hearing Zicky hails from Cocoa tickled me. He’s decked out in a bandana, fanny pack, those wonder-awful trunks, he’s just so great.
The match, I mean, whatever, it happened but it was all Zicky Dice being a star. He knew how to pick his spots to come in for pin attempts and get out of dodge. Matt Cross was poised to win after hitting a shooting star press, but Zicky came roaring in, threw Cross out the ring and covered Starks for the 1-2-3! OUTLANDISH!
MAY VALENTINE DIARY – 50.1 % HIT – Don’t get me wrong! This was TERRIBLE! TERRIBLE! I don’t know why this is a segment. She has such a monotone voice and delivery and she always seems mildly sedated. That said, I did giggle a few times. She did makeup for Sal Rinauro, and if you thought Sal couldn’t look worse? You’re right. The makeup and pig tails were a huge improvement! We also found out she has no idea, kayfabe, who RNR Express are and that when Royce won two weeks ago, he professed his love to her. For some reason, that makes me laugh just typing that. This is pure trainwreck, but this time, the trainwreck was passable.
•SHOOTER STEVENS W/ GALLI – HIT: Shooter was at his best here. He dodged all of Galli’s questions about being a fighting champion and him running from matches and retaining his title in his TWO title defenses cheaply. None of this fazed Shooter though as he hung in there and slung his extra-long third degree black belt around Galli’s shoulder. Question Mark eventually came out and did his whole KAH-RAH-TAY thing but Shooter was the star here. He was able to be funny without being hammy and that’s how I like Shooter.
•QUESTION MARK VS. TREVOR MURDOCH – MISS: Add this to the Matt Cross-Ricky Starks list of matches I don’t want to ever see again. Luckily this was short as Question Mark went in for the Mongrovian Strike, missed, jammed his hand into the turnbuckle and ate a top rope bulldog from Murdoch for his second loss to Murdoch. Question Mark, as a wrestler, is done. He has no staying power and it’s time to get him out of the paint for good. He may be over as a gimmick, but there’s no there there. The good from this match though was after the bell, Shooter Stevens and Question Mark ganged up on a downed Murdoch, and Shooter sat in the corner pummeling Murdoch in the head with back elbows. When Stevens is aggressive in the ring and shows that mean streak, it’s always great, but not great enough to save this segment and match.
•NICK ALDIS W/ MOONEY – HIT: Aldis is money, he looks like money, and he probably is the one guaranteed thing that draws money for NWA. He asserted himself as top dog of the NWA and asks who’s pulling the NWA wagon? It ain’t trickle down economics, it’s Nick-le down economics! That’s a dang good line and the crowd is popping for him hard. Aldis gave Marty Scurll a last chance to back out of the match but he just has to admit that Nick is the better wrestler, but rather than back out, Marty babyfaces here and says let’s fight here and now. I hate when wrestlers do this. Major title fights are for paid shows; we have been conditioned to this fact for decades but every few weeks, we have to get the babyface saying let’s do this right here, right now! It’s vapid and a waste of breath. Aldis though, being the smart one he is, asks Marty repeatedly if he wants to fight tonight and after each one, a Wild Card comes out to emphasize that Marty doesn’t have the numbers- but he does have backup! Brody King came down through the crowd and we got pandemonium to close the segment.
I liked this as a whole because it keeps this match hot while adding a layer with another member from Villain Enterprises. I do wonder though if PCO will show up because that wouldn’t look good for Marty to be fighting for a world title while his own stablemate is right there with a world title. I’ll say this though, Marty Scurll needs to hold up his end on the mic and do some more promos or vignettes to send to Power because Nick Aldis is doing ALL the heavy lifting, reaffirming, that for me, he’s the babyface in this feud.
•EDDIE KINGSTON W/ MARQUEZ – MISS: I love everything Eddie Kingston does. He’s out here taping his fists, indicating he wants to fight. He has a little comedic quip with Dave Marquez that continues to humanize him. He’s looking dead into the camera and calling out Pope. Eddie is the 2020 babyface we all need and want; he’s the babyface we wish Kevin Owens was and will never be in the land of Vince. Eddie worked his butt off in this segment and made it look easy…
And then came Pope.
I’m starting to understand that Pope is Deion Sanders, who is Ric Flair, who is Muhammad Ali, but unfortunately he’s not a convincing one or entertaining one. He talks loud but doesn’t draw a crowd and most of what he says is rambling and unintelligible, to me at least. Saying that publicly hurts me personally, because as a black person, I never want to draw attention to another black person and how they speak, but I was listening closely and couldn’t figure out what in the heck he was talking about! And then when the Bouncers come out to support Kingston, I reckon Pope said something that would allude to the shock turn as the Bouncers then beat up Kingston! That could have been a big moment if I understood anything Pope said!
And this is my most important question. What is the point of this program? What is the endgame? Kingston beats up Pope eventually and then moves on? And are the Dawsons and now the Bouncers the Four Horsemen Pope has been looking for? What is any of this crap?! Eddie Kingston deserves more than this. He could go to AEW today and be right next to Cody as the most personable babyface.
•TWO MINUTES W/ MOONEY – HIT: He explained the 500k amount for the stakes in the Aldis-Scurll match (Aldis said the revenue for being champ is that much), so I feel better knowing that wasn’t a random number. Rock and Roll Express are the first team to declare for the Crockett Cup. Next week, Zicky vs Ricky for the TV Title and the Bouncers vs Drake and Storm for the Tag Titles. Quick but effective as always, Sean.
•NWA WORLD WOMEN’S TITLE: MELINA VS. THUNDER ROSA (C) – NEUTRAL: I never expected a match with a finish here, and when I see the clock said 6:46 EST and Marquez said 30 minute time limit, I knew this was definitely going to be five minutes or less but I didn’t know how.
Not only was this less than five minutes, it was less than two probably as all that happened was Melina gestured and spoke to Rosa but we didn’t hear it. I’m imagining she said lay down for me so I can win? No idea. Rosa wanted to fight and Melina instead settled for a countout as she walked up the stairs through the crowd. Another wet fart in church on this show.
Then things picked up a little. Allysin Kay is at the top of the stairs and chases Melina back to the floor and slugs her and tosses her in the ring. Kay is poised to assault Melina some more but Kamille comes through with a HUGE spear. When it comes to spears, there’s now Kamille and everyone else. I don’t know what will happen with Melina and Rosa now, but I’m all for seeing Kamille and Rosa and really I’ve been waiting for this one a good minute now. Kamille has the position to be the top heel for the women’s roster and Thunder Rosa is the top babyface (in the making, still), so this is a match I need and want. If this is at Crockett Cup, I’d rather this close the show because this could really be built up into a great program.
•OVERALL – MISS: NWA Power, for being 50-65 minutes every week, has begun to feel a bit like a slog every week. I don’t know who is booking shows but they throw so much at us every week without really resolving other issues or clearly advancing stories, I feel like I don’t really ever know what to expect the next week. Take Tim Storm, for example. He’s got issues with Aldis. He’s got issues with Latimer. He’s now got issues with Danny Deals and Jax Dane. I don’t feel like they’ve ever thoroughly closed the Latimer story, and it was just a one shot! I could argue the Aldis one is closed, but they bring it up every time Tim does anything! Thunder Rosa has her rivalry with Kay, now has this rivalry with Melina, but also has this rivalry with Kamille on the horizon. CLOSE A CHAPTER BEFORE WRITING THE NEXT ONE, PLEASE! Outside of Zicky Dice and Thunder Rosa as a whole, oh and Nick Aldis, I find a lot of Power to be much more miss than hit in season two and three. This was better than the Power from two weeks ago, but this still wasn’t a good show.