This week’s edition of NWA Power focused less on the ‘Hard Times’ event coming up and centered around the story of Ricky Morton receiving a title shot on next week’s episode.
The show was structured around a six-man tag as Aldis would be represented by The Wild Cards and Scott Steiner against a team of Ricky Morton’s choosing that was kept a mystery until the match. If Morton’s team won, it would set up an NWA title match next week.
The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express were interviewed at the start of the show by David Marquez with Morton playing the greatest babyface. The best babyface promos in the industry today are routinely coming from Cody Rhodes, Rey Mysterio, Tim Storm, and Morton. Morton laid out the scenario for tonight’s main event and going for the title in 2020.
The brackets for the Television title tournament were revealed. There will be an eight-man tourney at ‘Hard Times’ following the qualifying matches on television with the following matches:
*Tim Storm vs. Zane/Dave Dawson winner
*Ricky Starks vs. An open slot (there will be two mystery opponents that aren’t on the roster)
*Zicky Dice vs. An open slot
*The Question Mark vs. Trevor Murdoch/Thom Latimer winner (taking place next week)
So, that’s seven matches alone scheduled for ‘Hard Times’.
Ricky Starks cut a promo on Zicky Dice and both are such great characters. Starks has been a breakout personality on this program and it’s clear that he has excelled in the promo department in front of a live audience.
DAVE DAWSON VS ZANE DAWSON IN THE NWA TELEVISION TITLE TOURNAMENT
Zane is working with a cast on his right wrist and would contribute to the ending when Zane used it as a weapon that the referee missed. This allowed Zane to pin Dave in 3:56 to set up his match with Tim Storm at the pay-per-view.
They had a brief brawl with Dave attacking the injured wrist until being hit with the cast.
Colt Cabana and Ken Anderson are going through communication issues and Cabana is trying to shoulder the blame for their recent lack of success. Anderson played the asshole to the person interviewing him and took issue with being labeled ‘bitter’.
ASHLEY VOX VS MELINA
Vox took the early part of the match and attempted a submission, which was countered, and Melina used her leg slicer to win in 3:09.
In-ring, Melina has not stood out in the few appearances she has had. Vox has a lot of fire, but no match overstays its welcome on this show and in some cases, that’s a benefit.
Joe Galli spoke with Melina and called out Allysin Kay. The NWA women’s champion was ready to fight her now, but Melina challenged her to a match next week.
They aired highlights of Nick Aldis showing up at Ring of Honor this past weekend and then he challenged Flip Gordon to a match at ‘Hard Times’. He told Gordon to bring anyone he wants.
The Pope was with Outlaw Inc. (Eddie Kingston & Homicide) as they got set for their match with Homicide wrestling through a shoulder injury that he insisted was fine.
ARON STEVENS & THE QUESTION MARK VS EDDIE KINGSTON & HOMICIDE
Stevens and The Question Mark had a masked student ringside holding the flag of Mongrovia.
Stevens took most of the match with Homicide in the ring and using his submission skillset. He hit Kingston with a cheap shot, and it ended with The Question Mark entering and nailing Homicide with the Mongrovian Spike and Stevens pinned him at 4:50.
The Pope was upset they lost.
He isn’t a major focus but there is a big babyface run in Eddie Kingston going for Nick Aldis and the title, but he’s on the backburner presently.
Strictly Business walked out as Nick Aldis explained when he came to the U.S., he was warned about the locker room politicians and Scott Steiner was one person that helped him and he’s reciprocating. Steiner cut a ‘Scott Steiner promo’ yelling about waking up pissed off every day, hating fat asses, calling the fans ‘rednecks’ and walked out with the NWA tag title belt calling the Steiners the greatest team and not the Rock ‘N’ Roll Express.
This was a great use of Scott to cut a promo, which makes this the perfect company for him in 2020. You certainly felt that Rick Steiner can’t be too far away after hearing that promo.
THOMAS LATIMER, ROYCE ISAACS & SCOTT STEINER VS ROBERT GIBSON, ELI DRAKE & TIM STORM
Ricky Morton and Nick Aldis were ringside with Drake and Storm revealed as the partners for Team Morton.
Eli Drake played the role of Morton for the entire match as he sold and sold and sold.
Steiner, who is now 57, didn’t hide during the match and hit a belly-to-belly onto Drake. He is completely bald and at a certain angle looks like a bigger version of Paul Ellering.
Gibson got the big hot tag, the others brawled on the floor, and Drake returned to nail Isaacs with a uranage set-up for a jawbreaker allowing Gibson to win with a roll-up at 9:16.
The audience went nuts for the win as it signals Aldis vs. Morton for the title next week.
Everything built to the finish of the six-man tag and this crowd made it feel special. The secret of NWA Power is multi-fold, but the audience is a big reason. They see the main players as real stars, which they are presented as, and they care about the babyfaces triumphing.
I can’t say ‘Hard Times’ feels like a can’t-miss event and I think most would be a letdown that Aldis is facing Flip Gordon unless there is some change in next week’s show.
The Television title tournament is there with Tim Storm being the focal point given he’s frozen out of the NWA title picture.
Next week’s episode features two title matches and the final opening-round match of the Television title tournament with the following:
*Nick Aldis vs. Ricky Morton for the NWA title
*Allysin Kay vs. Melina for the NWA women’s title
*Thomas Latimer vs. Trevor Murdoch in the Television title tournament (the winner faces The Question Mark at ‘Hard Times’)