EPISODE 12: “Something Left to Prove”
COMMENTATORS: Joe Galli & Stu Bennett
The first NWA Powerrr of 2020 features Television Title tournament as Tim Storm gets his hands on Nick Aldis. OR DOES HE? Also on the show Trevor Murdoch avenges the honor of Sal Rinauro, we get two previews of what I assume are talk shows coming to NWA’s website, and Aldis’ new stable gets a name.
- NWA WORLD’S HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: “The National Treasure” Nick Aldis
- NWA WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPION: Allysin Kay
- NWA NATIONAL CHAMPION: Aaron Stevens
- NWA WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPION: Vacant
- NWA WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson)
- SUBMISSION EXHIBITION MATCH: Aron Stevens vs. Sal Rinauro (SQUASH)
- Trevor Murdoch vs. Aron Stevens (**)
- Tasha Steelz vs. Marti Belle (**1/4)
- NWA TELEVISION TITLE TOURNAMENT: Tim Storm vs. ??? (***)
-OPENING VIDEO: Focus on the Nick Aldis/Tim Storm feud as well as the formation of Aldis’ supergroup. Whoever is making these video packages for the NWA should be getting a bonus, I am HYPED UP for tonight. Shame it’ll be a short match due to the TV Title time limit but that’ll probably make for a real heated contest.
-Galli and Bennett welcome the home audience. Galli talks about it being “hours away” from the New Year as this was intended to be released on 12/31, but they moved it to New Years Day.
Dave Marquez is standing by with Tim Storm, wearing a “Momma Storm” shirt I would like to own five of. Marquez asks Storm if he’ll try to get back into World Title contention “when” he wins tonight, but he says he’ll cross that bridge when he gets there because he’s a man of his word about the stipulation from the first episode (Storm can never challenge for the title again). Storm has one goal tonight: to kick Aldis’ ass.
Speak of the devil out comes Nick Aldis and Kamille to interrupt. Aldis tells Storm to watch his blood pressure and is bemused that he’s already dressed to wrestle while he’s still in his suit. Aldis says he entered into the TV Title tournament for fun because there’s “no one left” to mow through so he might as well have two belts, then tells Storm to wipe that look off his face because he’s started to get pissed off. Storm continues staring into Aldis’ soul as the champ says the World Title is the only belt that makes you a big deal in pro wrestling.
- Great opening segment, letting the hype wash over me.
-BACKSTAGE, LAST WEEK: Aron Stevens says Question Mark has his sights on the TV Title, they together have their sights on the Tag Team Titles, and when Mercury is out of retrograde Stevens will have his sights on the World Title. ALL OF THE BELTS.
SUBMISSION EXHIBITION MATCH
Aron “Shooter” Stevens vs. Sal Rinauro
Stevens is in his KARA-TAY gear and tennis shoes. Stevens takes Rinauro down with a single-leg and takes a break to towel himself off. Stevens with a judo throw and some KARA-TAY posing. Stevens with a Legsweep into an armbar, Rinauro gets to the ropes but Stevens yanks the arm instead of breaking clean. Cold-blooded. Rinauro dodges a dropkick from Stevens and goes for a Figure Four, Stevens kicks him off, kips up, and connects with a KARA-TAY clothesline. Stevens measures Rinauro and locks in a cobra clutch, which Bennett calls a “Mongrovian Clutch” for the win.
Aron Stevens defeated Sal Rinauro via submission (2:50)
- Stevens is fully committed to his character and I respect that. Match was a goof but an entertaining one, and Sal Rinauro continues winning the support of fans as a loveable loser. (SQUASH)
Stevens refuses to relinquish the hold until Trevor Murdoch runs out to break it up. After a replay we go to Stevens at the interview podium, and he calls what Murdoch did unsportsmanlike. Murdoch walks over and says he’s had enough of Stevens’ abuse of young guys and for sticking his nose in his match at Into The Fire. Stevens reminds everyone of his previous life and his intelligence, and calls out Murdoch for trying to get a shot at his THIRD-DEGREE National Championship. Murdoch says he has no desire for a title shot tonight, he just wants to kick his ass and challenges him right now. Stevens agrees, as long as Murdoch relinquishes his Television Title spot if he loses. Stevens has some trouble spitting it out and plays it up to the crowd.
-HIGHSPOTS AD w/ Suit Man Curruthers and Danny Deal$$$. Both get so amped they tear their clothes off and Curruthers elbow drops his jacket Flair-style.
Trevor Murdoch vs. Aron “Shooter” Stevens
Murdoch drops Stevens immediately with a shoulderblock, forcing the Shooter to flee and take a powder for a second. Stevens tries a KARA-TAY kick, Murdoch catches it and belts him with a clothesline. Murdoch follows up with three scoop slams, Stevens screaming every time, for the first two-count of the match. Murdoch connects with a side Russian Legsweep and tries for an armbar, but Stevens gets to the ropes before any damage can be done and bails to the apron. Stevens drops Murdoch throat-first across the top rope and pummels him with left hands. Stevens goes for the Mongrovian Clutch, Murdoch gets to the ropes, Stevens pulls him back for a sleeper then gets sent face-first into the buckles. Murdoch follows up with a full nelson slam and an Indian Deathlock for the tap!
Trevor Murdoch defeated Aron Stevens via submission (3:01)
- NWA following the wrestling playbook by giving Murdoch a claim to a title shot by beating the champ in non-title action. Good match for what it was, Murdoch proving all this KARA-TAY stuff is just nonsense and making the self-proclaimed third-degree Shooter tap with ease. Funny bit at the end with the ref calling for the bell before Stevens actually tapped due to his repeated slaps to the canvas in pain. Guess you can’t do that any more to sell submissions huh? (**1/4)
-NWA Powerrr Surge is coming to the NWA’s official website. Not sure what that could be.
-EARLIER TODAY: The Pope sits down with Eddie Kingston and Homicide at ringside. Pope says they both could be the Tag Team Champions anywhere they go, but specifically points Kingston out as World Champion material. Kingston brushes that off, saying he’s just following Homicide’s lead as he’s his mentor and also a former World Champion. I guess this is what to expect on Powerrr Surge?
-B&W VIDEO: Various clips set to the soundtrack of a Billy Corgan acoustic jam hyping this month’s PPV Hard Times.
-LAST WEEK: Eli Drake is drunk as f*ck celebrating the holiday season.
Eli Drake joins Galli at the podium. Galli asks his thoughts going into the new year. Lots of “YEAH” yells from the crowd. Drake says this is the second week in a row where he’s not booked to wrestle, coinciding with a certain someone proclaiming to be the greatest World Champion of all-time. Drake wonders if Nick Aldis is trying to keep him out of the spotlight (answer: YEAH). Drake agrees with everyone Ricky Morton said about Aldis and says if the champ is too scared to fight Morton he’ll do it. Drake goes on about potential tag team partners…and is interrupted by Colt Cabana. Cabana says he’s tired of Drake running down his friend Ken Anderson, and tells him to end the beef. Drake asks Cabana if he’s volunteering to be his tag team partner; Cabana says “nope”, Anderson is his partner. He says Anderson is a good guy but wonders if Drake is. Drake tells Cabana he will never be Tag Team Champion with a partner like Anderson, Cabana mocks Drake for never being NWA World Champion while he’s been champ twice. Cabana tells Drake to sleep on it, Drake says he’ll whip him the way he whipped his partner. Out comes Ken Anderson, Drake is happy to beat him again, Cabana and officials run out to keep the two separated.
-Girl Powerrr coming soon to NWA’s official website. Cut to a ringside conversation between Marti Belle, Melina, and Thunder Rosa running down Allysin Kay. Cut to Kay, ODB, Ashley Vox, and Tasha Steelz. Kay talks about how she’s straight forward with her friends, which Belle took the wrong way. The whole thing has escalated quickly.
Tasha Steelz vs. Marti Belle [w/ Melina]
Steelz rolls through a wristlock and counters into one of her own. Belle counters with a side headlock, Steelz counters back and brings her to the mat. Belle escapes via headscissors, Steelz escapes via headstand and mocks her. Belle whips Steelz into the corner and belts her with a running forearm. Steelz floats over Belle, Belle blocks an O’Connor and drops her with a high knee for a two-count. Belle stomps a mudhole in Steelz. Steelz almost takes advantage of a distracted (by Melina and the crowd) but eats a clothesline to put a stop to that. Belle trips Steelz up and misses a hip attack, Steelz mounts a string of comeback offense. Running forearm, European uppercut, and savate kick to the midsection followed by a spinning neckbreaker for the 1…2…Belle kicks out. Belle catches Steelz with a kick but spins right into a cutter and Steelz covers for the 1…2…3!
Tasha Steelz defeated Marti Belle via pinfall (4:43)
- Steelz picks up her first win the NWA and Belle continues sliding down the pecking order in Melina’s eyes. Match was good, Belle being constantly distracted with Melina’s attempts to give her advice was a nice touch. (**1/2)
Belle comes to while a FURIOUS Melina enters the ring. Melina admonishes her for not executing as the crowd boos. KICK HER TEETH IN, BELLE.
-NEXT WEEK: Eli Drake & James Storm vs. Colt Cabana & Mr. Anderson vs. The Wild Cards
-BACKSTAGE: Kyle Davis is joined by Anastasia Fletcher to pick the next match in the NWA Television Title tournament from the fishbowl. The match is…Zicky Dice vs. Caleb Konley. Battle of the potential breakout stars.
After Tim Storm makes his entrance, out comes Nick Aldis and entourage (Kamille, May Valentine, & The Wild Cards) to the podium. Aldis is in a tracksuit and says that Storm has taken all the fun out of the tournament. “COWARD” chant from the NWA crowd. Aldis names their group “Strictly Business”, and says he made an executive decision to not risk injury in a match not important enough for the World Champion.
The ref holds Storm back at ringside, Marquez walks over to get some words. Storm calls Aldis a coward and tells him to get in the ring. Aldis teases getting in the ring but returns to the podium, saying that it’s a new year and he’s leaving his “past” (Tim Storm) behind. Aldis announces that Royce Isaacs will take his place, which takes the Wild Cards member by surprised. Isaacs says he’s not warmed up or anything but after getting a kiss from Valentine he agrees to it.
- Aldis sliming his way out of having to face Tim Storm was brilliant and a bait and switch that I’m not actually mad at because it fits his character perfectly. Surprised the NWA would let him have a replacement but World Champs get to call the shots I guess. Storm seething at Aldis’ cowardice was beautiful and now I want to see them wrestle again in the worst way. Great stuff here AND we got a stable name.
NWA TELEVISION TITLE TOURNAMENT
Tim Storm vs.
“The National Treasure” Nick Aldis Royce Isaacs
Storm comes out hot, wrecking Isaacs with a scoop slam and clothesline and lighting him up in the corner with chops. Storm trash talks Aldis before connecting with a fallaway slam. Tom Latimer distracts Storm, allowing Isaacs to attack from behind and connect with a fisherman slam for only a one-count. Isaacs belts Storm with rights, Storm kicks back and gets lit up for his troubles. “MOMMA STORM” chants as Storm sends him into the corner, Isaacs fights out with kicks and a right hand. Isaacs slams Storm but takes too long jaw jacking with the crowd and misses a middle buckle senton. Storm drops Isaacs with a big boot and splashes him in the corner. Storm spins Isaacs around, Isaacs catches him with a cutter for the 1…2…Storm gets his foot on the rope. Storm fights out of the Hush Money and connects with Perfect Storm for the 1…2…3!
Tim Storm defeated Royce Isaacs via pinfall (4:26)
- I was taken aback by Royce Isaacs seemingly turning into a goofy character out of nowhere last week but now that I’ve had time to let it sink in, and after this week’s fun little pre-match thing, I’m down for him being the goofy guy who takes the pins for Strictly Business. Good match, with Storm absolutely laying waste to Isaacs while staring daggers at Aldis almost the entire time. Great stuff here. (***)
Latimer and Valentine check on Isaacs, The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express show up behind Aldis. Ricky Morton tells Aldis never to turn his back on an opponent then goes into the crowd to lead a “ROCK & ROLL” chant. And that’s the show! Oh man I hope we get Aldis/Morton next week.
FINAL THOUGHTS: While it did suck not to get the advertised match this week, the storytelling this week was damn good and did not hurt the episode at all. Another good week of wrestling TV, scratching that comfort food itch. Now if the people who work for the NWA would stop outing themselves as folks with sh*tty opinions that would be GREAT.
- MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Tim Storm vs. Royce Isaacs
- MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: Tim Storm stares a hole through Nick Aldis before hitting Royce Isaacs with a fallaway slam