With Ring of Honor’s Free Enterprise event over, and the NWA’s Crockett Cup 2020 PPV on the horizon in April, the Worlds Heavyweight Championship picture got a little bit clearer.
Here is a recap and reactions to Episode 18 “Money Where Your Mouth Is” of NWA Powerrr.
The Bouncers (w/Eddie Kingston) d. The Dawsons (w/Pope)
Thom Latimer d. Tim Storm
Ricky Starks vs. Matt Cross for the NWA Television Championship ends in a time limit draw (Stark retains)
Melina d. Tasha Steelz
Nick Aldis & Royce Isaacs d. The Rock n’ Roll Express
The Bouncers (w/Eddie Kingston) vs. The Dawsons (w/Pope)
A match that featured nearly 1,200 lbs in the ring, was exactly what you would expect from having such behemoths going toe-to-toe: it was a series of strikes, chops, and lariats until the finishing sequence when Zane Dawson hit the bigger of the two Bouncers (6’4″ 340 lbs.) Brian Milonas with a Superplex, only to have the pin broken up, and then The Bouncers hitting them tandem finisher, The Black Out (Milonas hitting a Superplex of his own, then his partner, Beer City Bruiser, hitting a frog splash). The team then celebrated with the NWA Tag Team Champions, Eli Drake & James Storm, who were on commentary, drinking beers out of the Crockett Cup.
This match was really used more as a vehicle to process the animosity between Kingston and Pope, as The Bouncers were Kingston’s recruits from Ring of Honor (furthering the talent share going on with the company), as the issues between them and the injury to Homicide were frequently referenced.
Thom Latimer vs. Tim Storm
The classic “Blue Chipper vs. Seasoned Vet” match. The contest started out with Latimer and Storm trying to cockily one-up one another, exchanging shoulder blocks and strikes, while calling out each other’s toughness.
Latimer then took control of the offense after hitting a spear, pummelling the veteran with strikes before Storm had a bit of a “hulk up” moment, taking Latimer into the corner. Storm would eventually eat the pin after countering a powerbomb, then running with a full head of steam at Latimer in the opposite corner, only to have the Wild Card move out of the way, resulting in Storm hitting the ring post hard, and then eating a wrenching DDT and the 1-2-3.
Then after the match, the weird “Mama Storm” impersonator would hit the ring, scolding Storm to “Fight Your Mom!” chants from the crowd. This whole angle is super weird, and makes less sense than it did last week. Hopefully the writers have some sort of worthwhile payoff.
The Question Mark Confronts Trevor Murdoch
Murdoch is cutting a frustrating promo to David Marquez about how the NWA fans deserve a fighting champion and how he’s never seen a champion run as much as Aron Stevens. He then invokes the name of Harley Race, saying that he would be embarrassed to see the NWA National Champion act that way and associate with The Question Mark, only to have the Master of Mongrovian Ka-Ra-Tay join them, sing the Mongrovian national anthem, then suggest that he and Murdoch, “KA-RA-TAY!” Whether he was challenging the big Texan to a match, or attempting to recruit him to the Dojo remains unclear.
Nick Aldis Responds To Marty Scurll’s Counter-Offer from Free Enterprise
We get a NWA update with Sean Mooney, who shows us a clip from ROH’s Free Enterprise event, where PCO & Scurll defeated Aldis and RUSH (who had abandoned him), to which Scurll set the stipulation of $500,000 for Aldis should Scurll lose at Crockett Cup 2020. Later, in an arena stairwell– Aldis seems to cut a lot of promos in them– he accepts.
Ricky Starks vs. Matt Cross
NWA Television Championship
These two had a really good, fast-paced match at Hard Times. This one takes on a different look, with both men starting off the match with wrist-holds and mat grappling. It does pick up after a minute or so, before Cross slows it back down a power move spot, hitting Starks with a stalling backbreaker. The constant stipulation of the TV title matches of having a 6:05 time limit plays into the finish here, as both men exchange big spots; first Starks with a Tornado DDT, then Cross with his Cross Cutter only to haver the time run out as he heads up to the top rope.
Starks just continues to impress, changing styles on a whim at such a young age.
Zicky Dice then cuts a promo on Starks, saying that the difference between he and the TV champion is that he, Dice, “always finishes…” Disturbing.
Melina vs. Tasha Steelz
In what I excepted to be a squash, actually ends being a pretty competitive match-up with both women getting on some power spots. Melina did look a little rusty and reckless in the ring, botching what looked to be an attempt at a snapmare, instead just slamming Steelz’s face into the mat, and a suplex, making it into a weird brainbuster/wrenching DDT. In the end, Melina does get the win with her split-leg Final Cut, and cuts a promo at ringside saying that she announces a NWA Women’s title match against Thunder Rosa on the next episode of Powerrr, “sanctioned by Melina.”
Nick Aldis & Royce Isaacs The Rock n’ Roll Express
Before this match even got underway, we get another layer added to the love triangle as Sal Rinauro enters GPB Studios with Isaacs’ girlfriend, May Valentine; so I guess this is a longterm booking program…
This drama immediately plays into the early portion of the match, as Isaacs is jealously distracted by the two of them sitting at ringside. This leads to Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson to get the early advantage, applying solid tandem moves on the legs of Isaacs.
Aldis eventually gets the tag, and quickly takes over on the Express, knocking down Gibson before setting Morton up for a powerbomb, who counters it into a very impressive hurricanrana. The Express continue to have the momentum until Isaacs gets tagged back in, rolls to the outside after a punch from Morton, who then chases him and gets ambushed by Aldis. Isaacs gets Morton back in the ring, hitting a back bodydrop on him, and tagging Aldis in, who keeps the offense rolling until Morton moves out of the way as the Worlds Champion attempts to hit him in the corner. Isaacs gets tagged back in and after eating a countered suplex from Gibson, he picks up the win by pinning Gibson after an eye-poke and package pin with his legs on the rope.
As far as competition goes, this match was a placeholder until Marty Scurll appears again, while storyline-wise, it really seems like it was used to further the Isaacs/Valentine/Rinauro angle. Very strange, but The Rock n’ Roll Express impressed once again.