Greeting NWA Fam! This week’s NWA Powerrr sees the 14-man battle royal to determine the number one contender to Nick Aldis’ World Heavyweight Championship—will Trevor Murdoch make an appearance? Plus, Kamille and Thunder Rosa go to war in a big match with big repercussions, and the War Kings get their shot at the NWA Tag Team titles.
It’s a big night, so let’s go down to the ring and go into the fire!
NWA Tag Team Champions Aron Stevens & JR Kratos vs. War Kings (Crimson & Jax Dane)
Before the match, Kyle Davis brought the champions over to the podium to question them on the obvious tension that lies between the two. Stevens readily admitted that he didn’t Kratos when he hired him, and Kratos was just a mercenary. However, he knows Kratos can do the job—Steven just wants it done right. Kratos, for his part, didn’t say anything: he just stared that death glare right through Stevens, the tension extremely palpable. The two men slowly walked away to the ring, both men entering from opposite sides. Stevens even asked Kratos whether he was going to wrestle in his costume when the big man was slow to get ready. Yikes. This isn’t going to end well for the champions.
Except…it did! I honestly thought this would be the night that the champions fell apart, leading to a match at When Our Shadows Fall in two weeks. Instead, although there was antogonism, the champs retained. But they didn’t do it cleanly…
Kratos displayed his arrogance, tagging himself in before Stevens had even a chance to touch Crimson. That hubris would bite Kratos in the ass when Jax Dane demanded to be tagged in and the two bulls went charging at each other, with Dane eventually coming out with the advantage over Kratos. The War Kings ground down Kratos for a moment but their real advantage came when Stevens tagged in. The pair wore him down with big beat downs and power moves until they went for their suplex/elbow drop combo and Stevens rolled out of the way, Crimson drilling the mat with his elbow instead.
Kratos came back in, obliterating Crimson with a standing vertical suplex before Dane came in to break up the cover. As Kratos and Dane went at it, Crimson leant against the ropes to catch his breath. At which point, a masked man in a hoodie (who I strongly suspect was Slice Boogie) came out and cracked Crimson right in the face with an object, leaving Kratos to make the cover and retain the titles for the champs! Stevens was near-unconscious on the ring apron at the time and wanted to know why the fans were booing when he was leaving the ring. You won’t like it when you see the reply, Aron…
This was a good match and I’d love to see a rematch one day, on PPV with more time allocated. There’s definitely more mileage to be had out of Dane and Kratos slapping beef. As for the masked man, he’d better be ready for a p****d off War Kings!
Nick Aldis joined Kyle Davis at the podium, where Kyle asked him, quite reasonably, about why Aldis did not allow Thom Latimer and Chris Adonis to take on the NWA Tag Team Champions two weeks ago. Aldis dismissed the idea, telling Kyle he was the same as all the click-bait headline writing dirt sheets in the industry, looking for gossip where there is there. Apparently, all Aldis did was make a suggestion and the team listened because they work as a unit, something Kyle knows nothing about. Ouch. Aldis even made Kyle dance is a slightly cringey moment.
Bless Kyle though, he did get his revenge. After Aldis called himself a star-maker and patted himself on the back for allowing Mimms to have an exhibition match with him, the champ claimed to have made peace with the battle royal to determine the next challenger to his Heavyweight title. He even claimed not to know who was in the battle royal. Kyle was happy to oblige the champ, reeling off names off a list that Aldis apparently hadn’t seen. One name, in particular, Kyle thought was pretty interesting: Trevor Murdoch.
“Watch yourself,” the champ seethed at Davis, before walking to the ring. Looks like the champ hasn’t made complete peace with the battle royal after all!
Non-Title Exhibition Match: NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis vs. Matthew Mimms
The news of Trevor Murdoch competing tonight seemed to drive Aldis off the hinge; he started shouting at Joe Galli from the ring, claiming Joe was part of a “conspiracy!” And yet, isn’t it Nick with all the stroke?
Still, Aldis showed some class early on against Mimms, using some nice technical wrestling skills before Mimms caught him with a flurry of offence that seemed to catch the champ in surprise. Not happy with that, Aldis regained control with a Michinoku Driver. A tombstone followed and Aldis could have won with that, really. Instead, he chose to stare daggers at Joe Galli and land an elbow drop from the top on Mimms before locking in the Kings Lynn Cloverleaf for the tap-out victory. Aldis made a point of keeping the hold on longer than necessary before shouting at Galli and Kyle Davis on his way out.
The champ was rattled, it seems…
Thunder Rosa (w/Melina) vs. Kamille (Taryn Terrell)
Well, if this wasn’t the greatest match ever put out on NWA Powerrr and perhaps in the top five matches overall as held under Billy Corgan’s regime of the NWA! Wow. This was a dramatic, hard-hitting match that felt both modern and old-school in turn and put Kamille over completely as a legitimate star while showcasing the unique and wonderful ability of Rosa. It was better than their match at Back For The Attack too!
The stipulation for the match was that if Rosa won, she would get Kamille’s number one contendership to the NWA Women’s title. If Kamille won, Rosa wouldn’t be able to appear in other promotions; she would only be able to wrestle for the NWA.
Rosa employed great strategy, taking to Kamille’s legs and working them with a wide and eye-opening array of MMA-style stretches and submissions so as to take away the bigger woman’s height advantage. Later she would move on to targeting Kamille’s arms, so as to disable the Brickhouse from being able to employ some of those power moves. A variety of excruciating leglocks, armbars and cross faces were employed and had Kamille writhing in agony within them.
As you might imagine, Kamille employed her power to her advantage, and it worked well as she battered Rosa with clotheslines, a bearhug into a brilliant-looking belly to belly suplex, big clotheslines and a big spear, which Rosa only beat the count on by putting her foot on the rope. I was also impressed when Kamille picked up Rosa, who had a cross face locked in, and rolled through to the mat, squashing Rosa in the process. That was an impressive feat of strength! She even knocked Melina down on the apron with a clothesline (thankfully, Melina and Terrell didn’t really get involved much and were banished to the back after a bizarre Benny Hill-style chase/wardrobe malfunction incident).
In the end, Rosa had both of Kamille’s arms pinned back in a nasty-looking submission, and it looked like Kamille might just submit. But then the ref called the match—the time limit had expired! No! Actually, I don’t mind that. It sets up the decisive match for When Our Shadows Fall. More curious was that the way Rosa acted at the end, giving Kamlle the middle finger and shouting into all the cameras as she left, and the way Kamille acted, starring silently and stoically at Rosa, suggested a double turn. Was that what NWA was going for? Possibly not. If that’s the case, they might want to take a look at that, but otherwise, what a match! So, so happy with that.
14-Man Battle Royal (Winner Will Be The Number One Contender For The NWA World Heavyweight Championship)
Nick Aldis and Austin Idol both joined Joe Galli at the commentary desk for this match, and while they disagreed on who they wanted to win, they both agreed on two points; that they both believe Joe Galli diluted the greatness at the desk with them (poor Joe!) and that they both didn’t want Trevor Murdoch to win.
Interesting to note that Chris Adonis was in the match, as champions were not allowed to enter. Aldis made it clear: Adonis had vacated his NWA National Heavyweight title to take one for the team and take part in the match. Aldis tried to spin it as being a more attractive and presentable match if Adonis or Thom Latimer won, but it was clear that Aldis just wanted one of the two to win so they could lie down for him.
The match itself was contested under “NWA rules”, which were slightly different from normal battle royals: only one foot had to touch the floor to count as an elimination and you could be thrown over any of the ropes, it didn’t need to be just the top one. While this is unusual, it did make the match a lot more fast-paced, which added a sense of excitement. Bodies went spilling out at a furious rate left, right and centre.
One notable elimination saw Jax Dane accidentally knock Crimson out of the ring, eliminating him from the match. Dane soon followed and Crimson did not look happy with his partner. Not at all.
Soon, we were down to the final four: Trevor Murdoch, Tyrus, Chris Adonis and Thom Latimer. It looked for a moment that Tyrus might join up with Murdoch to eliminate the Strictly Business men, but Pope came out and grabbed Tyrus’ foot, dropping him to the mat. Adonis and Latimer quickly threw boots at him, sending the big man to the floor and out of the match. A furious Tyrus and Austin Idol followed Pope to the back.
Adonis and Latimer began to gave Murdoch a kicking, but Trevor was able to back bodydrop Latimer onto the apron. As Latimer stood up, Adonis charged, Murdoch moved and Adonis set Latimer falling off the apron to the floor! As an infuriated Aldis screamed at Adonis, Murdoch clotheslined him from behind, eliminating Adonis from the match. Trevor Murdoch is the number one contender to the NWA World Heavyweight Championship!
As an incensed Nick Aldis sent Aldis and Latimer to the back, he tried to attack Murdoch from behind. Murdoch wasn’t having any of it, though, nailing the champ with a top rope bulldog to send him packing. Afterwards, an emotional Murdoch told Kyle Davis at the podium how this is really happening, how he’s finally going after the Ten Pounds of Gold, and that Harley Race would be so proud of him. It was expertly done and was a wonderful feel-good moment to end the show on.
With no card announced before their next PPV, When Our Shadows Fall on June 6th, the NWA really needed to knock this one out of the park, and they did just that. The tag match was solid, with an interesting development at the end; Rosa and Kamille gave us the best match to ever grace an episode of Powerrr; and Trevor Murdoch finally earned his chance to challenge for the Ten Pounds of Gold, while Nick Aldis went berzerk, betraying his vulnerability.
We now know the main event of the big show will be Nick Aldis vs. Trevor Murdoch for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. We perhaps knew it all along. But the NWA really confirmed it here in such a satisfying way. I can’t wait.