Welcome NWA Fam to this week’s review of NWA Powerrr. On the show, Kratos is scheduled to face Sal Rinauro one on one. Will Aron Stevens be around to keep the big dog on the leash—and can he even do that?
Meanwhile, Nick Aldis has an interesting proposal for Trevor Murdoch and Slice Boogie is set to face off with Jax Dane at the podium.
There’s no time to waste, so let’s head to the ring
“But How Bad Do You Really Want It?”
Nick Aldis started us off this week, joining Kyle Davis at the podium. Apart from being super in love with his suit (which was nice, admittedly) and admonishing Kyle Davis for not wearing a tie, the champ seemed to be in a good mood. In fact, he invited Trevor Murdoch out to make him deal. You can imagine the mood Trevor was in…
In fact, Murdoch made it very clear to Aldis; Murdoch’s done everything the right way to get where he is, only for Aldis to call him stupid and say that he’s not “championship material”. Murdoch was fiery and passionate here as he demanded an apology from Aldis. Of course, Aldis wasn’t dealing in apologies. But he was here to give Murdoch an opportunity to face Chris Adonis once more for the National Heavyweight title, as long as a team of his choosing can beat a Strictly Business team in a six-man tag in the main event.
Murdoch, quite rightly, pointed out that it’s funny that Aldis is trying to direct Murdoch back to Adonis after Murdoch has set his sights on Aldis. The champ didn’t like that, yelling at the fans to shut up or be ejected from the building. He reiterated that he thought Murdoch would want to settle his business with Adonis. And he can. But if his team loses tonight, he will have to go home, suspended for 30 days without pay. Murdoch, being a man of integrity, agreed.
This was brilliant, the chemistry between the two men palpable. Murdoch plays the wronged, impassioned face so well, while Aldis leaned into his sly, calculating heel role which is something he plays with aplomb.
A great way to start this week’s Powerrr.
Kratos vs. Sal Rinauro
Do you remember last week how Kratos would have beat Sal to within an inch of his life if he could have?
Well, he just chose to do it this week instead!
The intensity of Kratos was off the charts as he battered Sal with big fists and clotheslines before dropping him with a massive vertical suplex. He then mounted the vulnerable Rinauro and started pounding him with an absolute flurry of boulder-like fists to the head and body. If you want to make someone look like a monster, this is how you do it.
This brought out Sal’s best friend, May Valentine, as well as Aron Stevens, who pleaded with Kratos to leave the defenceless Sal alone. Kratos was disgusted with Stevens as the ref threw the match, but he decided to take his fury out on Tim Storm at the commentary desk instead, demanding that Storm punch him, something Storm was only just able to restrain himself from doing.
This in turn brought out Thom Latimer and Chris Adonis, who told everyone that Stevens was doing Kratos wrong by constantly fighting against his partner, but Strictly Business, well, Strictly Business is open for business! So tonight, Kratos will be the third man in the tag team main event! Kratos looked appeased by this, and if the big man does join Strictly Business, then Trevor Murdoch is going to have some SERIOUS danger to guard against.
This was an excellent segment that pushed a couple of different stories forward while driving further interest towards the main event. Very well done.
“Godzilla Destroys Everything In His Path”
Over at the podium, Kyle Davis did his best to moderate a discussion between Slice Boogie and Jax Dane, who have had some heat in recent weeks. But it’s hard to moderate when everything Slice Boogie did was designed to provoke the hell out of Jax Dane, from pointing out how good Slice’s clothes looked to putting Dane down for, allegedly, not having the mental capacity to understand what Slice was saying to him. It was a cocky as hell performance and it worked 100 per cent.
Dane retaliated with the kind of quiet speech that only hard men can do to send a shiver down your spine. He told Boogie that, yes, Boogie did have a couple of wins over him and that, yes, the third time’s a charm. But he better be careful what he wishes for, because Godzilla destroys everything in his path!
At which point, Dane stepped right up to Boogie’s face and the temperature just soared at that podium as Davis valiantly tried to keep them apart.
That was great, just what it needed to be to get me invested in the match next week. Powerrr used to be celebrated for it’s promos. This week, I think we can safely say we are back to old times rather than hard times.
NWA TV Champion ‘The Pope’ Elijah Burke vs. Tyrus (w/Austin Idol)
Pope did the smart thing to start this one off, using his speed to stay out of the way of Tyrus. A headlock saw Tyrus catch Pope with a big throw though, proving that Pope would need to hit and move to really counteract Tyrus’ power. He would also not need to slap Tyrus’ butt as he did, as it would only annoy the big man.
A Tyrus charge saw Pope move and the big man crash into the buckles. But as Pope prepared to rev up for the double stomp, Austin Idol at ringside grabbed Pope’s foot, giving Tyrus enough time to squash Pope with a big charge into the corner. This would evidently not be a fair fight.
A big Taz-style suplex got Tyrus a close two count. Pope rallied back but Tyrus just shrugged off a jumping shoulder block, Pope falling straight to mat with a splat. A bear hug squeezed the life out of Pope, Tyrus lowering himself so as to put Pope’s shoulder’s on the mat in a neat pin attempt. Pope proved that he was right to use his speed before, ducking under Tyrus’ arms to nail the big man with chops and forearms before taking him down with a dropkick to the knees followed by a low DDT.
TIMBER! Pope felled the massive Tyrus tree with a top rope dropkick, which sent the big man to the floor. He then followed up with a crossbody from the apron to the floor, prompting Austin Idol and Tyrus to grab Pope’s feet and prevent him breaking the count. That’s good psychology, in that the heels knew Tyrus couldn’t win at this point but they didn’t want Pope to win either. In fact, while Pope grabbed Idol on the outside, prompting Tyrus to grab Pope by the throat and throttle him on the floor, the time limit expired, ruling the bout a draw. This left Pope rolling on the floor, clutching his throat as Tyrus and Idol walked away.
What a great little match! If I’m honest, I did think Tyrus was going to let the side down a little, his in-ring ability not being the strongest aspect of his game. But in fact, they got around its by playing to his strengths, making his offence count while making him look like a monster. Pope meanwhile looked gutsy in defeat and as if he had been cheated out of a victory.
A perfect set up for When Our Shadows Fall!
Rosa and Kamille Are Not Finished
From the great to the bad—as much as I wanted to like this segment, it was poor, it had to be said. Set up as a forum to settle the feud between Kamille and Thunder Rosa, with Taryn Terrell and Melina speaking on their behalf respectively and May Valentine and Kyle Davis chairing, this descended into just petty name-calling and schoolyard nonsense. A shame, because both Rosa and Kamille are much, much better than this. What we did learn from this, though, is that Kamille keeps attacking Rosa because she wants to wipe the ugly look off her face (what?) and that Kamille and Taryn will be back next week with a list of demands for Rosa to meet if she wants a shot to Kamille’s right to be number one contender for the Women’s title.
I can definitely get behind one more match. I couldn’t get behind this segment.
Chris Adonis, Thom Latimer & Kratos vs. Trevor Murdoch, Aron Stevens & Tim Storm
Well now. Kratos did not look impressed when Aron Stevens walked out as one of Trevor Murdoch’s surprise partner. Not only that, but as a taped up Sal Rinauro made his way out as the third man (brother), Tim Storm appeared in his wrestling gear to take Sal’s place. Now, that was a nice surprise. Storm looked to be in great shape too. He’s clearly been working out still during the pandemic.
This one started hot and heavy, with all six-man brawling inside and outside the ring as the bell rang, Storm and Kratos pairing off on the studio floor and flinging fists with gusto. Back in the ring, Kratos and Stevens find themselves in the ring at the same time but both men, after a moment of tension, tagged out. That was a nice tiny tease towards the split. It’s coming, folks, it’s coming. We all know it.
Stevens eventually became the ‘Ricky Morton in peril’ figure after an Adonis clothesline from the apron as the ref’s back was turned. Kratos laughed straight in Stevens’ face and pointed an accusing finger at him but he wouldn’t tag in to face his championship partner. The pairing of Adonis and Latimer worked Stevens over with methodical, old-school techniques as Murdoch could be heard shouting “don’t you dare quit” at one point, as well as running in to break up a cover on Stevens. Murdoch was all too aware of what a loss would mean for him.
Eventually, Stevens got the hot tag to Storm after dodging a Latimer charge into the corner. All six men erupted once more as they fought in and around the ring. Then came the distraction; no, it wasn’t from Strictly Business. I’m not quite sure what Sal Rinauro was actually trying to communicate to Tim Storm on the apron. In any case, it opened the door to an Adonis Masterlock slam to end a very enjoyable main event and to see Murdoch suspended for 30 days without pay.
Murdoch looked crestfallen as he stood with his head sunk in the ring. Storm couldn’t say sorry enough as Latimer and Adonis laughed and made crying gestures from ringside. Meanwhile, Kratos stood over the fallen Stevens and stared him out before Latimer led him away.
Just give me that match and take my money!
I’m happy to say that this was the best episode of Powerrr since the return of the NWA back in March. It was well-paced, the matched served to further storylines and feuds in compelling ways and the stick work, particularly from Aldis, Murdoch and Jax Dane was top quality. The split between Kratos and Stevens feels more and more imminent as the two men seem to move further apart and Kratos becomes more aggressive and monstrous with time. Meanwhile, Nick Aldis remains The Dealer and yet Trevor Murdoch’s fate was sealed by a mistake that was actually outside of Strictly Business, and Tyrus and Pope put on an entertaining encounter that sets up the big rematch for PPV nicely.
The only real criticism I have of the show was the ladies summit that just descended into the kind of catcalling women’s wrestling has moved away from. But that aside, this was a cornerstone show for setting up the big When Our Shadows Fall PPV and was extremely entertaining in the process.
I’ll see you next week, NWA fans, as we go once more into the fire!