The Tag Team Special Raises Concerning Questions

NWA Powerrr Review—April 6th

Welcome back into the fire once more NWA Family, as it’s NWA Powerrr day once again. After the shocking events of last week, where Chris Adonis won the National Heavyweight Championship from Trevor Murdoch under dubious circumstances, what fallout can we expect to see on the show this week? Plus, The Pope is set to defend his TV Title against Fred Rosser in what is sure to be a great encounter.

The time for talk is over, so let’s take it to the ring!

It’s Tag Team Week, But Where’s Sal’s Partner?

We start right over at the announce desk, as the NWA World Tag Team Champions, Aron Stevens and Kratos, joined Joe Galli and Tim Storm to put over this week’s episode of Powerrr as a tag team special. It was not a tournament, Stevens stressed, to determine new contenders to the titles, but rather a showcase to see which teams might be deserving of a title shot in the future.

A decent concept, but there was just one problem: weren’t Stevens and Kratos meant to be defending their titles this week against Sal Rinauro and a partner of his choosing tonight? Well, I’m glad I mentioned it because Joe and Tim didn’t.

In fact, when Sal came out to talk to Kyle Davis and address the champs, he was seen as interrupting things and was run down, not only by Stevens but by Tim Storm also. I get that we’re not meant to see Sal as a top challenger in and of himself, but having everyone run him down like this doesn’t make me want to see the eventual match.

In fact, you’d think the exchange would focus on who Sal’s partner was going to be. But it didn’t really. Sal asserted that he’d tried to contact Stevens all week and that the NWA said they had no idea what Sal was talking about in regards to a title shot. To which Stevens retorted that it’s up to the NWA to sanction title matches and besides, Sal hasn’t got a partner. Stevens was still at the announcers desk with his headset on, so how Sal would be able to hear him I do not know, but, anyhow. Surely that was the point of sending Sal away last week to find a partner this week? Why not ask Sal instead where his partner was?

That’s two matches that have been postponed in recent weeks now; the first made sense, as it allowed for the Murdoch-Adonis rematch to take place. But there was no rhyme or reason to postponing this match here. You can’t keep promising matches and not delivering—people will get tired of that pretty quickly. There’s only so much goodwill you can burn.

Thom Latimer & Chris Adonis vs. Mike Parrow & Adonis

Parrow and Adonis are a legitimate regular tag team, competing as The End. They are complete powerhouses and, as such, make a great addition to the NWA’s tag team division. I would have appreciated some podium time to introduce them first, as we’ve only seen Parrow on his own so far, but that’s a minor quibble.

More of an issue is putting a tag team you might want to push as a big part of your tag division against members of the company’s top heel stable, with two members who don’t tag regularly at that. The result was never in doubt, whereas a win for The End would have done them some good.

Still, the end looked good as the match progressed. Odinson is a force of nature and he blasted the heels with power moves that he executed with such ease that you couldn’t help but be amazed as he threw Adonis and Latimer around. I’ve seen criticism that Parrow, who was only recently presented as a monster that made quick work of Jordan Clearwater, was the one who played face in peril here. I get that, but I’d also add that the way Strictly Business got the advantage of him alleviated any damage somewhat. They had to send him into the ring post outside and give him a kicking while the ref was distracted to get the jump. Plus, Adonis couldn’t get the Master Lock on him, due to Parrow cleverly countering it by dropping down and hitting Adonis with a jawbreaker.

Strictly Business only got the win thanks to Kamille leaping onto the apron and distracting the ref, preventing The End from hitting the Doomsday Device finisher. Instead, Latimer pushed Odinson off the top buckle down onto the apron with a nasty smack, while Adonis nailed Parrow with a low blow, sending him to the outside where Latimer sent him once more into the ring post. Meanwhile, Adonis locked in the Master Lock on Odinson for the win via stoppage.

Overall, this was a physical, enjoyable match, with Strictly Business only getting the win thanks to underhanded tactics. I don’t think The End have been damaged by it, but perhaps it would have been better if they’d faced a different team so they could have got the win in their debut here.

The Battle for Thunder Rosa’s Soul…Or At Least Her Attention

As Strictly Business celebrated in the ring, Thunder Rosa came out to scream at Kamille. Latimer and Adonis, being the gentlemen they are, invited Rosa into the ring so they could beat her down. Rosa shouted that she wasn’t scared, but she’s not stupid. She went over to the podium instead and screamed at Kyle Davis in fiery, violent Spanish, as well as adding in English that she is going to take matters into her own hands. I don’t know where the Rosa-Kamille story is going just yet, but I loved Rosa’s passion here.

And then Taryn Tarrell came out. I really don’t know what to make of her. Rocking a kind of spoilt princess gimmick, she came across as awkward as she simultaneously patronised and offered to help Rosa, whose face was a picture (and also cackled like a witch!) This brought out Melina, who argued that Rosa will only be supported by those that love her—the fans. Rosa wasn’t overly impressed with either lady, telling them she didn’t need either of their “messy asses” before walking off.

I can get behind Rosa and Melina feuding. I’m not sure I want Tarrell involved, though.

“I’m Putting You On Notice, Aldis!”

Backstage, May Valentine asked Trevor Murdoch if he regretted putting the National title on the line last week, knowing he was hurt. This was possibly the best Murdoch promo I’ve ever heard, as he passionately proclaimed that sometimes a man has to defend what’s important to him; things like family, integrity and honour. He then pointed out how Nick Aldis wasn’t satisfied by taking the NWA World Heavyweight title from Tim Storm: he had to grind him into the ground too. Murdoch recognised the same thing here, and so he’s putting Aldis on notice.

While it’s concerning that the roster’s that thin that they had to take the National title of Murdoch to give Aldis a main event opponent, I’m glad it’s Trevor because he deserves it and he’s clearly nailing his mic work here. I’m rooting for you, Mr Murdoch!

Jax Dane & Crimson vs. Slice Boogie & Matthew Mimms

Finally, the War Kings are reunited in an NWA ring. I never did understand why they weren’t on the original run of Powerrr. Sadly, there’s no Animal with them (RIP) but it’s great to see the Kings together again in any case. Meanwhile, putting Slice Boogie together with Matthew Mims is not a bad idea. Mims impressed last week and both men can get physical, so hopefully, this will be a solid match.

Jax Dane started things off with Slice but decided to slap Matthew Mims across the face instead. Mims rose to the challenge, stepping into the ring, but Dax threw Mims across the ring with a big belly-to-belly suplex. Crimson joined him by throwing Mims across the ring too. Boogie tagged in and got chopped and squashed in the corner for his troubles, but was able to throw Crimson through the ropes to the outside. It didn’t do much good, as the Kings isolated Mims and nailed him with a nice suplex-flying elbow drop combo for a near-fall.

At this point, as Mims was being battered by Crimson, Slice Boogie snuck over to the other corner on the outside and pulled Dane’s foot, so that he fell and smacked his head on the floor. Bear in mind, this is a man Tim Storm had just said hardly feels any pain. Dane lay there spread-eagled on the studio floor. And he didn’t get up. From an apron bump. What?!?

Crimson shouted at his partner to get up but Slice took the opportunity to take out Crimson’s knee with a chop block. Boogie and Mims continued to work on Crimson, but Jax remained on the floor. Unconcious. With no medical staff out to check on him. Ok. Crimson was able to take down Mims with a nice Death Valley Driver as a ref finally came out to check on Jax. You know, just in case it was anything serious or something. Finally, as Crimson throttled Boogie in the corner, Mims rolled him up to steal the victory. Afterwards, a frustrated Crimson shouted at Jax to get up.

Ok, so it’s a tag team special, and you’re already teasing one of your legitimate tag teams splitting up? In the first match back? Using a tactic that really didn’t allow me to suspend my sense of disbelief? The in-ring action here was really good, as it happens. But the booking…

“Nobody’s Safe, Everybody Has An Opportunity”

Nick Aldis came out to speak to Kyle Davis to address the rumours backstage about new members of Strictly Business. Here, Aldis came out with one of his best lines: “I wanna be great. I want every interview to leave them speechless, every match to leave them standing, and every moment to live forever.” You have to admit, that’s a killer line.

But as it turns out, Aldis wasn’t out to confirm who the newest member of Strictly Business is. He was out at the podium to confirm that nobody’s position in Strictly Business is safe and that any wrestler or any promotion that wants to live forever, they need to get in touch and, if they can step up, there might just be a spot in Strictly Business. There are no limits to how many members the group can incorporate; you just have to step up.

Now, that’s big news. Not only does it set up possible tension within Strictly Business, but it also suggests we might be seeing some interesting, unexpected names in the Powerrr studios soon. That’s doubly intriguing when Andrade has been tweeting on Tuesday about his past with the NWA in response to a Fite TV tweet and responding to Aldis—something the official NWA Twitter has retweeted. Now, I don’t necessarily think we’ll see Andrade in Atlanta, but regardless, I’m certainly intrigued.

NWA TV Champion ‘The Pope’ Elijah Burke vs. Fred Rosser

‘The Pope’ is here with 2 victories under his belt under the conditions of the ‘Lucky Seven’ title defences that will earn him a World Heavyweight title shot. This match is to be contested under the TV title time limit of six minutes, five seconds, so I expect the pace to be quite urgent here.

The opening moments saw both men counter big moves, Pope countering an armbar by taking the leg, and Rosser moving out of the way of a drop-down punch. Pope showed his agility by leaping up to the top, but Fred moved out of the way of a crossbody and nailed a spear in retaliation. Rosser continued with a leg drop before working the body in the corner. Pope returned fire with a neck breaker.

Pope charged the corner but Rosser moved out of the way. A Gut Check followed but Pope smartly rolled to the floor so that when Rosser got him back in the ring, Pope was able to kick out of the pin attempt. Rosser began to get frustrated but Pope avoided a charge in the corner and hit a nice set of double knees into Rosser’s back to get the win with 19 seconds remaining on the clock. I really enjoyed this match; it was fast-paced, urgent, athletic and hard-hitting, just what you want to see from the TV Title.

Afterwards, Tyrus and Austin Idol came out and mockingly applauded Pope as the champion held the title belt aloft proudly. Please don’t let Tyrus take the title. Please. I’m begging you…

Final Thoughts

Since the restart of the NWA with Back For The Attack, this was possibly the worst show the company has put on. That’s not to say it was bad; the TV title match was very enjoyable, and I liked the opening tag match. The promos from Aldis and Trevor Murdoch were very good too and kept things moving nicely. But, it had some glaring issues…

Where the show fell was on the tag team booking. For a tag team special, the show only had two tag team matches. Well, two matches do not a tag team special make. Not only that, but the company didn’t put on the match they set up between the tag champs and Sal Rinauro and seemed to dump on it a little whilst prolonging the matter. I’m not really sure why you’d do that when the episode is dedicated to promoting the tag division, plus you had already postponed one title match previously that you’d already promoted.

On top of that, there were two legitimate tag teams out there and they both lost to makeshift teams. That doesn’t make any sense. And while the quality of wrestling in those matches was good, why would you book a monster like Jax Dane to take a simple bump to the head on the ring apron and have him lying like that on the outside? How am I supposed to suspend my disbelief when that happens?

As I said, it wasn’t all doom and gloom, and this was only one show. But there was certainly some concerning questions being raised from this episode. We have Powerr Surge to look forward to next week though, featuring exclusive content. Let’s see what that can add to the mix.

Written by Chris Flackett

Wrestling obsessed since '91. Lived through the Monday Night Wars and is still here to tell the tale. Major fan of Strong Style, technical and Super Jr. Wrestling, as well as big versatile hosses smacking the hell out of each other. Lives in Manchester, England.

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