Previously on NWA Powerrr: We went Into The Fire for a new National Heavyweight Champion, the debuts of ODB and Marty Scurll, and the Mongrovian national anthem. And their flag, with a big question mark, an emu, and an anteater on it.
If you’d like to keep up with these columns, you can do so on the NWA Powerrr tag page. Remember, NWA Powerrr and all its extra Rs is free to watch on YouTube, so check out episode ten if you haven’t already:
Playing With Fire
Let’s start off this week by talking about the fallout from Into The Fire and its dumbest slash best result: Aron Stevens, who hid behind a Christmas tree for most of his match, winning the National Heavyweight Championship. Because he’s now a student of Mongrovian karah-tay, he’s decided to add bright yellow stripes to the National title to show that he’s a 3rd Dan black belt. He will now be known “approia-lah” as Shooter Stevens. Bless this whole thing for trying hard to be stupider and stupider each week, and it somehow working. It turns a lot of people off, apparently, but I prefer my serious classic pro wrestling with a side of karate assholes and out of shape dudes wearing masks for literally no reason*.
*Okay, the Question Mark has a reason, but we haven’t gotten there yet. And now that he’s the breakout star of the show, I’m kinda hoping we never do.
Bonus points for classic wrestling goofball Colt Cabana being taken completely out of his element and openly humiliated by the fact that a championship he worked hard to earn and treats as prestigious is currently being held by a former WWE guy who clearly lost his mind and doesn’t even want to be a wrestler.
One of the other championship matches at Into the Fire saw the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express retain the NWA tag straps against the Wild Cards thanks to a distraction caused by a ringside brawl between the Dawsons and Outlaw Inc. The Dawsons show up early in the show to complain to Dave Marquez that the Wild Cards had promised them title opportunities and money, and that because they haven’t received either of those things, they’re going to “expose the truth” about them tonight. This of course immediately brings out the Wild Cards to stop them, and this continues throughout the episode.
Eventually we get a Wild Cards vs. Dawsons match, which sees the normally kinda wishy-washy Wild Cards get super serious about shutting the Dawsons the hell up. They not only defeat them in the match, they openly try to injure them by stomping the shit out of their hands. We won’t find out what the big conspiracy and “truth” is tonight, unless, you know, somebody else accidentally spills the beans.
More on those beans in just a moment.
The main event of the episode is the grudge match set up by the “grudge match” between Ken Anderson (Anderson) and E. Lie Drake at Into the Fire. That one was billed as a grudge without a hell of a lot to back it up — they just kinda didn’t like each other, and kept getting in each other’s faces — but then Anderson tried to break Drake’s neck with a chair and shit got real. So they go full grudge here, throwing punches right at the start and brawling up into the crowd. It’s the first use of the new Lucha Underground style “landing” at the top of the bleachers, which I assume we’ll see a lot more of. Honestly, between the crowd brawling and the kitschier spots like Drake posing like his Into the Fire promotional poster or take a selfie with a phone he’s not sure how to use (pictured) made it feel like the NWA’s TV-PG version of a Lucha Underground main event.
The finish here is really fantastic, with Anderson once again trying to put Drake away with a Mic Check onto an open steel chair. Drake sees it coming this time and is able to block, hits Anderson with a drop toe-hold onto the chair, and then, as Joe Galli wonderfully puts it, goes “full Donkey Kong” on him. I’m so used to boomer wrestling announcers that a guy making an accurate Donkey Kong ground-and-pound reference sounds like a mistake. Joe Galli is the best part of these shows. But yeah, no, Drake has Anderson beat and considers using a chair to finish him off, but goes the rare GOOD DUDE route, throws it down, and hits his finisher to win. Wonderful ending to a match that wasn’t as “good” as their pay-per-view bout, but made more sense for the story.
Also of note: Tim Storm sits in on commentary for the match, and talks about Nick Aldis and all the various challengers to the championship. There’s James Storm of course, as well as Marty Scurll (who gets a really good sit-down interview on this episode explaining why he decided to hang out in the NWA for a while), and even Ricky Morton’s throwing some shade. He’s just giving answers to questions he’s been asked, but Nick Aldis eventually shows up to get in his face about it. Not only does Aldis feel like he has to control Storm’s career, he has to control his mental state at all times to make sure he never gets confident and rises back up to challenge him. Tim Storm, seemingly finally starting to realize this, says enough’s enough and challenges Aldis to get in the ring and fight him instead of micromanaging him into emotional insanity.
When Aldis finally gets in there, Storm gets jumped by the Wild Cards. WAIT JUST A MINUTE WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?
Yeah, as it turns out, the thing Aldis, Thom Lattimer, and Kamille have been walking on eggshells about for the past few weeks is the fact that (surprise!) Kamille and Lattimer are actually dating (as anyone with social media already knows), and Aldis (presumably) has leveraged that to enlist Lattimer and Other Guy as additional protection for his World Heavyweight Championship. Mr. Fairplay and Tradition Nick Aldis is secretly a top-level scumbag who is jerking everyone around and manipulating the promotion on an almost atomic level to keep a stranglehold on its top prize. They even do a fun bit where Kamille shows up having been “fired” as Aldis’ insurance policy just to make it look like she’s gonna stick up for Tim Storm for like five seconds before immediately turning on him. Heels love taking 30 steps to get somewhere that takes three.
Also, huge shout-out to Kamille for absolutely trucking the 6-foot-3, 260-pound Tim Storm with that spear. It’s less a spear and more of a shoot football tackle. Look at that back foot, it doesn’t leave the mat until the hit is through and they’re falling. She’s hitting him with real force and planting that shit. If she hit a regular-sized person with a tackle like that they’d explode like a dying Mega Man. Kamille rules.
TV Time Remaining
The B-story of the episode is the announcement of a tournament to crown a new NWA Television Champion. You may remember that beautiful red and silver championship as the one guys like Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard got because they’re friends with Ric Flair, but they’re never gonna be Ric Flair. It’s also meant to be a championship that’s defended on every episode of NWA television, so it’s a fun way to give top stars a break from whatever they’d normally be doing and get them in short matches with whoever you want every week. The tournament also comes with a bunch of rules, which I enjoy, including a preemptive note about draws and a 6:05 time limit for each match. Gimme them rules. All I want in my life right now is some sense and stability.
Some of the Aldis vs. (Tim) Storm stuff might have happened to supplement the tournament, as they’re two of the announced participants. Aldis has to make a big speech about how he wants to be the first man to hold the NWA World Heavyweight and Television Championships at the same time to explain it, but I think “belt greed” is easy to understand. I also like that he waved over Ricky Starks to stand next to him during the exposition, to kinda keep him under his thumb while simultaneously praising and burying him. Aldis is on some next-level dickhead shit.
The matches for the tournament get announced with help from a man who is a former Television Champion in his own right, and one of those NWA legends who is legitimately a legend but is never gonna show up or be honored on WWE TV because he didn’t extend his career forever and wind up there: Nikita Koloff.
Just want to say how great it is to see and hear him on TV again, even if he’s just out here as a normal American guy not mugging hilariously and screaming into the microphone in the world’s least believable Russian accent. He was Nikita, man, it worked. MAGGA T-A, TOYA-TAH!
The competitors in the tourney in addition to Storm and Aldis are Ricky Starks, Caleb Konley, Colt Cabana, Trevor Murdoch, Tom Lattimer, The Question Mark, Eddie Kingston, and both members of the Dawsons. Oh, and one more guy decided via a jobber triple threat, but I’ve gotta give him his own entry.
Meet ‘Outlandish’ Zicky Dice, who kinda looks like Enzo Amore and Kevin Owens had a weird baby. His gimmick is that he’s “stuck in 1984” and cannot stop telling you about how he is outlandish. I’m not joking about that. While the announcer is announcing the participants, he’s standing in the middle of the ring taking off his clothes and yelling OUTTTLAAAANDIIIIISHHHH! Before and after every single wrestling move he does, he yells OUTTTLAAAANDIIIIISHHHH! He sets up his finisher while yelling OUTTTLAAAANDIIIIISHHHH! When he comes to the interview area after his match to introduce himself, he almost destroys the set because he’s so excited to yell OUTTTLAAAANDIIIIISHHHH at you. It says “outlandish” on the back of his tights. Motherfucker is all in on “outlandish.” Also, his name is “Zicky Dice.” There’s a 90% chance he went to a Japanese restaurant that advertised “outlandish sticky rice” and he was like, “SOMEBODY GET A NOTEBOOK I GOTTA WRITE THIS DOWN.”
Outlandish Zicky Dice gets an outlandish win over recurring jobber Sal Rinauro and former ECW star CW Anderson, who would probably be one of the promotion’s top stars if NWA Powerrr had debuted in 2001 instead of 2019. I think the 6:05 time limit gimmick will be fun, and will let them do a bunch of tournament matches on a one-hour show without feeling like they’re copping out and making them all run super short. It’s a smart idea. Let’s hope Outlandish Zicky Dice runs afoul of The Question Mark at some point, just to see what that would look like.
Also On This Episode
Early in the episode we get an appearance from Melina Claus, which quickly ends when Ashley Vox shows up to enact some deep sea revenge on Thunder Rosa. It quickly turns into a 2-on-1 attack with Rosa trying to stomp Vox’s arm on the ring steps, but Allysin Kay and ODB make the save. Later, Melina and Thunder Rosa find Marti Belle in street clothes backstage and blame her for not being out there to protect and help them, even though they told her to stay in the back and not be out there to protect and help them. What, does Marti work in new media all of a sudden?
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express get such an easy win over Zach Mosley and Shawn Sims that they don’t even have to leave their feet, and win with tandem roll-ups. You’ve gotta be at least Royce Isaacs good for Ricky Morton to start using his moveset. It’s like if PAC was 63 and worked at Dollywood.
Finally, we get an appearance from the suspended Jocephus, who has not appeared on NWA Powerrr or related programs in any other persona. Why would you even think that? He’s suspended. This week, though, he’s Jocephus Claus and here to throw a bunch of gifts and free merch into the crowd. He refuses to hug the Tennessee Santa, though, for what I assume are obvious reasons. Orange Santas are powered by avarice, which is why he stepped out of the crowd expecting and demanding a hug. Red Santas are powered by rage, which is why the hug was rebuffed.
Note: Kris Kringle is also a Red Santa, which is why he’s kept in isolation for 364 days a year.
The Television Championship tournament begins as we build to the next pay-per-view, NWA Hard Times, a show named after a legendary Dusty Rhodes promo but not run by his living family in a reminder that (1) Dusty created basically everything good in wrestling, and (2) his kids have to copyright pretty much everything.
See you next week!