KELLER & MARTIN FLAGSHIP (12/19)
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NWA POWER TV REPORT
JANUARY 7, 2020
ATLANTA, GA. AT GPB STUDIOS
REPORT BY MICHAEL TAYLOR, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
-The show opened with highlights of the on-going saga between NWA Heavyweight champion Nick Aldis, Tim Storm, and Ricky Morton. Replays were shown of Nick Aldis pulling out of the Television title tournament and threatening Morton along with the entire NWA locker room. The package ended and “Into the Fire began” as did the Power intro video. The camera entered the studio and panned the audience before landing on Joe Galli in the interview booth. Galli introduced Tim Storm.
-Storm came out to loud cheers from the audience. Galli asked Storm about the TV title tournament. Storm said the NWA TV title is the “workhouse” title and he would be proud to hold it. He said in the tournament would feature two open invitation spots that could go to anyone, including wrestlers from other promotions. He turned his attention to Nick Aldis and said the fans deserved to match between them. The fans called Aldis a coward. Kamille interrupted and got in Storm’s face. She pushed Galli and took the microphone. While Kamille stared at Storm, Storm asked her how Aldis could call himself a champion after pulling out of their match. Kamille stayed silent before slapping Storm in the face. Aldis looked infuriated and Kamille smiled at him and walked off the set.
(Taylor’s Analysis: Kamille is one of the most effective wrestling personalities, and she hasn’t said a word yet. She has perfect body language, perfect facial expressions, and her physicality is believable. She frequently steals any scene she’s in. Storm sold the slap perfectly without being comical or over-dramatic.)
-A commercial for NWA tapings aired.
-The show returned with The Dawsons and Trevor Murdoch in the interview booth with Dave Marquez. Zane Dawson said his injured hand wouldn’t keep him out of the TV tournament. Murdoch said he thought he could beat anyone in the tournament. The next two names were drawn, and Marquez revealed them to be Zane Dawson and Dave Dawson. Marquez said only two names remained which were Murdoch and Tom Latimer. Murdoch said Latimer was no joke and the match would be a fight. The camera cut to the ring.
(Taylor’s Analysis: A tournament bracket needs to be featured. It’s hard to keep track of the matches on a weekly basis. The lack of a bracket has been the only negative in the tournament thus far. The match pairings, although a bit convenient, are intriguing.)
(1) “OUTLANDISH” ZICKY DICE vs. CALEB KONLEY – NWA TV Title tournament match
-The bell rang, and Dice stalled in the corner. He eventually charged and Konley but was countered. The pace quickened until Dice threw Konley to the mat but pulling his hair. Dice avoided a dropkick but Konley attempted another one which laded. Konley chopped Dice in the corner and hit a back-body drop. With Dice on the mat, Konley hit a standing senton and scored a two count. From there, Dice caught a diving Konley and hit an overhead suplex for a two count. They stood and traded strikes until Konley hit a head butt followed by a suplex. Konley scaled the ropes and missed a moonsault. Dice hit the snake, rattle, and roll for the win.
WINNER: Zicky Dice via pinfall
(Taylor’s Analysis: Dice is a perfect, obnoxious heel. This would have been a great time for Dice to cheat in order to win the match in order to solidify his heel persona. The crowd was into Konley because of his great offense, as well as the heat for Dice.)
-A commercial for HighSpots.com aired.
-The show returned with Joe Galli interviewing Aron Stevens and The Question Mark. Both Stevens and Question Mark were dressed in full Karate garb. Stevens said Question Mark taught him how to discover himself as a person. Stevens addressed the title picture in NWA and said throughout his career, he never needed a title to be a star. He said his shift has focused and the best need the belts. He said he and Question Mark had a strong bond and that they would be winning all the belts in the NWA. Stevens said they deserved all the gold because of how much the fans loved them. Galli asked when Stevens was going to defend the National Heavyweight title. Stevens called for the interview to end.
-The camera returned to the arena with NWA Women’s champion Allysin Kay on commentary. Thunder Rosa was waiting in the ring and ODB made her ring entrance.
(2) THUNDER ROSA vs. ODB
-The bell rang, and Rosa cinched in a headlock. ODB created separation and threw Rosa into the corner. They traded strikes until ODB took control with a clothesline. Rosa tripped ODB who fell throat first onto the ropes. Rosa charged and landed on OBD’s back. From there, Rosa knocked ODB to the mat with a clothesline. She kept control with several strikes and cinched in a headlock. ODB stood with Rosa on her back and squashed her in the corner. They both stood and traded strikes. On commentary, Kay said she was keeping track of Rosa’s mistakes. ODB hit a fall-away slam and scaled the second rope. Rosa avoided the dive and hit a running dropkick for a two count. The crowd started a dueling “Thunder Rosa – ODB” chant. From there, Rosa hit a backstabber followed by a dive from the top onto ODB’s back for the win.
WINNER: Thunder Rosa via pinfall
(Taylor’s Analysis: This was very hard-hitting and there was obvious chemistry between these two. This is the most we’ve heard from Kay in quite a while and she added something to the match on commentary. Thunder Rosa should attempt to go after Kay next but should be stopped by Melina. Rosa is only steps away from being the biggest face in the company.)
-A parody commercial for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express hotline aired.
-The show returned, and Joe Galli introduced Nick Aldis who entered the studio to loud boos. The boos eventually turned into a “Coward!” chant. Aldis was unable to speak and taunted the crowd. Galli pulled out a stack of papers and said they were questions for Aldis. Aldis said he knew Galli wanted to ask about Kamille. He said he didn’t lie about Kamille no longer being his insurance policy because she is now a member of Strictly Business. Galli asked how Aldis could justify his actions against Tim Storm. Aldis said Storm was the one out of line and called Storm a part of his past. He called out Ricky Morton and said he was a carnie making a living on his hard work. He turned his attention to Ricky Starks, his opponent for the evening. Aldis said he was accused of not being able to compete in the TV title tournament because of the 6:05 time limit. He said his match with Starks would have a 6:05 time limit. Aldis said this would be the night Starks was made a star and then entered the ring.
-A commercial for NWA Hard Times aired, followed by a commercial for NWA tapings.
-The show returned with Aldis in the ring. Starks made his ring entrance.
(3) NICK ALIDS (CHAMPION) vs. RICKY STARKS – Non-title, time limit exhibition match
Formal ring introductions took place, and the bell rang. Aldis taunted Starks in the corner before they traded offense. Starks hit a dropkick and taunted Aldis from the mat. Aldis caught a diving Starks and hit a brainbuster. Starks kicked out of two pinfall attempts. Aldis hit a running clothesline for another two count. From there, Starks created separation with strikes, but Aldis knocked him to the mat with a back elbow. Aldis hit a fall-away slam for a two count. Marquez made the “three minutes remaining” announcement and Aldis cinched in a headlock. Starks broke the hold and hit a sling blade. The pace quickened and Starks hit a dropkick for a two count. Aldis retreated to the outside the ring but was met with a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Starks scaled the ropes and tried a moonsault. He landed on his feet but tweaked his knee. The pace quickened again, and Starks tried to hit Buster Keaton. Aldis knocked Starks to the mat and cinched in Kings Landing. Aldis held Starks in the hold for over one minute. The crowd erupted as the time limit expired without Starks tapping out. The bell rang, and Aldis celebrated as if he won the match. Marquez announced that the time limit expired and announced the match a draw.
WINNER: No contest
-Aldis walked around the ring and taunted the crowd. Ricky Morton entered the ring and told Aldis he should give Starks five more minutes. The crowd started a “Five More Minutes!” chant. Aldis took the mike and said “no.” The crowd booed. Aldis said he just gave Starks the match of his life and was saved by the bell. Morton said if Aldis wouldn’t fight Starks for five more minutes, he would fight Aldis for five minutes. The crowd started a “Rock ‘n’ Roll!” chant. Aldis said “no” again and walked out of the ring.
(Taylor’s Analysis: Despite the fact he didn’t win, Starks came out of this match a bigger star. That’s how pro-wrestling should work. Aldis continues to draw legitimate heat from the crowd. No one is cheering him because he’s a “good at being a heel”. They’re booing him because he has them invested in his heel persona.)
-A commercial for NWA tapings aired.
-The show returned with James Storm and Eli Drake making their ring entrance. Colt Cabana and Ken Anderson followed. Both teams waited for the arrival of The Wilds Cards, but they never came out. The referee started the match.
(4) “COWBOY” JAMES STORM & ELI DRAKE vs. COLT CABANA & KEN ANDERSON
-The bell rang. Cabana and Drake fist-bumped before locking up. They traded holds until Cabana took control with a headlock. Drake broke the hold and hit a back elbow for a two count. On commentary, Bennet said Cabana was often overlooked because of his personality but was showing more aggression lately. Anderson and Storm tagged in. The pace quickened until Storm hit a flying head scissors. Anderson pulled Storm’s hair and knocked him to the mat. Cabana condemned the move from the ring apron. From there, Cabana and Anderson kept control of the match with quick tags. Storm created separation from Anderson and tagged in Drake. Drake rallied and hit a flurry of offense followed by a two count. Cabana tagged back in and knocked Drake to the mat before cinching in a headlock. Drake broke free with a jawbreaker. Both men crawled to their corners for a tag. Anderson ran outside the ring attacked Storm. Cabana rolled Drake up for a two count. Anderson entered the ring and assaulted the referee, causing a disqualification. After the match, Cabana and Anderson argued at ringside while Drake helped Storm to the back.
WINNERS: James Storm & Eli Drake via DQ
-Strictly Business entered the interview booth. Aldis said he didn’t want The Wild Cards in the tag match and used his power to remove them from the match. He called the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express to the booth. They walked out from the back. As Aldis began to speak, a fan yelled: “You’re a coward!” Aldis responded with “Shut up, fat boy.” He said it was clear the only way to settle his differences with Morton was with physicality. Aldis said it would be Team Storm vs. Team Morton and if Team Morton won, Morton would get a shot at the Heavyweight title. Morton said he had wrestled the best NWA champions of all time and that the reason he was never NWA champion, was because he never partook in backstage politics. Morton accepted the challenge. Aldis went on to say neither he nor Morton would be in the match because he didn’t want Morton to have any excused in their match if his team won. Aldis said his team would consist of The Wilds Cards and the “third man.” He said he had hired an independent contractor. A sired played throughout the studio and Scott Steiner walked down the studio stairs. Steiner and Aldis embraced as the show ended.
(Taylor’s Analysis: Unfortunately, Steiner looked like he was having trouble walking down the studio steps and seems in no condition to add anything of value in the ring. He may draw eyes on the show, but for the wrong reasons. I don’t like his association with Aldis and Strictly Business. It doesn’t add any legitimacy to the faction. Hopefully, this is not a permanent spot for Steiner. If he’s going to be used on the show, it should be as a legend who doesn’t enter the ring.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: This episode continued to build intrigue as Hard Times approaches. However, there were no mentions of Hard Times during the show. The pay-per-view card should be more solidified at this point. Regardless, there are plenty of interesting storylines and personal issues weaved throughout the roster. Even if I don’t like some of the players introduced tonight, I’m interested to see what’s to come.