Tuesday night’s edition of NWA Power featured fallout from Ring of Honor’s Free Enterprise card and the next step in the lead-up to Nick Aldis vs. Marty Scurll.
The big news was the counteroffer from Scurll, which was already revealed over the weekend. Scurll’s offer is that if he loses the title match to Aldis, he will write him a cheque for $500,000. This replaces the prior offer where Aldis wanted Scurll to refund the fan’s money if he lost at the Crockett Cup event. The idea is that everyone knows Scurll signed a lucrative deal with Ring of Honor and therefore, it’s a believable amount of money – although, I hope Scurll can set up a payment plan because that isn’t how salaries work when you sign a contract.
Eli Drake was on commentary for the opening match while James Storm drank in the background.
THE DAWSONS VS THE BOUNCERS
Brian Milonas and Beer City Bruiser are the ROH representatives for this current cycle of episodes and had Eddie Kingston in their corner. The Dawsons had The Pope in their corner.
Milonas and Dave Dawson started with a chop battle, which felt so inconsequential two days after Hiromu Takahashi and Ryu Lee. That’s the only comparison this match will receive to that one.
Milonas was slammed off the turnbuckle but Bruiser made the save as The Bouncers won with the Blackout, which is a double-team superplex and top rope splash that is impressive given their respective size.
WINNERS: The Bouncers in 5:20
James Storm poured beer into the Crockett Cup, which replaces the Christmas tree as this season’s set-piece. They all drank like it was the Stanley Cup except Drake, who continued drinking water.
The location and date of the Crockett Cup will be revealed next week. They are being smart and driving people to sign up for their digital newsletter and those sign-ups will get the news first.
Aldis cut a taped promo with Quinn McKay of ROH and explained how he arrived at the $500,000 because that’s what the NWA is worth to the company. He arrived at this number from pay-per-view sales, merchandise, and live event tickets. If that’s was what that title translated to, this company wouldn’t need to search for a television or streaming deal.
Thom Latimer and Kamille were interviewed by Joe Galli to preview Latimer’s match with Tim Storm. He called Storm an ‘old fart’. Galli tried to stir things up by asking if a win would get him closer to an NWA title shot and Latimer wouldn’t fall for his attempt to create dissension with his stablemate Aldis. Kamille refused to answer Galli’s question.
THOM LATIMER VS TIM STORM
It was a stalemate and Storm was getting frustrated. They traded shoulder blocks and ended with Storm delivering a back-body drop. Storm missed in the corner and was hit with the Brighter Side of Suffering (an elevated DDT) and Latimer won.
WINNER: Thom Latimer in 5:34
The audience was audibly disappointed in Storm losing. They are doing a losing streak with Storm and teasing that his career is winding down. He is such a great character on this show and it feels like they are setting the table for one last run by Storm and this audience will eat it up.
The fake ‘Mama Storm’ guy came out and Storm brushed past him. This gag didn’t work last week and unlike Storm, should be retired.
Trevor Murdoch was out and complained about Aron Stevens running away from his opponents and wants a rematch. He said his trainer, the late Harley Race, would not stand for this and be ashamed of men like Stevens. The Question Mark came out to sing the Mongrovian anthem and issued a challenge to Murdoch. It was a solid promo from Murdoch and Jocephus plays this character well that is backed up an engaging crowd that enjoys the character.
Next week, it’s the debut of their ‘Circle Squared’ reality series hosted by Sean Mooney. NWA Power will be off next week due to the new series and returns on February 25th.
There was an ad for Koloff for Christ Ministries with Nikita literally preaching about finding religion in October 1993 and traveling to spread the word. It wasn’t meant to be comical but because these ads are usually reserved for Austin Idol’s wrestling school and Tony Falk’s waffles and tire irons, that was the tone I took it in.
RICKY STARKS VS MATT CROSS FOR THE NWA TELEVISION TITLE
This was the second match in Starks’ ‘Lucky 7’ road to a title shot. Cross hit a delayed backbreaker and bicycle kick as he was in control. They battled for a vertical suplex with Starks executing it. Starks landed a tornado DDT later in the match and Cross kicked out. There were second remaining as Cross hit the Cross Cutter, but instead of going for the pin he went climbing to the top rope as time expired.
WINNER: Draw at 6:05
Even though he didn’t win, Starks retained his title and therefore it counts as his second win in the ‘Lucky 7’.
Zicky Dice ran down Starks’ performance and discovered their names rhyme. He said Starks couldn’t get the job done and he ‘finishes every time’ – and yes, he meant it that way.
Marti Belle came out to complain about her former friend Allysin Kay. She accused Kay of not caring about the fans or anyone else but her. Interviewer Kyle Davis suggested Melina had brainwashed her and Belle snapped defending Melina and saying she saw something in Belle no one else did.
Kay came out to respond, she cares about the fans and Melina is ‘Jim Jones and you’re drinking the Kool-Aid’. She said no matter what she will always be there for Belle and Melina is using her to get to Thunder Rosa’s title and that’s why Melina is wrestling Tasha Steelz tonight.
MELINA VS TASHA STEELZ
It was largely Melina taking this match after spiking Steelz into the mat with a snap mare. There was a bad looking suplex attempt from Melina and something was off. Melina continued her offense and won with the Primal Scream, which is her leg slicer.
WINNER: Melina in 4:45
Melina demanded a title match against Thunder Rosa next week. So, Allysin Kay was right.
NICK ALDIS & ROYCE ISAACS VS THE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL EXPRESS
This Express is always going to be popular in this environment and it helps the matches a lot.
May Valentine was out with Isaacs and sat in the crowd with Sal Rinauro.
After working on Issacs’ leg, Morton went to the floor and was sneak attacked by Aldis as they got the heat on him. Aldis missed in the corner as Gibson received the tag. Aldis was thrown off the top turnbuckle but Isaacs stopped Gibson with a thumb to the eye and used the rope for leverage to pin Gibson.
WINNERS: Nick Aldis & Royce Isaacs in 7:21
It was an average match but the audience seemed interested rooting on Morton and Gibson.
The show ended with footage of Aldis and Scurll from their feud with Aldis speaking over it as that remains the prime focus of the series.
I can’t say this was their most dynamic episode. There was very little in terms of importance from Free Enterprise other than the counteroffer, which was revealed prior to Tuesday.
While there wasn’t the show-stealing promo like Nick Aldis usually has or Eddie Kingston did last week, there were some fine ones from Trevor Murdoch, Allysin Kay, and Thom Latimer. The best was probably Nikita Koloff promoting his ministry.
Matt Cross continues to look good in his matches and adds depth to the in-ring quality of the program.
This felt closer to a placeholder show with a few news items sprinkled in as the Crockett Cup build hasn’t really begun beyond the main event.