War! Yeah! What is it good for? In the case of the National Wrestling Alliance, it’s for team to beat each other for a chance at $30000. It’s a new concept from Billy Corgan, and a chance for new teams to get in some old fashioned violence, and I for one am all for it. Who says wars don’t resolve issues?
We start the show with a cold open with Kyle Davis at The Podium, as he is joined by Matt Cardona to ask him to explain his actions from last week as he and Mike Knox beat down the NWA Heavyweight Champion, Trevor Murdoch. This is a case that I’m going to let Cardona speak for himself:
“I’ve got some bad news, and I hate to let the people down but I…I just can’t wrestle Trevor for the NWA World Title. I can’t do it. I can’t do it. I can’t because if I wrestled Trevor, then I have to win. And if I win, then I have to take that title, and I take that title…well, then Trevor is going to do the same thing he did in 2018. And that’s quit the business.
Your champ is a quitter! Your champ is a quitter! What’s the matter, Trevor? Things got too hard? Huh? Was the business too hard on you, Trevor? What’s the matter, Trevor? Didn’t you win all the matches that you hoped you would win, Trevor? What’s the matter? Did you not get all the opportunities that you thought you deserve, Trevor? Well, join the g**damn club!
Look at me. Look at me! There is nobody in this business… [In] the history of this damn business who’s been counted out more times than me, but I’ve never quit! I always come back. You know what? You know what? Fighting Trevor is exactly what I have to do. Beating Trevor is exactly what I have to do. If I beat Trevor for the World’s Heavyweight Championship, I will save the NWA. So that’s what I’m gonna do. What do you say? Huh? Think about it: Trevor Murdock, ‘Always ready’ Matt Cardona, for the Ten Pounds of Gold. And when I beat you, Trevor…when I win the championship, Trevor… when I save the NWA, Trevor. Please! Please…please do us all a favor and quit the business. Again!”
Damn if that promo didn’t give me goosebumps. Also, you can tell Cardona has been held back *way* too long in WWE, and this is just what was needed to cement his challenge to the current champion. Hell, I’d be interested if he did win the title from Trevor Murdoch.
But that is a subject for another day.
For now, we go to the GPB Studios in Atlanta, GA. Your commentators Joe Galli, Velvet Sky, and special guest commentator Madusa have the call, and it’s time for the First Match, which the first part of…
Team War Semifinals: Homicide/La Rebelion (Bestia 666 and MechaWolf) vs. The OGK (Matt Taven and Mike Bennett)/Victor Benjamin vs. Colby Corino/The Fixers (Jay Bradley and “Wrecking Ball” Legurtsky vs. Strictly Business (Thom Latimer and Chris Adonis)/El Rudo
As the men assemble at ringside, Galli advises that the match will be contested under elimination rules. If a combatant is thrown over the top rope, pinned, or submits, they are eliminated, and their teammate will step in until all members are eliminated, and only one team member(s) remain. As Galli goes over the rules, Rudo uses the time to jaw jack at Homicide, and no good ever comes of that.
(Author’s Note: I’ll just focus on who gets eliminated, and who’s stepped in to replace the downed teammate. Any big moves will get highlighted in the recap, as this promises to have fast and furious action.)
Corino, El Rudo, Benjamin, and Homicide all start out in the ring. Early in the match, El Rudo manages to eliminate Homicide to his surprise, and MechaWolf comes in for a beat down on Rudo. MechaWolf gets Corino the Uranage body slam combo from Benjamin onto Corino. MechaWolf delivers the tornado DDT to Benjamin to pin him, and the Savage Gentle is eliminated. Bennett steps in to avenge his teammate. Meanwhile, Corino is on El Rudo’s shoulders, but King Corino does a victory roll pinning combo and El Rudo is gone. Now, Adonis gets in, and slaps the Masterlock to the cocky Corino, and he submits to exit the ring.
Legurtsky steps in, and corner splashes all combatants in the ring. Bennett and Wolf superkick the Fixer, and with assistance from Adonis manage to send the big man over the top rope. Now Bradley gets in the ring, and delivers a fireman’s slam to a corner leaping elbow to Bennett, but misses. Bennett goes after MechaWolf, and he attempts another tornado DDT to the OGK member, but gets a two count. MechaWolf goes up top for a high flying move, but misses Bennett, and a suplex and discus elbow for a pin sends ‘Wolf packing. Now Bestia is in, and he superkicks Adonis, then gets Bennett in a tightrope walk arm drag to Bennett and crashes to Adonis. Bradley comes back and gets Bestia in a powerbomb setup, but Bestia fights him off and Bradley and Bestia are both eliminated with a huracanrana over the top rope to the floor. Adonis manages to eliminate Bennett, and Taven is the lone member of his team in this match. Adonis goes to a Masterlock on Taven, and he’s fading fast…but he manages to stay in the fight. Taven fights through the pain and sends Adonis to the ropes and sends him over. Finally, Latimer steps in, but Taven finds his second wind and nails a neckbreaker, and punt to the chest of The King of all Evil. Taven goes up top, but Adonis pushes him off, and Latimer hits a Piledriver to get the pin.
Your Winners: Strictly Business and El Rudo
Back to The Podium, and Kyle Davis introduces Da Pope, who’s been away for weeks because Cardona sent him in the steel steps at the end of Hard Times 2 PPV. Again, I will turn the time over so Pope can speak for himself:
“It’s not easy being out here right now. I’m not going to pretend otherwise. But the first thing I want to do so I want to thank the friends. I want to thank everybody around the world
I want to thank them for their thoughts and their prayers, because uncertainty was placed on Pope at Hard Times. Now, I want to be clear; uncertainty wasn’t just placed upon Pope at Hard Times. Uncertainty was placed upon the NWA. Uncertainty was placed on the Ten Pounds of Gold, but we’ll get to that soon enough. But just to be clear, uncertainty is when you wake up in a foreign land. You got hands all over your body; you got voices all around your head, your eyes are wide open, but you see nothing. That’s uncertainty. Uncertainty, that’s what you’re strapped to a backboard. You’re loaded in the ambulance, you’re placed in the hospital bed. You don’t know when you go leave. That’s uncertainty. Uncertainty is where your momma, your brother, your boss man Billy [Corgan], the boys and the girls in the back there really feel like hell, and you can’t give them an answer. That’s uncertainty! But there’s one thing that is certain, and that’s the fact that two no-gooders, if you will, found it fun to come out here and laugh at the expense of Pope. Laugh at the uncertainty that surrounds the Pope. Let me be clear, there was no fun in it. It wasn’t fun. You think Velvet Sky holding my leg, cried at my feet; you think that’s fun? Hell, naw! It wasn’t fun. You think Tim Storm standing by my side, daddy, praying like a saint for Pope to come through? It was no fun at all. And all the boys and the girls that stood hours to see Pope through…daddy, that’s no fun!
But let me …let me address this, and let me bring this whole thing full circle. One thing that Pope’s going to always do: That is defend the honor, that’s to defend the integrity of the National Wrestling Alliance, daddy!
That’s why Pope came out. That’s why Pope stood beside Trevor Murdoch. Because Trevor Murdoch; he represents what Pope stand for, daddy. Trevor Murdoch represents tradition, and I’ll stand by my brother any day, and on any given Sunday. Now then, it appears that is some point at some time, Matt Cardona…Pope’s gonna have to reach down and pull into some mud show, and slap some tradition back into you, my friend. And then Mike Knox; make no mistake about it. Pope’s a-knockin’ at yo door, daddy. And I don’t know when, and I don’t know where. I understand there’s a certain shift happening around here. There’s a certain *shift* happening around here. And Pope is too old for this *shift* (If you get Pope’s drift). I want you to know, and I want to be very clear; no more darkness. No more midnight. Daybreak is coming!”
Whoa! Two great promos in under an hour! On a scale of one to “Hard Times”, this promo ranks among the best in the NWA. For fans and wrestlers alike who want to convey emotion to fans to get over, this is your master class on how it’s done by two great wrestlers.
May Valentine is backstage with Ill Begotten members Rush Freeman, Alex Taylor, and Captain YUMA. YUMA thanks the earthlings, and says he’s proud of the unit they are becoming. Taylor interrupts and he and Freeman state their stable is becoming stronger, and introduce the newest member…Jeremiah Plunkett. As the three men bond (and completely crowd YUMA out of camera frame), I say: Let the world domination commence!
But before that starts, it’s time for a title match for the…
NWA Women’s Championship: Kamille (c) vs. Kiera Hogan
As Davis gives the boxing style intros, the fans in Atlanta are solidly behind the hometown favorite Hogan. As the bell rings, Hogan is badmouthing to the champ, but Kamille shows her power early on. This is again a classic size (Kamille) versus fiery quickness (Hogan) matchup, and she came to fight as she dropkicks Kamille in the corner. Hogan goes up top with punches, but Kamille picks her up and its snake eyes to the corner turnbuckle to Hogan. Then it’s all Brickhouse, as she suplex Hogan with ease. She gives the challenger European uppercuts, and keeps toying with Hogan. Hogan runs the ropes and attempts a crossbody, but Kamille catches her and slap in a bear hug submission, and then transitions to a fisherman suplex for the pin, and it’s academic from here.
Your Winner, and Still NWA Women’s Champion: Kamille
We get recaps of last week’s NWA USA, and you should read up on the weekend’s action.
But now, we head once more unto the breach, dear friends, as it’s time for…
Team War Match Two: IdolMania Sports Management (Jordan Clearwater and Marshe Rockett and Tyrus) vs. Aron Stevens and Kratos and Judais vs. The End (Parrow and OdinSon)/Rodney Mack vs. The Ill-Begotten (Rush Freeman and Alex Taylor and Jeremiah Plunkett)
Stevens, OdinSon, Tyrus and Taylor start out for their teams. Stevens is ready for a fight, and OdinSon and Taylor lay in some fist to Stevens’ head, leaving him loopy. One Tyrus heart punch to a pin, and thanks for coming out, Stevens. Kratos enters, and stares daggers at Tyrus. Taylor tries to get involves, and Kratos sends Taylor out of the ring. Now Freeman is in, and Tyrus heart punches him for a pin, and this is easily best/strangest version of one-upmanship I’ve ever seen. Plunkett comes in, and he wisely backs off. Kratos grabs his arm, and Tyrus grabs the other as they play tug of war with poor Plunkett.
Meanwhile, OdinSon is lying in wat, and all three men send the Man-ster Tyrus over the top rope, much to his chagrin. Rockett steps in for IdolMania, and clotheslines everyone in the ring. He badmouths Kratos, who starts working over on Rockett, but he manages a dropkick to Kratos to send him over top rope. Now Judais comes in, and he proceeds to choke slam Plunkett and OdinSon. He tries on Rockett, but no dice. Judais changes tactics, and sends Rockett over the top rope. Now it’s Clearwater remaining for IdolMania, and he’s hesitant getting in the ring, as Judais stalks him like prey. OdinSon works over Judais, and Clearwater now enters the ring and delivers with a Midas Touch big boot to Judais to send him over the top rope. The Golden Boy is all that’s left of IdolMania, but he manages to get another Midas Touch to Plunkett to get the pin, and so much for Ill-Begotten’s world domination.
OdinSon is the workhorse in this match trying to put away the Golden Boy, but Clearwater is able to take the fight to OdinSon. Clearwater tries to send him over ropes, but OdinSon reverses and Clearwater rakes his eyes. Meanwhile, Plunkett is still laid out cold in the ring, and hasn’t move since the Midas Touch finisher. Clearwater tries to pin OdinSon, but can’t take out The End tag member, whose utilizes an array of spinning European uppercuts. Clearwater tries to duck out, but Mack and Parrow are there to block his escape (and seriously: if you were confronted with The Red Dog and a big Bear, you’d back up a few steps, too!) Clearwater goes back in the ring, and OdinSon gets Clearwater in the airplane spin, and he gets the pin and win.
Your Winners: The End and Rodney Mack
Next Week, Team War will reach its final conclusion as The End and Rodney Mack with face fierce competition from Strictly Business and El Rudo, as the show rolls to credits.
This is a great show. Team War is a good concept that has some legs, and I like how the diferent teams complement each other. The Women’s match was short, but might hint at bigger things down the road for Kiera Hogan.
The biggest reason to watch this? The promos. Between Cardona and Pope, both are unique, full of emotion, and convey exactly why they are two of the best on the mic and why they can get fans to boo and cheer them respectively. As I say on my podcast, this show is something you need to Watch Harder!
Until you watch harder of Fite.TV or on YouTube, see you in seven.