The National Wrestling Alliance is making huge strides in preparation for Hard Times 3, but the narrative for the potential matches is adding a lot of twists and turns. With all sorts of action like Matt Taven taking on the NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Joe Alonzo wanting to make a name for himself at Kerry Morton’s expense in competition tonight, and EC3 is looking to awaken Thom Latimer and help him create his own narrative.
So let’s head to the Skyway Studios in Nashville, TN. Joe Galli, Tim Storm, and Velvet Sky have the call for the First Match of the night, and it’s a non-title match between…
Trevor Murdoch vs. Matt Taven
Nothing fancy at the start, as Murdoch pushes Taven into the corner and is focused and intense during this match. Taven is no slouch as he rolls up the champ for a near fall and Murdoch reevaluated his game plan. Taven is in control early on with technical finesse and speed as he gets a corner splash to an arm drag on Murdoch. A knee to Taven’s midsection in the corner stops the momentum, and he sends him to the ropes and nails a back elbow to Taven. Murdoch whips him to the ropes hard and Taven flips over to the outside. The champ comes out and then rams the lower back of Taven on the edge of the ring apron. As Murdoch picks apart The Trend, he sends Taven into the corner. He manages to land a step-up enzugiri to Murdoch and follows up with a spinning neckbreaker. He adds a Quebrada (Lionsault) on Murdoch’s chest to cover for a two count. Taven chops away at the champ and hits the ropes to follow up with a springboard enzugiri for another two count. His form is good as he hits the punt kick and goes up top for a frog splash, but Galli notes for Taven that “there is no water in the pool.” Murdoch regains his composure and turns him inside out with the flying bulldog for the three count.
Your Winner via Pinfall: Trevor Murdoch
Galli notes that was a hard-hitting match, as he gets to start the show in the NWA. Faster than he can say his catchphrase, “Wrestling…as it’s meant to be!”, Velvet Sky interrupts and mentions that her title shot she won during The Champion Series and then gave to Storm to use cannot be used in time. No reason is given, but someone else needs to use it since it has a time limit, so Sky decides to give it to her Beautiful People bestie, Angelina Love. However, Sky and Love have been talking, and they know since entering the ranks of pro wrestling they have always been judged on their looks, so a matchup tonight with top-tiered talent will allow Love to earn that title shot later tonight.
Hey, what could go wrong? Am I right?
Joining at The Podium with Kyle Davis are The Spectaculars with Rolando Freeman, and Davis asks about his title opportunities since Freeman, beat Matt Cardona twice. Freeman says Murdoch and Cardona are ducking him, and Rush and Pierce have a match against La Rebelion to set up a tag title match, but he speculates they’re ducking them, too. As Freeman tries to wrap up that he will earn gold in the NWA, Tyrus steps up to Rolando….
(Author’s Note: Ever seen a chihuahua try to act tough toward a Rottweiler? Yeah, it’s like that, except Animal Control doesn’t get involved this time…but it wouldn’t have hurt in this case.)
Rolando spits hard, and Tyrus is amused by this. He leans down and asks him to repeat, and Rolando speaks louder…until Tyrus throttles him. As Davis tries to go to break, Tyrus has more to say. That Brings out Jeez, along with Marshe Rockett and Jordan Clearwater. Jeez says he’s making some dumbass decisions, and that sets off Tyrus more. He grabs Jeez by the lapels and shoves him off, and Rockett and Clearwater try to talk sense into their teammate, and Davis now says this is time for a break.
May Valentine is backstage with AJ Cazana, and he’ll be facing Clearwater for the vacated NWA Television. Cazana says that he’d be proud to hold the belt like some of the biggest names of the wrestling industry, which includes Tully Blanchard and Bobby Eaton because he’s cut from the same cloth as the men before him. He promises Clearwater he’s in for a hurting, and advises to “cowboy up.”
And now for a…err, “questionable” match (Sorry! I can’t help myself some days when I get a straight line like that…)
The Question Mack…err, Mark (with Aron Stevens) vs. “The Most Feared” Kratos
You can’t help but note the exasperation in Davis’ voice as he announces Rodney Mack as “The Question Mark.” Since I don’t have that problem, guess how I’m gonna roll?
Once the bell rings, Kratos takes down Mack hard to the mat. As the fans cheer for “Kray-tos” Stevens is livid by this. Both Mack and Kratos match evenly, power for power until a Mongrovian eye poke slows down The Most Feared. Kratos recovers with a powerslam and goes for a splash but misses the mark. Mack Gets in a hammerlock and sends Kratos hard in the corner and rams his shoulder into the steel post. As Stevens distracts the ref on the outside, Mack uses the opportunity to add more pain. Mack keeps an armbar cinched on the injured arm/shoulder of Kratos, and then follows with an arm DDT for a near fall. He goes for a Fujiwara armbar to get him to submit, but Kratos grabs the bottom rope to break the hold. Mack attempts a crossbody but Kratos reverses into a Michinoku driver. Both men are hurting and Kratos fires up and gets a flying clothesline. As Kratos winds up for the finisher, Stevens throws work papers in the ring. As the ref tends to it, Stevens hits Kratos with a loaded glove behind his back, and Mack delivers the Mongrovian Spike to win underhandedly.
Your Winner via Pinfall: The Question Mack
Valentine is now backstage with the Dirty Sexy Boys, JTG and “Dirty” Dango. They’ll be facing La Rebelion in a non-title match on NWA USA, to get a title match. Even Dango was confused until he realized…semantics. Valentine asks about their chances, and Dango gives the hands-down best line of the night:
“We make love like it’s always a title match, and everybody wins.”
I am so using that line. Whether I get slapped or not is a conversation for another day.
But let’s head to the ring for…
Angelina Love vs. Chelsea Green
Apparently, Matt Cardona politicked his way into getting his wife a match so she can have another bite at The Burke down the road. Sky is not down for that, but wants to support her Beautiful People alum. The Fans chant hard for Angelina at the start, much to Green’s dismay.
There’s a nice back-and-forth exchange between the women, and Love’s still got it. There’s a head scissors by Green, and then Love fights back up to a vertical base and gets her in a headlock. Green does a standing switch and attempts a full nelson, but Love stomps her toes and gets a Victory Roll for a near fall. Love tries a jackknife cover for a two count, and then both Green and Love see-saw with back and forth near falls. Love tries sportsmanship and Green slaps her hand away.
Frustrated that she can’t put her away, Love gets in an arm drag to a hip toss, followed by a Dumpstah Drivah for a two count (Thank you, Velvet Sky, for the helpful pronunciation). Love grabs her legs and Green kicks her away. She goes out of the ring for a break, but Love pulls her in by the hair. Green stun guns her on the second ropes to cover for a two count. She then has Love in a cravat and goes from a snapmare to a running neck snap to cover for a near fall. Love reverses to a neckbreaker but cannot capitalize immediately. She lands a flying clothesline to a bulldog on Green to cover for a close two count. Green returns back with a missile dropkick that gets her a two count. She tries again to cover and still Love kicks out at two. Green tries the Unprettier, but Love reverses for her Lights Out finisher and covers for a two count. Love goes back to Green, who nails her with a shot to the throat and a rollup with a handful of tights, and she earns the title shot.
Your Winner via Pinfall: Chelsea Green
And like the poem goes, there was no joy in Beautiful-ville, as mighty Love struck out.
(Note to Self: Remember to use that line on Valentine’s Day)
Kyle Davis is in the NWA Control Center in new updates for Hard Times 3. Nothing new on the Main event front, but notes that Missa Kate and Madi (Just Madi) earned a shot at the NWA Women’s Tag Team titles versus Pretty Empowered. That will be a fun match to see at Hard Times 3.
But what’s more fun than that is your upcoming match…
“The Future Legend” Kerry Morton vs. Joe Alonzo
Alonzo is becoming cockier every time he enters the ring, and I’m really digging this side of his persona. He starts getting the better of the “Future Legend” early on, but Morton fires back with arm drags to get him grounded. Alonzo heads out for a breather, but Morton brings him back in the ring the hard way with a slingshot and then follows up with a standing dropkick. He tries another dropkick but Alonzo scouted it and he covers Morton with a near fall. Alonzo keeps putting the badmouth on Morton and his family. Morton fires back with forearms, but Alonzo manages to take away his offense with a dragon screw leg whip and finishes with a kick to the back of his leg to take away his finisher. Alonzo with a suplex to cover for a two count. He goes for a chinlock, but Morton stops him with a jawbreaker and goes into a backfist to a neckbreaker. He follows up with a steamroller and attempts his running knee lift, but Alonzo ducks out. Morton again tries to pull him back in the ring and Alonzo stun guns Morton on the rope. Alonzo attempts a springboard elbow and misses, and that gives Morton enough time to wind up and Kiss Him Goodbye with the knee, for the one, two, and three.
Your Winner via Pinfall: Kerry Morton
Morton now has a strong headwind as he prepares to face Homicide for the NWA Junior Heavyweight title at Hard Times 3.
There’s a recap of the melee between Anthony Mayweather and Jax Dane at the end of NWA USA but read here for everything you missed.
Valentine now has Jordan Clearwater to comment on this NWA Television title opportunity. Clearwater speculates, a la Horatio Caine, that “You might say it’s a Golden Opportunity” (heh). He goes on to call Cazana a country bumpkin. Clearwaters states emphatically that he makes history and will make history again and that is “pure gold.” As for discord between Tyrus and Jeez, Clearwater dismisses it as a matter of families fight and assures that once he reclaims the TV title that IdolMania is all winners.
And now for the Main Event, and it’s…
Mercurio vs. EC3
As Mercurio is escorted by ladies who fawn over him into the ring, there are strong cheers for the Essential Character.
As for the match? Well, this is where I recap how EC3 fared with a Haiku in Review™:
Gives unto Mercurio
The-a Ugly Face.
Your Winner via Pinfall: EC3
After the match, EC3 heads to The Podium and gives a promo that was more engaging than the match. The short version is he calls out Thom Latimer again to beat him and insults him by saying his wife Kamille is a better champion than him. When he doesn’t show, he says Latimer is learning to tune out the fans’ cheers and the endorphins and the serotonins and everything else, and he promises to make Latimer control his own Narrative.
The matches themselves were good. My only question/concern is the Main Events that aren’t main events. EC3/Mercurio was a solid match but should’ve been elsewhere in the middle of the card. Alonzo continues to impress, and Morton is definitely getting quite the push.
Green/Love was another good match, and it was interesting she has another shot at The Burke. I just wished Sky explained further why Storm couldn’t use her title opportunity.
For now, see you in seven!