The show opened with a video recap of Team Morton beating Team Aldis in six-man action, earning Ricky Morton his NWA World Heavyweight title shot tonight.
Joe Galli and Stu Bennett welcomed us to the show and then pushed the main event.
David Marquez interviewed Robert Gibson. Gibson said Ricky is like a brother to him and he's as happy as a kid who just got a big bag of toys that his friend gets to challenge for the title tonight.
THUNDER ROSA DEFEATED TASHA STEELZ
Steelz got a quick one count off an early dropdown tackle sequence. Rosa used a couple of quick strikes to gain the upper hand and then hit a one-legged dropkick.
Rosa used a chinlock and then hit a series of strikes to the back of the neck and head followed by a neckbreaker. Steelz got her feet up on a charge into the corner. She came off the top rope, but jumped right into a spear from Rosa. Rosa then hit a package driver for the pin.
They didn't have much time to work with, but this was a good match. Both of these women are super talented. Marquez interviewed Rosa after the match. He asked what Melina's plans are for tonight. Rosa said he should ask her himself as only Melina knows.
They cut to a Nick Aldis pre-taped promo. He said he saw that Marty Scurll went over his head and got himself booked on the PPV. Aldis said he did the same thing and got himself booked at ROH Free Enterprise.
Aldis called on all the NWA fans to show up at Free Enterprise wearing their NWA colors, showing their loyalty, and that he hoped Marty will meet him in the ring there.
Galli interviewed Royce Isaacs and May Valentine. Isaacs said Aldis is doing just fine. Galli brought up that Isaacs has been chickening out of matches and getting pinned a lot since Valentine came around. Isaacs said that his recent behavior has nothing to do with the fact that Valentine hasn't slept with him yet. Valentine said there's nothing wrong with being pure and making your man wait.
This was supposed to be comedy, but no one in the studio audience laughed.
Austin Idol, professional wrestling psychologist, told us to call 555-GET-HEAT and he would teach us how to get over and get heat. This was a positive in that it was an Idol segment without a date rape "joke."
TV TITLE TOURNAMENT QUALIFYING MATCH: TREVOR MURDOCH DEFEATED THOM LATIMER
This was all Latimer except for the finish. Latimer beat Murdoch around ringside and then threw him back in for more of a beating. Latimer used a pop-up powerbomb for a near fall. Latimer missed a charge into the corner and Murdoch used a schoolboy for the pin. This was really more of an angle than a match.
We saw a video package recapping the recent issues between Allysin Kay and Melina. Melina said she's a living legend.
Galli moderated a discussion between Melina and Kay. Melina was taking a while to get to the point. Kay told her to spit it out. Melina told her to sit there and f---ing listen.
Melina said she's giving Kay what she wants, a match. Kay wanted Melina in the ring now. Melina said no, you'll get Thunder Rosa for the title at the PPV but only if you beat Marti Belle in a no DQ match next.
Kay said Melina won't be able to escape her forever.
NWA WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPION ALLYSIN KAY DEFEATED MARTI BELLE IN A NO DQ MATCH
They traded strikes in the ring AND then rolled outside and continued to throw. Belle hit a rolling elbow and then dropped Kay face first on the ring steps. Belle retrieved a chair and used it to apply a camel clutch. Belle sat Kay in the chair and then missed a charge into it, somewhat selling her knee afterward.
They fought into the audience. Kay used a chinlock on the arena steps, which, as we all know, is much more painful than a chinlock in the ring. Back in the ring, Kay threatened to use the chair on Belle. Belle begged off and then tried to grab it. Kay hit her finisher on Belle onto the chair and then got the pin.
This was okay. Belle has improved since I saw her last. Some of the no DQ spots with the chair were a little rough.
We got a video package recapping how Morton came to challenge for the title tonight. This was well done.
A spoof commercial for self-hypnosis VHS tapes aired.
Pope and Eddie Kingston came out for an interview with Marquez. Pope said they didn't suffer a tough loss last week. He said he helps people and pushes them to succeed. Pope said he's still looking for his super powers and when he finds them, he'll bring change to the NWA.
Kingston said they don't lose, they learn. He won't be taking Homicide's place in the last chance gauntlet. He said his heart is with Homicide, Homicide is his blood.
Kingston's promo and Pope's delivery were both good.
Kyle Davis tagged in for Joe Galli on commentary. Aron Stevens appeared at the promo desk. He invited his sensei, The Question Mark, to join him for a Mongrovian karate demonstration. The audience chanted for karate.
Question Mark did some karate movements in the ring while Stevens described the poses and techniques. Question Mark beat up two "students," demonstrating self-defense.
Stevens told Question Mark that he was ready to test for his fourth degree belt. Stevens went to the ring and prepared to break a board. One of the students unmasked as Ricky Starks and hit Stevens with the board. This was good, but it went way too long.
We got a commercial for Tony Falk's waffles and tire irons. Falk said he taught Shawn Michaels how to speak carny and his store only sells solid gold tire irons.
KEN ANDERSON DEFEATED CW ANDERSON, CALEB KONLEY, JOCEPHUS, COLT CABANA, DAVE DAWSON, SAL RINAURO, QUESTION MARK & ARON STEVENS IN A LAST CHANCE GAUNTLET MATCH
The rules here were eliminations came by pinfall, submission, or being thrown over the top rope. Rather than regular gauntlet style, participants joined the match at regular intervals rather than after an elimination.
CW and Konley began with some chain wrestling. Jocephus joined the match, and immediately got tossed. Konley hit Anderson with a Liger bomb for a two count. Cabana joined the match. He hit a springboard crossbody and then hit his Dusty elbows. CW hit Cabana with a sliding lariat for a near fall.
Dave Dawson entered the match. He hit a fall away slam on Konley. Aron Stevens entered. He climbed into the ring, then rolled to the floor, then hid under the ring. Zicky Dice came to the ring for a promo. He said he's already qualified for the tournament, so he won't be wrestling tonight as he's a PPV wrestler.
Sal Rinauro joined the match and hit a sliced bread on Cabana. Dawson hit Rinauro with a dropkick. Everyone teamed up to eliminate Dawson.
Ken Anderson entered and used a Mic Check on Rinauro to pin him. Ken then did the same to Konley for another elimination. Cabana and Ken teamed up to work on CW. Cabana used a Superman pin on CW to eliminate him.
Question Mark came to the ring and Stevens came out from under the ring. Mark accidentally hit Stevens with a Mongrovian Spike. Stevens did a great comedy sell of this. Mark and Stevens got tossed.
Ken and Cabana were the final two. Ken used a schoolboy to pin Cabana. Ken continued to go after Cabana after the match. He hit a Mic Check in the ring and then another into the post.
James Storm and Eli Drake came to the promo desk for an interview. They put over Ricky Morton. Storm put over Ricky's mullet and said Morton for president in 2020 will make the mullet great again.
Storm led the crowd in a prayer. He asked God to bless Morton and give him the strength to kick ass tonight. They promised to kick Aldis' ass all over the country. Storm said sorry about our damn luck.
Galli hosted a breaking news segment, running down the Hard Times show.
Matt Cross vs. Ricky Starks and ROH's Dan Maff vs. Zicky Dice were announced for the TV title tournament. Aron Stevens vs. Scott Steiner was also announced for the show.
Flip Gordon cut a pre-taped promo on Aldis and promised to beat him Friday.
NWA owner William Corgan joined the commentary team for the main event. Corgan had Stu Bennett announce that all seconds were bannned to protect the sanctity of the main event, so Strictly Business and Robert Gibson were sent to the back.
NWA WORLD CHAMPION NICK ALDIS DEFEATED RICKY MORTON TO RETAIN
Aldis did some stalling after the opening bell and took a stroll around the ring.
The action started with a lockup. Aldis broke cleanly in the corner. He broke cleanly again after another lockup. Morton used a side headlock takeover and worked the headlock forever.
Aldis asked for a knuckle lock but hit a strike instead, a classic heel move. Morton hit a back elbow and a thumb to the eye, followed by an inverted atomic drop. Aldis rolled to the floor and went for a walk, stalling again.
Morton rolled outside. Aldis posted him and then rammed his face into the apron. Back inside, Aldis hit some stomps and right hands. Aldis came off the top rope, but right into a right hand by Morton. Aldis hit a thumb to the eye and a slam. Aldis took the Ric Flair bump off a slam off the top rope. Morton hit a hurricanrana for a near fall, then slapped on a figure four. Aldis forced a rope break.
Morton used a DDT to roll into a small package, but Aldis reversed into his own small package and pinned Morton by grabbing the tights.
This was slow and a very old school match, but there are still many things that Ricky Morton is great at.
A Marty Scurll video interrupted the post-match, then a PPV hype video played before the closing credits rolled.
This show featured wrestling that ranged from okay to good, and promos that ranged from good to great. It still feels to me like the NWA is missing a hook, a unique style, or a signature star that would take this from a fine show to must-see every week.