Matt Cardona opened this week's Power with Kyle Davis to talk about his attack on NWA World Champion Trevor Murdoch last week. Cardona claimed that he couldn’t wrestle Murdoch because he would have to win and that would cause Murdoch to quit wrestling like he did in 2018.
Cardona mocked him, saying he never quit despite never getting opportunities. This promo really rode the line between factual with Cardona not being given chances, but still came across as a heel promo as he begged Murdoch to quit the business again if he beat him.
This was fantastic and the most into Cardona I have ever been as he is making me want to see Murdoch beat him.
Team War Tournament match: El Rudo and Strictly Business (Thom Latimer & National Champion Chris Adonis) defeated The OGK (Matt Taven & Mike Bennett) and Victor Benjamin; Homicide and Tag Team Champions La Rebelion (Bestia 666 & Mecha Wolf); and Colby Corino and The Fixers (Wrecking Ball Legursky & Jay Bradley)
The rules for these matches was never explained, so I had no idea it was an elimination tag team match until Homicide was eliminated by El Rudo. I had no idea there were battle royal rules until Legursky was thrown out. I also found out at the end that it was no DQ. So, I spent most of this match confused.
The action was good, but it would have helped if they told us what the rules were before the match in a graphic or explaining things in previous weeks.
Rudo, Homicide and Benjamin started with Homicide hitting a cutter on Rudo. Rudo managed to pin Homicide after a sunset flip, but I have no idea if that was planned or the referee counted too fast, because it definitely didn’t look right. It broke down into everyone hitting big moves until Benjamin was eliminated by Wolf after a tornado DDT.
Bennett and Wolf hit crossbodies on each other at the same time. Corino hit a victory roll on Rudo and jumped into a wheelbarrow on Adonis, but Adonis grabbed him and put on the Master Lock in a really great spot. Wrecking Ball threw several people around the ring, including Adonis, which was impressive. Adonis hit an axe handle, followed by Bennett and Wolf hitting double superkicks on Legursky who they then threw him over the ropes to eliminate him.
Bradley and Wolf battled in the ring until Bennett hit a forearm on Bradley. Bennett hit a spear on Wolf and then a brainbuster and a rolling elbow for the pin.
Bestia 666 hit a superkick to the back of Bradley’s head. Adonis botched something with Bestia 666 here, but Bestia then turned into a big boot from Bradley. Velvet said at this point that this is what Billy Corgan’s vision was for Team War, which is to say confusion if Velvet was accurate. At this point, it came down to Taven against Strictly Business.
Taven dumped Adonis over the top rope when he countered a Master Lock and with a Twist and Shout on Latimer. Taven nailed Latimer with a knee and went to the top rope, but Adonis shoved him off right in front of the referee, who did nothing. So, apparently this is also no DQ? Latimer hit a piledriver on Taven for the pinfall and win.
-- Pope came out and thanked the fans for their prayers as he has been out of action since Hard Times II. He talked about being unsure when he was going to leave the hospital and the uncertainty about him during his absence. Pope reiterated that he stood with Murdoch against Cardona and that Pope was coming to slap tradition into him. This was a money promo if I ever heard one and one of the best promos Pope has ever done.
NWA Women's Champion Kamille defeated Kiera Hogan to retain
Kamille immediately threw Hogan across the ring, backed Hogan up and patted her on the head. Hogan yelled “I got her!” as she had a waist lock which Kamille just shrugged off. Well, I wasn’t supposed to laugh at the babyface getting thrown around, but I did there. Kamille drove Hogan face first into the turnbuckle and continued to paint brush Hogan before hitting a gutwrench suplex.
Kamille caught Hogan with a bearhug and a suplex and got a pin, but the pinfall was botched. Hogan kicked out, but the referee counted three anyway. Joe Galli and Madusa (who was on commentary) tried to cover for it as best they could, but since the show is pre-taped, why not just redo the finish and edit it? There is nothing wrong with it and the fans in attendance would understand.
Team War Tournament match: The End (Parrow & Odinson) and Rodney Mack defeated Aron Stevens, Kratos and Judias; Idolmania Sports Management (TV Champion Tyrus, Jordan Clearwater & Marche Rockett); and The Ill Begotten (Jeremiah Plunkett, Rush Freeman & Alex Taylor)
This was a perfectly fine main event now since the rules were established. This wasn't as good as the first match in terms of action and Kratos getting eliminated like he did made me sad as they should push him to the moon. That said, Odinson looked great.
Stevens was eliminated first after mistaking Tyrus for Kratos and getting hit with the heart punch. Galli said that Stevens had to leave the arena, but why? If it’s no DQ, why does Stevens have to leave? He can’t be punished for interfering as we saw with Adonis. Kratos and Tyrus eliminated several folks and got into a fight over who got to destroy Plunkett. Kratos, Odinson and Plunkett then eliminated Tyrus and the match improved greatly.
Rockett eliminated Kratos. Judias continued to get no heat, proving my judgement of keeping him in instead of Kratos correct. Rockett was eliminated by Judias before Odinson and Clearwater eliminated him. Clearwater eliminated Plunkett with a Midas Touch big boot. Clearwater was left against Odinson, Parrow and Mack, which had the classic heel at a disadvantage from the babyfaces, so classic Russo-style booking there.
Plunkett’s body was left laying for dead on the mat. Clearwater proceeded to get the heat on Odinson for several minutes to little heat, because the fans knew he was alone. Odinson hit a nice series of European uppercuts, and he looked quite good here overall. Clearwater announced he was out and quitting, but Parrow and Mack cut him off and Odinson hit a huge F5 type move for the win. At least Parrow and Mack just sat outside the ring, but the 3-on-1 killed the heat a bit.
I think I would have enjoyed this episode more if I understood the Team War rules from the start and even after, I was still confused by the end of that first match. We learned the winners will go onto another match and compete for $30,000, so that was at least clear.
The action on this show was fine and even quite great at points. The two major promos from Cardona and Pope were absolutely fantastic. This episode, however, contained all the markers of why I find NWA frustrating sometimes. The best thing? They are all easy things to fix.