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NWA Power results: Matt Cardona vs. Rolando Freeman II, Ricky Steamboat appearance

"The Dragon" was on hand as an announcement for Hard Times III was made.
POWERRR - S10E1 ROSTER (TWITTER)

NWA Power opened with Matt Taven and Mecha Wolf already in the ring, ready to battle after they eliminated each other in the NWA US Tag Team Title Battle Royal at NWA 74.

Matt Taven defeated Mecha Wolf

The NWA used the black ring canvas they had for NWA 74, continuing to use the ring from Harley Race’s training school. Taven and Mecha Wolf didn’t waste time feeling each other out with Taven hitting chops and a suplex for a quick two count. I liked how Velvet Sky and Tim Storm talked about how tag team wrestlers naturally looked to the corner for their partner when their opponent had a successful attack.

Mecha Wolf pulled Taven off the middle ropes, getting a two count, and began to get a little heat on Taven, controlling the match for the first time. Wolf taunted Taven, saying that he was the champ and Taven was not. Wolf hit a snap suplex and then hit an implant reverse DDT for a near fall.

Taven used the ropes to slide over Wolf in a corner charge, rolling him up in a smooth move. However, Wolf made him pay with a dropkick to the face soon thereafter. Wolf choked Taven against the ropes and bit his forehead to the commentary team's disgust. Taven hit an enziguri as the fans chanted “Let’s go Matt!” Taven hit a spinning neckbreaker, but missed a lionsault. It didn’t stop him, though, as he hit a springboard enziguri and then a lionsault for a near fall.

Wolf hit a pop-up powerbomb and a V-Trigger for a near fall. Taven rolled through a sunset flip and hit a running knee before going to the top rope. Wolf cut him off and bit him again, claiming this was “wolf style” if I heard him correctly. Taven hit another kick to knock him off, but missed a double stomp. Taven then countered a hurricanrana into a sunset flip to get the pin in a great TV match.

Taven was over as a babyface and having him win here sets up a future Tag Team title match for the OGK against La Rebelion. This was simple, easy booking, and the stuff what was missing from the TV before NWA 74.

Ricky Steamboat/Matt Cardona segment

- Ricky Steamboat came to the new podium which has a screen with the NWA logo behind it. Steamboat apparently had a hand in booking the tournament for the no. 1 contender to the NWA National Title. Steamboat put over the competitors of the NWA and that the tournaments present intriguing possibilities for the fans as they try to figure out who advances.

NWA World Champion Trevor Murdoch was announced to join them at the podium, but Matt Cardona and Chelsea Green came out instead. Cardona announced that at November's Hard Times 3, he will be facing Trevor Murdoch for the title. Steamboat said you had to understand where Cardona was coming from as a fan yelled that Cardona sucked. Steamboat laughed and said, “He said you suck!” which made me (and the fans) laugh. 

Steamboat was an amazing babyface as Cardona and Green mocked him. Steamboat said, “I guess his true colors showed."

- May Valentine was with Murdoch and he explained that he saw Cardona going out to the podium and didn’t want to deal with him while Steamboat was in the building. Murdoch said he didn’t care who was in front of them as they were going down. Murdoch also said he was still feeling the effects of the match with Tyrus at NWA 74.

- Aron Stevens embraced his full heel side and said he had a big announcement. He used a weird accent while saying this, except for when he yelled at the fans. Stevens then introduced a new Question Mark that was clearly Rodney Mack under the mask. The crowd booed as Stevens claimed that he got him into the US because of his relationship with the ambassador of Mongrovia.

Question Mark defeated De’Vin Graves

Well, this was quite funny as the fans chanted “Question Mack” as Stevens urged Mack to use karate chops. Mack won the match with the Mongrovian Spike, changing from using the Euthanizer mid-move. I have no idea where it's going, but it is funny.

- EC3 was with May Valentine and he claimed he was changing professional wrestling and was here to awaken the industry. He wanted to awaken the people who could carry the load. It sounds like he is trying to recruit people to a cult? I don’t know. It was nonsense. He said he wasn’t going to give away his plan, but he wants to be World champion. He used a lot of words to say nothing. He said he was going to burn the title and wasn’t going to have a rematch with Thom Latimer after NWA 74.

Thom Latimer defeated Chris Sainz

Latimer took it right to Sainz hitting some clotheslines and a body slam. Latimer hit a big pop-up sit out powerbomb for the win in a simple and effective squash.

- Nick Aldis and Flip Gordon were with May Valentine and they talked about their match from NWA 74, but addressed Odinson attacking them. Aldis said that Odinson went after him because he was the top guy. Valentine said that Odinson was suspended for his actions, but Aldis will make him pay, one way or another, and Gordon has him in his sights as well.

- Bully Ray was with May Valentine and said he came to the NWA for KiLynn King and Kamille because he trained both women. He wants to continue being a mentor to them, but implies he will fight if he had to. He then gave the promo here that should have been on TV before NWA 74.

Matt Cardona (w/ Mike Knox) defeated Rolando Freeman (w/ Rush Freeman) in a no DQ match

Cardona hit a dropkick on Rush on the floor rather than fighting Rolando. Knox ran after Rush after he held the foot of Cardona so Rolando could hit a suicide dive. Knox went after Rush again and he pulled his “big brother" Rolando in front of him, which was funny. Knox kept Rush at bay while Rolando was beaten on by Cardona.

Rolando dodged an attack and sent Cardona flying into a steel chair that Cardona set up in the corner. Rolando hit a flatliner and then a zig zag, but Knox put Cardona’s foot on the ropes. Knox and VSK beat on Rush, so Rolando hit a dive onto all of them. Cardona hit Rolando with a low blow and then several ReBoots in the corner. As he was taunting Freeman, Murdoch came in and hit a top rope bulldog on Cardona to give Rolando the pin and win.

Final Thoughts:

This was infinitely better than the NWA Power episodes before NWA 74 and actually built toward November's pay-per-view with Murdoch vs. Cardona. They have restarted their feud as Murdoch helped Rolando get another win over Cardona which advances the story.

It is strange to see the top contender lose two matches in a row, but he has a guaranteed shot due to what William Corgan told him when he gave up the title so that does makes sense. 

All in all, this was a significant improvement from previous weeks with stories actually being setup and advanced.