The FITE stream started in the middle of this week's opening match from NWA Power, which seemed to be some sort of glitch.
Mike Knox defeated De’Vin Graves in a tables match
This was largely a squash match with Knox screaming “Come on, Bully Ray!” throughout, pretending Graves was Ray. Knox and VSK put a table in the ring and Knox chokeslammed Graves through it to win the match after a few minutes of beating him down. The announcers discussed the upcoming match between Ray and Knox at NWA 74.
-Jordan Clearwater and BLK Jeez were with Kyle Davis where Jeez revealed that Cyon was in training this week for his NWA 74 match against Jax Dane for the NWA National Championship. That match is still bizarre to me as Jeez made it clear Cyon was a heel by running down the fans.
Dane is also a heel which makes me feel as if this match is missing something as I don’t really want to see two heels fight. Jeez noted that Dane is a former champion in the NWA several times over, but emphasized the former part of it, and told Dane that Cyon was going to make him a former NWA National Champion.
- May Valentine was with Pope, discussing the main event of the show as Pope takes on Trevor Murdoch. Valentine asked if Pope had a chance of beating Murdoch, and Pope kindly said that of course he could. Pope noted that Murdoch and himself are friends, but had rough times over the years. Tonight was also going to be a rough time, but Pope was going to be the winner.
Ricky Morton defeated Wrecking Ball Legursky
Morton is awesome and his selling in this short match was so good. Morton did next to nothing and had the fans reacting to everything. What a pro.
Morton used his veteran wiles to keep Legursky at bay to open the match, but it was soon turned around when Legursky used a throat thrust and started to work over the arm of Morton. Morton’s selling was excellent, flexing his fingers and shaking the arm out every time a move was done to it and grabbing it whenever he was attacked.
Legursky hit a headbutt to the fallen Morton and yelled about how the “old man was done.” Legursky took off the turnbuckle padding in a corner and charged at Morton, who was against the turnbuckle, but Morton ducked down and Legursky crashed face-first into the exposed buckle and got knocked out, letting Morton pin him.
- A useless 15-second egment aired with Aron Stevens and May Valentine on set with an interviewer they didn’t introduce. The interviewer asked if Stevens thought he was better than him, and Valentine and Stevens confirmed that he was indeed better than the interviewer.
- A video aired of Homicide defeating PJ Hawx on NWA USA to retain the NWA Jr. Heavyweight Championship with an avalanche Koji Cutter.
- We were alerted by Joe Galli that Tim Storm left the commentary desk because Medusa told him there was an urgent matter from NWA USA that they needed to handle. Nothing came of this in the rest of the episode.
Jordan Clearwater (w/ BLK Jeez) defeated Joe Alonzo
This was a really solid match between these two. Alonzo was a good babyface in peril and Clearwater’s heel tactics were perfect for getting the crowd behind Alonzo.
Clearwater has a lot of potential to be a star and is clearly working out a lot as he has increased his muscle mass. However, Alonzo was faster than Clearwater in the early parts of this match until he went for a springboard. Jeez pulled him off the apron, crashing face first into the apron and onto the floor. Clearwater got a one count in the ring, which made him angry, so he slammed him and got a two count.
Clearwater hit a back suplex for a two count. A credit to Clearwater’s heel work in this match was how much the crowd got behind Alonzo, who also sold well. Alonzo is relatively unknown, so it’s a testament to this match being really solid. Alonzo hit a back suplex of his own and rolled through a sunset flip and hit a superkick. Alonzo ducked under a clothesline and hit a cutter for a two count.
Clearwater hit a Midas Touch big boot after Alonzo went for what looked like a Cross Rhodes. Clearwater then pinned Alonzo in a good match and gyrated to celebrate.
- Angelina Love was with May Valentine and talked about how she was excited to be in the NWA with her best friend, Velvet Sky. Love said that she wanted to take over the title shot that Sky won in the Champion’s Series as she was retired.
- The Pope was at the podium to talk with Kyle Davis. Pope said that he was going to wrestle with his friend for the love of the game, and since Murdoch asked, he was going to give him all he got and he was going to shake his hand afterward.
Trevor Murdoch and The Pope went to a double countout
This match was solid right until the finish, but I liked the storytelling aspect of it with Murdoch showing restraint but a lot of anger at the end. I like the character development of Murdoch recently and especially here.
The two had an intense start to the match with Murdoch staring daggers at Pope after the first few engagements. Pope hit a Manhattan Drop and Murdoch went to the floor. Pope held the ropes to let him back in, but as Murdoch came through the ropes, he hit Pope with a big right hand followed by a spinebuster.
Tim Storm noted that Murdoch wanted to do everything to keep his title as he nailed Pope right between the eyes with an elbow. Murdoch missed a middle rope elbow as Sky let us know that no one was there to check on Murdoch when he was busted open by Matt Cardona and lost the title. Pope bounced off the ropes and hit a flying forearm, but was dumped over the ropes to the floor by Murdoch when he charged at him.
Pope slipped out of a power slam attempt by Murdoch and shoved Murdoch into the ring post, but Murdoch stopped short and lured Pope into hitting the post. Murdoch went to piledrive Pope on the floor, but dropped him before delivering the move, reconsidering it. The referee counted both men out as he started at the fallen Pope and the show went off the air.
While I enjoyed aspects of this show quite a bit (Clearwater vs. Alonzo, Murdoch showing good character development), I still can’t help but be baffled by the build to NWA 74. Nick Aldis has completely disappeared off television after being named the no. 1 contender and then was stripped of that position on social media.
They have clearly turned Murdoch heel as he is not just a babyface with an edge, so they are marketing Murdoch and Tyrus as a heel vs. heel main event for NWA 74. Cyon vs. Dane is also heel vs. heel, and will probably be the secondary title match on the show. We had a random statement that Ray was facing Knox at NWA 74, but haven’t seen Ray on NWA TV for weeks and there were no promos on TV that I am aware of, yet the announcers just assumed we knew what was going on when they talked about Knox in the first match of the show.
The show itself, in a vacuum, was not bad, but is also exactly the problem they have – it exists in a vacuum. Rarely do angles happen to build to the PPV, and I’m left wondering where Jax Dane is. Or Bully Ray. Or countless others that are apparently in heated feuds with people that we have never seen played out on TV. Tonight’s show seemed to build to Pope and Murdoch far more than it did Murdoch and Tyrus, which is another problem if you are selling the latter as the main event of the upcoming PPV.
It’s like reading a story with chapters missing in the middle, leaving you wondering what led to what is happening. The stories could easily make sense with a little foresight and planning and we could have a solid build to a PPV, but the middle chapters are missing.
A prime example of it, outside of what I just mentioned, is the Burke Invitational which has had no announcement on TV of the competitors involved. The same can be said for the NWA United States Tag Team Championship battle royal. There will be ten teams involved, but if I watch the TV only, I have no idea who some of them are. There has been zero mention of the teams involved on TV and no video packages or promos to introduce them. There has been next to zero build for either of these things on NWA TV, so I have no idea how I am supposed to be excited for them.
Power has had very little to do with the build for NWA 74 at all, making it a missable show -- the exact opposite of what you want when you are building to one of your biggest shows.