Tim Storm promoThe show started off early with a promo from Tim Storm with interviewer David Marquez. Storm mentions about his first-round matchup with Nick Aldis in the tournament for the revived NWA Television Championship. He was asked about his prospects in going for the NWA World Championship, which Storm replied, “I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.” Storm continues about his ongoing battles with Aldis, until Aldis and Kamille interrupt the promo. Aldis, in his usual cocky self, criticizes Storm’s “piss and vinegar” demeanor while being disrespectful toward the fans. He stated that he’s not happy with just the World’s title, but wants the Television title as well. Aldis continued on by bashing the other legends within NWA before leaving the stage. Brief commercial revealing the Hard Times PPV seating for the January 24 show is sold out and tickets are still on sale for the January 25 & 26 filmings.
Aron Stevens in exhibition actionThe segment starts with a flashback to last week regarding a promo backstage involving National champion Stevens and QM, both of which have their eyes set on the Television title, the Tag Team title and the World title. Stevens really needs to learn to enunciate “karate” like QM. Stevens enters for a submission exhibition match — no title on the line — against Sal Rinauro. Stevens performs some karate and jiu-jitsu moves early in the match, until Stevens attempted and failed at an armbar submission. After some showboating from both and some botched moves, Stevens attempted and failed at a double kick, where Rinauro tried a submission reminiscent of “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. But that was put to a stop via a kick to the behind by Stevens, nicknamed a “karate clothesline” by Bennett. Stevens took advantage of a downed Rinauro and utilized the submission hold known as the Mongrovian clutch, which ended the match. Victor: Aron Stevens — Length of match: 3:00 Stevens continued to apply the hold until Trevor Murdoch stormed into the ring. By then, Stevens had relocated to Marquez’s platform, calling Murdoch’s actions “unsportsmanlike.” Murdoch, who left the ring, met at the platform, stating that all Stevens was doing was “making an ass out of himself by taking advantage of the young guys.” Something tells me a match is in the works for either Hard Times or another PPV. Could be much sooner though. Commercial break for HighSpots.com
Aron Stevens vs. Trevor MurdochHonestly, I’m not surprised that Stevens got tossed into action twice in one night, but hell, why not? Not sure if the implications of Murdoch’s spot in the Television title tournament was on the line, but let’s go! Early domination by Murdoch, two count on a pin attempt. Murdoch attempted a submission hold, broken up by referee. Offense switches to Stevens, involved some headbutts. Failed Mongrovian clutch attempt by Stevens. Failed sleeper hold by Stevens. Full Nelson slam from Murdoch. Figure four lock submission from Murdoch ends the match. Brief interruption mentions an upcoming addition to the NWA website – Powerrr Surge. No details on the website or on social media at this time. In a brief selection, it featured “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero, Eddie Kingston and Homicide. Perhaps this is an interview series similar to what Cody Rhodes does for AEW. Brief mention of the winners from last week’s tournament action: Ricky Starks and The Question Mark advanced to the next round as a result of their respective wins. Promo for the Hard Times PPV, which will be on FITE.tv on January 24.
Eli Drake promoBrief flashback to last week with a promo from a drunken Eli Drake. Drake enters to make his promo with Joe Galli. Galli asks what Drake wants to do in the new year. Drake states that he’s been booked without a match for two weeks in a row. He proceeds to go after who I presume is Nick Aldis, wondering if everything that has unfolded is a coincidence and perhaps Aldis is intentionally trying to keep Drake out of the limelight. A crowd member yells, “He’s scared of ya!”, which is met with agreement from Drake. Drake stated that everything Ricky Morton from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express said to Aldis the prior week he agreed with and that if Aldis is too scared to fight Morton, he’s more than willing to take up a fight with Morton. He says he’s not afraid of age, considering he was in tag team action not long ago with Tim Storm. He’s offered to do that again, but noted the “rough patch” Storm is currently in. Drake mentioned the potential of working with Ken Anderson, but that was quashed quickly. Then Colt “Boom Boom” Cabana enters, going after Drake for the way he’s treated Anderson. Drake asked if Cabana was here to become his tag-team partner and go for the gold. That was met with a no. Trash talk continues over the tag-team championship. More trash talk continues until Anderson enters, where he’s held back by Cabana while Drake continues trash talking until they cut from the scene. Commercial break. Another coming to NWA announcement: Girl Powerrr. No details available online or on social media, but there was a clip featuring Thunder Rosa, Marti Belle and Melina, who appear to be talking about Allysin Kay. Another clip features Allysin Kay, ODB, Tasha Steelz and Ashley Vox.
Marti Belle vs. Tasha SteelzOnly saw the beginning and the end of the match. Not too impressive. All I know was Melina was livid. Victor: Tasha Steelz — Length of match: 4:49 Another brief commercial revealing the Hard Times PPV seating for the January 24 show is sold out and tickets are still on sale for the January 25 & 26 filmings. Looking to next week: more Television title tournament action and triple-threat tag action between Eli Drake & James Storm, Colt Cabana & Ken Anderson and The Wild Cards.
TV title promoInterviewer Kyle Davis appears on screen with Anastasia Fletcher, who was introduced last week as some sort of arbiter or auditor for the selection of the participants for the Television title tournament. It was revealed that “The Outlandish” Ziggy Dice will be facing off against Caleb Konley.
TV title tourney action: Tim Storm vs. Nick AldisStorm appears match ready, while Aldis shows up in a track suit and partially in a formal suit with his posse, citing he had only entered for the fun of it and that Storm had taken the fun out of competing. The crowd did not like that and the “coward” chants ensued. Aldis called the chants “PG” and some people chanted “asshole”. Aldis said he made an “executive decision” that it wasn’t in his best interest to compete and risk getting injured, as the “Real World’s Champion” feels it’s not important enough. With Aldis refusing to compete, it appears Storm may get a first-round bye and the crowd chanted “you suck” toward Aldis. Storm doesn’t like getting things easy, so he stormed out of the ring toward Aldis. David Marquez walks out toward Storm, where he berates Aldis about him talking and previously backing it up, but in this situation, his recent actions are revealing his cowardice. It only took Storm relaying that the NWA fans chanted earlier about Aldis being a coward to change Aldis’ mind to compete. (Or so we thought, as he walked into the ring and rolled out.) Aldis decided to appoint Royce Isaacs as his replacement in the tournament, in which Isaacs complained that he hasn’t prepared. Match changed – see below
TV title tourney action: Tim Storm vs. Royce IsaacsThe lack of preparation is apparent for Isaacs, as Storm dominated early. A victory has to be secured in the timeframe of six minutes and five seconds, in relation to their normal broadcast time on Tuesday nights. Thomas Latimer didn’t like what he was seeing, so he opted for a distraction on Storm, which led to cheap attacks by Isaacs. One count pin attempt. Isaacs offense limited as Storm took charge again. Isaacs took offensive charge again. Failed senton bomb from the top rope by Isaacs. Big boot from Storm. Reversal and one count pinfall, saved by a Storm boot on the rope. German suplex attempt by Isaacs being fought off by Storm. Perfect Storm finisher and pinfall for the victory by the former World’s Champion. Victor: Tim Storm — Length of match: 3:28 Nick Aldis is not impressed with the defeat and is dealing with the mistake that was his executive decision, when out of nowhere comes Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express standing behind him. That sure surprised Aldis when he turned around. Rule #1 was iterated to Aldis: never turn your back on an opponent before they got the crowd chanting “Rock and Roll”, before the broadcast concluded. I’m disappointed that Marty Scurll was not booked on the show this week.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.