A new NWA Television Champion will be crowned as Hard Times takes place at GPB Studios in Atlanta tonight.
The pay-per-view will feature the first round, semifinals, and finals of the TV title tournament. The opening round matches on the left side of the bracket are Tim Storm vs. Ken Anderson and Ricky Starks vs. Matt Cross. The right side of the bracket has Dan Maff vs. Zicky Dice and Trevor Murdoch vs. The Question Mark.
The feud between NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis and Villain Enterprises will continue with Aldis facing ROH’s Flip Gordon in a non-title inter-promotional match tonight. Marty Scurll is also set to appear.
NWA Women’s World Champion Allysin Kay defends her title against Thunder Rosa, NWA National Champion Aron Stevens defends against Scott Steiner, and NWA Tag Team Champions The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson) put their titles on the line against The Wild Cards (Thomas Latimer & Royce Isaacs) and Eli Drake & James Storm.
Our live coverage begins at 7 p.m. Eastern time.
We’re on! Joe Galli and Stu Bennett doing commentary, they run down the card for tonight.
We are told that the judges for the tournamnet are Stu Bennet, Billy Corgan, and the ref in the ring.
Trevor Murdoch defeated ?The Question Mark? in a NWA TV Championship tournament first round match
Murdoch started strong with some dropkicks, but Mark quickly cut him off, sent him out with a kick from the ropes. They brawled outside the ring, but Murdoch accidentally clotheslined the ringpost and gave Mark the opening to work him over with Karate Palm Thrusts. Big backdrop from Mark, followed by a Karate Chop and a suplex for a two count.
Murdoch made a small comeback with strikes and landed the top rope bulldog, but the Question Mark no sold it. Murdoch hit a second and picked up the win. Arguably an upset.
Dan Maff defeated Zicky Dice in a NWA TV Championship tournament first round match
Match started with Dice playing around, but Maff quickly took him down with a shoulder tackle and a corner squash, followed by a handful of chops and forearms. Dice managed to dodge and get some chops in the corner, followed by a bulldog, but Maff kicked out at 1. Dice went for the stomps and the elbow drop, earning another 1 count.
Dice went for a backdrop, but Maff coutnered. Dice got him with his knees on the back. Went for the Shake, Rattle, and Roll, but Maff countered. Dice went for the second rope hit, but Maff speared him mid-air, big senton, and Maff picks up the win. Dice was my favorite for that side of the brackets, but Maff is a beast, he can’t be denied.
Ricky Starks defeated Matt Cross in a NWA TV Championship tournament first round match
Collar and elbow to start the match and quickly into the shoulder tackles and the quick sequence or coutners and show-offs. Cross sends Starks outside, fakes out a dropkick and hits the second. Cross drops an elbow from the ringpost to the floor.
Back in the ring, Starks got the upper hand on Cross, strikes in the corner and neckbreaker for a two count. Starks goes for the Buster Keaton, but Cross escapes, hits some Lariats, Back elbow and Springboard Plancha for a two count. Cross hits a double stomp for another two count. Cross hits a counter and follows with Death From Above, but Starks moves out of the way. Starks hits the Stroke and gets the win. 6 minutes is not enough for these guys.
Dave Marquez interviewed Tim Storm. He asks about bypassing his match due to Anderson not being able to compete. Storm said that he was looking forward to the match, but that he would take the by and win the next round. Tonight, he makes Mama Storm proud.
Stu Bennet made the announcement that the next pay-per-view takes place in April. The 2020 Crockett Cup Returns!
Eli Drake & “Cowboy” James Storm defeated NWA World Tag Team Champions RNR Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson) and The Wild Card (Royce Issacs & Tom Latimer) w/Kamille & May Valentine to become the NEW Tag Team Champions
Drake, Morton, and Latimer start the match. Latimer blindsides Morton, but Drake is there to run wild on Latimer and double team him with Morton with the double elbow. Once down, Morton and Drake go for each other with the collar and elbow, but Issacs runs in, only to now get taken out by the work of Storm and Gibson. Storm and Gibson focus on each other, giving Issacs the opening to attack Storm from behind and finally cut the ring in a third on someone, while Gibson has been taken out outside and kept at bay by Kamille.
Wild Card worked on Storm for a bit with quick tags. Issacs got a two count with a Powerslam. Latimer goes for a Piledriver, but Storm blocks and eats about 20 forearms to the back for his troubles, giving Latimer a two count. Gibson is still outside trying to make it back. Storm finally manages a backdrop and tags Drake, but the ref was distracted by Issacs and doesn’t count.
Gibson finally makes it back to the ring, but a fresh Issacs takes him down, but Storm is there for the desperation Cobrebreaker. Latimer and Drake tag in. Drake hits a Russian Leg Sweep and his People’s Elbow for a two count. Drake chases the Gravy Train, but Issacs is there for the distraction and Latimer delivers a Powerbomb.
Gibson gets the tag to Morton, who comes in and takes out Latimer. Kamile distracts Gibson while Morton hits the Canadian Destroyer, but it’s not enough. Drake hits the Gravy Train on Morton and picks up the win to become the new tag team champions along with Storm. Good match.
After the match, RNR, Storm, and Drake all embrace in the ring. Drake and Storm head to the podium and talked about fulfilling the promise to get gold.
We got a recap of Allysin Kay vs Melina, Rosa, and Belle, leading to Kay vs Rosa for the title.
Thunder Rosa defeated NWA Women’s Champion “AK-47” Allysin Kay to become the NEW NWA Women’s Champion!
This match was soo good, best match up until now and one that will be hard to beat. Rosa came out with full face paint on this time around. Crowd is completely behind her.
They went straight for the Frye/Takayama spot, with Kay having the upper hand, took Rosa down and cornered her with strikes. Early Northenlights Suplex by Kay for a two count. Kay started chopping Rosa from corner to corner. Snapmare into the Sleeper by Kay, but Rosa finally kicked herself out. Kay followed with a cutter for a two count.
Rosa walked out of the ring to cut off Kay’s momentum, but was brought back in with a Suplex for yet another two count. They started exchanging strikes and Rosa finally got some offense in hitting a dropkick.
Rosa now in control, worked over Kay with kicks and choking her against the ropes. Rosa stomped on Kay and hit an ugly Snap Suplex, but Kay rolled out before Rosa could pin her. Rosa followed with a Baseball Slide.
Outside the ring, Rose worked over Kay’s arm against the apron and ringpost. Back in the ring, Rosa kept going after the arm and locked in a Crossface for the submission tease. Kay reversed and locked in a Guillotine, but Rosa was there at the ropes. Rosa went back for the arm. Kay went for the leg submission, but Rosa escaped by attacking the arm. Rosa went for the armbreaker and worked the fingers.
Kay tried to make a comeback with strikes, but Rosa kicked her way back into control and another Armbreaker. Kay finally got a desperation German and a two count and got herself an opening. Kay went for kicks this time around, but Rosa quickly found the oepning for a German and a two count for herself.
Rosa went for the top rope, but Kay rolled out of the ring. Rosa follwed with a Rolling Senton, but Kay blocked, caught, and turned it into an Apron-Bomb for a two count. Kay went for the AK-47, but Rosa rolled over for the Yoshi Tonic and Shining Wizard. Rosa went for a Magnum style move and Kay blocked it. Rosa got a huge near fall and followed with an Octopus Hold, but Kay reversed into a Tombstone Piledriver for a 2.99 kickout!
Kay and Rosa battled in the top rope, Rosa hit a huge Dropkick and chased the finish, but Kay blocked. Kay whipped Rosa to the corner and hit the AK-47, but Rosa kicked out again! They exchangeed strikes in the middle of the ring, crowd is going wild! Rosa gets a Guillotine, but Kay pushes her to the corner. Rose hits a top rope Sunset Flip Bomb, but takes took long to cover and only earns a two.
Kay lands a roundhouse kick, but fails to land the spear, going shoulder first into the turnbuckle, only to get welcomed by Rosa’s Armbreaker again. Kay powers through, but Rosa drops her with the Thunder Driver and wins the championship! Awesome match!
After the match, Melina and Marti Belle came out to celebrate with Thunder Rosa.
We got a video package of Aldis jumping Villain Enterprises at Ring of Honor, and the consequent challenge to tonight’s Aldis vs Gordon match.
Joe Galli brought out Marti Scurll for an interview. The man is looking dapper as always. Galli asked about supporting Gordon tonight. Scurll said that he wants his shot for the title, but that Aldis keeps running away from him. Scurll said that he’ll keep bugging Aldis until he gets his title shot. He brought up that Aldis is not putting the title on the line against Flip Gordon, and said that the people tonight deseved to get a title defense.
Aldis walked out to confront Scurll. Aldis got chants of ‘coward’. Aldis said that Scurll had no right to come to his house and throw his weight around. He said that Scurll had no word in the NWA and that ROH was only a hot ticket when he was there headlining. Aldis said that he’ll put the title on the line tonight on the condition that if he retains, the ROH and NWA relationship is now on Aldis’s terms and that Scurll has to leave for tonight. Scurll agrees to the stipulations.
Trevor Murdoch defeated Dan Maff in a NWA TV Championship Tournament Semifinal Match
Big lads wrestling, they go straight for the forarm exchange in the middle of the ring. Stiff chop exchange with Murdoch getting the better of Maff, but the latter hits a Spear out of nowhere and takes down Murdoch. Maff starts going after Murdoch’s upper body with strikes, just taking him down over and over again.
Murdoch started trying to dodge Maff and finally got the opening to land the Top Rope Bulldog and pick the win. Really one-sided match, Maff didn’t take enough offense for the loss, but the people love Murdoch tonight. He’s my dark horse for tonight.
Ricky Starks defeated Tim Storm in a NWA TV Championship Tournament Semifinal Match
Collar and elbow to start, Storm being bigger and fresher, takes the advantage early on, but Starks has the speed advantage to dodge Storm’s moves. Storm and Starks exchange some Knife-edge chops before Storm lands the ugliest Spinebuster, but enough to start working over Starks. He drops Starks with a Powerslam, but only gets a two count.
Starks starts a comeback, but Storm hits a huge Blackhole Slam for a two count. Starks only manages to roll out to the ropes, but Storm is there to stop him. Starks hits a kick and piledriver for a two count. Starks out of nowhere lands a Crucifix Pin and snap pins Storm to advance! Another match that needed more than 6 minutes.
After the match, Storm gave Starks his hand. Starks hugs him instead.
Scott Steiner defeated NWA National Championship Aron Stevens (w/?The Question Mark?) by DQ. Stevens retains the title.
Question Mark is wearing the yellow Bruce Lee suit, he looks ridiculous, but worst is Galli thinking this is a Kill Bill reference. Also, are we sure this is Scott Steiner? he shaved his head and looks exactly like Graham.
Match started with Stevens trying to out-wrestle Steiner, but easily got reversed and manhandled. Steiner chopped around Stevens until Aron ran to the outside. Steiner kept it up with headlocks and shoulder tackles, with Stevens constantly trying to run out. Steiner started suplexing and chasing Stevens around outside the ring, ramming him from post to stairs to post.
Back in the ring, Stevens poked Steiner’s eyes, but to no avail, Steiner came back with a Belly-to-belly and back in control. Another B2B for a two count. Eventually, Stevens for one cheap kick and a two count with his feet on the ropes, but Steiner kicked out and came back with a Flatliner. Steiner locked in the Steiner Recliner, but the Question Mark attacked him for the DQ win.
Steiner locked in the Recliner on Question Mark while Stevens ran away.
NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis defeated Flip Gordon to retain the title
Gordon started strong going after Aldis, using mostly strikes and his speed advantage. Aldies got out of the ring, trying to break the momentum, but Gordon chased after. They teased a suplex on the announcer’s podium, but Aldis blocked.
Back in the ring, Aldis tried to mat wrestle, but Gordon got the better of him, getting a mount and control of the waiste. Aldis managed to get up, but Gordon got him in a headlock quickly after. Gordon kept that headlock masterfully. Aldis escaped, but got hit by an Enzuigi. Aldis walked out and when Gordon went for dive, the ref, being completely biased, stopped Gordon. Flip still hit the Top con Giro on Aldis.
Back in the ring, Gordon went for an armbar, locked it in for some seconds, forcing Aldis to overpower him to escape. Aldis with some control now, suplexed Gordon, followed with a Fallaway Slam, and a second one from the second rope for a two count. Aldis is now the one with the headlock.
Gordon breaks out and goes for a Crossbody, but Aldis blocks and turns it into a Vertical Suplex. Aldis started striking Gordon down to the mat, stalked him and took out Gordob’s knee. Aldis followed with the Figure 4 Leg Lock. Flip managed to roll over and reverse the pressure, but Aldis was there at the ropes.
Flip hits a Sunset Flip into a kick. Follows with a Springbaord Spear, but instead of the cover, goes for punches, European Uppercuts, and a Moonsault for a two count. Flip went for another top rope move, but Flip dropped him in the ropes and went for a second rope German, but Flip landed on his feet, only for Aldis to drop him with a Tombstone and the Top Rope Elbow Drop for a two count.
Flip hit La Mistica into the Crossface for the submission tease until Aldis made the ropes. They got into a punch exchange with Gordon getting the upper hand until Aldis swept Gordon and going for the Sharpshooter, but Gordon got his fingers, hit a couple of Star Spangled Stunners, but Aldis managed to kick out at two.
Aldis blocked a Monkey Flip, but Gordon transitioned into the roll up, only for Aldis to block it midway and pin Gordon. Finish came out of nowhere. Good match, not better than the women’s.
Ricky Starks defeated Trevor Murdoch to become the NEW NWA World’s Television Champion
Collar and elbow to start the match, Murdoch goes for an early German, but Starks lands on his feet. Murdoch was ready with the big boot to drop Starks and start grinding down Starks with some hammers to the back.
Starks came back with a big shoulder tackle and clothesline, but Murdoch was too close to the ropes.
Test of strength, where Murdoch had the advantage, but Starks made a comeback, but got swept down before he could follow up. Murdoch took the fight to the floor, where Starks had the advantage going for the dive, but Murdoch caught him with a punch and rammed him to the apron. Starks built some offense with some strikes, but got tossed into the steel steps for the countout tease.
Back in the ring, Murdoch slapped Starks back to life, but sent him crashing to the floor with the most Murdoch-like backdrop you can imagine. Murdoch got a two count with a suplex. Starks went for a Tornado DDT, but missed the ropes, giving Murdoch the opening for a huge Lariat for another two count.
Murdoch and Starks brawled in the second rope until Starks slid down and Powerbombed Murdoch for a big near fall.
Starks started chasing the Stroke, but Murdoch escaped, only to turn around to a Spear. Starks hit the Stroke, pinned Murdoch, and became the new NWA Worlds Television Champion.
Final Thoughts —
Good show, went by quickly. I really appreciated the 6 minute tournament matches. The women took the match of the night trophy in my opinion, definitely the one with the most passion and drama in it.