By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
NWA Back For The Attack Pay-Per-View
Aired live March 21, 2021 on FITE TV
Atlanta, Georgia at GPB Studios
A video package opened the show with Aron Stevens speaking about his relationship with the late Joseph Hudson, who wrestled as The Question Mark and Jocephus. Stevens said fans would see the real him because he owes it to Hudson. A memorial graphic was shown for Hudson… The pay-per-view opening video aired…
Joe Galli and Tim Storm checked in on commentary. Storm said it was the reboot and the NWA is back. They set the table for the opening four-way. Storm said all four men would be in the ring and the first man to get a pinfall or submission would be the winner. They ran through the other pay-per-view matches…
Kyle Davis stood at the interview desk and introduced NWA Champion Nick Aldis, who joined him at the podium. Aldis spoke about how things are different, but now the NWA is back for the attack on pay-per-view. Aldis thanked fans for joining them. Aldis said some of the finest men and women in the sport were backstage getting ready, and everyone in the NWA was there to deliver for the fans.
Aldis said they were also there to deliver for Joseph Hudson. Aldis said that if others wanted to try to steal the show, then so be it. He also said that if Stevens somehow digs down deep and becomes the NWA Champion, then so be it. “But Aron, to do that, you’re going to have to bring the best version of Aron Stevens that you’ve ever brought in your life,” Aldis said. He dubbed himself the best world champion of the modern era and the real world champion…
The broadcast team checked in again. Galli said he knew that Hudson would want to be at ringside for the opening match…
Powell’s POV: There are no paid fans in attendance due to the pandemic, but they have some people making noise, which is definitely helping the atmosphere.
1. Jax Dane vs. Slice Boogie vs. Jordan Clearwater vs. Crimson in a four-way. The broadcast team acknowledged that Dane and Crimson have worked as tag team partners. Crimson had a pin at one point, but Dane broke it up with a kick to his partner’s head. Later, Clearwater took out Dane with the Midas Touch, but Boogie hit him with a missile dropkick. Boogie followed up with his finisher and pinned Clearwater.
Slice Boogie defeated Jordan Clearwater, Jax Dane, and Crimson in 5:55 in a four-way.
Powell’s POV: The match needed more time to tell a better story with Dane and Crimson, who did bicker with one another afterward. I assume we’ll be seeing more of their story on Powerrr. The match felt a bit random, but I suspect that will be the case for some of the matches today given that this is the first show back from a pandemic break.
May Valentine checked in in front of an NWA backdrop and introduced Sal Rinauro as her best friend. Rinauro was fired up as he raved about the various pay-per-view matches. Rinauro predicted that Thom Latimer would beat Pope to win the NWA TV Title…
2. Tyrus vs. JR Kratos. Tyrus spoke to Davis at the interview set briefly to establish himself as the heel. Galli compared the match to King Kong vs. Godzilla. Kratos got the better of the early power battle, but he was unable to knock Tyrus off his feet. Tyrus targeted the wrapped left arm of Kratos. Storm said Kratos needed to start thinking about his long term career.
Tyrus went for a Vader Bomb, but Kratos rolled out of the way. Kratos held his bad arm and used his shoulder by ramming Tyrus with it, then threw some kicks and an elbow with his good arm. Kratos went to the ropes and knocked Tyrus off his feet with a clothesline. Tyrus eventually came back with a splash in the corner. Tyrus followed up with an elbow drop and scored the pin…
Tyrus defeated JR Kratos in 7:30.
Powell’s POV: Tyrus’s ring rust was on full display. He moved slowly and breathed heavily. I was surprised to see him win, as Kratos clearly has more upside. In fact, I’m not really sure what Tyrus brings to the table at this point aside from whatever name value he has from working for Fox, which is polarizing. He’s definitely a turnoff for some fans due to the sexual harassment lawsuit that was filed against him, though it must be noted that he hasn’t had his day in court yet. Meanwhile, it felt really premature of Storm to start talking about Kratos needing to be concerned with his long term career, as Tyrus really hadn’t done much to the injured arm by that point in the match. It was obviously the story they were telling, but Storm should have held off a bit before going there.
Valentine interviewed Trevor Murdoch and noted that he beat Aron Stevens for the NWA National Championship (why mention that when Stevens is in the main event?). Murdoch spoke about facing Chris Adonis, and said he’s not the easy target that Adonis might think he is. Murdoch said Adonis would question why he ever entered the ring with him…
3. Pope (a/k/a Elijah Burke) vs. Thom Latimer for the NWA TV Title. The referee for this match wore a medical mask. The match had a ten-minute countdown clock. Latimer performed a shoulder block on Pope in the corner with under three minutes remaining. Latimer drove Pope into the mat, then went up top. Pope got to his feet, raced up the ropes, and superplexed Latimer.
Pope dropped an elbow from the middle rope, then went up top and dropped another. Pope lowered his kneepads and charged at Latimer, who ducked him. Latimer powerbombed Pope, who came back with a sunset bomb for a near fall with roughly 30 seconds remaining in the time limit. Both men traded punches from their knees and the time expired. They continued to throw punches after the bell until the timekeeper announced it as a draw.
Pope fought Thom Latimer to a time limit draw to retain the NWA TV Title.
After the match, Pope didn’t look pleased with the way he retained the title. Pope approached Latimer for a handshake, but Latimer rolled out of the ring…
Powell’s POV: I’m not a fan of the finish. It felt like Pope being the babyface should have offered an overtime period similar to what happens at the end of ironman matches. At least he showed some disappointment, but they are probably lucky that there weren’t a full studio of fans, as they likely would have called for five more minutes. I assume there will be a rematch on Powerrr at some point.
Valentine interviewed Aron Stevens in the backstage area. Stevens addressed Joseph Hudson’s son and spoke of how much his father loved him. Stevens turned his attention to the main event. He said people think he’s the underdog and don’t think he should be in there with the champion because he likes to entertain. He said they don’t know about his career. He spoke about taking crap and making gold out of it. Stevens said he has spilt more blood than the naysayers who tweet about him. Stevens said he would let his actions in the ring speak for him…
Taryn Terrell joined the broadcast team. She said she wanted to watch the NWA Women’s Championship match. She added that she’s never held the title and wants to see what it’s all about…
4. Thunder Rosa vs. Kamille to become No. 1 contender to the NWA Women’s Championship. Rosa threw a kick at the thigh of Kamille, who knocked her down with a clothesline. Rosa came right back with a cross arm breaker. Kamille rolled onto Rosa, who turned it into a triangle. Kamille powered up Rosa and tossed her back first into the corner.
Kamille backed up and charged at Rosa, who moved, causing Kamille to go through the ropes, into the post, and then to the floor. Rosa performed a dropkick through the ropes. Rosa ran Kamille into the edge of the apron multiple times. Rosa went to the apron and dove at Kamille, who caught her and slammed her to the ground. Kamille scooped up Rosa, who shoved her toward the post.
Back inside the ring, Rosa threw shoulder blocks at Kamille, who fired back with shots to Rosa’s back. Kamille suplexed Rosa, who then tripped her up and applied a half crab, then countered into an STF. Rosa released the hold and threw some punches to the back of Kamille’s head. Rosa wrenched Kamille’s arms behind her, then kicked her face first into the mat.
A short time later, Rosa put Kamille in a bow and arrow briefly. Kamille came back with a snap mare and a kick to Rosa’s back. Kamille glared at the “fans.” Rosa took advantage of the distraction and went back on the offensive. Rosa had Kamille against the ropes and dropkicked her, then covered her for a near fall. Rosa rolled Kamille into a crucifix pin for a two count.
Kamille stood up with Rosa on her back and slammed her into the corner. Kamille threw forearms shots to the chest. Rosa shoved her off and then kicked her. Rosa went up top and threw a missile dropkick. When Kamille stood up, Rosa performed a Backstabber and covered her for a near fall.
Rosa went up top and went for a double stomp, but Kamille avoided it, shot right up, and speared Rosa. Storm wondered why Kamille didn’t go for the pin. Kamille charged Rosa and speared her again, then pinned her to win the match…
Kamille defeated Thunder Rosa in 14:00 to become No. 1 contender to the NWA Women’s Championship.
Powell’s POV: The best match of the night. Kamille was mostly solid, but Rosa really made this work. Rosa losing may seem surprising because she’s been all over AEW television, but the NWA has invested a lot of time into making Kamille out to be a badass.
Backstage, Valentine interviewed Austin Idol, who said he was at the show as the special guest of Aron Stevens. Idol said he was excited to see his boy Aldis in the main event…
5. Trevor Murdoch vs. Chris Adonis for the NWA National Championship. Galli encouraged fans to sign up for NWA Powerrr before it returns on Tuesday (but they still haven’t offered any pricing details during this show). Adonis made a play for the Master Lock, but Murdoch reached the ropes. Storm said only one person has been able to break that hold. Storm wouldn’t mention the person’s name but said he’s a world champion right now (just say the name).
Murdoch put Adonis down and then went up top for his bulldog, but Adonis avoided it and swatted Murdoch to the mat. Adonis went on the offensive. Murdoch eventually came back with a clothesline and went up top again. Murdoch performed a top rope cross body block for a near fall. Storm delivered good strategy talk by talking about how Murdoch appeared to call an audible. Adonis came back briefly and went for his finisher, but Murdoch countered into a pin for the in.
Trevor Murdoch defeated Chris Adonis in 9:00 to retain the NWA National Championship.
After the match, Murdoch offered Adonis a handshake, which Adonis accepted. As Murdoch was leaving, Adonis attacked him from behind. Adonis performed a full nelson slam on Murdoch, then put him in the Master Lock. Once Adonis released the hold, trainers and referees checked on Murdoch…
Powell’s POV: A solid match. The champion retains, but the heel walks out with the heat and the need for a rematch.
Galli and Storm were joined on commentary by Austin Idol, who touted the NWA being on FITE, how he built the Omni Arena, and the main event. Idol taunted Storm about how he managed Aldis when he beat him to win the NWA Championship. Idol said he’s not a free agent because no one should use the word free when it comes to him. Idol said Aron Stevens contacted him looking for details about Aldis. Idol said played up the possibility that there’s a dark secret about Aldis that he’s known for a long time. Idol said Stevens may be considered the underdog, but he has a great chance to beat Aldis…
Kyle Davis stood at the interview podium and called for a ten bell salute in honor of Hudson, Jim Crockett Jr., and others lost during the hiatus… Ring entrances for the main event took place…
6. Nick Aldis vs. Aron Stevens for the NWA Championship. Idol remained on commentary for the main event. Stevens wore traditional gear rather than the karate gi that he wore while working with Question Mark. Stevens took a knee in the corner. Davis delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. The referee gave both men instructions. Idol played up the mystery of whether he’s still the manager of Aldis and also worked in a plug for his school.
Stevens took offensive control and sent for a springboard moonsault, but Aldis rolled out of the way. Aldis took the match to ringside where he drove the back of Stevens into the apron, then picked him up and ran his back into the ring post. Back inside the ring, Aldis controlled the offense. Stevens eventually rallied with ten punches in the corner. Aldis ducked a clothesline and then both men ran the ropes and performed simultaneous clotheslines.
Aldis went for his cloverleaf finisher, but Stevens stuffed it and picked up a near fall. Aldis went for it again, but Stevens hooked him in an inside cradle for a near fall. Stevens applied a figure four leg lock. Aldis came back and went up top for an elbow drop, but Stevens cut him off. Stevens punched Aldis several times and then superplexed him. Both men remained down. Stevens eventually put his arm over Aldis for a near fall. Stevens sat Aldis on the top rope and went for another superplex, but Aldis knocked him down with a headbutt, then dropped an elbow on him for a near fall.
Aldis went for a piledriver, but Stevens avoided it. Stevens knocked Aldis down with a discus elbow and got a near fall. Stevens went to the ropes and leapt at Aldis, who caught him and applied the cloverleaf. Stevens struggled to reach the ropes, but Aldis pulled him to the middle of the ring. Stevens powered up and made it to the ropes to break the hold.
Stevens rolled to ringside and Aldis followed. Aldis scooped up Stevens, who slipped away and shoved Aldis into the ring post and then Stevens awkwardly ran into the interview set podium. Aldis returned to the ring and was content to take the win via count-out, but Stevens beat the count. Stevens performed a DDT.
Stevens put Aldis in a crossface. Aldis neared the ropes, but Stevens rolled him over into the middle of the ring and maintained the hold. Aldis eventually reached the bottom rope to break it. Stevens went for an inside cradle, but Aldis rolled it over and ended up scoring the pin.
Nick Aldis defeated Aron Stevens to retain the NWA Championship.
Afterward, Aldis told Stevens to stand up. Aldis offered Stevens a handshake, which Stevens accepted. Aldis looked at the Question Mark mask and the “fans” chanted “Thank you, Joseph.” A woman appeared in the ring with the Mongrovian flag and then a number of wrestlers entered the ring and made his hand sign. Stevens looked to the sky and said that one was for his sensei and added that they love him. The feed cut out. It turned back on a short time later and Stevens was wrapping up his speech. The cameras cut rapid fire to various shots and went black again…
Powell’s POV: The story of Stevens fighting for his late friend was easy to follow. I’m actually surprised that they didn’t go with a title change to close things off on a high note given how much they leaned into that aspect of things, as they always could have put the belt back on Aldis on Powerrr. It was a well worked match, but the finish ended the show on a down note. I have no idea why they played up the mystery of where Idol’s allegiances lied only to have him be a nonfactor.
Overall, it was a straight forward show with mostly in-ring action. It was awkward to dive back into a pay-per-view without any storyline build. The decision to have people making noise was a good one, as the atmosphere was so much better than empty venue shows. I’m surprised that they didn’t make a strong push for Powerrr or at least spend more time explaining that it’s now on FITE for a fee. Perhaps they feel that those who ordered this event already know, but they really need to do something between now and Tuesday to spread the word. It was nice to see the NWA back, but the rollout of their return starting with a pay-per-view was awkward to say the least.
“Valentine interviewed Trevor Murdoch and noted that he beat Aron Stevens for the NWA National Championship (why mention that when Stevens is in the main event?).”
Because it sets up more than just the title rematch with Aldis if Stevens wins. It’s storytelling 101 and clearly the right way to foreshadow there.