By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
NWA Hard Times 3 Pay-Per-View
Streamed live November 12, 2022 on FITE.TV
Chalmette, Louisiana at Frederick J. Sigur Civic Center
The lights are low so it’s hard to see how many people are there. Joe Galli and Tim Storm provided commentary at ringside.
NWA Hard Times 3 Pre-Show
1. Mims defeated Anthony Andrews at 5:08. Andrews hit a standing neckbreaker for a nearfall. Mims hit a suplex slam for the pin. Basic opener.
2. “Slime SZN” Bu Ku Dao and Jaden Slade defeated “Miserably Faithful” Gagz the Gimp and Sal Rinauro at 6:58. I have never seen Slime SZN before, but they are listed as the WildKat tag team champions, comprised of Slade, a taller Black man, and Dao, who I believe is Filipino and previously worked in MLW as TJP’s apprentice. Gagz and Sal worked over Dao. Slime SZN got a backslide for the pin out of nowhere.
3. Mayweather, The Pope, and JTG defeated Jax Dane, Mercurio, and Alex Taylor in a Hardcore Team War. Mayweather, of course, was Crimson in TNA/Impact, and I always felt like he was under-used. A heel manager said Magic Jake Dumas is injured and cannot compete, so Alex Taylor took his spot. JTG’s team got a nice babyface pop. JTG and Taylor started and it’s clear this is some type of elimination match. JTG pinned Taylor at 1:47 with a Razor’s Edge. Mercurio entered. OK, this is not a tag match, so JTG is in until he’s eliminated. Jax hopped in the ring and hit JTG from behind with a weapon, and Mercurio pinned JTG at 3:30.
It appeared Mayweather was getting in, but instead it was Pope. Pope hit Mercurio with a garbage can shot to the head. Pope hit a basement dropkick in the corner and pinned Mercurio at 5:55. Jax hopped in the ring and hit Pope with a chain to pin him at 6:06. So, we’re down to the former teammates, Dane and Mayweather, and they brawled. Mayweather hit a Death Valley Driver onto a folded chair, then a top-rope elbow drop for the pin. Satisfying enough for how this was laid out.
4. Jordan Clearwater defeated AJ Cazana to win the vacant NWA TV Title at 10:45. Tyrus has relinquished his TV title to get a heavyweight title shot later. Galli said the 6:05 time limit is waived for this match, and we have a 20-minute time limit. Fairly methodical match. Cazana applied a leglock, but Clearwater was able to reach the ropes at 10:00. Clearwater hit a running Mafia Kick to the side of the face to score the pin and win the title. Galli pointed out that Clearwater won the title on his own, with no cheating.
NWA Hard Times 3 Main Card
Velvet Sky has joined the commentary team.
1. Max the Impaler (w/Father James Mitchell) defeated Natalia Markova in a “Voodoo Queen Casket Match” at 8:14. A lot of social media discussion this weekend that Sarah Logan’s gear/overall look is almost identical to Max. Max uses they/them pronouns. Max is roughly the same size as Nyla Rose, and they immediately beat down the smaller Markova. Natalia hit a missile dropkick. Max nailed a hard clothesline at 3:30, and ben Natalia around the ring post.
They brawled over to the casket, which is on a stage away from ringside, and Max nearly had her trapped inside, but Markova escaped. Natalia hit a DDT on the stage. Sal Rinauro hopped out of the casket. Max dropped Natalia in the casket and shut the lid to win the match. Alright action.
* May Valentine interviewed EC3 backstage. He talked about his match later with Thom Latimer.
2. Davey Richards defeated Colby Corino to retain the MLW National Openweight Title at 6:42. Galli ran down a list of all of Richards’ prior title reigns. An intense lockup. Corino is roughly the same height, but Richards has more muscle mass. Corino has grown a mustache and is looking like Alex Coughlin. Richards hit a spin kick to the head and a German suplex at 4:30, and they were both down. Corino fired back with a Saito Suplex and a clothesline for a nearfall, and this crowd is really into it.
Richards applied an anklelock, then a top-rope doublestomp to the chest for a believable nearfall. Richards nailed a brainbuster for a believable nearfall at 6:30. Richards immediately went back to an anklelock, and Colby tapped out. As good of a sub-7 minute match as you’ll see.
3. Question Mark 2 (w/JR Kratos) defeated Question Mark 1 (a.k.a. Rodney Mack) (w/Aron Stevens) in a mask vs. mask match at 6:00. It is quite evident to everyone that Mack is QM1. QM2 has a full black singlet and yellow pants, so any identifying tattoos are covered. Stevens got on the mic and said Kratos does not have a manager’s license in Louisiana, so he has to leave ringside. Mack hit a Divorce Court armbreaker for a nearfall. Stevens choked QM2 in the ropes. QM2 hit a big splash. Stevens hopped on the ring apron to provide a distraction, so Kratos returned to ringside and chased Stevens to the back. QM2 hit a jab to the throat to pin Mack.
* Stevens returned to ringside and vowed that QM1 would not unmask. Stevens finally took the mask off, but he put a towel over QM1’s head immediately, and they headed to the back. The crowd liked all this silliness a lot more than I did.
4. Kerry Morton (w/Ricky Morton) defeated Homicide to win the NWA Junior Heavyweight Title at 10:02. Homicide dominated early, hitting chops and choking him in the ropes. Kerry hit a DDT for a nearfall at 4:00. Kerry went for a plancha but Homicide caught him and slammed his back into the ring apron. Homicide attacked Ricky Morton on the floor and got loudly booed.
Homicide hit a top-rope superplex. Kerry hit a forward Finlay Roll, then a top-rope frogsplash for a nearfall at 8:30. Homicide nailed a stunner for a nearfall. He set up for a Copkillah but Kerry escaped. Kerry hit his own stunner for the pin. New champion! Ricky jumped in the ring to celebrate with his son. Alright match.
* Odinson came out. He wants a match. Out came Thrillbilly Silas Mason to accept.
5. “Thrillbilly” Silas Mason defeated Odinson at 4:43. Odinson hit a flying forearm in the corner. Silas hit a standing powerbomb for a nearfall at 3:30. Odinson hit a sideslam and he sprayed himself in the face with Odinson’s spray. He went for a Pounce, but Silas caught him and hit a spinning Boss Man Slam. Not good at all.
6. “The Fixers” Jay Bradley and Wrecking Ball Legursky defeated “The Spectaculars” Brady Pierce and Rush Freeman (w/Rolando Freeman) to retain the the U.S. Tag Titles at 9:15. The Fixers came out draped in U.S. flags. The Fixers attacked before the bell. Legursky hit a running Stinger Splash on Pierce. Legursky tossed Bradley onto Rush’s back. The Fixers began working over Pierce. Rolando jumped in the ring and attacked Bradley, who barely sold it. So, Rolando hit a low blow kick, and Pierce got a nearfall on Bradley.
The Spectaculars began working oveer Jay. Legursky made the hot tag and he hit another Stinger Splash in the corner. The Fixers tossed Rolando high in the air and he crashed to the mat. Legursky then hit a slam on Rush Freeman for the pin. Fairly basic match.
* May Valentine interviewed Trevor Murdoch backstage. He vowed he would overcome this test and retain his title.
7. Cyon (w/Austin Idol) defeated Dak Draper at 6:01 to retain the NWA National Championship. Former ROH rising star Draper came out first and he looks great. Heel-heel matchup, which really should be avoided. Idol shoved Draper shoulder-first into the ring post on the floor. In the ring, Cyon began working on the damaged shoulder, and he tied up the left arm on the mat. The crowd is (rightfully) quiet, as Draper, who is an incredible heel, doesn’t generate any sympathy. Dak hit a Bulldog Powerslam at 5:30, but he sold pain in his arm and couldn’t make the pin. Cyon nailed his rolling Death Valley Driver for the pin. Basic.
8) “Pretty Empowered” Ella Envy and Kenzie Paige defeated Madi Wrenkowski and Missa Kate to retain the NWA Women’s Tag Titles at 8:12. Both Madi and Kate have had several AEW Dark matches. Kenzie is wearing black, so not identical gear, as Ella is in pink. All four brawled in the ring. Missa and Madi worked over Ella Envy early on. The champs began working over Madi. They hit a team uranage for a nearfall at 6:00. Kate made the hot tag, and all four fought in the ring. Missa accidentally hit Madi. Missa hit a double clothesline, but when she went to tag out, Madi hopped off the ring apron. Envy and Paige hit a Team 3D on Kate for the pin.
9. EC3 defeated Thom Latimer via DQ at 8:31. Thom has several inches of height on EC3. Standing switches to start. Both of these guys look great. EC3 applied a sleeper on the mat and this match is stuck in first gear. Latimer hit a high back suplex at 3:00, and EC3 bailed to the floor and stalled. EC3 got on the mic and got back in the ring, and he goaded Thom to hit him. EC3 said, “Maybe the only time you hit someone is when you’re drunk!” and that got a shocked reaction from the crowd. He said the only time Thom is good at fighting “is when you’re resisting arrest.”
EC3 said Thom is now soft because he’s in love. However, he said Thom is going to self-implode. “She will never love you,” he said, and that finally made Thom hit a series of punches. Thom applied a Crossface on the mat, but EC3 reached the ropes at 8:00. Thom refused to break the hold, and the ref tried to break it up. Thom shoved the ref, sending him flying across the ring, and the ref called for the bell and disqualified Latimer. EC3 is still good on the mic, but there was nothing interesting about their wrestling.
10. Mecha Wolf and Bestia 666 (w/Damien 666) defeated Luke Hawx and PJ Hawx to retain the NWA Tag Team Titles at 10:48. PJ and Bestia started. The heels began working over PJ, hitting simultaneous kneestrikes to his head at 4:30. Luke made the hot tag and hit dropkicks and clotheslines. Bestia hit an enzuigiri on PJ, and they began working him over again. Bestia hit a standing neckbreaker. Luke nailed a top-rope 450 Splash for a nearfall at 8:00.
Bestia and PJ traded mid-ring blows. Luke hit a Bulldog Powerslam; PJ went for the cover, but Damian hopped on the ring apron and the ref stopped counting. Bestia sprayed PJ in the face and got a rollup for a believable nearfall. PJ hit a German Suplex on Mecha Wolf, and he made the hot tag to Luke. Luke hit a stunner across the top rope on Bestia, then an Arabian Press for a nearfall. However, Damien sprayed Luke in the face! Bestia immediately got a rollup for the pin. I really liked this.
11. Kamille defeated KiLynn King and Chelsea Green in a three-way to retain the NWA Women’s Title at 8:59. King and Kamille jawed at each other, and Chelsea was upset they were ignoring her, so they turned and punched her. King hit a missile dropkick on Chelsea. Chelsea hit a curbstomp into the corner on Kamille at 3:30. In a nice spot, Kamille hit a German Suplex on both opponents, and everyone was down. Kamille hit a Bulldog Powerslam on Chelsea for a nearfall.
King hit a Death Valley Driver on Kamille and she applied a Crippler Crossface at 6:00. Chelsea was distracting the ref on the floor. Kamille and King traded hard forearm shots. Chelsea jumped in and tried to get covers on each of them. Chelsea nailed a stunner on Kamille, but King hit a frogsplash on both and got a nearfall at 8:00. Chelsea hit her Unprettier on Kilynn King. However, when Chelsea stood up and turned around, Kamille cut her in half with a spear to score the pin. That was a well laid-out match that played to each of their strengths.
* Bobby Fulton came out to a nice pop and thanked the crowd
* Backstage, Cyon spoke to May Valentine, and he talked about facing Jordan Clearwater or Tyrus for their belts; yes, he predicted Tyrus was winning the belt.
12. Tyrus (w/Blk Jeez) defeated Trevor Murdoch and Matt Cardona in a three-way to win the NWA Heavyweight Title at 10:03. At the bell, Murdoch asked Tyrus to give him 60 seconds alone with Cardona. Matt quickly bailed to the floor. Tyrus and and Murdoch had an intense lockup. Murdoch hit a second-rope bulldog for a nearfall at 2:30, but Cardona made the save. Murdoch hit a spinebuster on Matt for a nearfall. Tyrus hit a running splash on Matt for a nearfall. Chelsea Green came running out of the back and she distracted the ref, allowing Matt to hit a low blow on Tyrus. Matt nailed his Fame-Asser legdrop for a believable nearfall at 6:00.
Murdoch hit a uranage and a sit-out powerbomb on Cardona for a nearfall. Tyrus hit a belly-to-belly suplex on Murdoch and Stinger Splashes on each man. Cardona and Murdoch hit a team suplex, and everyone was down at 8:00. Cardona hit a Facewash in the corner on Tyrus. Murdoch hit a DDT on Cardona. They brawled to the floor, and Murdoch hit a DDT on Cardona on the floor. Murdoch rolled Cardona in the ring. However, Tyrus hit a chokeslam on Murdoch to win the title. The crowd popped for the title change.
* Cyon, Jordan Clearwater, Marsche Rockitt and Blk Jeez hit the ring and they celebrated and sprayed Tyrus with champagne as the show came to a close.
Final Thoughts: I have enjoyed Tyrus’s matches over the years, and I hated that Vince McMahon turned him from a brute into a dancing fool. But Tyrus is seven months older than me, at age 49. He’s not exactly a fresh young face to build around. The match was decent but not stellar.
As a fan of pro wrestling, I want all promotions to succeed. But with 12 matches on the pay-per-view, it doesn’t allow anything to really stand out. Just a few weeks ago, Colby Corino had an incredible match against Mike Bailey in Carolina-based Deadlock Pro Wrestling. People who have seen Colby in the past two-three years know he can really go in the ring. The match here against Davey Richards should have been in the 15-20 minute window so they could steal the show, and even with it being so short, it still earned best match. A match that short just doesn’t cut it. The Odinson match should have been cut entirely and those minutes given to Colby-Davey.
I’ll give Mecha Wolf and Bestia 666 vs. Luke and PJ Hawx second-best, and the well laid-out women’s match third-best. The pre-show is an hour and the PPV is another three hours.