Eli Drake def. Ken Anderson
I haven't seen Anderson compete much since he left IMPACT almost four years ago, so I was interested to see how well he'd do here. He and Drake ended up having a really entertaining opener where there was never a dull moment. Drake comes across like a total star and Anderson did the right thing in putting him over. Props to the two of them for kicking off the evening on a high note.
David Marquez Interviewed NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis and James Storm
We see segments like this on Powerrr all the time and I loved that they were able to squeeze in one last war of words with Aldis and Storm before their main event championship clash. Aldis spoke about the rise of the NWA during his reigns as the champ and reiterated that Kamille had the night off. I was confused why Storm's promo sounded a bit babyface-esque when he said they built up the NWA as a team, but it made more sense with what they did during their match later on.
Thunder Rosa def. Tasha Steelz
I've seen Steelz compete in Ring of Honor a few times this year, and as good of a talent as she is, Rosa is the complete package. It was announced a few days ago that Steelz had just signed with the NWA, but it wasn't imperative that she won here. Rosa is the one they're pushing right now and I didn't mind that this mostly served as a showcase for her. She laid waste to Ashley Vox afterward, preventing her from competing in the tag team match later on.
The Question Mark def. Trevor Murdoch
For a match that was added to the card at the last minute, this was a perfectly solid match. Nothing about it stood out as special, mind you, but people really dig The Question Mark and Murdoch played his role well. I don't know if it needed to last as long as it did, but at least the fans never grew tired of it. The stuff with Aron Stevens wearing a karate gi at ringside was also comical.
NWA World Tag Team Champions The Rock 'N' Roll Express def. The Wild Cards
I was curious if The Wild Cards were going to lose the tag titles in their first defense so soon after winning them, but apparently not. Yes, it's very unrealistic for these two to be beating guys in their prime, but at least they can still go, if nothing else. This was a decent little match with The Rock 'N' Roll Express once again capturing the crowd and making the most of the time they had. I'm not advocating they hold the gold forever, but I'm content with them having a mini run for themselves before dropping the straps to a tandem such as The Dawsons.
Ken Anderson Attacked Eli Drake
Coming off his victory over Anderson at the start of the show, Drake spoke about putting the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion on notice and that he's the hottest thing going in the NWA today. Anderson then ambushed him from behind and proceeded to attack him the same way Drake attacked him several weeks ago. I assume this was done to set up a double turn with the two and keep their feud alive.
NWA Women's Champion Alysin Kay and ODB def. Marti Belle and Melina
ODB was the surprise replacement for the "injured" Ashley Vox. She's been appearing for IMPACT lately and will actually be contending for the Impact Knockouts Championship at their Hard to Kill pay-per-view next month, so I assume this was a one-off for her. Her matches are rarely anything above average and this was no exception. Unfortunately, it was the weakest match of the night by a wide margin, and I wasn't a fan of the new heel duo losing.
Aron Stevens def. Colt Cabana and Ricky Starks in a Three-Way Match to Win the NWA National Championship
Stevens' promos have been better than his matches in the NWA thus far, but this was a ton of fun. He played his part to perfection by battling Cabana and Starks for the first half before hiding out behind a Christmas tree until stealing the title at the end. Most viewers had to see that coming, but it was logical from a storyline standpoint given his character's cowardly nature. They constantly kept things interesting and the title change was unexpected. Between the loss of his title and it being reported that he wrapped up his run with Ring of Honor at Friday's Final Battle pay-per-view, it's possible Cabana could be on the cusp of signing with a major promotion (AEW, perhaps?).
NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis def. James Storm in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match (Brian Hebner and Tim Storm Served as the Special Guest Referees)
The big fight feel this had from the moment the bell rang is a testament to how well they built their bout up. The story was strong and the unpredictability surrounding the outcome made the match that much more exciting. I appreciated Kamille coming out early on to get her involvement out of the way during the first fall. I could have done without the ref bump, but I realize it was done so Storm could be protected in defeat and to potentially plant the seeds for an Aldis heel turn. Post-match, he claimed there isn't a man alive who can take that title from him, which led to the lights going out and Marty Scurll making a shocking appearance. It was a hell of a cliffhanger that successfully left me looking forward to the next episode of Powerrr.
For their first official pay-per-view, I thought the NWA did a wonderful job of sticking to what works with Powerrr and adding in new elements such as entrances as well as focusing a bit more on the wrestling for a change. The atmosphere was intimate and electric throughout the night. I wouldn't mind the company trying out bigger arenas for their future pay-per-views, but I understand them not wanting to rush into that. The title change, top-notch main event, Stu Bennett's commentary debut (who did exceptional by the way), and Scurll's arrival were among the highlights of this newsworthy and highly enjoyable event. The NWA's next pay-per-view has already been announced for next month, but I hope it doesn't become a monthly occurrence. I'd rather they adopt something close to a quarterly schedule for their shows (similar to NXT and AEW), but that's just nitpicking. If you have yet to jump on the NWA bandwagon, give Into the Fire a watch.
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