Wednesday, August 18, 2021

NWA Hard Times 2020

How about that? Turns out I had one more ready to go... I guess. Took me a while, but I got around to seeing Billy Corgan's NWA's Hard Times PPV from January 2020, which turned out to be the last PPV event that the NWA ran before the world went to shit. I saw this some time ago and started on the musings, but never really finished it until now.

So let's look at the last pre-prevailing circumstances-era NWA PPV called HARD TIMES.

NWA World Television Championship Tournament Resutls

First Round Matches
All of these matches were contested with a six minute, five second time limit. (Get it? 6:05? How droll.) Because of this, a lot of these matches are super short and probably aren't going to be as good as they could've been had the folks working the matches were given more time.

Trevor Murdoch defeated The Question Mark to not only advance to the semi finals, but also get his win back from the previous month's PPV.

Dan Maff defeated Zicky Dice in another quick match.

Ricky Starks defeated Matt Cross. This is the Ricky Starks show, as far as I'm concerned.

Tim Storm was supposed to face Ken Anderson, but Mr. Anderson... Anderson no-showed for some reason that I don't think was ever explained, so Storm advances.

Semi Final Matches
Trevor Murdoch defeated Dan Maff in a pretty short match to advance to the finals. Short and sweet, I suppose. Not much else to add.

Ricky Starks defeated Tim Storm to advance in to the finals. Good showing from both guys despite the short time limit.

Ricky Starks defeated Trevor Murdoch to win the vacant NWA World Television Championship. Slightly less than ten minutes and again, this was the Ricky Starks show through and through. Murdoch held up his end, but this was about putting the young, hungrier lion over to new heights. Ricky Starks would then be signed to AEW.

By the way, the TV title finals closed out the show, but since there are other matches on the show that aren't part of the tournament and I typically set those aside, we'll touch on these now.

Non-Tournament Matches

Eli Drake and James Storm defeated NWA World Tag-Team Champions The Rock 'n' Roll Express and The Wild Cards (Royce Isaacs and Thom Latimer - yes, I figured out their goddamned names. Kindly fuck off.) in a three-way match to win the titles. Eh, this was fine.

Thunder Rosa defeated NWA Women's Champion Allyson Kay to win the title in an excellent, EXCELLENT wrestling match. If you're going to watch one match from this show, make it this one because it is absolutely fantastic.

Scott Steiner defeated NWA National Champion Aron Stevens via DQ when Stevens' second, the Question Mark, attacked Steiner while Steiner had Stevens in the Recliner. Stevens grabs his title and bails while Steiner beats up on QM. This was a thing that happened; mostly so we could see Steiner be a crazy man.

NWA World's Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis defeated Flip Gordon via roll-up with a handful of tights to retain the title. Fun match, even if Aldis was never in any danger of losing the title to Flip.

Much like Into The Fire, Hard Times felt like an extended episode of NWA Powerrr placed behind a paywall... which is almost prophetic considering their current Fite deal. I will say that the Thunder Rosa/Allyson Kay match is well worth the price of admission, but everything else remains a take it or leave it affair.

A couple months later, the NWA went on hiatus due to prevailing circumstances. A lot of talent featured on this show would not stick with the NWA for long. Who knows how things would've turned out if the world hadn't gone the way it had and the NWA kept on going? Oh well.

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