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    Sunday, February 2, 2020

    The Hourrr of Powerrr (1/28/20): Dealer Always Wins

    Hello to another rather late edition of The Hourrr of Powerrr! It's a Very Special Edition of the column as Hard Times, the NWA's second PPV in the Powerrr era, also happened a couple of Fridays ago to kick off the packed Royal Rumble weekend. Ya boy didn't manage to get around to doing a Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review, so let's do a little recap before heading into this week's episode:

    • We had an amazing TV Championship tournament and crowned a new champion in Ricky Starks. The only man who could stop Nick Aldis from qualifying by taking him to the 6:05 limit was the worthy pick to take it all home. The 6:05 gimmick makes for absolutely great matches as you (or I, at least) constantly get amazed at how much can be done in that time, and how underrated everyone wrestling on this program is for that. The TV Championship may be my favorite title in all of wrestling right now.
    • We have a new Women's Champion in Thunder Rosa. After one hell of a match, Thunder Rosa survived Allysin Kay's brutal offense (including a piledriver, it should be noted). The former Kobra Moon is a wonderful pick to help lead a division that's still growing.
    • New Tag Team Champions in James Storm and Eli Drake were also crowned. I'm just glad the Rock 'n' Roll Express aren't champs anymore, though I would've preferred to see Storm and Drake chase the Wild Cards for it.
    • Flip Gordon doesn't win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship from Nick Aldis. I mean, of course he wouldn't, but it's great that they added that extra stake.
    Catch Hard Times if you can—and if there's anything you gotta watch, it's really the entirety of the TV Championship tournament. Pure wrestling satisfaction.

    Great, now here we are. It took them one season (seven or so weeks) of sidetracking Aldis—okay, okay, they really established him as a massive dick—to do it, but they finally did it. 

    At Hard Times, Aldis challenged "The Villain" Marty Scurll to a title match in which if Aldis wins, not only is he still the champ, but he dictates how Scurll does business with him and the NWA, if I understood that correctly. But this episode of Powerrr takes that to a whole new level.

    First, the flawlessly-executed main event talk segment establishes a lot of backstory between Aldis and Scurll for those who didn't know. One of the advantages of a studio set-up is they can do pre-taped empty-studio segments like this; it's two guys talking calmly to one another, a stark contrast to your usual shouty banter of more traditional wrestling promos in front of a real audience. Lucha Underground used to do this, and it shines through in Powerrr, especially in this segment—the lore is laid out clearly, the tension is made easier to grasp, and the challenge that follows resonates even stronger.

    Scurll wants to do a big-money match so bad? He's also got to put something on the line as well, says Aldis. If Aldis wins at The Crockett Cup, not only does he retain the title, but Scurll has to refund the tickets of everyone in the audience.

    That's cold. You might think, ha, that's nothing! Have you seen the size of the NWA Arena crowd? Scurll could definitely manage that! But Aldis also makes it a point to note that The Crockett Cup is still "looking for a venue," so we won't know how big of a hit Marty would ever take if he lost. Losing a title shot used to just cost a wrestler his pride. It only makes sense as well if Scurll wanted to strong-arm himself to the front of the line.

    For obvious reasons, bigger companies could never pull off a stipulation like this, so the creativity NWA's smaller size allows the brand to bring to the table is pretty refreshing. It also doesn't need saying, but Aldis is so great at this top heel role, being creative and manipulative enough that I worry a lot about what would happen to the title when he loses it; the guy makes so many matches that he feels like he's the authority in the whole company. (Then Billy Corgan comes out to remind us.) 

    Scurll should take it, if it isn't already a given. The stipulation alone makes me think we're getting an automatic title change—the only thing that stops me from being 100% convinced is the fact that Scurll is still a guy signed to ROH. But it's 2020, and stranger things have happened. If Marty's getting paid main roster money, then what does he really have to lose?

    NWA Powerrr 1/28/20 Grade: An excellent way to start the third season. A-

    The Powerrr Train

    • Hey, Sean Mooney's back as a member of the NWA broadcast team! This feels like the most sensible old-school get the company's made so far, but also because a lot of their old gets are from the previous two generations of TNA/Impact Wrestling.
    • We're really going to saddle Royce Isaacs, a solid stud out there in the ring, with a strange and dated jealous boyfriend angle?
    • After teasing a split with Marti Belle, now Melina is teasing a split with Thunder Rosa. Worst manager ever.
    • It's funny to see James Storm come out here and be—I don't really want to say reduced—turned into somewhat of a crowd-pleasing comedy face. I get that it's what you gotta do sometimes when you're with a babyface Eli Drake,

    Romeo Moran (@roiswaris the Editor in Chief of Smark Henry, one of the four hosts of the Wrestling-Wrestling Podcast, and is associated with Philippine Wrestling Revolution. He gets by in this hard knock life through working in publishing. Smark Henry was his and Stan Sy's original vision of a watering hole for local wrestling fans. He roots for the undersized guys who hit hard, and he likes taking your wrestling questions over on his Curiouscat account.
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    Item Reviewed: The Hourrr of Powerrr (1/28/20): Dealer Always Wins Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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