- NWA TV TITLE TOURNAMENT FIRST-ROUND MATCH: Trevor Murdoch defeated The Question Mark
- NWA TV TITLE TOURNAMENT FIRST-ROUND MATCH: Dan Maff defeated Ziggy Dice
- NWA TV TITLE TOURNAMENT FIRST-ROUND MATCH: Ricky Starks defeated Matt Cross
- NWA TV TITLE TOURNAMENT FIRST-ROUND MATCH: Tim Storm vs Ken Anderson didn’t take place, Anderson forfeited
- NWA WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP TRIPLE THREAT MATCH: Eli Drake & James Storm defeated The Wild Cards (Thomas Latimer & Royce Isaacs) w/ Kamille and Rock N Roll Express (c)
- NWA WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: Thunder Rosa defeated Allysin Kay (c)
- NWA TV TITLE TOURNAMENT SEMI-FINAL MATCH: Trevor Murdoch defeated Dan Maff
- NWA TV TITLE TOURNAMENT SEMI-FINAL MATCH: Ricky Starks defeated Tim Storm
- NWA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: Scott Steiner defeated Aron Stevens w/ The Question Mark via DQ
- NWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: Nick Aldis (c) defeated Flip Gordon
- NWA TV TITLE TOURNAMENT FINAL: Ricky Starks defeated Trevor Murdoch
Let me tell you about Hard Times…
It was actually really refreshing knowing that none of the TV Title matches would go past 6.05 minutes. No drawn out pointless matches with untold near falls that mean nothing.
It was a surprise to me that Murdoch was victorious in the first round against The Question Mark, considering the run The Mark had been on since his debut in NWA.
Apart from the amazing skillset of Dan Maff, the only other thing I will remember about this match was the design of Dice’s trunks made it look like he had shit himself.
It’s a crime that Matt Cross is not signed to a major wrestling promotion. He dominated the majority of this match, then out of nowhere, Starks was able to pick up the victory.
Stu Bennett had some “Breaking News” (No, not Bad News, Just Breaking): April 2020 – The Crockett Cup will return to PPV.
While it was pretty obvious that the Rock N Roll would drop the belts at Hard Times, it was a surprise that Drake and Storm won the match. It seemed set up for Wild Cards to pick up the win. After the smoking hot Kamille got involved, I assumed it would only be a matter of time before The Wild Cards would be two-time champs. However, I made the mistake of forgetting that James Storm is a tag team specialist. He superkicked the head off of Isaacs which left the door open for Drake to hit the Gravy Train on Ricky Morton and left Hard Times with the Gold. There was an emotional moment after the match when Morton and Gibson handed over the belts to congratulate the new NWA Tag Team Champions.
I have said it once before that the women’s division in NWA is seriously underrated. This match was far better than any women’s match I have seen in a long time. It started at a rather slow pace and built up to a fantastic finish with both women delivering some devastating moves to gain the victory. For me, this was a contender for match of the night.
During an interview with Joe Galli, The Villain Marty Scurll let everyone know that he wants a shot at the ten pounds of gold. Marty also wanted to know why Flip’s match with Aldis a non-title match. Marty attempted to goad The Champ Aldis into a title match with Flip. While Aldis accepted the title match he had added a stipulation, if he wins he gets to call the shots on when Aldis and Scurll will face each other.
While Murdoch’s first-round win was considered by many as an upset, his victory over Maff could have been considered an even bigger one. But no one could deny how impressive he was in both matches more than earning the right to be in the final.
Another shock came in the second semi-final match as Ricky Starks was able to defeat the fresh and experienced Tim Storm.
Scott Steiner was moments away from winning the National Championship until The Question Mark came to the aid of his Student. After the match was stopped due to a DQ, Stevens was able to escape the wrath of Steiner, but the same could not be said for The Question Mark as he was left laying in the middle of the ring by Steiner.
The World title match was the only match on this card that had a pretty obvious outcome. While that was a factor it did not stop me from enjoying this match. Every fan knows how devastating the high flying offensive attacks of Flip Gordon can be, however, he was able to show a different side to his game in this match with a very effective ground assault that seemed to get the better of Aldis for a lot of the match. Yet again Aldis was flawless and proved that not only does he look like a World Champion should look, he also performs like one. There was no quit in Aldis as Flip came so close on more than one occasion to become the champion. But somehow someway, Aldis was able to pull out a quick counter roll up and retained the title.
Both men more than earned the right to be in the final. It was a contrast of styles as the larger Murdoch used his size and strength to dominate the more athletic Ricky Starks. The amount of punishment that Murdoch dished out should have been more than enough to win the title. But the fortitude of Ricky Starks was the key factor as he would not be denied and was able to fight back to become the new NWA World Television Champion.
I thoroughly enjoyed everything about Hard Times especially that it was only two and a half hours long. In my opinion, no wrestling PPV needs to go over three hours. This was a perfect length show and left me wanting to see what is going to happen next in the NWA.
All photos courtesy of NWA