NWA got back into the studio wrestling game with the debut of their weekly series, Powerrr. That nine episode journey has been the lead up to NWA’s PPV Into the Fire, which will feature three championship matches. Into the Fire takes place tonight (Dec. 14) at 6:05 pm ET from Atlanta, Georgia. The show can be purchased to view through Fite TV (here).
Let’s break the card down.
NWA World Heavyweight Championship - Best two-out-of-three falls: Nick Aldis (c) vs James Storm
Aldis is putting the Ten Pounds of Gold on the line against Storm. An added stipulation will be handpicked referees. Each man gets a ref for one fall. If there is a third fall, then a coin toss will determine the pick. Storm chose Brian Hebner as a respected official who will call it clean. Aldis went with wrestler Tim Storm, who is unrelated to James. Aldis views Tim as a man of integrity and someone who appreciates the sacrifice of being NWA Worlds Champion.
Storm was picked by Aldis as a nice attraction that can help sell a few PPVs, despite not earning this title bout. Aldis wants to shut up Storm from the constant complaining.
On Storm’s end, he is claiming a conspiracy theory against him. He points to NWA president Billy Corgan butting in during a previous title match (video) against Aldis back in January. Near the end of that bout, both men were down on the floor as the referee started a ten count. At the count of nine, Storm had his hand on the rope, but it didn’t look like he would have gotten in the ring. At that same moment, Corgan ran in to change the rules to no count-out, no DQ so there would be a clear winner. Storm ended up losing by jackknife pin.
Storm can claim conspiracy, but he has nobody to blame but himself for losing focus and confronting Corgan. If Storm had kept the heat on Aldis, he probably would have become new Worlds champ.
Side plots could be the involvement of Kamille and whether Tim Storm acts honorably. Kamille is Aldis’ insurance policy enforcer, but she seems to have her own agenda by publicly whispering pleasing words into James’ ear. Aldis has given her the night off so there are no excuses when he beats James. Tim Storm lost a title match to Aldis in the Powerrr premiere. The stipulation was that Tim would never challenge for the Ten Pounds of Gold again. Tim has lost his purpose as a wrestler. Could he screw Aldis in exchange for a title shot against James? What would Mama Storm advise her baby boy to do?
Prediction: Nick Aldis. All signs point to shenanigans for the finish. Aldis walks a weird line between good guy and bad guy. I think he’ll make it perfectly clear how nefarious of a fellow he is by concocting a super scheme against Storm in the end.
NWA World Tag Team Championship: Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (c) vs Wild Cards
Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson became nine-time tag champs when they defeated Thomas Latimer and Royce Isaacs on Powerrr. Wild Cards will get their rematch at Into the Fire.
It will be interesting to see how much juice NWA is going to squeeze out of the Hall of Fame tag team. Let’s be honest. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express won the belts as a publicity stunt. It made headlines and brought attention to Powerrr. Job well done. Now that it is time for the company to move forward, will NWA still rely on those legends to put butts in seats or will NWA let the younger talent run with the ball? As for which answer is right, I think it all depends on how well the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express can still perform in the ring. If they look every bit of 60+ years old in this match, then a longer tag team reign will be a mistake.
Prediction: Wild Cards. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express shocked the world by winning tag gold, but father time will catch up for a rude awakening.
NWA National Championship: Colt Cabana (c) vs Aron Stevens vs Ricky Starks
Cabana was looking for challengers to his National Heavyweight Championship when Starks strolled by with an eye for gold. Starks has been embroiled in a feud with Stevens (aka Damien Sandow). That feud boiled over into the title hunt, and a three-way has been made.
Prediction: Colt Cabana. I’ll be rooting for Ricky Starks, but I think Cabana will be opportune in winning when Starks and Aron Stevens are focused on each other.
Eli Drake vs Ken Anderson
Drake and Anderson have been milling around the top title scene looking for a shot at Nick Aldis. That has led to interactions between the two as Drake stirred the pot and Anderson opened his big mouth. Both men have alternated being faces and heels throughout their careers. In this bout, Anderson is positioned as the good guy, while Drake is leaning as the bad guy.
Prediction: Eli Drake. He seems poised to become the next challenger for the Worlds Heavyweight Championship.
Allysin Kay & Ashley Vox vs Melina & Marti Belle
Allysin Kay is the World Women’s Champion. Melina felt Kay didn’t appreciate the honor of being champ, so she came to NWA to force Kay to up her game. In the process, Melina formed a faction with Marti Belle and Thunder Rosa. To rub salt in Kay’s wounds, Belle is Kay’s former best friend.
Prediction: Melina & Marti Belle. All signs point to Melina challenging for Kay’s title. Don’t be surprised if Melina pins Kay in this bout.
¿The Question Mark? vs Trevor Murdoch
Murdoch graduated from ham-and-egger to meat-and-potater. The question will be if Murdoch’s Southern grit can match the power of karate. ¿The Question Mark? has become a phenomenon fan favorite for NWA, even though, he is a bad guy aligned with Aron Stevens. The masked man was introduced via oddball vignettes about steel and truth. His Mongrovian throat strike is all the rage. The power of karataaaaaay makes many a believer.
Prediction: ¿The Question Mark? Karataaaaaay!
Tasha Steelz vs Thunder Rosa
This bout was a late addition. Steelz will make her NWA debut.
Prediction: Thunder Rosa. In my opinion, she is NWA’s best woman on the roster. No way she loses. Rosa will make an example out of Tasha Steelz.
As a commentary bonus, Stu Bennett (aka Wade Barrett) will be the replacement for Jim Cornette at Into the Fire.
What are your predictions for Into the Fire? Which match will steal the show?