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November 7, 2022

NWA Hard Times in New Orleans HOT TAKE

Hard Times.

Two words.

Nine Letters.

Every professional wrestling fan knows what those words symbolize, what they echo: perseverance, work ethic, defiance, versatility.

Hard Times are what each of us go through in the worst moments of our life. The moments where we are called to step up for what we truly believe in, to fight through the muck and chaos and fear, to truly become the heroes we all dream that we can be.

It's the moments where we right the wrongs and turn the tide of battle against those who will drill the knee of oppression down upon us, to demoralize, to break, to sap us of hope and dreams and happiness.

Hard Times are the darkest moments of the night before the first shades of sun shine down, that moment of flickering doubt that distracts and mesmerizes before we all bear down and rise up, ready to battle, to stand up for what is true and mighty and pure - the dreams of happiness and victory and the moments of relief and joy that everyone strives for.

In the National Wrestling Alliance, that drive to overcome the hard times never ends. It is an essential, eternal power struggle for championship gold, for arms raised in victory, for bragging rights worldwide and for the knowledge within that no matter how hard the war within and inside the squared circle may be, three seconds was that was needed to achieve total victory, allowing you to stand tall alongside the legends that helped carve the NWA initials into the time capsule that resides in the heart and souls of every die-hard professional wrestling fan across the globe.

Hard Times were words once uttered by former NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Dusty Rhodes, a common man tasked with fighting to overcome insurmountable odds. Today, they are a mantra for all who raise their fists to fight and overcome the obstacles. Today, they represent one of the most important dates on the NWA's calendar and this week, the only place to watch the greatest combat sports superstars in the National Wrestling Alliance settle their scores and attempt to achieve their championship dreams is right here live on FITE.

New Orleans is a prized city in the United States. Mardi Gras. Bourbon Street. Jazz Music. Creole Cuisine. All of these things linger and mesh to create one of the most truly unique environments and cultures anywhere on Planet Earth, but NOLA also loves their fighters, because it is a city that has come through the Hard Times, an institution that has been rocked to its core only to unite and rise as one and step forward, battling through the darkest of nights to rise like a phoenix from the ashes. There may be no more fitting origination point for the 2022 NWA Hard Times extravaganza as FITE presents some of the most important battles of the year from the National Wrestling Alliance, including these fine main events:

We all know the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship is the most important, treasured prize in the history of professional wrestling. No matter who holds it, no matter what else is buzzworthy in the cosmos of combat sports, the Ten Pounds of Gold was, is and always will be the measuring stick for all who hold it, covet it and witness its championship matches. At Hard Times 3, Trevor Murdoch steps into the ring with not one, but two equally dangerous, yet unique competitors. Murdoch shocked the world with his second World Championship win and has brought his throwback, gritty battle-tested might to his championship defenses since, but this main event may be a mathematical equation that even Isaac Newton might find impossible to quantify.

On one side is Matt Cardona, the ever-scheming former World Champion who only lost his grasp on the title when NWA President William Patrick Corgan was forced to strip Cardona due to injury. Since then, Cardona and his family of thugs have been out to make everyone in the NWA pay the price. Now that he's cleared to return to the ring, Cardona will stop at nothing to wrest the power that comes with being World Champion away from Trevor Murdoch and make the NWA suffer the consequences in the process.

On the other is the monstrous Tyrus, a man who has been enforcing his will in professional wrestling as much as he's left broken bodies in his way. Having relinquished the World Television Championship in order to unlock his NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship opportunity, the FOX News personality has done what few opponents could ever hope to do - he placed himself in a corner, forced to fight his way out, achieving a World title victory or walking away from Hard Times with nothing to show for it. The best-selling author has never been one to accept anything secondary and is so dangerous, perhaps the only way to even deal with his ferocity is for the unthinkable - Murdoch and Cardona aligning themselves together - to happen.

The NWA Worlds Championship will be on the line Saturday November 12th at Hard Times 3, live on FITE, a title bout that has so many possibilities ahead of it once the bell rings, it's a multiverse unto itself.

Of course, if there is one woman who has defined the universe that is the NWA, it is Kamille, who has masterfully conquered and maintained her grip on the NWA Women's Worlds Championship since June 2021. Much like Trevor Murdoch, Kamille will be tasked with facing two very unique, dominating opponents, but they have the near-impossible quest of taking down a champion that has been near-invincible. Still, one would be remiss to dismiss the accolades of the challengers at Hard Times 3.

The Cardona Family's Chelsea Green, a world-traveled hellraiser has captured championships and wreaked havoc on locker rooms across the globe. She's shown in the past she's willing to break her own bones in order to decimate her opponents and has pushed herself to the brink of insanity and back again to prove her worth as one of the most dangerous women in combat sports. A win at Hard Times 3 allows her to once again step into the most important spotlight in the world and change the trajectory of the entire sport.

Of course, anyone who assumes that KiLynn King won't be a massive factor in the championship match at Hard Times 3 is fooling themselves. From AEW to Florida independents to CCW across the country, King has earned the reputation of being one of the toughest women in modern day professional wrestling, someone who takes the beatings to others and has an intense will to succeed. King has proven herself time and time again, but at Hard Times 3, if she can strategize herself into a victory, she will ascend to the throne as well as a newfound level of dominance that will change not just the course of her career, but her very life forever.

The NWA World Tag Team Championships will be on the line at Hard Times 3 and there may never be a better place or time for HawxAerie to attempt to win those coveted belts, since as it turns out, their shot at lucha stars La Rebellion comes in Luke and PJ Hawx's hometown of New Orleans. Just as Luke's acting career is breaking out with a major role on NBC's Young Rock, the biggest championship moment of his in-ring career could come alongside his 25-year old son PJ, a wrestling phenom who has held his own against the likes of Homicide and created viral moments with his athletic prowess and collegiate wrestling accomplishments. La Rebellion has proven to be aerial assault masters with their meshing of lucha, brawling and double-team maneuvers, but if there was ever a threat to their tag team excellence, it has to be a tag team that not only think and fight like, but live by the same heartbeat - the rhythm of a family that has been through it all and back again, but are still seeking to achieve their championship dreams together. Live on FITE, the Hawx family's moment of reckoning may be upon them, for if it isn't, then what next?

For young Kerry Morton, the son of Hall of Famer Ricky Morton, he too gets to battle alongside his father most weekends, but on November 12th, Ricky gets to be a spectator as Kerry, the gymnast and actor turned professional wrestler will get the biggest test and the biggest opportunity of his young career to date at the same time, when Morton challenges The Notorious 187, Homicide for the NWA Junior Heavyweight Championship. Hailing from the mean streets of Bed Stuy, Do or Die, in Brooklyn, New York, Homicide has been the measuring stick for anyone who has wished to prove themselves over the last two decades. Kerry Morton won't be the first to enter the squared circle seeking victory only to find himself forced to learn the hard way how truly dangerous an education Homicide can bring with his hands, fists and endless arsenal of frightful submissions. Morton will need every ounce of his speed, savvy and youthful exuberance to outwit the grizzled veteran who has seen and done it all, with the attitude to match. Generations collide live on FITE at NWA Hard Times 3!

Hard Times 3 will also provide a window into dream matches as Major League Wrestling's National Openweight Champion Davey Richards will arrive to defend his championship live on FIRE on November 12th against Colby Corino, someone who idolized Richards as a competitor while he was growing up and evolving into a feared antagonist in his own right. Richards is a pro wrestling machine, a master of melding the world of MMA and technical professional wrestling into its own unique hybrid offense. Corino, however, is a cunning second-generation competitor who has proven to be a master of all aspects of professional wrestling, a versatile fighter who has continued to strike down all critics and ascend ever further into greatness. With the fate of two promotions intertwined at Hard Times, FITE will be the centerpiece when the future is carved in stone for both the NWA and MLW as Corino and Richards go to war.

The battles will continue to unfold before your eyes at Hard Times 3.

Jim Mitchell will stroll down the aisle, leaving Max the Impaler into battle in the first-ever Voodoo Queen Casket Match as Max attempts to destroy Natalia Markova and subject her to the darkness that waits within the casket.

Dak Draper, a standout in both Ring of Honor and WWE developmental, will vie for his biggest championship accomplishment to date, seeking to capture the NWA National title from Cyon.

EC3 and Thom Latimer seek to control the narrative of who is the toughest and most dangerous wrestler in the NWA as they seek to end their grudge once and for all in New Orleans.

The Fixers seek to maintain their greatness as NWA United States Tag Team Champions as they defend against the Spectaculars.

Pretty Empowered, Kenzie Paige & Ella Envy, seek to live up to their team name as they strive to once again retain their NWA Women's Tag Team Championship against the formidable duo of Madi Wrenkowski & Missa Kate, who are looking to make NWA history with a massive upset.

Of course, Nick Aldis, who literally carved the path that is today's National Wrestling Alliance will once again seek to add another chapter to his storied career, battling Odinson.

Then, for something truly unique, will the real Question Mark please stand up? The Question Mark will battle The Question Mark 2, with one man unmasked forever.

Plus, Jax Dane, JTG, Mercurio and more will battle in six man tag team action.

In one spectacular evening, the NWA and FITE will present Hard Times, the latest installment of classic, colossal clashes that will see careers, championships and the very fabric of the National Wrestling Alliance changed forever, a night that can be witnessed exclusively across the globe, no matter where you are and what devices you hold in the palm of your hands, right here on FITE!

Mike Johnson is the lead reporter for PWInsider.com and has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He can be found on Twitter @MikePWInsider and MikeJohnsonWrites.com.