NWA Nuff Said HOT TAKE
For decades upon decades, The National Wrestling Alliance has been the standard-bearer for professional wrestling greatness, the glittering Ten Pounds of Gold symbolizing exactly what every competitor who ever stepped inside the squared circle fought, bled and dreamed of - the moment where they could stand as the epicenter of the entire professional wrestling cosmos, knowing they had unlocked the ultimate achievement.
For a period of time, that was Matt Cardona's destiny. He has exited World Wrestling Entertainment, tossed aside the disappointments and expectations that held him back and evolved into one of the most talked about antagonists inside the National Wrestling Alliance and beyond. Backed by the Cardona family, he even did the unthinkable, capturing the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship. The king of the Internet had now broken through as the power broker. The last laugh was all his, at least until injury struck.
NWA President William Corgan was forced to strip Cardona of the title, with Trevor Murdoch capturing the Worlds title for the second time. Cardona knew he had a guaranteed title match upon his return and trained for the blue collar hero, only to see the best laid plans of mice and men once again go awry - Tyrus shocked the world and captured the NWA Worlds Championship.
Even in the world of professional wrestling, where the landscape is never the same twice and shocking moments happen so often they are often dismissed, Tyrus' capture changed the entire existence of the National Wrestling Alliance and the Worlds Heavyweight Championship in just the three seconds it took for him to capture the pinfall and the title.
This Saturday, the National Wrestling Alliance returns to FITE from Tampa, Florida, one of the NWA's most historic and prestigious cities. Indeed, The Big Guava has hosted NWA Worlds Championship victories for Dusty Rhodes, Steve Corino, Dory Funk Jr. and Sabu, among others. It's a city that has die-hard professional wrestling love running through its DNA and now, NWA ‘Nuff Said will host one of the most talked about championship encounters in some time as Matt Cardona challenges Tyrus in an encounter where the most important prize in professional wrestling will be decided amongst some very bad men.
Let's be honest, neither Tyrus nor Cardona are going to win any Most Popular Wrestling prizes anytime soon. They are each defined by making sure they use any means to their end in order to achieve the victory and walk away with the clout, the power and the bragging rights. Neither are shy about using their consiglieres, Idolmania Sports Management for Tyrus or Cardona Family members for Matt. With a stipulation to be revealed this week, this Saturday's Championship battle will not be one captured on wits and pure wrestling style alone. No, indeed it's going to be Tyrus' strength and fury against Cardona's arrogance and scheming - but at the end of the night, one of these twisted souls will lay claim to the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship.
One may wonder whether there will be a light at the end of the tunnel for NWA fans. That light may very well be the former two-time Champion Trevor Murdoch. Still seeking his own chance to regain the Ten Pounds of Gold, Murdoch returns to the ring this Saturday at ‘Nuff Said live on FITE to battle Chris Adonis. Murdoch and Adonis had a heated exchange during the live NWA Powerrr season premiere in Knoxville, TN last week during the Champions Series final.
That gritty exchange inside the ring sets the stage for the grudge match in Tampa as Murdoch seeks to put himself back into contention for the World Championship while Adonis, as a member of Team Rock N' Roll Express, has a guaranteed title match of his choosing down the line. Before he can call his shot, the master of the Masterlock will have to try and bypass one of the NWA's most rugged, loyal competitors. This will be a throwback to the old days of professional wrestling - two men step into the ring to prove themselves against the other, the future of their careers at stake.
If there's been one Champion who has been the measuring stick for their division over the last several years, it is NWA World Women's Champion Kamille, who is over 600 days into her championship reign. Coming off wins over KiLynn King, Chelsea Green and Kenzie Paige, Kamille has looked seemingly unstoppable, but this Saturday she'll be contending with one of the most hellacious competitors of the modern era, Angelina Love. Love has left a path equally strewn with controversy and destruction everywhere she has ever competed, from Impact Wrestling to Ring of Honor and beyond.
With her reputation for cunning, diabolical acts of aggression, perhaps no one should have been shocked when Love and Fodder jumped Kamille and her husband Thomas Latimer from behind at the live NWA Powerrr in Knoxville. The assault sparked Kamille defending the World Women's Championship at ‘Nuff Said in a No Disqualification match, leaving one to wonder what Love will be forced to contend with when The Brickhouse has nothing holding her back as she seeks revenge against the former Knockouts Champion. While Angelina Love has never been one to show restraint against an opponent, she may have trapped herself in a battle that even she can't plot a way out when the NWA arrives in Tampa this Saturday.
Kerry Morton's victory to capture the NWA Junior Heavyweight Championship last year was one of the sweet spots of 2022 as the third-generation star got his first taste of the gold as well as a massive victory over Homicide. As the calendar turns to 2023, the celebration fades and the hard work truly begins. Fresh off victories over Colby Corino and Brian Pillman Jr, Morton must now take his game to the next level with his first Championship defense on a live National Wrestling Alliance PPV.
The pressure, indeed, is on and it won't be an easy night at the office as Texas star Alex Taylor has been on a hot streak, as Morton himself witnessed with Taylor being victorious as part of Team Rock N' Roll Express during the Champions Series. Having single-handedly defeated both Luke and PJ Hawx during the series, Taylor is more than primed to come into his own, but just needs that one big victory to solidify himself as a true player in the NWA. This Saturday live on FITE, two gifted fighters each have something to prove to each other, and the audience, as they each seek to walk out with the Junior Heavyweight Championship.
Of course, if there is someone on the NWA roster with something to prove, it is the Notorious 187 Homicide. Having lost the Junior Heavyweight Championship to Morton, Homicide is not a happy man, which means that the entire locker room is in danger of finding themselves on the wrong side of Brooklyn, NY's favorite son. Homicide has always been a hard-hitting, urban combat sports pugilist, but now he feels he has to prove he still needs to be feared and respected, which makes every single person he crosses eyes with the next victim.
This Saturday at ‘Nuff Said, Homicide is scheduled to challenge NWA National Champion Cyon, a masked man who may indeed end up the trivia answer for the most unlucky competitor of 2023. Homicide is coming and while Austin Idol's Idolmania Sports Management may seek to stack the odds against the former ROH World Champion, Homicide's venomous fury and anger should never, ever be underestimated. Cyon has proven to be a formidable opponent with wins over Dak Draper and Thrillbilly, but Homicide is in a league of his own. This will either be Cyon's crowning achievement or his impending doom. ‘Nuff Said.
After an incredible roller coaster year that elicited shock and controversy across the professional wrestling cosmos, The National Wrestling Alliance returns home to Tampa to set the stage for yet another tumultuous year with many more competitors and matches to be set in the hours to come before the curtains raise on ‘Nuff Said and yet another generation of NWA stalwarts make history, live 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.