NWA is back with Hard Times, daddy. Hard Times 2 is hitting PPV on December 4. Billy Corgan announced the full card with appearances from Mick Foley, Austin Aries, the ROH tag team champions, and six more title fights.
The most surprising name mentioned was Mick Foley. Corgan invited the WWE Hall of Famer to attend as Santa Mick.
The full lineup for Hard Times 2 includes:
- NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship: Trevor Murdoch (c) vs. Mike Knox
- NWA Women’s World Championship: Kamille (c) vs. Melina
- NWA World Television Championship: Tyrus (c) vs. Cyon
- Grudge Match: Nick Aldis vs. Thom Latimer
- NWA National Championship: Chris Adonis (c) vs. Judais
- NWA World Tag Team Championship: Bestia 666 & Mecha Wolf 450 (c) vs. Parrow & Odinson
- NWA World Women’s Tag Team Championship: Allysin Kay & Marti Belle (c) vs. Kylie Rae & Tootie Lynn vs. Lady Frost & Natalia Markova
- Colby Corino vs. Doug Williams
- NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship qualifier: Austin Aries vs. Rhett Titus
- ROH World Tag Team Championship: Matt Taven & Mike Bennett (c) vs. Aron Stevens & JR Kratos
- Mickie James vs. TBA
- Special in-ring tribute to Jazz
The main event heavyweight title fight was set up after Mike Knox crashed a show to beat down Trevor Murdoch inside a locked steel cage. It should be a bruising hoss fight.
The TV title bout will be no DQ without a time limit. Corgan assigned Pope as special guest referee. That is a questionable call by Corgan to trust Pope as an unbiased official. It was Tyrus who ended Pope’s run as TV champ by using the dastardly heart punch in victory.
The most intriguing matchup on the card is Nick Aldis versus Thom Latimer. The two friends used to be thick as thieves within the Strictly Business faction. Ever since Aldis lost the Ten Pounds of Gold to Murdoch, he has been examining his past unsavory behavior. Aldis ended his leave of absence with a surprise return to save Tim Storm from Strictly Business.
The world turned upside down as the save is made by...@RealNickAldis?!— NWA (@nwa) September 28, 2021
Are we witnessing cracks in the foundation of Strictly Business or is the former champ just trying to restore order?
Watch #NWAPowerrr NOW on @FiteTV
➡️ https://t.co/dVq3vYok60 pic.twitter.com/3Gg0QmZA6S
Fast forward a few weeks and that led to Strictly Business sending Aldis out on a stretcher.
Now, it is time for Aldis to settle the score. Corgan ordered that there will be no backup support from seconds for the two competitors. If either man gets disqualified, then he will be suspended for 8 weeks.
The most surprising piece of the card is the return of Austin Aries to in-ring action. In another surprise, he will be competing in a qualifier for the return of the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship. That belt was introduced in 1945 and put on ice in 2017. Danny Hodge is the most prestigious titleholder with 7 reigns for a combined 4,134 days.
Aries last competed in televised wrestling for MLW in November 2019. He’s eager for the opportunity to once again show he’s the greatest.
I grew up watching the @nwa and it’ll always be what pro wrestling is to me. On December 3rd and 4th, I’m excited to step into the ring for the @nwa and remind everyone I’m still one of the greatest to ever do it.#prowrestler #prowrestling #NWA #thenationalwrestlingalliance https://t.co/Z5YUdlvsW7— Austin Aries (@AustinAries) November 19, 2021
Aries’ opponent is crossing through the Forbidden Door from Ring of Honor. Rhett Titus is a good technical hand and a two-time ROH tag champ. There is also an interesting connection of teacher and student between the competitors.
December 4th on @FiteTV I’m coming to the @nwa.— Austin Aries (@AustinAries) November 19, 2021
I love you @RhettTitusANX, and you’ve come a long way from that kid I trained 15yrs ago, but you’re in my way. Prepare to be schooled once again. pic.twitter.com/BYVD46mSe4
To crown the titleholder at a future date, it sounds like the winner of that match will wrestle the winner of a pre-show gauntlet involving Jeremiah Plunkett, Victor Benjamin, PJ Hawx, Luke Hawx, Ariya Daivari, Darius Lockhart, Homicide, CW Anderson, Sal Rinauro, Kerry Morton, Jamie Stanley, and Alex Taylor.
Titus isn’t the only Forbidden Door talent on hand. ROH tag champs Matt Taven & Mike Bennett will be in the ring as well. When ROH goes on hiatus for the new year, the NWA seems like a solid landing spot for OGK.
Is the Hard Times 2 card strong enough to earn your money? Which matches catch your interest the most?