Hands up if you predicted Matt Cardona and Mick Foley participating in an angle to close an NWA PPV in 2021. Anybody? Nobody? No surprise there, but it was quite the surprise as they did just that in the ending to Hard Times 2 on Saturday night (Dec. 4).
Trevor Murdoch battled Mike Knox in the main event with the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship on the line. It was a beefy sloberknocker. Knox was in control after a superplex and a swinging reverse STO. The champ refused to lose and found an opening for a flying bulldog to claim victory.
Let’s pause for a moment. Earlier in the evening, Foley appeared as a special holiday guest. Santa Mick reminisced about wrestling under the NWA banner 30 years ago. His eyes are currently on the talented wrestlers in the NWA locker room. However, if anyone crosses the naughty line, this may not be the last we see of Foley.
That turned out to be foreshadowing. Immediately after Murdoch retained the worlds title, Cardona arrived ringside. He appeared to be chummy at first. As Murdoch was occupied with Cardona’s presence, Knox lashed out as a sore loser with a low blow from behind to the champ’s jewels.
Foley sensed something askew, so he came out with an early Christmas gift. Pope stormed in to brawl with Knox. Cardona stepped up to smash Pope into the ring steps. He entered the ring to inquire on Murdoch’s health. Knox attacked the champ again with a big boot. Cardona picked up the Ten Pounds of Gold with a smile and placed it upon Murdoch’s chest.
Backstage, Cardona played coy about his motives during a post-show interview with Josh Shernoff. He mentioned that Knox is one of his best friends. That’s why he intervened with Pope. About picking up the title belt, he had to find out if the great looking championship actually weighed ten pounds as advertised. Cardona admitted that he wants money and gold, but that’s not necessarily why he showed up in the NWA.
Wait!! WHAT??? @TheMattCardona is here at @nwa #HardTimes2....but why? @SoSaysShernoff asks the question that's on everyone's mind!— FITE (@FiteTV) December 5, 2021
Thanks to Josh and to the NWA for a beautiful night! pic.twitter.com/VJ0yJSrwtt
Cardona is in the middle of a career resurgence. He has been in the deathmatch championship scene in GCW, will compete for the Impact World Championship against Moose and W. Morrissey at Hard to Kill on January 8, and now it appears he will be a major player for the NWA. Cardona’s next step with the NWA is uncertain, but one thing for certain is that it is a wild time to be a wrestling fan.
Hard Times 2 PPV results include:
- NWA Women’s World Championship: Kamille retained against Melina. The challenger fought her heart out focusing on damaging the shoulder for the Muta Lock. Kamille escaped and trapped Melina in a leg submission. Upon the break, Melina’s knee brace slipped down. It looked like she removed the foreign object with intent to smash. Before Melina could strike, Kamille sprang forth with a spear to win.
- In-ring tribute to Jazz. The female fighting phenom held the NWA World Women’s Championship for 948 days from September 2016 to April 2019. She thanked WWE, ECW, and NWA for opportunities of success. Jazz was proud to have the talent and ability (T&A) to win championships and pass on her knowledge by working behind the scenes producing matches.
- Grudge match: Nick Aldis defeated Thom Latimer. Latimer turned the tide with a piledriver. He was in control with clubbing blows. Latimer went for another piledriver, however, Aldis countered for a jackknife pin for victory. I would be remiss not to mention that Aldis exposed Latimer’s posterior cheeks.
- NWA World Tag Team Championship: Bestia 666 & Mecha Wolf retained against Parrow & Odinson. Mecha escaped the Doomsday Device. Bestia shoved Odinson off the turnbuckles colliding into Parrow on a flying shoulder tackle. Bestia followed with a frog splash to Parrow then took out Odinson with a tope con hilo to the outside. Mecha finished the job with a 450 splash to pin Parrow. Afterward, JTG and Fandango came on stage with desire for the titles.
- NWA National Championship: Chris Adonis retained against Judais. The challenger connected on a flying clothesline, but he tweaked his leg upon landing. Adonis used the Master Lock to force a submission.
- NWA World Television Championship: Tyrus retained against Cyon. No DQ match with chairs, a trashcan, and a table. Cyon was on the cusp of victory when he powerbombed Tyrus off the turnbuckles through a table. Jordan Clearwater and BLK Jeez ran in to attack Cyon. Special referee Pope accidentally ended Cyon’s chances. Tyrus aggressively taunted Pope. Pope lost his cool and fired punches. When he charged for a running knee, he unintentionally hit Cyon after Tyrus moved away. Heart punch, 1, 2, 3, win.
- Impact Knockouts Championship: Mickie James retained against Kiera Hogan. Very good match. Hogan had momentum after a super kick. She wasted precious seconds pumping up the crowd before launching for a flying crossbody. James took the impact then rolled through to steal the pin.
- Colby Corino defeated Doug Williams. Corino was flanked by two big bubbas known as the Fixers. They grabbed his feet to prevent Williams from executing the Chaos Theory. Williams charged again but crashed into the corner when Corino dodged. Corino pounced for la casita pin to win. That spoiled Williams’ return to the USA.
- ROH World Tag Team Championship: Matt Taven & Mike Bennett retained against Aron Stevens & JR Kratos. Stevens scored a roll-up on Taven, but Bennett blasted him with a forearm to reverse position with Taven on top to win. Of note, Stevens embraced his inner heel by resorting to cheap tactics after making efforts to play fair. He gouged eyes and grabbed tights. OGK keeps the ROH tag titles to defend against the Briscoes at Final Battle on December 11.
- NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship qualifier: Austin Aries defeated Rhett Titus. Teacher beat student by hitting a chain of moves and closing with a brainbuster.
Pre-show results include:
- NWA Junior Heavyweight Championship qualifying gauntlet: Homicide won. The rules were a new entrant every 90 seconds with elimination by pinfall or submission. The other competitors were Luke Hawx, Kerry Morton, Sal Rinauro, Ariya Daivari, PJ Hawx, CW Anderson, Alex Taylor, Victor Benjamin, Ricky Morton, Jeremiah Plunkett, and Jamie Stanley. Homicide outlasted the bunch from the 8th spot to finish Kerry Morton with a super Koji cutter for ultimate victory. The winner earned a pass to the championship tournament final four.
Last Night at #HardTimes2 a HUGE victory as Homicide defeated 11 other men to get automatic entry into the finals for the NWA Junior Heavyweight Championship.— NWA (@nwa) December 5, 2021
Will he be the first Junior Heavyweight Champion of the modern era? pic.twitter.com/OJE6Lw7pRv
- NWA World Women’s Tag Team Championship: Allysin Kay & Marti Belle retained against Kylie Rae & Tootie Lynn, Natalia Markova & Missa Kate, and Jennacide & Paola Blaze. Lady Frost was absent due to illness. She was replaced by Kate. Taryn Terrell decided Jennacide would cash in her title shot, so it became a fatal four four-way. The Hex nailed Lynn with a teamwork running boot into a front slam to win.
- Mims defeated Jax Dane. Mims secured a crucifix pin while Dane was showboating.
Darius Lockhart was not medically cleared to compete, but he did cut a promo revealing a new online show. NWA USA is coming soon. No other details have been posted yet.
It you missed the debut of The Revolutionary @DLockPro and #HardTimes2, you missed a lot of fun!— NWA (@nwa) December 5, 2021
Check out #HardTimes2 here: https://t.co/KHIy4jchxa
AND the pre-show is available on @YouTube!
The replay of Hard Times 2 is available through Fite TV (here).
Share your thoughts about the NWA PPV broadcast. Which match stole the show? Were you pleased with the results?