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Tyrus uses heart punch to win NWA TV title

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The NWA World Television Championship is in new hands. Pope (fka Elijah Burke) ran into a brick wall known as Tyrus (fka “The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay), and the result did not end well for Pope on a special episode of Powerrr.

The show was presented by Nick Aldis due to his current reign with the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship surpassing 1,000 days. He joined an exclusive group with Lou Thesz (twice), Dory Funk Jr., Dan Severn, and Gene Kiniski.

In honor of Aldis’ achievement, he put together this special episode of Powerrr available for free viewing. The TV title match between Pope and Tyrus begins at 38:04.

The TV title bout was doubly important for Pope, because it was his seventh defense. According to the Lucky 7 rule, Pope would earn a shot at the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship if he could retain one more time. Pope decided to forgo the 6:05 time limit to instead wrestle with no time limit in order to teach Tyrus a lesson in their feud.

Pope started strong by using his speed to chop the legs out from under the behemoth. Pope focused on the left knee. That strategy paid off well as Tyrus spent much of the early-going on his back. Tyrus was in serious trouble when Pope locked in a figure-four. The funky dinosaur eventually reached the ropes for the break.

Pope kept on the pressure with two running splashes in the corner. He made a vital error when pausing to pump up the crowd before his third splash. That slight delay allowed Tyrus a breather. He regrouped to lower his shoulder and flatten Pope, who ran in full steam ahead. Tyrus threw Pope into the ring post. On the floor, Austin Idol took advantage of the situation as Tyrus’ manager. Idol rammed Pope into the ring posts when Tyrus distracted the referee. Back in the ring, Tyrus focused on damaging Pope’s left shoulder. Tyrus went to finish with a move off the middle ropes, but his knee gave out.

Pope was back in control with wild energy. Unfortunately, he dropkicked Tyrus into the referee. That was the turning point of the match. Pope had Tyrus down for a pinfall, but the referee was unconscious and could not make the three count. Idol entered the ring, so Pope put him in his place. Tyrus attacked Pope from behind and landed an avalanche in the corner. A heart punch put Pope down. Idol revived the referee. 1, 2, 3. Tyrus was crowned the new NWA TV titleholder. That belt is his first championship from a major wrestling promotion.

The match was a decent affair fitting of the NWA studio vibe. It was old-school style of trying to slay the giant with a screwy finish. The story did a good job of encouraging emotion to see Pope get payback down the line. There are certain moves from wrestling’s lore that have a soft spot in every person’s fandom. The heart punch is one for me. I’m glad to see it making a comeback. It takes a superior level of skill to hit the exact right spot without causing death.

The show opened with Aldis in the ring for a non-title exhibition match against Odinson. The Strictly Business faction and Parrow were creating hijinks ringside, so the referee ejected everyone. Also, Odinson used some kind of super power aerosol spray for a rush a adrenaline. That seems like it should not be legal. In the end, Aldis showed why he is the best. He dodged a spear forcing Odinson to crash into the ring post. The champ followed up with a flying elbow drop and a cloverleaf submission for victory.

Tim Storm stepped back into action against Jordan Clearwater. Storm controlled the pace with power and experience. Clearwater picked up steam on a corkscrew neckbreaker, but Storm turned the tables for good with a swinging side slam to win.

Are you happy for Tyrus to finally win a title? Where does Nick Aldis rank in the hierarchy of greatest NWA champions after surpassing the 1,000 day milestone?