Matt Cardona’s chance at golden glory is here. After recovery from a torn bicep and relinquishing the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship, Cardona is competing for the title he never lost in the main event of Hard Times 3.
Becoming a two-time NWA worlds champion will be no easy task. Current titleholder Trevor Murdoch and former NWA TV champ Tyrus stand in his way for a three-way match. In terms of wins in this triangle, Cardona defeated Murdoch to win the Ten Pounds of Gold and Murdoch defeated Tyrus to retain the NWA’s top prize. Cardona and Tyrus have never engaged in singles action within an NWA ring. Cardona earned his shot by cashing in a promise from Billy Corgan in exchange for vacating the title peacefully when injured. Tyrus is in the mix due to cashing in the Lucky 7 rule as TV champ. After seven successful defenses, he had the option to exchange that title for a shot at the worlds championship.
Trevor Murdoch explained his perspective on the battle as payback to Cardona and confidence in beating Tyrus again.
Listen to what @TheRealTMurdoch had to say about his match in #HardTimes3 where he will defend the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Title against @TheMattCardona vs @PlanetTyrus!— NWA (@nwa) November 11, 2022
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Cardona views himself as the real world champion, because he never lost the belt. He needs that title, but the NWA also needs him as champion. Cardona criticized Murdoch’s lack of visibility outside the NWA. When Cardona was champ, he carried the title belt to all his indie bookings and even on leisure time at Disney World.
Matt Cardona talking the NWA Worlds Championship, @TheRealTMurdoch & @PlanetTyrus ahead of #HardTimes3.— NWA (@nwa) November 12, 2022
Who do you think will be The Champ after tomorrow night?
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The full card includes:
NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship: Trevor Murdoch (c) vs. Matt Cardona vs. Tyrus
NWA Women’s World Championship: Kamille (c) vs. KiLynn King vs. Chelsea Green
NWA World Tag Team Championship: Bestia 666 & Mecha Wolf (c) vs. Luke Hawx & PJ Hawx
NWA National Heavyweight Championship: Cyon (c) vs. Dak Draper
NWA Junior Heavyweight Championship: Homicide (c) vs. Kerry Morton
NWA United State Tag Team Championship: Jay Bradley & Wrecking Ball Legursky (c) vs. Rush Freeman & Brady Pierce
NWA World Women’s Tag Team Championship: Kenzie Paige & Ella Envy (c) vs. Missa Kate & Madi Wrenkowski
MLW National Openweight Championship: Davey Richards (c) vs. Colby Corino
Voodoo Queen Casket Match: Natalia Markova vs. Max The Impaler
Mask vs. Mask: The Question Mark (Rodney Mack) with Aron Stevens vs. The Question Mark II with Kratos
EC3 vs. Thom Latimer
Team War: Mercurio, Magic Jake Dumas, & Jax Dane vs. Mayweather, JTG, & Pope
NWA World Television Championship: AJ Cazana vs. Jordan Clearwater
WildKat Sports Tag Team Championship: Bu Ku Dao & J. Spade (c) vs. Sal Rinauro & Gaagz The Gymp
With ten title fights on the card, there are three in particular that will make headlines with a new champ. First is the main event. Cardona and Tyrus will move the needle more than Murdoch thanks to outside exposure. Second is if Kamille’s 514-day reign comes to an end. Taya Valkyrie was the original #1 contender, but she lost that status in defeat to KiLynn King. Chelsea Green squeezed in by cashing a previously earned title shot. I would strongly favor Kamille, but she’s running out of contenders. In three-way action, anything can happen. Third is Ricky Morton’s son continuing the family legacy by winning a title. Kerry Morton has had a crack at Homicide before, and this just might be the time he solves the puzzle for success.
On top of the matches, there is also a gloomy cloud looming with the Nick Aldis situation. After Aldis announced his intention to exit the NWA when his contract expires, Corgan suspended the National Treasure due to his negative comments. That meant Aldis was pulled from the card in a previously scheduled match against Odinson. This seems like a real life scenario, however, you never know in this business. If the NWA is pulling the wool over our eyes for a storyline, an appearance from Aldis could make for wild times.
How does the Hard Times 3 card look to you? Share your predictions.
Update: Get full results for Hard Times 3 here.