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NWA Samhain PPV recap & reactions: WWE journeymen strike out challenging for titles

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NWA celebrated the Halloween season with the Samhain PPV (Oct. 28, 2023) from Cleveland, OH. There was a mix of title bouts and wacky stipulations throughout the card. Feature attractions included EC3 defending the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship against Thom Latimer, Blunt Force Trauma defending the NWA World Tag Team Championship against Mike Knox & Trevor Murdoch, and “Thrillbilly” Silas Mason defending the NWA National Heavyweight Championship against Chris Adonis. Let’s run down the results.

NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship: EC3 defeated Thom Latimer to retain. (Full details here.) No Limits rules, which meant anything goes. Kamille was ringside as the Insurance Policy to support her husband. Kamille protected her man by hitting EC3 with a chair to block a suicide dive.

Matt Cardona played a role in the finish. EC3 had shoved Latimer into Kamille. Cardona went for payback on Kamille, who was limp in the corner. Latimer sacrificed himself to cover his wife and take the Reboot from Cardona. EC3 wasn’t part of Cardona’s plan, but the champ was gifted the advantage nonetheless. EC3 closed with a double underhook piledriver to pin Latimer.

NWA World Tag Team Championship: Blunt Force Trauma defeated Mike Knox & Trevor Murdoch to retain. Knights of the Round Table match, which was a tables match with the win coming on a round table. For example, the challengers hit a double chokeslam to Damage through a regular table. Since that wasn’t the round table, the match continued.

BFT manager Aron Stevens was banned from ringside, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t pull a fast one. The finish moved up toward the stage, where the round table was located. As Knox and Murdoch were setting up a high-low clothesline combo, the knight punched both of them to save BFT. Carnage and Damage executed a double chokeslam sending Knox through the round table to win. The knight pulled off his helmet to reveal Stevens with his loaded glove. Commentary pointed out that Stevens technically wasn’t at ringside.

NWA World Women’s Championship: Kenzie Paige defeated Ruthie Jay to retain. Jay missed the target on a frog splash. Paige pounced for a cutter to win.

Riddle Box match: Violent J & The Brothers of Funstruction defeated Vampiro & La Rebelión. Tornado style with no tags. The stipulation had gift boxes scattered around the ring containing mystery weapons, including a slingshot and ping pong balls, lightsaber toys, rubber chickens, and more. The Misfits’ Jerry Other, son of Jerry Only, was ringside to help Vampiro’s team. Vamp and Violent J were mostly on the outside letting the wrestlers do the work. The best moment was Mecha Wolf placing a pumpkin on Ruffo The Clown’s head and delivering a running knee strike to shatter the jack-o’-lantern. The crowd chanted, “Smashing Pumpkins,” as a call to Billy Corgan’s band. The finish came down to Vampiro and Violent J. The Insane Clown Posse rapper gained the upper hand for a Michinoku driver onto a pile of tacks and popcorn for the win.

NWA National Heavyweight Championship: “Thrillbilly” Silas Mason defeated Chris Adonis to retain. Burning Lake Brawl rules, which was described as a No DQ street fight, however, there was no violence in this match. It was basically a standard affair. Adonis worked for the Masterlock submission by targeting the neck. He had Mason woozy and wound up for a lariat to the backside. Thrillbilly anticipated the attack and countered to catch Adonis in the Thrillride spinning side slam for victory.

NWA World Women’s Tag Team Championship: Ella Envy & Kylie Paige defeated Natalia Markova & Taylor Rising to retain. Markova was a hothead, and that backfired in the end. She rushed into the ring for a spinning kick but missed the mark crashing into the corner. Pretty Empowered dumped her from the ring and double-teamed Rising. Paige hit the Code Red for victory.

Submission match: Jax Dane defeated Blake Troop. Dane neutralized the outside threat of Chris Silvio, who was aiding Troop with interference. Dane clobbered Troop with a hefty clothesline and earned the submission cranking a camel clutch.

Rock ‘n’ Roll match: Kerry Morton & Alex Taylor defeated The Headbangers. (Full details here.) The stipulation was to take a shot of whiskey on each pinfall kick-out. The alcohol took its toll, especially on Morton. Ricky’s boy was still able to cheat his way to victory on a roll-up with his feet on the ropes. Afterward, the Headbangers pummeled Taylor with the Stage Dive teamwork flying leg drop powerbomb.

NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship: Colby Corino defeated Joe Alonzo to retain. Pillar to Post match, which was falls count anywhere. The big spot was a flying crossbody from Corino off the upper balcony onto Alonzo and security guards. Corino won via DDT on the floor.

Loser Leaves Town: Rush Freeman defeated Brady Pierce. Battle of former tag partners. Rolando Freeman was the special referee. He was conflicted which side to choose. On one hand, Rolando is the older brother of Rush, but he’s tired of Rush being soft. On the other hand, Rolando respects Pierce as a wrestler and believes in him for future success. In the end, Rolando made his choice with a low blow to Pierce. Matt Cardona entered and beat up all three with a chair. He stacked Rush on top of Pierce and made Rolando count the win anyway. Cardona didn’t care about the match. He had more pressing issues to get off his chest.

Cardona complained about never losing the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship. He previously relinquished the title due to injury. Cardona called out Billy Corgan with rude insults. Corgan played to the crowd explaining if he should honor Cardona’s request to be added to the main event. The answer was, “Go to hell!” When Cardona physically threatened Corgan, Kamille entered to spear Cardona. That was her way of making sure Thom Latimer’s title shot was one-on-one against EC3.

Devil’s Last Dance Ultimate Hardcore War: Judais, Max The Impaler, Alex Misery, “Magic” Jake Dumas, & Cody James defeated Sal The Pal, Gaagz The Gymp, Koa Laxamana, Dak Draper, & Big Strong Mims. Rules were sort of like a hardcore Survivor Series elimination match. Max The Impaler made the final three eliminations at the end to win. Per the stipulation, Sal and Gaagz return to servitude under Father James Mitchell.

Scooting over to results on the free pre-show.

NWA United States Tag Team Championship: JR Kratos & Odinson defeated Daisy Kill & Talos to win the titles. Odinson landed a flying uppercut to Talos on the outside. That left Kill all alone, and Kratos smashed him with a KTG swinging reverse STO to win. New champs!

#1 Contender: Samantha Starr defeated Missa Kate, Tiffany Nieves, and Celeste. Four-way fight. Winner earned a future shot at the NWA Women’s World Championship. Starr hit a DDT to pin Kate.

Jordan Clearwater, AJ Cazana, & KC Cazana defeated Zyon & The Outrunners. Hot tag to Clearwater running wild. AJ slammed Truth Magnum hard on the mat, then he tagged in brother KC for the pin. Afterward, Zyon attacked Clearwater, and Austin Idol punched Joe Cazana.

NWA Samhain was an okay show. Keep in mind that the NWA has a specific style. Don’t go in expecting a wrestling product similar to WWE or AEW. For the NWA style, it fit the bill. In my opinion, the show lacked that one special match or moment that makes the PPV worth the price of purchase. Despite that, there was a lot to like for NWA fans. Corino versus Alonzo is my pick for Match of the Night. They worked an exciting blend of inside wrestling and outside brawling.

The PPV replay for NWA Samhain is available through Fite TV.

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