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August 22, 2009
â€“ Larry Goodman
Bert Prentice was at ringside with Jason James, looking like he wanted to be somewhere else than where he was. I had to wonder what
was going through old Bertâ€™s mind, what with all the gaga about SAW getting on prime time and Reno Riggins running a major
television taping at the Fairgrounds, and here he was, the former king of Nashville wrestling, co-hosting a show that wasnâ€™t going to
air on television period. But when it came time to perform, Prentice brought his A game, and his presence on color upped the
entertainment value immensely.
In no time flat, Prentice put George Gulas, the unpredictability of NWA ME action, and the NWA ME fans over huge. He essentially advised
Gulas â€œto be careful what you ask forâ€� in regards to inviting cameras into the NWA Board meeting.
They introduced Cory Hollis, who came out in a cock-eyed visor. A good looking kid, but the visor made him a total dipshit. Prentice stared
at the visor, paused, and took the visor off the head of Hollis. James stopped midsentence. Prentice tossed the visor onto the ring apron,
and the interview proceeded like nothing happened. A classic moment indeed. Barry told Hollis the Board had granted his request for a
rematch with â€œWild Thingâ€� Will Owens. Owens came out and said Hollis wasnâ€™t going to make a name at his expense,
besides which, he had already beaten the guy twice and tonight would make it three. Hollis turned his back. Owens grabbed Hollis.
Hollis threw a forearm, and they were fighting as the screen dissolved to the opening montage. Good stuff.
(1) Cory Hollis beat Will Owens in 7:05
Right of the bat, Bert got pissy about James inviting him into the middle of a fight. Bert suggested the problems between Hollis and
Owens might be a case of geographical jealousy being that both are from Alabama, or maybe the vet being jealous of the rookie getting
all the attention. James aid the tag match scheduled for last week (Shawn Shultz & Mike Posey vs. Steve-O & Matt Boyce) would take
place today. Prentice couldnâ€™t believe O was going to compete after what happened last week. James said it took 16 stitches to close
the hole in Oâ€™s head from Shultzâ€™s chairshot. Owens was really aggressive. He was well on his way to crippling the kidâ€™s
back, until he made another failed attempt to come off the ropes. Hollis hit a missile dropkick and the Pele, and kicked out of a massive
Samoan drop by Owens. Bert said there was no quit in the kid. Referee Marcus Pastorious caught Owens trying to use the chain.
Moments later, Hollis won it with a nice leg trip pin.
Postmatch: Owens left Hollis laying with three DDTs.
James was waiting for the arrival of Steve-O in the parking lot. Oâ€™s t-shirt did nothing to flatter his full figure. James wanted to know
about Oâ€™s condition. O said it was 3 on 1 after Project Prominence took Boyce out. O guaranteed his partner would be there. O took
off his hat to reveal a huge bandage on his forehead. â€œYour out for my Mid-America title, but Iâ€™m out for a lot more.â€�
(2) Travis Sawyer (with Tony Lucassio) beat Victor Kosmo 4:20
James said Komo sent an email requesting work with NWA ME. Sawyer took his head off with a lariat, and Kosmo took the bump on the
base of his brain. Sawyer overpowered the young Russian. Kosmo reversed a top wrist with a standing moonsault for a one count. Bert
said Jimmy Dickens was coming back to the TV tapings in a couple of weeks and would be bringing more country music icons with him.
They flubbed a high crossbody spot. They redid it, and this time Sawyer made the catch and hit a fallaway slam. Sawyer pinned Kosmo
with a firemanâ€™s carry into a sitout slam. Bert didnâ€™t care for Lucassio.
â€œI wish somebody would punch him in the faceâ€¦or at least buy him some good clothes.â€�
Lani Kealoha backstage with Baronas Brothers. Kealoha informed Brent he was in for a little on the job training today. Said it was a
heritage thing and would make him a better fighter, a better man, and better lover.
(3) Lani Kealoha beat Brent Baronas (with Brandon Baronas) in 5:40
Prentice couldnâ€™t undertand why Kealoha would take the risk of doing this on TV. He thought maybe it was a culture thing. A graphic
read: â€œBallad of Whistles will soon be heard again in 2 weeks. Heâ€™s coming.â€� Brent was holding his own. They traded monkey
flips and did the Polynesian hard head routine. It looked like Kealoha was going for a heart punch. Brent ducked it. Lani pinned Brent with
an uppercut chop to the throat.
James interviewed Kealoha. Lani said they were his nephews and he was taking them under his wing. â€œItâ€™s a labor of love,
brother.â€� Teddy Tender made an unscheduled appearance in his Elvis gear. Tender invited Lani and company to go on tour with him.
James asked Tender where he was wrestling. Tender said this was singing not wrestling. Lani said he didnâ€™t get Tender. Said he
looked like Elvis right before he died and told him stay away from his family. He wanted to know if Tender was off his meds.
Backstage, Project Prominence (Shultz, Sawyer and Lucassio) was giving Posey grief. They said blamed Posey for Shultz not having a
title match tonight. Shultz told Sawyer to handle Posey, while he and Lucassio headed to the ring.
A kid named Kevin Martin was guest ring announcer for the next match. He did a damn good job on the intros.
(4) White Tiger vs. Brandon Baronas ended as a no contest at 4:15 when they were attacked by Shultz and Lucassio
Bert was purposely botching up Marcus Pastoriousâ€™ name. Tiger had the crowd behind him. Tiger was throwing very loud chops. Bert
said he was slap happy. Brandon did a monkey flip (called a Polynesian flip by James). Tiger used a split legged moonsault and a
Mexican backbreaker for near falls. They did a midair collision of high crossbodys. Shultz and Lucassio hit the ring and gave them both a
James went to ringside. Lucassio said you canâ€™t have a wrestling show without Shawn Shultz. Shultz said, â€œThe longer I donâ€™t
get my way, the longer trail of bodies I leave.â€� He said to roll the footage.
The vignette opened with an exterior shot of the NWA offices in Nashville. It was an upscale office building. Maybe they used TNA
headquarters as a rib.
Chairman of the Board Gulas said Shultz had done everything in his power to get the Boardâ€™s attention. Gulas said the assaults on
Mike Porter, James, Barry and other assorted NWA personnel were inexcusable. Jessica Elmore, Director of Public Relations said Shultz
was a legal liability and favored termination of his contract. Brad Cunningham, Board of Directors Alternate, said Shultz was giving them
great TV, and Shultz vs. O would be the NWA feud of the year. Barry was there in the role of Senior Director of Live Events (like they really
have a junior director). He said ratings were up and fans were coming out in droves. Yeah, he did. But Shultz needed to be held
responsible for his actions. He suggested pushing for the max fine of $1500, while also giving the fans what they wanted - the title match
with O â€“ and the company what it wanted - ratings. Gulas said he had to do what he had to do, but we never found out what that was,
because Shultz burst into the room and attacked him. â€œIâ€™ll tell you what you gotta do. Give me my title shot! Give me my title shot!â
Back at ringside, James said â€œDirector of the NWAâ€� Bill Behrens would be on next week with a blockbuster announcement about
the future of Shultz.
(5) Mike Rapada Jr. beat Teddy Tender via DQ in 6:32
Rapada pulled the wig off. Tender decimated Jr. Rapada also landed on his neck after taking a vicious lariat. James made the not-so-
subtle Bully references. When Rapada kicked out a big spinebuster, Prentice said the never say die attitude was in his gene pool. Tender
submitted Rapada with a variation of the STF. Tender refused to relinquish the hold. The ref reversed the decision, so Tender decked
him and put him in the STF. Kealoha made the save.
(6) Steve O & Matt Boyce beat Shawn Shultz & Mike Posey (with Tony Lucassio) in 9:38
Shultz ran away from O. Posey took the punishment. They made Posey out to be the ultimate fall guy. Prentice called Boyce the hottest
rising young star in America. I kid you not. O did this bizarre looking sunset flip, and Bert said he couldnâ€™t do that again if he tried.
Prentice asked James if could name all the newly hung national flags. James stumbled on the green flag with a ringed blue planet in the
center, which became the main topic of conversation, and it was hilarious Boyce played babyface in peril, but the wrestling was
background. Bert criticized the heels. â€œWrestling with your ego, thatâ€™s not gonna get you nowhere.â€� Rudy Charles missed a
tag, and the place went up for grabs. O tossed Charles aside and played Superman. Charles DQed O for refusing to get out. It turned into
4 way pandemonium with O pounding lumps on Shultzâ€™s in the corner. They did this slippery escape deal with Shultz almost, but not
quite, getting away. Sawyer ran in with a chairshot to the back of O. Sawyer gave O â€œthe Cradle Shock maneuverâ€�. Bert said Boyce
and Posey had battled their way out of the building. Shultz gave O a DDT on the chair. James called it madness. Shultz delivered a
second DDT on the chair, injuring his own elbow. O was foaming at the mouth. â€œThis man is sick.â€� Bert was ordering â€œMaster
Controlâ€� to keep the camera off of O. They did for a bit, then zoomed for a close up of Oâ€™s frothing mouth, and Bert got frantic. â
€œWe do not need to be showing this!â€�
RANDOM THOUGHTS: There is clearly a lot of energy being put into whipping this into a cohesive television product, and those efforts
are paying dividends. In two weeks, NWA ME has gone from one story, to a situation where virtually everyone on the roster has something
going. So far so good. The insane carnage inflicted by Shultz and Project Prominence is as front and center, as it should be, but the rest
of show is becoming more fun to watchâ€¦The closing angle was strong stuff. Just when you were wondering if Shultz could possibly get
more outlandish, he found a way. As much as the announcers were making light of things during the body of the match, they got deadly
serious when it counted. The camera zooming in as Prentice was advising viewers not to watch, was a masterpiece so far as making
compelling television on a shoestring budgetâ€¦The ratings discussion during the Board meeting was amusing with NWA ME being an
internet-only product at present. Other than that, the content of BOD discussion made sense. I loved Barry being cast in the role of
Solomon. Shultz was at his lunatic best trying to beat some sense in Gulasâ€¦It was wrong for Tender to lay out a ref. That spot should
be off limits coming off the close of last weekâ€™s show. It only served to dilute the main angleâ€¦I like the choice their making in
establishing Tiger as a fan favorite without bogging him down in a midcard feudâ€¦Sawyer/Kosmo struck the right balance. Sawyer
looked strong but Kosmo got enough that he didn't look like a jobber..The issues between Owens and Hollis really picked up steam.
Hollis was over with the fans, but that wasnâ€™t going to last forever without a key winâ€¦To me Kealoha came across heelish, both the
â€œtough loveâ€� towards his nephew and his harsh words for the mentally ill Teddyâ€¦James was more than up to task of keeping
pace with Prentice. He seemed to be relishing every moment. Fans familiar with Prentice and his place in Nashville wrestling television
over the past dozen years will almost certainly appreciate his work here. What was old became new â€“ familiar and refreshing at the