Pre-Show: Rhett Titus def. VSK
Apparently there was another pre-show match that saw The Country Gentlemen defeat Gold Rushhh, but the NWA's YouTube stream of the pre-show didn't include that and I don't have much of a desire to go out of my way to find it. As for Titus vs. VSK, it was a well-wrestled affair. Both guys are talented and the NWA has been a good landing spot for the former ROH World Television Champion. As for VSK, the dude is all over the place and continues to impress.
Pre-Show: Rodney Mack def. Da Pope
Pope being relegated to the pre-show doesn't sit right with me, especially considering everyone else who was featured instead. That said, I wasn't clamoring to see him face Mack, so maybe this was better off on the pre-show. It was a subpar outing, but Pope did his best to make it tolerable. The focus was on Aron Stevens costing Pope the win and Kratos, Stevens' old tag team partner, making the save for Pope afterward.
Pre-Show: Caprice Coleman and Gustavo Aguilar def. Colby Corino and Wrecking Ball Legursky
Coleman and Corino are facing off on Night 2, so this was given a Pick Your Poison stipulation. Coleman's team winning means he gets to pick the stipulation for their match on Night 2, which will be two-out-of-three falls. Corino would've chosen a 30-minute Iron Man match. Is either stipulation necessary considering that contest has no build? Nonetheless, this was a well-worked tag team affair. Coleman continues to be a good get for the NWA roster.
EC3 def. Mims
This marked EC3's NWA debut. I'm honestly surprised he didn't debut sooner, but he's been making the rounds since being released from WWE by competing for IMPACT and Ring of Honor and obviously running his own promotion, Control Your Narrative. This wasn't the most exciting opener since it was so short, and it's a shame Mims wasn't able to score more offense than he did. This simply served to give EC3 a win in his debut and nothing more.
The Miserably Faithful (Judais, Sal the Pal and Gaagz the Gymp) def. The Ill Begotten (Alex Taylor, Jeremiah Plunkett, and Danny Dealz) Beelzebub's Bedlam Match
Of all the matches across both nights of the pay-per-view, this one surprisingly had a story. Well, kind of. There's been issues within Ill Begotten as of late and they've also been involved in a bit of a faction war with Miserably Faithful. They certainly utilized the stipulation, though I can't say I enjoyed all of it. In fact, the most memorable part might have been that bad botch in the middle off the ladder. That was scary stuff. The rest of this was whatever.
Chris Adonis def. Odinson by Disqualification
I have no idea why this match happened other than to get both men on the card. I like Adonis, but Odinson has primarily been a tag team wrestler in the NWA, so it's hard to care about him on his own. They had a decent match, but there was nothing particularly exciting about it. Odinson getting himself disqualified also made him look like the heel even though I thought he was supposed to be the babyface. The feud will likely continue, even though I have no desire to see a rematch.
NWA Junior Heavyweight Champion Homicide def. Kerry Morton
Homicide called out Morton as his opponent for the NWA 74 a while ago, so I thought this might be the night he finally lost the title. As it turned out, it wasn't, but Morton only fell short because Homicide cheated multiple times. Hopefully he sticks with this heel turn and isn't forgotten about within the next few weeks. I think there's a strong story that can be told with Morton chasing Homicide for the belt and Homicide doing anything and everything to hold onto it. This was a very good match with a great closing stretch and some suspenseful nearfalls. Easily the best bout of the show up to this point.
Kyle Davis Interviewed Tommy Rich
As an NWA legend, Rich making an appearance on the NWA's 74th anniversary pay-per-view was awesome. I honestly can't remember the last time I saw him brought in for a major promotion's show. I can't imagine why because he looks phenomenal at 66. His promo was what you'd expect, but the crowd was happy to see him. This was an improvement over that rambling Ric Flair promo from last year. Props to Rich for keeping it short and sweet.
Rolando Freeman def. Matt Cardona
This was an open challenge from Cardona, who hasn't wrestled a formal match (that I know of) since he suffered an injury at the start of the summer that caused him to relinquish the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship. He had the ability to pick his opponent here, which is why it was the much smaller Rolando Freeman. It was an easy match for Cardona to do since it wasn't too competitive, so maybe Cardona isn't 100 percent cleared yet. Either way, the crowd loved Freeman getting that huge upset over Cardona. It didn't do much for me personally, but they were louder for that than almost anything else all night. Cardona's meltdown should be entertaining.
Max The Impaler Won the Burke Invitational to Earn an NWA World Women's Championship Opportunity on Night 2 of NWA 74
Truth be told, I thought this would be worse than it was considering the talent involved. There weren't many standouts on paper, so I feared this would mostly be a mess. Thankfully, it was pretty passable. It was a basic Gauntlet Battle Royal that didn't get interesting until the final four. I'm glad Natalia Markova lasted as long as she did before Max eliminated her to win the whole thing. Max was building momentum prior to ROH's closure, so it's cool that the NWA picked her up and has made her a dominant force. She'll challenge for the NWA World Women's Championship on Night 2.
Cyon def. Jax Dane to Win the NWA National Championship
I'm not sure who fans were supposed to cheer for since Dane has notoriously been a hated heel throughout his reign as NWA National champ and Cyon turned heel by joining Idolmania Sports Management a few months ago. That said, the crowd popped for Cyon capturing the title. His character has bored me to tears this year, so I'm actually disappointed Dane lost it to him since Dane played that role so well. They had a mediocre match and the interference from the returning Anthony Mayweather didn't help at all.
Bully Ray def. Mike Knox in a Tables Match
This stems from Nox putting Bully through a table days removed from Alwayz Ready as their bad blood goes back to their Aces & Eights days in TNA. I didn't have much interest in this outing, but it was one of the few matches on this card that had a story, so I can't complain. This would have been way more plodding as a standard singles match, so the drama surrounding the Tables stipulation made this more bearable. It was fine for what it was and Bully winning should put an end to their rivalry. Whether Bully sticks around in the NWA after this remains to be seen.
La Rebelion def. Hawx Aerie to Win the Vacant NWA World Tag Team Championship
It's such a bummer that The Commonwealth Connection had to vacate the tag titles due to an injury (or maybe it was an illness?) to Davey Boy Smith Jr. La Rebelion were already scheduled to contend for the titles on this show, though I'm not sure how Hawx Aerie earned the opportunity since I can't recall them winning too many tag matches in recent months. They're a talented team, so oh well. This was a well-worked match with not a ton of crowd heat. La Rebelion are one of the NWA's better teams, but I would have rather seen Hawx Aerie get their moment since La Rebelion were already champs for almost a year between 2021 and 2022.
NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Trevor Murdoch and NWA Television Champion Tyrus Exchanged Words
The segment started out with William Patrick Corgan addressing the audience about the event before turning it over to Murdoch and Tyrus to speak briefly ahead of their world championship clash on Night 2. They exchanged words but didn't get physical. I'm not sure if this was supposed to sell people on their main event for Night 2, but it didn't work, at least for me. Fingers crossed Murdoch can carry him to something serviceable.
NWA World Women's Champion Kamille def. Taya Valkyrie
It sucks that EmPowerrr wasn't a thing this year (and I don't buy that crap from Corgan that it wasn't a success it was incredibly well received online), but at least the women were able to headline Night 1. Not only that, but it was the best thing on the entire show. This was the match I was hoping we'd get when Valkyrie came to the NWA in June and I would've pulled the trigger on a title change. Kamille has come a long way and has been built up nicely, but if it's not Valkyrie, I don't know who can believably beat her. Nonetheless, this was superb stuff.
I'm still stunned that the NWA would decide to do two nights of the 74th anniversary show instead of devoting one of them to EmPowerrr. I realize it's an anniversary show and they probably wanted to make it a grand occasion, but with a roster so thin and a product with so little buzz, it was a bad idea from the get-go and even more obvious in execution. It's a relief it was capped off on a positive note with the women, but there were far more forgettable matches than memorable ones. It won't be difficult for Night 2 to be better than this, but then again, it's also possible it'll be worse considering Tyrus will be in the main event.