While the NWA has suspended its activities owing to the pandemic affecting us all, they did promise periodic broadcasts. Tonight NWA offered up a replay of an empty arena match from January 2018 pitting Tim Storm up against Jocephus Saga. The contest took place in the empty TNA Impact Zone. I guess Orlando was meant to be the mecca of spectatorless wrestling.
For those unfamiliar with Jocephus, he has been wrestling for 10 years and currently portrays the Question Mark, the 10th-degree black belt kara-TAY master from the fictional land of Mongrovia.
The 15-minute pre-match story and table setting were works of genius. The background being, Josephus and Storm in the NWA had a brutal encounter at the end of 2017. Storm while winning suffered a vicious post-match beat down which left him most vulnerable. Before facing Josephus, Storm was the NWA champion at the time but would soon drop the title to Nick Aldis.
Josephus was suspended for 45 days and entered a period of reflection with his spiritual advisor, a woman in her mid-thirties with a shaved head. She could easily have fit the role of a villain in a James Bond film.
Jocephus for his part is a very swarmy Bray Wyatt type character, very well portrayed. So off-putting, fifteen seconds in an elevator with him would ruin your day. Social distancing before it was cool.
The background piece was wonderfully shot with excellent background music as well. Almost like the Doors movie made by Oliver Stone. The portion of the build-up featuring Storm stressed his roles as a husband, grandfather and school teacher. Shot like an ad for someone running for office.
Jocephus seeks redemption while Storm clamors for revenge in this NWA Empty Area Match. Jocephus while on his spiritual journey came to conclude that everything is bliss and that nature brings us back.
While unable to convince Storm of this, he tried to get the message passed on through his daughter. Jocephus drove to her home, knocked on the door but saw the house was empty.
This set the stage for a monumental battle on January 14th, 2018 where no holds were barred and of course no spectators present.
A quick point before we go on. If Jocephus knocked on the door of an empty house, how did Tim Storm even come to realize that Jocephus had attempted to contact his daughter. Remember the great Michael Cole quote, wrestling is suspended reality. Never overthink a storyline.
The match per sé which lasted 15 minutes had very little in-ring action. We did not see a single hold either. This match would have fit like a glove in the 2300 Arena, the House that Paul E built.
Off to a bit of an awkward start when at about the 15-second mark you could hear Jocephus directing Storm.
At the outset of the confrontation, Storm dragged Jocephus all over the grandstand yelling, don t you ever mess with my family again, leave my family out of it. This was uttered over and over again. Tim Storm sure knows how to get his message across.
From the grandstand, we headed into the rails, from the rails into the ringside seats. This is a one-sided affair. We wonder what is even keeping Jocephus conscious. There were also a few ladder shots for good measure as well.
Ten minutes into this match and not even 5 seconds in the ring. The tide finally begins to change directions thanks to a low blow by Jocephus. The latter even uses a kendo stick and thrashes Storm across the head.
Storm would soon regain control but would lose a touch of credibility when he hit Jocephus with a punch that looked like it was delivered by a very careful 7-year-old.
Jocephus would resort to desperate measures, a chair shot that sent Storm through the ropes falling on not one, but two ladders. It is Jocephus who cashed in the winner’s share of the purse, much to the dismay of Storm in this NWA Empty Arena Match.
After the match, another 10-minute vignette showing Jocephus in a bar he rented for the night. As time went on, the victor got more and more intoxicated and at the end began to seek more than a cerebral connection with his spiritual advisor. A swing and a miss there, she left before Jocephus could realize what had happened.
While the broadcast was very enjoyable, all the excellent moments took place in the first of the three segments, the pre-match lead-in. While the match itself was anything but outstanding, at least it did not drag on for an eternity. The end was surprising given that Storm was dominant and merciless.
The third segment did not measure up to that of the first. We do not find much humor in the inebriated guy striking out in his romantic quest scenario.
Worth watching for the first fifteen minutes as long as you are prepared for a twenty-six minute downhill ride afterward. Nice diversion nonetheless with flashes of brilliance early on. A lot more fun than watching the plays of the month for February for a fifth time. My word, nobody can skate like Ovy.