TNA Impact Review – April 25, 2024

TNA Impact April 25

After an exciting Rebellion event, TNA Impact was headlined by Nic Nemeth facing Eddie Edwards while Matt Hardy made his intentions known.

TNA held their Rebellion PLE this past weekend. It was a fun show with returns from Matt Hardy, Mike Santana and Sami Callihan. I rated the show a 7/10 and thought the match of the night was Mustafa Ali vs Jake Something for the X-Division Championship, along with Hammerstone vs Josh Alexander in a Last Man Standing match. I felt that the main event of Moose vs Nic Nemeth was underwhelming. Some of the spots just didn’t work and Moose winning clean was a surprise. Broken Matt Hardy returning popped the crowd and, whilst I’m not sure that he should be pushed to the top at almost 50 years of age and having not done much in AEW over the past 2 years, his character work in this company has been unique and probably unmatched.

I think TNA has a bit of that Hard to Kill buzz about them again but let’s see if they can capitalise on it this time. As I type this, however, I have read that the Grizzled Young Vets are finished in TNA and heading to AEW. Not a great decision to be honest, but I will continue to watch them with keen interest as I think they’re great.

TNA Impact 25.4.24 from The Palms, Las Vegas: Nevada

The opening video covered the above matches. Nic Nemeth entered for a promo to kick off the show. Nemeth walked out slowly, looking disappointed, but the crowd was right behind him. Hannifan and Rehwoldt wondered if Nemeth had missed his opportunity at Rebellion. He thanked the crowd for their support. Nemeth wondered what he was going to do next and was interrupted by the cackling and melodic theme of Broken Matt Hardy in the Impact Zone! Hardy took a mic and entered the ring. He said he had a premonition that he would appear at Rebellion and face the World Champion in the ring, but he hoped it had been Nemeth. Hardy showed a replay where Nemeth’s shoulder was off the canvas as the referee counted the pinfall at Rebellion. He said it didn’t look like an official pinfall and maybe Nemeth should be the champion. Hardy wasn’t sure what was next for Nemeth, but he was hunting the World Championship. He said maybe Nemeth could challenge him when he beats Moose but here comes The System. Moose did the ‘rag on your local team’ bit and the fans chanted “Delete” at him. He said he whipped Nemeth all over the ring at Rebellion. Nemeth challenged Moose to get into the ring and face him. Eddie Edwards called Nemeth desperate and sad. He said Nemeth wasn’t the next Kurt Angle, but Eric Angle. I think that line fell flat with the crowd. Nemeth said he now realised what he had to do next and that was take out Edwards tonight, 1 on 1. The match is on for later.

Analysis: There was a lot happening there but I’m glad they addressed the shoulder coming up from Nemeth as it gives him a bit of an out when getting pinned clean at Rebellion. Hardy seems to be straight into the title picture, too.

Mustafa Ali was backstage with Santino Marella and they were placing names into a ballot box to find out Ali’s next contender. Jason Hotch asked if you were allowed to become the #1 contender to your own title, alluding to the fact that they might be rigging the ballot. Jordynne Grace put her name in the ballot. She wanted to talk to Marella. That was it.

There were highlights of the ridiculous Knockouts’ Title match from Rebellion where PCO, Kon and Sami Callihan all interfered for reasons unknown apart from PCO having some history with the Good Hands. Gia Miller was with Jordynne Grace backstage. She said she was happy to remain a champion amongst the chaos. Grace announced that she will defend the championship next week against Miyu Yamashita.

Analysis: Pardon my ignorance but that name doesn’t ring a bell therefore I declare it will be a win for Grace.

Match #1: Mike Santana vs Myron Reed w/ Trey Miguel & Zachary Wentz

Santana was a surprise return at Rebellion and defeated Steve Maclin, who has also just signed a new contract. Reed used his friends as a distraction to get an early kick in. Santana came back with a clothesline and then a running upper cut in the corner. Reed avoided a clothesline with a Matrix-style duck and hit a lung blower for 2. He sent Santana onto the entrance ramp and tried for a cutter from the inside but Santana caught him with one of his own. He tossed Reed back in and took out Miguel and Wentz with a senton. Santana slid back into the ring and nailed Reed with the STB for the win after 2 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Mike Santana

Analysis: *1/2 Just a quick win for Santana to continue his momentum from Rebellion.

Steve Maclin’s music hit and he summoned his former friends in The Rascalz to surround the ring and attack Santana. The Rascalz climbed up onto the ring apron, one side each, and then ditched Maclin at the last second. Maclin ducked a clothesline from Santana and bailed up the entrance ramp.

Analysis: Maclin tried to get some revenge but The Rascalz weren’t forgetting how Maclin treated them. It looks like we will get Maclin vs Santana again, but with a bit of a story now so that’s fine.

Steph De Lander was backstage with Kon. SDL said that Jordynne Grace knew that she couldn’t beat her fairly. She challenged PCO and Grace to a mixed tag match at Under Siege.

Analysis: I don’t mind the pairing of Kon and SDL, with Matt Cardona out injured. I’m glad she’s sticking around for a bit.

Let’s Hear from Josh Alexander

Alexander is fresh off a Last Man Standing win over Hammerstone, which was very good. I was hoping Hammerstone would pick up the win because Alexander comes off a bit like Super Cena sometimes and giving someone else the rub would be beneficial. Alexander said he goes by lots of different names but he said he thinks it’s time that he goes by the name of World Champion again. Frankie Kazarian’s music hit. He called Alexander entitled because he thinks winning one matches gives him a title shot. Kaz said he also won his match at Rebellion and over a former World Champion in Eric Young. He said that that makes him a truer #1 Contender than Alexander. Alexander said that we seem to have a problem but it can be solved with a match. Kaz said he can barely walk and his shoulder is injured. He wondered if Alexander wanted to pick on an injured man. Alexander said that if Kaz can’t fight then he must be automatic number 1 contender then. Kaz said the fans wanted a fight but that doesn’t work for him. A referee ran down to the ring and the match is on now. The ring announcer didn’t say if it was a #1 Contender’s match or not. I’m disappointed that this is an impromptu match as it could’ve had a good build to it.

Match #2: Frankie Kazarian vs Josh Alexander

Kaz threw his jacket in Alexander’s face to get an advantage early. Alexander was in a tracksuit and not his wrestling gear.

(Commercial break)

Rehwoldt said this was not an official #1 Contender match. Alexander missed his diving crossbody through the ropes. Kaz went to work with clubbing blows to Alexander’s back. He tossed Alexander back into the ring and hit a springboard legdrop to the next for 2. Kaz ripped at Alexander’s ear in the corner. He nailed a Russian Leg Sweep for 2. Kaz followed up with a hard clothesline and taunted the fans. He hit a Fisherman Suplex for 2. Alexander got to his feet and fought back with some chops and a back body drop. He hit a forearm in the corner and a rolling senton for 2. Kaz countered the C4 Spike and hit a backstabber. He tried for the Crossface Chicken Wing but Alexander rolled over and applied the ankle lock. Kaz rolled through with an inside cradle for 2. He avoided a corner attack and jumped to the outside, then went back in with a slingshot DDT. Kaz made the cover but Alexander kicked out again at 2. Alexander countered the Fade to Black with a C4 Spike attempt. Kaz blocked it and hit a scoop slam, which all the commentators call a power slam nowadays. He went for a springboard legdrop but Alexander caught his ankle in mid-air and locked in the ankle lock. Kaz broke free and sent Alexander into the top turnbuckle. He missed a clothesline and Alexander went to work with German suplexes. Alexander nailed 2 and then a half-and-half suplex for another nearfall. Kaz blocked the C4 again and sent Alexander to the ring apron. He brought him back in with a slingshot cutter for 2. Kaz took a breather on the outside and went under the ring to get some weapons. This was not a no-dq match! The referee took a steel chair away but Kaz had a steel chain. Eric Young ran down to the ring to take the steel chain. He is lucky to have his ear still intact. Kaz flopped to the mat as if Young hit him. The referee ejected Young from ringside. Kaz was laughing about it so Alexander trapped him in the ankle lock. He sat down in the move so Kaz had nowhere to go and had to tap out. The match lasted 10 minutes.

Winner by submission: Josh Alexander

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a good match between two of TNA’s top guys. They played over the impromptu nature of it, as well as how banged up they were from Rebellion, so whilst 10 minutes would usually be a disappointing match length, you can understand why it only went that long. Their match from Overdrive 2022 with Alexander as champion was outstanding and worth a watch if you haven’t seen it. That was a big year for face vs face matches! Young also got a bit of revenge after losing, too.

Cody Deaner and Jake Something were backstage with Santino and the ballot box. Hammerstone was angry about losing at Rebellion and stormed in to talk to Santino. He got in Something’s face and shoved him against the wall. Santino said if they want to fight, then they can at Under Siege.

Analysis: That would have to be some kind of record for the shortest build to a PLE match in history; a 30-second segment. Anyway, it should be a great match.

First Class was seen arriving at the arena. They’re up next.

Gia Miller Interviews First Class w/ Bun B

I have no idea who Bun B is but apparently he’s a rapper. AJ Francis gave Gia a hat but she refused to wear it which was amusing. He told the fans to shut up. AJ said all the celebrities come to TNA for First Class. He asked how Bun B’s treatment has been since he’s been in TNA and he predictably answered: First class. Miller asked Rich Swann about his tainted win over Joe Hendry. Swann said Miller must’ve missed him whipping Hendry all over the arena. He said he beat some respect into Hendry and he won’t be talking about First Class anymore. Miller asked Swann if Hendry would get his attention if he ‘said his name’ and on cue, Hendry’s music started. Hendry appeared next to Miller. AJ wondered how he did that. The fans chanted for Hendry. AJ wondered why Hendry hadn’t learnt his lesson yet. Hendry said he wasn’t here to fight. He said he was humbled at Rebellion. Hendry said he owed First Class an apology and would do it next week in the ring. He put on the goofy rapper hat as his music hit.

Analysis: He’s obviously not apologising next week. Hopefully, it’s another one of his goofy songs. I enjoy First Class a lot.

George Iceman was in the ring to hype Ash-by-Elegance ahead of her match.

Match #3: Ash-by-Elegance vs Xia Brookside

Ash won previously by tossing her champagne in Brookside’s eyes before pinning her. I’m glad they’re doing it again as it was too short. The two ladies had some words for each other at the bell. Xia got the better of Ash in the early goings. She hit a smooth head scissors and a running knee in the corner. Brookside stomped away on Ash in the corner but missed another knee, so Ash took control with a clothesline. She hit a handstand elbow drop for 2. Ash choked Xia using the middle rope and then tossed her into the corner. She choked her out again using her foot. Ash nailed a snap suplex for 2. Hannifan expressed his disdain towards Iceman which garnered a chuckle. Ash tried to toss Brookside over the top rope but she held on. Ash met her on the ramp with a kick and then a hard vaulting elbow. Back in the ring, Ash made the cover but only got a 2 count. She tried locking in a sleeper and wrenched at the nose of Brookside, which the referee saw. Ash slammed Brookside down by her hair and got another nearfall. She went back to the sleeper but Brookside got to her feet and sent Ash into the middle turnbuckle. Xia hit 3 running knees with Ash’s face resting against the turnbuckle pad. She connected with a crossbody from the top rope for a 2 count. Xia went for a neckbreaker, but Ash rolled through and hit a kick to the face. Ash tossed Xia to the outside for a count out win and Iceman gave her some brass knuckles. They were multi-coloured so the referee noticed instantly and took them off Ash. Brookside used the distraction to roll up Ash for the win after 7 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Xia Brookside

Analysis: **3/4 They did well for another encounter that was time-limited. Initially, I was surprised at the result, but actually having Ash lose her first match now means if she does challenge for a title and lose it won’t be such a damaging loss. I think it’s actually smart booking (maybe) as I don’t see her winning off Grace anytime soon. The push for Brookside continues which is fine as the crowd gets behind her. The division is just so thin!

Santino Marella announced Trey Miguel as the winner of the ballot box. I don’t even know how it worked but Marella said he won by a very large margin. Chris Bey argued about the result and that Ace Austin should be the winner. Mustafa Ali and said this was clearly voter fraud and there shouldn’t be a match at all at Under Siege. Marella said that next week it would be Trey Miguel vs Ace Austin and the winner would face Ali at Under Siege.

Analysis: That should be a win for Austin because Miguel is a heel and Ali should be defending against faces.

Match #4: Handicap Match: Sami Callihan vs The Good Hands

John Skyler cut a quick promo before the match saying that the Death Machine had a death wish by wanting to face them in a handicap match. Yes, he’s afraid of the jobber team of TNA! Callihan entered to a good reception. He took down Hotch instantly with a powerbomb. Callihan took a photo of PCO and gave Hotch a paper cut between the fingers. That was odd. He did the same to Skyler. Callihan went to the ring apron but Skyler speared him. Hotch hit a moonsault to the floor on Sami. The heels wanted a count out and the referee got to 9 and Callihan got back in. Skyler hit a slingshot spear for 2. He missed a corner attack and then Hotch tried to fly in from the apron but Callihan nailed him with a right hand in mid-air. He destroyed Hotch with the Cactus Driver 97 after 3 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Sami Callihan

Analysis: SQUASH I’m all for storyline continuity but do The Good Hands have to keep getting the jobber treatment? No one believes they have a chance against anyone anymore. Callihan was just the same as always. He doesn’t interest me at this point on the roster.

Steve Maclin came up to Kaz backstage. Kaz said he doesn’t trust Maclin at all. Maclin said he had a Santana problem and Kaz had an Alexander problem. He said he could help Kaz and vice-versa. Maclin left Kaz to think about it.

Analysis: TNA doesn’t seem to want to leave Maclin to have a run by himself as of late. He was fine as a lone champion so I don’t see why he needs to be paired with someone.

They announced The System vs Nic Nemeth & Speedball Mountain for Under Siege.

Analysis: They don’t have the big title matches on all of these monthly shows so we get a match that could be a weekly-TV main event. That doesn’t excite me that much. Because of the quick turnaround between shows (why do they do it?!), they have to build half a PPV card in a single night. It’s madness.

Match #5: Eddie Edwards w/ Alisha & Brian Myers vs Nic Nemeth

Nic’s brother Ryan was at ringside again. It was an even match up in the early-goings. Alisha grabbed Nemeth’s foot, like at Rebellion, and Eddie took advantage with an attack from behind. Edwards choked Nemeth out against the middle ropes and Alisha nailed a slap to the face. He nailed Nemeth with a right hand and scored a 2 count. Nemeth tried to fight back but Edwards almost took his head off with a clothesline for another nearfall. Edwards complained to the referee so Nemeth nailed him with a dropkick. He mounted Edwards in the corner for his ten punches but another distraction from Myers allowed Edwards to toss Nic to the floor.

(Commercial break)

Edwards and Nemeth were exchanging strikes as we returned to the action. Edwards hit a knee to the ribs for 2. He backed Nemeth into the corner but missed a splash. Nemeth came back with his own splash and a neckbreaker. He did his ten elbow drop routine for a 2 count. Edwards dodged a Fame Asser and nailed a chop. He ran the ropes but Nemeth spiked him with a DDT for 2. Nemeth set up for the superkick but Edwards rolled to the floor. Nemeth followed him and tossed him back in, then climbed to the top rope. He was still worried about Myers, so Edwards cut him off. Edwards nailed a big chop on the top turnbuckle and nailed a superplex. He followed up with a Tiger Driver for a very close 2 count. Edwards mocked Nemeth by tuning up the band for a superkick but Nemeth surprised him with one of his own. Nemeth nailed an Olympic Slam but Edwards kicked out. They traded blows on the mat and then again when they got to their feet. Nemeth nailed a big headbutt and went for Danger Zone but Edwards held the ropes. Nemeth avoided the Boston Knee Party but they both had a clothesline on their mind. At ringside, Myers took a cheap shot at Ryan Nemeth in the crowd. The referee was dealing with that, so Moose snuck in and bashed Nemeth’s head in with the TNA World Championship. Edwards nailed the Boston Knee Party for the win after 13 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Eddie Edwards

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a good TV main event, as they continue to stack the odds against Nemeth to build him up as a sympathetic babyface. He’s very easy to cheer for, so you don’t want to hand him too many losses this early in his TNA career. That’s 2 in a row now. Having his brother again at ringside made it more personal and even sweeter for The System.

Post-match, The System beat down Nemeth in the ring. Security kept Ryan from getting into the ring. Edwards set up a chair on Nic’s neck and Moose smashed it with his own steel chair. The System exited the ring as Speedball Mountain and Ryan Nemeth ran in to prevent even more damage. They looked silly arguing from a metre away, only separated by the ring rope, and if someone had just done that to my brother then I wouldn’t be waving a chair at the attacker from a metre away.

TNA went off the air with The System’s music playing and Nic Nemeth fallen in the centre of the ring.

Analysis: A great post-match beatdown that makes me think that they’ll utilise Ryan Nemeth (who is a wrestler) going forward. The show airs here around lunchtime in Australia, when I’m at work so I’m not sure when it was announced but Matt Hardy will be taking Nemeth’s place in the main event for Under Siege now due to injury. Nothing wrong with that.

Final Rating: 6/10

It was a passable episode of Impact this week, but you can’t rate it that highly when there are two squash matches and they build 70% of a PPV/PLE through backstage segments and interviews. Surely, someone from TNA management can understand the need to space out their shows. Surely, it’s not just because there are no other dates available at the arenas they want to perform in and so have to just take what’s left. It can’t be that bad, can it?

Anyway, these TNA specials that air between the big-4 PLEs usually follow the same formula of having either a random challenger for the main championship that doesn’t stand a chance or incorporating the World Championship feud into a multi-man match which is where they’re going here. I feel TNA over-do 6-man tag matches so while it will be fine, I’m not that thrilled about it. Tonight’s episode had 2 really good matches that could’ve been on a bigger show, for sure. I enjoyed Edwards vs Nemeth slightly more than Alexander vs Kaz just because of the time length and Alexander/Kaz were selling their Rebellion injuries a bit more so it wasn’t the spectacle we might’ve hoped for. I enjoyed the backstage segments setting up the X-Division Contendership, as well as Santana and Maclin’s feud continuing.

The next monthly-special from TNA is Under Siege, on May 3rd. Here’s the card so far:

* Matt Hardy & Speedball Mountain vs The System
* X-Division Championship: Mustafa Ali (c) vs Ace Austin OR Trey Miguel
* TNA Knockouts’ Tag Team Championships: Spitfire (c) vs Alisha Edwards & Masha Slamovich
* Jake Something vs Hammerstone
* Steph De Lander & Kon vs Jordynne Grace & PCO

Any feedback or comments are welcome. My email address is in case anybody wants to get in touch with me and my Twitter/X handle is @thomok6 as well. Thanks for reading!