TNA Impact Review – March 7, 2024

tna impact review march 7

The build for TNA Sacrifice continued, Mustafa Ali competed in a non-title match and Josh Alexander was featured in this week’s main event.

We are just a day out from the Sacrifice PLE and, at the time of writing, the card is already better than last month’s No Surrender event. Tonight’s show opened with a recap of last week, when Chris Sabin, Kevin Knight and Kushida ruined Mustafa Ali’s X-Division celebration, as well as The System getting a 6-man tag victory over Bullet Club and Eric Young.

TNA Impact: 7/3/24: Alario Centre, New Orleans: LA

Mustafa Ali, flanked by his security, made his way to the ring for the opening contest.

Match #1: Non-Title match: Mustafa Ali vs Kevin Knight

This is certainly a PLE-worthy match up that we are getting on free TV. Knight continues to impress; you just never know how long he is going to be around for. Ali and the Good Hands face Kushida, Knight and Sabin at Sacrifice. Knight overpowered Ali in the early going. He bounced off the ropes and connected with a shoulder block. They both went for a dropkick but Knight was quickest and caught Ali in mid-air. Both men exchanged chops in the corner but Knight won the battle with a scoop slam, then hit a jumping elbow for 2. Knight missed a corner attack, so Ali hit a neckbreaker for a 2 count. He tried to wrench the neck of Knight and then nailed a DDT for another nearfall. Ali spent far too long taunting Knight on the top rope, so Knight kipped up and nailed him with a hurricanrana. That standing leap of Knight is impressive. He ducked a clothesline and connected with a springboard crossbody. Knight splashed Ali in the corner and lifted him to the top rope. Ali quickly knocked him to the mat but Knight jumped straight back up. Ali managed to hit an impressive backstabber from the top rope and crawled to the cover for 2 again. He stomped away at Knight then ran the ropes but Knight clobbered him with a clothesline. Ali rolled out of the ring but Knight was quick to wipe out all of the security on the outside with a springboard crossbody. The Good Hands made their way to the ring but were quickly cut off by Sabin and Kushida. The four men brawled around the ring. Knight flew through the air and connected with a move on Ali but the camera was still on the brawl. Ali took advantage of the distraction and hit a Tornado DDT. He tried for a 450 but Knight moved out of the way. Ali ran into the Sky High for a close nearfall. John Skyler tried to bring the X-Division title into the ring for Ali to use, but Sabin caught him and tried to wrestle the belt away. Knight missed a spear in the corner so Ali dropkicked Sabin off the apron. Ali cleaned Knight’s clock with the championship to win the match after 9 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Mustafa Ali

Analysis: ***1/4 They were well on their way to a really good match but the interference and lazy finish put paid to that. It’s almost a crime to end a match like that, especially between two men who are so athletically talented. However, it fits Ali’s shady heel character perfectly. I would’ve preferred this match (plus ten minutes) over the 6-man tag at the PLE. They all got involved here anyway!

After the match was over, Skyler and Hotch held Knight’s arm down against the mat and Ali nailed the 450 Splash right on it. Alex Shelley ran down to chase the heels out of the ring.

Analysis: I assume they replace Knight with Shelley, so Shelley can turn on Kushida and/or Sabin at Sacrifice. Otherwise, there’s no point in changing out Knight for Shelley.

Tasha Steelz and Xia Brookside cut quick pre-taped promos about their chances against Jordynne Grace in the triple-threat match at Sacrifice.

Analysis: It should be a fine match but Grace should be able to destroy both of them without too much effort. Get Kamille (and many more women) in and rebuild this division.

Kevin Knight was backstage, being checked by doctors. He tried to say that he was fine but the doctor said he just wasn’t. The doctor said there was no way he could compete in the next 24 hours. Shelley told Knight to rest up because he could take his place, to be there for his friends. He looked right at Sabin who didn’t appreciate that. Shelley said he needed Sabin at No Surrender but he was too busy with his own title match. Sabin reminded Shelley that he was the one who suggested him not to be at ringside, but Shelley didn’t think there was ever a chance that Kushida would throw in the towel. Shelley said that actions speak louder than words and he was going to speak to Santino.

Analysis: They might just be going for a Kushida/Sabin vs The Good Hands match with Shelley at ringside to turn. We shall see.

George Iceman was in the ring next. He asked for Ash’s opponent’s name. She said it was Angel, but he said she wasn’t beautiful so she needed to get out of the ring. He also kicked the referee out of the ring and introduced Ash.

Match #2: Ash by Elegance vs Angel Blue

I wonder if Angel is related to Skye Blue. Iceman joined commentary but his microphone wasn’t working which was funny. Ash got in Angel’s face and asked if she knew who Ash was. She told Angel to kiss her boots, to which she refused. Ash took Angel to the corner with a series of kicks and forearms. She stomped away on Angel then forced her face into her boot. Ash made Iceman clean her boots with a rag. She did a cocky cover on Angel for a 1 count. Ash hit a clothesline and mounted Angel with right hands. She did her cartwheel elbow in the corner and hit a suplex. Ash hit Rarefied Air for the win after 3 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Ash by Elegance

Analysis: SQUASH That was fine and continues to build up Ash as a dominant Knockout. The disrespectful acts that she and George show towards the opponents are actually quite amusing. Just don’t put her in a title match yet.

Steve Maclin cut a promo via Zoom or some online form. Maclin says he shows up to Impact every week and asks where Nemeth is. He was in a hotel room and said if Nemeth isn’t in the arena, then he isn’t coming either. Someone came into his hotel room and knocked him down. Nemeth turned the camera around to reveal himself and left.

Analysis: That’s the match of the night for me. I’m really looking forward to it.

John Skyler and Jason Hotch entered for a match. They talked down Kushida, Knight and Sabin. It’s the Good Hands vs Timesplitters now, so I think the 6-man tag is still on for Sacrifice.

Match #3: The Good Hands vs Timesplitters

It sure feels like Shelley is going to turn at Sacrifice, but they should probably save it for a bigger show – maybe Rebellion in April? Keep building to it. Or it might be all in my head! Kushida and Hotch started the match off, with Kushida hitting an arm drag early. Shelley got a blind tag and the faces took down Hotch with a double team. Skyler tried to run in and was met with double knees, sending him to the outside. Shelley focused on the left arm of Hotch. The fans were chanting “Break his arm!”. Rough. Shelley stomped down hard on Hotch’s arm and tagged Kushida back in. Kushida used the top rope to wrench down on the arm of Hotch. There was a little miscommunication and the Good Hands hit a double Russian Legsweep on Kushida. Hotch tagged in and hit a clothesline for a 1 count. He used the ropes to choke Kushida on the mat. Hotch chopped Kushida in the corner and tagged Skyler back in. He hit a running forearm for 2 then tagged Hotch in again. The Good Hands hit a double clothesline on Kushida for another 2 count. Hotch quickly tagged in and out again but Kushida fought him off and hit a double backspring elbow on the heels to make the tag to Shelley. He hit manic chops on Hotch in the corner. Skyler made a blind tag as Shelley was Irish whipping Hotch, then blasted Shelley from behind with a forearm. Skyler launched through the ropes and hit a spear for 2 but that didn’t get much of a reaction from the crowd. In came Hotch again and he hit a rolling neckbreaker for 2. Hotch clobbered Kushida on the ring apron but ran into Skyler as he was trying to take out Shelley with a clothesline. Shelley leaped to his corner and tagged in Kushida. He nailed a running crossbody on Hotch and Tanaka Punch on Skyler. Shelley and Kushida double-teamed Skyler with a dropkick. There was another mistake as Shelley went for an enziguiri in the corner but hit Kushida by mistake. Skyler rolled up Kushida using the tights for a close nearfall. Hotch was tagged back in and nailed a Blue Thunder Bomb for an even closer 2 count. He tagged Skyler and they set up for a double team but Kushida sent him into Hotch, who went crashing from the top rope to the outside. Kushida nailed the Tanaka Punch on Skyler and a running punt with an assist from Shelley. Kushida locked in the Hoverboard Lock and Skyler tapped out fairly quickly. The match lasted 11 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Timesplitters

Analysis: ***1/4 I enjoyed that tag team match. It was as probably as long as any Good Hands match, without looking at statistics, that I can recall for a while. They usually lose easily or cheat but not given lengthy matches. Wrestling Shelley and Kushida made them look less like jobbers than usual. I liked the continued tease of dissension between Shelley and Kushida.

Dirty Dango cut one of his documentary-style promos outside. He asked if they were at the Hardy Compound. Genuine laugh there. Dango said he and Oleg were going to dominate the tag team division and become inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame. He named a couple of wrestlers like Monty Brown and acted as if they were all dead. Dango plugged his wrestling school again but he fluffed the payment methods. He asked why Josh Alexander wears a headgear. Dango wondered if Alexander had ears. He couldn’t remember what his wrestling school was called and Bravo gave it a ridiculous name like ‘The Dirty Dango International Wrestling Academy of the Sports Entertainment Arts’. He called himself Mr Thursday night and Oleg told him he smelt what he was cooking.

Analysis: That was so stupid that I couldn’t help but laugh. I find these promos unique and very entertaining.

The Good Hands apologised backstage to Mustafa for losing the tag match. Ali thanked them for their service and for the fact that they helped him realise that Ali might have underestimated Sabin and friends. Ali replaced the Good Hands with Grizzled Young Vets. He told them to remember that “In Ali, we trust”.

Analysis: That’s a much better match and I am glad that GYV have been added to the card. A good decision there.

Match #4: Masha Slamovich w/ Killer Kelly vs Dani Luna w/ Jody Threat

Luna and Threat have earned a shot at the tag titles, due to the fact that there are no other teams available. Is that too harsh? At least it should be a very good match. Both ladies traded submission attempts early in the match and Slamovich struck with a big knee. She missed a corner attack so Dani took advantage with a diving clothesline for a 1 count. Luna hit a snap suplex and a stalling suplex for 2. Slamovich received some counsel from Kelly, who choked Luna out in the middle rope. Slamovich kicked the ropes as Luna rested against them. Slamovich hit a trio of snapmares and a stiff punt to the chest for 2. She tried for a crossface but just tossed Luna face-first into the mat. Slamovich hit an athletic kick to the back of the head and trapped Luna’s left arm as she went for a choke submission. Slamovich rolled her up for a 2 count and immediately hit a hard clothesline. Slamovich hit a series of short-arm clotheslines. Luna tried to fight back with some forearm shots and a dropkick that sent Masha into the corner. Luna hit a spear in the corner and an Exploder suplex. Luna tried to put Slamovich on the top rope but she fought off with elbows. She ducked a clothesline and used the top rope to springboard Slamovich into a Blue Thunder Bomb for 2. That was cool. Slamovich slipped out of a Luna Landing attempt and hit a neckbreaker for 2. Luna tried a small package for 2. She hit a big clothesline and the Luna Landing for the win after almost 8 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Dani Luna

Analysis: *** That’s a big win for Luna. Slamovich rarely loses in singles action but she did tonight and clean, too. They gelled well together and the action flowed easily throughout. The finisher for Luna looked impressive. Hopefully, the tag match is really good and Luna and Threat continue to get opportunities because apart from them (and those involved in the World Championship match) there are really no other women that are interesting at present.

There was a recap of the ridiculous segment last week between Kon, PCO and Alan Angels. I still found it entertaining because PCO is just so insanely silly.

Match #5: Alan Angels vs PCO

Good for Alan Angels, as he is making a fist of this Miz-lite character and doing well. After that train-wreck of a first Sound Check with Josh Alexander, I thought they might scrap it but maybe it was just the bland character of Alexander that didn’t work. PCO entered last with his Frankenstein shtick that they have been running the last few shows. It’s something different and just adds to the presentation. They announced PCO vs Kon in a No-DQ match at Sacrifice. PCO tossed Angels around the ring to kick off the match. Angels fought out of a chokeslam attempt and hit an enziguiri. He hit a DDT but missed the Frog Splash. PCO hit a Big Boot and a clothesline that sent Angels inside-out. PCO nailed the chokeslam and the PCO-Sault for the win after 2 minutes. Thankfully he only grazed Angels, because PCO is a big man.

Winner by pinfall: PCO

Analysis: SQUASH I would’ve liked Angels to get some more offense here, but he has played his part in this story so a dominant win for PCO is fine.

Kon made his way to the ring with a chair in hand. PCO ducked a chair shot and bashed the chair into Kon’s face. Kon turned it around on PCO and nailed a hip toss on the chair. Angels went for a high-5 but Kon destroyed him with his neck snap move. PCO got a chair, too, and smashed it over Kon’s back. Kon wasn’t fazed much and hit some right hands. They brawled through the tunnel and to the back but they cut away.

Analysis: A quick preview of what we might see in the No-DQ match. Spoiler: It’s going to be slow.

There were highlights of Crazzy Steve retaining the Digital Media Championship over Rhino on XPlosion. I would’ve preferred that on Impact or Sacrifice but they also need decent content for XPlosion which is okay. Steve cut a creepy and arrogant promo after the match.

Let’s Hear from Eric Young

Sacrifice is in Canada, so I’ve just clicked why Young has been given the championship match! He didn’t even get a good showing in last week in the tag match, which is such an easy way to make a challenger look credible. Young said sacrifice was not just the name of the show tomorrow night, but his way of life as a TNA wrestler. He said whatever Moose had in store for him at Sacrifice, Young will keep coming at him. Moose’s music hit and he called Young a real-life world class maniac. He said he had all the fans believing the rubbish coming out of his mouth. Moose reminded Young that he’s been in TNA for a very long time and he said that his time in the ring will be over at Sacrifice. Moose said they both love a fight, then why not we have a New Orleans Street Fight right now? That didn’t sound like something that was going to happen. Moose went to step into the ring and then balked. He said that’s not how The System works and Brian Myers and Eddie Edwards attacked Young from behind. Moose hit the spear on Young but he barely touched him. Alisha brought Moose a chain and wrapped it around him. Moose hit a spear with the chain attached. No one came down to help Young. Moose called for one more and Bullet Club finally came down and chased The System away with steel chairs.

Analysis: Moose was even more hoarse than usual there. He sounded like he wasn’t too well. For such a huge athlete, that spear just looks so unimpressive. Give me Bron Breakker any day. Young spoke from the heart but these days he’s just not a credible threat. Put him in a tag team or a stable again. He didn’t even get his music played as the heels were chased away!

Match #6: Dirty Dango w/ Oleg Prudius & Alpha Bravo vs Josh Alexander

Dango said he hated professional wrestling before the match, as usual. Despite this, they exchanged wrestling holds early in the match and Alexander hit a shoulder block. He tried for a German suplex but Dango held the ropes. Alexander ducked and hit a Northern Lights suplex for 2. He locked in the ankle lock but Dango was able to make the ropes and then rolled out of the ring. Dango returned to the ring but Alexander grounded him again and wrenched at the right ankle. Dango reversed it into an armbar and stomped on the left arm of Alexander. Alexander blocked a back suplex and tried for the ankle lock again. Dango kicked him off to the ring apron. Bravo held Alexander’s leg so Dango could knock him off the apron. Alexander was concerned about his left knee as he landed. Dango chopped him down on the outside. He tossed Alexander back in and attempted a leg lock. Alexander slapped him and broke free. Dango dragged Alexander to the corner and smashed his left knee into the steel ring post. He tried it again but Alexander managed to yank Dango into the post. They went back into the ring and Dango hit another chop block on Alexander’s left knee. Dango stalled a bit, then Alexander forgot he had a knee injury and nailed a dropkick off the middle rope. Alexander nailed a few forearms and went for the C4 Spike but Dango broke free. Alexander nailed a knee to the back of the neck of Dango for 2. He ran at Dango, who side-stepped and sent him into the middle turnbuckle. Dango nailed the Falcon Arrow for 2. Hannifan put over Dango and the fact that he was invested in the match. Well, it is his job. Alexander nailed 2 German suplexes, then a 3rd with a bridge but Dango kicked out at 2 because Alexander couldn’t hold the bridge with his knee hurting. Alexander tried a superplex but Dango cut him off. He hoisted Dango over his head and into Oleg and Alpha on the outside. Alexander hit a flying senton to take out the 3 heels at once. He tossed Dango back inside the ring but Oleg grabbed his leg to distract him. Dango used the ropes to nail a Tornado DDT. He went for his top-rope legdrop but Alexander caught his leg on impact and locked in the ankle lock. Dango tapped out quite quickly. The match went 15 minutes.

Winner by submission: Josh Alexander

Analysis: *** That was a solid main event but very predictable as there was no way that Alexander was losing one night before a PLE, or ever against Dango to be honest. It wasn’t very interesting until the final few minutes. I was quite critical of Alexander’s selling ability here. He hobbles around for a few minutes and then goes to the top to do a move, which would surely effect the knee. Some of the time he sells it, other times not. It’s just dumb. He has enough in his arsenal to not to high-flying moves if the opponent is targeting the knee injury. It will be a much different match against Hammerstone (it appears like they’re dropping his first name- not a move I love) and I hope it’s as good as the Hard to Kill match up.

Final Rating: 7/10

That was a very good show this week, even with two squash matches in there. I’m not even going to include those in my ratings as they both added to the show in their own way. I felt like it was a night where they continued to build towards Sacrifice and they have produced an excellent card on such a short turnaround from No Surrender.

It’s not very often that you can say (my opinion) that the main event is one of the weaker bouts on the card but you still have high interest in the show. I think changing Ali’s partners to GYV adds quality to the card, I like that both Tag Team Championships are being defended against quality teams and that the matches without titles have been given plenty of build and TV time. These shows, held between the big 4 PPVs/PLEs during the year, are usually solid but unspectacular. With Sacrifice, I feel that the card is better than a usual monthly-special. I am looking forward to the show and I will cover that over the weekend.

The next TNA monthly-special is Sacrifice, which is on Friday, March 8th (the day this review is being posted). My predictions are in bold.

* TNA World Championship: Moose (c) vs Eric Young
* TNA Knockouts’ Championship: Jordynne Grace (c) vs Xia Brookside vs Tasha Steelz
* IWGP Global Championship: Nic Nemeth (c) vs Steve Maclin
* TNA World Tag Team Championships: Bullet Club (c) vs The System
* TNA Knockouts’ Tag Team Championships: MK Ultra (c) vs Jody Threat & Dani Luna
* Josh Alexander vs Hammerstone
* Time Machine vs Mustafa Ali & GYV
* No-Disqualification Match: PCO vs Kon

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