TNA Impact Review – April 11, 2024

TNA Impact April 11

A Monster’s Ball match between PCO and Kon headlined this week’s TNA show which also featured Moose in action.

TNA Impact: 11.4.24: 2300 Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

There was no recap video straight away because Hammerstone and Josh Alexander were brawling around ringside! Security tried to break them up but they both tossed them aside with ease. Hammerstone tossed Alexander in the ring and nailed a T-Bone suplex. They continued brawling and some more security ran down into the ring. They backed Alexander into a corner and he was busted open. More security tried to contain Hammerstone in his corner but he broke free and hit a splash over the top of the security. Alexander fought back with a big boot and sent Hammerstone out of the ring. He hit a diving senton over the top rope onto Hammerstone and the security. Hammerstone went into the ring and goaded Alexander. Tommy Dreamer went down to ringside and talked Alexander into stepping away. Alexander was angry and wanted to continue to fight. The crowd chanted “Let them fight” as Dreamer convinced Alexander to go to the back. He said he had something to say to Hammerstone. Dreamer put the 2300 Arena over as the best venue on the planet. He put over Alexander as being the best because he works hard week in, week out. Dreamer said he put his name on the line to sign Hammerstone, but Hammerstone has been taking shortcuts since TNA signed him. He shook Hammerstone’s hand and wished him well ahead of Rebellion. Dreamer went to leave the ring and Hammerstone attacked him from behind. He put Dreamer in the Torture Rack and tossed his lifeless carcass to the mat. Alexander ran in for the save but it was too late. He challenged Hammerstone to a Last Man Standing match at Rebellion.

Analysis: Fantastic opening segment. It’s very rare that TNA opens their show in anything besides a video package so this was great. From the brawl to Dreamer trying to calm things down and then Hammerstone with the predicable attack to then the LMS challenge. The feud probably needed a stipulation to break the 1-1 tie, which I have called for, and you can do a Last Man Standing match in a way that even the loser looks strong. Much better than I Quit in my opinion.

The regular opening video played and the commentators previewed the night ahead, with Moose facing Trent Seven, a Digital Media title match and a Knockout’s Title contract signing.

Match #1: TNA Digital Media Championship: Crazzy Steve (c) vs Laredo Kid

Kid has gone from an X-Division challenger, to having a random Digital Media title match at Sacrifice cancelled to back in the hunt again. It would be nice to have a consistently group of challengers to make divisions defined. Steve tried for an eye gouge early and slid out of the ring to play some mind games. Back in the ring, Steve hit some kicks on Kid in the corner. Kid blocked a splash in the corner and hit a flying crossbody off the top. He nailed a running head scissors and then botched an attempted top rope hurricanrana so Steve took him down with a clothesline. Steve tossed Kid into the top turnbuckle and wrenched at his mask. He choked Kid out in the corner with his foot. Steve talked trash to Kid as he tried to use the ropes to stand up. Kid fought back with body shots to the ribs but ran into a running knee from Steve for a 2 count. Steve clobbered Kid with blows across the face and hit a Russian Leg Sweep into an arm bar submission. Steve relinquished the hold quickly for some reason and Kid retreated to the corner. He took over with a driving elbow to the face of Kid. Kid backed him into the opposite corner with shoulder charges. Steve tossed him to the ring apron but Kid rolled back into the ring for a nearfall. Kid avoided a clothesline in the corner and hit a Michinoku Driver right near the corner. He nailed 2 moonsaults but took too long on the third so Steve tripped him up and hung him in the Tree of Woe. Steve nailed a cannonball in the corner for another nearfall. He went back to ripping the mask off of Kid. Kid escaped and slapped Steve and went to work with right hands in the corner. It’s hard to tell the emotion of a masked wrestler firing up. The referee tried to remove Kid from the corner but he shoved him off, leading to a disqualification. Steve went for a title shot after the match but Kid ducked and held the title aloft. It was just under 10 minutes.

Winner by disqualification AND STILL TNA Digital Media Champion: Crazzy Steve

Analysis: **1/2 It was okay with a lame ending, although it did make sense with Kid unable to control himself after having his mask continually ripped at. I’m not clambering for another match but a feud for the title is at least positive.

They showed backstage footage of Kon and PCO who have been ‘locked away for 24 hours in anticipation of this Monster’s Ball match’. Sure, Tom.

Time Machine were backstage and Alex Shelley was apologising for his actions of late. Sabin and Kushida accepted it and Sabin was ready to move forward (even though he’s leaving TNA). He said that sometimes brothers need to hug and they hugged it out.

Analysis: That was a whole lot of not much, especially odd since Shelley and Sabin’s time is up.

Match #2: Bullet Club (ABC) vs First Class

I’m enjoying this new duo of AJ Francis and Rich Swann. Swann has barely had anything to do since his run as TNA Champion 2 ½ years ago so I’m glad they are finally trying again with him. Swann and Austin started the match off. Swann immediately tagged in Francis. Austin wanted a test of strength which was a little ambitious but he sucked Francis in with a wrist lock. Francis missed a splash in the corner so Austin went to work with kicks on his legs. Francis took him down with a hard shoulder block and tagged in Swann. AJ whipped Swann into Austin with a clothesline. Swann teed off on Austin with right hands. Austin tripped him up and tagged in Bey. They double teamed Swann with a hip toss and double dropkick. Bey rolled into the cover for 2. He tagged in Swann, who tried to bounce off the ropes but Francis held his hair. He tried for a flying crossbody but Francis caught him. Austin came to the rescue with a superkick from the apron. Swann knocked Austin off the apron, which allowed Francis to nail a back suplex on Bey. Swann and Austin faced off in the ring. Swann took him down with right hands then tagged in Francis. AJ choked Austin out using the ropes. He missed a running knee, with Austin hanging in the middle rope. Swann tagged in and cut off Austin before he made a tag. He stretched out Austin in the middle of the ring. Swann tossed Austin into the bottom turnbuckle and tagged Francis back in. Francis connected with elbows in the corner on Austin. He hit a big boot and tagged in Swann. Swann nailed a running splash for 2 then tagged AJ back in. He nailed a scoop slam on Austin, then whipped him hard into the turnbuckle. Austin tried to fight back with right hands and reached out to Bey, but Francis held him back and whipped him hard into the heel corner. Austin used his quickness to jump to the top and nail a diving bulldog. Austin finally made the tag to Bey and Swann also tagged in. Bey nailed Swann with some clotheslines and hit a running forearm in the corner, then a spinebuster for 2. Francis broke up the pin and Austin came in to stop him. Francis tried for a Samoan Drop on Austin but Bey jumped from the top and AJ caught him. Francis hit a powerslam on both members of Bullet Club at the same time! He tagged in legally and nailed a big splash on Bey in the corner then followed up with his running knee. Swann tagged in but got cocky and missed a splash in the corner, allowing Austin to tag in. Bey nailed a neckbreaker but Francis interfered again. He tried to suplex them both but Austin flipped out and Bey turned it into a crossbody. They sent Francis into the ropes with a double superkick and nailed a double Attitude Adjustment on the big man! Francis rolled to the outside so Bey ran the ropes and took him out with a flying senton. They set up Swann with the Art of Finesse but Swann caught Bey with a neckbreaker in mid-air. Francis held Austin’s leg in the corner, so Swann rolled him up for the win with a handful of tights. The match went 11 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: First Class

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a very good tag team match with the correct result. I find the heel tactics of First Class effective and Francis nailed some impressive moves. I felt these teams gelled well together. I liked it a lot.

Joe Hendry came out immediately after the match with a microphone. He wanted to give Rich Swann a chance to explain why he turned on Hendry, then he did a Fresh Prince of Bel Air rap to mock Swann and called Francis ‘Fat Uncle Phil’. Hendry tells Swann that they will fight at Rebellion, thanks to Santino Marella.

Analysis: That was short, sharp and effective. Swann vs Hendry should be good.

Ash-by-Elegance and George Iceman were backstage with Santino Marella. They had set up a VIP area for Marella. Iceman said Steph de Lander shouldn’t be #1 contender because she was filling in for Ash. Marella told Iceman that’s not how things work here and they started yelling about lawyers.

Analysis: A lame way for George and Ash to try and weasel a title shot. At least it fit their characters.

Mustafa Ali was complaining about Jake Something to his new associates, the Grizzled Young Vets. Ali said that Something was a problem for all of us, but Zack Gibson disagreed and said that the GYV don’t go picking fights with the likes of Something. Something strode in and said that the match is on whether Ali likes it or not. He shoved Drake out of the way.

Analysis: I guess they are trying to put the possibility of Something beating Ali in the fans’ minds but it seems very unlikely that Ali would drop the title so soon.

Knockouts’ Championship Contract Signing

Santino Marella was in the ring for this segment. He introduced Steph De Lander and messed up Matt Cardona’s name. Cardona was complaining about it as they made their way to ringside. De Lander took a seat at the table and Marella introduced Jordynne Grace. Grace sat down across from De Lander and Cardona took a microphone. Cardona talked up SDL’s credentials and De Lander signed the contract. Grace took the mic and praised SDL and Cardona for returning. She said they’re delusional if they think Grace is going to just roll over and drop the title so soon. Grace listed all of her accomplishments in TNA but Cardona cut her off and reminded her that he beat her for the Digital Media Championship. Grace was starting to get peeved now. De Lander said her 2024 accomplishments were so long that TNA didn’t have long enough in their program to list them all. She called Grace distracted and wondered if her head and focus were on her title, or on things like bodybuilding and the Royal Rumble. Grace stated that her top priority is representing TNA and said she wore so many hats because she prides herself on outworking everyone. She said at Rebellion, Grace would outwork De Lander and beat her. Grace felt confident because she has already beaten De Lander and Cardona. She said she’s even beaten Cardona’s wife! Grace signed the contract and called Cardona a bitch, so the crowd chanted that. De Lander shook Grace’s hand but Grace didn’t let go. De Lander head-butted Grace so Grace jumped the table and took out De Lander. Grace took out Cardona and Marella inadvertently. Grace went for a powerbomb through the table but Cardona attacked her from behind. SDL hit a chokeslam on Grace through the table to end the segment.

Analysis: This feud definitely needed some heat and putting Grace through a table obviously gives SDL some credibility but unless she’s going to be a regular I won’t take her as a serious threat. This was a good segment, however.

Masha Slamovich was beginning to cut a promo backstage and was cut off by The System who wanted to hear if she would take up Alisha Edwards’ offer to become her tag team partner. Eddie was talking very slowly, as if Slamovich couldn’t understand. Slamovich spoke some more Russian and Alisha couldn’t work out what she said.

Analysis: That was a very quick way to get 4 wrestlers on the show. It still didn’t solve anything.

Jonathan Gresham was in some sort of meeting. He was talking about wearing different masks. There were clips of him wearing the octopus mask. There was a creepy narration that talked about trees but then it was quickly cut off and a big N flashed up.

Analysis: I’m not sure if there was a technical issue there but it looked like a new angle for Gresham which is good news.

Match #3: Non-Title Match: Trent Seven w/ Mike Bailey vs Moose w/ The System

Moose dominated with chops early. Seven fired back with chops to little effect so Moose dropped him with a Uranage. Moose pounded away with right hands. Seven avoided a corner attack and chopped Moose in the corner. He feigned another chop and nailed Moose with a DDT. Seven went for an Olympic Slam but Edwards got up on the apron for the distraction. Moose nailed a huge headbutt and screamed that Seven didn’t deserve to be in the ring with him. Seven hit the Seven-Star Lariat for a 2 count. Moose avoided the Birming Hammer and nailed the spear for the win after 4 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Moose

Analysis: *3/4 That was a dominant win for Moose and not a great look for Seven ahead of their Tag Team Championship match. I was hoping for a more even match-up but also I do enjoy Moose destroying his opponents. Bailey went to Seven’s aid after the match so the System attacked him. It was a 3-on-1 assault until Time Machine ran down for the save, which makes sense after Shelley lost the title to Moose.

The System was complaining to Santino Marella about Time Machine interfering in their business. Marella made it The System vs The Motor City Machine Guns and the winners will face Speedball Mountain at Rebellion. Decay also stopped by and invoked their rematch clause for Rebellion.

Analysis: That’s a great match for next week with an obvious winner. It’s odd that they know Shelley and Sabin are leaving but they keep putting them in spots that look to the future. Weird.

Match #4: James Drake w/ Zack Gibson vs Jake Something

Something took Drake down with an avalanche early on. He went outside the ring and got in Gibson’s face so Drake dived through the ropes to take Something down. Back in the ring, Drake went to work with right hands. They didn’t do much damage so Something grabbed Drake by the throat. Drake tried an enziguiri for 2. He went for a sleeper hold but not much was working for him. Something teed off with right hands. He ran at Drake in the corner, who blocked an attack with an elbow. Something hit a haymaker but Gibson grabbed his leg in the corner which allowed Drake to nail a dropkick for 2. Gibson choked Something out with his horrendous scarf. Deaner arrived and took Gibson down off the apron. Something nailed an avalanche and then destroyed Drake with Into the Void after lifting him from the mat. That was impressive. The match lasted 4 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Jake Something

Analysis: ** I didn’t mind that match as Drake got some offense in but it was all about Something overcoming the odds and dominating. The finisher was cool

Mustafa Ali interrupted the celebration. He had a crowd of people that had signs which supported his push to ban Something from the X-Division. Ali complained about the division having no limits. Ali tried to get the crowd to chant “Say no to Jake”. Something ran the ropes and did a huge dive over the top rope to take out the cronies. Something got hold of Ali and tossed him into the ring. Ali tried to attack Something with the title but Something ducked and set up a powerbomb. GYV ran in and nailed Grit Your Teeth on Something. Deaner ran back into the ring to help but Ali clocked him in the head with his belt. GYV held Something up whilst Ali blasted him with his championship. Ali and the GYV stood tall over a fallen Something.

Analysis: Great stuff from Ali, here. His character is just so great. I like how they are building up the feuds tonight.

There was an ad for something called TNA Immersed which looks like it delved deeper into the Nic Nemeth vs Steve Maclin feud.

Next week:

* Hammerstone in action
* Nic Nemeth speaks
* TNA Tag Team Championships: The System (c) vs MCMGs

Analysis: Usually they preview a lot more than that but I expect that tag match to get a lot of time.

Match #5: Monster’s Ball: PCO vs Kon

Perhaps they put this match on the weekly show instead of Rebellion so it didn’t get lost in the shuffle but it does seem like a random time to have this blow-off match. There were 15 minutes left of TV time after the entrances. The commentators said this match-type is now 20 years old. They locked up but there was no clear winner from that. Both men grabbed weapons from outside the ring. Kon blocked a kendo stick shot with his steel chair. He nailed PCO with a shot to the spine but PCO punched the chair into Kon’s face. PCO went for a suicide dive but Kon bounced a trash can off his skull. Kon hit a few shots on PCO with the trash can lid. PCO got some baking trays and smashed them off the head of Kon. Kon blocked a suplex attempt. They exchanged chops and PCO nailed a suplex on the floor. Kon got a chair and smashed PCO over the back. He tossed PCO into the ring and had a steel chain. Kon nailed PCO with some kendo stick shots across the back. He choked PCO against the middle ropes with the stick. Kon put the trash can over PCO’s head and nailed him with a right hand. He wrapped the chain around his fist and punched the trash can, where PCO’s head might have been. That was pretty stupid. Kon covered for a 2 count. He went back to the floor and set up a table near the ring apron. The lighting around the ring was really poor and from some angles it was actually difficult to see the table. Kon set up PCO for a powerbomb from the ring apron. PCO powered out with a back body drop which ended in a nasty landing for Kon, his head bouncing off the apron. PCO nailed a cannonball through the ropes and tossed Kon into the steel ring post. He set up a second table at ringside then smacked Kon across the back with a baking tray. PCO placed Kon on the table and nailed the Deanimator through the table from the top turnbuckle. He threw Kon back inside the ring but Kon nailed a low blow. Kon got a kendo stick and nailed PCO with half a dozen shots. Kon went to the top rope but PCO stopped him with kendo shots to the head. Kon fell from the top rope and crashed through the table set up on the outside of the ring. PCO brought a ladder into the ring as Kon staggered to his feet. He wedged the ladder between another one at ringside. PCO nailed Kon with a right hand and sent him into the ladder. He laid Kon down on top of the ladder and went to the top rope. Kon recovered and tossed PCO right on top of the ladder, causing it to complete disintegrate on impact. Ouch. Kon tossed PCO back into the ring and got some thumb tacks. He shoved a handful of thumb tacks into PCO’s mouth! PCO spat thumb tacks into the eyes of Kon and nailed a chokeslam on top of the tacks. PCO tipped tacks all over Kon and hit the PCO Sault for the win after 14 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: PCO

Analysis: ***1/4 That was certainly no wrestling exhibition but I was entertained throughout. It was two big, slow guys beating each other with weapons and taking unnecessary bumps for almost 15 minutes. I’ll give them credit for those 2 table spots and the ladder bump. The thumb tack spot where PCO spat them out was creative, albeit a bit cringe, and I watched the majority of the match worried about the next crazy move PCO would do which probably inflicted more damage on himself that his opponent. He’s damn entertaining, but also looks one move away from being in a wheelchair.

PCO celebrated the win, whilst Kon was down on the mat and bleeding from the arm as TNA went off the air.

Final Rating: 6.75/10

It wasn’t a classic wrestling show this week, but I felt TNA used their two-hour slot to create some buzz around some of the feature matches for Rebellion. We had the great opening segment to set up Hammerstone/Alexander III in Last Man Standing, Mustafa Ali and the GYV campaigning against Jake Something and getting a few segments, as well as the contract signing and interaction between Jordynne Grace and Steph De Lander/ Matt Cardona for the Knockouts’ Title. You also had little segments involving the Tag Team Championship scene and KO’s Tag Titles which were all effective at maximising time for all of the feuds for Rebellion. Having Nic Nemeth on next week’s show will build some more hype for his TNA Title shot against Moose, too. As far as the matches go, I really enjoyed the tag team match between First Class and Bullet Club. I am enjoying the introduction of First Class as a heel tag team. The Monster’s Ball was the good, silly fun that you sometimes need from wrestling. Moose and Jake Something won the other matches quite easily, and the Laredo Kid/ Crazzy Steve feud seemingly continues which is fine.

The next TNA PLE is Rebellion on Saturday. Here’s the card:

* TNA World Championship: Moose (c) vs Nic Nemeth
* TNA X-Division Championship: Mustafa Ali (c) vs Jake Something
* TNA Knockouts’ Championship: Jordynne Grace (c) vs Steph De Lander
* TNA Tag Team Championships: The System (c) or The Motor City Machine Guns vs Speedball Mountain
* TNA Knockouts’ Tag Team Championships: Spitfire (c) vs Decay
* Full Metal Mayhem: Eric Young vs Frankie Kazarian
* Last Man Standing Match: Hammerstone vs Josh Alexander
* Rich Swann vs Joe Hendry

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!