TNA Impact Review – April 4, 2024

TNA Impact April 4

A huge singles match between Alex Shelley and Nic Nemeth headlined this week’s episode of TNA Impact.

TNA Impact: 4/4/24: 2300 Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The recap video from last week mostly focused on previewing Alex Shelley vs Nic Nemeth, which is a huge main event this week.

Match #1: Old School Rules Match (Non-Title): Mustafa Ali vs Rhino

Anything goes in this match, so it should be fun. Ali has been great to watch since debuting in TNA a little while back. He defends his X-Division title against Jake Something in 2 weeks at Rebellion. Rhino got a great reception, too, as he remains really popular with the fans. The crowd seemed loud to start the show. There was a bit of backlash about how the show was presented last week (the arena seems very dark and there were some audio issues) so I hope this week is better. There were loud ECW chants to start the show, which is predictable in this arena. Rhino tossed Ali into the corner to start the match. Ali fought back with right hands but he couldn’t whip Rhino so Rhino took him down with a clothesline. Rhino called for the Gore already but Ali bailed to the outside. Rhino grabbed him by the hair to try and pull Ali back into the ring but Ali hung Rhino on the top rope. The fight spilled to the outside where Rhino chopped away at Ali, but went for one too many and hit the steel ring post. The lighting was really poor around that side of the ring and it looked like they were fighting in the parking lot, it was that dark. Rhino whipped Ali into the ring post and he sold it like HBK against Hulk Hogan in 2005. Rhino got some weapons from under the ring. Ali got a baking tray and smacked Rhino across the back. There were loud ECW chants again. There was a hockey legend at ringside, promoting his book (I’m Australian, I don’t care) so Ali threw it into the trash can to the boos of the fans. Ali grabbed a large version of his PWI cover so Rhino chopped him against the guard rail. Ali slid back into the ring and Rhino slowly got back in but Ali gave him a low blow against the middle ropes. Ali set up a trash can in the corner and went coast-to-coast with a dropkick and connected perfectly. Rhino barely kicked out at 3; the referee’s count was very fast for some reason. Ali set up another trash can in the corner and wedged it between the ring ropes. He called for the Gore but Rhino moved and Ali crashed into the can. His selling is so on point. Rhino fought back with a couple of clotheslines. He hit a spear in the corner and another clothesline. The fans called for tables and Rhino obliged. This is the loudest I can remember a TNA crowd being this year for consistent cheering in a match. Rhino set up a table in the corner and hit a spinebuster. The fans chanted “We want fire” for a flaming table. Rhino set up for the Gore again but Ali’s security guards tried to interfere. Rhino took them all down and then missed the Gore. Rhino went crashing through the table and Ali covered him to win the match after 8 ½ minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Mustafa Ali

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a lot of fun. Most of the spots were pretty obvious but Ali bumped his backside off to make 48-year old Rhino look a credible threat. The distraction from security ultimately led to his downfall

Jake Something’s music hit and he ran down and tossed Ali back into the ring. He ripped up Ali’s PWI poster. Ali missed a shot with the title belt and Something set up for a powerbomb. Another security guard ran in and nailed Something with a shot to the back, which allowed Ali to escape. Something destroyed him with a thunderous powerbomb as Ali weaseled up the ramp.

Analysis: I’m glad they added a physical confrontation to the feud. That powerbomb was insane.

There was a quick video with some wrestlers’ thoughts on the Nemeth/Shelley match.

Gia Miller introduced Hammerstone for an interview on the entrance ramp which is unique. Miller asked if Hammerstone was afraid of Josh Alexander because he didn’t answer his call-out last week. Hammerstone told Miller to look at his physique and asked why he would fear Alexander. He said there’s no reason for him to even fight Alexander again. Hammerstone said he was sick of Alexander trying to call the shots and make another match. He said if Alexander wanted another match then it would happen at Rebellion. Hammerstone grabbed the camera and talked to it like a mad man. He intimidated the camera man and then punched him in the face. Hammerstone put the headgear on the camera man and acted as if it was Alexander. Hammerstone destroyed the camera man with the Torture Rack which was even better because the camera that was on the ground was filming it. Miller asked for some help but no one came to the camera man’s aid. Hammerstone grabbed the head gear and walked away.

Analysis: That was great. It’s easy to get heat by attacking a helpless camera man. There was a lot of passion in Hammerstone’s promo. I think he’s doing really well in his heel role.

Match #2: The Rascalz vs FBI

Guido introduced the new TNA version of FBI: himself, Zak Clayton and Ray Jazz. I have not heard of those guys. Guido said he created the FBI in 1996. That’s a long time ago! Jazz took down Miguel with a big back suplex. Miguel cowered into the corner and pulled Jazz into the turnbuckle. He tagged in Wentz and they hit a bunch of double-team moves on Jazz for a 2 count. Miguel tagged back in and dragged Jazz’s face against the top rope. Jazz blocked a clothesline in the corner and hit a nice leaping leg drop off the top rope. He tagged in Clayton and Wentz tagged in too. Clayton hit a double clothesline on the Rascalz and a powerslam on Wentz for 2. Jazz tossed Miguel to the outside. They hit a double elbow on Wentz. Jazz tagged back in and they went for a double-team move but Wentz wriggled off. Myron Reed ran down to ringside and sprayed paint in Guido’s face. Wentz hit a Shining Wizard on Jazz. He tagged in Miguel and he held Jazz down whilst Wentz hit a double stomp from the top rope to win the match after 4 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Rascalz

Analysis: ** That was an easy win for the heel team. It was good to see Reed back. Since they ditched Maclin, it’s good to have them back as a trio again. The FBI had some nice chemistry but who knows if it’s a one-time deal or what.

Speedball Mountain were backstage with Gia Miller discussing the cheating ways of the System. The System interrupted them and said they were all champions, but Trent Seven pointed out that Alisha wasn’t. Seven wanted Moose next week. Moose laughed him off and told him to be careful.

Analysis: That’s a good match for next week. Moose won’t lose ahead of Rebellion.

Match #3: Chris Bey w/ Ace Austin vs Frankie Kazarian

Bey was on fire early with a bunch of punches in the corner. He hit a kick to the back but Kaz kicked out before 1. Bey took him down with a hard clothesline. Kaz tripped up Bey and ran his forearm across his face on the mat. He tossed Bey to the outside. Kaz bounced Bey’s face off the ring apron and tossed him back into the ring. He set up Bey in the corner and hit a backstabber. Kaz taunted the fans then stretched Bey out with a submission, targeting his back. Bey got to his feet and broke free but Kaz came back with a single-leg dropkick. Kaz nailed a scoop slam and followed up with his springboard legdrop for 2. I wish he would put that away as it’s really a face move to get a pop. Bey fought out of the Crossface Chicken Wing with an arm drag. Bey levelled Kaz with a series of left hands against the ropes. He hit a few clotheslines and a Pele kick, then nailed a spinebuster for 2. Bey sent Kaz to the outside and Kaz wanted the slingshot DDT but Bey blocked it and hit one of his own for a 2 count. Kaz blocked the Art of Finesse by catching Bey in mid-air, then nailed a slingshot cutter for 2, which looked awesome. They brawled around the ring and Kaz sent Bey into the steel ring post. Kaz got a steel chain out from under the ring so Austin took it off him. Kaz pretended that Austin hit him with the chain and collapsed to the floor. The referee ejected Austin from ringside because he is a moron. Bey flew through the air and took out Kaz with a dive to the outside. Bey tried to get back into the ring but Kaz hit a low blow kick against the middle rope and mauled Bey with Fade to Black for the win after 12 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Frankie Kazarian

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a good match up that was given a fair amount of time, with an obvious winner. They matched up well together but I wasn’t into it too much as I knew Bey didn’t have a chance.

Masha Slamovich was trying to cut a promo backstage and Alisha walked in to try and convince her to be her tag partner because Killer Kelly has disappeared. Slamovich didn’t look too impressed and Alisha told her to think about it.

Analysis: There were reports that Kelly’s contract was up and then reports that that wasn’t accurate so I’m not sure what’s going on.

There were more video promos commenting on Nemeth vs Shelley.

Ash By Elegance vs. Xia Brookside

it was a bit of a letdown because it was basically Ash trying to win by countout and taunting the fans. She won when Iceman threw champagne in Xia’s face and then Ash stacked her up for three near the ropes.

Winner by pinfall: Ash By Elegance

Analysis: **3/4 A lot of stalling and Ash using George’s help for the cheap win.

There was a recap of the returning Steph De Lander becoming Knockouts’ #1 Contender last week. Gia Miller interviewed her and Matt Cardona backstage. Cardona put De Lander over as a powerhouse Knockout. De Lander said last week she beat seven other women and at Rebellion she will beat another in Jordynne Grace.

Analysis: That should be a good match but Grace will continue her reign.

Next week:

  • Knockouts’ Championship Contract Signing
  • Digital Media Championship: Crazzy Steve vs Laredo Kid
  • First Class vs Bullet Club

Match #4: Nic Nemeth vs Alex Shelley

There were over 30 minutes of TV time left after the entrances were made. Then they went straight to a commercial break which is annoying. Back from the break, Shelley had Nemeth grounded with an arm lock but Nemeth reversed it into a pinfall for a 1 count. Shelley tried an arm bar but Nemeth put his feet on the ropes. He wrestled Nemeth to the mat again but Nemeth tried a straitjacket. Shelley wriggled free and wrenched at the arm of Nemeth. The pace was slow early. Nemeth fought back with right hands but Shelley sent him into the ring post and out to the floor. Shelley wanted the referee to count Nemeth out and they went to another commercial break!

(Commercial break)

Nemeth was on the floor holding his shoulder as the action returned. Shelley was being a heel and doing push ups in the ring. He smashed Nemeth’s shoulder into the ring apron and then stomped on it. Back in the ring, Nemeth fought back with body shots but again Shelley wrestled him to the mat and hyperextended Nemeth’s shoulder. Shelley used Nemeth’s own arms to choke him out, as Nemeth went to his knees. Nemeth hulked up but Shelley synched in the move and drove his knees into Nemeth’s back. Shelley measured Nemeth and sent him to the outside with a clothesline. He stalked him around the ring and tossed Nemeth back into the steel post, shoulder-first. Shelley stomped on Nemeth’s shoulder again and tried to wrap his shoulder around the ring, but Nemeth pulled him into it. Nemeth finally had separation from Shelley and tossed him back into the ring. Shelley begged for mercy but Nemeth stomped on him right in the chest. Nemeth hit an arm ringer and the crowd was starting to come alive at last. He stomped down hard on the face of Shelley and choked him out against the turnbuckle. Nemeth stopped to tie up his shoes and Shelley tried to roll him up for a sneaky win but only got a 2 count. Nemeth grounded Shelley and used his knee to press down on Shelley’s neck. He went back to stomping on Shelley for a bit and then tried an Okada Roll for 2. Nemeth tried for a sleeper on the mat then turned it into a body scissors. He stretched out the left arm of Shelley and wrenched at his face at the same time. Shelley made it to his feet and used a gut punch to break free. There were duelling fan chants now. Shelley nailed a jawbreaker which sent Nemeth into the ropes but he bounced back with a dropkick, which is a thing of beauty. Shelley caught a superkick attempt and nailed the chop block with force. He hit a Dragon Screw in the corner and then locked in the Figure 4 Leg Lock. Nemeth tried to roll over to reverse the pressure but was finding it difficult. He changed tactics to crawling to the bottom rope and eventually got there to break the hold. Shelley taunted Nemeth to get up. He used the ropes to get to his feet and hit Shelley with an enziguiri. Nemeth blocked a clothesline in the corner and another one with a boot. He hit a series of clotheslines and a splash in the corner, followed up by a neckbreaker. Nemeth nailed his ten elbow drops but Shelley blocked one with his knee, then rolled into a Border City Stretch but Nemeth stopped it. They fought to their feet with right hands. Shelley countered a corner clothesline into a Flatliner against the middle turnbuckle. He nailed a Tornado DDT for a close 2 count, then went straight into the stretch. Shelley positioned himself against the ropes so Nemeth couldn’t reach them. Nemeth crawled to the bottom rope and broke the hold. Shelley wrenched down on the arm a few times but ran into a knee lift. Nemeth tried a roll up for 2. Shelley went back to the shoulder. He missed a big boot and Nemeth hit a jumping DDT but Shelley got his foot on the bottom rope. Shelley caught a super kick and tried for a Sliced Bread but Nemeth turned it into a superkick for a close nearfall. Nemeth missed a corner splash so Shelley tried Shell Shock but Nemeth pushed him off. Nemeth went for Danger Zone but Shelley held the ropes. Shelley tried a roll up for 2, then Nemeth rolled him over for one of his own for 2. Shelley hit a superkick and again went for Shell Shock. Nemeth fought out of it and hit Danger Zone, but probably not all of it, and pinned Shelley for the win after 26 minutes of TV time.

Winner by pinfall: Nic Nemeth

Analysis: ***3/4 It wasn’t the classic match that many of us hoped for because Shelley wrestled a methodical, heel-style for 90% of the match by targeting body parts and using some dodgy tactics. The last 5 or so minutes were more free-flowing and athletic, and they had some great counters to their attempted finishing moves.

Nemeth celebrated to end the show. That was it.

Final Rating: 7.25/10

Only five matches this week, which I don’t mind as it meant the main event got some serious TV time. Most of the show was built around Shelley vs Nemeth, with a few video packages and many wrestlers cutting short promos to talk about the match. It was a very good main event, but not the all-star classic that TNA was building it up to be. That was partly because Shelley was in full-blown heel mode and not wrestling the most aesthetically-pleasing match possible. The rest of the show was pretty good. I enjoyed the opener in Ali vs Rhino, the FBI tag was fine but I had no idea who their two guys were and the continued tension between Ace Austin and Chris Bey was on show as Frankie Kazarian took out Bey in singles action.

The next TNA PLE is Rebellion. Here’s the card so far:

* 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) vs Speedball Mountain
* Full Metal Mayhem: Eric Young vs Frankie Kazarian

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!