TNA Impact Review – February 15, 2024

tna impact february 15 moose kushida

On this week’s TNA Impact, TNA World Champion Moose faced off against Kushida in the main event.

They recapped last week’s fairly uneventful show where Alex Shelley defeated Eddie Edwards in the main event, followed by a showdown between Shelley, Kevin Knight and Kushida with the System. This week I will be writing a condensed review because I am travelling for the weekend and have an early start Saturday morning.

TNA Impact: 15/2/24 Osceola Heritage Park in Orlando, Florida

The newly heel-turned Frankie Kazarian made his way to the ring, accompanied by lots of boos, as he kicked off the show against Jake Something.

Match #1: Jake Something vs Frankie Kazarian

Kaz stalled early on by hiding in the ropes and slowing Something down. Something hit an Avalanche Splash and then sent Kaz catapulting over the top rope with force. Kaz went back into the ring but was clotheslined straight out. Something was on fire early (that’s an odd sentence to write). Something went out to the floor but Kaz rammed him into the steel steps. He bounced Something off the ring rope and then hit a legdrop using the middle rope. Kaz mounted Something with right hands and continued abusing the fans. He nailed a neckbreaker for the first nearfall of the match. Kaz tried a chop to no effect. Something egged him to up his game but it still didn’t affect him. They brawled in the ropes and the referee stepped in between them so Kaz nailed a cheap right hand. Something blocked a Scoop Slam but Kaz nailed him with a shot to the back. Something ran into a Scoop Slam and Kaz hit the springboard leg drop for 2. Something fought out of the Crossface Chicken Wing by ramming Kaz into the top turnbuckle. He flipped out of a back suplex and nailed a stiff forearm shot to the face of Kaz. That looked great. Something nailed a few clotheslines and a Scoop Slam. Kaz blocked a powerbomb attempt but couldn’t escape the Michinoku Driver for a close 2 count. Kaz escaped Into the Void and nailed a slingshot DDT from the ring apron for 2. Nice nearfall. Something turned Fade to Black into a roll up for 2. He missed a spear in the corner and crashed into the steel post. They showed Eric Young creeping in the background. He still hasn’t retaliated after Kaz turned on him. Kaz took Something to the top rope but Something almost turned it into a powerbomb. Kaz swept Something’s legs out and he hit his neck on the top rope. Kaz stacked Something up and held the bottom rope for the win after 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Frankie Kazarian

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a really good start to the show. They matched up really well and there were no flat spots at all- it was just 10 minutes of solid action. I’m not sure if that was the intended end to the match as it happened rather quickly, but the cheating from Kaz protects Something, who TNA books quite strongly.

After the match, Eric Young cut a quick backstage promo telling Kaz that he wants to talk it out in the ring next week.

Analysis: That will be interesting. I doubt Kaz faces him like a man, but he probably attacks Young from behind.

Match #2: Non-Title Match: Jordynne Grace vs Savannah Evans w/ Gisele Shaw

Grace is pretty much the entire division at this point, with Mickie James, Deonna Purrazzo and Trinity all leaving over the last few months. I’m sure Grace has interest from WWE, too, but she’s probably in a hard place by being loyal to TNA and considering different pastures. Hannifan and Rehwoldt teased tension between Evans and Shaw, and tried to make us believe that they would actually have the World Champion lose 2 weeks out from a PLE. This match was over very quickly as Evans thought about a top rope move and Grace nailed the Muscle Buster for the win after only 3 minutes. I did not predict such an easy win.

Winner by pinfall: Jordynne Grace

Analysis: *1/2 That was short which could’ve been disappointing but the story was after the match when Shaw nailed Grace in the end with her Ultimate X and then turned to Evans and did the same, seemingly breaking their partnership. Shaw might be branching out on her own ahead of her championship match. That was a good post-match angle.

Gia Miller was about to interview Ash by Elegance when George Iceman shooed her out of the way and hyped Ash up. Ash showed up and announced that she was making her TNA in-ring debut next week.

Analysis: Finally, something of note for Ash (FKA Dana Brooke). I’m interested to see what she can do when given a push.

Alan Angels was back with his 2nd episode of Sound Check. He interviewed the returning Simon Gotch. Gotch was in a goofy tie and pants. Angels said he was giving Gotch a platform to tell his story. Gotch put over Alexander’s toughness, overcoming a broken neck and his other accomplishments. He reminded Angels that Gotch was in the ring the night that Alexander’s name was put on the map and went to superstardom. Gotch was bitter that Alexander has had success and become a World Champion. They showed highlights from that match from Destiny Wrestling, when Alexander pinned Gotch after a Tombstone. Gotch said he sees that image every night when he closes his eyes. He said Alexander built his TNA legacy on that pin. Gotch challenged Alexander to a match at No Surrender. Alexander burst into the studio and took down Gotch with a tackle and then the cameras were knocked over. That was the end of the segment.

Analysis: That was so much better than the first episode of Sound Check, probably because it was pretty much just Gotch talking and Angels listening. Gotch was intense and serious, which I am not used to after watching his NXT shtick with the Vaudevillians. I look forward to that match but I highly doubt Gotch wins.

Match #3: Match #2 in the Best of 3 Series for the TNA World Tag Team Championships: Bullet Club (c) vs Grizzled Young Veterans

I’d love to see GYV seal this in two matches but surely this goes to a 3rd at No Surrender. Drake having his own face on his trunks made me laugh. Towards the end of the match, Austin was playing up the arm injury and couldn’t even lift Bey for the 1-2-Sweet. GYV nailed the Doomsday Device but Bey kicked out at the last second. Bey hit a springboard Fame Asser on Gibson and made the tag to Austin. Gibson reached Drake, too. Austin was fighting with one arm but still met GYV with some stiff kicks. Drake used the arm ringer to take Austin down. They wanted Grit Your Teeth but Bey pulled Gibson out of the ring, and Austin rolled Drake up with a bridge for the win in match #2. This one went 11 ½ minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Bullet Club

Analysis: ***1/2 That was predictable but I still enjoyed it. It really picked up at the end. Making it the main event might have made the outcome a little less predictable. The tag team division needs more teams but I am happy for these two to continue fighting.

Dirty Dango cut his usual vignette about how much he hates professional wrestling. He invited tag teams to come and challenge him and Oleg Prudius.

There was another Mustafa Ali vignette about the return of TNA and wanting to be a big name in the rebrand.

Analysis: I have seen Ali’s booking dates and he doesn’t seem to have signed full-time but has several TNA dates this year. He has done really well since leaving WWE

The Good Hands cut a quick backstage promo offering their services to Mustafa Ali. They provoked Chris Sabin again and told him he was going to lose to Ali at No Surrender. There were 4 or 5 ‘fans’ with Skyler and Hotch who all had Ali t-shirts on. One actually walked into Sabin who he then clocked with a right hand.

Analysis: I like the use of the Good Hands here. They’re running with the story that time is running out for Sabin and Ali is going to take his title.

Match #4: TNA Digital Media Championship: Crazzy Steve (c) vs Rhino

Steve’s momentum has stalled a bit lately as he hasn’t been on TV much but he still remains TNA’s most interesting character in my view. This one was pretty physical from the get-go. Steve tried to use the championship on Rhino to no avail. Rhino hit the TKO for a close 2 count. He nailed a slightly off spinebuster and the fans chanted for the Gore. Steve met him with a knee and pulled a fork out of his knee pad. He tossed the fork away to distract the incompetent referee and blasted Rhino across the face with the title for the win after 6 minutes.

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

Analysis: **1/2 That was fine but we are supposed to believe that the referee is so incompetent that he would chase a fork out of the ring and not think that perhaps Steve would cheat with the title?

Match #5: Deaner vs Joe Hendry

Before the match, AJ Francis played a music video which was a remix of Hendry’s theme with his own lyrics. I’m not a rap fan but appreciate the way he worked to get a reaction from Hendry. Francis appeared on the stage and asked how Hendry felt when someone actually fought back against his stupid songs. Francis called the show TN…AJ Francis. Hendry feigned looking upset and said he had to have a backup video just in case he was speechless. Hendry played a video mocking AJ. There were multiple references to his botched dive on SmackDown a while back. I actually laughed out loud at the Crash Test Dummy-style acting that mocked AJ diving out of the ring. Francis started walking down to the ring so Deaner attacked Hendry from behind. Francis got in the ring and nailed a huge chokeslam on Hendry. He screamed at Hendry, asking him if this was funny. Rich Swann ran into the ring and took out Deaner with ease. He faced up to Francis but Francis backed down. He told Hendry it wasn’t over and then got in a few fans’ faces.

Analysis: That was funny when it needed to be and also serious when it needed to be. I actually like this feud. Deaner and Francis can pair up together and they don’t have to do any Design goofy stuff. Just have AJ be his heavy and Deaner can call the shots. I’m feeling a Swann heel turn, as he hasn’t done much lately.

They showed a video of Steve Maclin attacking Nic Nemeth at a show in Puerto Rico. Maclin was interviewed by Gia Miller. He said Nemeth wouldn’t be back in TNA again (sure!). Trent Seven and Mike Bailey confronted Maclin and the Rascalz. Seven challenged Maclin to a match next week.

Analysis: That should be great!

Match #6: Killer Kelly w/ Masha Slamovich vs Dani Luna w/ Jody Threat

I miss Luna’s stable, Subculture. They would instantly make the tag division that much better. Maybe Luna and Threat can be a serious team in this division moving forward but there’s just no depth to the women’s tag scene. Kelly was dominating until Luna got the surprise win with a roll up after only after 4 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Dani Luna

Analysis: ** MK Ultra, in heel mode now, attacked Luna and Threat post-match until Decay showed up and chased them off.

The commentators spent a few minutes previewing No Surrender which meant that this main event, which I would have no problem with headlining one of TNA’s PLEs, was left with only 9 minutes of TV time by the time Moose got into the ring. I literally say it every week and it’s just dumb. Less matches + more wrestling time = more quality wrestling

Match #7: Non-Title match: Moose vs Kushida

All parties are banned from ringside here. Kushida hit a springboard kick early to send Moose to the outside. He hit a springboard crossbody over the top but Moose caught him and tossed him into the ring apron.

(Commercial break)

Moose nailed a huge dropkick as soon as we returned to the action. He tried for a powerbomb on the ring apron and Kushida blocked it, then locked in the arm bar on the apron! Kushida targeted the left arm with kicks in the corner and a nice moonsault, which took Moose off his feet. Kushida hit another moonsault for 2 and transitioned into the Hoverboard Lock quickly. Moose used his long legs to reach the bottom rope. Kushida reversed a Uranage into an arm drag and then hit a Code Red for a great nearfall. Kushida stomped away at Moose’s face. He nailed a dropkick to Moose’s injured arm and the Tanaka Punch. Moose ducked under the springboard elbow and nailed the spear for the win after 7 minutes of TV time.

Winner by pinfall: Moose

Analysis: ***1/4 It’s tough to rate because it was only 7 minutes but as expected the action was great. Would I have loved another 10-15 minutes? No need to answer. I get advertising this as a big match to get the fan interest, but please schedule your TV time better.

The two stables had a brief brawl after the match, when the ringside ban was over. Knight, Shelley and Kushida stood tall as Impact went off the air.

Analysis: The stipulation for the match (throwing in the towel) between Moose and Shelley is really interesting. I’m looking forward to how it plays out.

Final Rating: 6.5/10

I really liked this week’s show. It felt like a much better show than last week, but I have only given it an extra 0.5. TNA does so many things well, all you want is for them to succeed. It seems so simple to have less matches on the show (3-4) that are given 10+ minutes each. There were a few shorter matches tonight that actually made sense due to post-match progression of angles (Grace/Shaw) or matches that didn’t even eventuate but had storyline focus too (Hendry/AJ). The best match of the show was the GYV/Bullet Club match, even though it was clear who was winning. I look forward to the third and final match in that series. I liked a lot of the backstage stuff this week. Sabin/Good Hands involvement on behalf of Mustafa Ali was fun. The Simon Gotch serious promo on Alan Angels’ talk show was very well done. Even though it was goofy, I thought the interaction between AJ Francis and Joe Hendry ended up coming off as serious and that’s an interesting little feud there. There’s lots going on at present, it’s just fitting it all in that is a challenge for TNA. Building up the Knockouts’ divisions (singles and tags) has to be a major focus moving forward, too.

The next TNA monthly-special is No Surrender on February 23rd from New Orleans. Here is the card so far:

* TNA World Championship: Moose (c) vs Alex Shelley. After the show they announced this as a No Surrender Rules match where the only way to win is when your ringside crew tosses in the towel on your behalf.
* TNA Knockouts’ Championship: Jordynne Grace (c) vs Gisele Shaw
* X-Division Championship: Chris Sabin (c) vs Mustafa Ali
* TNA Knockouts’ Tag Team Championships: Decay (c) vs MK Ultra
* Josh Alexander vs Simon Gotch
* 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!