TNA Impact Review – February 29, 2024

tna impact review february 29

A big 6-man tag match and Mustafa Ali’s X-Division Inauguration featured in this week’s TNA Impact edition, as we build towards the Sacrifice event.

TNA Impact: 29/2/24: Alario Centre, New Orleans: LA

‘In Memory’ dedication images for Virgil and Ole Anderson came across the screen as the show began. There were highlights from this past Friday’s No Surrender PLE. I rated it 6.75/10 and there were two really good matches in the World Tag Team Championship match between Bullet Club and GYV, as well as Mustafa Ali winning the X-Division Championship over Chris Sabin. The rest of the show was just there like most of these monthly-specials.

There was good news today as Alex Hammerstone was announced as the new TNA signing and will face Josh Alexander again at Sacrifice. I was very impressed by Hammerstone’s power and athleticism and he has tweeted back a few times so that shows he interacts and appreciates the positive fan feedback.

Mike Bailey entered for the first match of the evening

Match #1: Mike Bailey w/ Trent Seven vs Steve Maclin w/ The Rascalz

Maclin interfered in the No Surrender pre-show match, costing Bailey and Trent Seven the tag match against the Rascalz. Wentz and Miguel had Maclin shirts on as they came to ringside. Maclin dominated the early goings by attacking the same left leg that he targeted at No Surrender. He did multiple kicks to the leg whilst Bailey was trying to pull himself up by the ropes. Bailey blocked a kick but Maclin blasted him with a forearm shot. He put Bailey upside in the Tree of Woe and tried a corner spear, but Bailey pulled himself up which caused Maclin to crash into the steel post. Bailey hit a kick that sent Maclin out of the ring. He hit a beautiful twisting senton from inside the ring to take Maclin out on the floor. They exchanged chops on the ring apron and Maclin got some separation so hit a spear through the middle rope to the outside. Back in the ring, Maclin missed a headbutt from the top rope. Bailey fought back into the contest with a kick, but Miguel jumped up on the apron to distract him. Maclin nailed Mayhem for All, which looked like a finisher, but Bailey kicked out. Bailey countered KIA with a roll up and hit a series of kicks that sent Maclin into the corner. Maclin caught the Tornado Kick in the corner and hit a Buckle Bomb. He went for it again but Bailey turned it into a Poisonrana! Bailey went for Ultima Weapon but Maclin moved out of the way before the impact. He countered KIA with a bridge for a 2 count. Maclin held onto the arms and hit a huge KIA for the win after 8 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Steve Maclin

Analysis: ***1/2 A great opening match that (WAIT FOR IT) needed another 5 minutes at least. A match between these two can easily fit on a PLE but we all know they’re building to Maclin vs Nic Nemeth. Maclin vs Bailey could’ve been on No Surrender, rather than a pre-show tag match and Maclin not even involved in the show. I actually liked how there were very few nearfalls because there were lots of counters to Bailey’s kicks and the KIA. This made the ending seem really important and Maclin picked up a big win which he needed.

Maclin grabbed a microphone after the match and boasted about taking out Bailey and winning another match. He asked where Nemeth was and said he took him out too. Maclin called Nemeth a leech that has used TNA to get other opportunities. Nemeth appeared on the screen and held up his new IWGP Global Championship. He said he was in Japan or else he would be there to confront Maclin. Nemeth challenged Maclin to a title match at Sacrifice.

Analysis: There it is, at last. I have really enjoyed the build to this match and it should be great. I like how they showed Nemeth after his title win (whether he was actually in Japan or not doesn’t matter) as it looked legitimate and makes Sacrifice look even bigger now.

They recapped Frankie Kazarian losing the plot and destroying a referee after his loss to Eric Young at Sacrifice. There was a clip of Kaz trying to enter the building earlier in the day but Gia Miller informed him that he was not allowed to because he was suspended. Kaz bullied Miller and told her to ask Santino Marella if this was really the right thing to do.

Analysis: I like Kaz as an edgier heel who beats up referees rather than a cowardly one who runs away from a fight.

Match #2: Jake Something vs Laredo Kid

Something has his eyes set on the X-Division Championship, much to the disgust of my favourite TNA podcaster, Jason Siniscalchi. If he’s just a victim of Ali, then I’m fine with it. Something ran at Kid but missed and spilled to the floor. Kid tried a hurricanrana but Something held on and hit a sit-out powerbomb on the floor! That was a big move 60 seconds into the match. Back in the ring, Something hit a few big clubbing blows to the back. Kid avoided Into the Void and hit a few superkicks which didn’t have much effect. He had more success with a missile dropkick and a running forearm in the corner. Something rolled out of the way of a moonsault and Kid hit an awesome spike DDT but the crowd didn’t even react for some reason. Kid hit a moonsault for 2. He tried a roll up for another 2 count. Kid ran at Something who destroyed him with Into the Void to win the match after 3 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Jake Something

Analysis: *1/2 That could’ve been a lot better but it was all about making Something look great, which is fine.

Alan Angels was backstage and wanted Kon to be on Sound Check. Kon was quite reluctant but eventually agreed. Angels said he was a big fan of Kon. Kon said he doesn’t need any followers and that’s why he left The Design. He told Angels to watch his mouth because he was the baddest man in TNA. The lights flickered and PCO showed up. Angels complained that PCO was running the Sound Check which was funny. Kon and PCO were about to fight and the screen went black.

Analysis: After the DQ ending at No Surrender, I think Kon vs PCO will have a stipulation match next.

Match #3: AJ Francis & Deaner vs Rich Swann & Joe Hendry

This is AJ’s debut in TNA. Let’s hope he doesn’t do any dives to the outside. Hendry cut a promo before the match saying this was a huge moment for AJ and that all is family are gathered around the TV tonight. He said AJ wouldn’t want to flop. Hendry told the fans that it wouldn’t be nice to chant “AJ sucks” during his debut match, which of course the fans did. Swann and Deaner started off and Swann sent him to the outside with a kick. He went to dive to the outside but Francis stood in the way on the apron. This allowed Deaner to blast Swann from behind. Deaner went to run the ropes and Hendry stood in the way. Swann connected with a kick on Deaner and tagged in Hendry. Deaner ran the ropes and Swann hit a blind tag on Hendry. Deaner whipped Swann hard into the turnbuckle. He spent too much time taunting Swann and ran into a kick. Swann tagged in Hendry and they hit a double elbow on Deaner. Hendry sang his theme song and chopped Deaner twice at the moment when the crowd does the clapping part. He hit a big stalling suplex and nailed Francis with a cheap shot on the apron. Deaner nailed Hendry from behind with a clothesline. He tagged in Francis for the first time. Francis knocked Hendry down with a big shoulder tackle. He tossed Hendry into the corner and nailed a big splash. Francis hit a running knee in the corner and tagged in Deaner. Deaner choked Hendry out in the corner. He tagged Francis back in. Francis used the top rope to choke Hendry. He missed a running knee in the ropes and crotched himself. Hendry hit some uppercuts and chops on Francis. He ducked a clothesline and hit a clothesline. Francis bounced off the ropes and Hendry had him up on his shoulders for a moment but AJ bounced off. Francis tried a powerslam but Hendry countered in mid-air into a DDT. Swann and Deaner both tagged into the match. Swann hit a combination of strikes and a rolling somersault for 2. Francis broke up the pin but Swann slapped him hard. He missed a clothesline so Swann sent him to the outside. He hit a rolling senton on Francis on the outside. Swann went back into the ring and nailed Deaner with a springboard cutter. Hendry hit the Standing Ovation for the win after 12 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Rich Swann & Joe Hendry

Analysis: ***1/4 That was an entertaining tag match that gave Hendry a bit of momentum as he hasn’t done much for a while. I thought Francis did well in his limited ring time and sold some of Swann’s offense well. I would’ve given him the win in his ‘TNA debut’ but as it’s only a tag match and he didn’t take the pin then it’s okay. I expect Francis vs Hendry soon.

There was a vignette of the Decay, lamenting their Knockouts’ Tag Team Championship loss at No Surrender. They kept on talking but I tuned out.

Analysis: I was hoping that was the end of them but unfortunately not. There needs to be more teams in this division. Stat.

Dirty Dango was backstage with his crew, trying to recruit wrestlers for his wrestling school. Josh Alexander came in looking for a match. Dango said Alexander wasn’t welcome at his school and only wrestlers with under 1-year experience could apply. Alexander told him that it’s okay and he can go sort it out with Marella. Dango was not impressed.

Analysis: A simple way to set up a match. Dango’s disgust of ‘professional wrestling’ is still funny.

Mustafa Ali X-Division Inauguration Ceremony

The Good Hands were already in the ring and John Skyler introduced Ali. Ali entered with his security detail which look like they begin in the Men in Black films. He took his place at the microphone. Ali spoke as if he had won a presidential election. He kept saying that “We” did it, as if he was on the side of the fans. Ali said he was here to make the X-Division great again. He thanked the fans for believing in him and they were chanting for him. Former champion, Chris Sabin, interrupted him. He challenged Ali to step away from the podium and talk to him like a man. The fans were booing that. Sabin said the only thing that they had in common was that they agreed with change. He said Ali’s version of change in TNA was all about himself. Sabin said without the Good Hands, he would still be champion. Ali said that was slander and the Good Hands are there because they support the campaign. He said that at No Surrender there wasn’t one person that supported Sabin. Sabin said he wasn’t there to have a debate and then was jumped from behind by the Good Hands. Kevin Knight and Kushida ran to the ring for the save, as Ali bailed to the outside. Ali screamed that they ruined his moment as Sabin started to tear down all of the decorations that surrounded the ring.

Analysis: That was an effective segment in furthering the feud. Ali comes across as such a pompous heel, however the fans were chanting for him because they know how great he is. His heel shtick, as a politician-type, is entertaining without coming across as too cheesy.

George Iceman came rushing down to the ring in his ridiculously over-the-top manner to introduce Ash by Elegance. George asked Ash to reveal her big announcement. Ash said that next week, she would be having her said match. Huge!

Analysis: Obviously, this is shoved down our throats to get heel heat but I don’t mind it. It’s working and she’s getting TV time and reactions from the fans. Ash keeps her dialogue simple and we just get a little bit of her each week which is a good way to introduce her.

Mustafa Ali was furious backstage. He said that actions have consequences and stormed off with his X-Division Championship.

Match #4: #1 Contender’s Match for the TNA Knockouts’ Championship: Tasha Steelz vs Xia Brookside

This is their 3rd match and they’re tied 1-1. The first match that Brookside won was really good and then they had a really rushed 2nd match that Steelz won, which went under 5 minutes. Steelz hit a variation of the Jackhammer early on for a 2 count. She was taunting Jordynne Grace there. Steelz missed a clothesline in the corner and Brookside nailed her with a dropkick. Brookside hit a running crossbody for 2. Steelz poked Brookside in the eye to get the upper hand. She nailed a headbutt which sent Brookside to the mat. Steelz choked Xia out in the corner and stomped away. She pinned Brookside’s shoulders to the mat for another 2 count. Brookside started to fight back with 2 clotheslines and a running head scissors. She did some yelling and nailed a running knee in the corner. Steelz countered a cutter but was met with a kick in the corner. Brookside set up Steelz for the Brooksy Bomb but Steelz made it to the ring apron. Xia took her out with a kick and then hit a stiff running dropkick through the bottom rope. Brookside hit a running neckbreaker and landed awkwardly on her back. They got to their feet at the count of 6 and kept brawling until the referee counted them both out to 10. The match lasted 6 minutes.

Result: Double countout

Analysis: **3/4 They were building to a decent match until the lame finish. I am fine with a double count out but they were just punching about a metre from the ring so it’s not as if they couldn’t quickly run back in.

After the match, Jordynne Grace came out and said since they both want a title shot then let’s have a Triple Threat at Sacrifice.

Analysis: That’s a fresh match up. The other two don’t stand a chance but having two fresh challengers is a positive move.

Next week:

* Josh Alexander vs Dirty Dango
* Ash by Elegance is in action

Rhino had a pre-taped promo and said that he challenged Crazzy Steve to a no-disqualification match for the Digital Media Championship.

Analysis: I’m not sure when that will be but it’s a decent match and something they’ve been building to.

Match #6: The System w/ Alisha Edwards vs Eric Young & Bullet Club

This is a repeat of last week just with a different set of faces. Young vs Moose at Sacrifice is a first-time match up. That doesn’t make me want to see it more and it’s a pretty weak PLE main event to be honest. Moose and Young started the match off but Moose tagged in Myers straight away. Edwards was mouthing off so Young punched him off the apron. Young started biting the hand of Myers and hit a big boot. He tagged in Chris Bey and he and Ace Austin hit a double hip toss and dropkick for 2. Bey tagged in Austin and they hit a double Russian Legsweep for another 2 count. Myers made the tag to Edwards who chopped Bey down hard. He made a quick tag to Moose who choked Bey in the corner and hit another hard chop. Another quick tag to Myers, who tagged in Edwards and the System were trying to throw Bey off his game. Edwards tagged in Moose and he raked the chest of Bey. Moose tagged in Myers and held Bey down whilst Myers punched him. Bey flipped out of a back suplex attempt and tagged in Austin. They hit a double dropkick on Myers, who bailed to the outside. Austin tossed Myers inside the ring and fought off Edwards with an elbow. Moose ran up and rammed Austin into the ring apron. He threw Austin back into the ring and hit a back suplex for 1. Myers tried for a crossface submission attempt. Austin slowly got to his feet but ran into a running knee. Edwards tagged in and nailed some knee drops on Austin. Alisha choked Austin using the bottom rope whilst Edwards distracted the referee. Moose tagged in and he wrenched at the face of Austin. He chopped Austin in the corner and rammed him hard into the opposite corner. Moose tagged Edwards in again. There were a lot of derogatory chants towards the System at this point. Edwards made another tag to Myers, who whipped Austin hard into the turnbuckle. He gave Austin some knees in the chest and back. Moose tagged in again and knocked both Young and Bey off the apron so that they couldn’t tag in. He rammed Austin back into the heel corner and tagged in Edwards. Edwards nailed a big chop and tagged Moose in again. He whipped Austin into the corner but Austin blocked an attack with a kick. Austin nailed another kick to Moose and reached over the top to take Bey but the referee was distracted by Myers so he didn’t see the tag. Moose dragged Austin all the way across the ring to the heel corner and tagged in Myers. Myers knocked Bey off the apron but ran into a spinning kick from Austin. Austin finally made it to Young and Edwards tagged in for his team. Young hit a big suplex for 2. He nailed a Death Valley Driver on an incoming Myers, on top of Edwards for 2. Young went for the piledriver on Edwards but he sandbagged it. They traded big right hands and chops. Edwards hit a thumb to the eye and they both went for a clothesline. Apparently Moose and Bey both hit blind tags but the camera didn’t quite capture it. Moose went for a clothesline but missed and crotched himself on the top rope. Bey flew through the air but Moose caught him and nailed a powerbomb on the apron. Moose ran into a kick from Austin, then Myers speared Austin on the ring apron. Young went flying through the middle rope to take out Myers, who sold it so well that he went rolling up the ramp. Back in the ring, Bey tried to clothesline Moose down but he was just too big. Bey countered a Uranage with an arm drag. Austin came back in to double team Moose with a superkick. They hit the Art of Finesse/Fold combo on the champ but Edwards broke up the pin just in time. Young tried to toss Myers from the ring but was met with a superkick. Austin hit a springboard kick on Myers. Moose nailed Austin with a pump kick. Bey was setting up for a crossbody but Alisha distracted him on the apron. Moose hit a perfect dropkick on Bey. Edwards nailed an enziguiri and the backpack stunner on Bey. Myers hit the diving elbow for the win after 19 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The System

Analysis: ***1/2 That was slightly below last week’s 6-man tag main event but still pretty good. They follow the same formula really: isolate the face for about half the match, lots of quick tags and cheating, comeback by the face team that ultimately falls short due to more cheating. It works all over the wrestling world. That doesn’t mean it’s always great to watch, but it was another near 20-minute main event with very good action. I thought it would’ve been smart to put Young over, seeing as there’s only a week to Sacrifice but they keep building The System up as an unstoppable force and I think that’s good. When they do lose, it will feel like a really big deal. Young isn’t winning at Sacrifice, but at least they could’ve given him a bit of a better showing here to make him look like a threat.

After the match, they showed highlights of the end of the match and TNA went off air with the System celebrating.

Final Rating: 7/10

I enjoyed Impact again this week. I thought they did a good job in building half a card for Sacrifice in one show. There’s not much turnaround time between No Surrender and Sacrifice, which is really a stupid move, but it is what it is and I feel that already Sacrifice’s card is much better. The show opened and closed with good wrestling. Bailey and Maclin clicked and had a nice (albeit short) opening match that finally led to the announcement of Maclin vs Nemeth. The 6-man tag was the same stock-standard multi-man match which again had The System coming out on top, showing that they work together really well. Eric Young will be just another stepping stone for Moose and I’m not sure why they even bothered giving him a title shot if they aren’t even going to try to make him look like a threat to Moose’s championship. He wasn’t even in the match all that much and certainly didn’t hit any of his big moves. There’s a fresh Knockouts’ Championship feud which I’m fine with, Alex Hammerstone has signed and will fight Josh Alexander again, and I enjoyed the Mustafa Ali Inauguration even though I know some might think it was a little silly.

The next TNA monthly-special is Sacrifice next Friday, March 8th.

* 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
* Josh Alexander vs Alex Hammerstone
* Chris Sabin, Kushida & Kevin Knight vs Mustafa Ali & The Good Hands

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!