TNA Impact Review – June 27, 2024

TNA Impact June 27

This week’s TNA Impact had two more spots in the Slammiversary main event on the line as Nic Nemeth faced Rich Swann while Steve Maclin battled Sami Callihan.

TNA Impact: 27.6.24 from Cicero Stadium, Chicago

There was an ‘In Memory’ clip for Sika Anoa’, Roman Reigns’ father and wrestling royalty, as the show began.

The opening video recapped last week’s events where Santino Marella announced that Moose would defend his TNA World Championship in a 6-way elimination match at Slammiversary. Josh Alexander beat Eric Young in the main event to punch his ticket to Toronto.

Jordynne Grace Speaks

Gia Miller was in the ring with the TNA Knockouts’ Champion. She said that Ash-By-Elegance has her attention. The match between Ash and Grace is on for tonight! The crowd was shocked by that. George Iceman came out in a neck brace. He introduced Ash, who was flanked by private security. She was not dressed for competition. Iceman said Grace should’ve read the fine print of the contract that she signed because the match will take place at Slammiversary. There was no crowd reaction to that. Iceman said that Ash is going to take a break in the Bahamas until then. He called Grace violent and demanded that the security remove Grace from the arena. This was not going to end well. Grace crushed two of them easily. She smashed a third with a backfist and the Juggernaut Driver. Grace went out of the ring and continued to beat the men down. Marella came down to the ring to calm her down. He berated the security, who were incapacitated, which was amusing. He ordered for the first match to begin.

Analysis: There was the predictable match announcement for Slammiversary. I think TNA have backed themselves into a corner over Ash. Grace has beaten everyone and a match with Ash would make sense, if she was undefeated but they made her lose a random match to Xia Brookside and she lost all credibility there. If she loses to Grace, then where does she go from there? I don’t see Grace losing, especially with her work in the NXT crossover unless she goes to WWE permanently. I don’t see that happening either. But she has beaten everyone so what else is there to do? A fellow TNA fan and a friend I bounce all sorts of TNA ideas off during the week has a theory that they play out the storyline that Ash has been working for NXT/WWE the whole time and wins with help from someone such as Tatum Paxley, to steal the title from TNA. It’s an interesting theory. I don’t know how they will play it and I’m probably more concerned than excited!

Match #1: Masha Slamovich w/ Alisha Edwards vs Xia Brookside

This is a fresh match up and I have been hoping for some more singles matches from Masha as she is one of the strongest in a dwindling division. Xia has had some good moments but she still really hasn’t been fully unleashed I feel. Masha backed Xia into the corner early and chopped her hard. She hit a running elbow but Brookside came back with a head scissors. She hit a monkey flip and Slamovich bailed to the outside. Brookside ran the ropes but Alisha held her leg. Slamovich nailed her from behind then hit a number of snapmares by the hair! She hit a hard running kick for 2. Masha distracted the referee so Alisha pulled Xia against the middle rope by her hair. She got another two count but Xia kicked out. Slamovich targeted the knee with stomps and then hit some short-arm clotheslines. She went back to a cover but Brookside kicked out again. Xia blocked a right hand and hit a number of forearms that sent Slamovich back into the corner. She nailed 2 clotheslines and a head scissors. Brookside hit a double knee attack in the corner and a neckbreaker. She hit a kick in the corner and dealt with Alisha who jumped up on the ring apron. Xia turned around into a spinning kick and Snow Plow for the 3 count after 6 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Masha Slamovich

Analysis: **1/2 That was turning into a decent match so another few minutes would’ve been appreciated. It was predictable with Alisha causing multiple distractions which led to the win for Masha. She doesn’t need help but that were hell bent on giving Alisha a title so here we are.

There was a recap of PCO and SDL’s date from last week which was gate-crashed by First Class. AJ Francis put SDL through a table with a chokeslam. He was very gentle.

The TNA Digital Champion, AJ Francis, Rich Swann and Whoo Kid were backstage. They were boasting about AJ’s title and then they pulled out another title (The International Heavyweight Championship) that AJ claimed he had paid cash for. Francis said that PCO was a fan of the title but said he could never hold it. He said that Swann would become a 2-time TNA Champion when he beats Nic Nemeth later on and then pins Moose at Slammiversary.

Analysis: These guys continue to impress. They’re just so cocky and unlikeable and it works.

Mustafa Ali’s State of the Union Address

Campaign Singh was in the ring to a chorus of boos. He introduced the X-Division Champion and MVP of TNA (my words not his), Mustafa Ali. Ali is from Chicago so the fans chanted for him even though he is a slime ball heel. He thanked the crowd for their support. With his one opening line, he made more sense than the whole 90-minute mess of the Presidential Debate. Ali complained of the distorted audio and unclear footage of the video that allegedly had him talking trash about Chicago a few weeks back. He said that Singh launched an investigation and the video was an AI fake. Ali proudly stated that he would never bad-mouth the great city of Chicago. He called Chicago number 1, mostly for its crime rate. That got some boos. Ali said it was time for a new contender to his title. The crowd chanted for Mike Bailey, which has been the predictable choice for the last few months. Ali wondered who was deserving of a shot at him. He questioned whether it was someone from TNA or another locker room. The Impact Zone chanted “We want Speedball” and Ali said that they didn’t. Ali ordered the fans to chant for Bailey to be ejected. Security confronted them and removed them from the audience! One of them tossed his drink on Ali as he was leaving so Ali nailed him with a cheap shot and brought him over the guard rail and continued to beat on him! Ali tossed him back into the ring and took off his jacket. Ali nailed the ‘fan’ with a bunch of right hands until Mike Bailey ran down and tackled Ali. Trent Seven broke them up but Ali continued to brawl with Bailey. Ali was incensed. Bailey left the ring, so Ali went around from behind and jumped on his back. Bailey grabbed the championship and held it in the air as Ali went back into the ring to get a microphone. Ali said he was sick of hearing about Bailey and how Ali was dodging him. Ali said he would ruin Bailey’s homecoming in Canada and made the challenge for Slammiversary.

Analysis: That was the segment we have needed for months. Ali has been avoiding Bailey and we will finally see them face off at Slammiversary. They could have a near 5-star match if given the time.

Mike Bailey addressed the situation backstage. He said that Ali’s campaign was starting to fall apart and he was starting to make mistakes. Bailey said Ali’s biggest mistake was challenging him at Slammiversary.

Analysis: Instant follow up to that segment which is good work. Bailey rarely gets a chance to talk so quick segments like that help him.

Match #2: ABC vs The Rascalz vs Jake Something & Cody Deaner

This is not a #1 Contender’s match. 2 men are legal and you can tag anyone in. Deaner had a microphone and said that if he and Something were happy to be back in the tag division and a win would put them in line for a title shot. Zachary Wentz teed off on Chicago in typical heel style. Trey Miguel questioned why Something and Deaner would get a shot over them. Chris Bey was sick of the talking and flew over the top rope to take Miguel out with a dive. He chopped him whilst Ace Austin held Miguel back. In the ring, it seemed Deaner and Wentz were legal. Something tagged in quickly and hammered Wentz with a hard right hand. He dragged Wentz back to the corner and tagged Deaner in. Deaner went for a DDT but Wentz backed him into the corner so Miguel could tag in. Miguel faked a knee injury so Wentz could choke Deaner out in the corner. When the referee turned around Miguel kipped up miraculously. He rammed Deaner into the top turnbuckle and tagged Wentz in. They hit a double-team double stomp for a 2 count. Wentz stretched out Deaner but he got to his knees and fought out with body shots. Wentz rammed him back into the corner and tagged Miguel in. He chopped Deaner and tagged out again. Deaner fought both Rascalz with right hands. He missed a Bionic Elbow and Miguel hit a dropkick then went for a pin but he wasn’t legal and the referee rightly spotted that. The Rascalz went for a double suplex but Deaner slipped out the back and Ace Austin tagged in. He hit a bulldog on Wentz and a neckbreaker to Miguel. Austin hit a legdrop on Miguel but Wentz rocked him with a superkick. Bey tried to hold his teammate but copped a running knee from Wentz. Wentz and Miguel hit dropkicks in the corner on both Bey and Austin in opposing corners. Miguel hit a spinebuster on Austin then Wentz nailed a double stomp from the middle rope but Bey broke the pin up. Wentz tossed Bey from the ring. Something got back up on the ring and chopped Miguel, making the tag. Something ran the ropes like a maniac and took down everyone in his path. That was impressive. Something hit a sit-out powerbomb on Austin for a close 2 count. Something tagged Deaner in and then went for a double suplex but were met with a double superkick from the Rascalz. Wentz clotheslined Something over the top rope but the big man landed on his feet on the outside. Miguel tried a head scissors on the outside but Something held on and powerbombed him into Wentz. He caught Austin in mid-air and dumped him (dangerously!) on the Rascalz on the floor. Bey hit a springboard kick to take Something down on the ring apron. He still wouldn’t be taken off his feet so Bey hit the Art of Finesse using the middle rope. ABC hit the Art of Finesse/ Fold combo on Deaner for the win after 10 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: ABC

Analysis: ***1/4 That was slow to start but the crowd and action improved when Something tagged in. He has some serious power and athleticism. The story is that the ABC are continuing to build back their momentum after having some issues which will be even more shocking (not to me!) when one of them turns after they lose their Tag Title rematch. You watch!

The System cut a promo backstage. Alisha and Eddie Edwards called out Santino for trying to stack the deck against them. Myers said their run was never going to end. Moose said he hasn’t lost a singles match for almost two years so he’s not surprised by Santino’s decision. He stated that one of the Slammiversary competitors could be a problem but JDC was going to sort that out. They told us to trust the System.

Analysis: I think we aren’t supposed to know who Moose is referring to, because they have lots of enemies.

There were highlights of Alexander vs Young from last week as we geared up for our 2nd Slammiversary qualifier. Sami Callihan had a promo video showing his Slammiversary highlights from his career. Steve Maclin also spoke and said the eyes of the world will be on TNA at Slammiversary and he’s ready to become TNA World Champion again.

Analysis: I like these videos because they make these qualifiers feel important and treat Slammiversary rightly as a big deal. Great stuff here. This was more of the Callihan that I want to see.

Match #3: Road to Slammiversary Qualifier: Steve Maclin vs Sami Callihan

The winner joins Moose and Josh Alexander in the 6-man elimination match for the TNA World Title. Maclin hit a Busaiku knee as the bell rang. Callihan followed up with the Cactus Driver 97 straight away but Maclin got his foot on the rope just before 3. He signalled for another one but Maclin cut him off with right hands. Maclin ducked a clothesline and hit one of his own. Callihan rolled to the outside and Maclin went for a suicide dive but Callihan side-stepped him and he crashed onto the entrance ramp. Back in the ring, Maclin hit another Busaiku knee with a diving headbutt for 2. Callihan fell out of the ring so Maclin hit a Mick Foley-style elbow drop on the floor. Callihan caught Maclin with a T-Bone suplex on the floor, after avoiding a clothesline. The referee’s count got to 9 before they both crawled back into the ring. They slugged it out with right hands and chops. Callihan hit a headbutt but Maclin caught him with a backbreaker for 2. Maclin ran at Callihan who hit him with an Exploder suplex into the bottom turnbuckle, which was a nasty landing. Callihan raked Maclin’s back and pulled him up to the top turnbuckle. Callihan tried for a Cactus Driver from the top. Maclin blocked it and clubbed him in the chest. Callihan caught him with a Death Valley Driver from the top and nailed the Cactus Driver 97 but Maclin kicked out! They battled on the ring apron and Maclin blocked another Cactus Driver attempt. There was a lot of chopping and headbutts. Callihan clotheslined Maclin back into the ring. He went to get back into the ring but Maclin caught him with the Busaiku knee again. Maclin nailed the KIA through the ropes for the win after 9 minutes.

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a very entertaining match for one that was under 10 minutes. They went for finishers from the opening bell and I liked how the commentators talked about the wrestlers taking things to another level due to the stakes of the match. There were suplexes on the outside, multiple pile drivers but Maclin only needed 1 KIA to send Callihan packing. I’m very glad to see him back in a PPV main event.

Match #4: Alan Angels vs Kushida

Kushida didn’t like Angels’ interviewing style last week so that was an easy set up for this match. We need more Kushida on TNA weekly TV. Angels tried to jump Kushida before he removed his jacket. He sent Angels to the outside and missed a baseball slide. Back in the ring, Kushida nailed a kick to the arm of Angels. Angels used the top rope to hang Kushida up. He nailed a dropkick to take Kushida down. Angels covered and got a 1 count. He hit a clothesline in the corner and a neckbreaker for 2. They exchanged kicks and Angels sent Kushida to the outside. He went for a crossbody but Kushida caught him in an arm bar and took him down, landing on the arm. Back in the ring, Kushida targeted the left arm again but Angels escaped. He nailed a Tanaka Punch after Angels was looking for a springboard attack. Angels tried to escape the Hoverboard Lock but Kushida trapped him and won by submission. The match went 3 minutes.

Winner by submission: Kushida

Analysis: ** An easy win for Kushida and it’s just good to see him on TV.

Post-match Jonathan Gresham attacked Kushida from behind. His suit does not complement his evil mask. Gresham tried to spit some of the poison ink into Kushida’s mouth but some TNA officials came down with gloves and masks on to stop him. Gresham backed down.

Analysis: That was odd that Gresham just relented but it keeps the story going.

There were highlights of Matt Hardy spearing his wife through a table by accident at Against All Odds. Matt was with Reby and Jeff backstage. He said that Santino granted him a mixed-tag match with the Edwards’ next week.

Analysis: I think they also taped The Hardys vs The System for the following show too. Awesome!

Next week:

* Road to Slammiversary qualifier: Joe Hendry vs Jake Something
* Road to Slammiversary qualifier: Mike Santana vs Frankie Kazarian
* Broken Matt & Reby Hardy vs Eddie and Alisha Edwards

There was a pre-taped video of Nic Nemeth and Rich Swann talking about Slammiversary. Swann said he had the advantage over Nemeth, because he has his focus just in TNA whereas Nemeth is travelling all over the place. Nemeth said nothing is bigger than the TNA World Championship and he wants to join the names who’ve held that title. Swann said he has taken the first class flights and is going all the way to the TNA World title. Nemeth put the match over and said he was here in TNA to become champion. His time is now.

Analysis: Another really good video. They have done a great job with these over the last two weeks.

Match #5: Road to Slammiversary Qualifier: Nic Nemeth vs Rich Swann w/ AJ Francis & DJ Whoo Kid

There was only 15 minutes of TV time left which seemed disappointing. Nemeth backed Swann into the corner in the early goings. Nemeth forced Swann to a knee with a modified Hammer Lock. He stretched out the opposite arm but Swann broke free with a kip up. Swann hit a single-leg dropkick and mocked Nemeth’s dancing. Swann went outside and celebrated with Kid and AJ. Nemeth told him to get back into the ring and fight. He took Swann to the mat with a headlock. Nemeth took Swann over with two arm drags and a dropkick. He taunted Swann with his signature dance. Nemeth tried a quick roll up for 1. It was still a very slow and technical start to the match, which I was not expecting. Nemeth hit a Russian Leg Sweep for another 1 count. He followed it up with another 2 nearfalls. DJ distracted the referee by offering Swann a drink so AJ could illegally trip Nemeth up as he set up for the superkick. Nemeth tried to drag Francis into the ring but he decked him with a can of drink and Swann rolled him up for 2. The referee somehow didn’t notice that Nemeth was soaking wet but he caught AJ trying to knock Nemeth out with a right hand and ejected him and DJ from ringside. Swann hit a clothesline to get back on track. He choked Nemeth out against the middle rope. Nemeth fought back with right hands to the mid-section but Swann took him down with a back elbow. Swann hit a running kick to the back. He put Nemeth in a choke but Nemeth got to his feet and battled out with elbow shots. Swann raked the eyes to get the advantage back. He scored with some right hands and then a huge kick to the head. Nemeth blocked a corner attack. He hit a couple of jumping clotheslines and a splash in the corner. Nemeth nailed a neckbreaker and did his jumping elbow drop for a 2 count. Swann nailed a clothesline for 2. Swann missed a corner splash and Nemeth went for a hurricanrana so Swann caught him in mid-air with a Buckle Bomb. Nemeth recovered quickly with a Fame Asser for 2. Nemeth quickly locked Swann in a sleeper hold on the mat. Swann rolled through and got to his feet. He hit a back elbow to break the hold. Nemeth went for the Danger Zone but Swann held the ropes to block the move. He hit a running kick for 2. Swann set up for the Frog Splash but Nemeth got his knees up and turned it into a quick pin for 2. Swann hit a spinning kick and a handspring cutter for a close 2 count. He has such a great offensive repertoire. They exchanged right hands and Nemeth nailed a headbutt. He scored with the superkick and went off the ropes but Swann hit one of his own. Nemeth hit a superkick and the jumping DDT. Swann wouldn’t go down so Nemeth nailed him with the Danger Zone for the win after 15 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Nic Nemeth

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a really good main event, that probably didn’t need the first five minutes of the feeling-out period. I would’ve preferred that they extended the exciting finishing sequence by a couple of minutes because that was more fitting of both wrestlers’ styles. It’s a clean win for Nemeth and he’s onto Slammiversary which is fast-becoming an All Star match. There are two more qualifiers next week and currently no heels apart from Moose. It might be all faces and Moose still comes out on top to look like the ultimate unbeatable champion.

Impact ended with Nemeth celebrating the victory.

Final Rating: 7.25/10

This was a much better week of TV for TNA, in terms of quality wrestling. Both of the Slammiversary qualifiers were very good (3.5/5) for different reasons. I enjoyed the urgency of Callihan vs. Maclin as they were at each other from the opening bell, whereas Swann and Nemeth were both very careful and avoiding mistakes from the get-go. 2 more matches for the PPV were added- both predictable yet the right call at this stage of storylines. Bailey vs Ali could easily steal the show and the time for a title change might be now. Grace vs Ash is seriously unpredictable for me as I don’t know where Ash will go if she loses but can Grace afford to drop the title with the current WWE crossover potential? It’s intriguing.

The next TNA PLE is Slammiversary from Montreal on July 20th. Here’s the card so far:

* TNA World Championship: 6-man elimination match: Moose (c) vs Josh Alexander vs Nic Nemeth vs Steve Maclin vs Santana/Kaz vs Something/Hendry
* TNA Knockouts’ Championship: Jordynne Grace (c) vs Ash-By-Elegance
* TNA X-Division Championship: Mustafa Ali (c) vs Mike Bailey

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