TNA Impact Review – March 14, 2024

TNA Impact March 14

TNA Impact featured a big six-man tag team match with Nic Nemeth and Steve Maclin on opposite sides, while X-Division Champion Mustafa Ali faced Chris Sabin.

This week we set our eyes towards the April PLE, Rebellion, after a very successful Sacrifice, where Nic Nemeth defeated Steve Maclin and Moose toppled Eric Young in the main event. The opening video showed highlights from the event.

TNA Impact: 14/3/24: St. Clair College in Windsor, ON, Canada

Match #1: X-Division Championship: Mustafa Ali (c) vs Chris Sabin

This is Sabin’s contractual rematch from No Surrender. Ali has been on a roll and was victorious in the 6-man tag match at Sacrifice, with the Grizzled Young Vets. Sabin attacked Ali right on the bell. He hit an Atomic Drop and put Ali on the top rope then in the Tree of Woe. Sabin stood on the groin of Ali in the corner, not sure how that’s legal. He hit a running dropkick with Ali still hung up. Ali fought out of the Cradle Shock and went for a springboard crossbody but Sabin caught him by the arm. Sabin had an arm bar for a short time but Ali made the ropes with his feet. Ali kicked Sabin hard, sending him out of the ring. He hit a running suicide dive then tossed Sabin back into the ring. Ali hit a rolling neckbreaker for 2. He stomped on Sabin, whilst talking trash. Ali tried to lock in a headlock but Sabin made it to his feet. Ali sent Sabin off the ropes and hit a forearm. He nailed a dropkick to the head for 1. Ali went for the sleeper hold and then took Sabin to the mat with the move. Sabin got to his feet but Ali nailed him with clubbing blows to the back and a DDT for a 2 count. Ali nailed a scoop slam in the corner. He went for the 450 but Sabin moved and hit a dropkick. Sabin hit a Tornado DDT for 2. He chopped Ali in the corner and placed him on the top turnbuckle. Sabin took too long in the corner so Ali sprang out. They both tried for powerbombs, but Ali hit a superkick. Sabin hit one of his own but missed a corner attack. Ali rolled through but ate another superkick. Ali put Sabin on his shoulders but Sabin backed him into the corner. Sabin went to the top but Ali cut him off. Ali went for a moonsault but Sabin caught him with a cutter as he fell. Sabin missed a dropkick in the corner and crashed into the bottom turnbuckle. Ali brought the championship into the ring but Sabin nailed him with a clothesline that sent Ali inside-out. Sabin contemplated using the title himself. He was conflicted. Sabin measured Ali but missed and crashed into the top turnbuckle. Ali rolled him up with his feet on the ropes to retain the title after 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall and STILL X-Division Champion: Mustafa Ali

Analysis: ***1/2 A pretty good match but well down on their No Surrender match with a lame ending. The character development of Sabin is solid, though. He is becoming desperate and resorted to a few heelish tactics to try and get the job done.

Sabin sat dejected in the ring after the match. Ali celebrated on the entrance ramp and mouthed off to Sabin.

Gia Miller interviewed Nic Nemeth, Mike Bailey and Trent Seven. Seven put over the tag team of he and Bailey. Bailey then said these three were the best trio in the history of professional wrestling. Who is writing this rubbish?! Nemeth said they would take Maclin and the Rascalz to the danger zone.

Analysis: I suppose that was meant to be fun but I thought it was silly. Nemeth should be trying to be taken seriously, not goofing around.

Let’s Hear from Josh Alexander

Alexander lost to Hammerstone at Sacrifice. Hammerstone hit a low blow and the Nightmare Pendulum to win and then stole Alexander’s headgear. It wasn’t as good as the Hard to Kill match, but Hammerstone has established a heel persona moving forward so that’s a development. The fans reacted positively towards Alexander, as always. Alexander asked the fans if they know what makes him special. He says there’s no other wrestler on the planet like him. Alexander put over his TNA World Title reign and his win over Will Ospreay. He said a year ago he had to relinquish his title in Windsor. Alexander said he was firmly focused on getting the championship back and listed some wrestlers he had beaten recently as obstacles in his way. He addressed Hammerstone next. Alexander said he rolled out the welcome mat for Hammerstone at Hard to Kill. He said he was happy to face him for Round Two at Sacrifice. Alexander said that when it came down to it, Hammerstone couldn’t beat him so had to resort to cheating. The fans chanted “He tapped out” because Hammerstone did when the referee was down. Alexander wanted to thank Hammerstone because for the first time in a long time, he is focused on something other than the TNA Championship. He told Hammerstone to come down to the ring for a fight. However, Dirty Dango’s music interrupted him instead. It was Alpha Bravo and Oleg Prudius, without Dango. Bravo said Alexander lost at Sacrifice because Dango softened him up on last week’s Impact. Dango attacked Alexander from behind. Alexander easily tossed him over the top rope. Prudius got into the ring but security cut him off. They separated the two men. Santino Marella came out and liked the situation he was seeing. Marella asked if the Impact Zone wanted a fight. He summoned a referee and commissioned the match.

Match #2: Josh Alexander vs Oleg Prudius

Prudius backed Alexander into the corner. He went for a powerslam but Alexander slipped off his shoulders. Alexander stomped down on Prudius’ ankle on the middle rope. He trapped Prudius in the centre of the ring and forced the submission after 30 seconds.

Winner by submission: Josh Alexander

Analysis: DUD For the record, that’s even a lower grade than a SQUASH. I understand that they need to make Alexander look unstoppable and focused but having a 300-pound heel like Prudius lose in 30 seconds is pathetic.

Crazzy Steve made his way to the ring for a promo. He stopped on the entrance ramp to speak. Steve put over the Digital Media Championship as being prestigious because he defends it every time he steps into the ring. Steve said there’s no one in TNA who can handle that kind of pressure. PCO’s music hit and here comes the big man. PCO was face-to-face with Steve when the lights came back on. Steve laughed and backed away.

Analysis: There’s a new feud and a fresh face for Steve to fight. I like it. It also makes sense because PCO beat Kon at Sacrifice, so he is moving on to a championship feud.

Match #3: Ace Austin vs Frankie Kazarian

They showed a backstage altercation between Bullet Club and Kaz after the Sacrifice main event, where Kaz cost Eric Young the TNA World Championship. Austin and Bey were sick of Kaz’s actions, which is how this match came about. Kaz made Jade Chung call him “The King of TNA” before the match. Austin rolled Kaz up instantly for a 2 count. He hit a clothesline in the corner and followed it up with several more. Kaz rolled out of the ring so Austin did his cartwheel/kick routine which always makes the heel look beyond dumb. Kaz dropped Austin on the top rope, throat-first. He put Austin up on the top rope then shoved him hard to the floor. Kaz stomped on Austin on the floor. He tossed him back in the ring and hit a diving legdrop over the top rope for 2. Kaz hit a running Russian Legsweep and posed for the fans. He choked Austin out against the middle rope and then suplexed him onto the top rope, ribs first. Kaz kicked Austin over the top rope in dominant fashion. He stomped away at Austin against the guard rail. Kaz choked Austin right in front of Bey then rolled back into the ring to reset the count. He went back in the ring and ran right into a dropkick. Austin kicked away at Kaz in the corner and clubbed him with right hands over the back. He sent Kaz flying with a monkey flip and then chopped him hard against the ropes. Austin connected with a springboard kick for 2. He missed the Fold so Kaz went for the Fade to Black, but Austin rolled him up for 2. Austin rolled out of the Chicken Wing submission. Kaz ran into the top turnbuckle but still caught Austin with the Electric Chair Drop for 2. Austin fought out of the submission again. Kaz tried for an Unprettier but Austin took out the knee with a dropkick. Kaz tried a Fade to Black again but Austin rolled out of it and tried to pin him with a bridge. Kaz locked in the Chicken Wing again and Austin tapped out to win the match after 10 mins.

Winner by submission: Frankie Kazarian

Analysis: ***1/2 That was really good and I thought the finish was clever. Austin kept slipping out of all of Kaz’s finishers and when he tried to reverse one into a pin, Kaz was crafty enough to block it and lock in the submission.

Kaz beat down Austin and Bey after the match until Young made the save. This feud continues but I’m not sure it’s one that everyone is clambering to see.

The Grizzled Young Vets confronted the Timesplitters backstage and boasted about their win at Sacrifice. Shelley got frustrated and said if they were the best they could prove it by facing them in a tag match.

Analysis: That’s fine by me. GYV losing in a tag title challenge so early in their TNA careers doesn’t give them many other places to go.

Match #4: AJ Francis vs Joe Hendry

This has been built up quite well and I thought they might face off at Sacrifice. It’s Francis’ TNA singles debut. Hendry cut a generic promo before the match on Francis. Francis cut him off before he was finished by clotheslining him from behind. The referee checked if Hendry could compete. Hendry said he was okay. Francis hit a big splash in the corner. He missed a second one and Hendry teed off with upper cuts. Hendry hit his own splash in the corner and did the 10 punch routine. Francis fought back with a suplex and hit a running knee in the corner. He talked trash to the camera. Francis stretched Hendry’s arm against the steel ring post. Hendry countered a chokeslam and tried to slam Francis but he was too big. Francis hit a back suplex for 2. He wrenched at the neck of Hendry on the mat. Hendry fought back with right hands to the gut. He blocked a corner attack and almost hit a slam but Francis was too heavy and fell on top of Hendry. Francis covered him for another 2 count. Hendry tried clotheslining Francis but the big man wouldn’t go down. Francis went for a back suplex but Hendry turned it into a DDT with a nice counter. He sent Francis off the ropes and finally nailed a scoop slam for 2. Why does every commentator call that a powerslam? It’s clearly not! Hendry went for a clothesline but Francis pulled the referee in the way and Hendry crashed into the official. Francis grabbed a steel chair but Hendry ducked under it. Hendry nailed a dropkick. Rich Swann ran down to the ring and stopped them from using the chair. He grabbed it and turned on Hendry. Swann cracked the chair over the back of Hendry then tore his TNA shirt off. Francis nailed a huge chokeslam on Hendry and the referee woke up to count the pinfall. The match went 7 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: AJ Francis

Analysis: ***1/4 I liked that a lot. A shorter match, but it had a storyline and finally something for Rich Swann. They can move on to Hendry vs Swann and Francis now, and Francis can act as a heavy for the cowardly Swann. Good stuff here.

George Iceman and Ash-by-Elegance were walking backstage looking for the Sound Check studio. Iceman was unimpressed by the set and demanded champagne for Ash. They sat down on the sound boxes in disgust. Iceman refused to sit down. Alan Angels was in a neck brace after Kon destroyed him last week. Angels put over Ash as the biggest star he has had on the show so far. Shout out to Josh Alexander there. Ash announced that next week she will be having her 3rd match in TNA. They put it over as some huge announcement. The camera was all over the place here. Some backstage dude walked through the shot.

Analysis: That was lame but good to get Ash on the show, I suppose.

Match #5: Non-Title match: Spitfire (Dani Luna & Jody Threat) vs Beaa Moss and Vanna Black

MK Ultra walked down to the ring to watch. So did Decay. Spitfire double-teamed Moss. Threat gave her a few clotheslines. Luna gave Black a sitout powerbomb and Threat covered for the pin. It was all over in under 2 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Spitfire

Analysis: SQUASH An easy win for the champs. Having the other teams in the division there might mean a triple threat at Rebellion.

Tasha Steelz came down to the commentary booth to cut a quick promo on Jordynne Grace. She said she didn’t lose at Sacrifice, Xia Brookside did. Steelz said if Grace is the true juggernaut, then she will take her on next week for the Knockouts’ Title.

Analysis: Oh yes, let’s give away one of Grace’s only big matches left on free TV!

Next week:

* TNA Knockouts’ Championship: Jordynne Grace (c) vs Tasha Steelz
* Kushida and Alex Shelley vs GYV
* Digital Media Championship: Crazzy Steve (c) vs PCO
* Ash by Elegance in action

Analysis: That’s a good looking lineup.

Match #6: Nic Nemeth & Speedball Mountain vs Steve Maclin & The Rascalz

Nemeth and Wentz began the match. Nemeth tried a quick pin for a 1 count. He hit a headlock takeover into a pin for another 1 count. Wentz got frustrated and tagged Maclin in. Nemeth avoided a back suplex and a KIA, then hit a Fame Asser for 2. He tagged in Seven, who did a double-team chop with Bailey on Maclin. Bailey tagged in, Seven hit a DDT and Bailey nailed a running Shooting Star Press for 2. He went to the top but Maclin cut him off quickly with a superplex for 2. There was a lot happening in the opening minutes. Maclin nailed a Uranage-style backbreaker for another 2 count. He took Nemeth off the ring apron with a cheap shot. Maclin nailed Bailey with knees to the back but Bailey fought back with forearms. Maclin swatted him away with a right hand and tagged Wentz in. Wentz went right for Seven on the apron. He turned around and ran into a dropkick from Bailey. Bailey made the tag to Seven, who hit a 1-arm powerbomb on the freshly-tagged in Miguel for a 2 count. Seven went to work on Miguel with some hard chops. Miguel avoided a DDT but ran into another chop. Wentz tried to save him but Seven somehow hit a double DDT on them both. Maclin saved Miguel from the Burning Hammer, then Miguel nailed a chop block on Seven’s knee. Miguel continued to target the left knee and made it to his corner to tag in Wentz, who got a 1 count. Maclin tagged in next and used the bottom rope to launch onto the knee of Seven. He went to the well one too many times and Seven rolled him up in mid-air for a nearfall. Maclin hammered Seven with a clothesline for 2. He tried to trap Seven in a leg-lock in the middle of the ring. Seven was fading and let his shoulders fall to the mat so the referee counted to 2. He used his right leg to break free of the submission. Maclin tagged Wentz and Seven tossed Maclin over the top rope. Wentz nailed a double-stomp on Seven in the corner. He missed a splash and then Maclin took out Bailey just when Seven was about to make the tag. Wentz hit a running knee on Seven in the corner and a handspring knee. Miguel tagged in and they measured Seven for a double-team but Seven hit a back body drop on Miguel, then launched Wentz from the top rope with a superplex. Seven finally made the tag to Nemeth. He took down Maclin with an Olympic Slam, then dropkicks to the Rascalz. Nemeth hit a splash on all of the heels in separate corners, then neckbreakers all around. He did his 10 elbow routine on Maclin but Miguel broke up the pinfall attempt. Nemeth tossed him from the ring and planted Maclin with a jumping DDT. Wentz hit an innovative Full Nelson Bomb on Nemeth but Bailey nailed him with a running knee and then double knees. Miguel took out Bailey with a dropkick. Seven came back in with the Rainmaker on Miguel. Maclin nailed a brutal-looking running knee on Seven, which knocked him to the outside. Nemeth went for a super kick but Maclin bundled him over the top rope. Maclin missed a suicide dive and took out Wentz by mistake. Miguel got mad and he left with Wentz. Bailey hit a moonsault to the outside on Maclin. He nailed a huge kick on Maclin in the middle of the ring. Maclin was left all alone so Nemeth destroyed him with the Danger Zone to win the match after 15 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Nic Nemeth & Speedball Mountain

Analysis: ***3/4 Impact have A LOT of 6-man tag team main events and they are usually pretty good, but I favoured this one because it wasn’t the usual 20+ minute match that gets dragged out with extended face-in-peril spots. They kept it to 15 minutes which meant lots of action. The Maclin/Rascalz relationship broke down which led to the loss in the end.

After the match, Moose, Eddie Edwards and Brian Myers ran to the ring to attack the victors. Nemeth hit a superkick on Moose but Alisha held his leg back as he was going for a second one. Moose blasted Nemeth and then Bailey in the face with the TNA World Championship. Seven got a shot to the face, too. The System stood over the fallen face trio as Impact went off the air.

Analysis: I might have missed a promo when Nemeth and friends said they were gunning for the titles and I apologise if I did because that attack just seemed random. I know Nemeth debuted by attacking Moose post-match at Hard to Kill and if that’s the next feud for him then I’m happy with that. A lot of people online have said it’s too early for Nemeth but he’s clearly the biggest name in the company and if he wins the title then I wouldn’t mind at all.

Final Rating: 7.5/10

I thought they put on a really good wrestling show this week. 4 matches that were of good to very good quality and the kick-start of a couple of new feuds. The main event 6-man tag was my favourite match, although I enjoyed Ali vs Sabin as the opener, and AJ Francis vs Joe Hendry had a nice heel turn of Rich Swann. All in all, a good week’s work for TNA.

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!