TNA Impact Review – March 28, 2024

TNA Impact March 28

Chris Sabin faced Steve Maclin in the main event on this week’s TNA Impact while a new Knockouts Title challenger was determined in a very unique match.

TNA Impact: 28/3/24: 2300 Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

There was the usual recap video from last week, where Mustafa Ali’s next challenger was crowned in Jake Something, Moose responded to Nic Nemeth’s Rebellion challenge and Jordynne Grace retained her Knockouts’ Championship against Tasha Steelz.

Match #1: 8-4-1 Match for the Knockouts’ Championship #1 Contendership
Ash-by-Elegance, Xia Brookside, Rosemary & Dani Luna vs Havok, Jody Threat, Masha Slamovich & Alisha Edwards

George Iceman’s microphone wasn’t working as he introduced Ash-by-Elegance. Ash entered but had an icepack on her face. Iceman said Ash couldn’t compete due to lip filler or something (it was very hard to hear him) so Steph de Lander replaced her. It’s been a while since De Lander, my fellow Aussie, has been in TNA.

Analysis: I think that’s a good move as it’s way too early to feed Ash to Jordynne Grace. I wasn’t sure who else could win apart from Ash but now it’s a bit more interesting.

The first match is an 8-women tag team match. Then the winning team faces off in a Fatal-4-Way for the chance to face Grace at Rebellion. Havok and Rosemary faced off early but De Lander tagged in. Alisha tagged in for her team and Luna came in and suplexed her. Luna hit a running clothesline for a quick 2 count. Luna bounced off the ropes but Edwards took her down and tagged in Masha Slamovich. She hit a few snapmares on Luna and two hard kicks for a 2 count. Masha chopped away at Luna and sent her off the ropes but copped a dropkick to the chin. Luna tagged in Brookside and Masha made it to Threat. Jody did her clothesline routine in the corner and went for a Fallaway Slam but Brookside slipped out the back. She sent her into the middle rope and hit a running knee. Threat tagged in Slamovich but Brookside caught her with a head scissors and a running double-knee in the corner. Brookside hit a neckbreaker for 2 and then all the Knockouts got into the ring and brawled. Luna tagged in for her team but Slamovich blocked her with a kick in the corner. Luna hit a nice Blue Thunder Bomb with an assist from the middle rope for a 2 count. Slamovich countered the Luna Landing with a spinning back kick. Luna rolled up Slamovich for 2. Luna used an inside cradle to get the win for her team after 6 minutes. I’m not sure if that was the right ending because Luna looked a little confused and the ring announcer took a long time to list the winners.

Winners by pinfall: Steph De Lander, Xia Brookside, Rosemary & Dani Luna

Analysis: ** It was a very basic and quick match to kick off the show. De Lander was the surprise entrant but was in the match for barely 30 seconds at the start. Brookside did some nice things and Luna got the surprise win to continue her winning ways over Masha Slamovich.

Match #2: Fatal-4-Way for the Knockouts’ Championship #1 Contendership

There are no disqualifications in this match. Slamovich did not take the loss well and took Luna out straight away before heading to the back. Rosemary and Brookside tried double-teaming De Lander but De Lander sent Rosemary into Brookside. Brookside flew out of the ring and crashed into Ash-by-Elegance. Rehwoldt was going ballistic and saying that Brookside had ruined Ash’s face. Ash sent Brookside into the steel ring post so the referee stepped in and sent her to the back. I’m not sure if you can actually do that in a 4-way match when there are no-disqualifications, but I’m no rule expert. All of a sudden Matt Cardona ran from the crowd and hit Radio Silence on Rosemary, then De Lander hit the TKO on Rosemary for the win. That portion of the match only went 3 minutes.

Winner by pinfall and number 1 contender: Steph De Lander

Analysis: ** There was a lot going on there for a 3-minute match. We saw the return of Cardona to help his friend De Lander pick up the win, as well as the feud of Ash and Brookside heating up. It’s always good to have some non-title feuds in the women’s division and now we have two fresh feuds in De Lander vs Grace and Ash vs Brookside. The match was short but the story-telling was good here. Cardona was a busy man this weekend!

De Lander and Cardona celebrated in the ring afterwards.

There was a Digital Exclusive video where Steve Maclin was arguing with The Rascalz backstage and it looked like their alliance was over. Maclin bumped into Chris Sabin, who continues to be in a bad mood and Sabin challenged him to a match which was tonight’s main event. Again, the sound here was not very good. They cut to Time Machine chatting backstage. Sabin was happy that Timesplitters got the win over GYV last week, so he can focus on Maclin tonight. Shelley got annoyed that Sabin was worried just about himself and he was only looking out for #1. Shelley said maybe he should do the same thing and stormed off.

Analysis: Sabin and Shelley’s TNA contracts were up and I think this was their last televised appearance or perhaps next week. I think they will either go out on the indies for a while or re-sign, but I don’t see them going to WWE or AEW. Just a hunch.

Ace Austin and Chris Bey were chatting backstage. Austin questioned why Bey was in an X-Division match last week when they should be focused on getting their tag titles back. Austin said Bey could do both but he should be focused on one goal. Bey said he was all for the team.

Analysis: Little bit of tension teased there which is fine as they don’t get much talking time.

GYV called out Deaner in the ring. They had their awful Liverpool tops and scarves on. Deaner came out looking positive. He told GYV to shut up. Deaner said that Santino Marella has given him permission to fight one of the GYV boys of his choosing. Deaner said it would be up to the people. Zack Gibson said you can’t trust the people of Philadelphia. Deaner does and he picked Gibson because the fans chanted loudest when he pointed at him. Then the crowd started chanting for both so he started brawling with both of GYV.

Match #3: Handicap match: GYV vs Deaner

The referee made the match official and Gibson clotheslined Deaner then tagged Drake in. Drake took Deaner down with a left hand. He quickly tagged Gibson back in and he talked trash to Deaner and slapped him. Deaner fired up and levelled Gibson with a series of right hands and an Atomic Drop. He hit a clothesline in the corner then a bulldog. Gibson broke out of a DDT attempt and hit a throat thrust. Drake choked Deaner with the scarf whilst Gibson distracted the referee. Drake tagged in and they hit Grit Your Teeth for the win after 3 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: GYV

Analysis: *3/4 This was another match that focused more on a storyline than wrestling quality. GYV should be beating Deaner easily but at least the new-face turn is something for Deaner in terms of a story. It will take me a while to get used to this character but he seems to be embracing it. It’s not the night for classic or long matches, that’s for sure.

Gia Miller was with Nic Nemeth backstage. Nemeth said mind games are what The System does. Alex Shelley interrupted straight away. He said he would be World Champion if Kushida didn’t throw in the towel. Nemeth said Shelley was a legend in TNA and wanted to face Shelley when he wins the title. Shelley said let’s not wait and Nemeth accepted a match (maybe for next week).

Let’s Hear from Josh Alexander

Alexander put over the arena as having great history as it’s a famous ECW site. He said this stadium has had a lot of scores settled in it and he has one to settle tonight. Alexander called out Hammerstone. Tracy Williams made his way to the ring instead. I am not familiar with him. He said not to worry about Hammerstone, but focus on him because he has been waiting for his opportunity. Williams said if Hammerstone doesn’t want a fight, Williams sure does. Alexander said the match is on, so the battle of the bald, bearded men is up next.

Match #4: Josh Alexander vs Tracy Williams

Williams tried a roll up and tried it into a face lock which Alexander fought out of. Williams slipped out of a suplex and hit a knee to the ribs. Alexander suplexed Williams out of the ring. For some reason they went for a long shot and I’m not sure that was on purpose but that probably would’ve been a good time for a close up. Alexander hit his running crossbody through the ropes. He chopped Williams around the ringside area and tossed him back into the ring. Williams fought out of an ankle lock so Alexander chopped him hard then hit a powerslam. Williams caught Alexander’s leg to avoid a kick and hit a back suplex. He hit a running elbow in the corner and a superplex for 2. Alexander tried for an ankle lock but Williams sent him into the turnbuckle face-first. He blocked a running Williams and hit a vicious backbreaker. Williams sent Alexander over his head with a back body drop. Alexander wanted a superplex but Williams used the turnbuckle to hit a DDT. He nailed a clothesline and a Death Valley Driver for 2. Williams tried to lock in the STF but Alexander rolled him over for a pin for 2. Alexander fought out of a piledriver with a straight right hand and a German suplex. He went into Kurt Angle mode and they exchanged Big Boots. Alexander hit the C4 Spike for the win after 10 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Josh Alexander

Analysis: ***1/2 It was the typical hard-hitting match that involves Alexander. Why can’t TNA build up someone like Williams? Will we even see him again and if so, what was the point? Give an Impact regular a chance to have 10-minutes with Josh instead. I don’t watch ROH so I had no idea who he was. What about a 2-minute video package of highlights? They do this all the time and it’s annoying. Very good match, sure, but what does it achieve?

Alexander and Williams shook hands after the match then Hammerstone attacked them from behind. He launched Alexander across the ring with a belly-to-belly suplex. Hammerstone strapped the headgear on Williams and put him in the Torture Rack. Hammerstone posed with Alexander’s headgear as his music played.

Analysis: That’s exactly how he should be booked. Good stuff!

X-Division Champion Mustafa Ali was posing backstage in front of his PWI cover. Awesome for him, he deserves it. Ali complained to Santino that Jake Something shouldn’t be allowed to compete for the title because he is too big. Santino said there were no weight limits and mentioned that Samoa Joe was a humungous X-Division Champion. Ali then complained about Something’s name. Santino said all the stuff that Ali was complaining about didn’t matter and you could have a name like Rhino and be X-Division Champion. Ali ridiculed Rhino’s name and then Rhino was right behind him. Rhino wanted Santino to make it an Old School Rules match next week and he agreed.

Analysis: That will be fun. I still like Rhino and find him entertaining. Ali is great.

Match #4: Mike Bailey w/ Trent Seven vs Eddie Edwards w/ Brian Myers & Alisha

It’s Speedball Mountain challenging The System for the Tag Team Championships at Rebellion so they have the obligatory singles match here. Edwards chopped Bailey down hard at the beginning of the match. Bailey used his athleticism to avoid an oncoming Edwards and nail a big kick. He flew through the air to take Edwards down on the outside. Myers distracted Bailey so Edwards knocked him to the mat. He chopped Bailey hard against the ring apron. Back in the ring, Edwards nailed a suplex and got a 2 count. He tried a few more pins but Bailey still kicked out at 2. Edwards stomped away on Bailey. Bailey tried to fight back with a chop but Edwards chopped him harder. Bailey fought out of the Backpack Stunner with a dropkick off the middle rope. He hit an axe kick and a running SSP for 2. That was close. Bailey tried for a running suicide dive but stopped himself when Myers tried to interfere again. He side-stepped him and nailed a twisting moonsault from the ropes to take out Edwards on the outside. That was cool. Edwards caught Bailey’s Tornado Kick and nailed the Backpack Stunner for 2. Bailey kicked Edwards hard in the chest and Edwards responded with a chop. They went back and forth and Bailey got on top with kicks. Edwards was down to one knee but avoided another kick and took Bailey’s head off with a clothesline. Bailey countered a Tiger Driver with a double knees to the chest. Myers grabbed Bailey on the apron but Seven took him out with a punch. Edwards hit a running kick that took Seven off the ring apron. Bailey rolled up Edwards for 2. He tried a backslide for 2 again. Bailey hit a thrust kick but Hannifan called it a superkick. Alisha tried to distract Bailey but he fought her off. He went for Ultima Weapon but Edwards moved out of the way then followed up with the Boston Knee Party for the win after 11 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Eddie Edwards

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a very good match, even with a little too much interference for my liking. They matched up very well and the crowd was really into it. Edwards continues to have great matches when given time and Bailey needs to be pushed more as a main event singles star, I believe. That won’t happen for a while though.

There was a video of PCO yelling about Kon. They have a Monster’s Ball match up in the future.

There was a vignette for the FBI on TNA next week. That’s random but maybe it has to do with being at the ECW arena.

Frankie Kazarian cut a promo on Eric Young. Kaz said he will better Young’s insanity in Full Metal Mayhem and called himself the King of TNA. Chris Bey confronted him and told him he wanted Kaz’s throne next week. The match is on for next week.

They showed a replay of Rich Swann’s heel turn two weeks ago. Finally, he has a storyline after joining AJ Francis. They were in the ring for a promo. Francis called their duo: First Class. Swann was dressed like AJ. Francis said he couldn’t be happier to be aligned with Swann. They talked trash about Philadelphia’s football team. Francis mocked the fans for asking why Swann turned heel. Swann said he was a former World Champion and has been in a slump. He said Francis convinced him that he could get back to those heights again, even though Swann declined him again and again. Swann was sick of losing and needed a change. He did the usual ‘I don’t need the fans’ shtick. Francis said if you’re not first class, you’re last.

Analysis: It was a good promo to establish the new team. I’d rather these guys on the tag title scene than the random teams they throw together. I think they can do well together.

Tom Hannifan had a quick sit-down interview with Laredo Kid. He spoke very quickly and it wasn’t easy to catch it all but he gave a rundown of his Lucha career so far. This is what they should’ve done for Tracy Williams, or something similar. Laredo Kid reminded us that Crazzy Steve took him out last year. He said he was coming for Steve’s title.

Next week:

  • Old School Rules: Mustafa Ali vs Rhino (Non-title)
  • Chris Bey vs Frankie Kazarian
  • Ash-by-Elegance vs Xia Brookside
  • Alex Shelley vs Nic Nemeth

Analysis: That’s probably the best line-up on paper for the year. I was wrong about building up Ash vs Xia to Rebellion!

Match #5: Steve Maclin vs Chris Sabin

Sabin outwrestled Maclin early on. Maclin tried a suicide dive but bombed. Sabin targeted the left arm and tossed Maclin into the ring post. He stretched Maclin’s shoulder out against the post. Maclin rolled back into the ring and Sabin trapped his left arm in a submission. Maclin rolled through and tossed Sabin into the middle ropes, rib-first. He hit a big backbreaker for 2. Maclin hit a running knee with Sabin against the bottom rope. He locked Sabin in a modified crossface. He pressed his knee into the back of Sabin but Sabin managed to get to his feet. Maclin nailed an Olympic Slam for a 2 count. He put Sabin on the top rope and chopped him. Sabin fought him off and nailed a missile dropkick from the top. He rolled up Maclin for a 2 count. Sabin tried a crucifix pin for 2. He nailed a neckbreaker for another nearfall. Sabin tried for a crossface but Maclin rolled over and tried to steal a pin by holding the ropes. They went to the outside and Maclin hit a running knee. He hit a headbutt from the middle rope for 2. Sabin avoided Maclin’s running crossbody so Sabin hung him up on the top rope. Maclin recovered quickly with a brutal clothesline. Maclin nailed Mayhem for All for a close 2 count. That might have been a nasty landing for Sabin as the referee checked on him. They brawled in the middle of the ring with right hands. Maclin hit Sabin with such force that he sent him to the outside. He tried for a suicide dive but crashed and burned. Maclin made it back into the ring at the referee’s 9 count. Sabin hit a Satellite DDT for a close 2 count. He spent too long setting up a move in the corner so Maclin set him up in the Tree of Woe and hit a spear. Sabin tried a pin with a bridge for a 2 count. Maclin held on and nailed the KIA for the win after 16 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Steve Maclin

Analysis: ***3/4 A terrific main event with a clean win for Maclin over an outgoing Sabin. I’m not sure what they have planned for Maclin at Rebellion but he needs to get back to pick up big wins, now that he is finished with Nemeth. Since Maclin crashed into the timekeeper against Nemeth at Sacrifice, they replayed the spot about 3 times tonight with Maclin missing the dive to the outside. I found that odd and then he still won the match anyway. Sabin has great matches with everyone so I wasn’t surprised that it was great.

Impact went off the air with Maclin celebrating.

Final Rating: 7/10

I was worried about the show when we had the 8-4-1 opener finished within 5 minutes. The rest of the show had 3 matches and I rated them all 3.5/5 or higher. 5 matches on a weekly show with the main event getting over 15 minutes is what you want as a fan. Well, me as a fan! Maclin vs Sabin just nudged the other two matches, even with very little backstory. I liked Josh Alexander vs Tracy Williams. Williams showed grit and toughness in his TNA debut and looked good in there with TNA’s best wrestler. They advanced the Alexander/Hammerstone feud a little, too. Eddie Edwards and Mike Bailey had a nice match, as well. Edwards continues to have really solid singles matches and I would like to see Bailey featured more but he’s stuck in a tag team at present. I’m not sure whose idea that is, but when he’s getting some of the best receptions from the crowd each week, you have to think about the best way to use him. In a team? I’m not so sure. It was great to see the duo of Steph De Lander and Matt Cardona back in TNA. I don’t think Steph is beating Jordynne Grace, but I’m happy with a fresh feud there.

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!