TNA Impact Review – May 23, 2024

TNA Wrestling May 23

This week on TNA Impact, we saw tag team partners face off for the right to challenge Mustafa Ali at Against All Odds.

TNA Wrestling: 23.5.24 from MegaCorp Pavilion, Newport, Kentucky

Firstly, I have to apologise for missing last week’s show. We had a rare family trip away and I didn’t catch the show until last night. I think it’s only the 2nd review I’ve missed in almost 2 years, so that’s not bad going considering I write it at about 10.00pm on a Friday night. Last week focused mainly on the absurd Champions vs Challengers 16-person tag match, in which Joe Hendry got the win for his team- hopefully catapulting him into championship calculations down the line. This was overshadowed by the bizarre Steph de Lander/ PCO segment post-match. There were so many people in that match that they couldn’t all fit on the ring apron. The entrances for all competitors still took less time than an Undertaker entrance at WrestleMania, though. Steve Maclin and Frankie Kazarian also had a decent match, where The Rascalz again cost Maclin and continued that feud. Ash-by-Elegance defeated Xia Brookside again, but only in a 4-minute match. Even with the majority of the show taken up by the main event, that is still poor timing by TNA.

We are straight into the opening match of the evening, after the promo video focused on the above events of last week.

Match #1: Broken Matt Hardy & Ryan Nemeth vs The System w/ Alisha

The feud between Hardy and the Nemeths and The System continues here. Hardy and Eddie Edwards started the match off. The crowd were behind Hardy as always- he’s been very over since returning. Hardy took Edwards down with a clothesline then focused on his left arm. He tagged in Nemeth and they double-teamed Eddie in the corner. Nemeth hit an elbow drop for a 1 count. Edwards backed Nemeth into the corner and tagged in Brian Myers. Nemeth tripped him up and hit a dropkick, that sent Myers to the outside. Alisha distracted Nemeth, so Myers hit a superkick that sent Ryan crashing off the ring apron. He tagged in Edwards, who did some chopping of Nemeth around the ring. He tagged Myers back in who grounded Nemeth with a headlock on the mat. He tripped Nemeth on the mat and tagged Edwards back in. Edwards teed off with right hands and then took Hardy off the apron. He tagged Myers back in and they double-teamed Nemeth in the corner with running elbows. Myers hit a suplex for 2. Edwards tagged back in but Nemeth used his quickness to nail a jumping DDT and reach Hardy for the tag. Myers almost tagged in but Hardy took him down with hip tosses. He bashed Myers’ head against the turnbuckle over and over. Hardy cut Edwards off as he ran in for the interference. He took them both down with a bulldog/ clothesline combo. Hardy nailed a DDT on both men for a 2 count on Myers. He went for a submission on Myers but Edwards broke it straight up. Edwards took Nemeth off the apron. He nailed Hardy with a clothesline in the corner. They wanted the Backpack Stunner/ elbow combination but Hardy sent Edwards into Myers on the turnbuckle and knocked him off. Hardy nailed Edwards with a Twist of Fate and Nemeth hit a high crossbody off the top rope for the win after 8 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Broken Matt Hardy & Ryan Nemeth

Analysis: *** That was a fun opening tag match that had the right outcome and the booking that should’ve occurred at Under Siege. I’m not sure about a crossbody as a finisher as that makes Myers look pretty weak. They should’ve just had Hardy win but they’re building to The System vs The Nemeths so it gives Ryan some momentum and legitimacy.

The System decked Nemeth straight after the match. Moose came in and nailed a spear on Hardy. It was a 3-on-2 beatdown. Moose hit another spear on Hardy. He got a steel chair from underneath the ring. Edwards set the chair around Nemeth’s neck, just like they took out Nic a few weeks back. Nic’s music hit and he ran down to the ring and vaulted over the top rope to take down Moose. The Nemeths chased The System out of the ring with steel chairs as they backed up the ramp.

Analysis: Great to see Nic back. That Tag Title match should be a lock for Against All Odds.

Gia Miller was backstage with the ABC. She hinted at dissension between the group. Ace Austin agreed with Miller as they lost last week to Speedball Mountain. He said before they get a Tag Team Title rematch they need to work some feelings out. I think they were going to talk to Santino about facing each other.

Analysis: This has been building for weeks. Hopefully it ends with one of them turning heel.

Still to come Jordynne Grace defends her Knockouts’ Title against Marti Belle, in the most random match of the year.

Analysis: What a mess this division is in. No story, no build- she hasn’t been on for over a year and just turns up again and gets a title shot.

Backstage, Santino made that Tag Team Title match officially: The System vs The Nemeths, as well as Hardy vs Moose for the World Championship at Against All Odds.

Analysis: After Hendry winning last week, I thought he might be in line for a shot but Hardy has been feuding with Moose so it makes sense. I don’t love it, though.

Match #2: The Rascalz vs Sinner & Saint

Sinner and Saint were Judas Icarus and Travis Williams. They were new to me. This was only a 4-minute match to get The Rascalz back on track. Miguel hit a spinebuster on Williams and Wentz nailed an assisted double stomp for the win.

Winners by pinfall: The Rascalz

Match Rating: **

Steve Maclin hit the ring straight after the match. He tossed Miguel into the steel post. He placed Wentz in the Tree of Woe and hit a spear on both men in the corner.

Analysis: I’m not sure where this feud goes, but it probably leads to Maclin getting a tag team partner and facing them at Against All Odds.

Gia Miller ran into Maclin backstage. She asked if that was payback. Maclin said it obviously was and that if they keep getting into his business then he will keep knocking them down. Mike Santana clapped Maclin and then challenged him to a rematch next week.

Analysis: Santana beat Maclin in his return at Under Siege. You knew a rematch was coming down the line.

Frankie Kazarian was berating ring announcer Jade Chung at ringside for some reason. He then announced that he was leaving the building. Cody Deaner made his way to the ring for a promo. He said he wasn’t sure what Kaz’s problem but he has a problem of his own to deal with so called out Jake Something to the ring. Something clobbered Deaner last week. I forgot that they were ‘cousins’. He entered the ring and got in Cody’s face. Deaner said he deserved his beating last week after what he has done to his family in the past. He said he didn’t want to fight against Jake, but with him. Deaner asked what the people wanted. He asked if the people wanted them to shake hands. Something hesitated so The Good Hands entered for the interruption. John Skyler said that it was obvious that Something doesn’t want a bar of Deaner. Something fired up and said he didn’t anyone to speak for him. Skyler made fun of Something’s intellect so Something destroyed him with a forearm. Deaner went to work on Hotch in the corner. He clotheslined him out of the ring and Something sent Skyler out of the ring. Santino Marella came out to make a tag team match and we went to a commercial break.

Match #3: Kentucky Fight Club match: Jake Something & Cody Deaner vs The Good Hands

I’m not sure what this match type is but I think Santino just wanted to say KFC. The action returned to Deaner and Hotch in the ring. Skyler made a blind tag and took down Deaner with a clothesline. He stomped on Deaner around the ring. Skyler nailed a hard forearm on Deaner in the corner and a snapmare then a running elbow for 2. Hotch made the tag and nailed an upper cut. He placed Deaner in the Tree of Woe and Something argued with the referee so the Good Hands double teamed Deaner in the corner and Skyler got a 2 count. He tagged in Hotch again and they choked Deaner against the middle rope. Hotch targeted the left shoulder of Deaner as he stretched out for a tag but Hotch hit a back suplex for 2. Skyler tagged in and hit a Russian Legsweep for 2. There was another quick tag to Hotch but Deaner ducked and made a diving tag to Something. The Good Hands rushed at Something on the apron but he decked Hotch. He stepped into the ring and went for a double choke slam but was blocked. They tried to whip Something across the ring but he was too strong. Something connected with a double clothesline. He went for a powerbomb on Skyler but Hotch hit an enziguiri. He bounced off the ropes into a clothesline. Skyler vaulted in with a slingshot DDT for a 2 count. He knocked Deaner off the ring apron with a cheap shot. Deaner came in and knocked Hotch off the top rope. He tossed Skyler into Something for Into the Void for the win after 6 minutes of TV time.

Winners by pinfall: Jake Something & Cody Deaner

Analysis: **1/2 It was fine for a match to pump the crowd up because they love Something and are warming to Deaner as a face. It gives the tag division another option if they want to go down that road. The Good Hands remain TNA’s resident job squad.

Gia Miller was backstage with Jordynne Grace. She reminded the audience that she is the most dominant woman in TNA history and nothing can stop the juggernaut.

The System were backstage, angry about Santino Marella’s announcements for Against All Odds. Joe Hendry walked in and reminded Myers that he pinned him last week. Moose was annoyed that Hendry interrupted them. Edwards called Hendry a joke and a clown. He said he had been winning titles for 20 years whilst Hendry is a flash in the pan. Edwards challenged Hendry for next week.

Analysis: A Hendry push is great. Go Joe!

George Iceman introduced Ash-by-Elegance to be an official observer for the Knockouts’ Championship match. Iceman said after Xia Brookside KO’d Ash last week, Ash is getting dental surgery to fix her teeth. He brought out a mannequin that had a champagne glass taped to her hand. At least they’re trying something different here.

Match #4: TNA Knockouts’ Championship: Jordynne Grace (c) vs Marti Belle

Marti and Allysin Kay had one match last year as a tag team called The Hex and then went away again because that’s how they book that division. Grace scored with a takedown and scored a quick 1 count. Belle backed her into the corner and nailed a hip attack then a running knee for 2. Grace bounced up and hit clubbing blows to Belle’s back and front. She ran off the ropes but Belle blocked her with a Hell’s Bells attempt. Grace fought out of it and hit a rolling Death Valley Driver. She tossed Belle into the corner and wanted the Muscle Buster but Belle hopped down and hit a rolling forearm for 1. Grace avoided a kick and went for the Juggernaut Driver but Belle hit the Stroke for 2. They kept showing Iceman pouring champagne for the mannequin. Grace wanted a spinebuster but Belle held onto the ropes. She overpowered her and hit the Juggernaut Driver for the win after 4 minutes.

Winner by pinfall AND STILL TNA Knockouts’ Champion: Jordynne Grace

Analysis: **1/4 That was short and dominant from Jordynne. Belle had a few moments but it was all about Grace being able to face anyone, anytime and win. Please give her a real feud soon.

Grace posed with the title on the stage when Allysin Kay attacked her from behind. Kay smashed the mannequin over Grace’s back. She tossed her back in the ring but Grace fought back with right hands. Belle attacked Grace from behind and they beat down the champ. They hit their double team finisher, Hex Marks the Spot, on Grace to leave her laying.

Analysis: Hopefully that means a feud for a few weeks between these ladies.

There were highlights of Under Siege where Jonathan Gresham returned to beat Kushida and poisoned him with the black ink. They then fast forwarded to Xplosion where Kushida fell ill, and his mouth was full of ink again. Santino was backstage trying to call Gresham and left a voicemail. He wanted to know why everyone who faced Gresham lately was getting sick. Santino made Gresham vs Sami Callihan for next week.

Analysis: As weird as this storyline is, I’m glad they’re persisting with it because it gives Gresham something to do and it is unique.

Match #5: Tasha Steelz vs Jody Threat w/ Dani Luna

It feels like Steelz is here for a few weeks then disappears for a few months. She’s much needed in this division. Threat was on fire early with clotheslines in the corner and an Exploder suplex for a 2 count. She whipped Steelz into the corner but Steelz dumped her to the ring apron and nailed a backstabber. Steelz nailed a PK for a 2 count back in the ring. Threat avoided a pump kick and hit a few clotheslines. She nailed a pump kick of her own and did he running knee in the ropes, followed by a German suplex. Steelz blocked a running attack. She went for a hurricanrana but Threat caught her with a powerbomb. Threat’s entourage told her to cover but she wanted her finisher. They argued so Steelz tossed Threat into the ring post and nailed a cutter for the win after 5 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Tasha Steelz

Analysis: ** They teased tension between the Spitfire tag team here which is not good because they’re the only non-champion team in the division. Don’t break them up.

PCO was backstage screaming for Steph (de Lander). That was it.

First Class were backstage talking about scouting the Champions vs Challengers match last week. They decided to kick off the First Class Summer by announcing that they were challenging…someone that will be revealed next week.

Next week:

* Eddie Edwards vs Joe Hendry
* Jonathan Gresham vs Sami Callihan
* Steve Maclin vs Mike Santana
* Gail Kim interviews Gisele Shaw

Analysis: Give those matches all 15 minutes and it will be one of the better shows of the year.

It’s main event time of a pretty underwhelming show so far.

Match #6: Trent Seven vs Mike Bailey

The winner of this match faces Mustafa Ali for the X-Division title at Against All Odds.

(Commercial break)

That wasn’t the best match to kick the main event match off. They came back to the action as if had been all level so far. They exchanged forearms early. Bailey went for a roll up but Seven tumbled to the outside. Bailey hit a moonsault to the outside. Back in the ring, Bailey went to work with chops to little effect. Seven nailed a hard chop to the back and then presented his back to Bailey. They shook hands and went back to the match. Seven feigned a chop and nailed a DDT. He hit a nice scoop sidewalk slam for 2. Bailey blocked a lariat and hit a big kick to the chest, then a running SSP for 2. He missed a running kick in the corner and Seven caught him with a one-hand spinebuster. Seven missed with a twisting senton from the top. Bailey missed a SSP and both men were down. Mustafa Ali strolled down to ringside as we went to another commercial break.

(Commercial break)

Back from the break and Bailey went for 2 roll ups for a 2 count each time. Seven avoided a kick but Bailey hit a botchy Poisonrana. Bailey went back to the top but Seven chopped him back to the mat, inside the ring. Seven went to the top but Bailey nailed him with a running kick. Seven turned him inside out with an awesome spinning scoop slam from the top for a 2 count. Ali was now cheering around ringside for both men. They exchanged some strikes and Seven hit the Seven Star Lariat for a close 2 count. Bailey broke free of a Full Nelson attempt but Seven hit a snap suplex and hit a suicide dive through the ropes. There was a man in a beautiful Everton top at ringside which is probably the highlight of the show for me so far. Bailey went for a running kick on the outside but Seven sidestepped and Bailey nailed Ali! Seven and Bailey went back to chopping each other and almost got counted out. They went back to chopping each other in the ring. There have been a lot of chops in the match. Bailey hit a number of hard kicks and then a huge PK to the face. He nailed a double knee strike to the chest of Seven and a superkick for 2. Bailey sent Seven into the corner and nailed the Tornado Kick. Seven avoided Ultima Weapon and tried for the Birming Hammer but Bailey landed on the ring apron. Seven hit the Seven Star Lariat on the ring apron and then the Birming Hammer on the apron, too! He sent Bailey back into the ring and went for another lariat but Bailey ducked and roll him up for 2. Seven hit a 3rd Seven Star Lariat but Bailey kicked out right before 3. Bailey hit a DDT from mid-air. Seven rolled to the ring apron but Bailey hit a superkick. Bailey hit double knees on the ring apron and then went to the top rope but Ali lunged at Bailey to distract him. Champagne Singh knocked Bailey off the apron and Seven hit the Birming Hammer for the win after 20 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Trent Seven

Analysis: ***1/2 It was a solid main event if you like guys chopping, kicking and clotheslining each other for 20 minutes. The finish was odd with Champagne Singh interfering. Perhaps he will be a new ally for Ali, but he’s hardly an exciting name. They can play out that Ali didn’t want to face Bailey, so they can leave that big match until Slammiversary. It was the best match on the show but unfortunately that wasn’t a tall order this evening.

Final Rating: 5.5/10

The opening tag and main event match were good, but everything else seemed very rushed in terms of match times and also booking-wise. Teasing breaking up of Spitfire (they’ve had 5 tag team matches), a return of the Deaners tagging together, an aging Matt Hardy in the title window and the revolving one-week challengers to Jordynne Grace does not make for compelling viewing. This year has seemed like TNA have had a big show and then spent the following weeks undoing all of their good work. I suppose the night didn’t help when some main event talent were absent in Josh Alexander, Hammerstone, Eric Young and Masha Slamovich. I try to be optimistic however the product is not compelling at present. Hopefully there’s a bounce back as we head towards the next show, Against All Odds.

The next TNA monthly special is Against All Odds on June 14th. Here’s the card so far:

* TNA World Championship: Moose (c) vs Matt Hardy
* TNA Tag Team Championships: The System (c) vs Nic & Ryan Nemeth
* TNA X-Division Championship: Mustafa Ali (c) vs Trent Seven

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!