TNA No Surrender 2024 Review

tna no surrender 2024 poster

All of the main titles were on the line as TNA presented No Surrender with a main event of Mustafa Ali making his TNA debut against Chris Sabin for the X-Division Title.

TNA started the year off on fire with the rebrand from Impact to TNA and the great Hard to Kill PPV, which culminated in Moose becoming World Champion and being confronted by the debuting Nic Nemeth. They took this momentum into the next few weeks and signed some new talent such as GYV, Ash by Elegance, Mustafa Ali and Simon Gotch. Sure, these aren’t massive names in the industry, but anyone who wants to sign with TNA and make themselves better performers and the company better is all right by me.

Then, out of nowhere, came the sacking of TNA President Scott D’Amore. That led to a lot of discussion online and tension between the wrestlers and the company that owns TNA, Anthem. The talent drafted a letter to Anthem almost demanding for the reinstatement of D’Amore. Then TNA announced that they had exercised the right to extend Josh Alexander’s contact for another year. It was the least genuine, amicable contract announcement that you would probably ever read. It’s gone from an exciting time to a testing time in TNA but the talent are here to do what they do best and that’s put on a show. I’ll go summary style for most of the matches as it’s a big wrestling weekend here in Australia, and cover some matches in play-by-play.

TNA Impact: 23/2/24 Alario Centre: New Orleans, LA.

The Pre-Show matches were both won by heel tag teams: The System defeated Kushida and Kevin Knight, and The Rascalz beat Trent Seven and Mike Bailey. It hasn’t been a good few weeks for those four face wrestlers.

There was the usual enjoyable opening video that put over the TNA rebuild and how they’re going to put on a great show.

Match #1: #1 Contenders Match: Eric Young vs Frankie Kazarian

I thought this was a little too early to have this match between the two, as the feud is pretty new but it should be a good opener. Young hit his big elbow drop and Kaz nailed the Fade to Black which I thought would have been enough to win. Kaz got in the referee’s face about his counting and Young tied him up in a crucifix pin for the win after 9 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Eric Young

Analysis: *** It was okay as the opener but I felt there should’ve been a bit more feeling in the match. Young should’ve been a bit more aggressive as Kaz has been beating him up and trash-talking a lot. I felt it lacked a bit of heat. I’m not surprised by Young winning as I think Moose will win the main event and they don’t want to have a heel vs heel title match at the next PLE, Sacrifice.

After the match, Kaz stopped the referee from leaving the ring. He argued that the count was slow and then he clobbered the ref with a clothesline. Now, there’s some feeling to the match. Kaz gently stomped away at the referee and poked him out of the ring. The ref begged for mercy but Kaz nailed him with a kick to the head. There was no sign of anyone coming down to assist the referee. Kaz pulled the ref back into the ring and beat him senseless with right hands. About 20 TNA officials then finally made their way to the ring to stop Kaz.

Analysis: That was an interesting post-match angle that gives Kaz some heat back after losing the match.

Match #2: TNA World Tag Team Championships: Match #3 in the Best-of-3-Series: Bullet Club (c) vs Grizzled Young Vets

I have enjoyed how this feud has played out, instead of just having a regular match. I guess they have stretched things out a bit because the division is not super hot right now. GYV spent a lot of time on offense in the deciding match. Bey was the face-in-peril for the majority. Austin finally made the tag and took GYV to school with a double-dropkick off the top rope. He nailed Gibson with his vaulting Soar to Glory over the top rope to the outside. Austin set Gibson up in the centre of the ring for Bey to nail the Frog Splash on. Austin hit a spinning senton on Drake for Bey to cover for 2. They went for the 1-2-Sweet but Drake caught Bey with a Sleeper in mid-air. Gibson had Austin in the opposite corner in a submission stretch. The referee checked Bey’s arm but he held it up before 3. He rolled up Drake with a surprise pin for 2. Drake hit an enziguiri on Austin who was on the ring apron. They hit a Doomsday Device but Drake dove through the middle rope instead of the usual off the top rope. That was cool. Gibson tagged in and Bey tried to fight both of the heels off. The GYV boys crashed into each other and Bey nailed a Brainbuster on Drake. Bey hit a Fame Asser on Gibson. He went for the Art of Finesse but Gibson blocked in and nailed a Lung blower in the corner. Drake went Coast to Coast and destroyed Bey but somehow he kicked out. I thought that might have been it there. Austin used the scarf to drag Gibson down to the mat. He flipped Bey towards both members of GYV and he hit the Art of Finesse on them both. Austin hit the Fold on Drake for the win after 18 minutes.

Winner by pinfall AND STILL TNA World Tag Team Champions: Bullet Club

Analysis: ***3/4 That was a terrific tag team match that started off slow but worked into an absolute frenzy by the end and the loud were fully involved. GYV not winning was disappointing, but they have certainly proven themselves to be a legitimate team in TNA and undoubtedly won over some new fans.

There were highlights of the Rascalz cheating to win their pre-show tag match thanks to Steve Maclin.

Match #3: Kon vs PCO

These two beasts brawled outside before the bell rang. Kon hit a chokeslam on the ring apron but PCO did his invincibility shtick and sat right up. He missed the Deanimator on the ring apron. That would not tickle. Kon grabbed a steel chair and bashed PCO repeatedly with it, causing a DQ. It only went 3 minutes. Kon did the neck wrench after the match.

Winner by Disqualification: PCO

Analysis: ** It was slow but we expected that anyway, but they did the obligatory beating the stuffing out of each other routine for at least a few minutes.

After the match, Kon tossed the timekeeper around the ring. PCO sat up and went back into the ring and clotheslined Kon out of the ring. He hit a suicide dive to the outside to take out Kon. PCO hit Kon over and over again on the back with the steel chair on the entrance ramp. PCO saluted the fans so Kon hit a low blow. He picked up PCO and nailed a back suplex on the stage. Kon stalked PCO and zip-tied him to the entrance tunnel. He grabbed the steel chair and placed it around PCO’s neck and hit the neck wrench again. PCO screamed at Kon, who backed away.

Analysis: That was far better than the match and I guess it leads to a stipulation match soon.

Alex Shelley was giving a pep talk to Sabin, Kushida and Knight. He said he had sympathy for Knight and Kushida after their loss. Shelley said he needs them out there tonight but not Sabin as he has to focus on the main event.

Analysis: Ali vs Sabin to headline the show. Nice.

Match #4: TNA Knockouts’ Tag Team Championships: Decay (c) vs MK Ultra

Decay won the titles back at Hard to Kill in an impromptu match. MK Ultra have done well as a team but I much prefer them as singles wrestlers. This division is hanging on by a thread and they really need an injection of teams and talent. I had little to no interest in this match. I find Decay sloppy and not at all entertaining, as I have written about many times in the last 18 months. Surprisingly, they got the win and became 2 time champions after Slamovich countered a spear attempt from Rosemary into the Snow Plow. The match went 8 minutes. After the match, they nailed both members of Decay with the tag titles and Dani Luna and Jody Threat chased them out of the ring.

Winners AND NEW TNA Knockouts’ Tag Team Champions: MK Ultra

Analysis: **1/2 This match automatically gets a pass mark because Decay lost. Now Threat and Luna can challenge MK Ultra and we can have a face/heel dynamic.

Backstage, Moose warned his stable mates not to throw in the towel under any circumstances.

Analysis: I am really intrigued by how they book this match. I feel a turn of some kind coming or something screwy and because it’s not the main event I think it’s a no-brainer that Moose retains.

Match #5: Josh Alexander vs Simon Gotch

I’ll go play-by-play for this match because I have genuine interest here. Gotch’s bitter, “What about me?” character that has been injected straight into his TNA story has been very well done so far. The bell sounded and Gotch flipped off Alexander. Alexander took Gotch over with a few side headlocks. Gotch applied a leg scissors to change the momentum but Alexander used his leg strength to flip out of it and gain a leg scissors of his own. It was mat-based wrestling to start the match. Gotch made his feet but Alexander locked in a sleeper. He hit a snapmare and went straight back to the sleeper. Gotch slipped out and tried for an arm bar but that didn’t last long as Alexander went for the ankle lock. Gotch made the ropes quickly. He spent some time gathering his composure on the outside before making his way back inside. Alexander went for a wrist lock but Gotch broke it with a headbutt and a knee lift. Alexander responded with a series of chops. They exchanged upper cuts and forearm shots. The crowd was fairly quiet at this point- noticeably so which is unusual for an Alexander match. I don’t think anyone here thinks Gotch has any chance of winning whatsoever. Gotch went for a gut wrench suplex but Alexander resisted so Gotch kicked him in the head. He nailed a senton on the ring apron and then went over to Matt Rehwoldt and taunted him. Gotch hit a diving elbow off the ring apron. He hit an upper cut and rolled Alexander into the ring for the first 2 count of the match. Gotch tried to lock in an armbar but Alexander turned it into a pin for 2. Alexander nailed 4 German suplexes but Gotch held the ropes to prevent a 5th. The referee counted to break the hold so Gotch took advantage of this with a kick to the face and another 2 count. He hit a running senton but Alexander used his momentum to roll him up for 2. Alexander was slow to get to his feet and they traded blows, until Gotch nailed an enziguiri. Gotch landed some knee strikes in the corner. He kicked Alexander’s head against the ring post in disdain. Alexander tried to cover up in the corner but Gotch hit another kick to the chest. Alexander fought back with a few chops and a dropkick from the middle rope. Gotch sent him to the ring apron with a springboard kick to the back of the neck. He wanted a suplex on the apron but Alexander blocked it. They battled on the ring apron with right hands and Alexander hit a big boot. Alexander was slow to follow up so Gotch swept his feet out from under him then missed a senton. Alexander nailed his running crossbody through the ropes to send Gotch to the floor. Back in the ring, they exchanged forearms (“Boo”/ “Yay” duelling crowd chants) and Alexander nailed a running boot. He nailed an exploder suplex for 2. Gotch avoided the C4 Spike and turned it into a Bulldog Choke. Alexander tried to fight out so Gotch slapped his headgear off. Alexander inched closer to the ropes and slipped through the choke into an anklelock. Gotch was close to tapping but rolled over and out of the move. Alexander hit a big backbreaker and the C4 Spike for the win after 16 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Josh Alexander

Analysis: *** That’s probably a generous rating but they did work hard. That was one of the least exciting Alexander matches that I can recall. Gotch’s offense wasn’t very thrilling but I do like the Bulldog Choke. I think it would’ve been better to let him get more than one win to build to this, because I’m not sure where he goes now. You can’t build him as a threat because he’s already lost at the first big chance he’s got.

Rich Swann and AJ Francis had a quick interaction backstage and Swann told AJ to stay out of his business.

Match #6: TNA World Championship: No Surrender Rules match: Moose (c) w/ The System vs Alex Shelley w/ Kushida & Kevin Knight

The way to win (or lose!) this match is for someone from your corner to throw the towel in. It’s a no-disqualification match except interference is barred. The ring announcer really struggled to get all the rules out. I’m annoyed that they seem to have stopped listing the wrestler’s weight and hometown now, too. It just cheapens the presentation of the match. It feels very odd for the TNA World Title match to be the 3rd last match on the card but they’re giving Mustafa Ali a real chance to shine in the main event on debut, plus ending the show with the heel retaining (which is what I would be fairly confident is happening here with Moose) doesn’t send the fans home happy. Shelley targeted the left arm by sending Moose into the ring post early on. He grounded Moose to the mat with an arm bar and then stomped away on the left shoulder of Moose. Shelley tossed Moose over the top rope but missed a baseball slide, so Moose rocked him with a pump kick. Moose powerbombed Shelley on the ring apron, much to the delight of Myers and Edwards. Moose stretched Shelley’s body around the ring post. He spent time gloating and wandering around so Shelley hit a chop block to take him down. Shelley got a steel chair from underneath the ring. He stomped on the ankle of Moose and then trapped his ankle in the chair. Shelley stomped on the chair to crush Moose’s ankle. That spot always looks nasty. Shelley confronted Myers, who tried to take the chair away. Moose ran at Shelley but crashed into the ring post. Shelley exposed one of the steel turnbuckle and bent Moose’s fingers using a spanner. Moose was screaming in agony so Myers contemplated throwing in the towel but didn’t. Moose trapped Shelley’s hand inside the turnbuckle and smashed it with the steel chair. Moose started biting Shelley and hit his hand again with the chair. He nailed Shelley with a third shot with the chair and Kushida thought about tossing in the towel. Shelley nailed a Dragon Screw and then a kick to Moose’s hamstring. He nailed another Dragon Screw. That always looks painful when Shelley executes it. Kushida yelled at Myers and told him to throw in the towel. Shelley got a kendo stick, which has to be the weakest weapon in wrestling, surely. He smacked Moose in the left leg and then used the stick to apply a Boston Crab. Edwards refused to throw in the towel and distracted Shelley enough to take the kendo stick. Shelley turned around into a Uranage. Edwards threw Moose a trash can. He lifted Shelley to the top rope for a superplex. Shelley blocked it and bit the forehead of Moose. He slipped down to the mat and powerbombed Moose onto the trash can but it didn’t implode like it should’ve and Moose only grazed it. That may have tickled. Shelley locked in the Figure 4. Even though Moose has leg injuries, he somehow reversed it almost instantly. That’s not good ring psychology or selling there. Edwards tossed Moose the kendo stick and he bashed Shelley with it to break the submission. Moose ordered Edwards and Myers to bring him a table, which they complied with. He set it up in the corner and remembered he was supposed to hobble, so I guess that’s better. Moose went for the spear but Shelley moved, and Moose stopped himself from crashing into it. Shelley hit a low blow and applied the Motor City Stretch. Moose was locked in the move, even though he reached the bottom rope. Myers slipped the brass knucks into Moose’s hands and he nailed Shelley with them. Moose set up for the spear into the table, but Shelley dodged out of the way and Moose went flying into the table. Kushida tossed Shelley a steel chain. Shelley used the chain to lock in the Motor City Stretch with the chain in Moose’s mouth. Myers and Edwards got up on the ring apron, so Knight took them out with a splash on the floor. Alisha Edwards was next in the ring and Shelley moved her out of the ring. Shelley turned around and hit a spear. He nailed another one as the camera focused on Kushida to see what he was going to do with the towel. Moose wrapped the steel chain around his body and nailed a spear again to add extra damage to the move. Moose told Kushida he could spear him all night and Kushida reluctantly threw in the towel, so Moose won the match after 20 minutes. Moose immediately nailed another spear on Shelley to add more insult.

Winner by referee stoppage AND STILL TNA World Champion: Moose

Analysis: ***1/4 That was just okay. There was too much interference even though there wasn’t really allowed to be interference and they spent too much camera time focused on ‘the towel boy’ instead of on the match. They worked hard but the stipulation just wasn’t very interesting and it was obvious that Moose was going to retain. I would’ve much preferred a submission being used as the reason to toss in the towel. Shelley got back to his feet after 3 spears so he could’ve kept going. The end fell flat for me but it could lead to some tension between Shelley and Kushida so I’ll let it simmer. It’s Moose vs Eric Young at Sacrifice and I don’t see the result being any different there.

Match #7: TNA Knockouts’ Championship: Jordynne Grace (c) vs Gisele Shaw

George Iceman ran down to the ring to announce that Ash by Elegance was back in the building to watch this next match at ringside. This man is so over the top that it works. I know the division is a little thin at present, but pushing Ash to a title match this early as they seem to be, would be a mistake. She won’t beat Grace, so there’s nowhere to go for her next. Have Ash win a few matches and build her up to a big shot. If they need a heel to take on Grace over the next few months, there’s Tasha Steelz or go back to the Slamovich rivalry as they had some great bouts. Focusing back on this match and Shaw is in a similar position except she never seems to win any big matches she’s in. Then get a title shot every now and then to predictably lose. The start of the match was very even and then they battled to the ring apron area. Grace wanted a Grace Driver but Shaw blocked it and delivered a Spanish Fly from the apron to the floor! Wow! Grace sold it really well and looked completely out of it. Shaw rolled her back in the ring for a close 2 count. Shaw went to multiple follow-up pins for no success. Grace blocked Shaw’s knee finisher and caught her with a spinebuster for 2. Shaw blocked the Grace Driver by holding the ropes. She hit a big knee strike but Grace grabbed the ropes just before 3. That wasn’t the running knee but they put it over as Shaw’s finisher from a standing position. Shaw talked some trash so Grace got right in her face and they exchanged right hands. Shaw slapped Grace repeatedly but Grace hit a running elbow. She ran the ropes and Shaw rocked her with a superkick. Shaw went for a springboard cutter but Grace uniquely countered it by holding Shaw’s arms as she was about to hit the move. Grace tried a backslide for a 2 count, which Shaw reversed into one of her own for 2. Shaw hit a spinning kick but Grace fought back with a hard backfist and hit the Grace Driver for the win after 11 minutes.

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

Analysis: ***1/2 There was some great action in this match. They actually carried some emotion into this match, which has been lacking in most of the matches tonight despite the earlier matches having more story than this encounter. Again, I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending as it just appeared out of nowhere but that puts over Grace’s finisher as devastating. There’s not a lot for her to do in TNA and I wonder what the future holds.

The commentators hyped up some future TNA events ahead of tonight’s main event.

Match #8: X-Division Championship: Chris Sabin (c) vs Mustafa Ali

If you haven’t seen Mustafa Ali in his TNA run so far, he portrays an arrogant, propaganda-spewing heel always dressed in a suit. He’s only been in vignettes so far, all which have been pretty good, so tonight is his first TNA appearance in person. There were 25 minutes left in the show before entrances. The pre-match notes mentioned that this was the first time that the X-Division Championship match has headlined a PLE since 2005 in TNA. Fantastic!

Ali made his way to the ring first as the challenger, but I thought they may have held him off until last as he made his debut. He was flanked by Secret Service types and was given a big reaction from the crowd, who were pretty loud all night despite it not being a stellar night of wrestling. I’m hoping this can hit the 4-star mark, as I feel that it’s what this show needs to not just fall into the background as another monthly-special that you’ll quickly forget. There were dueling “Let’s go Ali”/ “Let’s go Sabin” chants as the bell rang. The opening moments centred on a feeling out period, where neither man gained the upper hand. There was no real offense in the first 3-4 minutes until Sabin connected with a side headlock takedown. He blocked a back suplex attempt and knocked Ali down with a shoulder block. Sabin locked in a surfboard stretch submission and switched it to a Bow and Arrow submission but Ali slipped out and on top for a 2 count. Sabin took him down again with a hard clothesline. He landed a few jabs and Ali bailed to the floor for a breather. Sabin tried to bring Ali back in by his hair, so Ali wrenched him on the top rope by his arm. Ali stalled some more so Sabin hit a hurricanrana that took Ali down to the floor. Sabin went to the top rope and nailed a crossbody for 2. Ali jumped up a little before the move to make it look even better. Ali targeted the left arm of Sabin in the corner. He nailed a 450 splash on top of Sabin’s arm as he was resting against the bottom rope. Innovative offense there. Ali locked in an STF but Sabin wasn’t too far from the ropes so that didn’t last long. He went back to the left shoulder and stomped away on Sabin. Ali spent too long following up so Sabin nailed a German suplex and a running kick. Both men were down and the crowd was easily the loudest it has been all night. The referee counted to 6 before both men made it to their feet. Sabin nailed another kick and a corner splash. Ali intercepted him on the top rope with a chop but Sabin shoved him off and nailed a Tornado DDT for 2. He went straight into a crossface and wrenched back on the neck. The crowd was firmly behind Ali as he stretched towards the bottom rope and eventually made it. Out of frustration, Sabin held the submission on as the referee counted for him to stop. Sabin’s face was full of frustration now and the fans started to boo him a little bit as he pummelled away on Ali on the mat. They fought on the ring apron and Ali nailed Sabin with a mid-air dropkick as Sabin tried a crossbody off the ring apron. Sabin avoided a 450 splash back in the ring, and tossed Ali into the middle turnbuckle with serious velocity. Well sold by Ali. They traded forearms in the centre of the ring. Ali avoided a corner attack. He tried for a springboard move but Sabin kicked him over the top rope. Ali’s security came down to his aid so Sabin flew through the air and wiped them out with a crossbody. The Good Hands taunted Sabin on the entrance ramp. Back in the ring, Sabin hit a superkick and set up for the Cradle Shock but Skyler and Hotch jumped on the ring apron. Sabin knocked them both to the floor and Ali rolled Sabin up with the tights for 2. Ali ran into a Clothesline from Hell and the Cradle Shock but Ali kicked out! Sabin hit a superkick on Ali as he was getting to his feet. He placed Ali on the top rope and set up for a Super Cradle Shock. Ali scored with elbows to avoid the move. He nailed a nasty whiplash Sunset Bomb in the corner. Ali connected with the 450 perfectly to win the title after 20 minutes.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW TNA X-Division Champion: Mustafa Ali

Analysis: ***3/4 That was a great main event and deservedly closed the show. The start was very slow with Ali avoiding Sabin a lot and wanting the match on his terms. Ali showed his athleticism throughout and Sabin was frustrated by this multiple times in the match. Having The Good Hands interfere made sense but wasn’t an overall factor in Sabin losing. I think TNA presented Ali absolutely brilliantly in the last month and it paid off tonight. He felt like a big deal and had a big moment by winning the title on debut. That’s only important if he hangs around and, by looking at his TNA dates, that should be the case. After being wasted in WWE, I am happy he gets a shot here and he showed that he can match it with one of TNA’s best in Sabin.

Ali looked genuinely happy and celebrated with the title as No Surrender ended.

Final Rating: 6.75/10

Overall, it was a good show but it didn’t really feel like an important show until the main event came on. The crowd was really up for that and treated it like a big deal. That was a wise decision to have the X-Division Championship match on last as the TNA personnel must have been thinking that Ali is going to get a decent reaction either way. I felt that this match was the best of the night, with the Tag Team Championship match also very good. With a hotter opening, the X-Title match would’ve been bumped into the 4-star range. The rest of the show just felt like their usual monthly shows. Good wrestling but nothing terrific. The first half of the show, besides Bullet Club/GYV was fairly forgettable. Eric Young winning a title shot after doing basically nothing for a year seems odd and a waste of the next month’s main event. Moose and Sabin worked hard, but the stipulation didn’t lend itself to much excitement. I felt that Shaw and Grace were on track to have a really good match but on a night of longer matches, they barely got 10 minutes. It’s also weird to have a show where Josh Alexander’s match wasn’t the best of the night. The match with Simon Gotch was good but the result was so predictable that the fans didn’t seem into it at all.

The next TNA monthly special is Sacrifice. Here’s the card so far:

* TNA World Championship: Moose (c) vs Eric Young

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!