TNA Impact results (1/18): Moore’s review of Will Ospreay vs. Josh Alexander, Nic Nemeth speaks, Xia Brookside vs. Tasha Steelz, Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Eric Young and Frankie Kazarian, X Division scramble

By John Moore, Staffer (@liljohnm)

TNA Impact (Episode 1,017)
Taped January 14, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada at Palms Casino Resort

Aired January 18, 2024 on AXS TV

Highlights from TNA’s Hard to Kill PPV aired… Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt were on commentary. Jade Chung (a.k.a. Jen Alexander) was the new regular ring announcer…

Entrances for the opening match took pace. Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in on commentary from the balcony of the venue. Rehwoldt noted that Jake Something was the only non-cruiserweight in the match which shows that the X Division is “about no limits, not weight limits”…

1. Kushida vs. Trey Miguel vs. Laredo Kid vs. “Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. El Hijo Del Vikingo vs. Jake Something in a scramble match for a shot at the X Division Title. Jake dumped Trey to ringside to start the match. Everyone else used dropkicks to dump Jake to ringside. Kushida caught Laredo with a Tornado DDT. Kushida hit Trey and Jake with a flip dive. Bailey and Vikingo caught everyone at ringside with flips.

Trey crotched Vikingo and Kushida off the top rope. Trey put Laredo in a a Deathlock while trading strikes with Kushida. Trey caught Kushida with a Scorpion Kick and Lightning Spiral. Trey put Laredo in a Muta Lock. Jake chokeslammed Trey on Kid. Jake no sold Vikingo’s chest chops. Jake took down Vikingo with a single forearm. Jake cleared everyone else from the ring.

Vikingo took down Jake with a Corkscrew huracanrana. Vikingo went for a 450 Frankensteiner (impressive even tough it was countered), but Jake caught Vikingo in power bomb position and power bombed him to the wrestlers at ringside. A TNA chant ensued. Kushida caught Trey with a cartwheel into a dropkick after dumping Jake to ringside. Kushida put Trey in a Hoverboard Lock. Vikingo broke it up with a tightrope double stomp.

Vikingo caught Trey with a springboard armdrag. Bailey caught Jake with a Triangle Moonsault. Kid caught Vikingo with a float over DDT. Kid caught Bailey with a Spanish Fly. Jake Something snuck in and caught Laredo Kid with Into the Void (Black Hole Slam) for the victory.

Jake Something defeated Laredo Kid, El Hijo Del Vikingo, Trey Miguel, and Mike Bailey via pinfall in 5:34 to earn a shot at the X Division Title.

Hannifan repeated that the X Division is not about weight limits, but no limits…

John’s Thoughts: Great match to start off TNA’s reboot on AXS TV. Aside from women’s wrestling, TNA’s legends mostly emerged from the innovative X Division style (even though no one can really define what the X Division is without the vague no-limits line). This match was non-stop action with Vikingo in there to make the athleticism exceed even it’s highest levels. Jake Something was great as the big man of the match and he’s someone I think TNA should push as a potential future face of the company given his in-ring and speaking skillset (he proved he was a good character actor during his goofball Cousin Jake run).

Gia Miller interviewed Will Ospreay, who cut a promo to hype up his upcoming match against Josh Alexander…

Tom Hannifan hyped up “The Wanted Man” Nic Nemeth appearing later in the show…[c]

An Ash By Elegance (a.k.a. Dana Brooke) vignette aired. It was a narrated vignette where the narrator talked up how beautiful and wonderful Ash is. It also almost looked like a perfume ad…

The finish of the Women’s Ultimate X Match at Hard to Kill aired where Gisele Shaw pulled down the giant X. The show cut to Gisele Shaw cutting a promo about how Jordynne Grace needs to keep her head on a swivel because she won’t know when Shaw will cash in her giant X for a title shot (I hope they aren’t doing yet another Money in the Bank ripoff, they already have two with Option C and Call Your Shot).

Gail Kim ran in to hug Shaw. Kim then praised Shaw for living up to her expectations and not needing her entourage to help her cheat. Shaw was about to say something, but then walked off leaving Kim confused…

John’s Thoughts: Simple segment, but I hope that this might lead to a Shaw face turn. I say this because she’s so damaged and beaten down as a heel to the point where she needs some sort of reboot. She also has a great real life backstory and likable personality that she exhibited in her Impact “Diary” documentary which is available to watch in full on YouTube.

Entrances for the next match took place…

2. Tasha Steelz vs. Xia Brookside. Rehwoldt reminded viewers that Steelz is the “Greatest who beat the greatest” by beating Mickie James. Both women started with wristholds. Xia rallied with a armdrag and monkey flip for a two count. Steelz came back wiht an eye poke and cross kick. Steelz got a two count after a headbutt. Steelz hit Xia with the Three Amigos suplex followed by a twerk.

Steelz did another twerk which allowed Xia to get a two count off a Small Package. Xia rallied with clotheslines and a huracanrana. Xia caught Tasha with a meteora and a neckbreaker for a two count. Tasha came back wiht a jawbreaker and codebreaker for a two count. Xia hit Tasha with a Straitjacket Suplex into a Jackknife pin for the win.

Xia Brookside defeated Tasha Steelz via pinfall in 5:07.

Tom Hannifan hyped up Nic Nemeth again as well as the Josh Alexander vs. Will Ospereay match…

Eric Young and Frankie Kazarian were shown backstage heading to the ring…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A short but quality match from the women with the newcomer Xia Brookside picking up the win. I’m surprised WWE let Xia go, especially since her father is one of WWE’s head trainers at the performance center? I got to see some of her work in the California independents too and she has a infectious bubbly personality that gets over with the crowd. She’s someone to look out for. I wouldn’t have fed Tasha to her though since Tasha is coming off a long haitus, where before the haitus she was doing some great work in the Knockouts division.

A replay aired of the AJ Francis, DJ Whooo Kid, and Joe Hendry segment from Hard to Kill where Joe Hendry debuted his latest parody music video which made fun of AJ for that one botch on Smackdown and for flaunting a Cheesz Its champonship belt. The segment ended with AJ giving Joe a shoulder tackle and chokeslam while he was eating Cheez Its…

Joe Hendry cut a promo backstage where Joe threw DJ Whooo Kid and his Whoo Kid’s laptop in a small trash can…

Entrances for the next tag team match took place…

John’s Thoughts: What? No Zack Gibson “Soon to be recognized” pre match promo. Come on TNA…

3. “The Grizzled Young Veterans” Zack Gibson and James Drake vs. Eric Young and Frankie Kazarian. Young quickly started the match with a lockup and shoulder tackle. Gibson came back with a hammerlock . Drake tagged in and worked on Young’s left arm. Young bit the fist of Gibson. Kazarian tagged in and hit Drake with a Blockbuster. Kaz hit Drake with a side Russian Legwseep. Gibson went after Gibson at ringside, but Drake hit him with a Suicide Dive. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

Kazarian caught Gibson with a snap suplex. Drake tripped up Young to prevent the hot tag. Drake tagged in and gave Kaz an elbow drop. Drake hit Kaz with an assisted Sliced Bread for a nearfall. Drake hit Kaz with an assisted Plancha. Gibson gave Kaz some trash talk while cutting the ring in half. Kazarian rolled under a wheel kick to tag in Young for the hot tag.

Young hit Drake with a Power Slam for a nearfall. Drake caught Young with a enzuigiri. Kazarian accidentally hit Eric Young in the face. The GYVs dumped Kaz to ringside. The Grizzled Young Veterans hit Young with a Double Ticket to Mayhem to give Drake the pinfall win.

The Grizzled Young Veterans defeated Eric Young and Frankie Kazarian via pinfall in 6:17 of on-air time.

The GYVs backtracked up the ramp with Gibson saying that they’re going after the tag titles held by Chris Bey and Ace Austin. The camera cut back to the ring where Kazarian sold disappointment. Kaz teased being on the same page as Young, but then betrayed Young with a lariat to the face. This drew a good amount of boos and an “asshole” chant. Kaz teased leaving, but then gave Young more boots.

Kaz yelled that this was supposed to be his year in 2024 and that Young is a son of a bitch. Kazarian hit Young with Fade to Black (Deadeye). The crowd showered Kaz with “you suck” chants. After Kaz started leaving, he received “F*ck you Frankie” chants which were uncensored…

Tom Hannifan hyped The System appearing after the break…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A productive tag team match in that it allowed the Grizzled Young Veterans to pick up a decisive win while also sparking a feud between the two TNA originals in Kazarian and Eric Young. Hey, I’m happy I don’t have to figure out which guy is named “Jagger Reid” or “Rip Folwer” now, so that’s also a plus (though to NXT’s credit, James Drake was never a good promo and I would argue that The Schism allowed Drake to finally find his voice after all these years). Speaking of voices, I hope we get a chance to hear some promos from the Grizzled Young Veterans. Drake can finally speak, and Gibson has been known to be one of the best heel promos in all of Europe with his whole “soon to be recognized” heat generating promos.

Moose, Eddie Edwards, Alisha Edwards, and Brian Myers, now known as “The System”, were eating BBQ platters at a restaurant. Myers praised Moose for becoming the new TNA World Champion. Eddie said they all proved that The System works. Moose said they are all family. Moose said he’s no longer Mr. TNA, five star athlete, or a wrestling god, but rather he’s a TNA World Champion. Moose said they will continue to prove to the world that you should always “Trust the System”…

Nic Nemeth (f.k.a. Dolph Ziggler) made his entrance to some rock music while in formal attire for his in-ring promo. He soaked in “Nic” chants. Nic joked that it’s going to take some getting used to, in getting called “Nic” (instead of Dolph). Nic said Hard to Kill was one hell of a moment. Nic said there was something in the air and he loved every second of it. A TNA chant ensued. Nic said he’s done this for 19 years and done a lot of things.

They gave Nic a “you still got it” chant. Nic said he never lost it, damn straight. Nic said he’s done a lot, but only in one world so this is a bit intimidating. He said he’s a bit nervous, but excited. Nic said he picked the time and place and stood face to face with the TNA World Heavyweight Champion. A Moose chant ensued.

Nic said he will become TNA World Heavyweight Champion. He said once he wins he’s going to celebrate with the fans and it’ll be the best night of his career. Nic said he respects the men and women in the lockeroom too much, and won’t skip to the head of the line for a title shot. Nic said that this is his day one and first day doing it all over again. Nic said this time he’s going to earn his way to the top and he will never stop.

Nic said this is the first time in his life that he does all this under the name “Nic Nemeth”. Steve Maclin made his entrance to confront Nic Nemeth. Maclin said he agrees with everything that Nic is saying because he went thorough the same thing three years ago when he [left WWE and] joined TNA. Nic said he agreed. Maclin said he also fought his way from the bottom to the World Championship.

Maclin said the only difference between them is he means it, while Nic is a phony. Nic tried to retort, but Maclin said that Nic had enough time to talk and this was his time to speak. Maclin said he can tell by Nic’s eyes that he’s a phony. Maclin noted that Nic always gives to the business, but never takes. Nic tried to cut in again, but Maclin yelled over him and said it was his time to talk.

A “shut up Maclin” chant ensued. Maclin said Nic is just here to suck the blood out of TNA and walk out to somewhere else. Maclin said he’s not letting this happen because this is his sandbox and area of operations. Maclin said no one is going to remember Nic Nemeth, and will only ask “what happened to Dolph Ziggler?”Nic tried to talk again, but Maclin slapped the mic away. Both men traded blows with Nic planting Maclin with the Zig Zag. Nic ended the segment by standing tall over the fallen Maclin…[c]

John’s Thoughts: I was about to say that this show was too much in-ring and no storytelling. This was a good first promo segment for Nic Nemeth. I usually bring up how wrestlers need to reinvent themselves after WWE, but that’s notably for wrestlers with crappy undercard gimmicks (like Maclin, No Way Jose, Zack Ryder, Heath Slater, etc.). Nic never really had a “bad gimmick” (except when he odes to Daddy Ass), so him being in plucky Dolph mode works. Good delivery by Nic, but also a good counter promo from Steve Maclin who had one of the best and strongest transformations since leaving WWE.

Gia Miller interviewed the new Knockouts Champion, Jordynne Grace. Gia noted that Grace is a 3 time champion now. Grace said she was proud to wrestle at a historic event. She noted that she beat the undefeated Trinity. Trinity walked up and pointed out that she is invoking her rematch clause next week and will walk out as Knockouts Champion. Grace said she’d see Trinity next week…

Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwodlt checked in from their commentary balcony. Tom plugged Impact’s TV tapings this upcoming weekend in Orlando, FL. Hannifan referenced that TNA’s home base used to be in Orlando (Via Universal Studios)…

Jai Vidal entered the ring in ring gear. Hannifan said he didn’t know that Jai was scheduled to wrestle? Jai took a mic and said he broke out in wrestling in Las Vegas, NV. He soaked in “Jai” chants. Jai then turned heel on the crowd and said he’s reminded of why he left this sorry state. He said there’s no one that can beat him up.

PCO made his entrance. He was carted out on a gurney by random “doctors”. One doctor took jumper cables and powered up PCO. PCO then entered the ring. Jai stood in the corner looking freaked out…

4. PCO vs. Jai Vidal. PCO no sold Jai’s strikes and took him down with a shoulder tackle. Jai tried to run away, but was dragged back in the ring. PCO hit Jai with a choke slam. Pco hit Jai with an Eye of the Hurricane. PCO then hit Jai with a PCO hit Jai with a PCO Sault for the victory.

PCO defeated Jai Vidal via pinfall in 1:26.

John’s Thoughts: As exhausted as I am with PCO’s Frankenstein Monster gimmick given how much I seen of it through the years in Impact and Ring of Honor, this was a good squash. I think it’s only right to start PCO “back at zero” to restart his character development, especially if there are new viewers coming off the TNA rebrand. What I do hope they run back to is that Bully Ray feud they teased where Bully was trying to bring the old Pierre Carl Ouellet back. On the other side, Jai did a great job being the designated job guy.

The show cut to Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin cutting a promo backstage. Both guns hyped up tagging with Kazuchika Okada next week. Sabin talked about Okada having history in TNA back in 2006 (where he had that lame ass O-Kato gimmick that even he hates til this day). Sabin said after TNA he went on to be “The Rainmaker” and it’s that Okada that he wants teaming with them next week. Okada walked in between both Machine Guns and said that next week he returns to TNA…

Tom hyped Ospreay vs. Alexander for after the break…

Instead of how they used to advertise matches, by having Tom Hannifan check in and name all the segments for the following week; they aired a narrated commercial that plugged the advertised segments for next week (almost WWE-style in a good way). The following segments were plugged for next week: Jordynne Grace vs. Trinity for the Knockouts Championship, Okada and the Machine Guns vs. The System, and Nic Nemeth vs. Zach Wentz…

Entrances for the main event took place with about half an hour left in the show…

5. Josh Alexander vs. Will Ospreay. Both men soaked in TNA chants. They then started the match with a chain wrestling stalemate. Ospreay got a light takedown off a standing switch. Alexander came back with a shoulder tackle, which Ospreay no sold with a kip up. Alexander blocked a huracanrana. Ospreay took down Alexander and hit him with a standing Shooting Star for a two count.

Ospreay hit Josh with a backbreaker for a two count. Alexander tripped Ospreay off the slingshot. Alexander then caught Ospreay on the apron with a crossbody to send him to ringside. The show went to commercial.[c]

Ospreay worked on Josh with methodical offense back from break. Both men blocked suplexes with Alexander getting a breather after hitting Ospreay with a vertical suplex. Hannifan noted that Alexander suffered back to back losses to Alex Shelley and Will Ospreay and that was the first time in two years that he lost back to back matches. Alexander worked on Ospreay with European Uppercuts.

Ospreay ran off Alexander’s standing chest into an enzuigiri. Alexander came right back with a German Suplex. Alexander hit Ospreay with a Backbreaker Bomb for a nearfall. A TNA chant ensued. Ospreay rallied with chops. Alexander blocked a chop and gave Ospreay another Backbreaker. Ospreay blocked an outside-in Deadlift German. A table was set up at ringside. Both men traded counters while teetering near the table.

Ospreay got the upper hand and gave Alexander a Tiger Driver through the table at ringside. Both men struggled to get to their feet. Medics ran out to check on both men. The referee said he wasn’t going to DQ either man to let the match continue. Hannifan noted that TNA management gave the referees total discression to call the match as they see fit.

Both men went back to the ring. Ospreay caught Alexander with a slingshot dropkick and Os-cutter for a nearfall. Alexander crumpled to the mat to prevent Ospreay from hitting the Hidden Blade.[c]

Back from break, Alexander hit Ospreay with a Pile Driver on the ramp. Alexander helped Ospreay back to the ring to prevent the cheap countout win. Alexander hit Ospreay with a Super Rolling Senton. Ospreay kicked out, but Alexander rolled right into an ankle lock. Alexander gave Ospreay a double stomp to the calf to keep him in the center with an Ankle Lock.

Ospreay whipped Alexander into the buckle to break the hold. Ospreay caught Alexander with Cheeky Nandos. Ospreay hit Alexander with a Super Poisonrana and Hidden Blade for a good nearfall. Ospreay hit Alexander with a standing Hidden Blade and Tiger Driver 93. Alexander kicked out at two. Ospreay took off the elbow pad for another Hidden Blade. Alexander got to his feet and both men traded Strong Style moves.

Alexander turned Ospreay inside out with a Lariat. Ospreay blocked a C4. Alexander escaped a Styles Clash. Alexander rolled Ospreay into position and hit Ospreay with a Styles Clash for a nearfall. Alexander hit Ospreay with a C4 Spike (Jay Driller) for the victory.

Josh Alexander defeated Will Ospreay via pinfall in 15:48 of on-air time.

TNA President Scott D’Amore entered the ring with a mic and started a “holy shit” chant for the crowd. D’Amore talked about loving this business since he was 4 years old, sitting in the arms of his dying grandfather in the hospital room, watching pro wrestling at his bedside. D’Amore said he’s spent 30+ years in this business as a wrestler starting in WCW, touring in Canada, and ultimately landing with Jeff Jarrett in TNA where he gave Scott an opportunity.

Scott said he saw TNA at it’s lowest point when he returned in 2017, where Bruce Prichard called TNA a “dead corpse”. This drew boos. Scott said he watched the fans, Josh Alexander, Will Ospreay, and others roll up their sleeves, reach into TNA’s chest, and manual pump that “F*cking Heart” until blood flowed again. Scott said “TNA” chants are the sound that rings in his ears, the sound that never died because of people like Josh, a TNA kid like Will, and people like “Uncle Hal” at home who said “damn, what a good job”.

He said it never died because it inspired the entire locker room and gave everyone something to fight for. He said even if he drops dead tonight he’s happy because of Hard to Kill, he’s happy because of TNA being back, and he’s happy that we got to see two of the best in the world to have the match of their life. D’Amore said TNA is back and never going away again. The TNA “Cross the Line” theme played to end the segment. TNA closed with an updated TNA graphic…

John’s Thoughts: Lots to unpack there, but overall this night was a strong show marking the reboot of the TNA promotion. As for the match, Ospreay vs. Alexander on paper screams “instant classic” setting the bar so high that you fear disappointment. They didn’t disappoint here because the sum of all the parts led to a great one-on-one encounter. Josh Alexander isn’t only Mr. TNA/Impact, but he’s Mr. Reliable in that you can count on him to go in the ring with anybody and carry them to an epic must-watch main event (he’s so reliable that Brandi Rhodes mentioned how valuable he was in an AEW promo once). Praise to Ospreay on doing the honors for Josh right before Will heads over to AEW full time.

A very strong and very passionate promo by Scott D’Amore to close the show. Jason and I always joke about head booker D’Amore always giving himself so much TV time and putting himself over as the biggest badass in TNA, but the man deserved the spotlight and deserves his roses for turning this company around over the past two or three years. That promo was very wholesome and it felt like he really means everything he says from the bottom of his heart. Hopefully that passion and love resonates with old and new viewers who are tired of WWE, and even tired of the very frantic AEW, and need a no-BS wrestling company to come to in TNA.

TNA, as much as they’ve turned things around via Impact, does have a deep stigma about them, and that’s evident with all of the nostalgic wrestlecrap deep takes you see all over YouTube, reddit, twitter, and other social media where people reminice about all the bad hee-haw booking of TNA’s past. What I like about what Scott is trying to do is truncate TNA’s image, to “accentuate the strengths, and hide the weaknessses”. I was a bit afraid that we were going to get some nostalgic wrestlecrap tonight, just because I have been burned in the past with things like the Turkey Bowl or King of The Mountain matches. I’m glad they stayed the course of the last year in continuing to put on the best paced and one of the most consistant weekly wrestling shows weekly.



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