TNA Impact results (1/25): Moore’s review of Kazuchika Okada, Alex Shelley, and Chris Sabin vs. Moose, Eddie Edwards, and Brian Myers, Jordynne Grace vs. Trinity for the Knockouts Title, Nic Nemeth vs. Zachary Wentz

By John Moore, Staffer (@liljohnm)

TNA Impact (Episode 1,018)
Taped January 14, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada at Palms Casino Resort

Aired January 25, 2024 on AXS TV

A “in memory of…” graphic aired for the late Frank Caiazzo who past away recently…

Highlights from last week’s TNA Impact aired. The old TNA “Cross the Line” theme played as the new intro theme of Impact Wrestling (Thank god they are done with “We Own The Night”. I felt like they ran that song into the ground)…

Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt were on commentary. Jade Chung was the ring announcer…

Entrances for the opening match took place. Hannifan pointed out that Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees was in the crowd watching the show (Hey! I love 98 Degrees! When err body was all hypin’ up NSync or Backstreet Boys, I was waving the 98 flag!)…

1. TNA Tag Team Champion Chris Bey vs. Kevin Knight. Knight and Bey dap’d it up to start the match. Both men started the match trading side headlocks. Knight managed to get a takedown off a headlock. Both men then traded rapid rollups. Knight landed a springboard armdrag on Bey. Knight caught a running Bey with a Body Slam and twisting standing frog splash for a nearfall.

Bey dodged a Plancha and yanked Knights head against the top rope, followed by a suicide dive. Knight blocked Bey’s strikes and got a two count off a backslide. Knight grounded Bey with a dropkick. Knight hit Bey with a Stinger Splash, punch, and springboard lariat for a two count. Bey hooked to blcok Knight’s suplex. Bey got a two count off a small package. Bey hit Knight with a nice backflip thrust kick.

Knight staggered Bey with a thrust kick, and followed up with a suplex for at two count. Bey gave Knight a kick combo and springboard draping elbow drop. Bey hit Knight with the Art of Finesse (Cody Cutter) for the victory.

Chris Bey defeated Kevin Knight via pinfall in 6:50.

James Drake and Zack Gibson, The Grizzled Young Veterans, stormed the ring in suit vests to knock Chris Bey off the top rope. While Bey was recovering at ringside, Drake and Gibson beat down Ace with the nubmers advantage. Drake hit Ace with an assisted draping DDT. Bey tried to run in for the save, but took a knife edge chop to the throat. Drake and Gibson then hit Bey with a double-team version of Ticket to Mayhem. Bey sold it like his teeth was in pain. Drake and Gibson trash talked Ace and Bey and posed with the Tag Team Titles…

John’s Thoughts: A good opening match; and I like that two weeks into the TNA reboot, we have a singles X Division match instead of the old school TNA show-opening multi-man homogeneous spotfests. Kevin Kight continues to impress even though he never wins in Impact. He’s sorta just been Kushida’s best friend who is athletic and also likes Back to the Future. Hopefully Impact starts building him more if he’s sticking around. ABC vs. GYV should lead to a good match. I hope they don’t just have ABC steamroll Drake and Gibson because Drake and Gibson are way too talented for just a one-off loss.

An Ash by Elegance perfume-commercial-style vignette aired. This time she was looking lavish and in a bikini. The narrator continued to talk her up and amazing…[c]

A replay aired of Frankie Kazarian turning on Eric Young last week after their loss to The Grizzled Young Veterans…

The show cut to Frankie Kazarian backstage cutting a promo. He said people have been waiting for an answer as to why he betrayed Eric Young, but he decides when he’ll explain everything and he choose to explain things “next week”. Rich Swann cut in and asked Kaz what was wrong with an OG like Kazarian taking out an OG like Young? Kazarian said based off how low Swann’s career has been recently, Swann should do the same thing. Kaz pat Swann on the shoulder and walked off.

AJ Francis (f.k.a. Top Dolla) then appeared and offered to be in Rich Swann’s corner against Joe Hendry due to his own issues with Hendry. AJ pointed out that he met Swann five years ago “at the back of the plane” and Swann is still “at the back of the plane”. AJ said currently he rides first class. AJ said there’s always a seat next to him on first class (implying he might want to start an alliance. Swann said “I’m good” and walked off. Francis put on sunglasses and said “we’ll see”…

John’s Thoughts: You know. Kazarian isn’t wrong. Swann, ever since his loss to Kenny Omega several years ago, has been the posterboy of coasting. Swann really needs a shakeup. Heck, I wouldn’t mind that heel turn we saw a bit in MLW when he teamed with Myron Reed. AJ Francis repeating Kazarian’s criticism makes me hope that we’re in for some sort of character development for Swann because Swann’s development has been long over due (it looked like he might have been on track for some with his buddy Sami Callihan, but Sami’s out of TNA).

Dirty Dango, Oleg Prudius, and Alpha Bravo got a televised entrance for the next match. Jobbers Dante King and Damian Drake were “already in the ring”. Dante King looking like the Target great value version of Lexis King (I kid, I kid). As usual, Dango delivered his usual “man, do I hate pro wrestling” line before the match…

1. Dirty Dango and Oleg Prudius (w/Alpha Bravo) vs. Dante King and Damian Drake. Oleg took down the King with a shove. Drake tagged in and was tossed around by Oleg. Dirty Dango sat on a chair on the ramp while Oleg did the heavy lifting. Dango tagged in while on his cellphone. Dango tossed away the phone and defeated Drake after a forearm smash to the chest.

Dirty Dango and Oleg Prudius defeated Damian Drake and Dante King via pinfall in 1:42.

John’s Thoughts: Simple and effective squash with Oleg playing the role of powerhouse well, and Dango doing his usual good job of being a jaded prick. Dirty Dango became one of my favorite acts in all of wrestling after he started his anti-pro wrestling fan docu-style vignettes. Because a lot of people are seemingly jumping back on board with TNA via the reboot, I think it would be smart to have Dango fire up the docu-style interviews again.

James Drake and Zack Gibson were cutting a promo backstage. Gibson noted that they were coming for the tag team titles and deserve a shot because they weren’t pin in the multi team tag team match at Hard to Kill. Gibson said the GYVs have conquered all of Europe and will not stop. Gibson said what they did to Ace and Bay earlier was a statement of intent. Authority figure Santino Marella interrupted and berated the GYVs for their “statement” earlier.

Santino said the statement was garbage. Gibson said putting the GYVs in a four way was an insult. Chris Bey and Ace Austin then ran in and tried to get their hands on Drake and Gibson, but security pulled them back. Santino yelled for everyone to take it easy. Santino said he’ll give everyone what they want. Santino booked a Best-of-three series for the tag team titles, and the series will start next week…

Tom Hannifan plugged upcoming matches…[c]

Gia Miller interviewed Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley, and Kazuchika Okada about their main event match later in the show. Shelley said The System think they’re the standard of TNA, but they can’t be more wrong because the Motor City Machine Guns have been the backbone of TNA. Sabin said people what to know what Total Nonstop Action is all about, and will find out when The Machine Guns and The Rainmaker go up against The System. Okada said tonight TNA will feel the Rainmaker…

Entrances for the Knockouts Title match took palce. The women were given a “tale of the tape” graphic before the match. Jade Chung handled the formal in ring championship introductions…

3. Trinity Fatu vs. Jordynne Grace for the TNA Knockouts Championship. Trinity gave Grace a handshake, but then used the handshake to get a shortarm forearm in. Trinity pummeled Grace with a few moves and put Grace in Starstruck, which Grace broke up with the rope. Trinity kicked Grace around the ring. Trinity got a two count off a splits leg drop.

Grace held on to the corner to block a whip. Grace peppered Trinity with a forearm and boot. Grace planted Trinity with a spinebuster for a nearfall.[c]

Grace blocked a neckbreaker and gave Trinity a Vader Bomb for a nearfall. Trinity escaped a Vertebraker attempt and hit Grace with a kick. Trinity hit Grace with a sideways draping Pedigree for a two count. Trinity broke up a full nelson by slamming Trinity into the corner. Grace dragged Trinity to the top rope. Grace staggered Trinity with knee smashes to the face.

Grace hit Trinity with a nice Superplex-Jackhammer combo for a nearfall. Grace toyed with Trinity and yelled for her to get up. Trinity hit Grace with a Jawbreaker and sitout Atomic Drop for a nearfall. Grace recovered and hit Trinity with a spinning backfist. Trinity blocked a Kinniku Buster. Both women then traded about 20 or so rollup attempts. Trinity went for Starstruck, but Grace got Trinity’s shoulders on the mat for the win.

Jordynne Grace defeated Trinity via pinfall in 7:32 of on-air time.

Grace and Trinity shared smiles and a handshake after the match. Jai Vidal and Savannah Evans ran to the ring to beat up the babyfaces. The faces had the advantage initially but Gisele Shaw ran out with her giant plastic X and smashed Jordynne Grace in the face with it to give her team a three on one numbers advantage over Trinity.

Shaw then smashed the X on Trinity’s face. Evans and Vidal held Trinity in place to eat a running knee from Shaw. The heels stood tall to end the segment…

John’s Thoughts: A good match and presumably the farewell match of Trinity given the reports that she’s about to join her husband, Jimmy Uso, back in WWE. Trinity was never known as one of the “best” in ring workers, but she excels in athleticism and charisma to make her one of the most underrated, but talented women in the industry. Grace has evolved to one hell of a worker and she’s TNA’s most reliable woman in the division, which is why they keep putting the belt on her. I wasn’t a huge fan of Evans and Vidal running out. I felt like the Shaw, Evans, and Vidal act has been buried so bad, that I think Shaw needs to separate herself from that stank.

Moose, Eddie Edwards, Brian Myers, and Alisha Edwards, the team known as The System, cut a promo backstage to hype up the main event of the show…

Tom Hannifan hyped up Nic Nemeth’s TNA in-ring debut after the break…[c]

The show cut to a Josh Alexander backstage promo. Josh said he’s experienced a lot of good days recently. He said Hard to Kill was a good day, where he got to experience his 6-year-old self’s dream, where he stepped foot in a TNA ring. Josh said the next day was good because he went toe to toe with one of the best in Will Ospreay. Josh said that Ospreay told him that TNA needs a world-beater to lead the company and when Josh put down Will with a C4 Spike, TNA found it’s worldbeater.

Alan Angels cut in and introduced himself to Alexander. Angels said Josh’s match against Ospreay was awesome. Angels then invited Josh to be the first guest on his new talk show which he’s calling “The Sound Check”. Josh said he’s really busy. Angels noted how people helped Josh come up from the bottom and it would mean a lot to him if Josh can do the same for him. Josh agreed to be the first guest on the show. Angels was excited and said Josh will like the show…

Entrances for the next match took place…

4. “The Wanted Man” Nic Nemeth vs. Zachary Wentz (w/Trey Miguel). Wentz and Nemeth started the match at a stalemate in a collar and elbow. Nemeth then worked on Wentz with his amateur wrestling ground rolls and ground work. Wentz went to the ropes for the break, and worked on Nemeth with overhead elbows. Wentz went for Sweet Chin Music, but Nemeth reversed it into a dropkick. Nemeth dodged a knee.

Trey tripped up Nemeth which allowed Wentz to hit him with a knee, dumping him to ringside. Wentz dumped Nemeth to ringside. Wentz distracted the ref so Trey could grind Nemeth’s face on the bottom rope. Wentz gave Nemeth boots while mocking Dolph Ziggler mannerisms. Nemeth and Wentz traded right hands. Nemeth hit Wentz with a Stinger Splash and standing jumping elbow drop.

Wentz rolled up Nemeth with a handful of tights twice for nearfalls. Nemeth and Wentz then traded quick rollups. Nemeth hit Wentz with a hesitation snap DDT for a nearfall. Wentz blocked a superkick with a elbow smash to the knee joint. Wentz hit Nemeth with a handstand into a knee. Wentz hit Nemeth with a modified Khallas for a nearfall. Nemeth got a two count after a backslide. Nemeth caught Wentz with a Zig Zag for the victory.

Nic Nemeth defeated Zachary Wentz via pinfall in 7:33.

Trey tried to blindside Nemeth from behind, but Nemeth saw it coming and gave Trey the Zig Zag. Steve Maclin ran out and got the upper hand on Nemeth. Maclin was about to go for his version of the Dirty Deeds DDT, but Nemeth reversed it into a Zig Zag. Nemeth stood tall to end the segment…

John’s Thoughts: Dolph’s been off TV for a hot minute, but this match is a bit of an example, in a good way, as to why WWE had Nic Nemeth overexposed in losses. The guy is just so damn talented at making his opponent look so damn good. Where WWE flubbed is maybe Dolph could have been pushed as a valid threat WHILE ALSO making his opponent look good. I’m so ready for the Nic Nemeth push. Wentz gained in a loss, but I hope that TNA isn’t going to end the Rascalz push because the Rascalz have been eating some big losses recently after being protected. Back to Nic, I can’t wait until the Josh Alexander vs. Nic Nemeth that’s guaranteed to happen down the road. Give those brothas a damn freakin’ hour to tear the house down.

A Crazzy Steve promo aired. The promo included a bunch of distorted camera effects, distorted sounds, and carnival music (which actually made it a bit hard to pick up what Steve is saying). Steve talked about how Tommy Dreamer gave him shelter when he had none. Steve said he thought for years that Dreamer was here to help him, but he only held him back. Steve said the moment he stopped taking Tommy’s advice, the moment things got better.

He said he’s going to use the Digital Media Championship as an instrument to carve a scar in the history pages of TNA wrestling. He said he doesn’t need anything from Tommy, because he’s taken everything from Tommy. He said he doesn’t have to listen to anybody. Rhino entered the scene and the distortions stopped. Rhino said if Steve doesn’t like taking advice, maybe he should teach Steve a lesson weather he likes it or not. Rhino shoved Steve into the wall and walked away. The distortions came back to focus on Steve maniacally laughing…

John’s Thoughts: So, while I thought they had the volume a bit too loud on the carnival music, I thought that stylized promo was good and a step above their old cheap Adobe After Effects promos from the Undead Realm days. Maybe turn the background mix down 25%? Crazzy Steve and Tommy Dreamer have been putting on some great promos in their feud, but there’s a part of the drama taken away every time one of them mention the “Digital Media Championship”. Just rebrand the thing (Tony Khan did with his All-Atlantic flub). Another production touch I liked was the transition to the normal environment when Rhino interrupted the promo. It was done smoothly.

Tom Hannifan hyped a women’s tag team match for after the break…

Rosemary and Havok were in a room designed like a monochrome church (with monochrome pews and a monochrome painted curtain on the wall). Rosemary talked about how TNA was reborn. Havok said with that Rosemary and Havok were resurrected. Havok noted that when she lost to Masha Slammovich in under a minute, she had to go back to her roots in the Undead Wasteland to remind her self who and what she is, a monster.

Rosemary said regular humans serve a purpose, just like Courtney and Jessicka, to stay alive until Rosemary and Havok were ready to take back their meat suits. Rosemary said they are doing things their way now, the way of Decay…Decay… Decay…

John’s Thoughts: Ah, I think I know what the problem was in the Crazzy Steve promo, because Rosemary and Havok sounded like they were in an echo chamber too. What I think is they aren’t using a boom mic or local off-screen mic to pick up the performers. It sounds like they’re using the on board mic of the DSLR or camcorder. Hopefully they see this little, but impactful flaw and fix things. The promo was produced well and they’ve uped their stylistic game. So far, it’s grounded in culture and mythos. I really, really, oh for god really, hope they don’t introduce supernatural super powers into this again. Gotic and and macabre, like 2016 Decay, I hope it’s more like that.

Entrances for the next tag team match took place. Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in from the balcony. They noted that Dani Luna is officially signed to the TNA roster. They also noted that Slammovich and Kelly are trying to get back on track to regain the tag titles…

5. Killer Kelly and Masha Slammovich vs. Dani Luna and Jody Threat. Dani got Masha to a knee with a shove. Dani tagged in Jody which allowed both women to swarm Masha with alternating Strikes. Luna tagged back in and hit Masha with an Exploder Suplex. Masha tripped up Dani and hit her with a springboard knee dive. Kelly tagged in and got a two count on Dani. Masha and Dani traded quick tags to keep a numbers advantage.

Dani dodged a BTE Trigger, which caused Masha and Kelly to clash knees. Dani hit Kelly with a clothesline to bring Jody into the match. Jody cleaned house. Jody caught Kelly with a meteora and suplex for a two count. Kelly and Masha tripped Jody off the top rope. Masha and Kelly hit Jody with the BTE Trigger. Masha and Kelly then hit Jody with a double team Package Piledriver to give Kelly the pinfall win on Jody.

Killer Kelly and Masha Slammovich defeated Jody Threat and Dani Luna via pinfall in 3:35.

Masha and Kelly beat down their opponents after the match. Kelly and Masha gave Luna the same BTE Trigger-Package Piledriver combo to leave her lying…

Okada and The Motor City Machine Guns were shown heading to the ring from backstage…[c]

An ad aired for next week’s impact which advertised the following segments: Nic Nemeth vs. Trey Miguel, Frankie Kazarian explaining why he betrayed Eric Young, Brian Myers vs. Kevin Knight, and Grizzled Young Veterans vs. ABC in the first match of their best of three series…

The System made their entrance first. They have new entrance music for their faction and their video wall had machine gears as a motiff. The Motor City Machine Guns made their entrance next. Kazuchika Okada made his entrance to his awesome Rainmaker theme. Tom Hannifan noted that Okada was making his return to TNA after over a decade.

Hannifan also noted that Okada’s TNA run “was not the best experience he’s had”, and that Okada has spoken negatively about the company for years since then. Hannifan noted that thankfully Okada’s opinion has changed now. Okada stood in the middle of the ring, pat the TNA logo in the center, and gave the logo a bow of respect…

John’s Thoughts: A low key wholesome moment, having Okada return to the scene of one of the biggest crimes in wrestling history, the birthplace of “Okato”. Okada returning to TNA is like a once poor man returning to tie up loose ends with his ex after both turned their lives around and are now at their best lives (though Okada has had the most successful turnaround). I actually watched the old Okato days when he was the Kato to Samoa Joe’s Green Hornet, and had no clue that THAT guy would become a top 3 pro wrestler in all the world.

6. Kazuchika Okada, Alex Shelley, and Chris Sabin vs. “The System” Moose, Brian Myers, and Eddie Edwards (w/Alisha Edwards). Eddie and Shelley started the match with chain wrestling. After a stalemate, all six men entered the ring for a faceoff. The show cut to commercial (I’m not sitting through picture-in-pictures to time this).[c]

Moose and Okada entered the ring back from break. Both men soaked in Okada’s huge ovation. Moose managed to take down Okada with a shoulder tackle. Moose rolled up Okada off a leapfrog. Okada sent Moose into the buckle. Moose ran to the ropes to avoid a Rainmaker. Shelley and Eddie tagged in. Sabin and Shelley gave each of Eddie’s legs a Dragon Screw. The Machine Guns used tags to keep the numbers game advantage on Eddie.

The Guns worked on Eddie’s legs with holds and Dragon Screws, continuing to utilize tags. Okada then tagged in and hyped up the crowd with a few of his elbow drops to Eddie’s targeted legs. The guns tagged back in and went back to their Dragon Screw based offense. Myers snuck in a kick on Shelley. Moose dumped Sabin to ringside. All six men brawled at ringside. The System then cut the ring in half on Shelley with tags and methodical offense. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

Shelley caught the hot tag back from break and cleaned house. Sabin caught Eddie and Brian with a diving lariat. Sabin caught Moose from the apron with a PK to the chest. Sabin dumped Myers to ringside by pulling the top rope. Sabin hit Eddie with a superkick and Tornado DDT for a nearfall. The Guns gave Eddie alternating forearms. Sabin accidentally gave Shelley a Yakuza Kick after Eddie raked Sabin’s eyes.

Eddie hit Sabin with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a nearfall. Myers knocked Okada off the apron. Sabin knocked Eddie and Myers off the top rope and hit them with a crossbody. Sabin kicked off Myers and hit Eddie with a Tornado DDT. Okada and Moose tagged in. Okada planted Moose with a spike DDT. Okada hit Myers with a Flapjack to be the lone man in the ring.

Okada hit Moose with a neck driver for a nearfall. Okada hit Moose with an elbow drop. Okada did the Rainmaker pose. The camera crew made sure to do the signature zoom out. Moose ducked a Rainmaker but ate a dropkick. Moose came back with one of his beautiful looking dropkicks. Shelley and Eddie tagged in. Myers broke up a Shell shock. Eddie hit Shelly with a backpack stunner for the two count. LOL. TNA one ups USA Network by putting beeps to censor the crowd.

They understandably had to bleep due to the crowd chanting “F*ck the System”. The Guns hit Moose with stereo superkicks. The guns then hit Eddie with their signature Muta Lock dropkick combo. Myers caught both Guns with kicks. Okada used a dropkick to block a Roster Cut. Okada hit Myers with The Rainmaker (Ripcord Lariat). Shelley hit Myers with Shell Shocked for the victory.

Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, and Kazuchika Okada defeated The System via pinfall in 12:30 of on-air time.

The Motor City Machine Guns and Okada stood tall to close the show…

But wait? There’s more? A distortion cut in after the signature graphic. A vignette aired. A person said change oftens happens gradually over time, but sometimes it happens in a flash. He said TNA has gone through change gradually over years, but now its time for a different and more immediate change. He said that change will be ignited by an X Factor, “I’m Mustafa Ali, and I approve this message”. Impact closed with Ali in a suit (his politician gimmick)…

John’s Thoughts: A fun exhibition main event to showcase Okada’s guest appearance on TNA Wrestling. Okada came off as way bigger of a star compared to when they tried the same thing a few months ago with IWGP Champion Seiya Sanada (but I chuck that to Sanada’s main event push being a bit of a dud). Only downside was The System having to eat a lost immediately after they just formed. I’m not sold on “The System” yet. Yes, Myers and Edwards have teamed with Moose in the past, but that’s it.

The System feels like TNA just wants to have a cookie-cutter Horsemen esque faction, yet they didn’t put the groundwork in to organically develop the faction. I think it would have been better if they kept the belt on Alex Shelley, AND THEN build towards Moose putting together The System to take the belt off. Anyways, small nitpicks, because I’m happy that TNA is still putting together good television.

As such, another solid episode of TNA Impact. Maybe the layoff did them some good, as they are back with a vengeance in terms of being in peak form, putting on one of the most consistently enjoyable weekly wrestling shows. TNA is slowly surpassing AEW as a destination spot for free agents. Yes you can go to AEW and get a big and easy paycheck, but there’s a really good chance no matter how good you are, you might get stuck in undercard purgatory(think Bandidto, Jay White, Miro, Andrade, Malakai Black, Pentagon Jr, Rey Fenix, LAX, and countless others).

TNA, while the check may not be as chonky, will at least give you a decent check, but you ultimately get to perform your craft just the way you want to, and even get a chance to actually be a super star. Not only for the Nic Nemeth’s of the world. I’d want to see Okada in TNA (though I also think WWE would utilize him best). Looking forward for Ali to utilize TNA’s canvas for his art. God bless Scott D’Amore and crew for legit putting out the true alternative, and the true alternative is simple, epic, and fun pro wrestling.







Readers Comments (1)

  1. >>…nd even get a chance to actually be a super star.<<


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