TNA Impact results (2/15): Moore’s review of ABC vs. Grizzled Young Veterans in the second match of the best of three series for the TNA Tag Titles, TNA World Champion Moose vs. Kushida

By John Moore, Staffer (@liljohnm)

TNA Impact (Episode 1,021)
Taped January 19, 2024 in Kissimmee, Florida at Osceola Heritage Park

Aired February 15, 2024 on AXS TV

Highlights from last week’s TNA Impact aired. The Impact “Cross the Line” theme aired… Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt were on commentary. Jade Chung was the ring announcer… Entrances for the opening match took place…

1. Frankie Kazarian vs. Jake Something. Kazarian stalled at the ropes to start the match. Kazarian them rallied with methodical strikes. Jake hit Kaz with a hip attack and tossed him to ringside next to the announce table. Jake then dumped Kaz right back out when he entered the ring. Kazarian shoved Jake’s hamstring into the steel steps. Kazarian managed to rake Jake’s eyes and give Jake a guillotine leg drop, draping on the rope. Kazarian gave Something a neckbreaker for a one count.

Jake no-sold Kazarian’s chops and dared him for more. Kazarian tackled Jake to the corner and gave Jake a cheap shot when the referee distracted Jake for the rope separation. Jake lowered his weight to reverse a body slam. Kazarian punched Jake in the kidney and followed up with a knee to the face. Kazarian body slammed Jake and hit him with a springboard leg drop for a nearfall. Jake slammed Kaz to the turnbuckle after Kaz called him a son of a bitch and tried to go for the chickenwing.

Jake broke the hold and hit Kaz with a running forearm. Jake rallied with right hands and a body slam. Kazarian avoided a spear. Jake avoided a chickenwing and hit Kazarian with a Michinoku Driver for a nearfall. Jake used his wide body to block another chicken wing. Kazarian surprised Jake with One Final Beat for a nearfall. A TNA chant ensued. Jake reversed Fade to Black with a sunset flip. Kaz avoided a tackle, sending Jake into the ring post shoulder first.

Kazarian and Jake brawled to the top rope. Kazarian sliped away when it looked like Jake was gaining control. Kazarian then tripped Jake off the top rope. Kazarian pinned Jake with a hand on the rope for leverage that the ref couldn’t see. Kazarian picked up the dirty win.

Frankie Kazarian defeated Jake Something via pinfall in 9:16.

Hannifan plugged upcoming matches heading into break…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A good dirty win that puts heat on Kazarian while also protecting the young and rising star in Jake Something. Key here is to not overuse finishes like this (The Rascalz “spray can” finish was an overdone finish in 2023). No problem in building and protecting strong heels in veterans like Frankie Kazarian. They put effort into character development with Kaz, so they should get the fruits out of it. Another Key is the follow up with Jake Something. Kazarian is on a collision course with fellow veteran Eric Young, so where does Something go after this. Something is someone TNA should consider as a young pillar of the future given his look, ability, and upside.

Eric Young cut a promo backstage after he was shown earlier watching the Kazarian match behind the curtain. Young said he’s been listening to Kazarian. He said he has a lot to say to Kaz. He said rather than cut a promo backstage, he would rather sort things out face to face. Young asked Kazarian to meet him next week so they can sort things out man to man, one on one, just like it’s always been done…

Entrances for the next match took place…

2. TNA Knockouts World Champion Jordynne Grace vs. Savannah Evans (w/Gisele Shaw) in a non-title match. Evans tackled Grace early on to kick off the match with the advantage. Evans then worked on Grace with methodical offense and power moves. Evans got a two count after a butterfly suplex. Grace came back with two face wash kicks. Evans blocked a sunset flip, but Grace kicked Grace into the ringpost. Grace hit Evans with a meteora, uppercut, and Vader Bomb for a one count.

Evans ended Graces rally with a big boot. Evans ended up getting distracted by Shaw giving her advice at ringside. This allowed Grace to hit her with a Kinniku Buster. This allowed Grace to pick up the clean win.

Jordynne Grace defeated Savannah Evans via pinfall in 2:39.

After the match, Shaw smashed Grace over the face with the plastic X. Grace also smashed Evans in the face with the X. Shaw stood tall with her entrance theme playing to end the segment…

John’s Thoughts: Solid notch on the belt win for the dominant champion Grace. I’m always a fan of wrestlers picking up wins with a secondary finisher as it makes those signature moves mean more during nearfalls (Eddie Edwards’s Blue Thunder Bomb and Baron Corbin’s Deep Six are two moves that lose impact due to them always leading to kickouts). We’ve seen this type of post-match setup with Shaw before, so that’s not to interesting. Only intriguing difference here is it looks like she’s dissolving her association with Savannah Evans (who felt shoehorned in Shaw’s act to begin with after Tasha Steelz abruptly went on hiatus). Wouldn’t mind Evans being paired back with Tasha, and here’s hoping that this latest push of Shaw doesn’t just lead to yet another simple loss (even that is up in the air due to everything being up in the air with Anthem’s backstage shakeup).

Gia Miller introduced Ash By Elegance (f.k.a. Dana Brooke) for her first TNA interview. Instead a random dude introduced himself as Ash’s personal concierge (it was Destiny Pro Wrestling promotor George Iceman, who’s been on Impact TV before). Iceman asked Gia to move off set so he can handle Ash’s interview. George introduced Ash and then talked up how beautiful she was. George then asked Ash for her “big announcement”. Ash announced that she’ll make her TNA in-ring debut next week. Iceman then gave Ash and her look over the top hype. Iceman and Ash left with the camera showing Gia having a confused jaw drop…

Tom Hannifan plugged upcoming segments heading into break…[c]

The show cut to Alan Angels and Simon Gotch on Alan’s “Sound Check” talk show set, where Angels was still struggling to get the look of the show right. Angels then gave Gotch an intro and called him one of the most controversial figures in wrestling today. Angels asked Gotch how he was feeling and Gotch said “Fantastic” with an intense look on his face. Angels then asked Gotch to tell his story about Josh Alexander.

Gotch talked about Josh Alexander overcoming a broken neck and five year ban in the US to get to where he is now. While Gotch was delivering his promo, the camera person would randomly shake and look at Alan (to continue the “cheap” gimmick, they’re going for). Gotch talked about Alexander wrestling a brutal and frightening match in front of Scott D’Amore where Scott entered the ring after the match to personally hand Josh his first pro wrestling contract.

Gotch talked about how Josh would go on to become champion in front of his wife and son. Gotch said there was one detail that TNA likes to leave out, “who was in the ring against Josh when he got that contract?”. Who pushed Josh to the absolute limit in front od Scott D’Amore? Who was the man that brought out the champion? Simon Gotch. Gotch talked about how he’s been edited out of every mention of Josh captivating the wrestling world.

Alan Angels then introduced footage from the Simon Gotch (as Simon Grimm) wrestling Alexander from that Destiny Pro Wrestling show. Alan asked Gotch for his thoughts on that match. Gotch talked about how he sees that match every night in his mind every time he thinks about what was taken away from him. He said to you it might be just seconds in a life, but people die by seconds. Gotch said Josh killed him in three seconds. Gotch said that Alexander built an entire legacy on Gotch’s corpse, but unfortunately for Josh, the only trick that Gotch never learned is to stay dead.

Gotch said Josh now has to face that corpse crawling out of the grave ready to bite his face off. Gotch said TNA has been respectful enough to allow him to air his grievances. Gotch then wondered if Josh has the fortitude to face him. Josh Alexander then stormed on the set held back by security. Alexander broke free and the ensuing brawl took out the production equipment and the feed…

John’s Thoughts: Good interview by Gotch to effectively flush out what felt like a random feud last week. You understand Gotch’s anger a bit given how TNA/Impact constantly references Josh Alexander signing his first TNA contract, while leaving out that Gotch was his opponent in that milestone moment. Good motivation for a vindictive heel. During that time too, Gotch really impressed me with his work in MLW, so there’s potential for a fun feud here that also gives Josh something to do away from the title scene (the title scene is a bit weak tho, with the random ass “System” faction meandering and not catching fire).

Entrances for the second match in the best of three tag team title series aired. A picture-in-picture replayed the injury angle from last week where Ace Austin’s shoulder was smashed by the lid of a production crate. With GYV winning the first match, the next two matches are technically tag team title matches, which Hannifan noted…

3. “ABC” Ace Austin and Chris Bey vs. “The Grizzled Young Veterans” Zack Gibson and James Drake in the second match of the best of three series for the TNA Tag Team Championships (GYV lead 1-0). Bey and Gibson started the match. Gibson asked for the injured Ace to enter the match. Bey decided that it was best for him to start. Bey took down Gibson with a Thesz Press. Ace tagged in and hit some stereo moves with Bey. Ace then gave Gibson rapid mud hole stomps. Bey tagged in and gave Gibson his own mud hole stomp.

Gibson tackled Bey to the opposite corner to tag in Drake. Bey rallied with right hands. Bey and Ace hit Drake with a high low and leg drop combo after Ace tagged in. Gibson held Ace in the corner which allowed Drake to hit Ace with a dropkick into the injured shoulder heading into picture-in-picture.[c]

Drake and Gibson hit Ace with a double team shoulder breaker. Ace hit Gibson with a enzuigiri, but Drake quickly tagged in to cut Ace off at the pass. Ace gave Drake a body slam off the injured arm to bring in Bey for the hot tag. Bey hit Gibson with a suicide dive and caught Drake with a diving lariat after a gamengiri. Bey used kicks to fend off both GYVs. Bey hit Drake with a brainbuster. Gibson broke up the pin.

Ace dumped Gibson to ringside. Ace’s shoulder gave out on him when he tried to boost Bey up for the cutter. This allowed Gibson to trip up Ace and allowing Drake to get a good nearfall off Bey. Gibson tackled Ace’s injured shoulder into the steps. Gibson swatted Bey out of the air off a plancha. Drake and Gibson hit Bey with a Doomsday Divice. Bey kicked out of Gibson’s pin at two.

Bey got a breather after hitting Gibson with a Fameasser. Drake and Ace tagged in with Ace wrestling with one arm. Ace fended off both men with savate kicks. Drake tripped up Ace. Drake and Gibson were going for their double codebreaker, but Bey tripped up Gibson. Ace then picked up the win after a jackknife pin.

Ace Austin and Chris Bey defeated the Grizzled Young Veterans via pinfall in 14:20 to tie the best of three series for the TNA Tag Team Titles at 1-1.

Hannifan noted that there will be a third and final match in the series…

John’s Thoughts: While the match was 99% predictable due to how pro wrestling usually books best-of series, both teams did a great job working around Ace Austin’s injury angle from last week. The ending sequences in particular were good enough to make the viewers suspend their expectations for a little bit. The injury angle also makes the final match of this feud seem a lot less predictable due to it being able to go both ways. Why not put over the new debuting tag team strong? I definitely think Drake and Gibson deserve it after having to live in that dumb ass NXT cult for about a year.

The show cut to the latest Dirty Dango docu-style interview, alongside Oleg Prudius and Alpha Bravo. The first question was “how have you enjoyed the return of TNA?”. Dango said that if he could turn back time, he definitely wouldn’t have gone to Killer Kowalski’s wrestling school, but instead go to Dale Earnhardt’s school of professional stock car racing. Dango said Will “Ostrich” vs. Speedball Mike Alexander was a five star match (Will Ostrich is what Jim Cornette calls Will Ospreay).

Dango said the fans may be buzzing about that match, but not Dango’s dad. Dango said his dad doesn’t know any of those guys, but he does know who Scott Norton is. Dango then was distracted by a flat tire at the race track they were at. Dango said he would like to see Oleg Prudius vs. Scott Norton. Dango asked Oleg what his PWI 500 ranking was last year? Oleg glared at Dango in silence. The next question was “What is your current plan?”.

Dango said he and Oleg were holding open casting calls to up and coming tag teams in their recent squash matches. Dango got distracted and wondered where the Panda Energy stock car was? Dango then challenged all tag teams with less than a year of experience to call the number at the bottom of the screen to challenge Oleg Prudius and the dirtiest of Dangos. Dango said he thinks that’s a hell of a deal…

Rhino was shown getting hyped in the hallways…[c]

John’s Thoughts: We’ve definitely seen more clever material from Dango in his run, but I’m just happy that Dango hasn’t ditched what has gotten him to the recent dance with his awesome jaded veteran interviews. A part of me is curious as to how Jim Cornette thinks about Dango using his lines on-air? I honestly think Dango is doing a great job and his promos to me are a highlight on any Impact show he’s on. After being stuck for years with the Fashion Police gimmick, Dango has definitely turned things around with his anti-pro-wrestling promos.

Mustafa Ali cut one of his “political ad” promos. Ali said that leadership is needed most during times of great changes. Ali noted that TNA is in a time of change, a flashpoint in time in which the excitement of abundant opportunity meets anxiety and uncertainty. Ali said this dichotomy appears most clearly in the X Division. Ali said the X Division now exists without an identity (some would argue that the X Division never truly had a clear “identity”).

Ali asked if there is even a leader with a vision to lead the X Division to give the division an identity to persevere in the future? Ali said he can be that leader. He said if you support his vision to a new and revitalized X Division, say “In Ali we trust”. Ali ended his ad by saying “I’m Mustafa Ali and I approve this message”…

John’s Thoughts: Again, The jury is still out on this political gimmick. Ali has been hell bent on getting this gimmick off the ground for about 3 years. He started to have that gimmick manifest on Raw (against Seth Rollins) and NXT (against Dom Mysterio), and it was this weird disingenuous heel that would wrestle against heels. The worst of the “tweener” concept. Pre and during Retribution, I’ve actually gone with the statement “In Ali we trust” because the guy has been so creative and innovative. I’ll give this a 2nd shot, but for now I just don’t see it as interesting yet. If he’s so hell bent on getting this off the ground, he must have some big plans for it.

John Skyler and Jason Hotch cut a promo backstage. Skyler said the Good Hands are fans of Mustafa Ali’s vision. The camera panned back to show some average joes, and Skyer said they were also fans of Ali’s vision. Hotch then laughed at Chris Sabin, who was in the room, and said that Sabin is the man who’s about to lose the title to Ali at No Surrender. Sabin said this is pathetic, and Ali doesn’t even care about them.

A random guy in an Ali political shirt bumped into Sabin. Sabin said “cool shirt bro” and punched out the guy. Hotch and Skyler said that attacking the man was uncalled for and Sabin is just afraid of change…

Entrances for the Digital Media Championship match took place…

4. Crazzy Steve vs. Rhino for the TNA Digital Media Championship. Rhino knocked Steve to the mat and dumped Steve to ringside. Rhino dragged a table into the ring. Hannifan and Rehwoldt noted that this wasn’t a hardcore match. Steve put the table back under the ring to draw boos from the fans. Steve gave Rhino hands, but Rhino came back with a back suplex on the apron. Steve and Rhino had a bit of a walk and brawl on the ramp.

Steve crotched Rhino by kicking the 2nd rope into Rhino. Rhino brought the Digital Medial title in the ring. The referee snatched it and tossed it to ringside. Rhino avoided a cannonball and rallied back. Rhino hit Steve with a TKO for a two count. Steve hit Rhino with a jawbreaker. Rhino came back with a spinebuster. Steve blocked a Gore with a face wash. Steve tossed a fork into the ring which distracted the ref. This allowed Steve to hit Rhino with the title belt for the victory.

Crazzy Steve defeated Rhino via pinfall in 4:52 to retain the TNA Digital Media Championship.

Steve posed with the title heading into break…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Eh, dull match with a lousy finish. The setup was dull and a letdown too. Crazzy Steve had that wonderful character reboot coming off those interviews with Tom Hannifan. His feud with Tommy Dreamer also exceeded expectations with both Dreamer and Steve doing solid character work leading into Bound for Glory. Unfortunately, Steve comes into the TNA reboot looking cold due to being put in a pointless time filler feud against another random ECW legend without any real context to this feud. I hope they quickly move on and try to bring new viewers up to speed on the Steve reboot, which was so well done. It also doesn’t help that they also have to carry around that poorly branded digital medial title as a part of this.

The camera cut to PCO doing his usual Frankenstein monster mannerisms. He was yelling the words “Kon!” and “No Surrender!” randomly…

Tom Hannifan hyped upcoming segments…[c]

Entrances for the next match took place. During Hendry’s entrance, AJ Francis interrupted the entrance theme with his own freestyle rap to Hendry’s theme. It was a bit hard to make out the rap due to it being recorded seemingly off his phone, but it did have subtitles and there were some decent bars about Dr. Seuss and stuff. AJ made his entrance and talked about he comes from a long line of shooters who shoot back. AJ said you will refer to TNA as TNAJ Francis.

Hendry sarcastically said he’s unprepared and he would need a backup video to fire back. A AJ Styles parody music video aired to diss AJ Francis. Instead of saying “Get ready to fly” Hendry sung, “Get ready to dive”. The video mocked AJ for that botched dive that Michael Cole keeps mocking on commentary. After the video, AJ was seething. Deaner attacked Hendry from behind. AJ entered the ring and gave Hendry a chokeslam. Rich Swann entered the ring and cleared Deaner from the ring. Swann then got in AJ’s face. AJ backed down and told Hendry that this wasn’t over…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Weird segment. I actually really liked the Joe Hendry AJ Styles parody because it made sense to use “AJ” to mock AJ. Especially since they have the rights to AJ Styles’s theme. I missed Hendry’s parody songs of licensed music. That said, the rest of this feud composition seems weird. They haven’t really done much to elevate AJ more than being a joke. Rich Swann also seems very random and cold. I actually agreed with AJ a few weeks ago about Swann losing his killer instinct after that lost to Kenny Omega a few years ago. Swann is so talented, but he’s been wallowing in the mid-card for so long.

Footage aired of Steve Maclin attacking Nic Nemeth at a recent World Wrestling Council show in Puerto Rico (WWC is the promotion run by Carlos Colon)…

Gia Miller interviewed Steve Maclin who had The Rascalz with him. Gia asked Maclin why he attacked Nic Nemeth in Puerto Rico. Maclin said his actions speak more than words. Maclin said he and the Rascalz don’t wan Nic Nemeth here so he took care of business by doing something about it. Maclin said Nic Nemeth will never step foot in TNA gain. Trent Seven and Mike Bailey confronted Maclin and the Rascalz. Trent challenged Maclin to a one on one match next week…

Entrances for the next match took place…

5. Killer Kelly (w/Masha Slammovich) vs. Dani Luna (w/Jody Threat). Luna took down Kelly with a pair of clotheslines. Luna got distracted with Masha which allowed Kelly to hit Luna with a suplex. Kelly hit Luna with a PK for a two count. Kelly toyed with Luna a bit with boots. Kelly gave Luna a few headbutts. Luna rallied with clotheslines.

Luna took down Kelly with a running boot. Masha held on to Kelly’s hand to prevent Luna from suplexing her. Threat kicked Masha’s arms away. which allowed Luna to pick up the upset win via rollup.

Dani Luna defeated Killer Kelly via pinfall in 2:48.

Masha and Kelly put the boots to Luna and Threat. Jessicka Havok and Rosemary ran out to chase Kelly and Masha away from the ring. Hannifan noted that Decay will defend the titles against Masha and Kelly at No Surrender…[c]

Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in on commentary. The commentators ran through next week’s TNA Plus No Surrender show…

Entrances for the next match took place. Hannifan noted that at No Surrender Moose will face Alex Shelley for the title in a No Surrender Match. Hannifan noted that Eddie Edwards and Brian Myers will be in Moose’s corner while Kushida and Kevin Knight will be in Shelley’s. The loser of the match will be the first man to have his cornermen throw in the towel…

5. TNA World Champion Moose vs. Kushida in a non-title match. The picture-in-picture showed that The System were cheering on Moose backstage, while Kushida had Kevin Knight and Alex Shelley cheering him on. Moose gave Kushida a flapjack on the apron heading into picture-in-picture.[c]

Moose worked on Kushida with methodical offense. Kushida no sold a slap and rallied back with right hands. Moose reversed a Hoverboard Lock with a body slam at ringside. Kushida beat the ten count at eight. Moose went at Kushida with mounted punches. Kushida reversed a power bomb into a Juji Gatame on the apron. Kushida then gave Moose a PK to the arm after the break.

Kushida got a one count, but quickly went into a Hoverboard Lock. Moose got a foot on the bottom rope after the break. Kushida hit Moose with a Code Red for a good nearfall. Kushida hit Moose with short-arm boots. Moose came back with a knee lift. Kushida came back with a Tanaka Punch. Moose ducked Kushida’s elbow and hit Kushida with a flip spear for the victory.

TNA World Champion Moose defeated Kushida via pinfall in 10:30 in a non-title match.

Myers, Eddie, and Alisha joined Moose in the ring to help Moose beat down Kushida. Alisha gave Kushida a couple of slaps. Everyone else took turns with punches. Shelley and Knight ran out for the save. The babyfaces managed to clear the heels from the ring and close the show standing tall…

John’s Thoughts: A well worked, but forgettable match with a predictable outcome to set up for the next TNA Plus special. TNA is doing so many things right all across the board, but they feel like they’re botching their main event picture with this slapped together Horsemen replica faction in “The System”. On top of that Moose feels like the coldest champion in all of pro wrestling. Probably even colder than the Digital Media Champion, because at least Steve had months of character development in him. Maclin and The Rascalz are more intriguing because they have been built on TV as a unit. The System and Moose just seem colder than the Artic Ocean. In fact, TNA probably should have gone into their reboot with Alex Shelley as champion and maybe build to Moose and The System taking the title off him (Moose kinda suffered at the end when TNA went into best-of and canned footage mode).

There was one or two “meh” segments, but I still didn’t think that was enough to derail what I continue to say is one of the most consistently enjoyable two hours of weekly pro wrestling. The two “meh” segments were more harmless than counterproductive (like a lot of their bad comedy was in past shows). There is still a cloud of uncertainty around TNA these days though. Scott D’Amore, the architect of TNA, is out, and no one is really show where Anthem wants to steer the ship. Them not mentioning Grace’s Royal Rumble appearance at all is an example of them being on autopilot at the moment (when they were heavily plugging it right after Grace’s appearance). A lot of wrestlers tied close to D’Amore, like Josh Alexander, Kushida, Gisele Shaw, and others. Who knows how they might end up. It’s a very uncertain time for TNA, but I hope they find a way to put on the same solid product that they’ve been putting on for the last year or so. Jason Powell’s weekly audio review of TNA Impact will be available later today for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).


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