TNA Impact results (3/14): Moore’s review of Mustafa Ali vs. Chris Sabin for the X Division Title, Nic Nemeth, Mike Bailey, and Trent Seven vs. Steve Maclin and The Rascalz, Ace Austin vs. Frankie Kazarian

By John Moore, Staffer (@liljohnm)

TNA Impact (Episode 1,025)
Taped March 9, 2024 in Windsor, Ontario at St. Clair College

Aired March 14, 2024 on AXS TV

Highlights from the TNA Sacrifice show aired…

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

Entrances for the opening match happened…

1. Mustafa Ali (w/personal security) vs. Chris Sabin for the TNA X Divisison Championship. Sabin attacked and took out Ali’s personal security before the bell. Sabin put Ali in the tree of woe and stomped on him a bit. Sabin caught Ali out of the air and put him in a modified Rings of Saturn. Ali escaped and hit Sabin with a suicide dive at ringside. Ali hit Sabin with a neckbreaker for a two count. Ali worked on Sabin with methodical offense for a few minutes.

Sabin avoided a 450 and got a window of opportunity after a dropkick on Ali. Sabin hit Ali with a boot, knee, and Tornado DDT for a nearfall. Sabin put Ali on the top rope. Ali punched Sabin off and hit him with a clothesline. Both men traded superkicks. Ali hit Sabin with a gamengiri. Sabin came back with a superkick to leave both men lying. A TNA chant ensued. Ali hit Sabin with a throat punch. Sabin came back with a shoulder to the gut. Both men brawled to the top rope.

Sabin blocked a moonsault with a DDT for a two count. Sabin writhed in pain after missing a Bronco Buster on the turnbuckle. Ali brought his X title in the ring. Sabin recovered and hit Ali with a Clothesline from Hells Michigan. Sabin tried to hit Ali with the title belt, but Ali ducked it. Ali rolled up Sabin and picked up the win with his leg on the ropes.

Mustafa Ali defeated Chris Sabin via pinfall in 9:57.

John’s Thoughts: Good match between two of the better workers in TNA. Even though I’m not 100% sold on this slimy politician gimmick that Mustafa Ali has been trying to get up and running for years, I do like the effort he’s putting in for character development. He picks up another dirty win to continue the slimyness while also gaslighting Sabin to cause him to get some development.

Tom Hannifan plugged upcoming segments…[c]

Gia Miller interviewed Nic Nemeth, Trent Seven, and Mike Bailey about their upcoming match against Steve Maclin and The Rascalz. Bailey claimed that “Speedball Mountain” and Nick Nemeth are the greatest trio in history. Bailey talked about how they are also all going after gold. Nic Nemeth was hyped up and said that they are going to take their opponents to the “Danger Zone” (I’m assuming he’s quoting Kenny Loggins). They all joined Bailey in a Karate bow to conclude the interview…

Josh Alexander made his entrance. A picture-in-picture replay showed that Josh Alexander lost his last match to Hammerstone after a low blow from Hammerstone. Hannifan noted that Alexander was here without his headgear due to Hammerstone taking it away as a trophy. Josh soaked in “Walking Weapon” chants. Josh said he has a question? He asked “why do they see me special” and “why do they call me the walking weapon”. Josh said that’s because when he’s focused there ain’t a damn wrestler on the planet better than him. Alexander talked about proving that by beating Will Ospray at Snake Eyes.

He said he also proved it by being the longest reigning TNA champion in history. Alexander then talked about having to relinquish that title with tears in his eyes right here in Windsor Ontario. He said it’s damn right he’ll get the title back. He said he’s been focused on getting that title back. Alexander said people like Simon Gotch are just obstacles to get up the ladder to get to where he wants. Josh then said it brings him to Hammerstone. Josh talked about opening the welcome mat for Hammerstone with a match so good that Hammerstone got signed by TNA.

Josh talked about how when it came down to it, Hammerstone couldn’t win fair and square by hitting Josh in the nuts and then hitting Alexander with a nightmare pendulum. Josh talked about Hammerstone also tapping out while the ref wasn’t looking. Josh then talked about Hammerstone acting like a trophy hunter, thinking the headgear represents Josh. Josh said that doesn’t represent him because Josh’s heart represents him. Josh talked about his heart keeping him up when he gets knocked down. Josh said Hammerstone gave him something else other than the title to focus on, kicking Hammerstone’s ass. A “kick his ass” chant ensued.

Josh said he’s not asking Hammerstone, he’s telling Hammerstone to get here to do this right now. Oleg Prudius and Alpha Bravo then made their entrance to Dirty Dango’s music. Bravo cut a promo about how Josh Alexander lost due to Dirty Dango softening up Josh on the Impact before Sacrifice. Josh said if Dango softened him up, where is Dango? On queue, Dango tried to jump Josh, but Josh saw it coming and dumped Dango to ringside. Josh teased a brawl with Prudius, but security ran out to separate both men. Santino Marella made his entrance and “summoned a referee” to make a match happen right now…

2. Josh Alexander vs. Oleg Prudius (w/Dirty Dango, Alpha Bravo). Oleg took down Josh with a Judo toss and shoulder tackle in the corner. Josh came back and then gave a knee drop to Oleg’s leg. Josh then put Oleg in a grapevined ankle lock for the quick win.

Josh Alexander defeated Oleg Prudius via submission in 0:53.

Hannifan plugged upcoming segments…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A good and productive promo by Josh Alexander who continues to shine as the flag barer and main protagonist of TNA. I like hte small touch of remembering the good match between Dango and Alexander, with Dango taking credit for softening up Josh (even though it didn’t ultimately come into play due to the heat being put on Hammerstone’s low blow). Good basic usage of Oleg Prudius to have Josh looking strong as he goes after revenge against Hammerstone (would be cool if the non TNA Plus viewers can get introduced to Hammerstone though. My exposition to him comes off his run in MLW as their top guy and buddy of MJF. I hope that Hammerstone’s steroid jokes don’t make the jump over to TNA because that was something that they joked about a lot in MLW).

Digital Media Champion Crazzy Steve made his entrance in street clothes. Steve said at the risk of sounding redundant saying who he is is simple, but what he is is complicated. Steve talked about tearing through a legend in Tommy Dreamer and a former world champion in Rhino. He said he also defeated a former Digital Media Champion Joe Hendry. He said that puts him above the rest.

Steve talked about how he’s the only champion in the company that can lay claim that every time he’s in the ring, the title is on the line. Steve said none of the crowd can understand that pressure, only he can handle that. Steve said there’s not a human alive who can handle that pressure. The lights went out and due to the lightning on the video the crowd assumed it was PCO. PCO made his entrance and confronted Steve. Steve measured up PCO and then backed down to the entrance…[c]

John’s Thoughts: The funny part about all of this is Steve is cutting great promos and I still remember how great the storytelling was leading to his more serious repackage. It just kills it all a bit every time he has to mention the poorly branded “Digital Media” title. Why not just rebrand it to TV title? Look at the wonders it did for Orange Cassidy when his poorly branded title got rebranded. On top of this, I feel like it doesn’t really help Steve to be feuding with yet another older wrestler from the 90s. I like PCO’s work too, but tired of the autopilot Frankenstein’s monster thing. Steve moves on from two ECW legends an now has the honor of facing a former Quebecer.

A TNA Plus ad aired…

Ace Austin and Chris Bey made their entrance. In a nice touch, they have new entrance music and no longer use the Bullet Club theme. A replay showed of Ace arguing with Kazarian to set up the upcoming match. Hannifan noted that Kazarian’s two week suspension was over. He also plugged the artist of Kazarian’s new entrance theme. The commentators also recapped Kaz disguising himself as ring crew to cost Eric Young his title shot against Moose at Sacrifice. Jade Chung reluctantly announced Kazarian as the “King of TNA” at Kaz’s request…

3. Ace Austin (w/Chris Bey) vs. Frankie Kazarian. Ace quickly got a drop toehold for a two count. Kaz ducked to ringside for a time out. Ace caught Kazarian with a PK. Kazarian hit Ace with a jawbreaker to turn the tables. Kazarian shoved Ace off the top rope after the referee separated them. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

During the break, Kazarian dominated while also taunting Chris Bey at ringside. Ace came back with a backdrop back from break. Ace hit Kazarian with a monkey flip. Ace hit Kaz with a right hand and Disaster Kick for a two count. Kazarian avoided a Fold. Ace escaped Fade to Black. Ace blocked a Chickenwing. Kazarian hit Ace with an Electric Chair Drop for a nearfall. Ace escaped an unprettier and dropkicked the calf of Kazarian. Ace reversed Fade to Black, but Kazarian reversed a Jackknife into a Rear Naked Choke for the submission win.

Frankie Kazarian defeated Ace Austin via submission in 9:05.

Kazarian kicked Bey and Ace after the match. Eric Young ran out to chase off Kaz…

John’s Thoughts: While I do think that TNA needs to eventually push some of their younger stars up the card instead of the old veterans, I’m a huge fan of them actually giving a heel a clean win to give them some credibility. He still gets his heat afterwards by the cheap shots after the bell, but it helps to also have a “boss” type of character have some credibility. I also respect Kaz for wanting to creatively fulfill himself in TNA by being an active character. Also refreshing to see Ace back in singles because he does have good singles potential as we saw when he was the MILF hunter early in his TNA run.

A promo package for the TNA World and Tag Team Champions, The System, aired. Moose said the accomplishments of the locker room don’t add up to what they all do in the ring. A crawler graphic laid out Moose’s accolades (they actually acknowledge his “Grand Championship” run this time where they ignored it in the past). Moose also bragged about being a teammate of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Moose said Brady is the greatest QB of all time, but Manning might arguably be the greatest QB of all time. He also talked about being coached by Bill Belichick.

Moose said he was a part of Belichick’s system and is now a part of “The System”. Myers then ran through his accolades with an assisting crawler graphic. Eddie Edwards also ran through his accolades in TNA> Eddie even threw in his NOAH accolades. They ended their promo by saying “Trust the System”…

The commentators hyped upcoming segments…[c]

John’s Thoughts: As down as I’ve been on “The System”, I will give it to them that this was their best actual segment to date. It was produced well and laid out their accomplishments very well. Feels a little bit “too little too late” as it would have help for them to do something like this for them leading up to Moose winning the title. I’m willing to give them a chance, but it feels like they kinda botched this forced and fabricated “horseman like” faction.

Gia Miller tried to interview Alex Shelley, Kushida, and Chris Sabin about their recent losses. Zack Gibson and James Drake then walked onto the set to brag about taking down one of the top trios in TNA history in Time Machine. Shelley said if the GYV’s want to prove they’re a top team, then they need to take down the Time Splitters. Shelley quickly walked off. Rehwoldt was confused because Shelley called the Time Splitters a top tag team instead of the Motor City Machine Guns…

“Top Dolla” AJ Francis made his entrance. A picture-in-picture showed Francis playing basketball in a charity game to fight against Gun Violence. Joe Hendry cut his usual “I believe” pre match promo while also making sure to mock AJ. AJ actually tackled Hendry before the “I believe” line…

John’s Thoughts: See! I’ve said this about AJ Francis in his run before the botched Top Dolla run in WWE. The man comes off as a extremely wholesome guy. He did when he was the wholesome Uber driver while on the Washington Redskins. He came off as wholesome when he was the wide eyed pro wrestling fan in his A&E WWE pawn shop show. I get that he may have an abrasive reputation during his Top Dolla run, but so far everything else just shows me that this dude is just pure wholesome? Him being a “bad guy” feels fabricated in a way.

4. Joe Hendry vs. AJ Francis. Hendry managed to turn the tables to hit Francis with ten punches in the corner. AJ reversed Hendry with a suplex. AJ hit Hendry with the Tenessee Whiskey (a modified knee strike combined with his famous Flop). AJ reversed a body slam into a belly to back suplex. Hendry went for another body slam, but AJ used his weight to hit Hendry with a crossbody. Hendry rallied back with lariats, but couldn’t take down Francis. Francis took down Hendry with a shoulder tackle.

Hendry took down Francis with a DDT. Hendry rebounded Francis on the ropes and finally managed to hit Francis with a body slam for a two count. AJ dragged the referee into hismelf to eat a Hendry tackle. REF BUMP!!! Hendry ducked a chair shot and hit AJ with a dropkick. Rich Swann ran out in a TNA shirt. He prevented AJ from grabbing the steel chair. Instead, Swann turned heel and then started attacking Hendry with a chair. Francis hit Hendry with a chokeslam for the win.

AJ Francis defeated Joe Hendry via pinfall in 6:19.

The announcers plugged upcoming segments…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Okay, very productive segment in my opinion and better than I had hopes for. Mostly because of Rich Swann finally changing things up after all these years as the Lionel Richie dancing dude. Swann’s been in autopilot ever since his TNA title loss to Kenny Omega. Looking forward to see the extremely talented guy finally try something new and fresh (He did tease a bit of a heel run that looked promising in MLW when he and Myron Reed formed the Injustice stable, but then he left MLW soon after turning. Where’s Myron Reed been by the way? Dude showed up for literally a second and disappeared from TNA). I still think AJ as a heel is fighting against the grain, but I’m willing to see this work out, especially with Rich Swann becoming fresh and new. Now if only Joe Hendry would revert to that complex singing guy from his old TNA run with Grado? Current Joe Hendry is one note, despite his awesome karaoke ability.

Alan Angels thanked Ash by Elegance and George Iceman (still unnamed) for agreeing to be on his talk show. Iceman argued about the set not being up to par for someone as elegant as Ash by Elegance. Iceman said “this isn’t the Ritz, this is the shit”. Angels apologized and said he spent his entire life savings on the set. Ash reluctantly agreed to be on the show and sat on the production crates that Alan uses as seats. Angels said he is a huge fan of Ash, ever since attending one of her autograph signings. Ash then made the announcment of having her thrid TNA match next week. Ash and Iceman then left. Angels fangirled over Ash touching his shoulder…

The new TNA Knockouts tag team champions Jody Threat and Dani Luna, now known as “Spitfire”, made their entrance with their presumed enhancement fodder in the ring. Before the bell, Killer Kelly and Masha Slammovich made their entrance to watch at ringside. Hannifan noted that Kelly and Masha showed a bit of friction before their loss. Havok and Rosemary also made their entrance to watch the match…

5. “Spitfire” Jody Threat and Dani Luna vs. Beaa Moss and Vanna Black. Luna hit one opponent with a body slam. Threat and Luna then used quick tags to swarm one of the opponents with strikes. The other opponent tagged in and ate lariats from both tag champions. Luna hit both opponents with a double suplex. Luna and Threat hit one opponent with a double team Burning Hammer to give Threat the win.

Spitfire defeated Beaa Moss and Vanna Black via pinfall in 2:10.

Hannifan plugged the main event of the show…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Not sure why TNA is playing hot potato with the knockouts tag titles? I guess one benefit is they have three teams as credible tag teams in the division? Hopefully the hot potato stops. It’s a bit tough to book a women’s tag division when their division isn’t too deep but at least I like that they are trying to make sure to have some sort of a title picture (though I think they dropped the ball a bit by not taking advantage of their initial push of Masha Slammovich).

Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in from the commentary table. Hannifan did a plug for the TNA Plus app. Tasha Steelz interrupted the plug and took the mic at the commentary table. She noted how she didn’t lose to Grace at sacrifice. Tasha said if Grace is a fighting champion, then she’ll give Tasha a title shot to get her rightful TNA Knockouts Championship. Hannifan then sent the show to an ad for next week’s show…

After the plug, Rehwoldt noted that Jordynne Grace vs. Tasha Steelz was made official for next week…

Entrances for the next match took place…

6. Nic Nemeth, Mike Bailey, and Trent Seven vs. Steve Maclin, Trey Miguel, and Zachary Wentz. Nic started the match with his signature amateur chain wrestling on Wentz. Maclin tagged in and bickered a bit with his tag partners. Nic hit Maclin with a Fameasser for a two count. Seven and bailey tagged in and hit maclin with a chop. Seven hit Maclin with a DDT. Bailey hit Maclin with a standing Shooting Star for a two count. Bailey hit Maclin with a Yakuza Kick. Wentz crotched Bailey on the top rope to allow Maclin to hit him with a slam for a two count.

Maclin gave Bailey a Uranage backbreaker for a two count. Maclin knocked Bailey’s tag partners off the apron. Maclin then worked on Bailey with methodical offense while also taging in The Rascalz to cut the ring in half. Bailey hit Trey with a missile dropkick to tag in Seven. Seven hit Miguel with a Uranage, Uppercut, and tilt a whirl slam for a two count. Seven used a right hand to knock down both Rascalz. The show cut to picture-in-picture.

During the break, Trey got control after a chop block on Seven, leading to the usual heel tag team heat sequence. Seven escaped a leg lock from Maclin back from break, but Wentz came in and hit Seven with a double stomp. Maclin tripped Bailey to prevent a hot tag. The Rascalz used quick tags to cut the ring in half on Seven. Seven backdropped Trey and hit Wentz with a superplex. Nemeth and Maclin tagged in with Nemeth rallying and cleaning house. Nemeth hit all three opponents with sginger splashes. Nemeth hit Maclin with ten rapid elbow drops.

Miguel broke up Nic’s pin attempt. Nemeth hit Miguel with a DDT. Everyone took turns alternating signature moves. Seven hit Trey with Bop and Bang and a Seven Star lariat. Maclin dumped everyone to ringside, but accidentally hit Trey wtih a suicide dive. Wentz argued with Maclin and left Maclin high and dry by leaving Maclin in the ring to eat moves from all three opponents. Seven put Maclin in a Full Nelson to eat Bailey’s 360 Hook Kick. Nemeth hit Maclin with the Zig Zag for the victory.

Nic Nemeth, Trent Seven, and Mike Bailey defeated Steve Maclin, Trey Miguel, and Zach Wentz via pinfall in 14:13.

Brian Myers, Moose, and Eddie Edwards ran out to take down the babyfaces in the ring. All three System members then posed with their championships to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: A well worked main event. I feel like this heel trio was better built than “The System” (even though it looks like that group is dissolving and being replaced by The System). Maclin is protected enough because it took his tag partners betraying him out of pettyness. Interested to see where they slot Maclin and The Rascalz afterwards. Nic Nemeth’s run in TNA has been a good one so far with him elevating himself past his old Dolph Ziggler persona. Mike Bailey meanwhile feels like he has been relegated a bit ever since his return from New Japan. “Speedball Mountain” feels like a kit bash tag team with Trent Seven’s old what feels like adopted son Tyler Bate going off to college, so he adopted Mike Bailey to be his new adopted son.

I wouldn’t mind Seven turning heel sooner than later on Bailey as Seven was doing some good heel work as the top of NXT UK at the end of that show’s run. Solid episode of Impact and it felt like they were able to comfortably book a show without rushing because of the short turnaround between TNA Plus shows. This show also benefited in the end by not having the cold mid-card System faction in the main event (I’m willing to give the guys a chance because they’re all talented, but TNA needs to put in effort to build them. The promo segment was a good start, but it also felt like “too little too late” as well).




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