TNA Impact results (3/28): Moore’s review of Steve Maclin vs. Chris Sabin, an 8-4-1 match for a shot at the Knockouts Championship, Eddie Edwards vs. Mike Bailey


By John Moore, Staffer (@liljohnm)

TNA Impact (Episode 1,027)
Taped March 24, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena

Aired March 28, 2024 on AXS TV

Highlights from last week’s TNA Impact show aired…

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

Entrances for the opening match took place. George Iceman (still unnamed) did a personalized introduction for Ash by Elegance. Ash made her entrance in street clothes while over-selling a face injury. (while a bit hard to make out because the audio wasn’t picked up well) Iceman noted that Ash recently had undergone facial cosmetic surgery and is not cleared to compete.

Iceman noted that they will watch the next number one contender’s match at ringside while Santino had a replacement for Ash already lined up. Ash’s replacement then made her entrance. It was Stephanie De Lander (f.k.a. Persia Perotta). Hannifan explained the 8-4-1 match rules and noted that Nick Aldis won the match the last time it was in TNA last year…

1a. Steph De Lander, Rosemary, Xia Brookside, and Dani Luna vs. Havok, Masha Slammovich, Alisha Edwards, and Jody Threat in an 8-4-1 Match to become the number one contender to the TNA Knockouts Championship. Steph and Havok started the match. Havok yelled in Steph’s face which caused her to quickly tag out and avoid contact. Rosemary tagged in. Rosemary and Havok got on the same page and tagged Steph back in. Luna and Edwards tagged in with Luna getting the upper hand. Edwards managed to hit Luna with a bulldog for a two count.

Masha tagged in and worked on Luna with snapmares. Luna came back with a running dropkick. Brookside and Threat tagged in. Threat whipped Xia to the corner and hit her with rapid lariats. Jody caught Xia out of the air and draped her on the 2nd rope for a Meteora to the back. Masha tagged in. Xia used a victory roll for a two count. Xia hit Masha with a meteora to the back.

Xia got a two count. All eight women ran in to brawl. Luna hit Masha with a rebound Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count. Masha hit Luna with a crosskick. Masha got a modified jackknife rollup for a two count. Both Masha and Luna traded rollups with Luna managing to get the final rollup for the victory.

Dani Luna, Xia Brookside, Rosemary, and Steph De Lander defeated Masha Slammocich, Havok, Alisha Edwards, and Jody Threat via pinfall in 5:15 to move on in the 8-4-1 Match.

Jade Chung announced the match transition. Before the bell, Slammovich attacked Luna and dumped her to ringside before the match went to the next portion…

1b. Dani Luna vs. Rosemary vs. Xia Brookside vs. Steph De Lander in a number one contenders match for the TNA Knockouts Championship. Brookside was dumped to ringside by the other two women, to send her into the “injured” Ash by Elegance. Ash got up and tossed Xia into the steel post. The referee ejected Ash and Iceman to the back. Rosemary did an Undertaker situp in the middle of the ring. Matt Cardona ran in outta nowhere to hit Rosemary with a Rough Ryder Leg Lariat. Steph hit Rosemary with a sitout TKO for the victory.

Steph De Lander defeated Rosemary, Xia Brookside, and Dani Luna via pinfall in the 2nd part of the 8-4-1 match (2:15 approx for the timing on the 2nd portion) to become the new number one contender to the Knockouts Championship.

Cardona held up Steph’s arm in victory…

John’s Thoughts: Cool to see Cardona and De Lander find their way back to TNA. I was really surprised that De Lander was released from her NXT contract a few years ago as De Lander was one of the more experienced talents on the NXT roster during the 2.0 days that featured many inexperienced wrestlers. De Lander really stood out in a positive way when she was heavily featured and even did a good job coming up with a match on the fly with Iyo Sky one time when their triple threat opponent Jacy Jayne got injured mid-match. Curious to see if Cardona and De Lander stick around, as Cardona tends to not sign with companies (though he makes the most of his free agency by doing great work. Surprised he hasn’t signed back with WWE). As for the match, the first part was good. The 2nd part was way overbooked as they went overboard to protect their contracted talent with Hannifan even struggling to explain all the outside interference.

Steve Maclin was arguing with Trey Miguel and Zachary Wentz in the parking lot. Looks like they were going to go their separate ways. Maclin walked into Chris Sabin where he pointed out that Sabin and Shelley looked like they were having friction too. Sabin challenged Maclin to take out his frustrations…

Backstage, Sabin congratulated Alex Shelley and Kushida for winning their match last week. Shelley accused Sabin for looking out for himself in setting up a singles match against Steve Maclin. Shelley walked off with Kushida and Sabin not knowing what Shelley’s problem was?…

John’s Thoughts: While Shelley and Sabin are reportedly on the outs, I do think TNA has done a great job after the reboot selling the friction between Sabin and Shelley. Shelley in particular comes off well when he sells not being the most “pure” babyface on the roster. He does have this arrogance and pettiness to him at times that allows him to easily shift to a more heelish persona (I still would have kept the title on Shelley though as he was doing good work as champion while Moose continues to feel forced)…

Chris Bey and Ace Austin were backstage. Bey talked about how they’ve been on a bit of a losing streak after losing the tag titles. Bey said he was happy that Jake Something won his X Division title match. Ace said that bey shouldn’t have been in the contenders match due to them needing to be focused on the tag titles. Bey said why can’t he do both?

Ace said they need to be focused. Bey talked about Ace challenging Kazarian as a singles wrestler. Ace said he was just defending himself and standing up for the team. Bey asked Ace if he’s accusing him of not standing up for the team. Bey said he’s going to pick a fight with Kazarian…

John’s Thoughts: Two segments in a row and it looks like TNA is about to dissolve two of their stronger tag teams. I like that they are actually acknowledging their losing streak and are turning it into character development. I was wondering too, because they were being booked like they were also on their way out of TNA (which may have been true since we found out that at least Ace’s contract was coming up. Thankfully for TNA, Ace has re-upped his contract with TNA).

Zack Gibson and James Drake were in the ring for a promo. Gibson argued about losing their last match and said that it was Cody Deaner cost them their match last week. Gibson called out Deaner. Deaner made his entrance to generic country music. He also seems to have got his first name back. Deaner said he can speak on behalf of the crowd to say that the GYVs can shut their own mouth.

Deaner said Santino Marella granted him a free match against either GYVs. Deaner said he can choose, but he would let the people choose. Gibson talked about how the people in Philadelphia are mutants and Deaner shouldn’t put his trust in them. Deaner said he does trust them. Deaner then asked the crowd who he should punch. The crowd chanted both, which Deaner agreed. Deaner attacked both opponents…

John’s Thoughts: One thing I find ironic, is all three men here are coming off failed cult factions. Thank God all those cults are dead and buried.

2. Cody Deaner vs. “The Grizzled Young Veterans” Jakes Drake and Zach Gibson in a handicap match. Gibson and Drake used tags to keep the numbers advantage on Deaner. Deaner started to hulk up. Deaner hit Gibson wityh punches, corner lariats, and a bulldog. Gibson came back with a thorat chop to block a DDT. Drake got a cheap shot on Deaner and tagged in. Both GYVs hit Deaner with a double codebreaker to give Drake the win.

The Grizzled Young Veterans defeated Cody Deaner via pinfall in 2:23.

Tom Hannifan plugged upcoming segments…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Eh, a bit of a weird segment. So far, the two matches on the show lacking a lot of logic at points gives me bad memories of the old illogical booking of TNA back in the day. Random handicap match? Makes the crowd look a bit bad too for putting the newly sympathetic Cody Deaner in that situation. I’m also not a huge fan of Cody Deaner going back to his old persona. Hopefully it’s more of a serious approach as opposed to his cartoony Larry the Cable Guy ode. So far, it seems like he’s taking a different approach, but I’m not even sure what he has planned for his new “people’s choice” gimmick either. At least he gets in-ring time as I always thought of him as very underrated in terms of his bell-to-bell ability due to him being so talented as a character.

Gia Miller interviewed Nic Nemeth about his upcoming title challenge against Moose at Rebellion. Alex Shelley interrupted and said he’s confident that Nemeth can take down The System. Shelley bragged about himself taking down the System and said he’s not champ simply to Kushida throwing in the towel that one time. Nic thanked Shelley for the support and said that since Shelley is a legend in TNA, he’d be honored to wrestle Shelley. Shelley then said that since Nemeth doesn’t have a big plans, why don’t they face off? Shelley and Nemeth shook hands…

Josh Alexander made his entrance. Hannifan noted that Josh was scheduled for a talking segment, but Josh looks like he’s ready to wrestle. Josh took a mic and said he misses the people of Philadelphia. He said that Philly was home to some of his best matches. Josh then credited the city with having many famous violent matches. Josh noted that Santino Marella awarded him with a contract for an open challenge this week.

Josh demanded that Hammerstone take him up on his challenge. Tracy Williams made his entrance instead. Williams talked about how Josh doesn’t have to worry about Hammerstone, and instead one of the best wrestlers in the world Williams. Williams said that if Hammerstone doesn’t want a match, he’s down. Josh accepted the challenge. Hannifan noted Williams being a multi time champion in Ring of Honor…

3. Josh Alexander vs. Tracy Williams. Tracy and Josh started the match at a stalemate. Josh then dominated the chop rally. Tracy came back with a knee to the gut. Josh and Tracy tumbled to a ringside off a suplex. Alexander hit Tracy with a crossbody to the back to send him to ringside. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

Hannifan noted that Alexander wasn’t wearing his headgear due to Hammerstone stealing it as a symbolic trophy. Back from break, both men traded right hands. Tracy lowered his body weight to block a Jay driller. Williams rallied with overhead chops and a back suplex. Tracy hit Josh with a few corner moves and a suplex for a two count. Trayc put Josh in a elbow lock.

Josh tackled Tracy to the corner and hit him with a T-Bone suplex. Josh hit Tracy with a rolling senton and diving knee to the back of the neck. Josh went for an Ankle Lock, but Tracy escaped. Josh hit Tracy with a Backbreaker Bomb. Williams backdropped Josh. Both men went to thet top rope. Tracy hit Josh with a Super DDT on the top buckle. Tracy hit Josh with a walking Death Valley Driver.

Tracy put Josh in an STF. Josh rolled Tracy up, but Tracy rolled back over. Josh got to his feet to escape. Josh hit Tracy with a German Suplex. Both men traded boots. Josh then rolled Tracy into a C4 Spike for the victory.

Josh Alexander defeated Tracy Williams via pinfall in 10:25.

Josh motioned to the crowd to show Tracy respect. A “both these guys” chant ensued. Tracy and Josh shook hands. Alex Hammerstone ran out to attack both men. Hammerstone put Josh’s headgear on Tracy and stretched Tracy with a Torture Rack. Hammerstone ended the segment standing tall…

Hannifan plugged upcoming segments…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Decent match with Josh doing his usual thing of taking on all comers, notably guest wrestlers making a stop in the company. Hope we get to see more verbal segments between Hammerstone and Alexander to build up their budding feud while giving Hammerstone some needed initial character development now that he’s newly signed with the company.

Tom Hannifan announced that Mustafa Ali was the cover athlete for the April edition of Pro Wrestling Illustrated. He had the X Division Title with him on the cover…

Ali and Santino were standing in front of a PWI cover display. Ali then asked Santino that Jake Something shouldn’t be in the X Division because he’s too huge. Santino said Samoa Joe was huge and he won the title before because the X Division is about no limits, not weight limits. Ali said they shouldn’t be looking at the past. Ali said that Jake Something isn’t even a good name.

Santino noted that even people with weird names like Rhino can compete in the X Division. Ali said that Rhino is a dumb name. On queue, Rhino appeared behind Ali. Ali tried to chum up to Rhino and called him Mr. Rhinosurus. Ali asked him if there was anything he could do for him.

Rhino asked for a match next week. Ali said he already has a title match scheduled for the next PPV. Rhino said he doesn’t want a title match, but an “old school rules” match next week. Ali said he doesn’t think it was a good idea. Santino said he thinks its a good idea and he booked the match. Ali looked nervous and pissed after Rhino and Santino left…

Entrances for the next match took place…

4. “Speedball” Mike Bailey (w/Trent Seven) vs. Eddie Edwards (w/Bryan Myers, Alisha Edwards). Bailey rallied with a kick and rapid chops. Eddie took down Bailey with a few stiff chops. Bailey came back with a Yakuza Kick, backflip, and Muay Thai roundhouse. Bailey hit Eddie at ringside with a flip dive. Bailey hit Eddie with a shortarm kick. Eddie came back with a chop. Both men traded stiff strikes at ringside.

Eddie hit Bailey with a Blue Thunder Bomb on the apron after the distraction from Myers. Eddie worked on Bailey with methodical offense at ringside. Both men traded chops in the ring. Eddie came back with a thumb to the eye. Bailey escaped a Backpack Stunner and hit Eddie with a Missile Dropkick. Bailey worked on Eddie with chambered kicks and a standing shooting star for a two count.

Bailey worked on Eddie with Muay Thai roundhouses. Bailey worked on Eddie with rapid kicks. Eddie avoided a suicide dive. Bailey hit Eddie with a corkscrew Asai Moonsault. Eddie blocked a Tornado Kick. Eddie recovered to prevent Ultima Weapon. Eddie hit Bailey with a Backpack Stunner. Both men traded strong style strikes in the center of the ring. Bailey rallied with rapid alternating kicks.

Eddie ducked a Chambered Kick and hit Bailey with a lariat. Bailey slammed Eddie to the mat and hit him with a standing Ultima Weapon. Myers tried to go on the apron for the distraction, but Seven hit Myers with Tyler Bate’s Bop and Bang punch. Eddie and Bailey traded quick rollups. Bailey hit Eddie with a chambered Superkick. Alisha grabbed at Bailey’s leg. Bailey saw Eddie coming and set up for Ultima Weapon. Eddie tripped up Bailey and hit Bailey with the Boston Knee Party for the win.

Eddie Edwards defeated Mike Bailey via pinfall in 10:58.

John’s Thoughts: Strong match from an in-ring standpoint, and totally expected by two of TNA’s better longform singles wrestlers. Bailey used to be TNA’s workrate warrior before he went off to compete in New Japan for a bit. Since his time back, he hasn’t been focused on as much, and is currently in a miscast and random tag team with Trent Seven. Seven feels outta place in the poorly named “Speedball Mountain” and looks like he’s just teaming with Bailey to replace his unofficial son Tyler Bate. Meanwhile, The System continue to be overpushed despite their lack of chemistry and character development.

PCO was randomly yelling backstage as usual. He was yelling for “Kon” and “Monsters Ball”…

Hannifan plugged Rich Swann and AJ Francis appearing after the break…[c]

A vignette aired for the former ECW team, the Full Blooded Italians appearing next week…

Frankie Kazarian cut a promo backstage where he was quoting a Bible verse about the righteous and wicked. Kazarian hyped up his upcoming match against Eric Young at the next PPV. Chris Bey then confronted Kazarian and challenged Kaz. Kaz accepted…

A replay aired of Rich Swann betraying Joe Hendry and joining AJ Francis a few weeks ago…

AJ Francis and Rich Swann were in the ring where AJ announced their team as “First Class”. AJ said that they’ve seen first class treatment since teaming. AJ said they’ve been surrounded by pretty women with thicc thighs, as well as first class flights. AJ said he’s elated and hasn’t been as happy since he played for the New York Giants beating up on the Philadelphia Eagles (Well? Not to bash on the Giants, but they haven’t necessarily had the most success as a team over the years).

AJ talked about how Jalen Hurts can’t bring them to a Super Bowl. AJ said the people know he’s here for the big money, but the question they all want answered is “Why? Rich? Why?”. Rich took the mic and said he’s a former world champion. He said he has been in a slump and getting his ass whooped recently. He said He would go to the week in the locker room, and AJ Francis was always there. Rich talked about how AJ promised to take him to even higher heights.

Rich said he knows what kind of dude AJ is, but he declined in favor of doing things “the right way”. Rich talked about kicking ass with Joe Hendry every week. Rich then said that Hendry betrayed him by blind tagging and stealing one of his victories and the spotlight. Rich said Joe then had the audacity to ask him to sing dance in the middle of the ring with him.

Rich then talked about when he was down and out, it wasn’t Hendry who supported him in the locker room, but rather AJ Francis. Rich talked about how AJ reminded him he was a former TNA Champion, and was champion in front of an empty 2020 crowd, which means he doesn’t need the fans to be a top guy. AJ then said that TNAJ Francis and Rich Swann feel like money, money, money; because if you’re not first class you’re last…

Tom Hannifan plugged upcoming segments…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Good promo segment to kick off Rich Swann’s character reboot. I thought that it’s off to a good start too because Rich Swann seems like a completely different person and fresher persona. I’ve rarely seen Rich Swann work heel dating back to his indie days. I was even hoping for a heel turn back around 2018 or something when he formed the heel “Injustice” stable in MLW with Myron Reed (he ended up leaving MLW a week after the stable formed and replaced with Jordan Oliver). AJ, while I actually think he’d make a really good wholesome babyface down the road, really benefits being in a tag team with one of the best wrestlers in the world. Rich can handle the bulk of the in-ring while AJ can drop bars on the mic and learn from working with such a seasoned vet.

Tom Hannifan had a sitdown interview with Laredo Kid. Hannifan noted that a lot of fans don’t know about Kid despite him being in TNA for so long. Hannifan asked Kid about his lucha background. Kid said he grew up in a Mexican border town next to Laredo, TX. He talked about how he ended up working for a local indie promotor in Mexico. He then said he moved on from the smaller company to try out for a larger company in AAA.

Kid said after than he started touring the world. Hannifan noted that Kid is a former AAA Cruiserweight Champion. Hannifan noted that Kid reached a high in AAA by defeating El Hijo Del Viking in a title match, but then reached a scary low by having a perforated intestine that same night and had to be rushed to the hospital. A picture was shown of Kid on a hospital bed with tubes going through his body.

Kid said he almost died that night. He said his family was scared for his life around that time too. He said he even had thoughts of never returning to the ring. He said he believes in himself and never gave up on his dreams. Hannifan noted that Kid had a title shot lined up recently, but couldn’t make it due to travel issues. Kid said it’s tough, but he wants to take the best out of his opportunities. Kid then challenged Crazzy Steve to a title match…

John’s Thoughts: Great sitdown segment with Laredo Kid getting his first character spotlight in his long tenure with TNA dating back to him being featured regularly since 2017. He came off well here and sympathetic in a unique way due to his scary intestine injury. Hopefully this package means he’s graduating from being TNA’s longtime designated fall guy, because I think the guy has been vastly underutilized. Low key MVP too should go to Tom Hannifan who does a wonderful job conducting these sitdown interviews. These interviews also seem to be one of TNA’s methods of sparking a wrestler’s push, which is a good thing.

Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in on commentary. Hannifan sent the show to next week’s TNA ad. The following matches were plugged for next week: Mustafa Ali vs. Rhino in a non-title old school rules match, Frankie Kazarian vs. Chris Bey, Ash by Elegance vs. Xia Brookside, and Nic Nemeth vs. Alex Shelley…

Entrances for the next match took place. Hannifan recapped Maclin dissolving his partnership with The Rascalz, but Sabin also being in a similar position with his recent friction with his longtime tag partner Alex Shelley…[c]

5. Steve Maclin vs. Chris Sabin. Sabin started the match with a armdrag on Maclin. Maclin pressured Sabin to the corner. Sabin escaped the corner and gave Maclin another size up armdrag. Sabin gave Maclin wristlock punches. Sabin then planted Maclin with another armdrag into an armbar. Shelley used strikes to keep Maclin in an armbar. Hannifan noted that Maclin beat Jay White and Chris Sabin in a triple threat a few years ago.

Sabin knocked Maclin off the apron with a dropkick. Sabin then gave Maclin a PK to the left arm. Sabin then tossed Maclin’s arm into the ringpost. Hannifan noted that Sabin was focusing his attack on Maclin’s left arm. Sabin continued to keep the pace methodical by focusing on Maclin’s left arm. Maclin yanked Sabin on the top rope and gave Sabin a rebound suplex heading into picture-in-picture.[c]

John’s Thoughts: Good thing about doing reviews on delay is I can fast forward through the chinlocks and restholds during the picture-in-picture. I use them as a break during my NXT reviews too.

Back from break, Maclin dragged Sabin to the top rope. Sabin bit Maclin in the face to knock him off the top rope. Sabin hit Maclin with a missile dropkick. Sabin go ta two count off a Crucifix. Sabin hit Maclin with a neckbreaker and DDT for a two count. Sabin put Maclin in a Crossface. Maclin broke it up with a leverage pin. Maclin avoided a Plancha and hit Sabin with a Knee Plus.

Maclin hit Sabin with the Jarheadbutt for the two count. Maclin put Sabin in a Tree of Woe, but Sabin used his core strength to dodge a spear. Sabin gave Maclin a jawbreaker on the top rope. Maclin hit Sabin with a Drill Claw for a two count (I hope he didn’t pancake Sabin’s spine). Both men traded strikes. Maclin used a haymaker to dump Sabin to ringside. Sabin dodged a Suicide Dive to leave both men lying.

Sabin beat the count first. Maclin beat the count at 9. Sabin hit Maclin with a Tornado DDT. Maclin put Sabin in the Tree of Woe again and successfully hit his spear. Sabin reversed a double Underhook into a bridged pin. Maclin then kicked out and managed to hit Sabin with a Death Rider for the surprise clean victory.

Steve Maclin defeated Chris Sabin via pinfall in 15:11.

Steve Maclin stood tall to close the show…

John’s Thoughts: Wowzers! Color me surprised. A heel with a clean win. Bravo Impact. Heels having to cheat in every match has gotten wrestlers numb to their wins. This was an example of giving a heel some in-ring credibility. As for the rest of the match, it was a good match down the stretch and given a lot of time. Chris Sabin is having one hell of a career in recent years. People even thought he was retired at a point when he was working for TNA as a producer a few years ago. Instead, he and Shelley found a way to avoid the injury bug, and ended up both having a 2nd wind in their careers in recent years.

Back to Maclin, I’m curious to see if they are setting him up for a bigger push. While “The System” are cold and feel mid-card, I actually thought TNA did a better job developing Maclin and The Rascalz as a three person squad. I actually hope they rush the TNA title off the cold Moose and maybe even set up Maclin as a potential candidate to take the title off Nemeth (Nemeth can also have good feuds with other wrestlers like Hammerstone or Josh Alexander). This week’s show started a bit rough with a few overbooked matches, but I thought it ended up getting back on track with good wrestling and promos.


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