TNA Impact results (5/30): Moore’s review of Ace Austin vs. Chris Bey, Mike Santana vs. Steve Maclin, Jonathan Gresham vs. Sami Callihan, X Division Champion Mustafa Ali vs. Leon Slater

By John Moore, Staffer (@liljohnm)

TNA Impact (Episode 1,036)
Taped May 18-19, 2024 in Newport, Kentucky at MegaCorp Pavilion

Aired May 30, 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…

1. Chris Bey vs. Ace Austin. Ace and Bey soaked in ABC chants to start. Next both men had a respectful chain wrestling exchange. Bey hit Ace with a basement dropkick and basement shoulder tackle. Hannifan noted that Bey and Ace are 1-1 against each other in their singles history against each other. Ace took down Bey with a drop toehold into a Listo Kick.

Both men were even off a strike exchange. Bey got a one count off a dropkick. Bey got a one count off a back elbow. Ace came back with a backdrop. Ace got a few two counts off a few suplexes. Bey hit Ace with a jawbreaker to escape a hold. Ace hit Bey with a Superkick to the face from the apron. Bey came back with a clothesline when Ace ran the ropes. Bey reversed a Disaster Kick with a spinebuster.

Ace recovered when Bey did a Too Sweet with the crowd. Ace worked on Bey with a clothesline, leg sweep, and leg drop. Bey and Ace traded forearms in the center of the ring. Bey took down Ace with a flip kick. Ace came back with a Disaster Kick. Bey ducked a fold and came back with a Cutter. Ace reversed Bey’s springboard finisher, but Bey reversed Ace’s jackknife pin with a crucifix pin for the win.

Chris Bey defeated Ace Austin via pinfall in 10:04.

Bey and Ace shared a hug in the ring. Both men also respectfully held open the ropes for each other…

Tom Hannifan hyped upcoming segments on TNA Impact…

John’s Thoughts: A good and respectful babyface vs. babyface match with no real signs of animosity (yet?) between the two long time tag team partners. It has been a slow burn for this breakup, but they always have the option to pull back on that (probably due to their thin tag division). Bey and Ace do have good potential as singles wrestlers, which they proved before forming ABC.

Entrances for the next match took place…

2. Xia Brookside vs. Steph De Lander. De Lander dominated the collar and elbows with her size. De Lander got a two count off a takedown followed by ground and pound. Brookside set De Lander in the corner with a huracanrana followed by a meteora. De Lander dragged out a chair from under the ring, but she also dragged out PCO with the chair.

Brookside tried to hit De Lander with a dive, but PCO caught Xia. PCO put Xia back in the ring. De Lander ordered PCO to head to the back because “I know how to wrestle.” Brookside rolled up De Lander for the win.

Xia Brookside defeated Steph De Lander via pinfall in 3:47.

PCO entered the ring to confront De Lander. De Lander protested PCO coming on to her, noting he cost her her match. PCO told De Lander to be quiet by putting his finger out. He pulled a note out of his vest which was the name Steph with a heart drawn around it. The crowd chanted “Take It”. Steph took it and actually tucked it away in her ring gear…

John’s Thoughts: Good bounce back win for Xia, but the focus was more on the sports entertainment fun with Steph and PCO. I actually think it’s cute. Because De Lander’s last program in WWE, I can’t help but compare her and PCO to her tag former tag partner Indi Hartwell’s love story with Dexter Lumis (another horror gimmick). Eh, Patrick Bateman vs. Frankenstein’s monster, different enough. Due to Steph’s bleached streak in her hair, I wonder if this is going to lead to some sort of “Bride of Frankenstein” wrestling wedding.

Tom Hannifan sent the show to a replay of the NXT segment were NXT GM Ava announced TNA Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace as Roxanne Perez’s next challenger for the NXT Women’s Championship…

Hannifan plugged Jordynne Grace vs. Stevie Turner in a non-title match for next week’s NXT…

John’s Thoughts: A bit surreal, especially with them using NXT graphics and music. Good to see TNA making the most of this crossover. Also fun seeing all the fun the WWE and TNA wrestlers are having on Twitter teasing “dream matches” that most likely won’t happen, but are fun to fantasy book nonetheless.

Laredo Kid was trying to cut a proud promo about being the Digital Media Champion, but he was quickly cut off by AJ Francis and Rich Swann approaching him backstage. AJ said they were going to congratulate Kid for winning the championship next week’s show, which was the 25 year anniversary of TNA Impact. AJ said the celebration will be Kid vs. Francis for the title. AJ then gave Kid a forearm, which lead to security guards separating both men…

Tom Hannifan plugged upcoming segments…[c]

Big Kon was marching around backstage yelling out for Santino. He walked into Jake Something. This led to both men getting in each other’s face with Cody Deaner breaking them up. Kon and Something agreed to settle things in the ring next week. Kon also advised Jake to not follow Deaner because it didn’t work out for Kon when he followed Deaner in The Design. After Kon left, Jake told Deaner he respects him, but he wants Deaner to stay out of his business with Kon…

John’s Thoughts: Weird booking of this “feud”. They were aligned one week. Jake lays out Deaner two weeks ago. Last week they’re back to friends. Then this week they’re back to foreshadowing a breakup. The storyboarding seems out of order. Hey, at least they’re telling a story, and let’s see where this goes.

Entrances for the next match took place. Rehwoldt stressed that everyone backstage is worried about getting sick from Jonathan Gresham’s “ink”. Hannifan noted that referees are required to wear masks and gloves for Gresham matches to avoid getting sick…

John’s Thoughts: If I were to suspend my disbelief from the stupidity of this all. Many times have I eaten Squid Ink pasta, and a few times there’s actually a Korean Corn Dog place near where I live that sells squid ink corn dogs. Ain’t nobody I heard getting poisoned by eating edible “ink”. Maybe Jonathan Gresham is the first human in existence able to secrete a poison. Sign him up for the X-Men.

3. Sami Callihan vs. Jonathan Gresham. Gresham has a grey beard now. Sami did his thumb thing in front of Gresham and Gresham teased biting Sami’s thumb. Sami tried to pressure Gresham to the corner, but then he had to avoid being bitten. Gresmah then used joint manipulation to try to bite Sami.

Sami then bit the mask of Gresham. Sami worked on Gresham wtih strikes at ringside. Sami then got to the camera and actually sent the show to commercial.[c]

Back from break, Sami was working on Gresham with chops at ringside. Sami then accidentally hit the ringpost when Gresham ducked. Gresham raked the eyes of Sami in the ring. Gresham then hit Sami with a diving punch. Sami got a rope break for a pin attempt. A “calamari” chant ensued. Sami hit Gresham with a pile driver on the apron.

While Sami was hyping up the crowd, Gresham quickly recovered in the ring. Sami and Gresham traded strikes in the center of the ring. Sami no sold some chops and butted heads with Gresham. Sami hit Gresham with a shoulder block and DDT for a two count. Sami hit Gresham with a enzuigiri and moonsault.

Sami then tried to spit ink in his hand, but Sami grabbed Gresham’s face and pushed him on the rope. Sami asked the referee “what the hell is this?” in regards to the ink on his palm. The ref freaked out. Gresham then low blowed Sami and gave him a Sunset Flip for the victory.

Jonathan Gresham defeated Sami Callihan via pinfall in 12:43.

John’s Thoughts: Ugh. Good enough match, but it’s tough to take this “ink” gimmick seriously. This wouldn’t even fly in Lucha Underground, where Sami Callihan was once infused with the blood of Luchasaurus to become a zombie, or something like that. To find some positives, I did chuckle at the “Calimari” chant. I also respect Sami Callihan for no-selling this stupid ink gimmick, at least for the night.

Gail Kim conducted a sit-down interview with Gisele Shaw, and they were sitting at what looked like a sky lounge. Kim said she wanted to see if fans can see Shaw in a different light. Shaw said her last match was her loss to Jordynne Grace at No Surrender when she went for the Knockouts Championship. She said she took that loss hard and suffered some injuries along the way. She said she needed time away physically and mentally.

Kim asked Shaw why she came back from her sabbatical? Shaw noted that Kim asked her to come back. Kim asked Shaw why she agreed though? She said she always wanted to come back home in TNA. But after losing her group and title opportunity, it’s been hard where to restart, starting from scratch. Kim said it’s okay to start from scratch because sometimes it makes you think back at what you’re fighting for?

Kim noted that “The Quintessential Diva” persona had a very shallow source of inspiration to draw from. Shaw asked Kim what she should be fighting for? Kim said that Shaw needs to find that out herself. Kim asked Shaw to not overthink it and look at why she entered the business. Kim said Shaw doesn’t have to be a Quintessential Diva, but be a Knockout. Kim told Shaw to start this next week. Shaw agreed. Kim told Shaw that she got this…

Tom Hannifan plugged upcoming segments…

John’s Thoughts: A good start for the repackage of Gisele Shaw, but it’s going to take a lot of character development to break out of how damaged she was in terms of character ethos. It seems like someone in TNA creative or Gail Kim agrees that the Quintessential was a bit shallow and only had a low ceiling. Fingers crossed that this reboot works because I really think Shaw has it in her to come off as an inspirational babyface if they want to do that 180. While more like a therapy session, another good sitdown interview, this time by legend Gail Kim instead of Tom Hannifan.

The System were hanging out backstage. For some reason there was weird “dark” sounding ambiance music in the background, and they were using a multi-cam setup, similar to cinematic cams. Gia Miller showed up and interviewed Eddie Edwards first about facing Joe Hendry later on. Eddie hyped up him and Myers defending the title against The Nemeth Brothers as well as Moose defending his title against Matt Hardy.

Eddie said that Joe Hendry is just a birthday clown that they don’t have to worry about as long as the Nemeths and Hardy don’t get involved. Moose said this isn’t a System partner in terms of Hardy, it’s a Moose problem. Moose left, leaving Alisha Edwards worried. The rest of the System did their “trust the system” catchphrase. Before leaving, Myers said Gia’s new hair looks like a Nemeth. Frankie Kazarian showed up and then forced Gia to call him the King of TNA, which he’s been terrorizing the broadcast team to do…

John’s Thoughts: Uhm, that was weird. The multi-cam or cinematic cam setup wouldn’t be a bad experiment. But what was weird was, why were they using the creepy sounding music for a regular Gia Miller interview?

Entrances for the next match took place. Mike Santana made his entrance from the crowd…

4. Steve Maclin vs. Mike Santana. Santana hyped up the crowd to start the match. Maclin and Santana started the match with chain wrestling. Maclin got a one count off a back elbow. Both men were even on shoulder tackles. Santana sent Maclin to ringside with a huracanrana. Maclin reversed a superkick with a suplex on the apron. Maclin told the crowd “piss off… kiss my ass…”.

Maclin worked on Santana with methodical offense in the ring. Santana hit Maclin with a nice reversal cutter. Santana hit Maclin with a Falcon Arrow for a two count. Maclin dodged a Yakuza Kick and put Santana in a tree of woe. Maclin hit Santana with a spear and modified Pile Driver. Maclin and Santana brawled to the top rope.

Santana knocked Maclin off and hit him with a Frog Splash for a nearfall. Santana sent Maclin to ringside with a superkick and then followed up with a Flip Dive. Maclin recovered and hit Santana with a Suicide Dive. Trey Miguel and Zach Wentz ran out and attacked both wrestlers for the no contest.

Steve Maclin fought Mike Santana to an apparent No Contest in 6:45.

The Rascalz put the boots to Santana and Maclin. Referees had to run out to get the Rascalz out…

John’s Thoughts: Good match while it lasted. Maclin has been working babyface as of late, but with him telling the crowd to “kiss my ass” he was the heel here, which was smart if even in a de facto role against the likable Santana. Santana is looking really good shifting away from being a tag team specialist. I actually liked the demeanor The Rascalz showed too during their interference where they were a bit more serious and vicious looking as opposed to their usual childish antics. It looks like Maclin will quickly turn back face with his current rival Santana joining him to face the Rascalz. Maybe.

A replay aired of Tasha Steelz vs. Jody Threat from last week with Lars Frederiksen of Rancid in the corner of Threat…

Jody Threat threw a fit and apologized to Lars Frederiksen and Dani Luna backstage. For some reason, there was random lines intentionally glitching on the screen. Threat blamed her loss to Tasha throwing her into the ring post. Lars said he’s been trying to teach Jody that there’s no such thing as a fair fight.

Lars said that Jody tried and came up with the goose egg. Lars told Dani that he got her a match against Tasha Steelz and she should learn from Jody’s mistake. Dani told Jody that they’re doing this for spitfire…[c]

A clip was shown of Leon Slater challenging Mustafa Ali to a match. Champagne Singh accepted the challenge on Ali’s behalf…

Entrances for the next match took place. “Champagne” Singh is now known as “Campaign” Singh…

5. TNA X Division Champion Mustafa Ali (w/Campaign Singh, Secret Service) vs. Leon Slater in a non-title match. Ali tried to start the match with a handshake. Slater slapped the hand away. Ali took down Slater with a shoulder tackle.

Slater came back with a modified enzuigiri and back elbow. Slater gave Ali a whip into the ropes from the stage. Slater hit Ali with a flip dive from the stage.[c]

Slater worked on Ali with Ten Punches in the Corner. Ali shoved Slater to the mat and got a few nearfalls on him. Ali put the boots to Slater in the corner. Singh got a few cheap shots on Slater. Ali caught Slater with a slingshot cutter for a two count. Slater rolled up Ali for a two count. Slater hit Ali with a cutter. Slater caught Ali at ringside with a Plancha.

Ali recovered and gave Slater a Suicide Dive. Slater dodged a 450. Slater and Ali traded counters. Ali hit Slater with a German Suplex. Both men traded rapid rollups. Slater caught Ali midair into a cutter. Ali slipped Slater off the top rope and sent his head into the ring post. Ali hit Slater with a 450 for the win.

Mustafa Ali defeated Leon Slater via pinfall in 13:02.

John’s Thoughts: A good X Division match with Ali going over strong while also giving plenty of offense up to the rookie. Slater has looked good in TNA so far. It’s okay to present him as an up-and-comer rookie at first, but soon they will have to give him a vignette to make people learn who he is (TNA has done a good job doing that with those Tom Hannifan sit-down interviews, but they might want to do more other vignettes as to not overuse Hannifan’s sit-downs). Ali is solid when he doesn’t have to rely on his “secret service” for interference.

Moose was walking around backstage looking for Matt Hardy…

The following segments were advertised for next week’s 20th Anniversary show: Jordynne Grace vs. Allysin Kay for the Knockouts Championship, Laredo Kid vs. AJ Francis for the Digital Media Championship, Gisele Shaw’s return, Speedball Mountain vs. Mustafa Ali and Campaign Singh, and Jake Something vs. Big Kon.

Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in from the center of the ring. They ran through the advertised TNA+ Against All Odds card. Hannifan then plugged Impact’s upcoming live events…

Eddie Edwards, Alisha Edwards, and Brian Myers made their entrance first. Joe Hendry made his entrance for his usual pre-match promo. Joe said Eddie called him a joke. Joe said tonight he’s not worried about the system, but rather his digestive system because he has an upset stomach after watching a middle age man still sport a fauxhawk in 2024.

Joe said to settle your stomach you just have to chant “We believe”. Hendry then did his “we believe in Joe Hendry” catchphrase. Before the match could start, the Nemeth Brothers made their entrance…

6. Joe Hendry (w/Nic Nemeth, Ryan Nemeth) vs. Eddie Edwards (w/Alisha Edwards, Brian Myers). Hendry took down Eddie with a shoulder tackle. Hendry then hit Eddie with a Delayed Vertial Suplex for a two count.[c]

Hendry rallied with alternating hands. Eddie came back with a clothesline. Eddie rallied at Hendry with chops. Hendry blocked a chop and tossed Eddie into the corner. Hendry rallied with lariats and a fallaway slam. Eddie rolled to ringside for a time out. Hendry followed and hit Eddie with a clothesline. Hendry tackled Eddie in the corner and stomped a mud hole in Eddie.

Hendry hit Eddie with a neckbreaker for a two count. Eddie got a moment of respite after a clothesline. Eddie and Hendry brawled to the top rope. Hendry hit Eddie with a Super Fallaway Slam for a good nearfall. Eddie and Hendry went back to the top rope.

Eddie hit Hendry with a superplex and Tiger Driver for a nearfall. Eddie gave Eddie strikes and trash talk. Hendry reversed a Boston Knee Party into a Standing Ovation uranage for the victory.

Joe Hendry defeated Eddie Edwards via pinfall in 13:11.

The show cut back to Moose looking for Matt Hardy backstage. He finally found Matt. Matt and Moose brawled. Matt slammed Moose’s head on the crate while yelling Delete. Moose jabbed Matt in the gut with a chair, wrapped the chair around Matt’s neck, and used another chair to slam at it. Matt crumpled to the floor and Moose told Matt “tell me how it taste Matt”. Impact closed…

John’s Thoughts: A main even that didn’t feel quite main event on paper, especially involving the cold System tag team. That said, the match quality was really good. Eddie is stale as an act, but you can always rely on him to put on a strong singles match with any opponent. Hendry actually had a really good showing himself and has been racking up wins. Curious to see if they elevate him a bit, but for that to happen he needs to be more flexible with his act (He did show some freshness with his Rock Concert a few weeks ago).

Moose is a underdeveloped world champion and Matt Hardy is undercooked as an undefined version of his Broken Character. 2024 Broken Matt reminds me of 2020 Big Money Matt. I loved 2016 Broken Matt Hardy when he came out with that fun character, but when they brought it back with Private Party it was underdeveloped and cheap. Broken Matt was the hotness eight years ago and via those fun cinematics. Current viewers don’t know why he’s suddenly Broken again? There was no storytelling, he just showed up.

Moose and Matt criticism aside, I thought this was an okay episode of Impact. I would say that this week’s show was 65-35 percent in terms of good to meh. Some things annoyed me a bit, notably whatever they are trying to do with Jonathan Gresham (And I loved those therapy cinematics they did with him, but now they are going weird and unrealistic). The good was the matches and character development. They need to clean up the show a bit and hopefully they can build up stars to round out the weekly card.


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