TNA No Surrender 2024
February 23, 2024
Alario Center
Westwego, Louisiana

Watch: TNA+

TNA Wrestling’s first live special of 2024, No Surrender, takes place this Friday (February 23) at the Alario Center in Westwego, Louisiana.

Headlining the show will be the first-ever “No Surrender Rules” match as Alex Shelley invokes his contractually obligated rematch (yuck) for the TNA World Championship against Moose.

Coming into this show, a definite cloud hangs over TNA as a promotion. Scott D’Amore’s firing as President of TNA and the arrival of a suit in the same role has all the whiff of a company tightening its belt rather than looking at growing or expanding. 

The reaction from the talent in the locker room was one of shock and frustration, which was not a surprise when D’Amore was the reason that many of them were there. It’s also true for many that he served the role of coach, mentor and father figure, as well as their boss. 

Add to that the stories of talent writing letters to the board, as well as the baggage of the hourglass emoji tweets and around Josh Alexander’s contract being extended when he’d asked them not to exercise that option, and all the positive energy around the January Hard to Kill PPV has dissipated.

As for this show, it’ll be interesting from a booking perspective. All of the TV building up to No Surrender has been solid but it was overseen by D’Amore. While the makeup of the creative team hasn’t changed, with Tommy Dreamer, RD Evans and Delirious still holding key roles, the leadership of it has. The implications that has on future directions remains to be seen. 

Countdown to No Surrender
The System (Brian Myers & Eddie Edwards) vs. Intergalactic Jet Setters (Kushida & Kevin Knight)

These four men are all adjacent to the main event picture, meaning they’ve interacted a bunch in recent weeks. The System have largely come out on top, winning a trios match on the go-home show (spoiler, sorry) and Brian Myers defeating Kevin Knight one-on-one.

All four are also going to serve as the cornermen in the main event, so this match will build tensions for that and serve as a foreboding tool for how they want to book things later on. As much as it’d be nice for the babyfaces to go over, Kevin Knight never wins and I don’t suspect that changes here against a team I suspect will be moving into the tag title picture. Prediction: The System

Countdown to No Surrender
Speedball Mountain (Mike Bailey & Trent Seven) vs. The Rascalz (Zachary Wentz & Trey Miguel)

Similar to the other pre-show match, this one has its origins in both teams being involved in an ongoing singles programme involving other people, namely Nic Nemeth and Steve Maclin.

These teams met at Final Resolution last December, the final show of the Impact Wrestling era, with Trent Seven making his debut as he and Bailey got the win thanks to some outside help from the ABC.

Although I’m not sure that Seven’s long-term future with the promotion is as a babyface, I think that he and Bailey go over here and move towards either a tag title shot or a No #1 contender’s match with The System in the coming weeks. Prediction: Speedball Mountain

PCO vs. Kon

It’s hard to express just how excited I am for this match…

They’ve tried to give it something of a story, which I applaud, but I’m not sure in what world you could think this match is better suited to a live special than utilizing the likes of Jake Something, Steve Maclin, Jonathan Gresham or anyone else on your roster that can work to a high level. 

The Design faction is no more, with Kon trying to establish himself as a dominant monster by attacking Deaner and then laying out PCO. He also won a squash match, only for PCO to launch a revenge beatdown and set up this blow-off match.

PCO’s upside is almost non-existent at this point but he’s got more in the tank than Kon, and I suspect he wins this “battle of the monsters.” Prediction: PCO

Josh Alexander vs. Simon Gotch

While I wasn’t exactly falling over myself to watch more Simon Gotch in 2024, I have quite enjoyed the story they’ve told for this one. 

Gotch came out of the crowd to jump Josh Alexander after ‘The Walking Weapon’ had beaten Alan Angels on a recent episode of TV. Gotch then recounted that he’d been the person that Alexander beat on the night Alexander got his contract from Scott D’Amore, and that while Alexander had gone on to flourish, Gotch had become a forgotten man. Now, he was here in TNA to get his own back and stake his own claim as a top act.

It’s been simple and effective stuff and is a nice little programme to keep Alexander occupied while he’s away from the title picture. I think and hope he goes over here in what should be a pretty decent match given the style both men work. Prediction: Josh Alexander

No. #1 Contender’s Match for the TNA World Championship
Eric Young vs. Frankie Kazarian

Although this match officially came together on the No Surrender go-home show, they’ve been building this through the first two months of the year.

Frankie Kazarian turned on Eric Young after they lost a tag team match in January. In his follow-up promo, he said that he’d ‘saved’ the company by coming back a year earlier and despite all of his hard work, he’d been overlooked and hadn’t achieved what he should have done. He said that attacking Young was a means to an end, a means to making him the new King of TNA. 

Both of these men were close Scott D’Amore allies, so it’ll be interesting to see if that influences this one. Young was very much on a handshake deal, so it may well be that this is his last shot before exploring other options. That would make sense with Kazarian being the more pushed act but I see a scenario where Young wins to get the title shot in Canada (D’Amore’s hometown no less) before then rekindling his feud with Kazarian into Rebellion. Prediction: Eric Young

TNA Knockouts World Tag Team Championships
Decay (Rosemary & Havok) (C) vs. MK Ultra (Masha Slamovich & Killer Kelly)

This is a rematch from Hard to Kill last month, when Decay made their surprise return to end MK Ultra’s lengthy reign with the TNA Knockouts tag belts. 

Since dropping the titles, Slamovich and Kelly have turned heel and begun cheating to win their matches. I don’t think I can express how much I hate that direction – their whole gimmick was that they were violent and nasty and that’s what made them the dominant champions. Why, then, would they start cheating to beat the likes of Dani Luna and Jody Threat after a first loss as a team in an open challenge? 

The gimmick change might be a tell of MK Ultra winning the titles back but to me it seemed more of a means to prep them both for singles title contention with Jordynne Grace on top. Prediction: Decay

Match 3 in the Best-of-Three Series for the TNA World Tag Team Championships
The ABC (Ace Austin & Chris Bey) (C) vs. Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson & James Drake)

While this old curmudgeon is usually a bit grumpy when it comes to best-of series in wrestling, I’ve quite enjoyed the pair of matches that these two teams have had so far.

Gibson and Drake took the first one and then jumped Austin and Bey backstage on the following week’s TV. The ABC then ‘overcame the odds’ the following week, rallying to level the score and shockingly force a deciding match on his live special.

I suspect all four guys will go balls to the wall here, which should mean a notebook level match. In terms of the booking, I don’t mind which way they go but I think if they wanted to belt up the GYV they’d have done it already. Likewise, the story seems primed for the babyfaces to complete the comeback and successfully continue their reign and head into future bouts with The System and The Rascalz. Prediction: The ABC

TNA X-Division Championship
Chris Sabin (C) vs. Mustafa Ali

When the official TNA social media accounts recently posted that this reign was the longest of Chris Sabin’s 10 with the X-Division title, I was shocked. I’m not entirely sure why, it was just one of those stats that seemed utterly baffling.

I saw Mustafa Ali in-person this past weekend at the RevPro show in Crystal Palace and while his match with Robbie X was fine (I had it at ***¼), he had this incredible star aura to him that I’m looking forward to seeing in a TNA context. 

Put simply, I don’t know why you’d bring Ali in and let him advance dates through to the next PPV in April if you weren’t going to belt him up here. Sabin’s reign is going nowhere and he seems to have bigger things ahead. Ali can give new energy to the belt, having a little two-month run (or maybe longer) with it before putting over someone else like Jake Something. Prediction: Mustafa Ali

TNA Knockouts World Championship
Jordynne Grace (C) vs. Gisele Shaw

I know I probably sound like a broken record when I preview these Impact/TNA shows but Gisele Shaw has genuinely improved a lot since her debut with the promotion. The feeling of a sizeable botch always being moments away has reduced and she seems much more composed moment-to-moment. 

Shaw has made a big deal of trying to win things on her own from now on and when you add in that these two had a really good TV match together in late 2022, you’ve got the recipe for this to be a strong title match with lower-end notebook potential.

Grace’s third title reign has got off to a decent start with her doing the double over Trinity and then appearing at the Royal Rumble. While I wouldn’t be opposed to Shaw finally winning a title, Grace is the biggest star they have in the Knockouts division and she should be retaining her and moving into feuds with Killer Kelly and Masha Slamovich. Prediction: Jordynne Grace

No Surrender Rules Match for the TNA World Championship
Moose (C) (w/Brian Myers & Eddie Edwards) vs. Alex Shelley (w/ Kevin Knight & Kushida)

I have a visceral hatred of contractual rematches. The phrase, which is always uttered at the same speed by every commentator, irritates the very fabric of my being and as someone that’s always had delusions of being a booker, the concept reeks of laziness and shortcuts. 

This one is the first-ever No Surrender Rules match, a no disqualification bout that can only end when the cornermen of one wrestler throw in the towel on their behalf. 

In terms of the stipulation, I have no doubt that they can make it work and deliver something stronger than their first meeting at Hard to Kill. Moose has always been a sneaky great plunder guy and I think Alex Shelley’s style is well suited to crafting the epic feel that this match needs.

In terms of wrestling logic, this is the sort of match that a babyface should lose. Their cornermen are going to be their mates, their buddies – people who legitimately care about each other. Whereas the heel side, as they are so often little more than 2D constructions, are mercenaries who’ve banded together not through love but through the desire to make money. From a kayfabe point of view, the babyfaces would want to protect their friend from taking too many blows, while the mercenary heels wouldn’t want to sacrifice their money-making potential. 

While the No #1 Contender’s match could lead to them changing direction, it’s hard to see an outcome that’s not Moose going over and building towards dropping the title to Nic Nemeth at the Rebellion PPV in April.

One thing that’s bothering me about the potential finish here though is Chris Sabin. He’s not one of the cornermen here and it seems an oddly significant tell – although he’s got an X-Division title match earlier in the night, he’s supposedly Shelley’s best buddy and long-time tag partner. I wonder whether they go down the path of the most trite finish, which is Sabin coming out during the match and being the one to chuck in the towel, setting up a singles feud between the two to carry the promotion through the next few months. Prediction: Moose

Listen to Voices of Wrestling’s TNA history podcast: You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me!

Powered by RedCircle