TNA Rebellion 2024
April 20, 2024
Palms Casino Resort
Las Vegas, Nevada

Watch: TrillerTV 

TNA returned to PPV this past Saturday (April 20), with Moose defending his TNA World Championship against Nic Nemeth in the main event of Rebellion at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas.

Countdown to Rebellion
Leon Slater & ABC (Ace Austin & Chris Bey) def. The Rascalz (Trey Miguel, Myron Reed & Zachary Wentz

On paper this looked like a fun, six-man tag comprised of young, athletic dudes who could do cool stuff together. In practice, this was six young dudes doing cool stuff and sometimes that’s exactly what you need.

Leon Slater, as expected, was given a prominent focus. Slater and Myron Reed got into a little bit of one-upmanship with their dives over the corner post, and Slater was then integral to the finish. He survived the trio offense from The Rascalz, and after ABC had hit the 1,2, Sweet, Slater sealed victory for his team with the Swanton 450. ***

Countdown to Rebellion
TNA Digital Media Championship
Laredo Kid def. Crazzy Steve (C)

At this point in the show, we were two for two as this match was a ton of fun and was easily the most I’ve enjoyed Crazzy Steve in his current gimmick.

From the opening bell, this was just go-go-go and the finish tied up the feud with a clear call-back to their previous TV bout. Instead of being overcome by Steve’s mask ripping, Laredo Kid beat him at his own game, biting his forehead before pinning him after an Avalanche Spanish Fly.

TNA belted up a luchador, let’s go! ***

Countdown to Rebellion
TNA Knockouts World Tag Team Championship
Spitfire (Dani Luna & Jody Threat) (C) (w/Lars Frederiksen) def. Decay (Havok & Rosemary)

These four ladies got the most time of anyone on the pre-show and to be fair to Spitfire, they tried their best to make it work. Their double powerbomb spot on Havok, for instance, was cool and popped the crowd.

Havok, however, was my main gripe with this match. Her work was middling as always but her incessant shouting was both insufferable and entirely inorganic. **1/2

Post-match, Masha Slamovich and Alisha Edwards came down the ramp to stare Spitfire down, presumably setting up a tag title match for the next live special in two weeks.

TNA X-Division Championship
Mustafa Ali (C) def. Jake Something

The start of my notes for this match just says, ‘Hmmm,’ which accurately sums up my mixed feelings about it.

On the one hand, the crowd was hot and I liked the pre-match angle they tried to work with the protestors. The in-ring work was also very good and I thought they managed to work in some innovative spots, like Ali denying Something’s dive through the corner with a DDT. Jake Something too looked fantastic in this spot and was very over.

However, there remains a complete cognitive dissonance with Ali’s presentation. The finish was shenanigans central, with Ali’s security running in to distract the ref and hold Something down for a 450 Splash. Something kicked out of that, which was pushed as a big spot, but it seemed for naught as Ali won shortly after by holding the ropes during a roll-up. ***1/2

Rich Swann (w/A.J. Francis) def. Joe Hendry

If we’re being honest, this was an angle rather than a match.

After a couple of minutes of back-and-forth, A.J. Francis got involved. He was stopped from hitting Hendry with a chain by Shawne Merriman, a former NFL teammate of Francis who was seated at ringside. Merriman’s involvement proved to be a ruse, as he swivelled the hips to lay Hendry out for Swann to hit the match-winning 450 Splash. *

As an angle, I didn’t hate this. It sets the stall out for Hendry to get the comeback wins, particularly after one of Francis’ entourage twerked on him post-match, but the interference was less impactful because of how the previous match played out and the Merriman ‘turn’ was completely inorganic and unearned.

Full Metal Mayhem
Frankie Kazarian def. Eric Young

While this never quite hit that next level that I hoped it would, these two worked hard and delivered a fun, entertaining plunder match.

They did a good job of playing up the heat and personal animosity of their feud, leaving very little dead time between big spots and brawling with each other. Where they did pop me were the spots that played off their prior knowledge of each other, like when Kazarian countered Young’s second roll over the top rope by spearing him through a table.

The finish will be the big talking point, as they almost missed the table with a Flux Capacitor. They did clip the table though and while a little worrying, the blood pouring out of the back of Young’s head looked dangerous in the right way and made the finish feel definitive. ***1/2

Mike Santana def. Steve Maclin

A newsworthy segment here, as Steve Maclin announced that he’d re-signed with TNA before issuing an open challenge that was answered by the returning Mike Santana (which explained him missing his RevPro booking in Stevenage…).

The match itself was entertaining, albeit short, but I do question the wisdom of Maclin immediately losing after signing his new contract, particularly as he’s not that kind of heel. I’m prepared to let it play out though as I suspect these two will have more matches to come and Maclin will have bigger things on the horizon.

As for Santana, he looked good and I’m intrigued to see how this works out for him. Can he stand out as a singles guy? Can he be a top end talent? This is the arena for those questions to be answered. ***

TNA World Tag Team Championship
The System (Brian Myers & Eddie Edwards) (C) (w/Alisha Edwards) def. Speedball Mountain (Mike Bailey & Trent Seven)

Brian Myers & Eddie Edwards have been my favourite tag team of 2024 and they delivered again here in what was a great match.

After Trent Seven initially got his knee worked over, this effectively became a tornado tag with guys circling in and out to create a bunch of cool tag team spots and nearfalls.

Myers was involved in my favorite spot of the match when he countered Mike Bailey’s attempted to dive with a stiff-looking spear (much better than his faction leader’s later on) on the outside.

Myers was then instrumental in the finish, as he and Edwards managed to isolate Seven. Seven tried to fight them off but couldn’t, eventually succumbing to the Roster Cut followed by the Boston Knee Party. ****

Last Man Standing
Josh Alexander def. Alexander Hammerstone

I’m usually the first to moan about Last Man Standing matches but I thought that this was one of the best in the genre and easily MOTN.

From a visual standpoint, I was hooked from the opening bell because you had the unusual spectacle of Josh Alexander working without a headguard and Hammerstone sporting the full Hulkamania mustache.

For about 20 minutes, these two beat the crap out of each other. Everything they did felt logical, meaning that they were able to shake off the tropey nature of the counts.

All the big spots were well-earned too, such as Hammerstone beating Alexander down before he booted his head into the ring post, or Alexander repeatedly breaking his Ankle Lock attempts to stomp all over Hammerstone’s lower leg. Another favorite was Alexander holding Hammerstone when he put him in the Tree of Woe – rather than the kayfabe-breaking moment of Hammerstone holding himself up, Alexander supported him as he chopped his chest and kicked his back.

When Alexander survived an Avalanche Nightmare Pendulum into the thumbtacks, I thought that they’d go back to them for the finish. Instead, Hammerstone was undone by his own cockiness, as Alexander reversed his attempts at a second Pendulum on the ramp, instead putting the bigger man down with a half-and-half suplex followed by a C4 Spike.

The C4 Spike looked a bit soft and Hammerstone’s selling of the count was a bit goofy – if they’d executed that a bit cleaner, I think you’re looking at close to MOTY level. As it was, I landed at ****1/4.

TNA Knockouts World Championship
Jordynne Grace (C) def. Steph De Lander (w/Jason Hotch & John Skyler)

With Matt Cardona absent, I thought we’d be safe from the usual De Lander indy routine. Instead, I thought that this would be a middling-to-dull match that would see Jordynne Grace retain after overcoming the numbers game.

For the first half of this match, that was what we got. A ref bump signaled the end of normality though and from there on we got an assortment of carnage that included:

  • The lights going out twice, once for PCO and once for the returning Sami Callihan
  • Kon jumping PCO to continue their seemingly never-ending feud
  • Grace getting Kon on her shoulders but not getting the big payoff spot

Callihan eventually cleared the ring, allowing Grace to hit a Grace Driver for the win and another successful title defense.

Some people will have liked this match. Those people need help. This was rubbish, utter bloody rubbish. DUD

TNA World Championship
Moose (C) (w/Alisha Edwards, Eddie Edwards & Brian Myers) def. Nic Nemeth

We’re three defenses into Moose’s second world title run, and we’re three for three on middling performances.

I’ll give these two credit in that there were some cool exchanges and some spots I liked. I also think that if they’d executed it properly, they’d got the layout of a good match.

The issue was that it wasn’t well executed. These two seemed to lack chemistry for large stretches of the match and that meant that they blew a bunch of spots. You can’t lay all of the blame at Moose’s door but I think he’s got to take the lion’s share.

Take, for example, them trying to do a spot where Nemeth countered a Moonsault with a Superkick. A neat spot, one you’ve likely seen before. However, Moose got next to no airtime on the Moonsault and Nemeth was on the other side of the ring.

That was erroneous but the finish was even more clunky. Moose hit the Spear and flipped through but Nemeth stayed upright, which looked odd, and then Nemeth seemed to have a shoulder up, or have a shoulder picked up, during the pin. **1/2

All of the TV over the last three months had seemingly telegraphed a Nemeth win here, as did the presence of his family at ringside. To not put him over seemed strange but it sadly started to make sense post-match.

As The System celebrate, the lights out gimmick came up again. This time it was for Matt Hardy, joy of joys, and the show ended with him standing tall after laying out Moose with a Twist of Fate.

Bringing in Hardy is a real worry. He might draw a number a couple of times, relatively speaking, and get some eyeballs on a largely cold product but he’s very much a law of diminishing returns. That’s particularly true if he’s going down the ‘Broken’ gimmick route again which he seemed to be.

His AEW work was dreadful and part of that isn’t his fault – his body is so broken down at this point that he’s practically immobile. It’s hard to see him being able to deliver in a top-of-the-card capacity, particularly in a feud with Moose who is struggling himself to hit the high notes this year.

Irrespective of who came out at the end, it’s a poor move from an optics point of view. Here we are at the end of the promotion’s second PPV of the year and here we are again with Moose winning in unconvincing fashion but ending the show flat on his back after getting punked out by a debuting/returning face.

Final Thoughts

Rebellion was a decided mixed bag and a hard to show to rate.

There was a lot of good. The preshow was good, two matches hit my notebook and you had two other entertaining bouts in the X-Division title match and Full Metal Mayhem.

However, the PPV portion started with two bouts overrun with interference, the main event didn’t land and the Knockouts title match was one of the worst things you’ll see anywhere this year.

It was ultimately a show where the promotion gave with one hand – re-signing Steve Maclin and bringing Mike Santana back into the fold – and took away with the other by having Sami Callihan and Matt Hardy return.

TNA will have headlines coming out this show, that’s for sure, but I’m not sure they’re the right ones or the ones that’ll sustain. If you’re keen to check stuff out, watch the tag title match and Alexander-Hammerstone III.