On Thursday night, Moose and his partners in The System were able to beat the team captained by Alex Shelley – who will challenge for Moose’s World Championship tomorrow night at No Surrender. But, with his stablemates banned from ringside tomorrow, it remains to be seen whether Moose will be able to retain the title without help. Hopefully the match is as strong as the main event on Thursday was. Because that match was the highlight on an episode that featured a couple of squash matches and lots and lots of promos.


Match 1: Chris Sabin vs. Jason Hotch (w/ John Skyler)

Sabin was in control early, capitalizing on a mistake by Hotch that saw Hotch miss a chop and smash his hand against the ring-post. Some non-by-the-book psychology here, as Hotch didn’t cheat to take over, but instead just simply took over the match, making the X-Division Champ look weak in the process. Sabin came back, hitting a beautiful Tornado DDT, but Hotch came back, channeling his inner Doug Williams with a Chaos Theory. More weird psychology here, as Hotch won a back-and-forth exchange, but still thought he needed Skyler’s help. That backfired, though, and Hotch ended up flattening Skyler with a Flying Dive to the floor. Shortly thereafter, Sabin ended things with a Cradle Shock.


Even though the company has changed its name, the Good Hands are still pretty boring. This match isn’t going to change anyone’s mind about that.

Winner: Chris Sabin

A Mustafa Ali campaign video aired. He’s running to become the next X-Division Champion, and will get his chance tomorrow night at No Surrender when he challenges Sabin. These videos are well done.


A pre-taped promo by The System – Eddie Edwards, Brian Myers, Moose, and Alisha Edwards – aired. They said they will beat Alex Shelley, KUSHIDA, and Kevin Knight tonight in a no-DQ match. Moose said he would go on to No Surrender tomorrow to beat Shelley and retain his World Championship. He implied that, because that match is a No-DQ context, that Eddie and Myers could help him beat Shelley. Director of Authority Santino Marella came in and said that Myers and Eddie can’t get involved in the match or Moose will lose the title. Marella said that Shelley’s partners could not interfere on his behalf either, or Shelley will lose. Moose didn’t seem too fazed by this news.

Backstage, Chris Sabin cut a promo, saying that he would beat Mustafa Ali tomorrow night.


Match 2: Simon Gotch vs. Jack Price

As the match was about to start, Josh Alexander – the man who Gotch attacked last week to make an impactful debut – came to ringside to join Matthew Rehwoldt and Tom Hannifan on commentary. He acknowledged that he and Gotch have had a no-contact rule imposed on them until they meet tomorrow night.

This was a squash match, with Gotch making Jack pay the price (see what I did there?) from bell to bell. After beating up Price for a while, he hit a Gotch Piledriver and then locked on a Bulldog Choke, forcing Price to tap out.


Gotch refused to release the hold, so Alexander went into the ring to confront Gotch. They faced off, but respected the no-contact clause and just jawed at each other before Gotch left.

This did what it set out to do, which is to introduce the crowd to Gotch and set him up as a jerkish heel. Not sure that anyone is burning to see Gotch vs. Alexander, but the match should be good.

Winner: Simon Gotch

The Grizzled Young Veterans cut a pre-taped promo, saying that they want to become the TNA Tag Team Champions, and said they would beat ABC at No Surrender to accomplish that goal.

A pre-taped promo for The Design started, but a couple of seconds into it, Kon declared The Design to be dead. He said it was time to remind people that he was the biggest monster in TNA, as opposed to PCO. The video ended with a shot of PCO screaming “Kon!” which another hefty Quebecer did some years ago to great aplomb.


Match 3: Trent Seven (w/ “Speedball” Mike Bailey) vs. Steve Maclin (w/ the Rascalz)

They started off exchanging some hard smash-mouth offense, with Maclin getting the upper hand with a big Knee Lift Smash to the face. Maclin then kept Seven down, hitting him from all angles and not allowing Seven to get to his feet. Or at least not for long, blasting him at one point with a huge Lariat that looked great, and a big Backbreaker. But when Maclin went up top, Seven did get up and caught Maclin, taking him down with a big Superplex, and following that up with some big Clotheslines, including one that sent Maclin out to the floor.


Seven followed and was impeded by the Rascalz, who paid for their interference by eating a huge Springboard Moonsault by Bailey. Seven followed up with a Flying Somersault Dive to the floor that took out all three of the Rascalz and Maclin.

Back in the ring, Seven hit a Seven Star Lariat, but Maclin kicked out. They battled some more, and Seven was dominating, which prompted the Rascalz to try to get involved once more. But they were thwarted by Bailey’s educated feet. But the distraction worked, and Maclin caught Seven with a Flying Knee, a Crosshairs, and a KIA for the pin.

This was a bit busy, but decent overall. It would seem that Maclin’s time in the top tier is over for the time being, as he seems firmly entrenched in the mid-card. Too bad, as he didn’t really get much of an opportunity as World Champ. And now it may be too late to try again.

Winner: Steve Maclin

Gisele Shaw cut a pre-taped promo, saying that she has plans to cash in her Ultimate X opportunity for a shot at the Knockouts Championship. Gail Kim came in and said that she was glad Gisele broke ties with Savannah Evans and Jai Vidal but criticized how Shaw did it. She suggested to Shaw to use grace and humility in her career. Shaw brushed her off, saying she would win the title without anyone’s help or advice.

Backstage, Trent Seven and Mike Bailey cut a promo, challenging the Rascalz to a match at No Surrender.


Match 4: Eric Young vs. Frankie Kazarian Big Damo

Young was supposed to be facing Frankie Kazarian. But after Young made his entrance and was in the ring, Frankie Kazarian came out in his street clothes, carrying a chair. But instead of coming to the ring, he set up the chair on the entrance ramp, took a seat, and told Young that they would only fight when Kazarian said so.

Instead, Kazarian said that Young was going to have to take on one of his own ghosts, and introduced Big Damo (formerly Killian Dane, one of Young’s partners in the WWE faction Sanity).

Damo used his major mass advantage to squish Young and punish him with big shots early on. He physically dominated Young for several minutes with both power moves and submission holds, screaming that Young had gone soft since they’d last seen each other.

But maybe not, as Young fired back, including showing off some impressive strength to hit an Attitude Adjustment on Damo. Young followed that up with a Superplex that took the wind out of both men. Young recovered first, and tried to get Damo up for a Piledriver, but the weight was too much. Instead, Young converted that into a Front-Fall Facebuster and got the pin.

After the match, Kazarian looked frustrated and glared at Young from the top of the entrance ramp. Young grabbed the mic and told Kazarian to get ready for a fight at No Surrender.

The match was good and a good showcase for Young, and the curiosity of seeing Damo was fine, though it didn’t seem that most people recognized him from the Sanity days. Not ever being used on TV couldn’t really help in that regard. Young and Kaz should be a good match tomorrow and has the potential to steal the show.

Winner: Eric Young

A Tasha Steelz pre-taped promo aired. She said that next week, she was going to win the rubber match between her and Xia Brookside.

A pre-taped promo aired with Jody Threat and Dani Luna talking about how they wanted to win the Knockouts Tag Team Championship, and would beat whoever comes out as champs tomorrow night when Decay defends against MK Ultra.


Match 5: Ash By Elegance (w/ Iceman) vs. Savannah Thorne

Iceman – the talking head from the BTI preshow – is Ash’s hype man, which works for her heel character since he’s completely unlikeable and annoying.


Ash, for those who don’t know, is the former WWE star Dana Brooke, repackaged as a model type character. But one who’s completely aggressive in the ring with a vicious attitude, as she suckered Thorne with a huge Clothesline at the bell and then smashed her with numerous forearms and stomps in the corner.

Ash continued to pummel Thorne between posing for the crowd and trash-talking. Ash hit a Handspring Elbow and then finished things off with the Rarified Air (a Somersault Senton Splash off the top).

This was a squash match and a good showcase for Ash. The over-the-topness of the character could be fun, and if nothing else, is a step up from her non-existent personality that she was allowed to show in WWE.

Winner: Ash By Elegance

Before the introductions for the next match, Iceman came out to the stage to announce that Ash By Elegance had left the building.


Match 6: The System (Moose, Brian Myers, and Eddie Edwards) (w/ Alsha Edwards) vs. KUSHIDA, Alex Shelley, and Kevin Knight

Instead of the usual formula where the champion avoids tagging in when their challenger is legal, this time, Moose and Shelley actually started the match. Shelley out-wrestled him, and Moose left pretty quickly, so at least that tracks in the broader storytelling.

Team Shelley used off some neat team moves to gain control, with Knight in particular getting a chance to shine with some razzle-dazzle moves, hitting them from every angle. But the advantage didn’t last long before Moose came in and used his power to regain the advantage for his team.

Some good cheating by the heels saw KUSHIDA scramble over to his corner for the desperation tag, only for his partners to get pulled off the apron simultaneously by the System – the timing on that was fantastic.

KUSHIDA finally did break free and the match kicked into the next gear with the action getting faster and more furious. The action got too quick to call here, with highlights being a huge Moonsault by KUSHIDA, only for Moose to break up the pin at the last second, and a huge Frankensteiner on Moose by Knight, and more exciting aerials by Knight on the floor, taking out all members of the System repeatedly. This was a tour de force by Knight and he was the definite MVP of the night.

Everyone got into the fray in the closing minutes with bodies flying everywhere. But the final body to go flying was Knight’s as he got hit with a huge Spear by Moose that literally sent him head over heels before crashing down and staying down for the 1-2-3.


After the match, the System attacked their opponents, looking to take out Shelley in advance of his title match by Moose. But KUSHIDA and Knight took out Myers and Edwards, and Shelley was able to turn things on Moose, put him down and lock on the Border City Stretch in the middle of the ring, forcing the Design to make the save – raising the question of what happens tomorrow when his friends won’t be there to save him.

This was a good main event – and got really exciting in the closing moments. Knight looked great despite losing the match, and his performance here actually makes me more interested in him facing Moose moreso than seeing Shelley and Moose. So that’s not necessarily great for a go-home show, though it does introduce some future possibilities. Regardless, having Moose win was the right idea, and the post-match keeps the door open for the chance that Shelley could pull it off tomorrow night.

Winners: The System

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As a go-home show for tomorrow’s No Surrender event, this was a mixed bag. The main event actually seemed to build Kevin Knight as the bigger threat to Moose than Shelley, who’s challenging for the title. The rest of the matches didn’t really add any much-needed heat to the build of the other matches, which has been really cold so far.  The main event was strong, but otherwise this was a skippable show – and that, unfortunately, feels the same about tomorrow’s No Surrender.