Mustafa Ali’s campaign to become the TNA X-Division Champion ended in victory on Friday night, when he defeated Chris Sabin in the main event of No Surrender to capture the gold. The match – Ali’s in-ring debut for the company – wasn’t the only good match of the night, but seemed to be the only one that really sparked the interest of the crowd who sat on their hands for much of the show.

The crowd expressed their appreciation for Ali during his ring entrance, which saw him escorted by a secret service type of security crew, keeping in the spirit of the political ad commercials he’s been doing, which have him campaigning to become the X-Division Champion. At the bell, he and Sabin received dueling chants as they started off with some good technical wrestling to jockey for position. The two were pretty evenly-matched, with Ali surprising Sabin with his technical skills and his speed, which most people aren’t at Sabin’s level.

But while the veteran champ might have been surprised, he wasn’t fazed, and he gave as good as he got, even sending Ali to the floor with a big Flying Headscissors takedown, and following that up with a High Cross Body for a near-fall. Ali came back, though, and he was able to hurt Sabin with a 450-Splash that landed directly on Sabin’s extended arm, and worked over that arm with a tight Crossface Submission before further zoning in on it with deliberate stomps and kicks.


Sabin had no quit in him, though, and he fought back, leading to a big exchange of kicks that ended with both of them flat on their backs in the middle of the ring.

That sent the match into the next gear, and after they got up, it was like they had powered up and levelled up, and they started with even more big moves, including a huge Tornado DDT by Sabin for a two-count.

Sabin locked on a Border City Stretch, but Ali – with the crowd seemingly fully behind him – got to the bottom rope to break the hold. Sabin, perhaps frustrated by Ali but also the crowd’s reactions – threw some caution to the wind, but paid for hit when he got hit with a big Dropkick when he tried for a move off the apron. Sabin avoided a 450-Splash, and then dodged a charge that sent Ali flying face-first into the turnbuckle.

Ali went for a Springboard attack but ate a Sabin boot instead. That sent Ali to the floor where his security force surrounded him to protect him, but Sabin took them out with a High Cross Body off the top turnbuckle. Before Sabin could capitalize, he was distracted by the Good Hands who came out to the entrance ramp wearing Ali campaign T-shirts.

The Good Hands eventually came to the ring and distracted Sabin again, but only temporarily. Sabin was still in it enough to hit a huge Clothesline from Hell, Michigan, and a Cradle Shock for the 1-2-NO!!! Ali kicked out!

Sabin went to finish things with a Cradle Shock from the top, but Ali escaped, hitting Sabin with a Sunset Flip Powerbomb, and followed that up with a 450-Splash for the pinfall and a stunning win, ending his campaign with a victory as the new X-Division Champion. Ali celebrated his win as the show came to a close.

Overall, the match was very good and definitely the highlight of the night. It will be interesting to see if they lean into the crowd reactions for Ali and have him dump the Good Hands and go the babyface route. Either way, based on this one match alone, it’s clear that TNA will be using Ali better than his previous employer did. Seeing what they gave up might, one could say, be their own form of retribution.

Or one could say, what else happened on the show? Well, keep reading for all the details.


No Surrender – Pre-Show


Pre-show Match 1: Speedball Mountain (“Speedball” Mike Bailey and Trent Seven) vs. The Rascalz (Trey Miguel and Zachary Wentz)

The Rascalz started off with some shrewd tactics, but Bailey and Seven turned things around with some aerials – including a Moonsault to the floor by Bailey that looked impressive, but missed almost completely… maybe he should be called “Airball”?

The Rascalz took over by hitting a Chopblock on Bailey, but even with a hurting knee, he was eventually able to tag in Seven who showed off some power moves to take over, including a big Superplex on Trey. Meanwhile, Bailey’s knee seemed to heal fully, as he did go back to the air and hit a Moonsault and some other sky-based attacks.

The match picked up some steam with a few finishing move attempts and some big kickouts. In the end, Miguel distracted the referee, and this allowed Steve Maclin to run all the way to the ring, slide in, and hit Bailey with a sucker Chopblock to the knee, undetected by the referee. After that, it was academic for Miguel to lock on a Knee Submission on Bailey who had no choice but to submit.

This was a decent opener, short and to the point with some indyrifficness, but not enough to be problematic.

Winners: The Rascalz

After a video package for the World Championship match between Alex Shelley and the champion Moose, a pre-taped Frankie Kazarian promo aired. Kaz said that it didn’t matter who walks out of the main event as champion, Kaz will be the first challenger, saying that he will earn it after beating Eric Young tonight.


Pre-show Match 2: The System (Brian Myers and Eddie Edwards) (w/ Alisha Edwards) vs. Kevin Knight and KUSHIDA

Knight and KUSHIDA took the early advantage, and KUSHIDA even locked on an early Armbar on Eddie, but a distraction by Alisha allowed The System to reset and take over. They isolated KUSHIDA and took turns beating him up for a few minutes. Knight used some System-like tactics to help KUSHIDA escape their clutches, and then he put on a high-flying clinic, hitting both opponents with various moves from above. Knight eventually got caught, though, and ate a Backpack Stunner Superfly combo, but he kicked out. But he couldn’t do the same after a Roster Cut followed by a Boston Knee Party and even KUSHIDA couldn’t make the save in time before the ref’s hand hit three.

This was another decent match with an interesting result, as both matches ended up with the heel team winning. Knight becomes more of a star in every match he has, and if he’s not X-Division Champion in the next couple of months, they’re doing something wrong.

Winners: The System


No Surrender – Main Show


Match 1: Frankie Kazarian vs. Eric Young

The winner of this one will earn a World Championship match at Sacrifice.

At the bell, Kaz demanded that ring announcer Jade Chung announce him as the King of TNA, which the crowd seemed to disagree with. Time will tell.

The two jockeyed for an advantage, exchanging shots, but coming up even-steven, including both colliding when they both tried for a Cross Body Block at the same time. That dynamic continued throughout the match, as they took turns dictating the pace, hitting moves and going for covers until the other would capitalize on a mistake.

At one point, Young knocked Frankie off the top and to the mat, and nearly got the win after a Flying Elbow Smash, but Kazarian got his shoulder up at 2-and-a-half. Kaz then a Guillotine Legdrop and a Springboard DDT, but it was Young’s turn to kick out. Kaz nearly got the win with a Whiplash Cutter that looked really good and then hit Fade to Black for a 2.75.


Kaz protested the broken count and confronted the referee about it. This allowed Young to recover and roll up Kazarian from behind with a Crucifix pin, holding him down for the three count.

After the match, Kazarian attacked the ref, hitting him with a Short-Arm Clothesline and then putting the boots to him, kicking him out of the ring and to the floor – where he kicked him some more. Kaz threw him back into the ring and beat the tar out of him until a bunch of other referees and a security team ran in and held him at bay.

This was a good match, and though the ending felt a bit rushed, it ultimately made sense with the post-match activities. Eric Young winning makes it seem a lock that Moose retains the title later tonight, but we’ll see what happens.

Nothing good to say about the referee’s selling, though. Maybe he was a Cicione hire?

Winner: Eric Young

Backstage, Gia Miller interviewed the Grizzled Young Veterans. They basically threatened ABC, who they will face next.


Match 2: Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson and James Drake) vs. ABC (Ace Austin and Chris Bey) (c) – for the Tag Team Championship

This is the final match in these teams’ Best-of-Three series.

Austin started off with rocket speed, but the GYV were able to stop his frenzy and slow down the pace. At least temporarily, because Bey tagged in and he resumed where Austin left off. Which fared him well, until his speed got turned against him and he got dropped with a Double Stun Gun that snapped his neck on the top rope.

The Vets kept Bey in their corner, wearing him down with various holds and moves, and cutting him off every time he got near his own corner where an eager Austin was waiting to tag in.

After a long time, Bey finally tagged in Austin who was on fire, going to town on both Vets, including with a Double Missile Dropkick, and a huge Fosbury Flop to the floor onto Gibson.

ABC went for the 1-Too-Sweet, but Drake caught Bey in the attempt and locked on a Sleeper, while Gibson held Austin back. Bey was able to roll over and break the hold, but just barely – the crowd bit on that one, thinking it was all over. The Vets then hit a Modified Doomsday Device on Austin on the floor, which looked fantastic.


This effectively left this as a 2-on-1 affair, and Bey was game to fight despite the odds. He tried valiantly – even kicking out after the Vets hit a nifty double-team Coast to Coast move – and bought himself enough time for Austin to recover.

They regrouped, and after a bit of back and forth, ABC hit 1-Too-Sweet (Art of the Finesse followed by the Fold) to get the win and retain their titles.

This was a really good match and they told a good story throughout. Surprised they wouldn’t put the titles on GYV just to mix things up a bit in the division.

Winners, and still Tag Team Champions: ABC

Backstage, The Rascalz and Steve Maclin were celebrating their earlier win. Bailey and Seven tried to barge in, but they were blocked by a wall of referees.


Match 3: PCO vs. Kon

Kon tried to attack PCO on the ramp during the monster’s entrance, but PCO stopped him and threw Kon into the ring, where he bashed Kon’s head onto every top turnbuckle. The story here was that both men kept hitting each other with big moves, but the other one kept getting up to continue the fight.

This included PCO getting up after he went for a huge Somersault Dive to the floor and Kon dodged it, sending PCO crashing hard to the floor. Ouch. Later, PCO missed his De-Animator which saw him leap from the top turnbuckle and crash hard on the apron. Kon, happy to have survived that, but wanting to stop the walking threat, grabbed a chair and smashed PCO with it. The match wasn’t a No-DQ contest, so the referee had no choice but to disqualify Kon.

Afterwards, Kon wrenched PCO’s neck hard and left him for dead. Kon then went and attacked a stagehand, but while he did that, PCO monstered up and came after him. PCO threw Kon out to the floor again and this time did hit the Flying Somersault Dive. PCO then took the chair and smashed Kon with it repeatedly as Kon tried to crawl his way to the back. PCO turned his back on what the thought was a KO’d Kon to celebrate, but Kon got up and low-blowed PCO. Kon then handcuffed PCO to the entrance ramp trussing, wrapped a chair around PCO’s neck and wrenched it one more time, leaving the monster motionless.


This was a fun slobberknocker until the lousy finish. The crowd definitely lost steam after that and seemed bored by the post-match brawl which ended with a whimper as oppose to a bang. This one will continue, no doubt.

Winner, by disqualification: PCO

In their locker room, Alex Shelley gave a pep talk to KUSHIDA and Kevin Knight, and said they had to put tonight’s loss behind them and keep their head in the game when they’re in his corner for the title shot tonight. He said to them that no matter what happens in his match against Moose, they should not throw the towel in on his behalf. Chris Sabin was there, but Shelley said that he didn’t need Sabin there, so Sabin left. Which suggests that Sabin may actually show up during the match and throw in the towel and cost Shelley the match. Hopefully they don’t do something that predictable.


Match 4: MK-Ultra (Masha Slamovich and Killer Kelly) vs. Decay (Rosemary and Jessicka) (c) – for the Knockouts Tag Team Championship

This started off with the two teams brawling aggressively, but MK-Ultra quickly took control after a bit of cheating, which commentator Matthew Rehwoldt said was justified after Rosemary tried to bit Masha’s face off.

Rosemary absorbed a series of shots by Kelly, and then the two tried to out-intimidate each other with screaming zombie sit-ups in a neat moment.


The brawling pace resumed, with everyone focusing on power moves to try to get the win. Rosemary’s attempt was the last one, though, as she tried to hit Masha with a Spear, but Masha blocked it and hit the Snow Plow for the pin.

After the match, the new champs attacked Decay, but Jody Threat and Dani Luna ran to the ring for the save.

This was a fun match, but the crowd felt really dead, and the finish coming out of nowhere didn’t really help matters at all. MK-Ultra are a fun team to watch, so them winning is a fine idea – but the way they won it was so unmemorable that it didn’t feel important.

Winners and new Knockouts Tag Team Champions: MK-Ultra

In their locker room, Eddie and Myers promised Moose that they will not throw in the towel for him during his match against Alex Shelley. They agreed, because they trust The System.


Match 5: Simon Gotch vs. Josh Alexander

This was an excellent technical match, with lots of scientific / mat wrestling early on. Things got spicy (as the kids say) when they started throwing headbutts, knees, and forearms at each other with increasing velocity and ferocity.

Gotch was able to surprise Josh with a couple of big shots ,and then hurt him with a big Senton Splash on the apron and a Flying Elbow from the apron to the floor that dazed Josh. But back in the ring, Josh fired up and hit a series of German Suplexes (Suplii?). That slowed, but didn’t stop Gotch, who fired right back and went back on the offense, using Sentons with great aplomb to deliver some blasts to Josh’s body.

Gotch continued his methodical assault for several minutes, but Josh avoided another Senton Splash on the apron, and when Gotch crashed hard, Josh scrambled up and hit a really hard Low Cross Body that sent Gotch hard to the floor. They got back into the ring and slugged it out with forearms and big boots to the head.

After an exchange of Piledriver attempts and reversals, Gotch locked on a Bulldog Choke, stripping Josh of his headgear to get some extra leverage. But Josh escaped and clamped on an Ankle Lock, before hitting a Backbreaker and a C-4 Spike to put Gotch down for the count.


This started off really great with the technical stuff. But it went on too long and the dead crowd didn’t help. Seriously, isn’t New Orleans supposed to be a party town? Their silence really made this match – and most of the show – like a real drag. Boo, New Orleans. Boo.

Winner: Josh Alexander

Backstage, AJ Francis found Rich Swann watching the last match on TV. Francis tried to endear himself to Swann, saying that just because they are facing each other next Thursday doesn’t mean they have to be enemies. Swann looked like he didn’t know what to think about that as Francis left.


Match 6: Alex Shelley (w/ KUSHIDA and Kevin Knight) vs. Moose (w/ The System) (c) – No Surrender rules match for the World Championship

You know how you know TNA is back? Because they brought back the confusing, multi-layered stipulations that had people chanting “Fire Russo” back in the day.

This match was the first one ever contested under No Surrender rules. Meaning that the match could only end if one of their cornermen threw in the towel (a towel was provided to both corners, using different colours to distinguish whose was whose). Also, while the match was competed under No Disqualification rules, if a competitor’s cornermen got physically involved, the wrestler would get disqualified and the title could change hands on a disqualification. Even Jade Chung seemed to get confused in describing the rules during the introductions.

Shelley immediately went after Moose’s arm, knowing that Moose is vulnerable to the Border City Stretch submission, given that Moose needed help from The System to escape it on yesterday’s episode of Impact.

Moose was able to escape, though, and he drove Shelley hard onto the apron with a Powerbomb, and then immediately went after Shelley’s back, wrapping Shelley around the ring post and stretching him out to stretch his spine.

Shelley tried for a different tactic, cutting Moose down to size with a Chop Block and then working over Moose’s knee with a chair. Shelley told Myers to throw in the towel for Moose lest Shelley break Moose’s knee with a Pillmanizer, but a defiant Myers threw the towel away from the ring, so Shelley did indeed do the deed. He then drove Moose’s shoulder into the post, so now two body parts of the champion were in pain.

Shelley sent under the ring and brought out a wrench, locking Moose’s fingers in the turnbuckle screw and using the wrench to twist it and potentially breaking the Moose knuckles. Moose then returned the favour, locking Shelley’s hand in the turnbuckle bracket and blasting it with a chair.

But Shelley could also get aggressive and he went back to Moose’s leg, kicking him in the upper thigh and then hitting a Dragon Screw. Shelley then took a Singapore cane and blasted Moose with it.

As all of the violence was going on, both corners were shown, struggling with the decision to let their friend get beat up instead of throwing in the towel.

Moose fired back with a Uranage, but his leg was too hurt that he couldn’t immediately capitalize. He finally got to a vertical base and set up a garbage can in the ring, bottom-side-up. He was going to Superplex Shelley onto it, but Shelley escaped and Powerbombed Moose onto the can, where his back hit the corner and edge of the metal – ouch!

Shelley locked on a Figure Four Leglock, but the System slid in a Singapore cane and Moose blasted Shelley with it to escape. Moose then asked the System to hand him a table, which they did. Moose leaned it in the corner and tried to Spear Shelley through it, but his leg didn’t allow him to run, so Shelley was able to dodge it. Moose stopped himself before going through the table, but that allowed Shelley to hit him from behind with a low blow.

Shelley locked on the Border City Stretch, but the System handed Moose a pair of brass knuckles and he clocked Shelley in the head to escape.


Moose then tried again to Spear Shelley through the table, but Shelley moved, and Moose went crashing through it.

Shelley got a chain and used that to add leverage to the Border City Stretch, nearly prompting Myers to throw in the towel. The other cornermen got involved with Knight taking out the Design with another high-flying move. A distraction from Alisha – who tried to steal the towel from Shelley’s corner – got Shelley turned around, and Moose capitalized with a big Spear.

Moose then hit a second Spear, and then wrapped the chain around his shoulder and hit Shelley with a chain-assisted Spear. KUSHIDA jumped up to the apron and after Moose threatened to hit another chain-assisted Spear, KUSHIDA feared for his friend’s safety and threw in the towel.

To add insult to injury, Moose did hit another Spear out of spite before celebrating his win with the rest of The System. KUSHIDA and Knight checked on Shelley who was hurting and despondent about the loss.

This was pretty good, though it was pretty much a lock that Moose was going to end up winning, especially after Young won the number one contendership earlier. With Young getting his title shot in Windsor, Ontario, put your money on Young to win the title in his hometown.

Winner, and still World Champion: Moose

Before the main event, the ever-annoying Iceman introduced Ash By Elegance, who came to ringside to watch the match from the VIP section.


Match 7: Gisele Shaw vs. Jordynne Grace (c) – for the Knockouts Championship

This was the title match Shaw earned by winning the Ultimate-X Match at Hard to Kill.

Shaw tried to avoid getting in to Grace’s clutches, running away from Grace at the bell, and even using the referee as a human shield when Grace came after her. That tactic worked, and she was able to hit Grace with a cheap shot from behind the ref, and then doing some hit-and-run attacks on Grace.

Whenever Grace did get her hands on Shaw, she made Shaw pay, slamming her repeatedly or hitting other power moves. For her part, Shaw would use her lengthier reach to hit moves from afar, including a nice Head Scissors Spike that she followed up with a Corkscrew Superfly Splash that earned her a two-count.

After that, Shaw hit a Spanish Fly off the apron to the floor which surprised and hurt Grace and finally woke up the listless crowd who rewarded them with some “TNA” chants.


But she couldn’t get the three count victory, as it took Shaw some time to roll Grace back into the ring and that gave Grace the chance to recover enough to kick out.

Shaw then hit the Denouement, but Grace was close enough to grab the bottom rope and that broke the count, sending Shaw into a ballistical rant against the referee and Shaw. The women exchanged hard slaps, and then exchanged big moves before Grace ended things with a Berzerker-like rage attack, hitting several spinning fists and backfists before hitting the Juggernaut Driver for the 1-2-3.

This was good, and both women got some shining moments. At times, it looked like Shaw had a chance to actually pull the upset, and she came across as a legitimate threat as opposed to being just a comedy character like she felt like when she was sidled with Savannah Evans and Jai Vidal. Grace vs. Ash seems to be where they’re heading, and that could be pretty good.

Winner, and still Knockouts Champion: Jordynne Grace

As Grace celebrated her successful title defense, Ash and her stooge Iceman left the arena in a hurry.

After the match, they cut to a pre-taped promo by Jake Something. He said that he would be watching the main event closely, because he would be coming for the X-Division Champion, no matter if it was Chris Sabin or Mustafa Ali who was holding it.


Match 8: Mustafa Ali vs. Chris Sabin (c) – for the X-Division Championship

Winner, and new X-Division Champion: Mustafa Ali

TNA No Surrender - Feb 23rd, 2024

Alario Center - New Orleans, LA

This was the first show under the new company management team sans Scott D’Amore. And while there are rumours that the roster isn’t thrilled with the changes, it didn’t seem to affect their in-ring performances. Though, creatively, the show suffered a bit with some abrupt and questionable finishes. And the crowd was, for the most part, awful.

Still there were some highlights, the biggest being Mustafa Ali and his X-Division Championship win.  Was that enough to make this show must-see? No. But it wasn’t a terrible way to spend a Friday night either.