10 Best No Surrender Matches in TNA/IMPACT Wrestling

top 10 best no surrender Matches in TNA/IMPACT Wrestling

So last week I went over some of the worse matches to take place at No Surrender; From dull matches to a rubbish MMA vs. pro wrestler fight and a title match with little to no audio….Great stuff.

Of Course, if you’ve been reading my articles on this site, then you know I like to balance out my talks of the bad with some positive stuff.

Despite the craptastic bouts on that other list, No Surrender has been known for some of the most iconic and riveting matches in the promotion’s history; Some have been lost in the shuffle, others have been held in high regard and today were going to talk about some of the finest…These are the 10 Best No Surrender Match in TNA/IMPACT Wrestling.

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10. Jay Lethal vs. Kurt Angle (No Surrender 2007)

So I’ve talked about No Surrender ’07 in the previous list as the tag title match was both short and terrible, but of all of Kurt’s three title matches on this night, this one might be the best of them all.

Kurt Angle was set to defend his X Division Championship against Jay Lethal during his ‘Black Machismo’ phase and the story going into the match was simple: Kurt is determined to win after losing the first match and his got two more matches to go, meanwhile Lethal’s gimmick is so over-the-top that you can’t take him seriously with Kevin Nash (an ally of Kurt) telling him to lay down as Angle has no time for Jay’s comedy B.S.

When the match gets underway, Lethal uses everything in his arsenal to keep going despite many believing the young X Division star has little to no chance. Kurt (who isn’t your standard X Division wrestler) uses his collegiate style of wrestling coupled with his experience and well known intensity to overpower and ground his opponent for the majority of the match.

Angle doesn’t take the match seriously as he starts off things off with a smug smile plastered on his face but that smile soon turns into rage as Lethal continues to fight back much to shock of everyone. Lethal tries everything to beat Kurt but his unable to for most of the match…until the final spot where Kurt attempts the Ankle Lock only for Lethal to reverse it into a roll up and scores what still might be the biggest victory in Jay Lethal’s entire pro wrestling career.

The action is a bit slow paced than your regular X Division matches, but the story and outcome of this match that makes it memorable and earns it a spot on this list.

9. Bully Ray vs. Bobby Roode (No Surrender 2011)

As you will begin to see throughout this list, No Surrender tends to be a great place for tournament matches and the much beloved Bound For Glory Series is one that has almost become synonymous with this event.

From 2011-13, the BFG series was a points based, round robin style of tournament where a bunch of wrestlers competed to see who would advance to the finals and become the new number contender to the World Title in the main event of Bound For Glory.

At No Surrender 2011 the final four competitors were: James Storm, Bully Ray, Gunner and Bobby Roode with Bully beating Storm via DQ and Roode making Gunner tap out leading to this match to culminate the tournament.

Now to be honest, this match isn’t competely great as the first half of the match sees Bully walking to the outside of the ring way too much, but then action slowly starts to build and the crowd are 100% invested in everything that goes on in this match.

Bully’s main focus in this match is Roode’s compromised neck but this has almost no effect on Roode whose mindset coming into the match is cool, calm and determined while Bully comes off as overwelmed and out of his element in such a high profiled singles match.

One ill-advised jump from the top rope and then a Arn Anderson style Spinebuster by Roode is enough to put Bully away and become the first ever winner of the Bound For Glory Series…Sadly the ending at BFG 2011 was disappointing, but considering what came after that, I think Roode was quite alright.

8. Eric Young vs. Jay White (No Surrender 2022)

A year after TNA renewed their partnership with New Japan Pro Wrestling, a number of Japan’s legendary and up-and-coming stars were making their way into the IMPACT Zone such as Minoru Suzuki, KENTA, Tomohiro Ishii, Kevin Knight, KUSHIDA, Aussie Open, Yuya Uemura and of course the Bullet Club.

Led by then Never Openweight Champion Jay White, the club gained new members in Chris Bey and Ace Austin, kicked the Guerillas of Destiny out of the group in favor of the Good Brothers and finally went to war with the IMPACT locker room, Honor No More and Violent By Design.

This animosity between the club and VBD led to a match between the King Switch and the World Class Maniac at that year’s No Surrender with both men taking turns being the aggressor in this match using punches, knife edge chops and few cheap tricks to get the better of each other.

The crowd in New Orleans are soundily behind White despite both men being heels going into it and the action is really good from top to bottom with EY doing the honors for the young New Zealand native and further cementing how the partnership between both companies produced some amazing never before thought of dream matches.

7. Honor No More vs. Team IMPACT (No Surrender 2022)

Sticking with No Surrender 2022 for a little bit more, the main event of that show saw a bunch of IMPACT’s beloved wrestlers…and Steve Maclin, team up to take on Honor No More aka a bunch of Ring of Honor stars who were super pissed that their company on the verge of death and needed to get their frustrations out on somebody.

Josh Alexander was originally supposed to be in this match for Team IMPACT, but Josh’s anger issues following his loss of the world title to Moose at BFG 2021 led to Scott D’Amore suspending him, plus Eddie Edwards being taken out during the show led to replacements in Steve Maclin and Willie Mack.

Emotions were running high going into the match as both sides proceed to brawl with each other outside of the ring before the bell rings; When the action official kicks off it is twenty plus minutes of tremendous action, frequent tags and a few key moments that give wrestlers like Rich Swann, The Kindgom and PCO the chance to shine.

It’s fast paced and all over the place type of wrestling with the finish of Eddie Edwards’ betrayal (while yes predictable) was still shocking and allowed HMN to win and gain access to the IMPACT Zone; Pure fun and enjoyable action with some good storytelling all in the mix.

6. AJ Styles vs. Austin Aries (No Surrender 2013)

While the period of TNA PPV’s being turned into TV Special isn’t exactly a time many fans would look back at fondly, there were some diamonds in the rough with a prime example of this being the first time ever meeting between these two influential high flyers in a TNA ring.

In the first of two semi final matches in the 2013 Bound For Glory Series, AJ Styles, who was going through his lone wolf phase when he wore all black clothing and had his iconic theme song mixed in with the equally awesome, ‘Evil Ways’ by Blue Saraceno took on former X Division and TNA World Champion, Austin Aries.

They make mention on commentary how equally matched both Aries and Styles were and needless to say they were right as both men show off each others quickness and striking ability in various parts of the match, plus the way they were able to counter each others moves is quite impressive.

Aries in this match was the fastest of the two men, but Styles was able to compensate for that quite nicely as the finish saw Styles picking up the win after hitting the Styles Clash onto Aries from the second rope to advance; By the end of the night, ‘The Phenomenal One’ would win the tournament before going on to the main event of that year’s Bound For Glory where he would won win second and last TNA World Heavyweight Championship.

5. Bobby Roode vs. Bobby Lashley (No Surrender 2014)

Another great match from TNA’s PPV turn TV Special era, the rivalry between Roode and Lashley is something that most fans have probably forgotten about, but go back and watch it as these two men had some of the best matches in company during the mid 2010’s.

In the lead up to this match, Bobby Roode went through not one but two number contender’s matches to win this opportunity at Lashley’s TNA World Heavyweight Championship and both men were going into this as two very different wrestlers since their first ever matchup back in 2009.

Much like the AJ vs. Austin match, both Roode and Lashley are evenly matched in terms of strength, speed and reslicency and the crowd are certainly split on who they favor in this match. The early stages of the match do see MVP and Kenny King (aka the Beat Down Clan) getting involved on Lashley’s behalf before their eventually sent to the back or taken out.

Roode’s work in this match is impressive, but it’s Lashley who’s something else; From the intensity in his face as his lining up Roode for a signature move to commentary hyping up the champion as this unstoppable force of nature, the match really makes Lashley come off as the kind dominant presence which makes it all the more exciting when Roode is able come back with his own offense.

A leapfrog spot by Roode does lead to him suffering twerked leg and despite his attempts to fight through the pain, Lashley was able to captialize and retain his title in spectacular fashion.

4. Samoa Joe vs. Chris Sabin (No Surrender 2005)

At Slammiversary 2005, Samoa Joe made his TNA debut and beat ‘The Guru’ Sonjay Dutt in what can best be described as a competitive sqaush match, one month later Joe was again wrestling a member of the X Division on pay-per-view in the form of Chris Sabin in another sqaush match that was really competitive.

Sabin’s speed and deceptive strenght are on display here as his takes Joe to the limit in various points in the match, it almost makes you think the former X Division Champion is going to pull off the upset, but Samoa Joe is having none of it as he no sells some of his opponents offense and then proceeds to use his power, speed and submission prowess to get the advantage.

The crowd was white hot for this match as two of the X Divisions best put on a classic inside the six sided ring with my favorite moment in this match is seeing Joe hit a powerbomb into the cover only for Sabin to kick out thus leading to Joe smoothly transitioning into a Boston Crab, STF and a Crossface as Sabin slowly crawls to ropes to break the submission hold.

The mid 2000’s was a golden age for the Samoan Submission Machine with both Ring of Honor and TNA enjoying the fruits of that labor whilst Joe became a multiple time champion and one of the best wrestlers of the decade.

3. Josh Alexander vs. Rich Swann (No Surrender 2023)

Considering how much No Surrender 2023 was either forgettable and or bad, it really says something about how great this one-on-one world title match between Josh Alexander and Rich Swann truly was.

After winning a six way elimination match to earn this shot at the title, Alexander brings up the fact that Swann hasn’t gotten over his loss to Kenny Omega back at Rebellion 2021 and also mentions how he isn’t sure if Rich has what it takes to win the big one for the second time; This, and the fact the match is set to take place in the same building where Josh loss the world title to Moose in a matter seconds and you have receipe for an intense and engaging one-on-one contest.

Tension is thick in the air for this match as neither Swann or Alexander attempt to show any sign of weakness to one another, both men know each others offense so well that their able to counter what the other is thinking and the match is smooth AF.

Not a single waste of motion is in this match as they compete in what could best be described as a pro wrestling equivalent of a chess match mixed with a battle of endurance for over 25 minutes. Sure everyone knew going in that Swann wasn’t going to win, but he certainly made a few fans feel differently about that as his performance and as well as that of Alexander’s is absolutely great and is easily…EASILY…the best thing to come out of this underwelming show.

2. Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Hardy (No Surrender 2010)

Matches that end with no clear winner aren’t exactly liked by the general public, but if you can tell an interesting story that makes the inconclusive finish make sense then the journey to get there will be great.

One of the biggest talking points going into No Surrender 2010 was to see who would advance to challenge for the vacated TNA World Heavyweight Championship in the main event of that year’s Bound For Glory; While Mr. Anderson was able to move on after winning his semi-final match, the outcome was a bit different for Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Hardy.

Both Kurt and Jeff push themselves to their breaking points with the match becoming an absolute clinic as they break out their signature moves but also moves neither man often use with Angle using a frog splash and a powerbomb on Hardy.

Speaking of Kurt Angle, the Olympic Gold Medalist wrestles in this match like his life depends on it and with the stipulation going into the match being that if Kurt Angle loses then he’ll retire, it makes sense why Kurt would pull out all of the stops.

Jeff Hardy meanwhile is both quick and vicious in this match which probably was the early signs of Hardy’s heel turn just a month later. Angle truly lives up to his moniker of being a ‘Wrestling Machine’ as his hellbent on having Hardy tap out but it’s just not happening and then the time runs out leading to five more minutes being added on, but neither man refuses to lose leading to another five minutes being tacked on but even then it’s just not enough with the match ending in a draw.

It’s a fantastic story of endurance and tenacity with this match easily ranked as one their best in the promotion’s history, but it isn’t number one on this list that would be….

1. AJ Styles & Christopher Daniels vs. LAX (No Surrender 2006)

Some matches start off slowly before building up the pace and letting the momentum surge, but that wasn’t the case for this match at things start off quickly and it doesn’t stop until the very end.

The match is frantic in every sense of the word as the commentators and the crowd are in shock and awe by the high flying spots, tag team combo moves and the pain all four men are willing to endure for the TNA World Tag Team Titles.

Also props to the story being told in this match with LAX using weapons to get ahead in a match they aren’t familiar with, while Styles and Daniels (two men who are familiar with this kind of match) for the most part don’t use the weapons.

There isn’t any ounce of fat on this match as everything works and it’s done brilliantly right up to Konnan coming in with Kendo Stick to stop Daniels, only for ‘The Fallen Angel’ to somewhow be able get down with the belts in hand and become the new tag team champions with AJ Styles.

Sure All Elite Wrestling maybe famous today for having an impressive tag team division, but back in 2006, TNA’s tag division was second-to-none and this match is proof positive of that.

And that’s my list, What’s your favorite match from No Surrender? Be sure let us know in the comments section, you can follow me on X, @FullertonHakeem and you can check out the previous article I made on the 10 Worse No Surrender Matches right here.