The build-up of the main event of Impact’s Emergence special event – which aired on Friday night on Impact Plus and on the company’s YouTube Insiders subscription service – highlighted that Alex Shelley had never received a world championship title shot despite having wrestled for the company on and off for 20 years. After the match, which saw him unsuccessful in his match against champion Josh Alexander, the discussion should really be when he gets his next one.

He and Alexander put on one of the better matches you’ll see this year – one that reinforced that Alexander is truly deserving to be the flag-bearer of the company, and adds to the argument of him being one of the best wrestlers in the world today.

That match, and a few others, made Emergence a great show that you should seek out if you missed it. You won’t regret it.


Emergence – Countdown Show Results


Countdown Match 1: Bhupinder Gujjar vs. Brian Myers (c) – for the Digital Media Championship

Myers cut a promo on the way to the ring, insulting Chicago and bragging about his blue checkmark. In the ring, he was getting pummeled by Gujjar until he used a well-placed kick to Bhupinder’s crotch. Myers took over, but Bhupinder fought off a top rope move and sent Myers to the mat before hitting a Missile Dropkick.


They exchanged big impact moves and two-counts. Myers grabbed and ripped off the turnbuckle pad when Gujjar tried to roll him up for the pin. Myers escaped by shoving Gujjar off of him and Gujjar ended up hitting the exposed steel in the turnbuckle, knocking him silly and prone for the pin.

This was a pretty standard match. Gujjar showed some fire, and the way he lost easily allows this one to continue. This title could be a good springboard for him in time.

Winner, and still Digital Media Champion: Brian Myers


Countdown Match 2: Chelsea Green & Deonna Purrazzo vs. Taya Valkyrie & Rosemary (c) (w/ Jessicka) – for the Knockouts Tag Team Championship

Rosemary and Taya started off hot, using their different styles to confound – and in Rosemary’s case, intimidate – the challengers. But some confusion on the outside led to Jessicka in advertently hitting Rosemary, and that allowed Green and Purrazzo to isolate her in their corner. Rosemary was able to escape and get the tag to Taya. Some double-teaming on both sides ensued, and then all four women duked it out. At one point, Green tried for a dive to the floor on Taya, but Jessicka sacrificed herself and took the bullet. Back in the ring, Rosemary tried to play possum to set up Green for the evil mist. But Green dodged it and Rosemary mistakenly misted Taya who fell to the floor. Green and Purrazzo then hit Rosemary with a Double Suplex to get the pin and become the new champions.

This was good, though as it was on the pre-show, it felt a bit constrained by the timing – for example, we only got a taste of Purrazzo and Taya in there together, although longer and more frequent interactions would have been most welcome. It’s not clear if Rosemary legitimately got knocked loopy during the match, as it looked like she was moving a bit slowly leading into the mist spot, but hopefully that was just her loading the mist and nothing more serious.

Winners, and new Knockouts Tag Team Champions: Chelsea Green  & Deonna Purrazzo


Emergence – Main Show Results


Match 1: Jack Evans vs. “Speedball” Mike Bailey (c) – for the X-Division Championship

Early on, Evans competed with some urgency, taking cheap shots when he could and trying for pins at every opportunity. The two seemed to have the same strategy in mind, employing fast moves and strikes, but Bailey seemed to have the edge, hitting two Flying Dives. But Evans had a response in a huge Roundhouse Boot to the Head and then used submissions and various other moves to punish Bailey. A great sequence saw Bailey escape a move with a backflip and hit a huge Dropkick and then a Standing Corkscrew Shooting Star Press. They did some tandem gymnastics, but then got back to some more hard-looking stuff like a huge Flying Dive by Bailey from the top turnbuckle to the floor and a BlockBuster by Evans. An ugly spot saw Evans hit a German Suplex off the top rope, but Bailey seemed unfazed by it, and seconds later, he hit Ultima Weapon to get the pin.

This was fine. It wasn’t as fast-paced as a lot of X-Division matches, but they still managed to hit some exciting high spots. Like with some of Baileys’ matches, it felt a bit too indyriffic at times. But if you like that kind of style, you’d have liked this one.



Winner, and still X-Division Champion: “Speedball” Mike Bailey

In the back, Eddie Edwards rallied the Honor No More troops, reminding them of the consequence if they lose their match tonight. If the Bullet Club beats them, they have to disband.


Match 2: Steve Maclin vs. Sami Callihan

The match never started. Maclin attacked Sami during the entrance, and they brawled before the bell even rang.


Sami fought back and threw Maclin into the ring. They continued to brawl uncontrollably, with the ref getting knocked out of commission. Sami then took it back to the floor and threw Maclin through the ringside barrier, and they continued to fight all the way through the arena and presumably to the back.

Winner: N/A


Match 3: Violent By Design (Eric Young & Deaner) (w/ Joe Doering) vs. Chris Sabin & KUSHIDA

Sabin and KUSHIDA showed a great deal of chemistry, and they used some neat double-team combos to stymie VBD. But the adept employment of dirty tactics allowed VBD to take control, and they isolated KUSHIDA in their corner, punishing him with vicious strikes – and eye gouges just for fun. KUSHIDA finally was able to hit a diving tag to Sabin who was on fire, hitting a Crossbody on both VBD members and then blasting Deaner with a huge Dropkick.

Technical difficulties “emerged” and my Impact Plus feed died. By the time I was able to reconnect, the match was over. For the record, VBD won after Eric Young hit Sabin with the Piledriver.

Winners: Violent By Design

Losers: Impact Plus tech support team

In the back, Gia Miller interviewed Green and Purrazzo. They reiterated that they want to be known collectively as VXT. They said they always knew how good they are, and now everybody else knows it, too.

Kenny King came to the ring and cut a promo, calling out Heath who has been a thorn in the side of Honor No More for weeks. During this, Sami Callihan and Steve Maclin fought through the crowd and all the way to ringside. King got distracted by this, and Heath slid into the ring from behind and hit King with the Wake Up Call, and ran away through the crowd. Gia Miller caught up to him and asked if Heath would be interfering in Honor No More’s match against the Bullet Club. He said he would let the Bullet Club take care of them, but after the match, he was going to exact his revenge on them and would continue his quest to hit each of them with the Wake Up Call.


Match 4: Horus vs. Bandido – AAA attraction match

The two AAA luchadores started with a handshake and the crowd started with “Lucha!” chants. They started off with a mile-a-minute pace, doing some physics-defying moves, highlighted by a huge Floating Dive to the floor by Bandido. Bandido then tributed Eddie Guerrero with the Three Amigo Suplexes. Soon thereafter, Horus hit an impressive running dive, leaping over the turnbuckle and ring post to land on Bandido on the floor. An amazing moment saw Horus hit a huge Acrobatic DDT off the middle turnbuckles that saw them standing beside each other, with Horus doing a couple of rotations before landing the move – that looked fantastic, though it’s evidently hard to describe. Later, Bandido hit a beeyootiful One-Armed Deadlift Superplex on Horus. They both were knocked down and after both getting up at 9, they decided to take things to the next level, trading dazzling moves and pinfall attempts. In the end, Bandido hit the 21-Plex – a Springboard German Suplex – to get the pin.

This was stellar. Lucha matches can often seem silly or overly-choreographed. But this one was really good. It would be great to see both of these guys stick around for a while – they could really add some fresh air into the X-Division.


Winner: Bandido

In the back, Gia Miller interviewed Moose and asked him to confirm that he and Steve Maclin are not in cahoots in their respective feuds with Sami Callihan. Moose said that he has no affiliation with Maclin and that he would beat up Callihan by himself whenever he wanted. Sami then ran in and blind-sided Moose, but he was followed by Maclin. Moose and Maclin then indeed did team up and joined forces to beat up Callihan, throwing him down the entrance ramp and to the floor around the ring. They continued to beat him up, until the security squad ran down to separate them.

Impact Executive Vice-President Scott D’Amore then came out. He said that there was no way to control Maclin and Callihan, so he decided to make their match a no-DQ match, with Moose banned from the arena, and they started the match.


Match 5 (aka Match 2 redux): Sami Callihan vs. Steve Maclin – No Disqualification, Anything Goes match

This was an ugly fight with lots of good violent spots. They were still on the floor, so Sami immediately ran Maclin into the ring post, busting up Maclin’s head. Maclin returned the favour, though, whipping Sami into the ringside barrier, then hanging him on the corner of the barrier and hitting Sami with Crosshairs. Maclin then hit a Flying Kneedrop off the apron and onto Sami’s forehead – that looked rough and it actually caused a hush in the crowd for a few seconds. They used a lot of chairs, with Sami Suplexing Maclin onto one and then throwing a couple right into Maclin’s face – ouch. Maclin hit the K.I.A. on Sami, but instead of pinning Sami, he locked on a Sleeper Hold, with the intent of zip-tying Sami up and assaulting him further. Sami escaped the Sleeper with a low blow, and then hit the Greco-Roman Gas-Pedal on Maclin repeatedly. Sami then zip-tied Maclin’s arms behind him, and hit him with the Cactus Special for the pin.

This was a really fun brawl. Unlike some such matches, this didn’t look foolish or cartoonish for the most part, but rather just ugly and violent. It will be interesting to see whether this loss cools Maclin’s momentum too much.


Winner: Sami Callihan


Match 6: Honor No More (Mike Bennett, Matt Taven, Vincent, Eddie Edwards, and PCO) vs. the Bullet Club (Ace Austin, Chris Bey, Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, and Hikuleo) – No Disqualification match

Maria came out with HNM, but left before the match officially started. The two teams lined up and started a gang war when the bell rang. The teams brawled outside the ring, and there was a series of revolving door fights, with two opponents pairing off to duke it out in the ring, until someone would leave and someone else would take their place. After a while, they started a series of huge aerials, with Bey, Taven, and Austin all flying over the ropes in succession to wipe out everyone else. The Bullet Club brought out some weapons and went to town on HNM with chairs, road signs, and garbage cans. HNM tried to mount a comeback, and even despite PCO crashing hard onto a garbage can in a missed Moonsault attempt, they brought the fight back to the Bullet Club, even into the crowd. A neat moment there saw Gallows Chokeslam PCO off the second level seating area through a table on the floor. Shortly thereafter, Gallows ate some wood himself, when Vincent hit him with Redrum off the top, putting him through a table on the floor.


That weakened Gallows enough that, though he tried to fight back, he couldn’t withstand a Singapore cane shot by Edwards, and a double-team move by OGK (Taven and Bennett) who covered him for the pin.

Odd placement of this one, leading to two street fights in a row. This one wasn’t nearly as violent, but made up for that with some impressive spots. Honor No More winning was good as that faction still has legs. By winning, Taven and Bennett earn a shot at the Good Brothers for the Tag Team Championship, and they seem to be the right team to beat them.

Winners: Honor No More


Match 7: Mia Yim vs. Jordynne Grace (c) – for the Knockouts World Championship

The commentators speculated if Grace was changing her style in this one, as she started off using some fast-paced attacks instead of her normal power game. In fact, Yim seemed to take the early edge with a painful-looking Corner Dropkick and a Flying Dive to the floor. But then Grace did go back to the strength well, escaping a Guillotine with a big Vertical Suplex and a Running Powerbomb. Yim was able to win a strike exchange but couldn’t pin Grace after a Pele Kick, and then ate a Spinebuster for a near fall. Then things went back-and-forth, with the two exchanging submission attempts followed by a strike exchange with their legs still locked, which was a neat visual. And then some more finisher attempts: a Muscle Buster by Grace and a Code Blue by Yim, both of which earned 2-and-a-half counts. In the end, after a series of counters by both women, Grace reversed a Package Piledriver attempt, scooped up Yim, and hit the Grace Driver to get the pin. After the match, Grace extended her hand in a show of respect, but before Yim could shake it, Masha Slamovich made her entrance. She went to the ring and stared down Grace before handing Grace her death warrant.


This was really good with some hard-hitting action throughout, and was Yim’s best match since returning to the company. If they indeed go with Masha as Grace’s next contender, that should make for a heck of a feud, as Masha has been built up as a juggernaut, worthy of ending Grace’s reign.

Winner, and still Knockouts World Champion: Jordynne Grace


Match 8: Alex Shelley vs. Josh Alexander (c) – for the Impact World Championship

After a handshake to start the match, they had a technical exchange, with Shelley drawing first blood, hitting a Flying Head Scissors Takedown that ended up ripping off Alexander’s headgear. Grounded Alexander was prone for a two-pronged attack, as Shelley locked up his legs and then went after Alexander’s exposed ears with a head squeeze.

Alexander tried to wrestle his way free, but the wily Shelley outsmarted him and was able to hurt Josh’s arm. He couldn’t capitalize too much, though, before getting flattened by Josh who hit a running smash, and followed up with a textbook Backbreaker and a Gory Special Submission.

From there, the two continued their respective strategies, with Josh trying to use his power to hit Shelley between dodging attacks, and Shelley targeting Josh’s weakened arm – and later, Josh’s leg, too, which Josh tweaked in hitting a running Low Cross Body.

A really nice sequence saw Shelley hit Josh with an awesome-looking  Tornado DDT and he followed that up with a Frog Splash, but after kicking out, Josh rolled over into an Ankle Lock. Later, Shelley hit Sliced Bread and then a Superkick, followed by the Air Raid Crash for a count of 2.9. They went to the floor where Shelley hit another Sliced Bread on the floor, but he couldn’t roll Alexander in quickly enough and Josh kicked out again. Shelley then locked on the Motor City Stretch, but the champ got to the ropes to break the count.

The pendulum swung back and forth repeatedly, increasingly faster, as the match went on, and both men started going for broke. The last couple of minutes saw them repeatedly lock on and escape submissions and hit big finishing moves, including multiple Shell Shocks – only for the other to kick out. Ultimately, Alexander was able to pick up Shelley and hit a massive C-4 Spike to get the well-deserved pin.

This was excellent, and the last five minutes or so of the match were simply tremendous. Alexander’s matches always seem to have a big fight feel, and this one was no exception. Shelley’s performance here made you wonder how he hasn’t been in the title picture before now. With more match of the year contenders like this one, it’s kind of surprising.

Winner, and still Impact World Champion: Josh Alexander



Impact Emergence - August 12, 2022

Cicero Stadium - Chicago, IL

This show was so good that it could have actually been a Pay-Per-View event.  It being so good, it’s kind of a shame that it happened on a Friday night, when there is so much other wrestling to watch. Impact has really been outdoing itself lately in terms of booking and in-ring quality, and shows like this are the proof.