8/11 Impact Wrestling TV results: Moore’s review of Josh Alexander and Alex Shelley contract signing for the Impact World Championship match at Emergence, Mike Bailey vs. Rocky Romero for the X Division Title, Mia Yim vs. Madison Rayne, Kushida vs. Deaner, Killer Kelly’s in-ring debut, Kenny King vs. Karl Anderson

By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)

Impact Wrestling TV
Taped in Louisville, Kentucky at Old Forester’s Paristown Hall

Aired August 11, 2022 on AXS TV

Highlights from last week’s Impact Wrestling show aired…

Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt were on commentary. Dave Penzer was the ring announcer. Hannifan noted that Bullet Club and Honor No More were banned from ringside due to both teams having a match the next day. Rehwoldt noted that even so, Kenny King should be looking over his shoulder just in case Heath was looming around…

1. Kenny King vs. Impact Tag Team Champion “Machine Gun” Karl Anderson. King started the match with armdrag takedowns. Both men ended up in a stalemate in the subsequence quick chain wrestling sequence. Anderson gained the advantage with strikes. King hyperextended Anderson’s leg on the 2nd rope, followed by a chop block. King hit Anderson with a sweep and buzzsaw kick combo for a two count. King and Anderson traded strong style forearms.

Anderson got a breather after hitting King with a Dragon Screw. Anderson rallied back with clotheslines. Anderson body slammed King and followed up with a running senton. King hit Anderson with a chop block and Rehwoldt noted that King is focusing his offense on Anderson’s leg. Anderson came back with a Claymore Kick for a two count. King shook up Anderson with an overhead Capoeira kick. King hit Anderson with a forearm combo. King then followed up with a reverse Indian Deathlock.

Anderson got to the bottom rope for the break. Karl Anderson reversed a Royal Flush mid air into his own Gun Stun finisher for the win.

Karl Anderson defeated Kenny King via pinfall in 7:52.

Anderson was hobbling on one leg after the match while posing with the two title belts. King recovered and hit Anderson several times in the injured knee with a steel chair. Kenny King was about to pilmanize Anderson’s leg, but he decided to showboat a bit. As expected, Heath ran out and gave King yet another Zig Zag (I mean, we all saw that coming a mile away. Honor No More are so hapless). Heath’s themed played as he high fived fans in the crowd…

John’s Thoughts: A good and well-paced match with Kenny King providing the storyline for the match by working the leg. A part of the drama was taken out because given that Anderson is the Never Openweight champion, it would be tough to convince me that Kenny King had a chance to win (if Bey or Ace were in the match then there probably would have been less predictability). This is also combined with the fact that Honor No More lose way more than they win. I sure hope Honor No More lose tomorrow and disband. Side note, as lame as the Bullet Club/Elite Hunter gimmick was in New Japan and AEW, Heath seems to be having way more success at it compared to Frankie Kazarian and Yoshi Tatsu, but that’s also because Honor No More are a bit useless.

Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt checked in from the commentary table. Rehwoldt stressed that if Honor No More lose at Emergence, that they must disband. They ran through the advertised Impact Emergence card. Hannifan noted that the Alex Shelley and Josh Alexander contract signing will be happening on this week’s show…

A spotlight video package aired that showed the highlights leading up to the Josh Alexander vs. Alex Shelley World Title Match coming up at Emergence. The video package focused on both competitors…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Great and effective video package to pivot Alex Shelley back into the world title picture. It’s packages like this that were missing in recent weeks because Shelley’s focus has been in a oddball tag team feud with Deaner and Joe Doering.

An ad aired for the Impact Emergence show…

Entrances for the next match took place….

2. Deaner (w/Joe Doering) vs. Kushida (w/Chris Sabin). Kushida worked on Deaner with low kicks and wristlocks. Deaner reversed an armdrag into boots. Kushida came back with a haymaker and running palm. Kushida knocked Deaner off the apron with his handstand double boots. Deaner ran around the ring to avoid a Hoverboard Lock, which lead to Sabin and Kushida confronting Joe Doering. The distraction allowed Deaner to run a lap around the ring and club a distracted Kushida in the head with a punch.[c]

Deaner dropkicked Kushida into the buckle and followed up with a neckbreaker for a two count. Kushida tried to rally back with chops, but Deaner came right back with a thumb to the eye. Kushida rallied with high kicks and a running crossbody. Kushida took down Deaner with a Pele kick. Kushida hit Deaner with his signature hip toss dropkick combo. Deaner avoided a PK. Deaner blocked the handstand boots by punching Kushida in the back of the neck. Deaner hit Kushida with a facebuster and lariat for a two count.

Kushida staggered Deaner on the top rope with a gamengiri. Kushida put Deaner in a top rope Hoverboard Lock. Doering tried to get up on the apron, but Sabin pulled him down and hit him with a cannonball. The commotion at ringside caught Kushida’s attention which led to Deaner taking advantage by putting a thumb in Kushida’s eye. Kushida avoided Deaner’s top rope headbutt. Kushida gave Deaner’s left arm a PK. Kushida hit Deaner with a Bridged Hammerlock Suplex for the win.

Kushida defeated Deaner via pinfall in 6:15 of on-air time.

Sabin and Kushida celebrated Kushida’s win…

John’s Thoughts: A surprisingly good match, but at this point I shouldn’t be surprised by Deaner having great matches because he’s really stepped up his in-ring game in recent months. Deaner’s amazing and I never expected such good wrestling from the guy who was well established as TNA’s version of Larry the Cable Guy. As for Kushida, it’s also refreshing seeing him back in his NXT Black and Gold form as opposed to that weirdo stuff he was doing as a part of the comedy Jacket Time tag team (that thing made NO sense. Ikeman Jiro is a great comedy wrestler. Kushida is the exact opposite and more of a serious athlete).

This week’s Impact Plus Flashback Match of the Week was Alex Shelley vs. Chris Sabin for the vacant X Division Championship from TNA Genesis 2009. Shelley picked up the win by faking an ankle injury and rolling up Sabin…

Brian Myers was bragging about being Digital Media Champion to random people at the backstage bar. Bhupinder Gujjar confronted Myers again in his latest attempt to get an Digital Media Title shot (one would think that Bhupinder would do what everyone else does, and ask Scott D’Amore?). Myers refused again. Bhupinder told Myers that Myers told him that a champion never backs down from a challenge. The bar patrons gave an oooooh. Myers said he’d see Bhupinder at Emergence…[c]

An Emergence ad aired…

Eric Young was chatting with Doering and Deaner continue to fail to get rid of the sickness. Kushida and the Motor City Machine Guns in this case. Eric Young said it is time for “The Designer” to step forward at Emergence. Young reiterated VBD’s new motto that the world doesn’t belong to them, nor does it belong to us, “It belongs to me”…

Killer Kelly’s debut was next. Tom Hannifan noted that Killer Kelly has a “voyeuristic mentality” where she likes to witness suffering in her opponents…

3. Killer Kelly vs. Tiffany Nieves. Kelly laughed after Tiffany slapped her. Kelly gave Tiffany a snapmare and PK. Kelly clobbered Tiffany with forearms and a shotgun dropkick. Kelly put Tiffany in the Killer Clutch for the victory.

Killer Kelly defeated Tiffany Nieves via pinfall in 1:16.

Kelly made her exit as the lights dimmed to a red tint…[c]

John’s Thoughts: A nice debut for the new repackage of Killer Kelly. I really like her complete makeover. Her old MMA fighter look was a bit generic and didn’t really standout. It looks like she’s going for more of a Femme Fatale gimmick this time around and she’s playing the character well. Looking forward to seeing the development of this new and more expressive version of Killer Kelly.

A highlight package aired to spotlight the Bullet Club and Honor No More feud…

Eddie Edwards was rallying the Honor No More troops, talking about how their faction was on the line at Emergence. Eddie talked about how they defy the odds despite what others think. Eddie told Kenny King that even though King lost the match, he left Karl Anderson’s leg damaged. Eddie said that proves that King doesn’t just think for benefiting himself, but to help the entire group.

Eddie Edwards then praised PCO for taking out Doc Gallows last week. Eddie noted that PCO and King made Bullet Club worse for wear heading into Emergence. Eddie said that Bennett and Taven will soon get their tag title shots and Honor No More will continue to spread their message. Eddie said they will show everyone that there is honor no more…

John’s Thoughts: That was actually a logical and well delivered promo from Eddie. I’ve really been a huge fan of Eddie Edwards overall ever since he dropped the stupid Crazy Eddie gimmick (and I hope that if HNM breaks up, that Crazy Eddie stays dead). As good as he delivered the promo, Honor No More are still aimless and hapless. They just need to set all these talented wrestlers free and away from these pointless eight and ten person tag matches.

Current AEW coach/wrestler Madison Rayne made her entrance (this episode was taped before she was hired by AEW). Tom Hannifan noted that Madison was alone this week due to Masha Slammovich beating up Giselle Shaw and Tenille Dashwood in recent weeks. Mia Yim got her cool Jabberwockee-like entrance…

4. Mia Yim vs. Madison Rayne. Yim overpowered Rayne during the collar and elbow. Yim then dominated the subsequent wristlock sequence. Yim and Rayne had a methodical hold exchange. Yim rolled up Rayne three times for two counts. Yim hit Rayne with a series of armdrags followed by a few dropkicks. Rayne pivoted Yim’s face into the ringpost for a two count. Rayne hit Yim with a basement lariat for a two count. Rayne hit Yim with cravate knees.

Yim escaped and locked Rayne in a tarantula. Rayne avoided a Missle Dropkick and hit Yim with a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. Rayne used a leg scissors to slam Yim’s face into the mat for a two count. Yim blocked a huracanrana and reversed it into a power bomb. Both women beat the ten count. Yim hit Rayne with a superkick and a few dropkicks. Yim hit Rayne with a cannonball. Rayne broke up the pin by grabbing the bottom rope.

Rayne hit Yim with a Crucifix Bomb for a good nearfall. Yim escaped Rayne’s Cross-Rayne attempt. Yim hit Rayne with a Pele Kick and Eat Defeat for the victory.

Mia Yim defeated Madison Rayne via pinfall in 9:18.

John’s Thoughts: A nice final match for Madison Rayne in Impact as she’s off on her way to work as a coach in All Elite Wrestling. Given how the wrestling industry is, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Rayne back in Impact down the road, especially given her long tenure with the company. Hey, I’d think she’d be eligible at some point for the Impact Hall of Fame. One thing All Elite Wrestling should maybe look at is having Rayne do commentary there as Rayne proved during the pandemic that she’s a very good color commentator in addition to being a solid hand in the ring.

The VXT tag team of Chelsea Green and Deonna Purrazzo were chatting and very excited for Purrazzo’s upcoming Bachelorette Party (she’s getting married to fellow Impact Wrestler Steve Maclin, which hasn’t been acknowledged on the show yet). Green was confident that they are going to beat Rosemary and Taya Valkyrie for the tag team championships…

An ad aired for Bound for Glory…

Jordynne Grace asked Mia Yim backstage if she was ready for their match the next day. Yim said that she’s ready. Grace said the last two times Yim said she was ready, she lost them tag matches. Yim said it takes two to lose in a tag match, so Grace is as guilty of the losses as she. Grace said she’s a former Knockouts Tag Team Champ. Yim cut her off and pointed out that Grace has the shortest Knockouts Tag Title reign in Impact history. Yim walked away after saying that Grace must be used to short title reigns…

Entrances for the next match took place. Tom Hannifan noted that Mike Bailey has racked up a lot of title defenses in a short amount of time…

5. “Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. Rocky Romero for the Impact X Division Championship. Romero and Speedball started the match with a Code of Honor handshake. Bailey and Romero started the match with the common cruiserweight stalemate sequence. Romero dominated the subsequent lucha exchange which led to a dropkick and two count.

Bailey and Romero traded roundhouses. Bailey took down Romero with a dropkick. Both men traded counters. Bailey made Romero flinch off a high hook kick.[c]

Bailey tried to give Romero a high kick, but he ended up kicking the ringpost after Romero ducked. Romero hit Bailey with a huracanrana. Romero gave Bailey a knee drop to the elbow. Romero hit Bailey with his signature Forever Elbows. Bailey cut off Romero and hit Romero with a Claymore Kick. Bailey hit Romero with a Tae Kwon Do Axe Kick to a Roundhouse combo. Bailey hit Romero with a Standing Red Arrow for the two count.

Romero blocked Bailey’s chamber kick and gave Bailey an elbow to the knee. Bailey hit Romero with a thrust kick combo. Romero kicked Bailey in the arm to block a handstand. Bailey rolled out of an armbar attempt. Romero hit Bailey with a Tornado DDT for a two count. Bailey hit Romero with speed kicks into an enzuigiri. Romero rolled into a lariat. Bailey caught Romero with a superkick.[c]

Romero and Bailey traded strong style roundhouse kicks. Romero dumped Bailey to ringside and hit him with a suicide dive. Bailey caught Romero with a pump kick and Asai Moonsault. Romero punched Bailey off the top rope. Romero hit Bailey with a reverse Enzuigiri and draping dropkick for a two count. Bailey blocked a CQC combo and it Romero with a running Penalty Kick. Bailey hit Romero with a standing Ultima Weapon. Bailey hit Romero with a Chambered Kick for a good nearfall.

Romero blocked Bailey’s 360 Tornado Kick. Romero hit Bailey with a Tornado DDT into a Falcon Arrow, right into a Juji Gatame. Bailey rolled up Romero to break up the submission. Romero ducked a TKD Hook Kick. Romero hit Bailey with a Salida Del Sol for a two count. Bailey blocked a Sliced Bread and got a two count off a rollup. Romero dodged away from an Ultima Weapon. Romero was going for his Forever Clotheslines, but he walked right into Bailey’s 360 Tornado Kick. Bailey hit Romero with Ultima Weapon for the win.

Speedball Mike Bailey defeated Rocky Romero via pinfall in 12:05 of on-air time to retain the Impact X Division Championship.

Romero held up Bailey’s hand in victory after the match…

Tom Hannifan and Matt Rehwoldt checked in from ringside and ran through the entire Emergence card. Hannifan noted that since Bailey came out of the title defense as Champion, he would be defending the title against Jack Evans at Emergence. Rehwoldt advertised Lance Archer vs. Tom Lawlor and the collision of FinnJuice, Dave Finlay vs. Juice Robinson on the New Japan AXS show…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Amazing match as usual from the Speedball. Rocky Romero may be the most credible enhancement wrestler in the world. The guy travels to different companies and has 0% chance of winning any matches anywhere, but he can carry his opponents to wonderful matches, causing you to suspend your disbelief in terms of the predictable outcome. This was sweet. As I continue to point out, Mike Bailey matches are a highlight on any Impact show. Mike Bailey vs. Jack Evans is another match that should be crazy good given both men’s unorthodox wrestling styles.

Scott D’Amore was in the ring with his theme music playing. He was moderating the Josh Alexander and Alex Shelley contract signing. D’Amore said he’s been everything between ring crew and EVP in pro wrestling, but what he loves being most, is a coach. He said he’s honored to be setting up a match between two of his coaching students, Josh Alexander and Alex Shelley. D’Amore introduced Shelley first, who came out to the Motor City Machine Guns theme. Josh Alexander was introduced next.

D’Amore said this match is what Impact is built on, two athletes at the top of their game competing for the top prize. D’Amore said he feels safe saying that to wrestling purists and fans, this is a dream match. D’Amore had Alexander sign first. Alexander said he echoes D’Amore’s excitement for this match. Alexander said his first live wrestling show in the crowd was back in 2005 where Alex Shelley was on the card.

He said Shelley was someone who wasn’t afraid to be unique. Alexander said that Shelley was an original in an unoriginal business. Alexander said he started his wrestling journey right after that 2005 show. Alexander said throughout the years, he’s faced many Alex Shelley copycats that looked up to Shelley. Alexander said it’s going to be an honor to both wrestle and beat the “real” Alex Shelley. Alexander signed the contract.

Shelley said he respects Josh Alexander and notices that they have similar parallel careers, both being X Division Champions and being a part of talented tag teams. Shelley said he thinks The Machine Guns are a little more talented than Josh’s (The North). Shelley said Josh did something he wasn’t able to do, be world champion. Shelley said Josh talked about all the Shelley copycats, but what gives Josh the right not to call himself an Alex Shelley clone.

Alexander said he thinks he’s more of a Chris Sabin guy, because Sabin won the world title before. Alexander asked Shelley why he was never able to win the big one, unless the problem is Shelley himself, through self sabotage. Alexander said he thinks Shelley has fear. Alexander said he doesn’t want to beat Shelley at his best, but he wants to beat Shelley at better-than-best because Shelley at his best was never able to win the big one. Shelley pointed out that he’s had zero title shots given to him in Impact.

Shelley noted that his love for wrestling has honestly been Oscillating up and down over the last 20 years. Shelley noted that a world champion has pressures. Shelley said he sees the Sabin comparison like Sabin 3 torn ACLs, being 40 years old, and still going as the Heart and Soul of the company. Shelley said he’s well aware of Alexander’s fused neck, torn pectoral, torn bicep, and various other injuries. Shelley said Alexander’s biggest hurdle at Emergence isn’t related to anatomy, but psyche.

Shelley said Alexander is going to stand across the ring from his hero, as that kid who bought a ticket to watch Shelley. Shelley said what he’ll see is an “Alex Shelley mark”. Shelley said he’s leaving Emergence as world champion while Alexander leaves with this consolation prize, an Alex Shelley autograph. Shelley handed Alexander the signed contract. Shelley dropped the mic and walked away to his entrance theme. The commentators hyped up the Emergence show to close Impact…

John’s Thoughts: Wonderful contract signing segment. Not too little to late at the slightest in this case because Shelley and Alexander had a wonderful back and forth. Josh Alexander really shines as the heroic and honorable face of the company (Again, Josh Alexander did the right thing by not choosing AEW over Impact because in Impact he can stand out as one of the best wrestlers in the world). Shelley was really good in flipping the switch away from his tag team feud and onto the world title. The whole “Alex Shelley Clone” and “Alex Shelley Mark” thread really added drama to this exchange while boosting up Shelley as a top tier legend.

Wonderful Impact show this week with great matches top to bottom. On top of that, the Shelley and Alexander contract signing added more to the quality of this weeks show along with being good hype for the Emergence show, the next day. I usually don’t watch the Impact Plus shows due to them having less consequence on the overall product, but Alexander vs. Shelley and Mike Bailey vs. Jack Evans are reasons to buy that show. I’d pay PPV price for what I should expect from all that talent (and you don’t have to pay PPV price for their Insiders package). Here’s hoping that Honor No More breaks up too (I’m not having my hopes too high on that because I think Impact might just keep Honor No More together to get the tag titles onto Bennett and Taven with The Good Brothers’s contracts presumably being up)

SPECIAL EPISODE

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