By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Impact Wrestling Hits
Josh Alexander and Alex Shelley contract signing for the Impact World Championship match at Emergence: A really good segment. Scott D’Amore set the table by labeling this a dream match, and then Alexander delivered some good verbal jabs at his challenger. Shelley truly shined with a gem of a promo about Alexander being a mark for him. Shelley is an underrated talker and he proved it again in this segment.
Mike Bailey vs. Rocky Romero for the X Division Championship: A match that lived up to expectations. It was one of several matches on the show that had a predictable outcome, but they were logical calls heading into tonight’s Emergence event. And for casual viewers who don’t know this show was taped or those simply wiling to suspend disbelief, it makes Bailey look good for defending his title “the night before” another title defense.
Kushida vs. Deaner: A competitive showcase win for Kushida. Deaner was given a decent amount of offense before Kushida put him away with a nice offensive flurry at the end.
Mia Yim vs. Madison Rayne: A good match between two veterans. This was much better than Rayne’s match with Jade Cargill on Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite. Yim going over was no surprise given that she’s challenging for the Knockouts Title at tonight’s Emergence event. The backstage segment with Jordynne Grace did an effective job of creating tension between the babyface champion and her babyface challenger.
Killer Kelly vs. Tiffany Nieves: The dominant win that it should have been for Kelly in her debut match. Impact took a slow build approach with Masha Slamovich by having her plow through enhancement wrestlers. I’m curious to see if they take a similar approach with Kelly or opt to move her into the main mix quickly.
Impact Wrestling Misses
Karl Anderson vs. Kenny King: A Hit from a match quality standpoint, but I’ve simply lost all interest in the Bullet Club vs. Honor No More feud. I’m bored by HNM’s endless series of ten-man tag matches, and I’m still not even sure why the Bullet Club members are babyfaces. I’d actually love to see Bullet Club win at Emergence tonight to force Honor No More to break up, but my guess is that Honor No More goes over to set up Matt Taven and Mike Bennett with a shot at the Impact Wrestling Tag Titles, followed by more meaningless HNM ten-man tag matches. I hope I’m wrong because I continue to believe that the HNM wrestlers would mean more individually than they do as a faction.