Date: July 28, 2022
Location: Old Forester’s Paristown Hall, Louisville, Kentucky
Commentators: Tom Hannifan, Matthew Rehwoldt
We are on the way to Emergence and now we have a main event set. This time it is going to be Alex Shelley getting his shot at Josh Alexander and the World Title, but odds are we are going to have more Violent By Design interference on the way there. Kushida is here too and that should help. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Alex Shelley becoming #1 contender but getting beaten down by Violent By Design, with Kushida running in for the save.
Eddie Edwards vs Ace Austin
Kenny King and Chris Bey are here too. Austin teases him with the posing to start so Edwards unloads on him in the corner. That earns Eddie a takedown and a playing card cut between the fingers in a spot Austin hasn’t used in a bit. King offers a distraction though and Edwards runs Austin over, setting up the choking on the ropes.
Austin is sat on top for some chops but comes back with a series of strikes. Back up and Austin sends him outside, setting up the big running flip dive. A springboard spinning Fameasser gives Austin two but Edwards’ Backpack Stunner gets the same. King and Bey get in a fight on the floor, meaning it’s a double ejection as Edwards and Austin knock each other down.
We take a break and come back with Edwards striking away before cutting Austin off with a clothesline. Austin gets back up with a springboard spinning kick to the head for two but the Fold is countered into a quick butterfly powerbomb. The Die Hard Driver finishes Austin at 15:34.
Rating: B-. This is the kind of match where you put two talented stars together and have them put on a good match. It works every time and that is what they did here, as Honor No More gets a victory for a change. Austin and Bey are in the Bullet Club to take the losses so this was a logical use of TV time.
Here’s what’s coming at Emergence and tonight.
Heath is ready to keep on Honor No More, like he did to Vincent on Before The Impact. I’m not sure hitting one finisher is taking them out but it’s better than nothing.
We look at Raj Singh and Shera cutting off Josh Alexander from making a save for the Motor City Machine Guns last week.
Alexander is ready for Shera tonight. Alex Shelley comes in to say being big and strong doesn’t make the best wrestler, so Alexander has to face the smartest wrestler around.
Laredo Kid/Trey Miguel vs. Johnny Swinger/Zicky Dice
Swinger seems to think Kid is Bob Seeger and fails to jump him to start. Dice comes in and is rather happy at dodging a charge, only to get double dropkicked out to the floor. That means it’s time to put on the dungeon masks, only to have Miguel take Swinger out with a dive. Dice drops Miguel to take over but a handspring kick to the face gets Miguel out of trouble. The hot tag brings in Kid for a high crossbody, setting up a quick frog splash to finish Dice at 4:00.
Rating: C. I know they’re nothing that matters but my goodness Dice and Swinger can be funny. Impact knows what they have with the two of them and they have some of the most entertaining moments on the show. Kid and Miguel aren’t much of a team but having them beat up the resident goofs isn’t a bad thing.
On Before The Impact, a fake Heath distraction helped Bhupinder Gujjar beat Vincent.
Brian Myers still doesn’t want to face Bhupinder Gujjar but Decay comes in to say Black Taurus will get the Digital Media Title shot instead.
Tiffany Nieves vs. Jada Stone
This is an OVW showcase match with Tasha Steelz, with Savannah Evans, on commentary. Nieves takes her down to start as Steelz rants about not being Knockouts Champion. Some kicks send Nieves into the corner but she misses a Cannonball. A rollup, with a grab of the rope, gives Nieves the pin at 2:06.
Post match Killer Kelly comes out to wreck Nieves and Stone, which doesn’t have Steelz very impressed.
Eric Young doesn’t want Deaner’s excuses for failing last week. First up it’s the Motor City Machine Guns and then Kushida.
Video on Alex Shelley becoming #1 contender for the first time, including a surprise video from Johnny Gargano, who praises Shelley as well.
Josh Alexander vs. Shera
Non-title and Raj Singh is here with Shera. Alexander gets blocked by the power to start but hits three straight clotheslines to knock Shera over the top. Shera wins the quick brawl on the floor and sends Alexander back inside, where Alexander hits the running crossbody to the back. Singh offers a distraction but Alexander is fine enough to ankle lock Shera for the tap at 3:15.
Rating: C. They didn’t have time to get anywhere here but my goodness it’s nice to stop pretending that Shera is going to be some big deal. This version of him is a lot easier to take than the dancing schmuck of years past but now he’s just a big guy who loses important matches. Alexander is always worth a look though and that’s part of how the champion should feel.
Moose says there is no alliance between himself and Steve Maclin. If anyone should be mad at Maclin, it’s him, who didn’t need help to beat Sami Callihan.
Honor No More wants to know what Scott D’Amore is going to do for them and want their Tag Team Title shot. Noise is heard though and Mike Bennett is gone.
VXT is preparing for Deonna Purrazzo’s bachelorette party when Jessika comes in to invite herself. She’s quite the life of the party but Rosemary and Taya Valkyrie come in to say that’s not happening.
Raj Singh is in the ring to complain about what happened to Shera. Cue Sami Callihan with the Cactus Driver 97 to drop Singh. Callihan says he’s going to take care of Steve Maclin and Moose on his own.
Ric Flair Flashback Moment of the Week: Flair forms Fourtune but Jay Lethal interrupts with his amazing impression.
Mia Yim is ready for Jordynne Grace but the video signal breaks up.
Commentary talks but the video signal breaks up.
Scott D’Amore finds Honor No More messing with the TV truck and is sick of this. They want their title shot so at Emergence, it’s five on five. If Honor No More wins, they get the Tag Team Titles but if they lose, they disband (with D’Amore bringing up Jim Cornette forcing Team Canada to do the same back in the day).
Rich Swann vs. Kushida
Kushida is billed as the Timesplitter and this is a first time ever match. Respect is shown before the bell as Kushida takes him down by the leg to start. Kushida takes him down again, which sets up a standoff. Back up and they run the ropes with neither getting very far, setting up stereo missed dropkicks. Kushida works on a wristlock and sends Swann outside for some posing as we take a break.
We come back with Kushida working on the arm but Swann knocks him into the corner. A running basement dropkick puts Kushida on the floor on the floor and Swann kicks him in the head back inside. The chinlock goes on for a bit but Kushida is back up for stereo crossbodies. The comeback is on for Kushida, including a running armbar takedown out of the corner.
Kushida gets the cross armbreaker but Swann gets his foot on the ropes pretty quickly. They strike it out with Kushida going for the arm but getting knocked down anyway. There’s a neckbreaker to drop Kushida again, only to have Swann miss the Phoenix splash. Kushida takes him down by the arm again but Swann snaps off a super hurricanrana. Swann goes up but gets pulled down into the Hoverboard Lock for the tap at 19:04.
Rating: B. Kushida is my favorite New Japan wrestler so it’s nice to see him on a show like this. Swann can go with anyone and beating him still means something so this was a great way to make Kushida seem like a big deal out of the gate. I’m curious to see what he is going to do and this is already a bit more than he ever did in NXT, so there is some hope to be had.
Overall Rating: B. Impact’s roll continues and I can certainly take that. The good thing here is that they are setting things up and making me want to see them, with Alex Shelley making more than a better fit in the main event than Violent By Design. Other than that, Honor No More’s issues continue to grow and we are getting a resurgence of Sami Callihan for a bit of fresh blood. I’m starting to look forward to seeing this show every week and that is not something I have not expected to say for a long time now.
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