Five titles will be on the line at Impact Wrestling's Emergence, live from Chicago's Cicero Stadium.
Impact World Champion Josh Alexander will defend against Alex Shelley while Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace defends against Mia Yim.
X-Division Champion "Speedball" Mike Bailey will defend his gold against the returning Jack Evans.
The pre-show will feature two title matches as Digital Champion Brian Myers defends against Bhupinder Gujjar while Knockouts Tag Team Champions Rosemary & Taya Valkyrie defend against Deonna Purrazzo & Chelsea Green.
Honor No More will again have to avoid disbandment as they face Bullet Club in a ten-man tag. If HNM loses, they must break up while Matt Taven & Mike Bennett can earn a future Tag Team title shot with a victory.
Former ROH World Champion Bandido will take on Rey Horus in both men's Impact debuts.
In a pair of grudge matches, Sami Callihan will finally get his hands on Steve Maclin while Chris Sabin & KUSHIDA battle Violent by Design's Joe Doering & Deaner.
Brian Myers defeated Bhupinder Gujjar to retain the Digital Media title on the Countdown to Emergence pre-show
Before the match began, Brian Myers took the mic and put down the city of Chicago and Gujjar.
After the bell rang, Gujjar immediately started using his power game and tossed Myers around like he was an amateur before setting up for an early Gargoyle Spear. Myers quickly escaped the ring and nailed Gujjar with a low blow on the way back in, settling the match back down and in his favor.
Myers followed up with a suplex before setting Gujjar up on the top rope looking for a suplerplex but Gujjar was able to block the attempt and nailed Myers with a missile dropkick to change the momentum of the match. Gujjar hit a samoan drop but could only land a two count.
Myers took over from here and nailed Gujjar with a spear. Myers followed it up with a drop into an exposed turnbuckle before rolling him up with a hook of the tights for the three count to retain the Digital Media championship.
VXT (Chelsea Green & Deonna Purrazzo) defeated Taya Valkyrie & Rosemary (w/Jessicka) to become the new Knockouts world tag team titles on the Countdown to Emergence pre-show
Valkyrie and Green started the match but after some quick offense by one-half of the champions, Green quickly tagged out to Purrazzo.
Purrazzo didn't fare much better as Rosemary was tagged in and both teams attempted to gain the early advantage before action spilled on the outside and Rosemary was met with some miscommunication from Jessicka who accidentally pancaked her.
Back on the inside, VXT was looking strong as they began dominating Valkyrie with some double team offense. Jessicka was then taken out on the outside by Green as Rosemary finally managed to get tagged back in.
After failing to gain the momentum back in their favor, Rosemary attempted to nail Green with her mist but ended up nailing Valkyrie instead. VXT took advantage of a stunned Rosemary and finished her off with a double suplex and Green made the cover to give us new Knockouts world tag team champions.
Mike Bailey defeated Jack Evans to retain the X-Division title
After Bailey attempted to shake hands after the bell rang, Evans tricked him and rolled up Bailey several times but only managed two counts.
With both men being technically sound, Evans continued with his shady tactics to attempt to ground Bailey but the current X-Division champion managed to nail back to back suicide dives much to the delight of the Chicago crowd.
Evans persevered however and slowed things down using his submission game but Bailey just wouldn't give up and nailed Evans with running twisting corkscrew moonsault for a two count.
After both men nailed one another with kicks, they were able to continue the match at the count of six before Evans was sent to the outside and Bailey landed a moonsault to the outside. Evans countered on his way back into the ring by landing a blockbuster off of the top rope.
Evans followed it up with a top rope german suplex but that still wasn't enough as Bailey was able to recover and nail Evans with his spinning corner kick. Bailey quickly followed it up with his Ultimate Weapon to finally score the win to retain the X-Division championship in this huge back and forth matchup.
- Backstage, Honor No More was receiving words of wisdom from Eddie Edwards going into tonight's war against Bullet Club.
Steve Maclin and Sami Callihan went to a no contest
As Callihan was making his entrance, Maclin attacked him and the two started brawling on the entrance ramp before the bell could even ring.
Callihan nailed Maclin with a suplex on the outside before tossing him into the ring but instead of following suit, Callihan grabbed a chair from underneath the ring before tending to Maclin.
Callihan failed to land a chairshot to Maclin while Maclin did the same. With the bell never ringing, the referee attempted to gain order but was tossed aside by Maclin before Callihan and Maclin were brawling on the outside of the ring once again.
Callihan and Maclin brawled through the crowd and no official announcement was made by the ring announcer but it was stated that the show must go on and our next match was previewed.
Violent By Design (Eric Young & Deaner w/Joe Doering) defeated Chris Sabin & KUSHIDA
KUSHIDA and Young began the match but before they could lock up, the crowd started chanting "KUSHIDA" and Young took off to the outside to yell at the crowd.
After a quick lockup, Young tagged in Deaner but KUSHIDA started working the arm and Sabin and KUSHIDA started with some quick double team attacks on Deaner. Young decided that enough was enough and as KUSHIDA hit the ropes, Young nailed him in the back giving VBD some momentum.
KUSHIDA attempted a comeback but Young bit him in the face before VBD started working him with their own double team attacks. Quick tags were being made by VBD and KUSHIDA was in a world of hurt looking to make the hot tag to Sabin. As KUSHIDA got close, Young sprinted across the ring to take out Sabin on the apron.
VBD had KUSHIDA trapped in the corner but KUSHIDA was finally able to make a comeback and used the backs of Young and Deaner as steps to bounce from one corner to the other and make the tag to a fired up Sabin.
After Sabin fought hard to gain momentum for his team including hitting classic Motor City Machine Gun moves with KUSHIDA, VBD was able to counter and landed a diving headbutt from Deaner and a flying elbow by Young to Sabin. KUSHIDA was able to make the save at the count of two but VBD was too hungry at this point.
As KUSHIDA climbed to the top rope, Deaner distracted the referee with the VBD flag as Doering got involved and pushed KUSHIDA down to the floor. Seeing the opportunity, Young capitalized and picked up Sabin and nailed him with his piledriver to pickup a much needed win for VBD proving that the world did indeed belong to him tonight.
- Backstage, Gia Miller was with new Knockouts world tag team champions VXT who bragged about their win earlier tonight.
- Kenny King came down to the ring with a chair in hand and called out Heath. While King waited, we saw Sami Callihan and Steve Maclin still brawling in the crowd. As King was distracted by the brawl, Heath snuck inside the ring. King failed to hit him with the chair and Heath nailed him with the Wakeup Call before heading through the crowd. Gia Miller caught up with Heath in the crowd and Heath grabbed the mic and fired up the crowd in Chicago.
- A video promo aired for Victory Road taking place on September 23rd in Nashville, Tennessee.
- A video promo aired for Bound For Glory taking place on October 7th in Albany, New York.
Bandido defeated Rey Horus in a Lucha Libre AAA Attraction match
After the bell rang, both men shook hands in the middle of the ring as the fans chanted "Lucha".
As you would expect, it was fast paced action by both men before Bandido was able to land a twisting moonsault over the ropes to the outside to gain momentum.
Back inside the ring and Horus called for a brainbuster but Bandido countered and landed the Three Amigos to pay tribute to the late Eddie Guerrero. Horus mounted a comeback and after nailing a moonsault over the corner to Bandido on the outside of the ring, he followed it up with a twisting 180 back on the inside but only managed a two count.
Bandido switched momentum once again by pressing Horus with a one handed press slam but Horus countered back with a sick twisting tornado ddt off of the top rope. This match was all about power versus speed and every time Bandido landed a huge move, Horus countered with a huge move.
With neither man willing to back off, they eventually knocked one another to the mat and as a show of respect, the referee and fans counted to the count of ten in Spanish with both men dramatically sitting up at the count of nueve.
Bandido followed it up with a frog splash but only managed a two count. Horus attempted a comeback but too much damage had been done as Bandido landed his 21 Flex to put Horus away and get the victory.
- Backstage, Gia Miller was backstage with Moose. After Moose denied further affiliation with Maclin, Callihan and Maclin came brawling into the scene causing Miller to run off. Moose helped Maclin beat down on Callihan before the brawl spilled back to ringside. As security got involved, Scott D'Amore's music hit and he announced that Moose was now banned from ringside and that we would see Callihan vs. Maclin in a no-dq, anything goes match right now.
Sami Callihan defeated Steve Maclin in a No-DQ, Anything Goes match
It wasn't long before every weapon around and under the ring was being introduced including a Swiffer.
After Maclin nailed Callihan on the outside with his Caught in the Crosshairs, a bloodied Maclin sent Callihan into the ring. With Sami in no man's land, Maclin refused to use the Swiffer much to the dismay of the rowdy Chicago fans.
After Callihan made a small comeback, Maclin nailed him a low blow before heading to the outside once again to grab a suitcase full of more weapons including pliers and some zip ties in the shape of handcuffs.
Maclin followed up by hitting the K.I.A. but refused to pin Callihan which may have cost him the match at this point as Callihan started mounting a comeback. Callihan nailed Maclin several times in the lower region before using the zip ties to his advantage.
With Maclin tied up, Callihan started mouthing off to Maclin which lead to Maclin spitting in his face. Callihan decided it was time for the end and nailed Maclin with his Cactus Driver '97 to pickup the win in this huge all out war tonight.
Honor No More (Eddie Edwards, Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, PCO & Vincent w/Maria Kanellis) defeated Bullet Club (Ace Austin, Chris Bey, Doc Gallows, Hikuleo & Karl Anderson)
If Honor No More wins, they will receive a world tag team championship match. If they lose, they must disband forever.
Maria headed to the back before the bell rang as the match had the makings of pure gang warfare. After a stare down by all ten men to start the match, the brawl began.
After our previous match, it was hard to believe there were still weapons under the ring but Gallows and Anderson ensured they were found including chairs and trash cans. Hikuleo at one point teased hitting a somersault over the top rope but Taven caught him before he could hit the move. Taven was sent flying for interrupting as pure chaos continued outside of the ring.
After PCO missed a PCO-sault onto a trash can that featured Chris Bey, Gallows dragged him to the outside and action now spilled into the crowd. After Gallows and PCO fought deep into the crowd, Gallows tossed PCO off a railing down hard to what appeared to be tables below.
Gallows made his way back to ringside and for his trouble was greeted with REDRUM through a table by Vincent. As chaos continued all over the place, Gallows made his way back into the ring and attempted to nail Taven with the Magic Killer but was way too hurt at this point.
Bennett and Taven capitalized and after hitting Gallows with a knockout blow, they simultaneously pinned one-half of the world tag team champions to keep Honor No More as a whole and pickup a future shot at the world tag team championship.
Jordynne Grace defeated Mia Yim to retain the Knockouts world title
Legendary referee Scott Armstrong was introduced as the official for this world championship match. As the bell rang, dueling chants could be heard as champion and challenger shook hands in the middle of the ring.
As both women attempted to gain the upper hand, Grace switched from her power game to quickness and was able to gain some early momentum in the match. Yim seemingly frustrated, landed a suicide dive to the outside before sending Grace back into the ring.
Back inside and we started to see Yim's mean streak come about as she was firing up Grace with a series of kicks. Grace followed it up with a nice suplex before landing a running powerbomb to an overpowered Yim.
With Yim stunned in the middle of the ring, Grace started playing her power game once again and nailed Yim with back and forth clotheslines before attempting to get Yim to tapout. Yim countered and both women soon found themselves in reverse chinlock submissions before Yim managed to gain the upper hand and nailed Grace with a headbutt.
Yim followed it up with a tornado ddt and attempted to hit a move off the second rope but Grace caught her with a Muscle Buster for a near three count. Grace attempted to hit the Grace Driver but Yim countered and nailed a Code Blue off the top rope for a two count.
Yim looked to hit Eat Defeat and after some back and forth pin attempts, Grace was finally able to capture and surprise Yim with the Grace Driver to gain the victory and remain Knockouts world champion.
Hell of a match by two talented ladies here folks!
After the match, Grace attempted to shake hands with Yim and as Mia was reluctant, we heard some familiar whistling. The undefeated Masha Slamovich made her way to the ring, stared down the Knockouts world champion, handed her a black folder and left the ring smiling as Grace pondered a future opponent and Slamovich pondered a future championship.
Josh Alexander defeated Alex Shelley to retain the Impact world title
20 years in the business and as Shelley made his way down to the ring, we're reminded it's his first shot at the Impact world title. With that being said, we're reminded that Josh Alexander has only been pinned once in the past 440+ days.
Chants for both guys are heard even before their intros and after the bell rang, both men shook hands in the middle of the ring. Seemed like a theme tonight, and a great one at that.
We saw a slow paced technical presence in the beginning and it was referenced that we're watching a chess game. Both men are super talented in various aspects and all it would take was one wrong move to throw the other off their game. With that being said, the head gear came off of Alexander and kicked aside by Shelley.
Shelley followed up with some arrogant aggressiveness but Alexander would hold his own and nailed Shelley with a huge boot to bring the match back to his side. After Shelley had attempted to focus on the left arm of Alexander, Alexander started working not only the leg of Shelley but his whole body, trapping Shelley in a submission in the middle of the ring.
After some back and forth offense, Shelley landed a tilt-a-whirl head scissors and then locked on a quick Border City Stretch but Alexander was able to escape to the outside. Shelley followed but after Alexander was back in the ring, Shelley took too long outside and was nailed with a flying crossbody on the ring apron.
Back inside the ring and Alexander was locked up like a pretzel by Shelley as duel chants were heard again. Alexander escaped but as he setup for the C4 Spike, too much damage had been done and he wasn't able to pickup Shelley. Alexander persevered and managed to hit a modified fisherman buster but not to the power that Alexander would have had liked.
Shelley was hurt at this point but Alexander was damaged and Shelley managed to send Alexander face first into the middle turnbuckle before nailing a tornado ddt. Shelley followed up with a massive frog splash but not only did Alexander manage to kick out at two, he locked in the ankle lock. Shelley was able to grab the bottom rope and we're now at a stalemate.
Shelley followed up with Sliced Bread but it was Alexander with the pin attempt, only getting a two count. Shelley with the Air Raid Crash and another two count, this time by the challenger.
We're now outside the ring and after Shelley is sent into the ring steps, he nailed another Sliced Bread, favoring his knee after he hit the move. Back inside the ring and another Border City Stretch locked in by Shelley but it's broken up pretty quickly. Shelley follows up with a series of chops and it's like Rocky 3 in the middle of the ring as Alexander wanted more.
Alexander started to gain momentum and after hitting the ripcord elbow, he couldn't put away Shelley. Looking like he was in that zone, Alexander locked in the ankle lock followed by a Sharpshooter before Shelley locked in the Border City Stretch once again. Shelley followed it up with two Shell Shocks, Alexander countered with a spinning tombstone but neither man would give up in this spectacular main event for the world championship.
Alexander nailed a Shell Shock of his own, followed it up with his C4 Spike and got the 1-2-3 to retain the Impact world championship in a potential match of the year here!
Emergence was everything I hoped for and more.
The main event between two of the best in the industry for the world championship in a promotion that continues to hit homeruns, they hit a grand slam tonight. Matches like Josh Alexander vs. Alex Shelley is why I'm a pro-wrestling fan.
You add the intrigue of an undefeated Masha Slamovich making her presence known to Jordynne Grace and her Knockouts world title, VXT capturing the Knockouts world tag team titles, Mike Bailey continuously dominating the X-Division, the continuation of the group known as Honor No More, VBD and more specifically Eric Young being talked about in Impact Wrestling in 2022, the future of talented guys like Bhupinder Gujjar and it's easy to see why Impact Wrestling continues to remain one of the greatest promotions 20+ years later.
Go out of your way and watch Emergence when you get the chance folks!