With Friday's Emergence live special from Chicago 24 hours away, tonight's Impact on AXS will set things in motion and likely add a few new matches.
Impact World Champion Josh Alexander and top challenger Alex Shelley will be face-to-face as they will sign the contract for Friday's main event.
The X-Division title will be on the line as "Speedball" Mike Bailey will defend against Rocky Romero with the winner moving on to defend the title against Jack Evans on Friday.
Shelley's former tag team partner KUSHIDA will be in singles action against Violent By Design's Deaner.
Ahead of her challenge of Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace Friday, Mia Yim will take on Madison Rayne, now of AEW.
Killer Kelly will make her in-ring return after a long absence as she faces Tiffany Nieves.
In a preview of Friday's ten-man tag team match, Honor No More's Kenny King will face Bullet Club's Karl Anderson.
On the BTI pre-show, Steve Maclin will take on Crazzy Steve.
Steve Maclin defeated Crazzy Steve on the BTI pre-show
The opening video highlighted PCO's victory against Doc Gallows in the Derby City Street Fight last week.
Karl Anderson defeated Kenny King
While Honor No More accompanied King to the entrance ramp, both men were flying solo as both Honor No More and Bullet Club were banned from ringside.
After it was noted that this was the first time King and Anderson faced each other in singles action, both men looked to score pinfalls early on. With both King and Anderson wrestling similar styles, King switched things up and nailed the left knee of Anderson before landing a chop block to further inflict damage.
King focused on the left leg of Anderson for the next few moments but Anderson was able to mount a small comeback before King was on the attack once again. King went to the hit the Royal Flush but failed and Anderson out of nowhere hit the Gun Stun to get the 1-2-3.
After the match, King attacked Anderson with a steel chair but before he could do too much damage and with Honor No More banned from ringside, Heath flew into the ring and nailed King with the Wakeup Call before making a quick exit.
- A video package aired focusing on Alex Shelley's road to his upcoming match for the Impact world championship against Josh Alexander tomorrow night at Emergence. It's still so hard to believe that after all of these years, this is Shelley's first shot at the title.
KUSHIDA (w/Chris Sabin) defeated Deaner (w/Joe Doering)
They referenced that Deaner only had one speed and looked to end the match early but KUSHIDA was simply too quick for the mouthpiece of Violent By Design.
KUSIDA started attacking the left arm of Deaner both inside and outside of the ring which led to a staredown with Doering and KUSHIDA soon found himself outsized. Sabin came to the rescue but while he was challenging Doering to throwdown, Deaner snuck up on KUSHIDA from behind and laid him out as we headed to commercial.
We're back from commercial and Deaner was taking it to KUSHIDA back on the inside of the ring. KUSHIDA fired back and once again focused on the left arm of Deaner before attempting to nail a top rope Hoverboard Lock. Doering made the distraction, Deaner cheap shotted KUSHIDA but Sabin came to the rescue. KUSHIDA took the opportunity and once more locked in the left arm of Deaner, nailed a modified northern lights suplex and was able to pick up the victory.
- The Impact Plus Flashback Moment of the Week featured Alex Shelley defeating Chris Sabin for the X-Division championship at TNA Genesis 2009.
- Backstage, Digital Media champion Brian Myers was bragging about his victory last week over Black Taurus before being interrupted by Bhupinder Gujjar. Gujjar challenged Myers to a match for the title and after originally saying no, Myers changed his mind and stated that he would see Gujjar at Emergence.
- A backstage promo aired featuring all three members of Violent By Design. Eric Young announced that VBD would battle Chris Sabin and KUSHIDA tomorrow night at Emergence before stating that the world belonged to him.
Killer Kelly defeated Tiffany Nieves
After a brief staredown, Nieves made the mistake of slapping Kelly across the face. I'm not even sure if I have to explain the rest but it didn't last long from there as Kelly went into attack mode before locking in the Killer Clutch to get the quick submission victory in her Impact debut match.
- A video package aired featuring the ongoing feud between Honor No More and Bullet Club and their upcoming match tomorrow night at Emergence.
- Backstage, Eddie Edwards was seen giving a pep talk to the other members of Honor No More and declared that they would be victorious tomorrow night at Emergence.
Mia Yim defeated Madison Rayne
As you would expect, both ladies started the match trying to outdo one another technically before Yim's power came into effect. Rayne escaped to the outside and when Yim played chased, Rayne was able to catch her off-guard and rammed her face into the ring post.
While it would be interesting to see Yim lose 24 hours before her title match tomorrow night at Emergence with Jordynne Grace, it was referenced that Rayne is tied for championship wins in Impact with Gail Kim at eight.
Rayne had all the momentum going her way until Yim was able to divert a corner move into a Tarantula. Rayne recovered quickly and kept Yim down for the next several moments before Yim was able to counter and land a cannonball in the corner. Rayne followed it up with a massive crucifix bomb but could only land a two count.
With both ladies back on their feet, Yim nailed a Pelé kick before finally saying goodnight to Rayne and landed the Eat Defeat for the victory going into her championship match against Jordynne Grace tomorrow night.
- Backstage, VXT bragged they were going to party like it was 1999 when they win the Knockouts world tag team titles tomorrow night at Emergence.
- A promo aired for Bound For Glory taking place in Albany, New York on October 7th.
- Backstage, Jordynne Grace confronted Mia Yim. After Grace insulted Yim, Mia fired back and left the current Knockouts champion frustrated.
Mike Bailey defeated Rocky Romero to retain the X-Division title
Bailey offered a handshake to begin the match and Romero accepted. While there's almost a decade between these two competitors in age, you couldn't tell as Romero was holding his own early with the current X-Division champion as we went into a stalemate headed into commercial.
We're back from commercial and both men are outside of the ring. As Romero was rested up against the ring post, Bailey attempted to nail Rocky with a kick to the head but Romero moved and Bailey kicked the ring post instead.
Romero took the match back inside of the ring and capitalized on Bailey's mistake as you would expect. After teasing the Forever Clotheslines, Bailey mounted a small comeback before Romero was able to gain momentum of the match again but not for long as Bailey landed his rapid fire kicks to Rocky in the middle of the ring. As Bailey looked to capitalize even further, Romero landed a massive clothesline before we once again headed into a commercial break.
We're back again from commercial and both men were still looking for the match momentum they needed to head into Emergence tomorrow night as champion. Bailey was sent to the outside and Romero landed a suicide dive but before he could follow it up, Bailey flew off the ropes with a springboard moonsault.
Now back on the inside and after Bailey missed his running roundhouse kick to the corner, Romero locked in an armbar but couldn't hold on. Bailey missed an Ultimate Weapon and Romero missed his Forever Clotheslines before Bailey was finally able to nail Romero with his running roundhouse kick. Bailey headed to the top, landed the Ultimate Weapon and secured the victory to remain X-Division champion.
After a quick nose-to-nose after the match, Romero raised the hand of Bailey and showed him respect. With this being Bailey's fourth successful title defense, he will now defend the championship against Jack Evans tomorrow night at Emergence.
Impact World Championship Contract Signing for Emergence
Impact Executive Vice President Scott D'Amore welcomed us to the contract signing. D'Amore stated that after being in the business for the last 30 years, his proudest title is "Coach". D'Amore then introduced Alex Shelley followed by Impact world champion Josh Alexander.
D'Amore welcomed both men to the ring and let them have the floor. Alexander praised Shelley and stated that Shelley has dared to be original in an unoriginal business. Alexander told a story about seeing Shelley at a show in 2005 and then stepped foot inside of the ring to start training the very next day for the very first time. Alexander stated that in 17 years that he's never faced Shelley but he has faced hundreds of Shelley copycats and that he's honored to be facing Shelley tomorrow night at Emergence with the world title on the line.
Shelley stated that he too respected Alexander but questioned on why Alexander is any better than any of the copycats. Alexander took offense and said that he was more of a Chris Sabin guy and reminded Shelley that both him and Sabin had what it took to win the world title. Alexander stated that Shelley needed to be better than his best tomorrow night as his best has never been good enough to be world champion.
Shelley stated that he's had zero opportunities to win the title before praising the passion Sabin has had for the business. Shelley followed up by pointing out all of Alexander's injuries and then stated that he's going to go back to 2005 and turn Alexander back into an "Alex Shelley mark"!
Shelley signed the contract, looked at Alexander and said "There's your Alex Shelley autograph Josh" before leaving the ring. A smirking Alexander stood up from his chair as Shelley walked up the entrance ramp as the show came to a close.
With the way the show closed tonight and the storyline behind Alex Shelley finally getting a world championship opportunity, this could have easily been the main event for Bound For Glory.
As a pro-wrestling fan for over 40 years now, I honestly can't predict the main event tomorrow. As a Canadian, I'm biased and pro Alexander. But after getting to see Alex Shelley wrestle live this past Sunday in a triple threat match against Mike Bailey and Jake Something, not only is Shelley quick and technical, but he should be able to hold his own against Alexander power wise which makes me pro Shelley.
On top of the main event tomorrow night, Mike Bailey defending against Jack Evans should be phenomenal, Honor No More battling Bullet Club is going to be interesting and the tension between Jordynne Grace and Mia Yim builds for a much anticipated Knockouts world title match tomorrow night.
Do yourself a favor folks and catch Emergence tomorrow night on Impact Plus and YouTube for IMPACT Ultimate Insiders!