Impact World Tag Team Champion and NEVER Openweight Champion Karl Anderson def. Kenny King
This was the latest preview of Honor No More vs. Bullet Club at Emergence. I feel like King loses a lot on his own in IMPACT, but Anderson probably shouldn't be losing if he's the current NEVER Openweight Champion. It was the quality contest you'd expect given the talent involved and I liked how Anderson hit his finisher out of nowhere to win it. Honor No More vs. Bullet Club could very well go either way, which is why I'm looking forward to it.
Kushida def. Deaner
It was announced that Kushida and Chris Sabin will team up to take on Violent By Design's Deaner and Joe Doering at Emergence. Deaner has had some strong singles showings as of late and this was the latest example of that. He and Kushida had a really fun match and it gave Kushida his second straight win in IMPACT. The eventual six-man tag team match pitting Kushida and The Motor City Machine Guns against all of Violent By Design should be a blast.
Killer Kelly def. Tiffany Nieves
Kelly has competed in IMPACT before, but this marked her official re-debut. She has a unique look and character, completely different than what she was doing her time in WWE NXT UK. From what I've seen, she's very talented, but this was way too short to get a good grasp of what she's capable of. That said, for her first in-ring appearance, this was what it needed to be.
Mia Yim def. Madison Rayne
Rayne just unsuccessfully challenged Jade Cargill for the AEW TBS Championship on Wednesday's Dynamite. It was announced last week that she had joined as a coach for the women's division as well, so I assume this was meant to mark her swan song from IMPACT. With Yim challenging for the Impact Knockouts World Championship at Emergence, the outcome was never in doubt, but it was mostly well worked. I'm not sure it needed as much time as it got, though.
Impact X-Division Champion "Speedball" Mike Bailey def. Rocky Romero
It was already established that the winner of this match would defend against Jack Evans at Emergence, so there was basically no chance of Romero becoming champion. There was pretty much no drama regarding the result, but from an in-ring standpoint, this was very enjoyable. Romero never disappoints and Bailey has put together a terrific string of matches as champion so far. Bailey's clash with Evans should be no exception.
Impact World Champion Josh Alexander and Alex Shelley Signed the Contract For Their Impact World Championship Match at Emergence
There's no personal animosity between these two, so I wasn't sure how this was going to go. That said, I do think doing a contract signing ahead of Emergence was a good idea to establish some bad blood between the two and they did an effective job of that. Alexander recapped his history as a fan of Shelley's and brought up how Shelley has never won "the big one" before. Shelley's rebuttal was strong and that last line about him giving Alexander his autograph via the contract was excellent.
I feel like I say this every month about the Impact Plus specials, but IMPACT has built up a great card for Emergence on Friday night. The last-minute hype for the Impact World Championship main event was well done and there was some top-notch action throughout the episode. IMPACT! Wrestling remains one of my favorite wrestling shows to watch weekly because the quality is consistently high and everything is easy to get into and follow.