Impact Wrestling Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Analysis for August 11
The final episode of Impact Wrestling before Friday's Emergence live event featured the in-ring debut of Killer Kelly, an X-Division Championship defense by "Speedball" Mike Bailey and the contract signing for the upcoming world title clash between Josh Alexander and Alex Shelley.
What went down in each of those segments and who emerged from Thursday's AXS broadcast with momentum on their sides?
Find out now with this recap of the August 11 broadcast.
Karl Anderson vs. Kenny King
The rivalry between Bullet Club and Honor No More continued Thursday night as Impact tag team champion and NEVER openweight champion Karl Anderson battled Kenny King in singles action.
The grizzled veteran competitors delivered a solid wrestling match to kick off the night's festivities, with the heel controlling the pace on more than one occasion. Anderson mounted a comeback, but King caught him in a submission that threatened to end Machine Gun's night.
Anderson fought through, used the rope to break the hold and proceeded to catch his opponent with Gun Stun for the win. King responded after the match by blasting the injured knee of his rival with a chair and setting up to do further damage.
Heath, continuing his vendetta against Honor No More, dropped King and stood tall to end the segment.
This provided one of the higher-profile feuds in the company and provided fans a solid (if unspectacular) match to get things started. Anderson probably could have afforded the loss in the name of strengthening Honor No More, but it makes sense that Impact would opt to put him over instead as a champion in New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
The Heath stuff is fine, but it feels like there is no obvious endgame at this point. Especially since it feels relatively unlikely that Heath would go over on Eddie Edwards, Matt Taven or Mike Bennett in a high-profile match.
Anderson defeated King
- Tom Hannifan called Anderson "champ champ" based on his double-title status. Matthew Rehwoldt, the former associate of Deonna Purrazzo, took exception in a nice bit of continuity.
- Rehwoldt put over the first-time meeting of the competitors and said the number of stars that come through the company, creating fresh matchups, is one thing he loves most about Impact Wrestling.
- Even if the Heath stuff is still suspect, the crowd eats up his out-of-nowhere attacks.
Deaner vs. Kushida
Kushida came to the aid of Time Splitter tag team partner Alex Shelley recently, earning the disdain of Violent By Design. That feud was represented Thursday night as the babyface battled Deaner one-on-one.
A distraction by the massive Joe Doering allowed Deaner to get the jump on his opponent and seize control.
Kushida mounted a comeback by continuing to target the arm of his opponent. At ringside, Chris Sabin wiped out Doering, and Kushida delivered a hammerlock fisherman suplex to Deaner inside the ring for the win.
Deaner's determination to prove himself to Eric Young continues to net him losses, this one being the latest.
The storyline may be so-so to this point, but one thing that is not is Deaner's performance. He is nearly unrecognizable from his days as a mullet-wearing comedy act and a candidate for many "most improved" honors.
Kushida defeated Deaner
- Sabin daring the much larger Doering to fight him was a great ode to the no-nonsense, scrappy competitor he has always been.
Killer Kelly In Action
Tiffany Nieves apparently did not get enough of Killer Kelly two weeks ago when the latter made her Impact Wrestling debut.
Kelly dominated, beating Nieves down and tapping her out with the Killer Klutch.
This was a dominant squash win for Kelly, who looks like the biggest star in the Knockouts division already. The presentation, the look and the unrelenting in-ring style makes her wholly different from everyone else on the roster.
Kelly is poised to be a major star for the company and, hopefully, achieves the success she should have during her brief run with WWE.
Kelly defeated Nieves
- Backstage, Bhupinder Gujjar insulted Brian Myers' ego, leading to a match between the two at Emergence on Friday night.
- Kelly's presence was apparent from the moment she walked through the curtain. The company has a star on its hands if it can maintain her momentum.
Madison Rayne vs. Mia Yim
Just 24 hours after challenging Jade Cargill for the TBS Championship, Madison Rayne competed in what may have been her final Impact Wrestling match, battling Mia Yim.
Rayne looked to derail Yim's momentum and deal her a loss just 24 hours before she was set to challenge Jordynne Grace for the Knockouts Championship. She nearly did, with the future Hall of Famer working over the No. 1 contender and scoring a near-fall off a Northern Lights suplex.
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Yim fought back, delivering a big dropkick and corner cannonball for a near-fall. She shook off one last onslaught from Rayne and pinned her following Eat Defeat.
A good, competitive match, this featured two women in different stages of their careers.
Rayne wrapped up her Impact commitments with another example of her illustrious on-ring career, while Yim scored a high-profile victory to set the stage for her match with Grace. The fans were somewhat quiet, which was disappointing, but this was as good a match as there was on the show to this point.
Yim pinned Rayne
- Hannifan did a fantastic job of putting over Rayne's influence and history in Impact Wrestling. While her performance was never sold as the last of her run with the company, it sure felt like it.
- Yim confronted Grace backstage and told her it's a good thing she's familiar with short reigns because at Emergence, her Knockouts title reign will end similarly to her tag title reign.
X-Division Championship Match: "Speedball" Mike Bailey vs. Rocky Romero
Raise your hand if you had "Speedball" Mike Bailey as part of the best match of the show.
Good. You should have.
Bailey defended the X-Division Championship against Rocky Romero of New Japan Pro-Wrestling, another of those interpromotional dream matches that Impact has become synonymous with.
Romero worked over the leg of the champion, but Bailey fought back before Romero wiped him out with a tope suicida. A springboard moonsault plancha by Speedball allowed him to momentarily create some separation.
The champion sought a DDT off the ropes, but Romero countered into an armbar. Bailey escaped but fell prey to the running Sliced Bread No. 2 that earned Romero another near-fall. The fighting champion recovered and scored another statement win.
Bailey continued his run of superb in-ring performances with this one, an action-packed championship battle that saw him overcome everything the veteran Romero threw at him.
Speedball waited years to make his presence felt in the States and has wasted nary a second of his time here, entering the conversation for "Best Wrestler in the World" recognition here in 2022.
Romero is always good for a strong match, but this was all about further establishing Bailey's reputation as a fighting champion and celebrated in-ring competitor.
Bailey defeated Romero to retain
- Bailey kicked the hell out of the ring post by accident, injuring his foot and setting up the heat portion of the bout.
- Romero's running Sliced Bread No. 2 was a great spot and led to a quality near-fall.
- The commentary team put over Bailey's fighting champion status, revealing he will defend against Jack Evans at Emergence on Friday night.
Emergence Contract Signing featuring Josh Alexander and Alex Shelley
The contract signing between Josh Alexander and Alex Shelley began as one of mutual respect and ended with hurt feelings and painful truths as both men took turns hurling insults and making their final cases for victory at Emergence.
Alexander admitted to being a Shelley fan but said he thought the former tag team and X-Division champion was scared of the responsibility that being champion brings with it.
Shelley responded, saying Alexander is no different than the dozens of ripoffs that he left in his wake. He applauded Alexander's passion but said it will not help him leave Emergence with the gold.
"There's your Alex Shelley autograph," he said as he signed the contract and walked off.
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The lack of physicality was a welcome change, as was the gradually intensifying promo that left both men reeling and fans more interested in their championship clash tomorrow night.
Alexander vs. Shelley is going to rule, just like this segment, which never sacrificed either man's role as a babyface in order to tell the story. It was great, and the result was a fantastic show-closing segment.
- Scott D'Amore put over the pride he feels ahead of Alexander vs. Shelley given his relationship with both men.
- D'Amore called it a dream match for wrestling purists.
- Alexander recalled watching Shelley wrestle in 2005 and appreciated the fact that he was original in an unoriginal business.
- "I've faced dozens, if not hundreds, of the Alex Shelley copycats you've left along the way. It will be an honor to step in the ring with Alex Shelley tomorrow night; the real Alex Shelley," Alexander said.
- "Josh, what makes you think you're any different than those Alex Shelley clones?" Shelley asked.
- "Sorry, Shelley, but I'm more of a Chris Sabin guy," The Walking Weapon replied. "You know, a guy that's won the big one."
- "I need to beat Alex Shelley at his best because your best hasn't been good enough to get the job done," Alexander said.
- "It's not going to be anything related to your body, it's going to be everything to do with your psyche," Shelley said.
- "You know what I'm gonna see? I'm gonna look across the ring and I'm gonna see an Alex Shelley mark," the challenger said.