Josh Alexander versus Alex Shelley for the Impact World Championship is the headliner for Emergence on Friday, August 12. Shelley earned the opportunity by beating Motor City Machine Guns teammate Chris Sabin in a #1 contender bout. All that was needed to make the match official was the formality of a contract signing during the latest broadcast of Impact Wrestling. No physical action erupted, but several spicy verbal barbs were traded.
Scott D’Amore oversaw the proceedings and hyped the bout as a dream match between two world class competitors at the top of their game competing for the ultimate prize.
Alexander exercised his right as champion to sign first. That also meant he was allowed to speak first for the promo exchange. Alexander told a tale of the first time he bought a ticket for a wrestling show in 2005. Shelley was on that card, and his performance that night inspired Alexander to begin his journey in the business. Alexander went to a wrestling school the very next day.
What makes Shelley special is that he is unafraid to be completely unique. Shelley dared to be original in an unoriginal business.
Alexander has wrestled numerous Shelley copycats over the years, and this will be the first time he gets to wrestle the real thing. It will be a privilege to step in the ring with Shelley for their first singles match against one another. Alexander closed his respectful story with a little spice. It will also be Alexander’s honor to beat Shelley. The champ signed the paperwork.
Shelley took his turn on the mic. He has copious amounts of respect for Alexander. They have had similar career success, but Alexander did the something Shelley has not yet been able to do in winning the Impact World Championship. Time for Shelley to land a stinger. Alexander said he’s beaten all the copycats and believes he’ll beat Shelley himself, but what makes Alexander think he’s any different than those clones?
Alexander shot back that he is more of a Chris Sabin guy. Alexander then questioned why Shelley has never been able to win the big one. Shelley has all the talent, skill, and every opportunity to do so. Could the problem be self-sabotage? Being world champ comes with pressure and responsibility. Alexander thinks Shelley is scared of that duty, but he hopes Shelley can get over that. Alexander needs to beat Shelley at better than his best, because Shelley’s best hasn’t been good enough to get the job done in the past. Shots fired!
Shelley took the jab in stride. He understands the sacrifice of a champion. Sabin has had three torn ACLs. Alexander has suffered a fused neck, torn pec, torn bicep, torn lat, torn ACL. None of those injuries will be Alexander’s biggest hurdle when facing Shelley.
When Alexander enters the ring against Shelley, he will be transported back to 2005 when he was 18 as a paying fan to see Shelley wrestle. When Shelley looks across the ring, he’ll be staring at an Alex Shelley mark. At Emergence, Alexander won’t be leaving with the world title. Shelley wants to make sure Alexander doesn’t leave empty-handed though. Contract signed. Shelley pushed the folder over to Alexander to close with, “There’s your Alex Shelley autograph, Josh.” Mic drop!
"There's your Alex Shelley Autograph Josh!"— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) August 12, 2022
Will @fakekinkade leave @IMPACTWRESTLING World Champion at #EMERGENCE or will @Walking_Weapon prevail!?
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Shelley exited the ring leaving Alexander to feel the fool. The champ saved face by holding the world title in the air.
That was some good trash talking. Impact hadn’t really built up much tension between the fan favorites until this point, but that scene rocked the boat hard. The match sells itself on wrestling ability. Now, there is a little bit of chippiness to give it an emotional edge.
Who do you think won that verbal joust between Josh Alexander and Alex Shelley? Did the contract singing segment pump you up for their world title fight at Emergence?