- Impact World Title: Moose(c) vs Alexander ****1/4
- Impact World Title: Alexander(c) vs Moose ***3/4
- Impact World Title: Alexander(c) vs Ishii ****1/2
- Impact World Title: Alexander(c) vs EY ***1/2
- Impact World Title: Alexander(c) vs Doering ***
- Impact World Title: Alexander(c) vs Shelley ****1/4
- Impact World Title: Alexander(c) vs Edwards ****1/4
- Impact World Title: Alexander(c) vs Fish ***1/2
- Impact World Title: Alexander(c) vs Kazarian ****
- Impact World Title: Alexander(c) vs Bailey ****1/2
Josh's run at the top has been a sight to see with a series of defenses that have exceeded expectations time and time again. The dude continues to be one of the hardest workers in the game and I thought I'd take a look at it in a special spotlight entry.
Note that some of the content here was reviewed previously but in an effort of streamlining the reign it's being included here as well. I am also not including any of his defenses that took place outside of an Impact ring.
The run started with Moose dropping the belt to Josh at Rebellion. A near MOTYC, they worked their asses off to deliver big as a penultimate match in the program at the big show. Moose's heel work is underrated, even if basic in nature, and it really helped add to the drama and excitement of the result.
They ran it back once more on TV. While it wasn't as good as their PPV outing, I thought this was a great one and a strong follow up to allow for JA to move forward.
A MOTYC throwaway defense against Ishii deserves a look as it was every bit as good as it looked like it'd be on paper. Pitbull was excellent as always and Alexander got a noteworthy name added to his checklist of fallen challengers. Perhaps his best defense.
Next, a Slammiversary gig against the vet, Eric Young. My expectations, with all due respect, were admittedly a bit low here. Still, EY stepped up and Alexander worked as hard as always to make sure it wasn't a forgettable outing. A bit overbooked with interference from VBD, but Josh overcoming the numbers game did make for decent entertainment. Pretty good as a result.
He'd then face Doering at Against All Odds. This one had sleeper written all over it. I know Joe is far from his peak these days, but the fucker is still a beast and can be fun as fuck against the right guy. Alexander is ALWAYS the right guy. Together they delivered nicely on the promise sold when this was booked thanks to both stepping up into the main event role nicely but it was admittedly a bit clunky at times. Like the EY match, this worked better than I think most would've expected and are therefore likely to go under the radar but I can see this specific one being more appropriate for the skip than the other.
Both should be considered for those that missed 'em but prioritize the EY defense.
At Emergence, Alex Shelley got a shot and it got things back up to the top shelf. Shelley has been one of the best dudes in the states for a very long time now so I'll be honest and admit in advance that this was one of the matches I was most looking forward to. It delivered nicely. Shelley was awesome and Alexander nailed his role, too. In all, it was a fantastic encounter. I'd love a rematch ASAP.
At Bound for Glory, we'd see Alexander against Edwards.
Can we please talk about how much talent this company has! People, get over the TNA days that have soured you and give this show a fucking chance...
Anyway, Eddie and Josh went 30 deep and the champ poured blood on the canvas along the way. I fucking loved it. The amount of effort and passion on display is well worth praise, folks.
Bully helped the champ against the HNM numbers after.
Next, Fish got a shot on TV for having the willingness to split from Cole and crew. It was certainly a choice to make, though I am unsure why he thought it was a right one. Maybe I am wrong... Who the fuck am I?
Fish vs Alexander was indeed a borderline great televised title match that felt like a decent throwaway notch as the reign moved forward. I wouldn't hate a PPV rematch.
At Over Drive, Kaz got a shot. Fantastic stuff, making me sound like a damn broken record. Frankie looked awesome here and I appreciate the respectful way they handled him here. He's a vet after all. This should be seen as one of Josh's biggest wins of the run and it was one of the best matches, too.
After, a moment of respect followed by Bully being a dick.
On Impact #957, and our last match of the set, we have Speedball Mike Bailey getting a shot at the gold in a match that went an hour. I've went ahead and embedded it above at the top of the entry and I'd be lying if I said it wasn't the best outing Josh had as champ. That's saying something too, because I just spent a lot of time praising the fucking dude and watching a lot of his defenses before getting here.
The only worker Impact has that's been pumping out hit after hit at the same level as Alexander is Bailey so you just knew this was going to be good as soon as it was announced.
It was a MOTYC.
Speedball was on fire, digging deep to put in for another star maker performance. This is why I had been begging someone to bring the dude back stateside for years. Josh looked like the best champ in the game here and it is a more than appropriate way to close the set as a result.
Go out of your way for this one!
Also, I demand a fucking rematch!
Kurt Angle Ver.2 continues to pump out hit after hit and has been excellent in his role as the top dog of Impact Wrestling. The company continues to be a treat to watch every time I have time to do so and each of these defenses had something to praise. Some were straight up must-see! I applaud Josh's hard work this year and urge all wrestling fans that have been sleeping on this reign to fix that as soon as they can.