TNA iMPACT! Wrestlers of the Week 8.19.10
By Neil Borenstein
Each week here at 1wrestling.com, I will select three of the top wrestlers from TNA iMPACT! and present them to you in inverse order as the show’s Wrestlers of the Week. In choosing the show’s top three superstars, performances from that week’s iMPACT! and any relevant preceding programming – such as Pay-Per-Views – will be taken into consideration.
iMPACT! Wrestlers of the Week for August 19, 2010
3. Angelina Love – for retaining the TNA Knockouts Title with some help from former-Beautiful People running mate, Velvet Sky:
When Angelina Love regained the TNA Knockouts Championship last week during “The Whole F’N Show”, she probably didn’t expect to have the assistance of Velvet Sky. But once Madison Rayne’s biker chick bodyguard showed up, Sky ambushed her and prevented her from making any kind of impact during that title match going on in the ring. This allowed Love to get the better of Rayne to score the victory and garner the title for a record fifth time.
Knowing full well that this bodyguard would be present at ringside this week when Rayne cashed in her rematch, Love called upon her former Beautiful People teammate to once again provide some backup for her.
A pre-match brawl ensued that saw Love go after the bodyguard and Sky battle it out with Rayne. But Rayne sent Sky face-first into the steel ring steps and beat down Love a bit before sending her inside the ring to get the match started.
Rayne had control early on and attempted a few quick, yet unsuccessful, pin attempts. Love took the upperhand by countering a neckbreaker into a jawbreaker with the shoulder on Rayne. Love followed with some rights and a front slam. She then went to the rope, but got caught up when the bodyguard latched onto her legs. Sky ran around the ring and attacked the bodyguard so she would release the hold on Love. Love then dodged a running closeline from Rayne, who ended up near the ropes where Sky grabbed hold of her legs. This distraction allowed Love to hit the Botox Injection kick and cover for the three-count to retain her championship.
Love wasn’t out of the woods just yet, as Sky came into the ring to raise her hand and the two were subsequently attacked from behind by Rayne and the bodyguard. But with the title still in her possession and Sky on her side, Love seems to be in a good spot for now.
2. Jeff Hardy – for defending Rob Van Dam’s honor and advancing in the TNA World Heavyweight Championship Tournament:
When Rob Van Dam was brutally attacked at the conclusion of “The Whole F’N Show” last week by Abyss, Jeff Hardy was one of the more vocal members of the TNA roster in addressing the situation on ReACTION. He made it known that he was siding with the EV 2.0 guys in this battle against Abyss and Fortune. And this was going to be in large part because of his good buddy, RVD.
Even before iMPACT! hit the air this Thursday, he went after Abyss. Hardy battled The Monster throughout the iMPACT! Zone, including the arena itself as fans were being seated. Eventually, the two were separated by security. But this battle would resume later on during this week’s edition of ReACTION.
Before that, however, Hardy was set to take part in the opening contest of the evening against Rob Terry. This was a quarterfinals matchup of the TNA World Heavyweight Championship Tournament established by Eric Bischoff in light of RVD’s injury and the need to take the title off him while he recoups.
Hardy battled Terry in the same street clothes he went after Abyss in. He gave up a lot in the strength department and Terry was even able to get a couple agility moves in with some decent looking spin kicks. But Hardy is a resilient one and managed to slide out of a running powerslam attempt from Terry to push him into the corner. As The Freak stumbled out, Hardy was able to hit the Twist of Fate and follow with a Swanton Bomb in the middle of the ring to score the three-count.
He now advances to the semifinals stage against the winner of the Kurt Angle vs. Douglas Williams matchup that will be discussed shortly.
It may not even really matter who Hardy faces, though, considering his focus is clearly on getting some retribution against Abyss. After iMPACT! went off the air and ReACTION began, Hardy once again attacked The Monster, who played a role in AJ Styles defeating Tommy Dreamer during the iMPACT! main event. They fought to the outside and battered each other with anything they could find. Abyss even mentioned that Hardy was on the list of those to be taken out, according to “them.” The madness only ended when security finally stepped in and prevented Hardy from flying off a roof to send Abyss crashing through a table.
This is clearly not the mindset nor the distraction Hardy needs when two more victories inside the ring can net him the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. For now, though, he is holding his own against Abyss and at least earned the opportunity to move forward in the tournament by defeating Terry this week.
1. Kurt Angle – for adapting to the end of his Top Ten Contenders quest and defeating Douglas Williams to move on to the semifinals of the tournament:
Since the inception of the Top Ten Rankings system, Kurt Angle’s goal has been to work through the list of contenders in order to earn his way toward a TNA World Heavyweight Title Match and regain the belt as only he can. But with the brutal attack over Rob Van Dam last week and the need to vacate the title, the list of contenders has been put on hold so that an eight-man tournament could be instituted for determining a new titleholder.
Angle made it known that he wasn’t thrilled with this scenario during the ReACTION program that followed this week’s iMPACT!. After all, he did already defeat six excellent wrestlers in order to accomplish something nobody in this business has ever achieved. However, he has adapted to this change in the title picture and earned an opportunity to enter this TNA World Heavyweight Champion tournament that would require three wins on his end to once again wear the gold.
His quarterfinals opponent turned out to be the current X-Division Champion and one of the newest members of Fortune, Douglas Williams. With the tremendous reputation of Angle and Williams’ constant boasting over his own technical prowess, this bout was lined up to be the match of the night on iMPACT!. And it’s safe to say that it was.
Both wrestlers did a solid job in this match and it was nice to see Williams confidently stand toe-to-toe with the Olympic Gold Medalist. But he simply couldn’t get past one of the best in the business for the past decade. As Williams was looking to complete a Chaos Theory, Angle managed to block the move and drop down for an Ankle lock that forced Williams to tap out.
With the win, Angle moves on to the semifinals stage of this TNA World Heavyweight Title Tournament. At No Surrender, he will square off against Jeff Hardy, who at this point seems a little more distracted with Abyss than worrying about a run at the championship.
Neil Borenstein firstname.lastname@example.org