TNA iMPACT! Wrestlers of the Week 3.3.11
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 March 3, 2011
3. Scott Steiner – for gaining redemption from last week’s attack by Rob Terry by defeating “The Freak” in singles action:
Ever since breaking away from his brother and The Steiner Brothers, Scott Steiner has essentially made a name for himself as “The Genetic Freak.” His muscles have carried him a long way since his tag teaming days and have even overshadowed the legitimate wrestling ability he has brought to the table during his nearly 25 years in the business.
It is difficult for anybody to live up to Steiner’s physique. But TNA does carry one individual on its roster that may even put Steiner to shame. TNA’s own resident freak, Rob Terry, is no stranger to the gym and has basically lasted as long as he has in TNA due to his look. To give Terry some credit, his in-ring and microphone skills have improved somewhat over time. But his look is what keeps him in the dance. And it only made sense to match him up against Steiner once “Big Poppa Pump” returned to the company alongside Kurt Angle and Crimson.
Steiner and Terry were set to participate in a pose down last week. Terry was all for the idea and came down to the ring armed with dumbbells and bands. Steiner, on the other hand, came to the ring dressed in a suit and ready to deliver a butt-whooping. Steiner told Terry that he was going to get his wrestling gear and administer a good old fashioned beatdown. But as Steiner removed his jacket, Terry nailed him from behind with a dumbbell and then proceeded to choke him out with the resistance bands.
That confrontation set us up this week for a one-on-one showdown between those two. They broke out some power moves for this one, of course, and Terry was able to get quite a bit of offense in after sending Steiner into the steel ring post on the outside. But Steiner’s experience did eventually win out and he managed to put Terry in his place.
After being sent into the corner, Steiner countered a charge with a boot to Terry’s face and followed up with a belly-to-belly suplex. Steiner got Terry off the mat and put him right back down face-first into the canvas with a flatliner. He let Terry get back to his feet so he could put him back down with the Steinerline before pumping up and dropping an elbow for a one-count that led to Steiner doing a few pushups. Steiner stayed on top of Terry by moving him to the corner and seating him atop the top turnbuckle. He got Terry onto his shoulder and hit the fallaway slam before locking on the Steiner Recliner for the submission victory.
In a battle of bodies, Terry may be able to stack up extraordinarily well against Steiner. But in a wrestling match, “The Freak” just didn’t have enough to overcome the experience and ability of “The Genetic Freak.” Perhaps the next challenge in their feud could be to see who has a bicep explode first.
2. Velvet Sky – for finally coming up with a win against Sarita to keep her career in TNA alive:
There has been no greater thorn in the side of Velvet Sky during the entirety of her TNA career than Sarita. Not even Winter, who managed to finagle a TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship run with her Beautiful People partner Angelina Love, has gotten under the skin of Sky more than Sarita. And that’s because no matter how hard she tries, Sky just can’t score a victory over her. She became so frustrated with constantly losing to Sarita that she agreed to put her TNA career on the line in a match on this week’s iMPACT!. Another loss to Sky by Sarita would spell the end of tenure with the organization.
That stipulation provided Sky more than enough motivation to give it everything she had in what could have been her final appearance inside a TNA ring. She went at Sarita right off the opening bell and only let up on her when Rosita entered the ring as a distraction. Rosita was quickly cut off by Angelina Love. But referee Earl Hebner elected to toss both of them out following their melee and Sky was pretty upset with that decision.
That distraction cost Sky a bit when Sarita was able to come in from behind and shove her into the corner. Sarita then delivered a series of inverted DDTs that drove Sky’s back into her knee. After a little dancing, Sarita slapped Sky’s face around and set her up for a Tiger Driver. But Sky was able to counter out and hit a DDT of her own that finally rewarded her with a pinfall over Sarita.
Love came back to the ring to help Sky celebrate the victory. But their party was soon crashed by The Shore, who came down to the ring with former Jersey Shore cast member Angelina Pivarnick. Angelina wanted The Beautiful People to deliver a challenge to JWoww for next week. But Sky only told Angelina to tell JWoww whatever she wanted to her face. As Sky looked to exit the ring, Angelina kicked her in the derriere, which led to The Beautiful People taking down both Angelina and Cookie. Sarita took this opportunity to come back into the ring, where she kicked and punched away at both Sky and Love. The Shore, Sarita and Angelina left the ring and headed to the back, but not before Love tossed out a challenge for a six-way next week. We are to assume that will involve wrestling.
Those postmatch shenanigans put a small damper on Sky’s evening. But not nearly enough to overshadow the fact that she still has a job with TNA and was able to overcome the huge hurdle that has been Sarita. She has that win in her pocket and can use the confidence gained from it in this six-way matchup next Thursday.
1. Sting – for returning as the chosen mystery opponent by “The Network” for Jeff Hardy to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship:
Even amidst this whole power struggle between Dixie Carter and Hulk Hogan, there remains a higher power than both of them apparently. That comes in the form of “The Network,” which called the shots both two weeks ago and this Thursday night with relation to the TNA World Heavyweight Championship situation. Apparently, Jeff Hardy equals big ratings and “The Network” wants him to be a fighting champion on a routine basis.
Two weeks ago, “The Network” was responsible for booking Hardy in a title match against Rob Van Dam. That was much to the chagrin of Mr. Anderson, who wanted his rematch but only received a shot at guest refereeing the match between Hardy and RVD. RVD lost and thus hope was kept alive for Anderson to get his return title opportunity against the man who took the belt from him.
This week, “The Network” got involved again and scheduled Hardy for another TNA World Heavyweight Title Match against a mystery opponent. Eric Bischoff and Hogan spent much of the night trying to get representatives from “The Network” to reveal who their chosen opponent was. They only knew it wasn’t Anderson, who lashed out at Hogan when he revealed the news to him. But they would need to wait like everyone else, Hardy included, until the main event.
That’s where that whole haphazardly thrown together 3.3.11 copy-cat promo of the WWE’s 2.21.11 came into play. That video alluded to the return of none other than Sting.
Hardy was understandably concerned by this and let Sting’s mere presence get to him right off the bat. He succumbed to a closeline from Sting that almost set him up for an early Scorpion Deathlock. But Hardy rolled to the outside, composed himself and came back more prepared to defend his title a little more respectably.
Hardy was able to come back into the ring and lay in some shots to Sting that he hoped would setup well for a suplex. But Sting countered it and managed to get that early Scorpion Deathlock applied on Hardy. Hardy hung on long enough to crawl to the ropes, which enabled him to roll to the outside once Sting let go.
At that point, Hardy was just looking to head to the back. But since a countout would not net Sting the title, he stopped Hardy in his tracks and planted him on the ramp with a suplex. Before bringing him back into the ring, Sting sent Hardy face-first into the guardrail a couple of times and then launched in for a Stinger Splash. Hardy dodged it, though, and Sting went crashing into the guardrail instead.
Hardy went on the offensive and drilled Sting’s face into the steel steps before rolling him back into the ring. He dropped a legdrop and applied a headlock. Sting got back to his feet and hit an elbow, but Hardy tried to halt the comeback by going for a Twist of Hate. Sting pushed him off instead and sustained a series of overhands rights from Hardy. Sting essentially shrugged them off and pumped himself up to deliver a few right hands of his own.
Sting buried Hardy’s face into the mat with a face plant and immediately moved in for a Scorpion Deathdrop. Sting covered for a near fall, as Hardy was able to get the shoulders up just before the three. Sting waited for Hardy to get to his feet so he could attempt the Stinger Splash in the corner again, but Hardy once again dodged. This time, Sting simply rebounded off the turnbuckles and went at Hardy in the opposite corner. Hardy hit an elbow, though, and went up for what would likely have been a Whisper in the Wind. Sting crotched him on his way up, however, and took him from a seated position on the top turnbuckle all the way to the mat with a Scorpion Deathdrop. Sting delivered another Scorpion Deathdrop in the middle of the ring before going for the cover, this time netting him the three-count and the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
I can think of at least three better ways to utilize the TNA World Heavyweight Championship than to put it around the waist of a soon-to-be 52-year old barely hanging at this point on a year-by-year basis. And it certainly doesn’t help the prestige of the title by constantly passing it around like TNA has done over the past few months.
But for Sting, this is another notch on the belt that is his career. And he will likely be used going forward to help Dixie Carter, Fortune, Kurt Angle and whatever other select wrestlers are involved in this battle against Immortal.