iMPACT! Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week 5.12.11
By Neil Borenstein
Each week here at 1wrestling.com, I will select three of the top wrestlers from TNA’s iMPACT! Wrestling 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! Wrestling and any relevant preceding programming – such as Pay-Per-Views – will be taken into consideration.
iMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week for May 12, 2011
3. Sangriento – for earning a second straight victory to his young TNA career by once against scoring a pinfall over Suicide:
The X-Division has taken its fair share of lumps over the past few weeks. Between Jay Lethal’s release and a few of the division’s top stars being disrespected by Eric Bischoff last week, the once-highlighted commodity within TNA is suddenly finding itself on the sidelines far more often than it should.
Somebody that may be able to re-invigorate the division is the newest high-flyer added to TNA’s ranks, Sangriento. Debuting last week against Suicide, Sangriento was able to put forth a very impressive showing that rounded out with a victory courtesy of a springboard cutter than netted him a pinfall against one of TNA’s original creations.
Sangriento found himself in a similar position this week when he once against locked up in singles action against Suicide. A win by Suicide would even the score between the two masked wrestlers. Another loss, however, would do wonders for the new luchador in his hopes of quickly climbing the ranks of the X-Division.
Much like last week, both Sangriento and Suicide put forth an exciting, fast-paced bout that could easily go down as the best pure wrestling match of the night. Sangriento was able to hit several impressive moves, including a twisting dive over the top rope and to the outside on Suicide. But it was the same move as last week, a cutter coming off a springboard, that enabled Sangriento to once again put away Suicide for the three-count.
Unfortunately, what happened after the match leaves little doubt that the X-Division had still not gained the full respect of Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Bischoff. They hit the ring immediately following the match’s conclusion and Flair elected to beat Suicide down some more before tossing him out of the ring.
But the network’s new initiative to make wrestling matter again in TNA will likely provide the X-Division stars a renewed faith that their efforts will be appreciated and rewarded. With two straight wins in his pocket, Sangriento has positioned himself quite nicely among the pack.
2. Crimson – for taking a three-way victory against Samoa Joe and Abyss three days ahead of his one-on-one showdown against “The Monster”:
Undefeated streaks are always a big deal and tend to be hyped relentlessly even in their very beginning stages. This is, of course, as a result of Bill Goldberg’s monumental 173 straight victories starting from his debut with WCW. Now, even just a handful of wins seems to net a wrestler a plethora of attention.
Samoa Joe got a taste of undefeated bliss when he came to TNA and didn’t suffer a loss for 18 months. That is the most impressive win streak of any wrestler thus far in TNA, and likely will be for some time. However, Joe is currently mired in a bit of a rivalry with Crimson. Crimson’s short run with TNA thus far has been without a single blemish on his record and he seems to be eyeing the bar Joe set from his debut in 2005 all the way through Genesis in 2006 when Kurt Angle handed “The Samoan Submission Machine” his first defeat.
The heat between Crimson and Joe stems largely from the fact that Joe walked away a few weeks back on iMPACT! while Abyss attacked Crimson. Abyss was simply seeking his revenge for being stabbed in the back by Janice courtesy of Crimson, who was attacking on the part of “they” at the time. But Joe’s reluctance to get involved made Crimson wary of Joe’s motives.
There is still unfinished business between Crimson and Abyss, which will be handled this Sunday at Sacrifice when the two square off in singles action. Three days ahead of that bout, however, Crimson and Abyss would have the opportunity to get their hands on each other in a three-way match that conveniently added Joe to the fray.
Crimson found himself on top when some high knees in a cravate followed by a neckbreaker put Abyss down on the mat. From there, he applied the cravate to Joe and hit him with some knees that only angered “The Samoan Submission Machine,” who caught Crimson coming off the ropes with a snap slam. Abyss re-entered the picture and dropped Joe with a Black Hole Slam. But before he could pin Joe, Abyss was quickly taken out with a spear from Crimson. Crimson then covered Joe and netted the three-count to add another victory to his record.
After the match, Crimson found himself in a similar situation to that which initially put Joe and him at odds. While Crimson celebrated his win, Joe stood behind him as if to wait for him to turn around so he could attack. But before Joe could do so, Abyss came in and nailed Crimson from behind. Instead of helping, Joe once again walked away and allowed Abyss to deliver a Black Hold Slam to Crimson that will either serve as motivation and discouragement heading into their match at Sacrifice.
Crimson has a lot on his plate and it was an important step for him to take out two veterans of the game in the three-way match. He just needs to remain focused and concentrate on the immediate task at hand (Abyss) before worrying about how he’s going to deal with Joe – the next likeliest foe on his dance card.
1. Mr. Anderson – for finally earning a singles shot against the TNA World Heavyweight Champion by winning a 25-man battle royal established by network representative Mick Foley:
Constantly overlooked and growing increasingly tired of it with each passing week, Mr. Anderson has made it crystal clear to all that wish to hear that he wants his “freakin’” title shot. He’s tried to sucker Sting into giving him a fair one-on-one opportunity at re-capturing the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. But Sting has not taken the bait and instead elected to offer Rob Van Dam the title shot at Sacrifice.
Rather infuriated by once against being passed up, Anderson was granted an incredible opportunity this week to personally earn a chance at being next in line against the winner of the Sting vs. RVD at the Pay-Per-View this Sunday.
The network representative wreaking havoc to the plans of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff was finally revealed to be Mick Foley. Foley wanted to make wrestling matter again in TNA by ridding the company of all the politics and backstage shenanigans that saw Immortal rather unfairly take over. Bringing Sting back was his first play. And slowly Hogan and Bischoff have been losing their grip on the company.
With the revelation that Foley now has control within TNA, the Hardcore Legend elected to make a few immediate decisions. First, TNA iMPACT! will now be known at iMPACT! Wrestling – a move I’m not quite sure I truly understand the relevance of. Secondly, Foley booked a 25-man battle royal for No. 1 Contendership to the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Anderson was a part of this and would only need to get through 24 other wrestlers in order to stop losing out on his title rematch.
The battle royal was a bit crazy at first, as a wrestling ring is apparently not meant to house 25 wrestlers at the same time. But the numbers did obviously dwindle down as the match went on and ended up coming down to Anderson against Bully Ray. Ray had Anderson in a precarious situation when he managed to get TNA’s No. 1 A-hole onto the apron. But a few punches weren’t enough to knock Anderson off. Instead, Anderson was able to grab hold of Ray and drag him over the top. With Ray’s body dumping to the ground and his feet hitting the floor, Anderson remained as the last man standing and a guaranteed title shot in his pocket for Slammiversary against the winner of the Sting vs. RVD match.
Neither Sting nor RVD can be overly thrilled that once they decide the winner between the two of them, TNA’s biggest pain in the butt will be awaiting them on the other side. But Anderson no longer needs to complain or damage property in order to get his shot at the gold. He now only needs to wait until Sacrifice to find out who he will be facing when it’s time to cash in the No. 1 Contendership at Slammiversary.