IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week 7.14.11
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 July 14, 2011
3. Mexican America – for getting the No. 1 Contendership toward the TNA World Tag Team Championships they have long felt they deserved:
Since its formation, Mexican America has always taken the stance they that don’t get their fair shake in TNA. Hernandez and Anarquia have long claimed they should receive a shot at the TNA World Tag Team Championships and they are simply being held down. They even got particularly upset that The British Invasion received a shot at the belts against Beer Money (or really Gun Money) at Slammiversary ahead of them.
Two weeks ago on IMPACT Wrestling, Mexican America let their displeasure be known. Brutus Magnus and Douglas Williams confronted them about the situation and even issued a challenge for a No. 1 Contender’s tag team matchup to determine the next in line for the gold currently held by James Storm and Robert Roode. The British Invasion simply wanted “the birds” (i.e., Sarita and Rosita) to be left in the back. That led to a brawl, which brought upon the reuniting of Rob Terry with The British Invasion as he made a save.
The No. 1 Contender’s tag team bout was set for this week, and it began with The Brits storming down to the ring in rather aggressive style to start the matchup. Unfortunately, what began so well for them ended in a manner that they specifically asked not to take place – interference by one of Mexican America’s ladies.
Magnus and Williams found themselves in good position basically fighting Anarquia two-on-one after Magnus took Hernandez out of the picture with a nice closeline. Magnus hit a sitout slam on Anarquia for a near fall and then Williams nailed a baseball slide on Hernandez to keep Super Mex out of the ring. The British Invasion then whipped Anarquia into the turnbuckles, where Williams hit him with a high knee then tossed him toward the center of the ring for an elbow drop by Magnus off the top rope. Hernandez snuck back into the ring to break up an ensuing pin at two, but Williams quickly grabbed him and tossed him back to the outside.
Williams proceeded to head up top while Magnus lifted Anarquia up, allowing Williams to hit the flying European uppercut. But as they hit the double team maneuver, Rosita suddenly hit the ring apron and distracted the referee while Magnus went for the cover. Hernandez pulled Williams out of the ring and dropped an elbow on Magnus to break up the pin. He then reversed the cover so that Anarquia was on top of Magnus and headed back to the outside as the ref turned back around to make the three-count in favor of Mexican America.
The British Invasion was pretty peeved by this, but Mexican America finally got what they have long believed they were being held down from receiving – an opportunity at the TNA World Tag Team Championships. And this could be the perfect time for Hernandez and Anarquia to make a run for the tag straps, too, as Beer Money’s Storm and Roode are both a little preoccupied with the Bound for Glory Series.
2. Robert Roode – for finally getting some points on the board in the Bound for Glory Series with a triple threat victory:
When looking at the Bound for Glory Series standings coming into this Thursday’s IMPACT Wrestling broadcast, there was an incredible gap between the top seeded wrestler and the lowest. Crimson leads the pack with 31 points, while a trio of wrestlers remained in the basement with a big goose egg to their records.
Luckily, one of those scoreless competitors would be able to get himself into the game by way of a three-way matchup. Samoa Joe, The Pope and Robert Roode were scheduled to lock up with extremely important points on the line.
All three certainly needed the points, but one man came into the contest seeming a bit more desperate than the others. Joe, who by all accounts has the credentials to be a leader in this thing instead of a cellar dweller, has not been the most focused participant in this competition. That was most notable during his match against Devon, where a submission victory for 10 points seemed more important than getting at least seven with a pinfall – seven points Devon was more than glad to take when he was able to take advantage of Joe’s stubbornness. That same lack of focus likely did Joe in this week, as well.
For a good portion of the match, Joe was taken out of the equation by Pope, who went to work on Roode inside the ring. Pope mainly focused on Roode’s still hurting shoulder and managed to get a few near falls while continuing to kick Joe back down to the ringside floor.
Roode remained resilient, however, and avoided a DDE in the corner. He went right back at Pope with a closeline and back elbow before connecting on a knife edge chop in the corner. A whip to the opposite turnbuckles was reversed, but Roode rebounded right out of the corner with another closeline before following up with an atomic drop and side Russian leg sweep. Roode nailed Joe off the apron again and hit a flying neckbreaker on Pope for a two-count.
Roode moved Pope into the corner and ate a boot as he charged in at him. But Pope took some time as he went up the rope and Roode managed to hit him into a sitting position atop them. Roode went up looking for a superplex, but Joe finally got back into the match at this point and shoved Roode off the ropes after nailing him with a headbutt. Joe then kicked Pope and set him up for a Muscle Buster, which failed when Roode kicked him in the gut and Joe released Pope to the mat. Roode delivered a fisherman’s suplex to Joe, but Pope broke up the pin attempt at two.
The first man back to his feet, Pope moved Roode into the corner and got lifted onto the apron as he charged in. Roode and Pope connected on simultaneous punches, while Joe came in right behind Roode to lock on a rear naked choke. Roode moved to the turnbuckles and kicked off them while kicking Pope off the apron and to the floor at the same time. Joe and Roode fell backward, but Roode was able to flip over while still in the choke and get Joe’s shoulders down on the mat for the referee to deliver a three-count.
Joe thought he had won the match because Roode did tap out and he got into a confrontation with the referee about it after the match. But that tap came after his shoulders were on the mat for the three-count and the right call was made by the official.
So, Roode leaves Joe and Pope behind him with seven points and a starting point to give him some hope in the Bound for Glory Series. He still has a lot more ground to make up before really getting back into it. But you have to start somewhere, and Roode used his head to move up a bit in the standings.
1. Sting – for getting back the TNA World Heavyweight Title thanks largely to smartly countering probable involvement from Immortal:
Sting has been just a tiny drop insane since surrendering the TNA World Heavyweight Championship to Mr. Anderson at Slammiversary. Sting’s main purpose in TNA these days is to rid the company of evil brought upon by Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff. He wants to return control of TNA to Dixie Carter and maybe even bring back the old Hogan. But he knows holding the title goes a long way in achieving that goal – something that was ripped away from him by Anderson with a lot of help from Bischoff.
Sting’s much anticipated rematch was scheduled for this week’s IMPACT Wrestling, referred to by Sting as “A Midsummer’s Nightmare.” Unlike the last time Sting fought Anderson, however, he knew he would also have to watch out for Immortal this go around as the champ finally formed an allegiance with the group.
Sting took care of this situation throughout the night. He interrupted a little show opening speech by the members of Immortal to inform them that he had a few aces up his sleeves. And throughout the broadcast, men donning clown masks and wielding baseball bats attacked members of Immortal to help even the odds for Sting once the main event rolled around.
After taking out Abyss, Scott Steiner, Jeff Jarrett and Gunner, these men revealed themselves to be AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Kazarian and James Storm of Fortune. The only member of Immortal that Fortune was unable to take care of was Bully Ray. But while Ray did make his presence felt in the title match, there was somebody else waiting in the wings to provide Sting some assistance.
Sting would have had Anderson put away with a Scorpion Death Lock late in the match. But the referee was taken out of the match and was therefore unable to call it when Anderson did tap out. Instead, Ray hit the ring and nailed Sting in the back of the neck with a forearm to force him to break the hold. Ray grabbed a chain and told Anderson to hold Sting up. Anderson did, but the lights went out in the arena before Ray could nail Sting with the chain. Another man wearing a clown mask appeared in the ring when the lights returned. He took Ray down with a bat and then disappeared to the ramp as the lights went out again. When the lights returned this time, that man was on the ramp and Anderson was all alone in the ring. Eventually, Sting returned to the ring and headbutted Anderson in the back. He then dropped him with a Scorpion Death Drop just as the referee was crawling back into the ring and he followed up with a cover that crowned him the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion. That fifth clown then revealed himself on the ramp to be the No. 1 Contender for the title, Kurt Angle.
Sting was fighting a numbers game against Immortal and came prepared with back up in order to reclaim a TNA World Heavyweight Title that was very important to his overall mission in TNA. Angle’s assistance may not have exactly been expected by Sting. But it was certainly welcome by “The Icon,” who must now look forward to defending his newly won title against Angle.