IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week 10.6.11
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 October 6, 2011
3. Gunner – for building on his ambush of Kazarian last week with a submission win (that would be reversed due to a little too much post-match aggression):
Outside of a run with the TNA Television Championship and involvement in the recent Bound for Glory Series, Gunner has otherwise essentially been a hired henchman for the other members of Immortal. He is called upon whenever somebody in the groups needs some type of assistance, from outside interference during a matchup to a blindside assault. The latter was the case last week for Gunner, who helped out Jeff Jarrett by attacking Kazarian during a brawl between the two.
That beatdown set the stage for a matchup this week on IMPACT Wrestling between Gunner and Kaz. Adding a little more fuel to the fire of this match was the fact that this would be yet another showdown between members of the Fortune and Immortal factions.
Kazarian was all fired up to start the contest and got the better of Gunner in the early goings. But after being closelined to the outside, Gunner regrouped and took over control of the match by pulling Kaz off the apron as he looked to attempt some springboard maneuver to the outside. Gunner then focused on weakening Kazarian’s left arm and eventually worked his way into being able to apply an intense armbreaker after getting past a flurry from Kaz that included a near fall. Kazarian immediately tapped from the hold and Gunner was awarded the submission victory.
Now, this decision was quickly reversed when Gunner refused to leave Kazarian well enough alone after the bell and a disqualification was awarded to Kaz instead. However, Gunner still made quite a statement as the more impressive of the two, which was a bit surprising considering Kaz had more reason to seek redemption for what took place last week.
2. Crimson – for remaining undefeated with a sudden pinfall victory over Samoa Joe:
Samoa Joe and Crimson have never gotten along so long as they’ve both been in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Joe is not a fan of Crimson’s undefeated streak, which he feels doesn’t quite stack up to his 18-month run without a loss. Joe also became irate over his inability to gain points in the Bound for Glory Series and took it out on many of the other wrestlers involved, including Crimson. Crimson was taken out of the series and put on the shelf for about a month thank to Joe injuring his ankle backstage.
Well, Crimson made his return to TNA last week and naturally called Joe out. They ended up getting into a brawl, which went Crimson’s way at first but eventually turned in favor of Joe when the attack focused on re-injuring Crimson’s ankle. Matt Morgan came out to save Crimson before Joe could do too much damage. But the war was already on between Joe and Crimson.
So, instead of waiting for Bound for Glory to book those two in a matchup, TNA decided to throw it in for free on this week’s episode of IMPACT Wrestling and delivered a one-on-one showdown between Crimson and Joe.
Control of the match was Crimson’s early as he unleashed a pretty nice offensive attack against Joe that included some fists in the corner, a few cravats and a beating on the outside of the ring. But momentum swung in Joe’s favor when he was able to grab hold of Crimson’s hurt ankle and slam it into the guardrail. Joe pretty much took over from there and remained focused on working over the hurt ankle of Crimson.
Joe looked to put things away with a heel hook on Crimson that could have had the big man tapping out. But Crimson held on long enough to prevent Joe from fully locking the submission on and he was able to conjure up a rollup counter seemingly out of nowhere to get Joe’s shoulders down on the mat for a three-count. Joe was not happy about taking that loss while Crimson celebrated the win as he hobbled up the ramp.
Joe could have easily had Crimson put away if he fully applied that heel hook. But Crimson’s determination allowed him to reverse for a pinfall that caught Joe completely off guard. That victory also helped keep Crimson’s undefeated streak alive by advancing it one more win and one more week.
1. Robert Roode – for snagging his most important pre-Bound for Glory victory against fellow Fortune member and tag team partner James Storm:
Robert Roode has about another week and a half to go before the biggest match of his career when he faces Kurt Angle for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Bound for Glory. Last week, he battled AJ Styles in an excellent contest that not only provided him an important victory over one of TNA’s best, but also the true realization that he’s ready for his match against Angle on Oct. 16.
Roode’s biggest and final test was still yet to come, however. That was left for this week’s episode of IMPACT Wrestling. Roode already got past Styles and Kazarian in Angle’s week-to-week challenge in which the No. 1 Contender must face a fellow Fortune member. But he hadn’t yet squared off with his own Beer Money tag team partner, James Storm. That special matchup was set to take place this Thursday night.
Despite their partnership and friendship, Storm was not going to come out and roll over for Roode in this match. He promised to bring his best and even made sure to tell Roode he was sorry about his damn luck during a promo between the two at the top of the program. And that’s exactly what Roode wanted, as the tougher the match the more prepared he will be to face Angle at the pay-per-view.
Needless to say, Storm definitely brought it and proved that he may be next in line for some TNA World Heavyweight title recognition like he did a few weeks back when he stepped in the ring with Angle. But for as game as he was to put up a fight, Roode was just as in this match as Storm was and gave the fight right back to the Tennessee Cowboy.
Unfortunately, this match was influenced by some outside interference. Storm and Roode took each other out when they banged heads in the corner, and they even took the referee out in the process. Storm ended up on the outside while Angle crept his way down the ringside area. Instead of going after Roode, Angle instead sent Storm into the steel ring steps and then threw him back into the ring. Roode slowly crawled in for a cover while Angle headed to the back, but the referee could only get to two before Storm got the right arm up. Storm shoved Roode away when he tried to lift him up, and then looked as if he wanted to go for the Last Call superkick. But Storm was unable to pull it off and instead fell victim to a fisherman’s suplex from Roode that finally netted him the three-count.
It would have been nice to see these two really go at it without any outside involvement. But they still put on a great back-and-forth match up until Angle got involved. And Storm’s ability to kick out even after Angle attacked him forced Roode to continue looking for a way to put him away. And that’s exactly what he did in picking up yet one more momentum-building victory as he moves within 10 days of challenging for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Bound for Glory.