IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week 10.13.11
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 13, 2011
3. Brian Kendrick – for picking up a pre-Bound for Glory victory over Austin Aries in tag team competition:
Brian Kendrick was able to capture the rematch he never received for the TNA X-Division Championship that was lost to Austin Aries at No Surrender when he got past four other X-Division competitors in a Ladder Match on IMPACT Wrestling two weeks ago. As the winner of that match, Kendrick earned a shot at winning the title back at Bound for Glory if he is able to get past Aries.
To prove he is ready, Kendrick participated in a tag team matchup this Thursday evening in which he joined up with Jesse Sorensen to face the duo of Kid Kash and Aries. At first sight, the team of Aries of Kash seems almost too good to beat considering their confidence and experience. But their egos would eventually do them in and enable Kendrick to come out the big winner just three days ahead of Bound for Glory.
Kendrick spent most of the match on the apron watching Sorensen get worked over by Aries and Kash. Sorensen was able to eventually make a tag to Kendrick, though, who then drilled Aries with a kick as he entered the ring before dropping Kash with a forearm. Kendrick immediately turned back to Aries with a dropkick and then hit Kash with another forearm before hitting Aries again with another dropkick. Kendrick hit Aries one more time with an enziguri and then went for a cover, which was broken up by Kash when he dropped an elbow on his own partner as Kendrick moved out of the way.
Kendrick got a little ambitious and set both Aries and Kash up for a double Sliced Bread No. 2. They were, however, able to shove him off into the turnbuckles. Instead of continuing to work as a team and remaining on Kendrick, Aries and Kash proceeded to argue over the accidental elbow drop. They shoved each other until Sorensen charged up behind Aries’ back and darted in at them. Aries was able to move out of the way and send Sorensen charging into Kash instead.
As those two rolled to the outside, Aries picked up his X-Division Title and aimed to nail Kendrick with it. But Kendrick was able to roll out of the way and come back with a superkick that dazed Aries enough for a Sliced Bread No. 2 right on top of the belt. Kendrick went right for the cover and captured the three-count. He danced around with the title for a bit after the bell and then dropped it onto Aries.
Kendrick may have had to let go of the belt on this night, but it’s possible he might make it his own yet again at Bound for Glory. That tag team victory was a big momentum boost for Kendrick, as he’s likely to take the confidence of pinning the champion with him when they meet up again in singles action in just three days.
2. Mr. Anderson – for outsmarting Immortal by defeating Scott Steiner despite involvement from both Bully Ray and Abyss:
Mr. Anderson has not had a great deal of luck against Bully Ray, who has taken advantage of any and all opportunities to remind him of that fact. Anderson hopes to reverse his fortune in a few days, however. At Bound for Glory in Philadelphia – a city where Ray essentially broke into the business, Anderson will challenge him in a Falls Count Anywhere Philadelphia Street Fight. A win in that match could significantly boost Anderson and embarrass Ray in front of the crowd that gave him his start.
Before heading into that match, Anderson had a test put in front of him that only Immortal could conjure up. He had to step into the ring with Scott Steiner this week on IMPACT Wrestling. But instead of this being a straight one-on-one matchup, Ray would be standing ringside as the specially appointed enforcer.
Steiner controlled Anderson from pretty much the start of the match; all the while Ray trash talked Anderson heavily from the outside. It wasn’t until Anderson was able to counter a charge from Steiner in the corner with an elbow and then nail a swinging neckbreaker for a near fall that Anderson was able to gain some leeway toward grabbing the victory.
After the two-count, Anderson waited for Steiner to get back to his feet so he could put him right back down on the mat with a Mic Check. Anderson covered after the move, but Steiner was close enough to the ropes to grab hold of them and put an end to the referee’s count. Also breaking the pin was Ray, who pulled Anderson to the outside. All that did was cause Anderson to hit him with a closeline before rolling back into the ring to try and continue working on Steiner.
Steiner put a halt to Anderson’s assault with a low blow and followed up with an atomic drop before clubbing him in the back with a forearm. As Steiner did that, Abyss came down to the ring and grabbed the chain Ray left behind when he was taken out of the equation. Steiner told Abyss to roll it around his fist and then held Anderson so he could nail him with it. Unfortunately, Anderson ducked out of the way when Abyss swung at him and the chain connected with Steiner’s head instead. Anderson quickly tossed Abyss out of the ring and hooked the leg of Steiner for a successful pin attempt that three members of Immortal could not prevent.
Abyss caught hell from Immortal for his mistake, which prompted Anderson to run down and try to make a save. Anderson only ended up through a table for trying to do a good deed.
Perhaps Anderson should have stayed out of the post-match festivities. But even with that failed save attempt, Anderson still gained quite a momentum boost by defeating Steiner regardless of the deck being stacked against him with two other members from Immortal getting involved. Now he needs to take that into Bound for Glory, where he faces Ray in a match that is more to Ray’s advantage in front of a crowd more closely connected to him, as well.
1. Robert Roode – for getting past one last test from Kurt Angle with a handicap win against Gunner and Jeff Jarrett:
The days are flying off the calendar and just three more remained for Robert Roode before he has the opportunity to square off against Kurt Angle for the richest prize in TNA on its grandest stage. At Bound for Glory, Roode will challenge for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship – a title Roode has spent his entire career trying to fight for as an original member of the organization. A win for Roode would make all of his hard work worth it and provide TNA a new, original face as its top wrestler. But going up against the 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist will be no easy task for Roode, as Angle is as tough as they come in TNA.
Ever since Roode won the Bound for Glory Series at No Surrender, Angle has tried to break Roode down mentally by using his connections with Immortal to book Roode in separate one-on-one matches each week against a fellow member of Fortune. The only one Roode did not end up facing was Christopher Daniels, whose recent spat with AJ Styles makes it unclear as to whether he’s even a part of the stable anymore. But as for Kazarian, James Storm and Styles, they all felt defeat at the hands of Roode in recent weeks as he’s proven to be ready for the biggest match of his career on Oct. 16.
Angle opened the show this week to call out Roode and informed him that he would prove to be the greatest wrestler of all time at Bound for Glory. Roode responded by telling Angle that they would find out which of them has the biggest heart. He also called for the match to be without any interference from Immortal and Fortune, to which Angle shook Roode’s hand as an acceptance of those terms. But as Angle left the ring and began to head up the ramp, he also mentioned to Roode that he forgot Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff booked him in a match against both Gunner and Jeff Jarrett.
Roode was not happy about having to participate in a handicap match just three days out from challenging for the world title. But alas, he’d have to jump one more hurdle before getting to Bound for Glory.
Roode was on fire to start this match and even tried to finish it off early with a crossface to Gunner. But Gunner broke out and, after taking a few more shots, sent Roode to the ropes so that Jarrett could cause a distraction. That’s where the numbers game really began to come into play and Roode was truly fighting a 2-on-1 battle.
Luckily for Roode, Jarrett and Gunner decided to get cocky. They mocked the Beer Money taunt, which was quickly answered by Roode with a double closeline. He followed up with a couple of running closelines for each and then sent Gunner to the ropes for a back body drop. Jarrett took a knife edge chop in the corner before catching a boot to the mouth off an irish whip reversal to the opposite corner. Roode delivered the Blockbuster and went for the cover, which was broken by Gunner with a double sledge at two. Roode went right back on the attack, though, and closelined Gunner to the outside. He caught a boot from Jarrett as he turned around, but he was able to counter a Stroke into a Double R Spinebuster that enabled him to apply the crossface submission on Jarrett. Before Jarrett could tap, Gunner re-entered the ring and charged in at Roode. But knowing he was coming, Roode relinquished the hold on Jarrett and slapped it on Gunner instead to cause the big man to tap out and grant Roode the victory.
Roode was attacked by Immortal after the match and even a save attempt from his Beer Money partner James Storm didn’t put it to a halt. But Jeff Hardy eventually came out for the surprise save that cleared Immortal and led to a showing of peace between Beer Money and Hardy.
As if he wasn’t already, it’s safe to say that Roode is definitely ready for this TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match. He has cleared all of Angles’ hurdles, leaving him with all the confidence and fan support to deliver at Bound for Glory. It should be a great match between two deserving competitors.