IMPACT WRESTLING’S WRESTLERS OF THE WEEK

Posted October 28th, 2011 by 1Wrestling News Team

IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week 10.27.11
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 27, 2011

3. Jeff Hardy – for winning his return match with TNA against Immortal’s Bully Ray:

After several weeks of hearing out other wrestlers, and getting into fights with both Eric Bischoff and Jeff Jarrett, “The Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy was finally scheduled to perform in the ring for the first time since his abomination at Victory Road during this week’s IMPACT Wrestling. And his opponent would be no slouch, as he would be facing Immortal’s own Bully Ray.

Before that match could take place, Jarrett needed to say his piece. He mentioned that the producer forgot to put certain pieces of footage in a video package that had just been played about Hardy – ones that made Hardy look bad, of course. Hardy rather quickly interrupted Jarrett, who urged him to come down to the ring for a fight. Hardy obliged and really got the best of Jarrett until security ran out to separate them.

As they did that, Ray snuck in from behind Hardy and blindsided him with a forearm to the back. The ring then cleared and the match got started right after Jarrett managed to get in a sucker punch to Hardy’s face.

Ray dished out a great deal of punishment in this contest to Hardy. There was a moment in the beginning where Hardy managed to quicken up the pace and get some offense in. But most of the match saw Ray beat Hardy down and try to keep him grounded.

Hardy was able to find an opening, however, when Ray put him in the corner and then charged in. Hardy got the boots up and drilled Ray with a closeline. Hardy followed with a leg drop off the middle rope and covered for a two-count. He came off the ropes at Ray and received a back body drop for his troubles. But Hardy was still able to dodge a splash and come right back with the Twist of Fate. That kept Ray down for the Swanton Bomb and Hardy jumped on for the cover to get the three-count.

Christy Hemme tried to interview Hardy after the match, but Jarrett came through the crowd and ambushed him. Jarrett tossed Hardy back into the ring, where Ray nailed him with the chain. Then Jarrett brought a table into the ring and they set it up for Ray to hit Hardy with a superbomb onto it. Before they could send Hardy crashing through the table, though, Mr. Anderson ran down to the ring to make the save, and Jarrett and Ray ran off to the back.

The fact that Hardy was able to gut through his return match against Ray and pull out the victory was impressive. But he has a much larger issue on his plate, and that is Jeff Jarrett. At Turning Point, those two will come to blows without security guards or other wrestlers getting involved. And maybe then Hardy will be able to get Jarrett off his back about previous indiscretions.

2. Gail Kim – for winning her first match back with TNA against a quality opponent in Tara:

It was simply a matter of time before Gail Kim would return to TNA upon her departure from the WWE. Kim made her first appearance back in a TNA ring in over three years last week by aligning herself with Karen Jarrett and beating up on new TNA Knockouts Champion Velvet Sky.

Gail’s first scheduled matchup was set to take place this week on IMPACT Wrestling. But before she stepped into the ring with Tara for that bout, she came down to the ring flanked by Jarrett, Madison Rayne and Traci Brooks to address the crowd. She made it clear that Jarrett had her best interests at heart and that she would start acting for herself instead of the fans. For her alliance and attitude, Jarrett announced that she was rewarding Kim with a shot at Sky and the Knockouts Title at Turning Point.

Kim then called for a fresh piece of meat and was answered by Tara coming down to the ring appearing pretty determined to send a message of her own. Now, Tara is certainly no slouch in the ring. But she looked ill-prepared to deal with Kim on this night.

Kim dominated for basically the whole match. Tara countered a few moves, but she could never sustain any legitimate level of offense. Kim always managed to get back on top a move later. She finally finished Tara off when, after choking her against the bottom rope, she waited for Tara to get off the mat in order to hit the Eat Defeat. A three-count followed and Kim captured an impressive victory in her first match back with the company.

It was easy to see Kim’s been holding that in for some time and is finally able to unleash her wrestling ability now that she’s back in TNA. She showcased what she has to offer on Thursday night and should be able to take that skill, not to mention confidence, into Turning Point for a chance to quickly secure the Knockouts Championship just a few weeks into her current run with TNA.

1. Bobby Roode – for getting another shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship held by James Storm by defeating Samoa Joe in a No. 1 Contender’s Match:

Last week was an exciting and confusing time to be a fan of TNA. While watching James Storm’s hard work and tenure with the organization finally pay off with a TNA World Heavyweight Championship victory, I couldn’t help but believe that moment really should have been Bobby Roode’s one night previously at Bound for Glory. But even though things worked out the way they did and “The Tennessee Cowboy” is the one being referred to as champ, that doesn’t mean Roode won’t have his opportunity to get another crack at the heavyweight title.

Storm opened the program to make a grand victory speech, and he eventually ended up calling out his fellow Fortune members. They naturally obliged and would soon learn that Storm had every intention in the world of granting Roode a title shot in his first defense of it. That didn’t sit well with Samoa Joe, who came down to the ring and actually referred to the members of Fortune as scumbags. He essentially called Storm a hypocrite for trying to keep the championship within his closely-knit group much like Immortal was trying to do. Joe called for himself to get the title shot instead.

Things were getting pretty hot, but Sting came out to the ramp in order to cool things off a bit. Sting resolved this little dispute by booking Roode in a match against Joe. And the winner of that contest would be granted No. 1 Contendership and a match next week on IMPACT Wrestling against Storm for the title. Why they couldn’t just wait for Turning Point to have that match is a mystery to me.

In all fairness to Joe, he was the more dominant performer in this matchup. He worked over Roode at all angles and maintained control essentially from bell-to-bell. But like the point Storm made last week against Kurt Angle, it simply takes three seconds to win a match. And Roode followed that credo this week when he quickly recovered from a vicious double knee breaker to kick Joe into the corner and follow up with a fisherman’s suplex into the bridging cover. Joe was unable to kick out of it and Roode took the victory to become No. 1 Contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.

Storm walked out to the apron and the Beer Money partners signaled each other in anticipation of their title match next week on IMPACT Wrestling.

I certainly have my doubts about how TNA is actually going let this match play out next week. But Roode and Storm are more than capable of facing each other in a quality match and it will definitely be interesting to watch them go at it with the TNA World Heavyweight Championship on the line this time.

Neil Borenstein
br7qbsteelers@yahoo.com

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