IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week 11.10.11
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 November 10, 2011
3. Crimson– for getting past a pretty eager Pope in preparation for his battle of the big men against Matt Morgan at Turning Point:
About ten and a half months since making his debut in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, Crimson still sports an unblemished record. His undefeated streak is about to face one of its greatest obstacles when he meets the daunting task of challenging Matt Morgan to a battle of the big men at Turning Point this Sunday.
Both Morgan and Crimson are confident in their ability to come out the victor in that match. But Crimson was afforded one final shot at gaining some momentum heading into the pay-per-view when he competed on IMPACT Wrestling against The Pope.
Not often used on television these days by TNA, Pope was eager to make an impression in this rare appearance and proved to be decent competition for Crimson. They traded holds to start the match until Pope was able to dodge a closeline from Crimson and take him out at the knees. A few nears falls followed and Pope was able to maintain control for a bit. But his yearning to go high risk a bit too much got him in trouble. After getting out of a cravat that Crimson made worse by delivering knees to the face, Pope took him down with an uppercut. He wasted some time dragging Crimson to the corner and then went to the middle rope, waiting for Crimson to get to his feet so that he could dive off. Crimson caught him, however, and delivered a Red Sky that kept Pope down on the mat for a three-count.
Whereas Crimson’s challenge in his match against Pope was the speed of his opposition, he will face a much different foe at Turning Point where his power skill set will be evenly matched by Morgan. Still, the win against Pope just gives him a good state of mind to ride into the pay-per-view with as he tries to keep the undefeated streak going.
2. Abyss – for sticking it to his former faction by getting the win against them as the mystery partner of Mr. Anderson and Jeff Hardy:
Immortal is not in the kind of shape it once was. It was once the strongest entity in TNA. But now it’s constantly losing members and seems to be rather rocky in the leadership department.
Two former members of the faction that have developed into its largest nemeses are Mr. Anderson and Jeff Hardy. Anderson’s time in the group was brief, but now has developed a bitter rivalry with Bully Ray. Hardy’s time with Immortal was much more substantial, but his issues caused a rift with the group that now has Jeff Jarrett wishing he’d just go away for good.
On this week’s IMPACT Wrestling, those two were put together in a six-man tag team matchup to face the threesome of Scott Steiner, Ray and Jarrett. Anderson and Hardy were given the opportunity to select their partner and they waited until just mere moments before the bout to reveal who exactly that would be. And naturally, it was another wrestler who had a falling out with Immortal. It was “The Monster” Abyss.
Everybody representing Immortal in this match was shocked and angered by Abyss’ involvement. For as much as they had abused and taken advantage of him during his tenure with the stable, they also knew all too well what he was capable of doing to his opponents. They more than felt his wrath in this one.
Toward the end of the contest, he received a hot tag from Hardy at the same time Steiner was brought into the match for his side. Abyss dropped Steiner, Ray and Jarrett with closelines before delivering a splash to Ray in the corner and dropping Steiner with a boot the midsection. Completely fired up, Abyss countered a Stroke from Jarrett with a devastating Shock Treatment backbreaker that caused great concern from Karen Jarrett on the outside. Ray hit the ropes and closelined Abyss to the outside, which began a series of finishing moves by the other of the match inside the ring. But when it dwindled down to the Steiner looking to lock on the Steiner recliner to Anderson, Abyss made his way back into the ring and forced Steiner to go after him instead. After taking a few clubbing blows from Steiner, Abyss reversed an irish whip into a Black Hole Slam and covered “The Genetic Freak” for a three-count that also sent a very strong message to Immortal that perhaps they should have been a bit nicer to him while he was aligned with them.
I was never a fan of Abyss being forced into the background for as long as he was. It’s great to see him out there making an impact in that ring, and hopefully that will continue. It’s tough to say who he will focus on from Immortal specifically going forward, but Abyss’ path of destruction against the group is likely just beginning.
1. AJ Styles – for getting his revenge victory over Christopher Daniels before challenging Bobby Roode for a TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match at Turning Point to close out the program:
Immortal is not the only faction breaking down before our very eyes in TNA. In fact, there’s one that appears to be in far worse shape. Already having lost Christopher Daniels due to his vendetta against AJ Styles, Fortune suffered another crushing blow last week when Bobby Roode took the low road against James Storm and destroyed the Beer Money tag team en route to becoming the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion.
Of course, Styles is one of the most important members of Fortune and TNA as a whole. He would show at the end of the night just what side of the fence he resides on in this whole debacle involving Roode.
First, he was scheduled for yet another showdown with his former-best friend and greatest rival in “The Fallen Angel.” Daniels has made another enemy out of Rob Van Dam and will square off against him at Turning Point in three days. But a little unfinished business remained against Styles that needed to be attended to Thursday night.
There are certainly high expectations for any match involving these two and they never seem to disappoint. Their match on IMPACT Wrestling was no different, with plenty of exciting spots in a truly great back-and-forth affair. But it was Daniels’ yearning to cheat and RVD’s prevention of such a plan that brought this match to its conclusion.
A near fall resulting from a Pele Kick by Styles forced Daniels to the outside in an effort to look under the ring for a weapon. As he lifted the apron, Styles moved right in on him with a baseball slide and then launched himself onto the apron to go for a dive off it onto Daniels. Daniels caught him, however, and shoved him right into the guardrail before following up with a backbreaker. Daniels tossed Styles back into the ring and then returned to looking under the apron for a weapon, this time coming up with the screwdriver. Daniels entered the ring with it and waited anxiously for Styles to get back to his feet. But while he waited, RVD hit the ring and quickly swiped the screwdriver from his hand. Daniels became distracted and walked right into a fireman’s carry into a backbreaker from Styles. “The Phenomenal One” transitioned that impressive maneuver right into the Styles Clash. Styles then rolled Daniels over and got the cover for a successful pinfall.
Styles thanked RVD for his assistance and is done with Daniels for the time being after getting his revenge over “The Fallen Angel.” Styles quickly found another purpose by the end of the night, however.
Roode was scheduled to put the TNA World Heavyweight Championship on the line against James Storm in a rematch from last week. But at some point in the evening, Storm was attacked and bloodied in the back. That left this match much in doubt. By the time the main event rolled around, Storm did get to the ring against the doctor’s orders and had a brief moment of offense at the top of the bout. But he soon collapsed and couldn’t carry on due to his injuries. Roode faked being concerned and, after learning that the referee never actually rang the bell to end the match, rolled up his former partner and scored a cheap victory over Storm to retain the gold.
Styles and Kazarian hit the ring at this point and Roode proceeded to celebrate as he headed up the ramp. Meanwhile, Sting came down to check on Storm while Styles grabbed the microphone. Styles asked what was wrong with Roode and called him a piece of trash. He then challenged Roode to come down and get some of him before revising that challenging by asking Sting to put him in a match against the champion at Turning Point. Sting immediately granted Styles’ request and “The Phenomenal One” will face Roode at the pay-per-view for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
Now, it’s a bit ridiculous that a match of this magnitude is being added just three days before Turning Point. But it should still be a good matchup, regardless, with Styles looking to avenge Storm more than he even cares about taking the championship. Of course, that doesn’t mean he can’t kill two birds with one stone and accomplish both. With little on his dance card prior to Thursday’s show, Styles now has a lot on his plate heading into Turning Point.