IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week 3.22.12
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 March 22, 2012
3. Eric Young and ODB – for retaining the TNA Knockouts Championships against the seldom-used duo of Sarita and Rosita:
The TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championships made a pretty unique transition last week when they moved from around the waists of Gail Kim and Madison Rayne to those belonging to ODB and Eric Young. Perhaps as a male competitor, it’s not quite right that he adorn the championship title intended for TNA’s Knockouts Division. But alas, he is ODB’s partner in crime and soon to be in life when they wed on IMPACT Wrestling. So it’s something everybody has to roll with.
Now that Young and ODB possess the championships, they must actually defend them. And that first defense of the Knockouts Tag Team Titles came this Thursday when they put them on the line against Sarita and Rosita, who have been noticeably absent from TNA television for some time.
Even after not teaming up for some time, the ladies of Mexican America didn’t appear to exhibit much in terms of ring rust during this match. As is going to be the case for many of the matches the current titleholders are in, ODB was the legal competitors for her team during most of this match and remained on the defensive for a good portion of it against Sarita and Rosita.
But once that tag was inevitably made to Young, the strategy for Sarita and Rosita changed. They decided to flirt with him in the middle of the ring. Once ODB caught him literally with his pants down, she got annoyed at the situation and beat down the competition. She put Rosita down to the mat with a kick before sending Sarita all the way to the outside with a closeline. Then she picked Rosita up just to put her right back down with an inverted fireman’s carry cutter.
With both Sarita and Rosita down for the foreseeable future, ODB took a moment to confront Young about not wearing his ring. She soon got off his case by kissing him and then throwing him down on top of Rosita to get the pinfall.
I guess everything remains good for the couple, as they continue on as TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champions while looking forward to their wedding on the April 12 edition of IMPACT Wrestling.
2. Samoa Joe and Magnus – for defeating Anarquia and Hernandez to hold onto their TNA World Tag Team Championships after successfully defending them just four days prior at Victory Road:
Samoa Joe and Magnus have been damn near unstoppable since becoming the TNA World Tag Team Champions. While Matt Morgan and Crimson have been the only real competitors for those two over the last few months, it’s still been impressive to watch Joe and Magnus go to work as a dominating and cohesive tag team during that time. And the tag team division cleared up for them quite a bit with the slow disintegration of Morgan and Crimson as a tandem.
The official end for Morgan and Crimson came at the Victory Road pay-per-view during the TNA World Tag Team Championship Match against Joe and Magnus. While previous screwups that cost them matches were chalked up to miscommunication, it was clearly intentional this go-around when Crimson speared his own partner and left Morgan all alone to suffer the loss at the hands of Joe and Magnus.
Now that Morgan and Crimson have their own personal business to handle, Joe and Magnus are left to find new opposition to defend their titles against. As perhaps only a temporary fix, they were scheduled to take on Anarquia and Hernandez of Mexican America during this week’s IMPACT Wrestling broadcast.
Mexican America as a whole hasn’t been used on TNA television for quite some time, so it was refreshing to see them back. But they entered this title match with something else on their mind. A little cross-promotion between TNA and Spike TV’s own Repo Games program, Mexican America was under threat to have their car repossessed unless they were successful in unseating Joe and Magnus as tag team champions.
In what turned out to be a nice hard-hitting match between these two teams, Anarquia and Hernandez did have some good control of the match during Magnus’ main involvement for this team. But once Magnus dodged a few attacks from Mexican America and then took Hernandez down with a closeline, the tag was made to Joe and The Samoan Submission Machine went to work from there.
He drilled Anarquia with a couple of closelines before sending him into the corner, where Anarquia perched himself on the top rope and was then allowed to miss an aerial assault sending him crashing to the mat. Joe temporarily turned his sights on Hernandez with an STO, but quickly returned focus to Anarquia for a rear naked choke in the middle of the ring. Sarita and Rosita briefly saved Mexican America by hopping onto the apron to distract the referee. But the guy from Repo Games carried them away from the ring.
Hernandez broke up the submission and looked to nail Joe with the Border Toss. But Magnus drilled him with a boot before he could even lift Joe for the move. With Hernandez out of the picture, Joe and Magnus proceeded to finish Anarquia off with their snapmare/flying elbow drop combination that led right to the cover for a three-count.
Mexican America would go on to lose both their car and their women after this match. But Joe and Magnus just keep on rolling as TNA World Tag Team Champions. I get the feeling that perhaps their next legitimate challenge may come in the form of a tag team from Detroit whose return is currently being hyped.
1. James Storm – for beginning his road to Lockdown with a handicap match victory over Christopher Daniels and Kazarian:
With a TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match on the horizon for James Storm at the Lockdown pay-per-view, he had just one obstacle to hurdle over before he could place complete and total focus on that bout with Robert Roode.
At Victory Road, he would need to move past Bully Ray in what turned out to be more than just a grudge match. Ray planned to hold the whole PPV hostage if his bout against Storm wasn’t for the No. 1 Contendership. Being the fighter that he is, Storm happily obliged. And then he put Ray away in just a few short minutes with the Last Call Superkick.
Ray was naturally pissed about this and disrupted a four-way X-Division Championship Match during IMPACT Wrestling as a result. But Storm was ready to move on to his shot at reclaiming the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. He came down to the ring this Thursday to not just address the fact that he has a title shot, but to also point out that he is looking to right some wrongs inside that steel cage at Lockdown. One of the things he’s looking to correct is Roode’s insistence on putting his hands on Dixie Carter – a woman – at Victory Road.
A legal advisor for Roode ended up hitting the ring to inform everybody that Roode will remain home in Canada for the foreseeable future – likely until Lockdown or only shortly before. But since Storm is looking for a fight, he could have one in either Christopher Daniels or Kazarian. Storm chose to face both in a handicap match later in the broadcast, and then he delivered a Last Call Superkick to the legal advisor.
During this main event match, Storm was able to find success when he could isolate either Daniels or Kaz. But once they were able to work together and get the numbers advantage, Storm did have trouble breaking through against these two great X-Division stars. It was that numbers game that would soon work against Daniels and Kazarian, however, as they went off the same page briefly and allowed Storm to get himself back into this match.
After arguing over strategy for a bit, Kazarian whipped Daniels into the corner where Storm was leaning against the turnbuckles. Storm dodged the splash from Daniels and moved right into delivering a Last Call Superkick to Kaz. Storm then turned right around to hit the same move on Daniels, who Storm covered right away for the three-count.
Storm had some trouble with the 2-on-1 odds in this match. But it wasn’t something he couldn’t work around once Daniels and Kazarian left him an opening to do so. He was able to get the win in impressive fashion and build up some momentum for the title match he’s long looked forward to at Lockdown.