IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week 6.7.12
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 June 7, 2012
3. Devon – for retaining his Television Championship yet again against Robbie E with a little help from Garett Bischoff:
In a feud that seems to have outlasted its shelf life, Devon continues to defend the TNA Television Championship on a weekly basis mostly against Robbie E. Devon defeated Robbie for the strap back in March at Victory Road and he hasn’t managed to shake the New Jersey-native since.
One of the few times Devon faced somebody other than Robbie came two weeks ago when he defended the TV Title against Garett Bischoff. That match was a big deal for Bischoff, but it all ended prematurely when Robbie E and Robbie T interfered. Although there was no winner in that contest, Devon and Bischoff worked together to fight back. A bond formed between the two and now they will team up together at Slammiversary for a tag match against the Robbies.
In an early show of solidarity, Bischoff offered to back up Devon this week on IMPACT Wrestling during this Television Championship defense against … you guessed it – Robbie E. Devon is generally pretty good at handling his own business and rarely needs anybody to watch his back. But he was very much on board with Bischoff being in his corner and advised the kid do things right while he was out there. It was a good thing Devon agreed to let him be out there, too, because his involvement helped to negate any negative effect Robbie T would have on the match.
After taking some punishment from Robbie E, Devon managed to mount a comeback and had his opponent set up in the corner for a charge. Before he could go forth with his attack, however, Devon was tripped up by Robbie T, which caused Bischoff to swing around and confront the big man. The referee saw things heating up on the outside and immediately left the ring to take care of that situation. What he missed in the process was Devon rolling up Robbie E with a small package in the middle of the ring.
Robbie T noticed and left Earl Hebner to continue backing of Bischoff while he entered the ring and reversed the rollup. Unfortunately for him, Robbie T could not leave the ring fast enough and Hebner caught him. So while Hebner shooed him out of the ring, Bischoff was able to come in and reverse the rollup again back to its original positioning with Devon on top. The referee finally turned around to notice the cover, making the three-count to keep the TV strap around Devon’s waist.
The Robbies attacked Devon and Bischoff after the bell to try and save some face for the misfortune during the match. But Devon and Bischoff were able to fight right back and sent their Slammiversary foes to the outside with little trouble.
In the short time that they’ve been working together, Devon and Bischoff have proven to be a cohesive unit. And having somebody like Bischoff by his side might be just what Devon needs to finally rid himself of Robbie E and progress forward in his Television Championship defenses against other worthy competition.
2. Brooke Tessmacher – for getting past three other women to earn a shot at the Knockouts Championship at Slammiversary:
Just a few short days away from Slammiversary, Gail Kim didn’t have a match booked to defend her TNA Knockouts Championship. Since we can’t have that, new head of the Knockouts Division Brooke Hogan devised a plan to name a No. 1 Contender for the pay-per-view. Mickie James, Velvet Sky, Brooke Tessmacher and Tara were placed in a four-way match, with the winner earning a shot to face Kim for the title in three days.
Since she wanted a close enough look at her potential opponent, Kim joined the fellas at commentary during this bout. She didn’t seem too concerned or impressed with anything that went down, but it was clear that all the ladies in the ring wanted the shot at her.
This turned into one of those matchups where each competitor got some time to shine with some near falls going each way throughout. There was even a nice little four-way submission going on at one point in the match.
The smoke didn’t finally clear until the very end, when former tag partners Tessmacher and Tara came to blows. Tara was able to swing Tessmacher around until a side slam and shimmied in hopes of backflipping onto her. Sky broke up that attempt, though, and took Tara down with a DDT. At that moment, James was climbing the turnbuckles and launched herself off onto Sky with a Thesz Press. She followed up with an impressive kick to the face of Sky that likely could have finished things off. But instead of covering, James taunted and that lack of focus set her up for a faceplant by Tessmacher. Tessmacher immediately hooked the legs and received the three-count to be deemed the next No. 1 Contender.
Out of all the Knockouts competing in this match, Tessmacher may have had the most successful against Kim in the past. She failed in her last bid to snatch the Knockouts Championship from her. But another chance could net a different result, and Tessmacher goes into that bout this Sunday pretty high in the confidence department after getting past three other qualified individuals Thursday night.
1. Sting, Kurt Angle and AJ Styles – for making a statement for their matches at Slammiversary by winning six-man tag team action against Bobby Roode, Daniels and Kazarian:
There are plenty of big matchups to look forward to at Slammiversary. But two of the biggest involve the six participants scheduled to compete this in week’s IMPACT Wrestling main event. Bobby Roode will put the TNA World Heavyweight Championship on the line against the man he tapped out to last week, “The Icon” Sting. And AJ Styles will join forces with Kurt Angle to take on the duo that has caused Dixie Carter and him a lot of trouble as of late – Daniels and Kazarian.
The evening started off rather uncomfortable to address the latter of those situations. Carter kicked off the program in hopes of explaining her relationship with Styles. But things unraveled for her when Daniels and Kazarian joined her in the ring. She became a bit aggressive toward them, which in turn left them to get more aggressive with her. Styles ran down to provide her some relief, and his presence did chase Daniels and Kaz away. But what Styles did not expect was Carter’s husband to enter the ring and drill him with a right hand.
Carter and Styles basically left the arena together after that, despite the fact that Styles was booked to compete in that six-man tag team main event. And knowing this to be the case, Hulk Hogan made sure to speak with Styles over the phone and inform him that he was still expected to compete in that match regardless of his ordeal involving Carter.
That would cause somewhat of a problem by the time this bout was set to take place. He was not there for the beginning of the match, leaving Angle and Sting to fair for themselves against the threesome of Roode, Daniels and Kazarian.
For as good as they are, Sting and Angle simply weren’t able to overcome the numbers game put against them. Roode, Daniels and Kaz were able to work over Sting especially pretty well and prevent him from getting a break during the match. The bout could have very easily been over when Angle was taken completely out of the equation and all three men proceeded to beat down Sting. After delivering several boots to the man, Roode looked to close things out by applying a crossface as Daniels and Kazarian trash talked Sting.
Suddenly, Styles showed up and changed his team’s fortunes. Better late than never, I guess. He attacked both Daniels and Kaz, while focusing more intently on the former. When Roode pulled him off Daniels, who he was delivering some mounted punches to, Styles was able to hit the heavyweight champion with an enziguri kick.
As Styles then chased Daniels on the outside, Angle moved back into the ring and dumped Kazarian with a closeline, back elbow and forearm shot. The action moved near the ropes, where Angle was able to belly-to-belly Kaz all the way to the outside. Angle followed him out, leaving Styles and Daniels to continue their brawl inside the ring. Styles knocked Daniels to the outside with a Pele Kick before heading for the ropes and launching himself onto everybody on the outside.
With that carnage taking place ringside, Sting and Roode were left in the ring to bring this match to a conclusion. Roode tried to drill Sting in the face with the heavyweight title while the referee was still distracted with the mayhem going on outside the ring. Sting was able to duck the shot, however, and took Roode down for a Scorpion Death Lock. For the second straight week, Roode had no choice but to tap out.
Things were really not looking great for the team of Sting and Angle. But once Styles was able to get to the arena and make his presence felt in the match, the swing in momentum was noticeable and the group of non-champions was able to come out with a strong victory. Now each of them should head into their respective matchups this Sunday with some bragging rights to their credit.