TNA IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week 9.27.12
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.
TNA IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week for September 27, 2012
3. Austin Aries and Jeff Hardy – for not really working together to beat Bully Ray and Bobby Roode in tag team action:
Austin Aries and Jeff Hardy are on a crash course for Bound For Glory, where they will do battle for the TNA World Heavyweight Champion. While there is an obvious level of respect between the two, there is also a lot of tension that’s been building since Hardy snagged the No. 1 Contendership as a result of winning the Bound for Glory Series.
Just last week, Aries challenged Bully Ray as a means of trying to match Hardy’s two victories against him. Not only did Aries lose the match, but he caught Hardy holding his championship and was none too pleased with the sight.
With the animosity growing, what better way to fuel the fire than to book these two as tag partners for this week’s IMPACT Wrestling main event? They were forced to partner up to face the team of Ray and his mystery partner, who would eventually be revealed as Bobby Roode.
Ray’s involvement in this match is obvious; he wants to work his way into the World Heavyweight Title picture. Roode’s rationale for being involved is two-fold. First, he has a vested interest in what goes down in the Aries vs. Hardy match, since he is not eligible for a title shot so long as Aries is the titleholder. Additionally, he has to get some work in before another showdown with his former tag team partner, James Storm, at Bound For Glory with Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal making his TNA debut as the special guest referee.
Regardless of the rationale for Ray and Roode in the match, the focus was largely on how Aries and Hardy would get along with each other in light of the fact that their dislike for each other only grows with each passing week. And they did not work entirely too well together.
In fact, Aries saw fit to make sure they didn’t work together much at all during this match. Toward the end, when it seemed appropriate for Aries to tag Hardy in, he refused to do so and instead chose to take care of business himself against Ray and Roode.
He actually did a pretty solid job of that. He took out Roode on the outside with a suicide dive and then headed up top for a nice missile dropkick on Ray. Aries took a moment to yap at Hardy, which left him vulnerable to a forearm shot to the back from Roode.
Aries was still able to counter a fisherman’s suplex by Roode into a brainbuster that easily could have been enough for the champion to score the pinfall. But as he back into his corner, Hardy slapped him across the back for a tag. Hardy headed up top and delivered the Swanton Bomb to capture the pinfall himself and essentially steal it away from Aries.
Champion and challenger argued as the show came to a close, much like they did just a week ago. The heat developing between Aries and Hardy is intensifying and this battle of one-upmanship is setting up for a decent championship match at Bound For Glory.
2. Christopher Daniels – for sneaking out a victory over Kurt Angle and Chavo Guerrero in a preview of their triple threat tag team matchup at Bound For Glory:
Christopher Daniels and Kazarian seem to be forever in the doghouse of general manager Hulk Hogan. Hogan seems intent on getting the TNA World Tag Team Champions off them, and he’s seen fit to put them in numerous situations thus far to try and make that happen.
To this point, Daniels and Kaz have been able to handle whatever Hogan as thrown at them and remain the titleholders. They defeated AJ Styles and Kurt Angle at No Surrender, and followed that up with a victory over Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez on the following episode of IMPACT Wrestling. Both of those wins were the result of cheating, however, and Hogan was not about ready to let Daniels and Kaz off the hook just yet.
Two weeks ago, he booked both of them in singles matchups. Kaz ended up facing AJ Styles, while Daniels went one-on-one with Guerrero. Each of them lost their respective bouts, which resulted in both tag teams of their opposition earning a shot at the tag titles.
On last week’s Open Fight Night, Styles and Angle called out Guerrero and Hernandez to see which team between them wanted it more. When Daniels and Kaz got involved toward the end of the match, however, Hogan once again stuck it to the champions and decided that they would both be contenders at the next pay-per-view – in a triple threat match for the TNA World Tag Team Championships.
Daniels and Kaz sure have managed to keep things piling up against them. Come Bound For Glory, they will need to cook up yet another method of escaping with the gold around their waists. Perhaps one they found out on this week’s IMPACT Wrestling will go a long will in helping them figure that out.
Angle, Guerrero and Daniels topped off the in-ring action of this week’s show in a three-way match that served as a preview for the tag team triple threat bout at Bound For Glory. While there were moments that Daniels was clearly the focus of the attack by both Angle and Guerrero, it also came to light that Angle and Guerrero had no problem going at it with each other. It’s every man (and every team on Oct. 14) for himself, after all.
The tension between Angle and Guerrero got a bit higher when Guerrero rolled Angle up just as he had an Ankle Lock applied to Daniels. Angle wasn’t happy about that and the two men traded some shots before Guerrero attempted a suplex. Angle countered out for a go-behind on Guerrero, but Guerrero moved out of the way when he noticed Daniels charging in and “The Fallen Angel” nailed Angle instead.
Guerrero went right at Daniels with the three consecutive suplexes before heading up top, likely for a frog splash. While he climbed the turnbuckles, Angle came back into the ring and slapped that Ankle Lock back on Daniels. Daniels countered out by sending Angle into the corner, which knocked Guerrero off the top rope.
Angle and Guerrero went back to arguing, which led to Guerrero swinging for a closeline and missing right into and Angle Slam try, which was also countered. Guerrero was looking for some sort of suplex when Daniels charged both of them into the corner. Daniels was able to quickly drop Guerrero with an STO and cover up for pinfall before Angle was able to get his wits about him and stop the count.
Not only does this victory tack on some momentum for the team of Daniels and Kazarian, but it gives them a strategy to play up as they head into Bound For Glory. It’s not just Angle and Styles and Guerrero and Hernandez that want to get their hands on Daniels and Kaz; it’s every team for itself with the TNA World Tag Team Championships on the line. If Daniels and Kaz can get that point across, it might take some slack off them and give them an easier road toward defending the titles.
1. Samoa Joe – for becoming the new Television Champion by defeating Mr. Anderson in a bout for the vacant title:
With Devon out of the TNA picture and negotiations seemingly indicating that he’s not coming back, it was time for the company to move forward in declaring a new Television Champion. General manager Hulk Hogan went the Open Fight Night route and selected four competitors from the TNA roster and would gradually dwindle the group down to just two in order to determine who would battle for the vacant strap.
The initial four were Samoa Joe, Garett Bischoff, Magnus and Mr. Anderson. Magnus was the first man sent packing and Bischoff, due largely to his lack of experience despite a previous partnership with the former-champion Devon, was the second man out. That left Joe and Anderson to hit the ring for a shot at the Television Title.
There was really no clear-cut favorite in this match and that showed earlier on when they attacked each other instantly before the bell even sounded with neither of them really earning a decisive advantage.
This real back-and-forth encounter almost went Anderson’s way when he had Joe in position for a Mic Check. Joe wasn’t ready to go down just yet, though, and countered out with some elbows to the head. Anderson ducked the last one and went behind Joe, who charged toward the ropes and got rolled up by Anderson once he hit them. Joe got out of the pinning combination when he grabbed the trunks and flipped Anderson down, locking him right into a rear naked choke.
Anderson made as best of an attempt as he could at trying to get out of the hold. He reached desperately for the ropes and refused to tap. It all became too much for him, though, and he eventually passed out. Unable to keep his arm up when the referee tested it, the match was called in favor Joe via submission.
Joe was all smiles after putting Anderson to sleep to become the new TNA Television Champion. Anderson probably earned himself another crack at the Joe based on the way he held on toward the end. However, Joe is a hard man to beat and he should be in for a good run with that title.