TNA IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week 12.27.12
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 December 27, 2012
3. Rob Van Dam – for calling out and beating somebody that he views as a big part of the future of the X-Division, Christian York:
The experience and ability of Rob Van Dam makes it very likely that a long run with the X-Division Championship is in the cards. Running into an arrogant Kenny King does threaten that title reign, as the TNA newcomer has managed to both defeat RVD and leave him hanging in tag team action by use of some underhanded tactics.
It only made sense that on this week’s “Open Fight Night” edition of IMPACT Wrestling, Van Dam would utilize his challenge to call out King and try to gain some semblance of redemption. Even King figured that would happen and he told Christian York that was going to go down. So, it came as a surprise to King when Van Dam bypassed him and instead called out a competitor that he respects and has some momentum going for him right now – York.
York has made quite an impact in his short time with TNA, namely taking World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy to the limit on a previous “Open Fight Night.” A strong showing against RVD, win or lose, would only elevate York’s stature even further.
On that win or lose point, York was not able to come up with the victory. He did, however, control a decent part of the match from the start of the bell until Van Dam was able to move out of the way of a Dreamscape attempt in the corner from York. The two men traded some forearm shots and then a small series of counters led to Van Dam putting York on the mat with a side slam. Van Dam then went for the split-legged moonsault and covered up, only to get the two-count.
Van Dam was able to follow up with a springboard thrust kick to the chops of York, who then suffered a Rolling Thunder from RVD. With York laid out in the middle of the ring, Van Dam took this opportunity to head up top and come off with the Five Star Frog Splash, leading to a cover and three-count.
That strong fight that York brought to RVD early continues to make him look good, but it was RVD that ended up with his hand raised in the end. Van Dam may have avoided King on this night, but he’ll certainly have the deal with the pompous newcomer sooner or later and he should be prepared now that he knows who he is dealing with.
2. Gail Kim – for picking up a pinfall against the Knockout she holds most responsible for her decline, Miss Tessmacher:
There have been several points in time during her tenures with TNA that Gail Kim was the lead dog in the Knockouts division. It’s been a while since she’s been the alpha female, however, and she used her “Open Fight Night” challenge to call out the individual that she most attributes to causing her recent decline.
That honor went to Miss Tessmacher, who does have an impressive record against Kim and even owns a Knockouts Championship victory over the veteran. With their history and animosity called into play, this was sure to be a solid matchup with possible implications regarding a future challenger for current champion Tara.
A nice back-and-forth eventually resulted in both competitors hitting the mat and fighting to hit their feet first. Tessmacher won that battle and connected on some forearms shots and closelines before hitting a nice hurricurana. Tessmacher then ran at Kim in the corner and stepped on the middle rope to rub her crotch across Kim’s face. Tessmacher then hit a facebuster and covered up, only getting a two-count.
Kim avoided being put away with the Tess-Shocker, but Tessmacher was still able to get her on the mat with a closeline. She then headed up top and leapt off with hopes of hitting a flying elbow. Unfortunately for him, Kim was able to roll out of the way and she capitalized on the miss by going right at Tessmacher with the Eat Defeat to collect a pinfall.
It got a little scary for Kim at the end there, but she played things smart and hung in there to come out with the win. This doesn’t necessarily put her next in line for a Knockouts Title shot or anything, but she should get some notice for putting away an opponent that has caused her some problems in the past.
1. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez – for interrupting Bad Influence’s mocking of AJ Styles to defeat them in a non-title tag team matchup:
Christopher Daniels and Kazarian have long gain great joy at the mishaps of AJ Styles. Once great friends, Daniels and Kaz have made it a point to make Styles’ life a living hell. And in the midst of an already rough year, Styles having lost out on the ability to challenge for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship until Bound For Glory in 2013 only provided them more fuel for the fire.
Daniels used that as a starting point to back Styles into a match for Final Resolution, where the two would battle in another in a long line of final bouts between the two. Daniels managed to win that encounter, doing so by use of Styles’ own finishing maneuver – the Styles Clash.
The loss was the last straw for Styles, who has promised to start doing things his way from here on out. But, that didn’t prevent Daniels and Kaz from once again choosing to mock him in this week’s episode of IMPACT Wrestling. Such a move prompted TNA World Tag Team Champions Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez to hit the IMPACT Zone and interrupt the shenanigans.
Guerrero considered their year just a little bit better than Bad Influence’s and promised to end 2012 with a bad memory for Daniels and Kaz.
He came through in the ensuing tag contest that pit Guerrero and Hernandez against Bad Influence. In this non-title match, the champions controlled things early but some back-handed tactics enabled Bad Influence to take over midway through. The tides didn’t turn the other way again until Hernandez was able to create some space with a running shoulder tackle to Daniels. That enabled him to make the tag to Guerrero, while Daniels tagged in Kaz as the legal man.
Guerrero shot in with a head scissors takedown to Kazarian before delivering a big monkey flip out of the corner. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker was next before Guerrero covered up for a two-count. Guerrero stayed on Kaz with the three amigos and covered up for another two-count before Daniels broke up the pin.
At a 2-on-1 disadvantage, Guerrero was put on the mat by Bad Influence with a Hart Attack, which enabled Kaz to cover up for a two. But upon kicking out, Guerrero sent both Kaz and Daniels to the outside, where he followed them out with a dive onto Kaz. Hernandez followed suit by launching himself to outside, as well, on Daniels.
Guerrero then put Kaz back in the ring and covered up for a two-count. Kaz fought back when brought back to his feet and charged at Guerrero in the corner, only to be lifted up and onto the ring apron. Kazarian created some space with a right hand to Guerrero, but he missed a springboard flying forearm that Styles had made famous. Guerrero capitalized on the miss by heading up top for a Frog Splash that connected and netted the champions a three-count.
The team of Guerrero and Hernandez has been strong since its formation and has done a solid job as tag team champions. Their focus was the difference maker, as Daniels and Kaz seemed too pre-occupied trying to make fun of Styles while Guerrero and Hernandez were pulling out all the stops for the win. That’s why they’re wearing the gold right now and could continue to be for a long time coming.