TNA IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week 3.28.13
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 March 28, 2013
3. Aces and Eights (Doc, Garett Bischoff & Wes Brisco) – for picking up a six-man tag win over Kurt Angle, James Storm and Eric Young with the help of a D’Lo Brown distraction:
Since the first day they started wreaking havoc in TNA, it’s always been hard to predict when Aces and Eights would make their presence felt. They like to get involved quite a bit in matters that sometimes don’t even have anything to do with them.
That was the case this week when they attacked James Storm in the middle of the ring after “The Tennessee Cowboy” tried talking to AJ Styles about either fighting him or talking out his issues. When Aces and Eights attacked Storm, Styles simply walked away and allowed the assault to continue. Kurt Angle and Eric Young took issue with this, however, and ran down to make the save.
Angle wasn’t satisfied with just helping Storm out, though. He wanted a fight. So he told Doc, Wes Brisco and Garett Bishoff not to go anywhere because there were three men from each side standing out there and he was challenging them to a match.
It was a good idea in theory and the TNA side could have reasonably won this bout if it would have been able to keep the numbers even. But Aces and Eights always has something up its sleeve, which was a little interference from D’Lo Brown this time around.
After Storm, who had taken some punishment, was able to get a tag into Angle, things swung in TNA’s direction. Angle dropped Brisco and Bischoff with a series of closelines before turning to Doc with a German Suplex. He then hit a belly-to-belly on Brisco and a German on Bischoff. Angle yelled for Brisco to get back to his feet and delivered an Angle Slam to him once he did.
That’s when the straps came down and the uber-hot Angle seemed ready to close this thing out. That was also the moment Brown made his appearance, as he hopped onto the apron and served as a distraction to Angle. Angle charged at Brown, who dropped off the apron before Angle could nail him, and the Olympic Gold Medalist was almost left vulnerable to a sneak attack by Bischoff, who has a chain wrapped around his hand.
Angle saw him coming and took Bischoff down for an Ankle Lock. Brisco came in from behind, though, and rolled Angle up to collect the three-count and a victory for Aces and Eights.
Angle was on fire there and it seemed he was well on his way to getting the win for his team. Brown thwarted those plans, however, and provided just enough interference for his guys to regroup and get the better of Angle.
2. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez – for becoming the No. 1 Contenders for the TNA World Tag Team Titles with a victory over Bad Influence:
The tag team division in TNA is basically a three-team race right now. Austin Aries and Bobby Roode rightfully stand at the head of the pack as World Tag Team Champions, while the duos of Bad Influence and Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez remain in the chase to take the straps from them.
Neither of the challenging teams was able to top the champions in a three-way battle at Lockdown, and interference on the part of Christopher Daniels and Kazarian prevented Guerrero and Hernandez from making good on an opportunity for the titles against Aries and Roode a week ago.
Guerrero didn’t forget being screwed in the match last week and made use of the Open Fight Night theme of Thursday’s program to rectify the situation. He called out Bad Influence for a tag team match and the winner would earn No. 1 Contendership for the tag team titles.
Guerrero and Hernandez were especially strong in this bout, but what really worked out for their benefit was that the referee didn’t fall for the Bad Influence’s usual shenanigans. On two occasions late in the match, the ref refused to make a count because of improper behavior on the part of Daniels and Kazarian, the latter of which came when Daniels stuck his legs on the ropes for leverage during a pin attempt on Hernandez near the corner.
Daniels went back to work on Hernandez after some arguing with the referee, but an Irish Whip was reversed and Super Mex planted him into the mat with a sitout powerbomb. Guerrero was then tagged in and he headed up top in hopes of hitting a Frog Splash. Kazarian came in from behind and shoved him off the turnbuckle, but a rollup from Daniels only went to a two-count when Guerrero managed to kick out.
On the outside, Hernandez drilled Kazarian with a shoulder block off the ramp. Then, as Daniels looked to deliver an Angels Wings to Guerrero, he leapt in from the ramp with the slingshot shoulder block to set his partner free. While Daniels lied near the corner, Guerrero headed back up top and was able to hit the Frog Splash this time to lead to a pinfall.
When Daniels and Kazarian are unable to cheat, they aren’t nearly as successful. The referee was on his game this time and kept thing very much within reach for Guerrero and Hernandez to have a fair fight. They made the most of the opportunity and earned another crack at the TNA World Tag Team Championships against Aries and Roode.
1. Jeff Hardy – for taking the fight to Aces and Eights and informing Bully Ray of their World Heavyweight Title Match stipulation:
Jeff Hardy made a big statement last week when he got past three other top guys in TNA to keep hold of his TNA World Heavyweight Title rematch against Bully Ray. Hardy suffered a great deal of punishment in his match against Ray at Lockdown, but he wanted to prove to Hulk Hogan that he was still in good enough shape to go after getting that championship back. He did just that.
He continued to pave his way toward Ray in two weeks by opening up this week’s program to declare he is getting closer to being 100 percent and wanted to call somebody out on Open Fight Night. Before he could utter the name of the man he wished to challenge, Aces and Eights came out to interrupt him. Ray questioned whether Hardy was going to call him out and mentioned that it wouldn’t make any sense since the title wouldn’t be on the line.
Anderson then took the microphone from the gang’s president and wondered just how many second chances Hardy was going to be afforded. After hearing just about enough of Anderson’s ramblings, he nailed Anderson off the apron. That, of course, led to the rest of the gang coming into the ring to jump Hardy. There was backup, though, for the No. 1 Contender. Once a group of TNA superstars helped clear the ring, Hardy issued his challenge to Anderson for the main event.
Before this match, Hardy met up with Hogan backstage, who gave him the authority to pick the stipulation for his title match against Ray on April 11.
With that knowledge and an overall yearning to get at Aces and Eights, Hardy came out ready for anything that might come his way. He was prepared when the referee was taken out late in the contest by Anderson because he saw Garett Bischoff coming toward the ring. Bischoff was there to hand off a hammer intended to give Anderson an unfair advantage over Hardy.
Unfortunately for them, Hardy ducked the hammer swing and countered with a Twist of Fate to Anderson. Hardy then picked up the hammer and, with the referee back on his feet and completely aware of what was going on, swung away at Anderson. That resulted in him being disqualified but he didn’t care, as he even nailed Bischoff with the weapon on the apron.
Hardy went to the outside and grabbed a steel chair from underneath the ring. He blasted Anderson with a shot to the back and then used the chair to launch himself into a Poetry in Motion that sent them both back into the ring. Not finished, Hardy grabbed a table from underneath the ring and moved it inside the ring before heading back out to get a ladder. He set that up in the ring, as well, and moved back to Anderson. Anderson tried to suplex Hardy through the table, but Hardy blocked and nailed Anderson with a Twist of Fate instead. Hardy then positioned Anderson onto the table and climbed up to the top of the ladder.
Before Hardy could leap off, Ray came down for the rescue and pulled Anderson out of the ring. Since Ray decided to come out for the occasion, though, Hardy took that moment to inform the champion that their match on April 11 would be Full Metal Mayhem.
That’s a solid stipulation to go with considering their history and it doesn’t necessarily come off as an advantage for either champion or challenger. However, with Hardy’s mindset right now, it’s clear to see he is determined to get some revenge. And that might just give Hardy the edge on perhaps a too-confident Bully Ray.