TNA IMPACT Wrestling: No Surrender Wrestlers of the Week 9.12.13
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: No Surrender Wrestlers of the Week for September 12, 2013
3. Magnus — for beating Bobby Roode is a Bound for Glory Series semifinals matchup to elevate his stock before a loss in the finals:
Nobody was more of a surprise in this year’s Bound for Glory Series than Magnus. He led the way for virtually the entire Series, falling to second place on the scoreboard only last week when AJ Styles managed a 20-point victory to edge his way into first. Otherwise, Magnus had a pretty good handle on things, and the opportunity to wrestle for the World Heavyweight Championship at Bound For Glory seemed well within his grasp.
It would all be decided on this week’s No Surrender edition of IMPACT Wrestling. Magnus’ semifinals opponent was Bobby Roode, who won the tournament two years ago and had some newfound momentum in this year’s Series following a collaboration with Christopher Daniels and Kazarian. Roode was determined to win it all and even rushed out to the ring in hopes of getting the match going early with Magnus. It worked.
Roode’s eagerness may have been the same thing that got him in trouble, though. After getting out of a cloverleaf submission and catching Magnus as he re-entered the ring, Roode appeared to be looking for a fisherman’s suplex to potentially close things out. Magnus managed to counter, though, and he instead took Roode down for a jackknife pin that kept the former-World Heavyweight Champion’s shoulders down on the mat for the three-count.
With the victory, Magnus moved onto the finals to face AJ Styles, where he was unsuccessful in completing the task of earning a World Heavyweight Title Match at Bound For Glory. Still, between his convincing run to the finals and his addition to the Main Event Mafia, Magnus has proven himself to be a major player in TNA.
2. Bully Ray — for defeating Mr. Anderson with the help of his Aces and Eights club members in a World Heavyweight Title showdown between president and vice president:
Aces and Eights has seen better, more cohesive days in its time. It seems like the foundation the club stands on is starting to crack. Ever since Devon’s elimination from TNA, the club has been taken down a few pegs, and tension has been ever-rising between its president, Bully Ray, and vice president, Mr. Anderson.
Anderson has questioned Ray’s leadership of the group, from dismissing Devon’s affiliation to swiftly to inviting Tito Ortiz into the club without even putting it up to a vote. Ray told Anderson to fall in line, but he instead decided to cross it and let his voice be heard. Not only did he play a role in Ray losing to Sting last week on IMPACT Wrestling, but he also informed him that he would be battling him at No Surrender for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Ray tried to cut this all off at the top of the program, saying he would forgive Anderson and placing blame for their turmoil on the shoulders of Hulk Hogan. Neither Anderson nor Hogan were falling for that, though, and the title bout remained on the card — as a Last Man Standing Match.
The big question surrounding this internal conflict was where the rest of Aces and Eights stood. Would they align themselves with their top leader, or would they find some validity in Anderson’s claims that their value wasn’t being recognized? Ray had a group meeting with the rest of the club before the match, and he questioned whether they wanted Anderson as their leader. He didn’t exactly get an answer, but he was confident that they would do the right thing (or simply what was right in his favor). His confident in their allegiance paid off.
When both men were down on the mat following a cutter from Ray to Anderson, Knux, Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco made their way down to the ring. It wasn’t initially clear who they would go after, but they soon made it obvious when their distracting allowed Brooke Tessmacher to come in the ring and low blow Anderson from behind.
Knux, Bischoff and Brisco were then instructed to go after Anderson, so they delivered a triple powerbomb (because we haven’t seen that move used anywhere recently). The referee began a count at that point, but Anderson managed to make it to his feet by nine. Anderson delivered some shots to Ray, but he was dropped back down to the mat with a closeline. Then Ray grabbed his chain, wrapped it around his hand and drilled Anderson in the head with it, busting him open in the process.
The count began again, but Anderson made it back up before the 10. Anderson wasn’t all there, though, and he stumbled his way in front of a table that had been set up in the corner. At the opportune time, Ray charged at him and speared him right through the table. There was no getting up from that, and Anderson remained down to the 10 count.
Ray wasn’t done, though. After medical personal put Anderson on a stretcher and wheeled him up the ramp, Ray pushed him off and ripped his kutte off. After whipping him a few times with is, Ray picked Anderson up and delivered a piledriver right on top of the ramp. Ray yelled at him, and it was made perfectly clear that Anderson is out of the group.
Aces and Eights was having some rocky times, as the numbers are dwindling. However, Ray has still proven his dominance, and his influence over those still committed to the cause. Ray maintains power and control, and of course, the World Heavyweight Championship heading into Bound for Glory.
1. AJ Styles — for winning the Bound for Glory Series and earning a World Heavyweight Championship Match at the pay-per-view next month:
Once AJ Styles decided that he no longer wanted to be the distant lone wolf of TNA in favor of once again becoming the Phenomenal One, it paid immediate dividends in his pursuit of the World Heavyweight Championship opportunity that only the Bound for Glory Series could provide. By the time the initial phase of dwindling the competition down to four was all said and done, he was the man on top and in control of who would face who in the semifinals of the four-man tournament at No Surrender.
On last week’s IMPACT Wrestling, Styles decided to face Austin Aries in his first matchup this week. Aries, who had perhaps the most confidence in the Series out of all four combatants, owned a previous Series victory over Styles and would look to add another in hopes of making it to the finals. Styles, on the other hand, would seek redemption as he eyed a spot in the finals to face either Bobby Roode or Magnus.
The match was a bit slower than expected, but Aries and Styles put forth a great effort in a bout that offered some nice counters and a real familiarity between two veteran wrestlers. It would take a special move to decide the winner, and that came from Styles.
When Styles kicked out of a brainbuster and avoided tapping to a Last Chancery, the action moved to the corner as Aries headed up top. Styles cut him off with a shot to the midsection, and he climbed to the second turnbuckle. But Aries met him with repeated elbows to the top of the head and a boxing of the ears, which dropped Styles back down to the mat.
Aries went for the 450 Splash, but Styles moved out of the way and Aries instead rolled to his feet. Aries waited for Styles to get up and ran in toward the corner for a dropkick. Styles moved, though, and Aries got hung up on the top turnbuckle. Styles nailed him in the head with a Pele Kick, and then he climbed to the second turnbuckle. He grabbed a hold of Aries and came off with a Styles Clash all the way to the mat. He covered up, got the three count and earned his spot in the finals.
In the finals, he ended up facing Magnus, who was dead-set on proving the future is now in TNA. There was some interference mid-match by Roode, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian, as Roode was annoyed about losing his earlier match to Magnus and wanted to ruin things for everybody. But their interference barely affected the match, and Styles and Magnus were able to put on a good bout.
For all the work Magnus put together to get to that point, though, he simply didn’t have enough left in the tank to outwork The Phenomenal One. The action was once again decided in the corner, where Magnus had Styles in a position for a superplex. Styles avoided it with a number of forearm and elbow shots to Magnus that sent the big man crashing to the mat. Styles moved up to the top turnbuckle and leapt off with the Spiral Tap to put an exclamation mark on his ensuing victory and advancement to the World Heavyweight Championship Match at Bound For Glory.
Styles’ accomplishment was followed by a demand to Dixie Carter that she show up next week because he has some more news to drop on her. Whatever happens on that front, we’ll have to wait and find out.
But Styles appears as confident as he’s ever been as the one of the lead dogs in TNA, and he has the chance to once again solidify himself as the face of the company by capturing the World Heavyweight Championship. It was all a result of a late rally by Styles in the Bound for Glory Series, culminating in that finals victory over the up-and-coming Magnus.