TNA IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week 9.19.13
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 September 19, 2013
3. Gunner — for disposing of Hernandez in singles action after Chavo Guerrero’s “injury” nixed a tag team matchup:
James Storm and Gunner have not defended their TNA World Tag Team Championships a heck of a lot since winning them back in June at Slammiversary. The defending champions on that night, Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez, remain in the mix for another crack at regaining the gold.
Such a situation would not be the case for this week’s IMPACT Wrestling, however. The two teams were scheduled to face each other, but Guerrero pulled the “not medically cleared” card to avoid this tag team confrontation. That did not sit well with Gunner, who came to the ring for a fight and wasn’t going to leave without having had one. So, the challenge was issued for a one-on-one bout between the two big men, and Hernandez gladly accepted.
In a battle of power and strength, Gunner was able to score a convincing victory over Super Mex. He was on the defensive end of the contest when he blocked a suplex from Hernandez and countered with a slingshot suplex to gain some breathing room. Gunner followed with a series of right hands to the gut, and then he drilled Hernandez with a closeline, back elbow and headbutt to position him against the turnbuckles.
From the opposite corner, Gunner charged in at Hernandez with a splash before lifting him up for a fallaway slam that almost failed. All jacked up, Gunner waited for Hernandez to slowly get back to his feet, at which point he moved in for a backbreaker across the knee that put Hernandez down for good with the pinfall.
Gunner hobbled on that knee a bit after the match, so hopefully for him it’s nothing serious. It appears a TNA World Tag Team Title Match is coming soon against Guerrero and Hernandez, and it looks like the champions are ready based on Gunner’s performance.
2. E.G.O. — for turning a vendetta with Magnus into a successful six-man tag team main event victory over the Main Event Mafia:
The members of E.G.O. — Bobby Roode, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian — had the goal of one of them stepping away from the Bound for Glory Series as its winner, and thus occupying the challenger seat in the TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match at Bound For Glory. When that plan did not pan out, they instead decided to try and sabotage the Bound for Glory Series finals match between AJ Styles and Magnus.
Their interference did not exactly impact the match all that much, and Styles moved on to win it and secure the title bout against Bully Ray. However, Magnus was not pleased with their involvement, and he was even less pleased with being attacked in the back while discussing it.
Magnus opened this week’s IMPACT Wrestling to issue a challenge to one member of E.G.O. to come out and meet him face-to-face. Kazarian answered the challenge, as did Daniels and Roode soon thereafter. Upon noticing this one-on-one challenge was being met with a three-on-one assault, Sting and Samoa Joe ran down to save their Main Event Mafia partner. Then Sting called for a six-man tag team main event between the members of E.G.O. and the Main Event Mafia.
Without Kurt Angle and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the mix, Sting wanted to make sure his crew was prepared to handle business on their own as a three-man contingent. So, he brought the trademark Louisville Slugger down to the ring with him for intimidation and insurance purposes. Unfortunately for Sting, that move backfired on the Main Event Mafia.
After Joe took Kazarian out of the equation with a suicide dive on the outside, Sting went to work on Daniels. He hit him with a Stinger Splash in the corner, and pushed him down to the mat to apply a Scorpion Death Lock. Then, as Kazarian hopped onto the apron to distract the referee, Roode darted into the ring with the baseball bat.
Magnus ran in at the same time from the other side of the ring, and he jumped on the back of Sting to shield him from the hit Roode delivered with his swing. Magnus took it to his back instead, and Roode decided to cover the fallen Magnus. The referee turned around in time to notice this and make the three count, giving E.G.O. the victory.
Their initial reason for coming together didn’t work out, but E.G.O. is still wreaking havoc in favor of their own success. It has worked so far in taking down the Main Event Mafia — a feud that’s likely not over just yet.
1. ODB — for securing her fourth TNA Knockouts Championship with a win against Mickie James:
ODB has long been one of the Knockouts Division’s most important figures, and she has been even more so recently as somebody teetering on a championship opportunity without having actually received it. On Aug. 29, she defeated Gail Kim in a two-out-of-three falls match to earn the No. 1 Contendership and her long-overdue shot at once again holding Knockouts gold.
The time for cashing in that title shot was this week on IMPACT Wrestling, where Mickie James put the Knockouts Championship she has held since May on the line against ODB. This would be a big opportunity for ODB, a three-time holder of the Knockouts Title who last carried the gold in January 2010. Having the desire to break an over three-year drought was all ODB needed to put it all on the line.
Late in the contest, ODB and James traded some shots when they both returned to their feet at the same time, an exchange that ODB won with a closeline and shoulder block. ODB then delivered a delayed vertical suplex on James that resulted in a two count.
ODB stomped around a bit and charged at James in the corner, where she was met with James’ lifted boots to the chest. James followed with a spinning kick to ODB’s jaw. She then grabbed ODB off the mat and dragged her into the corner with the hopes of hitting a tornado DDT off the middle turnbuckle. Instead, ODB countered out and pulled James off the ropes with a Bam. ODB covered right up and got the three count to win the championship.
ODB was clearly happy with this victory, and she was met with equal celebration over her fourth Knockouts Title reign by Eric Young and Joseph Park. With James’ speculated departure from TNA, it does not appear that there are many immediate challengers for the Knockouts Championship, so we’ll have to wait and see who ODB’s first defense will be against.