TNA IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week 10.24.13
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 October 24, 2013
3. Ethan Carter III — for winning his first IMPACT Wrestling match one night after a successful debut at Bound For Glory:
For several weeks, TNA hyped the coming of a new superstar named Ethan Carter III. The self-absorbed newcomer is Dixie Carter’s nephew, which almost guaranteed he would have a sense of entitlement about him once he arrived.
He made his debut at Bound For Glory, and he was to face a hand-picked opponent by Dixie, who was certain to remind him that the world needs the Carters. She set him up for immediate success when she selected Norv Fernum, a local enhancement-level talent, to be his opponent. The match was never in doubt, and ECIII made relatively quick and easy work of Fernum in this match.
It was a similar situation during his IMPACT Wrestling debut on Thursday. Carter made another arrogant entrance on his way toward the wing, awaiting the entrance of opponent Dewey Barnes — another challenger that was plenty beneath him.
Barnes put a few moves together in this match, including a surprising missile dropkick that resulted in a pin attempt. But he faced the same amount of success as Fernum before him, finding himself locked in a headlock after an Irish whip reversal that Carter transitioned into a devastating headlock driver for the pinfall.
After having Barnes shoved out of the ring, Carter grabbed a microphone following his victory and proclaimed that the world needs him since he is a Carter.
That is all well and good for now, and Carter has certainly arrived in TNA. But eventually this run of facing enhancement talent will end, and he will need to show what he has against the better pool of talent TNA has to offer.
2. Gail Kim — for picking up the pinfall in tag action one night after winning the Knockouts Championship, with the help of new ally Lei’D Tapa:
Gail Kim is always never too far away from grabbing hold of the TNA Knockouts Championship. Her talent in comparison to the rest of the division almost demands she get an opportunity frequently if she doesn’t already hold the title. And she has always had the skills to get the job done on her own.
That doesn’t mean she isn’t willing to find any competitive edge that she can, however. During the three-way Knockouts Championship Match at Bound For Glory, Kim was revealed to have aligned herself with dominant newcomer Lei’D Tapa. Tapa appeared during the championship bout and booted ODB on the ramp. Then she took out Brooke in the ring, which Kim took advantage of by covering up and collecting the pinfall. After the match, Tapa gave Kim the title and raised her hand to make this new alliance official.
Kim would compete in tag team competition alongside Brooke against ODB and Velvet Sky on this week’s IMPACT Wrestling, and Tapa would once against provide her the opportunity to get the win.
Brooke and ODB rolled to the outside after ODB hit a spear, and Kim followed with hopes of taking a steel chair into the ring to use against Sky. The referee stopped Kim from doing so, but he was distracted while Tapa entered the ring from behind him and dropped Sky with a boot. Tapa left the ring and Kim darted in to cover up and get the pinfall.
Kim is pretty dangerous on her own, but the new Knockouts Champion may very well be unstoppable in the division with Tapa watching her back.
1. AJ Styles — for retaining the TNA World Heavyweight Championship one night after winning it from Bully Ray before driving away from Dixie Carter:
In perhaps the most tumultuous part of AJ Styles’ career, he had everything on the line at Bound For Glory in his TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match against Bully Ray. With no contract and Dixie Carter working against him, Styles was in desperate need of a victory on Sunday.
Regardless of everything Ray, his Aces and Eights partners and even Carter threw at him in the chaotic main event at Bound For Glory, Styles still managed to pick up the win off a Spiral Tap and become the new World Heavyweight Champion.
Carter would later announce that the rematch would occur this week on IMPACT Wrestling, but she started off the program by trying the make amends with Styles. She called The Phenomenal One down to the ring and first told him that all the things she said and did to him over the past few weeks were for the purpose of motivation. And then she offered him things like a private dressing, a watch and a new car, all as a symbol of her willingness to pay as Styles told her she would need to.
Styles wasn’t interested, so she even offered to fly them out of Salt Lake City and forget the championship rematch. That prompted Ray to come down to the ring, to which Styles assured him he did not need to worry, as Styles was a fighting champion and would defend the title. Perhaps Ray’s bigger concern was when he attacked Styles, Mr. Anderson returned to make the save by beating his former leader down.
In the main event, Anderson would play a role against in hurting Ray, and thus helping Styles in the process.
When Styles looked to attempt a tornado DDT on Ray, he was tossed off and into the referee. Styles still took Ray down with a Calf Killer, but the referee was out of it and could not see Ray tap out. When Styles went over to check on the ref, Ray grabbed his chain and drilled Styles in the head with it. Ray then delivered a Bully Cutter, but he was only able to produce a two count on the ensuing cover.
Ray grabbed the chain again, but Anderson, who was previously escorted out of the building by security, ran down to the ring and dropped Ray throat-first across the top rope. Styles then ducked a closeline from Ray and spun around into a crucifix pin that went the distance to the three count.
Afterward, Ray and Anderson fought up the ramp, and Carter told Styles not to move from the ring and she was coming to present him with a new contract. She met him in the ring and offered him a pretty lucrative deal. But that’s not quite what Styles meant when he said he was going to make Carter pay. He was going to take the title away from her and to the fans. He walked away from her with the belt in hand, and stole the keys to the car he was offered earlier. He drove off and left many to wonder what his next move will be.
Styles is clearly in the driver’s seat here. He has the TNA World Heavyweight Championship belt, and now Carter needs to figure out what, if anything, will entice him to come back.