TNA IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week 11.14.13
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 November 14, 2013
3. Gail Kim — for winning her first open challenge against Hannah Blossom:
Knockouts Champion Gail Kim apparently became so bored wrestling against the members of TNA’s Knockouts Division that she has resorted to issuing an open challenge to members of the female wrestling community outside of the company. As if facing Kim on the national level wasn’t enough incentive, Kim offered to grant a title match to any competitor who could beat her in the open challenge match.
The first in line to answer the call was Hannah Blossom. While Lei’D Tapa was in Kim’s corner once again in this bout, she wasn’t needed on this occasion. Kim had it all covered.
Kim controlled the contest for the most part, only surrendering the upperhand late in the contest when Blossom fought back with a few punches, a closeline, back elbows, a suplex and a splash on the mat that netted her a two count. But the damage wasn’t enough to prevent Kim from going right back on top with a closeline out of the corner, which was followed with an Eat Defeat to grant the Knockouts Champion the victory.
Kim will continue on with this open challenge as she seeks to prove her continued dominance. This method is bound to backfire once she steps up against somebody good enough to take her. But if she faces talent like Blossom in the coming weeks, she should be fine for the foreseeable future.
2. Mr. Anderson — for beating Knux and piledriving Garett Bischoff on the stage a week ahead of his fight with Bully Ray:
Mr. Anderson thought he had Aces and Eights right where he wanted it. He figured he created so much tension and turmoil that it would implode a week ago, with Garett Bischoff, Knux and even Taz showing some dissention toward their leader, Bully Ray.
It turned out to be nothing more than a swerve, though, as they attacked Anderson and proved Aces and Eights was still going strong. Still, Anderson stayed the course this week on IMPACT Wrestling and certainly left the evening with a heck of a momentum swing in his favor just one week before he battles Ray in a No Disqualification Match at Turning Point.
Anderson confronted Ray at the beginning of the show this week to offer up an added stipulation to next week’s match. Should Anderson come out on top, Aces and Eights would have to officially disband. On the occasion that Anderson loses, then he will leave TNA.
Ray thought Anderson was crazy and after some insults about his pregnant wife, a brawl ensued that Anderson came out on top of. Then he was itching for an actual fight, which Knux was more than happy to oblige over.
In going to the well once too often, Knux’ repeated short-arm closelines were finally countered by Anderson with a Mic Check toward the end of the match, and it was enough to keep the big man’s shoulders pinned to the mat for a three count.
With that win in his pocket, Anderson went a step further and attacked Bischoff in the back. He handcuffed him back there for some time, but he eventually took the cuffs off and dragged him to the stage at the end of the show. There, he did to Bischoff what Ray promised to do to him earlier that evening — piledrive him on the stage.
With a win over Knux and laying Bischoff out with that piledriver, Anderson switched momentum firmly in his direction for next week’s match against Ray. It’s his career vs. the Aces and Eights’ survival, and Anderson has plenty of confidence under his belt with so much on the line.
1. Kurt Angle — for advancing in the World Heavyweight Championship Tournament with a submission victory over Austin Aries in front of Bobby Roode:
The eight-man World Heavyweight Championship tournament established by Dixie Carter is filled with contenders more than capable of carrying the belt. In fact, most are former titleholders looking to claim the vacant strap being used to replace the real one held by AJ Styles.
Last week, Jeff Hardy got past the few round when he beat Chris Sabin in Full Metal Mayhem. And this week presented an even more intriguing first-round matchup between Kurt Angle and Austin Aries in a Submission Match. Not only did this bout pit two extremely confident competitors against each other, but Angle seems to be on a crash course to face Bobby Roode in the finals should they make it out of their respective matches throughout the rest of the tournament.
Roode actually came out to the ramp to get a closer look at the in-ring action, and also to serve as somewhat of a distraction to Angle. Angle wasn’t pleased with Roode’s presence, which did take his focus away at points. But it also served as motivation for the Olympic Gold Medalist.
After Angle rolled out of the way of a 450 Splash and Aries landed on a hurt ankle, he moved in for an Angle Slam. Aries countered out and went for a Brain Buster, which Angle countered with another try at the Angle Slam. Aries once again got out of that, this time with an arm drag, and Angle ended up in the corner. Aries ran at him, but Angle sidestepped him and sent him shoulder-first into the steel ring post. Angle then pointed to Roode at the top of the ramp and pulled Aries to the mat, applying Roode’s submission hold — the crossface. Aries tapped and Angle scored the victory right in front of a clearly annoyed Roode.
Again, these two are on a crash course to get at each other in the finals, and Angle has done his part in getting out of the first round. Next week is Roode’s turn, as he will face James Storm in a Texas Bull Rope Match.