TNA IMPACT Wrestling Genesis Wrestlers of the Week 1.16.14
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 Genesis Wrestlers of the Week for January 16, 2014
3. Samoa Joe — for taking the lead in victory for his team in 12-person tag action against a contingent of Dixie Carter loyalists:
The entire purpose behind last week’s IMPACT Wrestling for Dixie Carter was to set up the main event so strongly in Magnus’ favor that there was little chance he could lose his TNA World Heavyweight Championship encounter against AJ Styles. With the exception of Sting, pretty much every superstar or Knockout that would be willing to come to Styles’ aid in that match was taken out of the equation in one way or another, while those behind what Carter was trying to do were left to put Styles at such a disadvantage he had no way of winning.
The plan worked, and all those who helped Carter and Magnus in pursuit of winning the championship were shown the proper appreciation for their efforts by the woman in charge at the top of this week’s Genesis edition of IMPACT Wrestling. Sting, who would face Ethan Carter III later in the program, interrupted the party inside the ring, questioning what went down last week and even Magnus’ status as a paper champion.
This all eventually led to Sting introducing a crew of superstars that were removed from the building a week ago, and they were looking for a fight against Carter’s loyalists. They rushed to the ring for a brawl, which left those who backed Styles standing tall in the ring. Joe grabbed a microphone and made it clear that they were looking for a fight and weren’t leaving until they got one.
Rockstar Spud brought out a referee from the back and gave Joe what he asked for. A 12-person tag team match was immediately booked, pitting Eric Young, Joseph Park, James Storm, Gunner, ODB and Joe against Christopher Daniels, Kazarian, Robbie E., Jesse Godderz, Lei’D Tapa and Zema Ion.
All the wrestlers had their chance mix things up here, but the bout started to reach its conclusion when Park got kicked in the mouth by Kazarian, busting him open and forcing the transition into Abyss mode. From there, Park dropped Kaz, Robbie E. and Godderz with closelines before dumping Ion with a chokeslam. Park then pulled Kazarian in for a Black Hole Slam. Park even put down his own partners by delivering a double closeline to Storm and Gunner.
Park left the ring to continue fighting on the floor, but Joe moved into the ring for his team. He chopped at Daniels near the corner and then put him down hard on the mat with an STO. Joe then applied the rear naked choke and fell to the mat for a grapevine to trap Daniels into submission. Joe forced Daniels to tap, and Joe stood tall in the middle of the ring as the top dog of his six-man squad.
This was a team effort, for sure, but Joe was the one who issued the challenge and made good on it by getting the victory for his team.
2. Bully Ray — for getting the better of Mr. Anderson in a fierce No Disqualification Match between the former Aces and Eights members:
Bully Ray has not been the same since the Aces and Eights were forced to break up. It was Mr. Anderson that was responsible for the destruction of the club, and Ray has had his sights set squarely on teaching the former vice president of that very organization a lesson. Ray has even stooped so low as to bring up Anderson’s wife and newborn children during their interactions.
The intensity was high when they faced off against each other in a No Disqualification Match on this week’s Genesis edition of IMPACT Wrestling. Anderson didn’t even wait for his introduction to get the bout going, instead opting to attack Ray from behind during his entrance to get things kicked off.
As would be expected, these two went hard at each other and didn’t hesitate to make use of whatever weapons they could find. It heated up even more, though, when Ray grabbed a bottle of lighter fluid, intending to douse a table set up in the ring with it. He yelled at Anderson about his wife and children first, though, which prompted Anderson to shoot up and deliver the Mic Check to Ray.
Anderson then picked up the lighter fluid and sprayed it all over the table. He pulled out a lighter and lit it, but Ray snuck in from behind with a low blow before Anderson could set the table on fire. Ray then planted Anderson on the top of his head with a piledriver, which gave Ray the three count and the victory.
That obviously wasn’t the way Anderson would have liked for this match to go, and he was very near taking out all his aggression on Ray by slamming him through a flaming table. Ray avoided that, though, and picked up an important win to keep sending the message that even though Aces and Eights is no more, he is still a dangerous competitor.
1. Madison Rayne — for securing her fifth Knockouts Championship by defeating former tag team partner Gail Kim:
When Gail Kim started her open invitational against non-TNA contracted female wrestlers with the chance to earn a Knockouts Championship Match for anybody that could defeat her, it was a no-brainer that eventually a competitor near or at her level would one day answer the challenge successfully. Little did Kim figure that person would be her former friend and tag team partner, Madison Rayne.
Rayne, who only recently returned to TNA, answered the call two weeks ago on IMPACT Wrestling. She reversed an Eat Defeat into a rollup to secure the victory, and she would land a Knockouts Championship Match at Genesis this week.
It would not be an easy task for Rayne to get two wins in a row against the vindictive titleholder. Kim made sure Rayne started out at a disadvantage when she and Lei’D Tapa attacked her during a prematch interview backstage. Kim delivered a couple of nasty kicks to Rayne’s midsection before tossing her to the floor.
Rayne was visibly hurt when she held her stomach as she walked to the ring, and it became an instant target for Kim. If that wasn’t enough for Kim to have a decided advantage, she still had Tapa lurking in her corner.
That changed, however, when Tapa was told to hit the bricks by the referee after attacking Rayne on the outside. Kim pounced on Rayne by applying the figure four leg lock around the steel ring post. Rayne fell to the floor after Kim let go of the hold, but she got back into the ring before being counted out. Kim charged at her in the corner, but Rayne lifted her up and tossed her across the ring. Rayne then hit the Rayne Drop on Kim before covering up for the three count.
This marks Rayne’s fifth Knockouts Title, and it was certainly well-earned. She’s likely not finished with Kim just yet, but she has proven she can get the better of the former champion and should have plenty of confidence that she can do it again.