TNA IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week 4.17.14
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.
TNA IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week for April 17, 2014
3. Tigre Uno — for extending the X-Division Championship Best-of-Three Series by evening the score, 1-1, against Sanada:
TNA broke out the idea of running a Best-of-Three series to determine the X-Division Championship holder between Sanada and Tigre Uno. The titleholder, Sanada, managed to take the 1-0 lead when he scored a pinfall via tiger suplex over Tigre Uno two weeks ago.
This week’s IMPACT Wrestling hosted the second match, in which Sanada could either put it away and retain the title with a win, or Tigre Uno could extend the series and take it to the rubber match. Meanwhile, Kenny King, who has decided to put himself back into the X-Division scene, sat at the announce table to provide some guest commentary. As far as King is concerned, the winner of this series is merely holding onto the title for him.
After Sanada went up top following a near fall, he missed a moonsault and caught a kick to the gut from Tigre Uno. Tigre Uno then blocked a punch and caught a kick to set Sanada up for a suplex that planted him right on his head. Tigre Uno headed up top and flew off with a Saber Tooth Splash to finish Sanada off with a pinfall, evening the series up at one win apiece.
Avoiding the sweep, Tigre Uno pushed this series to the third bout, which will take place at Sacrifice and see the winner walk away with the X-Division Championship.
2. Madison Rayne — for scoring a win over Velvet Sky in a non-title Street Fight to send a message to Angelina Love regarding their Knockouts Championship Match at Sacrifice:
When Angelina Love secured No. 1 Contendership for the Knockouts Championship last week on IMPACT Wrestling, it took her rivalry with Madison Rayne to a whole new level. When Rayne puts the title on the line at Sacrifice, she will be also be looking to exact revenge against The Beautiful People, who have been a thorn in her side since reforming in TNA.
Rayne looked to send an early message to Love this week when she went one-on-one with Velvet Sky in a non-title Street Fight. Love was at ringside to support her partner, and also to interject herself by trying to help Sky win the match.
After drilling Sky with a few shots with a trash can that Love actually introduced to the contest, Rayne backed up to the corner and waited for her opponent to get back to her feet. During that time, Love grabbed a kendo stick and drilled Rayne from the apron with it. Love then tossed the kendo stick to Sky before charging at Rayne near the ropes, which were pulled down by Rayne to send her crashing to the floor. Sky tried to nail Rayne with the kendo stick when she turned around, but the champion avoided the shot and responded with a spear. That enabled Rayne to cover up and get the pinfall.
Rayne made a big statement by not only getting the win, but by showing she could come out with her hand raised regardless of how many tricks The Beautiful People have up their sleeves. It’s a sure bet she’ll have to deal with Sky around the ringside area when she puts the Knockouts Title on the line against Love at Sacrifice, but she can handle the 2-on-1 odds.
1. Eric Young — for getting a little crazy and defeating Abyss in a Monster’s Ball Match in his first defense of the TNA World Heavyweight Championship:
Eric Young pulled off a shocker last week when he not only became the No. 1 Contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, but he went on to defeat Magnus in a title match to secure the strap he has sought for the 10 years he’s been a member of TNA. It was a shocking moment for all involved in TNA, and one that Young truly deserved.
He wanted to come out at the top of the broadcast to celebrate his win and call an end to the era of the paper champion, but Dixie Carter wouldn’t let the party last long. She interrupted the champion and tried to play him off as a tool for her decision-making. Eventually, Bully Ray heard enough and chased her off, before putting the spotlight back on Young.
Young’s night was not done, though. He was confronted backstage by Abyss with a challenge to put the title on the line. Abyss figured it wouldn’t happen because he smelled fear, but Young granted his request and upped the ante by making it a Monster’s Ball Match.
Young played the crazy card well, and he outlasted Abyss in a bout that clearly favored the Monster. Things got especially chaotic when Abyss pulled Janice out from under the ring. Abyss took a swing at Young, but he ducked and Janice got caught in the top turnbuckle. Abyss turned around into a low blow from Young, who pulled Janice out of the turnbuckle and threatened to nail Abyss with her.
When Young made his move, Abyss grabbed him by the throat and chokeslammed him into thumb tacks that had been previously spread across the ring instead. Abyss covered, but Young somehow managed to kick out at two. While Young tried to recover, Abyss rolled back outside and pulled out a barb wire board from under the ring. He rolled it in and grabbed Young with the hope of hitting another chokeslam on the board. Young bit his finger to release Abyss’ grip, though, and he dropkicked the Monster right into the barb wire. Young moved to the top rope and hit a flying elbow drop, following with the cover to collect the three count and retain the title.
It was a meaningful first defense of the World Heavyweight Championship, and proof that Young will take any measure to be a fighting champion. A rematch with Magnus is upcoming, and Young will have to be ready for whatever tricks he has up his sleeve. But Young is doing well enough battling the odds right now, and he could hold onto that title for some time.