Monday, March 16, 2015

Fave Five 3/9/15-3/15/15

1) Ethan Carter III: For a long time, I've felt that the WWE missed the boat on Ethan Carter III. This week, he solidified that thought and made me feel that he's a bigger missed opportunity than talented guys like Carlito, Shelton Benjamin, John Morrison and others. On an Impact episode that featured a Last Man Standing match between Eric Young and Bobby Roode, EC3 got to main event with Rockstar Spud. They showed they deserved it by putting on one of my favorite matches this year. EC3 has become one of the best heels in all of pro wrestling. The match was superb, the false change of heart was perfect and 2015 should be the Year of EC3 in TNA.

2) Kota Ibushi: Much like Ethan Carter III, Kota Ibushi is a guy to watch in 2015. After opening the year with an absolutely blistering outing against Shinsuke Nakamura at Wrestle Kingdom 9, he went out and captured the New Japan Cup this week. Not only did he win the Cup, but in doing so, he topped two big names in Tetsuya Naito and Hirooki Goto. Now, Kota has earned himself a shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against AJ Style on April 5th in a match that I must see. While I don't think he'll be able to win the belt on that night, he has gone out of his way to solidify himself as a top tier player in NJPW.

3) Johnny Mundo: While I did mention that I think Ethan Carter III has more potential earlier, I am in no way claiming that Johnny Mundo is a slouch. His style and inability to cut promos didn't lend itself to the WWE, but he's found a niche in Lucha Underground. He's a big attraction there and manages to consistently deliver in their main events like he did this week in Lucha Underground's first ever Steel Cage match. Not only was the match very good, but he picked up the win over King Cuerno. Mundo continues to do exactly what he needs to in Lucha Underground and is a very valuable player for them.

4) Rockstar Spud:
Last year, if you told me I'd put Rockstar Spud here, I'd doubt you. However, since the split from Ethan Carter III, he's been a pretty entertaining part of TNA programming. Still, after capturing a Feast or Fired briefcase, I wondered how I could take him serious in a title match. He showed me just how this week. He should get a ton of credit for his effort against EC3 in the main event of Impact. He played the plucky and resilient underdog perfectly, even bleeding a bunch. While I gushed about how great EC3 was, this can be considered the star making performance for Rockstar. He officially made the transition from comedy side act to legitimate wrestler and I actually hope he can capture the X Division Title with his briefcase.

5) Bobby Roode: I had a tough time picking my final spot here. I gave considering to Daniel Bryan, who won on Raw and Smackdown, as well as AJ Lee. In the end, I chose Bobby Roode. His victory in a Last Man Standing match against Eric Young was a big part of the fantastic episode of Impact that we were treated to this week. Young and Roode have had a pretty good rivalry since the move to Destination America, with EY coming out on top mostly. They opened the show in a badass way and Roode was finally able to get a measure of revenge, beating him in a great match. All in all, this was a VERY good week for TNA wrestling.