TNA: Vote in the 2012 IMPACT Wrestling Awards
It's about that time again. Another year is coming to a close, but before we look ahead to 2013, let's look to the past one more time.
2012 proved an enormous year for TNA Wrestling. They debuted new concepts, tried new methods, ventured to new lands and raised the bar for wrestling in general.
This is the second annual IMPACT Wrestling Award slideshow. Some aspects of the award slideshow have been tweaked in comparison to last year's. Some awards have been removed, while new ones have taken their place.
Before we begin, allow me to take the time and explain why the "It Factor" Bobby Roode is the featured superstar. 2011 proved to be the "Year of Bobby Roode" as he won five awards: Breakout Star of the Year, Most Surprising Turn of the Year, Tag Team of the Year and TNA Superstar of the Year. This is why the "It Factor" is the 2012 IMPACT Wrestling Awards poster boy.
All of the best TNA matches, wrestlers and biggest moments of 2012 will be voted upon by you, the fans.
Voting for the 2012 IMPACT Wrestling Awards will begin right now, AND voting will end on January 1st.
Below is a ballot for the 2012 IMPACT Awards. Feel free to copy and paste the ballot for use in the comment section in hopes of speeding up the process.
It is not mandatory. I just figured it might help get your voting over quicker and easier.
Gut Check Participant of the Year:
Announcer of the Year:
Pay-Per-View Poster of the Year:
New Concept of the Year:
Upset of the Year:
Most Extreme Moment of the Year:
Championship Record of the Year:
Most Shocking Moment of the Year:
Feel-Good Moment of the Year:
Character of the Year:
Feud of the Year:
Knockouts Match of the Year:
Knockout of the Year:
X-Division Wrestler of the Year:
Tag Team of the Year:
Face of the Year:
Heel of the Year:
Promo of the Year:
Pay-Per-View of the Year:
Match of the Year:
TNA Superstar of the Year:
Gut Check of the Year
In April of 2012, Hulk Hogan announced a new concept coming to TNA. This concept would allow young, unsigned and hungry talent the opportunity to showcase their skills on the main stage in IMPACT Wrestling.
Win over the judges after one match and one promo, and this unsigned wrestler may land a spot on the IMPACT Wrestling roster.
Since April we've seen eight independent wrestlers step up to the plate. Which one of them performed the best of all Gut Check participants?
He's the inaugural Gut Check contestant and the inaugural Gut Check winner.
Originally not supposed to pass his Gut Check, Alex Silva was able to truly convince Ric Flair (who went off script when voting) that he was worthy of an IMPACT contract.
Silva only garnered about 52 percent of the IMPACT audience's vote and had a less-than stellar performance against Robbie E. However, none of that stopped Silva from achieving him dream.
After an emotional promo, Alex Silva found himself on the TNA roster.
The fearless leader of the 87 percent and rebel with a cause, Joey Ryan was the very first person who was denied a contract in Gut Check.
That two lettered word, "no," wouldn't cease Joey's attempts at landing a job in TNA. He would take to Twitter, YouTube and any other form of social media to spew his anti-Gut Check rants.
He even disrupted a few Gut Checks along the way and, in the process, lit a fire under Al Snow. Constantly causing a ruckus among the Orlando crowd, Al Snow finally snapped and challenged Joey Ryan to a redemption match.
Joey would receive one more shot at a TNA contract. At Bound For Glory, Joey Ryan defeated the Gut Check judge himself, Al Snow, to earn his TNA contract, much to the satisfaction of the 87 percent.
Taeler Hendrix was the first woman to appear on Gut Check and the second wrestler who earned a TNA contract through the concept.
Taeler had one of the more impressive showings in Gut Check and even got in some very close near falls on her opponent. She had the second highest amount of fan support of any Gut Check participant, with about a 91 percent yes vote from fans.
Another young wrestler who has shown some promise on Gut Check was Sam Shaw. As an extreme sports enthusiast, Shaw's offense was described as very "high octane."
Shaw was more than capable of keeping up with his opponent, Douglas Williams, and probably would've had the match won had it not been for Joey Ryan's distractions.
Unfortunately, IMPACT fans couldn't give their opinion on Shaw in a voting matter. On the night of his Gut Check, Shaw was attacked by Aces and Eights. The following week, Shaw would appear on IMPACT twice: once for a match and the second time for the judges' decision.
Shaw was one of the more athletic and charismatic wrestlers to appear on Gut Check.
Coming into Gut Check at only 18-years-old, Evan was said to be the epitome of what Gut Check is all about. Despite that, the judges still rejected him a contract.
From what I saw, I was impressed with Evan. He was able to keep up with Douglas Williams in the ring and, at the young age of 18, could easily continue to grow and develop.
I think TNA made a mistake when rejecting Markopoulos, he could have a very bright future ahead of him.
He was the most experienced wrestler to take part in Gut Check. It's Christian York.
York had a dominant display against Zema Ion in his tryout and garnered the highest "Yes" rate in the IMPACT Twitter poll to date (94 percent).
Many believe, with all of his experience, that OVW is unnecessary for the veteran York.
Christian York was also the first, and only, Gut Check participant thus far to win over two judges and not need a third to weigh in. He earned two yes' right out of the starting gate, which left Al Snow's decision invalid whatever it may have been.
Wes Brisco has been spotted backstage during IMPACT, but on Thanksgiving night, he was finally given a chance to get on the TNA roster.
Brisco became the very first Gut Check participant to defeat his TNA opponent, Garett Bischoff, and has had the support of Kurt Angle for quite sometime.
Wes Brisco's fate was in the air when he stood before the judges, but after a heartfelt promo Wes Brisco found himself on the same roster as his hero and mentor, Kurt Angle.
Announcer of the Year
Commentary plays a very important role in wrestling. Like the wrestlers in the ring, the announcers must sell the viewers on matches, rivalries and what's generally going on in the company.
They are the voices of the show, and they sit front and center to inform fans of what's going down. Who is the best announcer of the year?
Mike Tenay IS the voice of TNA. He's been calling TNA matches ever since the organization's inception in 2002, and he's still running strong today. He was the winner of the 2011 Announcer of the Year award, and he's a surefire TNA Hall of Fame-caliber commentator.
Tenay is nicknamed "The Professor" for his vast knowledge of professional wrestling. He's called matches all over the world for multiple wrestling companies but is proud to call TNA his home.
It's rare to see Tenay miss a televised TNA event, and in my opinion, it's tough to imagine the booth without him.
While Tenay is the wrestling analyst, Taz is a former wrestler himself. He's been in the ring and can speak from personal experiences. He's taken the bumps and bruises and can easily translate the feeling to anyone who's listening.
Taz is the color commentator and brings more of a personality to the announce table. He's constantly making jokes, poking fun at things and teasing some of the relationships he has with wrestlers in the back.
Taz is the likable funny man while Mike Tenay provides more of a serious side to the announce team.
He's a man of many behind-the-scene jobs within TNA Wrestling.
Late this year, TNA decided to switch up the voices in TNA. For the first hour of IMPACT, JB would call the action alongside newly signed commentator, Todd Keneley. However, that idea wouldn't last long as JB was sent to keep with the backstage aspect of things as Todd worked a three-man booth with Tenay and Taz.
At Destination X of this year, JB filled in for Taz on commentary again. Also, for the UK fans out there, JB is a full-time announcer on TNA Xplosion (which can be seen on Challenge TV or on TNAsylum.com).
JB is very similar to Mike Tenay when it comes to commentary and almost seems like a student to "The Professor."
The residential new guy to TNA's announce team, Keneley has become popular with TNA's internet fan base rather quickly.
Much of the internet fans here were begging for a breath of fresh air on commentary, and TNA brought in Todd Keneley. Since then, Todd has been featured on weekly television and pay-per-view while bringing a fresh voice to the table.
Keneley surely impressed TNA officials in his short tenure because he's been appearing weekly ever since his debut behind the desk.
Todd now finds himself behind the table with Taz and Tenay every week for episodes of IMPACT and live pay-per-view events.
Pay-Per-View Poster of the Year
This is a newly added award. Behind every pay-per-view is a poster. The people backstage within TNA work hard on these posters, and the artwork and creativity that goes into them should be recognized.
(Photos of the nominated posters are linked).
Going into Victory Road, Sting snapped.
Sting—IMPACT GM at the time—was fed up with Bobby Roode's antics and eventually lost it. Sting would trade his sunglasses for his face paint and go to war with Bobby Roode at Victory Road.
This poster captures that perfectly. The transition from Sting the GM to Sting the wrestler was done to perfection and the mugshot theme reading "half crazy" is a great added touch.
While the Victory Road poster was more about telling a story, this Lockdown poster was all about selling the main event.
James Storm, Bobby Roode, and the TNA World Championship all locked within the confines of a steel cage. The main event would be the poster and definitely put even more emphasis on an already highly-anticipated matchup.
This poster gave Storm vs. Roode an ever bigger "big fight feel" to it than before.
This year TNA Wrestling was celebrating their 10-year anniversary. Their 10-year milestone came in the form of Slammiversary X.
What better way to pay homage to those who paved the way than with this poster?
A giant 10 crafted with the names of several past and present TNA wrestlers. Just about everyone you could think of was listed on this poster: AJ Styles, Abyss, Al Snow, Bobby Lashley, Bobby Roode, Booker T, Chris Candido, Christian Cage, Curt Henning, Dusty Rhodes, Elix Skipper, Harley Race, James Mitchell, Jeff Jarrett, Jerry Lynn, Kevin Nash, Kurt Angle, Monty Brown, Sting and even CM Punk.
This poster is the ultimate sign of respect to all of those who put their body on the line for TNA Wrestling.
"I am the main event" is what the Destination X poster reads.
A black and white photo of Austin Aries with some red ring ropes was the only thing on this poster. It was the only thing it needed and sent a pretty powerful message with just that.
This poster clearly stated that Austin Aries would be the main event of the pay-per-view and even foreshadowed things to come.
Aries would main event Destination X, Hardcore Justice and TNA's biggest event of the year: Bound For Glory. He definitely lived up to the motto on the Destination X poster.
Compared to many Turning Point posters before it, this one outshines the rest. No more is the generic "insert wrestler and pay-per-view logo" here method.
This poster is far too creative to simply show a basic picture of Jeff Hardy posing like in past years. Instead, it shows a member of Aces and Eights with his back turned as we approach the Turning Point of 2012.
It's definitely one of the more creative pay-per-view posters we've seen this year.
New Concept of the Year
As mentioned earlier, TNA has done some experimenting in 2012. They created new concepts to test the waters.
Which of the following concepts, which are new to TNA, has been the best?
As I wrote not too long ago:
In April of 2012, Hulk Hogan announced a new concept coming to TNA. This concept would allow young, unsigned, hungry talent the opportunity to showcase their skills on the main stage in IMPACT Wrestling.
Win over the judges after one match and one promo, this unsigned wrestler may land a spot on the IMPACT Wrestling roster.
Gut Check is setting the stage for future stars to perform. TNA gives these talents a shot at glory, and it's up to them to capitalize and prove themselves to the world.
These wrestlers are given the stage, they just need to perform. This is their Gut Check.
Open Fight Night
Open Night Fight and Gut Check go hand-in-hand, yet are entirely different concepts.
While Gut Check allows the opportunity for unsigned talent to prove themselves, Open Fight Night is a free-for-all among TNA wrestlers.
If a wrestler shows up inside the ring and calls someone out, they must fight. No ifs, ands or buts, just a fight. Backing out is not an option, and anyone can be called out to fight.
In an interesting concept, Hulk Hogan picks a champion at random. Whichever champion he selects, they must defend their championship on free TV against an opponent of Hogan's choosing.
Hulk Hogan starts with four potential challengers, and throughout the night, gradually eliminates the competition until there's one left standing.
Whoever is the last person in Hogan's office gets the title shot. From there, it's one-on-one in a championship match on free TV.
Pretty nice gig.
Created by "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived" himself, comes "Option C."
Hungry for more competition and championship gold, X-Division Champion at the time, Austin Aries, was presented with an interesting proposal from the IMPACT Wrestling GM.
Option A: Relinquish the X-Division Championship for a World Heavyweight title match at Destination X.
Option B: Keep the X-Division title and quit complaining.
Neither option really satisfied Aries, so he presented the IMPACT General Manager with his own idea.
Option C: Aries will relinquish the X-Division title for a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship as option A said. However, this will become a yearly tradition around Destination X. Whoever is X-Division Champion at the time, will be presented with the same opportunity as Austin Aries.
Hulk Hogan loved the idea. Now, come July 2013, we'll see if it sticks.
Upset of the Year
This category is quite simple. It's the classic underdog story. The person that nobody expected to win, emerged on top.
Which of the following was the biggest upset of the year in TNA Wrestling?
Destination X: Austin Aries def. Bobby Roode
I think it's safe to bet that this one will walk away with this award.
July 8 will go down in history as the greatest moment of Austin Aries' career and as one of the most shocking upsets, not only of the year, but in TNA history.
Bobby Roode was enjoying a long run at the top of TNA, and knocked down every challenge that stood in his path. He was able to defeat James Storm, AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy, Bully Ray, Sting, Rob Van Dam and Mr. Anderson.
The self-proclaimed "It Factor" mowed through all of his competition, and there was almost nobody left standing. That is, until Austin Aries took a chance at glory by cashing in on his Option C opportunity in order to become a World Champion.
Austin Aries, the man nobody expected to win, defeated the longest reigning TNA World Heavyweight Champion of all-time.
Slammiversary X: Joseph Park def. Bully Ray
During the search for his brother Chris, ("Ya know, Abyss?") Joseph Park never expected to step inside the wrestling ring and actually fight. Sometimes you just need to expect the unexpected.
Park was pushed to his limit by Bully Ray and was tired of being the bully's victim. Park stood up for himself and challenged the menace to a match on the night of TNA Wrestling's 10-year anniversary: Slammiversary.
Park and Bully would engage in a physical, hardcore match where—to everyone's surprise—the Chicago lawyer won his very first fight.
Sacrifice: Austin Aries def. Bully Ray
Prior to bullying the lawyer from the Windy City, Bully Ray was embroiled in a feud with Austin Aries.
Aries would show that he wouldn't just stand there and take all the crap Bully Ray sent his way. Austin Aries stood up and fought the bully at TNA Sacrifice.
It was your usual "David vs. Goliath" story, in a sense. The underdog, Austin Aries, would pull out one of many underdog wins against a much larger opponent.
Lockdown: Bobby Roode def. James Storm
Storm and Roode, hardly ever viewed upon as underdogs, manage to make the list of nominees.
TNA Lockdown was being held in James Storm's backyard of Nashville, Tennessee, and he was booked in the main event match.
Storm looked to gain revenge on Bobby Roode and regain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship he prematurely lost.
Everything was in Storm's favor: the home field advantage and the story aspect. All signs pointed towards James Storm as leaving Lockdown as the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion.
Storm's dream of winning the World Heavyweight Championship in front of his hometown crowd shattered quicker than the beer bottle that started the entire feud and faster than the lock on the cage in which Roode and Storm fought.
James Storm unintentionally super kicked his bitter rival, Bobby Roode, through the cage door to seal his fate. Storm failed in front of his hometown crowd.
No Surrender: Jeff Hardy def. Bully Ray
What made this an upset victory by Jeff Hardy was the fact that he fell victim to an attack from Aces and Eights just minutes before his match. One of the members of the group drove Hardy shoulder-first into the steel ring post.
Despite the injury, Jeff Hardy showed up to compete in the final match of the BFG Series. In that match, Jeff Hardy was able to overcome the odds and defeat Bully Ray in order to earn himself a main event spot at Bound For Glory.
Extreme Moment of the Year
There have been some very memorable, extreme high-flying spots in 2012 but which was the best?
Jeff Hardy's Lockdown Swanton
No stranger to high risk moves, Jeff Hardy put his body on the line in a match against Kurt Angle at TNA's all-cage classic: LOCKDOWN.
Jeff would take a leap of faith off the top of the steel cage and come crashing down onto Kurt Angle, thus winning the match.
Hardy always pulls a Swanton Bomb off to perfection, but this one was from an extra 15 feet in the air.
Styles Clash at Destination X
The match between AJ Styles and Daniels at Destination X was full of extreme spots. However, that Styles Clash to win the match is what stands out the most.
The two met in a Last Man Standing match where AJ Styles delivered his classic "Styles Clash" finishing move to Daniels. This was no ordinary Styles Clash.
This Styles Clash was done off of the entrance ramp and through a table! It was definitely a cringe-worthy moment and deserving of the, "holy s***" chants it had received.
A Phenomenal Springboard Moonsault
AJ Styles and Daniels, once again, bring a possible winner to the table.
It was during TNA's 10-year anniversary pay-per-view, Slammiversary, where AJ Styles pulled off an absolutely perfect springboard moonsault onto Daniels, who was standing outside the ring.
AJ definitely lives up to his "Phenomenal One" nickname and Slammiversary X was a phenomenal way to celebrate TNA's 10 years of existence.
Deathdrop from the Stage
In the same night at Slammiversary, Bobby Roode cheated to retain his World Heavyweight Championship against Sting. However, the lasting image of the pay-per-view would not have the champ standing tall.
A furious icon would beat the hell out of Bobby Roode following their main event match. "The Icon" beat Bobby Roode all the way up the entrance ramp and surprisingly, hit a Scorpion Deathdrop off the stage and through a table!
Twist of Fate on top of a Ladder
Of all the insane spots from Aries vs. Hardy at TNA Turning Point, this one sticks out most in my mind.
Both men were balancing on a ladder which was balancing on the top turnbuckle. Jeff Hardy would then nail Aries with a Twist of Fate on top of said ladder, causing A Double to fall from the ring and nearly get crushed by the ladder after crashing down to the floor.
This is definitely a moment that brings the phrase "seeing is believing" to life.
Championship Record of the Year
I'm not sure if you may have noticed or not, but four separate TNA championship records were broken in 2012.
The history books would need to be re-written as four different championships would see four different wrestlers become the longest reigning title holders in their respective division.
Which one of these four record-setting reigns was most impressive?
Knockouts Championship: Gail Kim (210 days)
One of the original Knockouts in TNA, Gail Kim, returned to the company in Fall of last year. Her rise back to the top of the Knockouts division would also be a fast one.
Gail quickly captured the Knockouts tag team and Knockouts singles Championships.
Gail and her partner, Madison Rayne, would eventually lose the Tag Team Championships to Eric Young and ODB. In the meantime, Gail Kim managed to hang onto her coveted Knockouts title.
Gail defeated every female who stepped to the plate: Velvet Sky, Mickie James, Tara, Madison Rayne, Brooke Tessmacher and more.
Gail would eventually break the record for longest reigning Knockouts Champion, which was previously set by Madison Rayne. Her reign ended at 210 days and made Gail Kim, once again, the longest reigning Knockouts Champion in history.
X-Division Championship: Austin Aries (298 days)
Austin Aries calls himself "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived," and with this championship reign, it maybe hard to prove otherwise.
Aries beat every challenger and was king of the X-Division for 298 days, thus ending Daniels' record reign of 182 days which lasted for seven long years.
Nobody, I mean nobody, could beat Austin Aries. Brian Kendrick, Jesse Sorensen, Kid Kash, Zema Ion, Alex Shelley, Anthony Nese, Samoa Joe and plenty more fell to the feet of "A Double."
Aries' reign would've even crept into the 300-day range had it not been for 'Option C.'
Austin Aries was definitely one of the most dominant X-Division Champions in recent memory.
Television Championship: Devon (192 days)
We can all thank Devon for breaking the TV title record which was previously set by Eric Young after his awful trip to Hollywood in the summer of 2011.
Devon's dominant reign lasted for 192 days and only ended due to contract negotiations. Along the way as champ, Devon defeated a laundry list of challengers: Robbie E, Rob Terry, Garett Bischoff, Gunner, Kid Kash, Hernandez, Kazarian and even Jeff Hardy.
Devon was a major help in restoring credibility to what many people considered a lost cause in the TNA Television Championship.
World Heavyweight Championship: Bobby Roode (256 days)
I briefly discussed Bobby Roode's reign as champion in an earlier slide, so let's just recap.
Bobby Roode main evented 11 TNA pay-per-views as World Heavyweight Champion and successfully defended his title against eight different opponents.
Bobby Roode would break AJ Styles' record setting reign from 2009 by 45 days.
Bobby Roode established himself as a top star in TNA with this title reign and was certainly one of the best World Champions TNA has ever seen.
Most Shocking Moment of the Year
The most jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring moment of 2012. Which would you vote for?
James Storm's Loss at Lockdown
This Lockdown main event match was touched on a little earlier in this award slideshow. I mentioned how James Storm was viewed as the odds on favorite.
Nothing and no one was going to stop James Storm from achieving his dream of winning the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in his backyard of Nashville, Tennessee. Turns out that "The Cowboy" didn't account for himself as an obstacle in this match.
James Storm super kicked Bobby Roode through the cage door and onto the floor. James Storm kicked any hopes of being World Champion out of that cage door along with Bobby Roode.
Following a devastating loss, James Storm would leave IMPACT Wrestling and even consider retirement for sometime.
Aces & Eights Debut
The Thursday following Slammiversary, Sting was discussing the honor of being named the inaugural member of the TNA Wrestling Hall of Fame when, all of a sudden, five or six masked men attacked "The Icon."
Fans would watch on in confusion. Who were these people? Why were they attacking Sting?
The group later known as "Aces and Eights" would wreck havoc over TNA for the remainder of the year.
Matt Morgan at BFG
All the headlines read of Matt Morgan's "departure" from Total Nonstop Action Wrestling:"Matt Morgan Done with TNA," "Matt Morgan Returning to WWE?" and "Matt Morgan's Cryptic Tweets."
All of the headlines were wrong.
Matt Morgan is right where he belongs. Still in TNA. He fooled everyone with his cryptic tweets.
The self-proclaimed "DNA of TNA" killed any rumors of a WWE return in one night and with one swift kick. Matt Morgan made a surprising return to TNA on the organization's biggest stage: Bound For Glory.
Matt Morgan would emerge from the Phoenix crowd to deliver a Carbon Footprint to Al Snow, thus forming an alliance with the sleazy Joey Ryan in the process.
While many people thought Matt Morgan was out the door and long gone, it turned out that he never actually left in the first place.
Devon is Revealed as part of Aces & Eights
Matt Morgan's return at Bound For Glory wouldn't be the only one of the night.
In the fight of Team TNA vs. Aces & Eights, the gang would use their numbers to ensure victory. The group outsmarted their opponents and gained full access to IMPACT Wrestling in the process.
However, even after winning the match the gang was greedy. Instead of waiting until Thursday to continue the fight against TNA, they attempted to finish off Team TNA in Phoenix, Arizona.
They attacked Bully Ray and Sting until a furious Hulk Hogan arrived. The Hulkster would lay out each and every member of the group, one right hand at a time.
The IMPACT GM promised to reveal these attackers but didn't how to react when he saw former TNA wrestler Devon under the mask.
Devon's reveal stunned all who were in attendance and left more questions than answers.
Feel-Good Moment of the Year
Of these nominees, which do you feel was most inspiring or heartwarming? TNA's Feel-Good Moment of 2012.
Austin Aries Becomes World Champion
At Destination X 2011, Austin Aries was fighting for a contract in IMPACT Wrestling. At Destination X 2012 one year later, Austin Aries is fighting for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Within the span of 12 months, Austin Aries went from X-Division opening match to World Champion main eventer. He went from feuding with guys like Kid Kash, Zema Ion, and Jesse Sorensen to feuding with Bobby Roode.
It was a meteoric rise for any wrestler in TNA history. Austin Aries rapidly became a top star in IMPACT Wrestling and proved it on July 8, 2012.
At Destination X 2012, Austin Aries ended Bobby Roode's record setting reign as World Heavyweight Champion and shocked the wrestling world.
Destination X is widely considered the best TNA pay-per-view of the year and, despite great matches such as AJ vs. Daniels or Joe vs. Angle, Austin Aries crowning achievement is the most memorable moment from such a star-studded event.
Brooke Tessmacher Becomes Knockouts Champion
The Knockouts Champion at the time, Gail Kim, had laid waste to every challenger who stepped in her path: Velvet Sky, Mickie James, Tara, Madison Rayne and more.
Just when it looked like Gail was unstoppable, an unlikely hero emerged. Brooke Tessmacher was the only Knockout on the roster who knew how to beat the reigning queen of the division.
Brooke Tessmacher would enter her home state of Texas to end Gail Kim's long reign on top of the division. Tessmacher would express the experience as "truly epic" in a post-match interview.
Sting is Inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame
"The Icon" Sting has been in the wrestling business for nearly three decades. Finally, Sting's 27-year-long career in this sport would be enshrined and honored on a very special night.
On October 13, the night before Bound For Glory, TNA hosted a Hall of Fame Ceremony for the legendary Sting.
The TNA roster, as well as fans, were in attendance for the event. Dixie Carter, AJ Styles, Lex Luger and Hulk Hogan would all share their stories and experiences with the man of the hour.
All of the blood, sweat and tears Sting put into the wrestling business will forever be remembered, as he is the inaugural member of the TNA Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Jeff Hardy Becomes World Heavyweight Champion
One year ago, Jeff Hardy walked into Bound For Glory begging for one more chance following his long absence after the infamous Victory Road debacle of 2011.
This year, Hardy entered Bound For Glory as a new man. Personal demons behind him, Hardy is refreshed and more focused than ever.
He earned his spot in the main event of Bound For Glory by outlasting 11 of TNA’s top stars in the BFG series. Two victories at No Surrender punched Hardy’s guaranteed ticket to Phoenix, Arizona.
Winning TNA's top prize on TNA's grandest stage was the ultimate ending for Jeff Hardy's road to redemption.
Character of the Year
Professional wrestling is—and forever will be—filled with characters. Some more outlandish and outrageous than others, but almost all serve a purpose.
Who presented the best character/gimmick in TNA this year?
Joseph Park came into TNA as a lawyer from Chicago. His only business in TNA was to find his brother, Chris. You know, Abyss?
During his search, Joseph Park found a lot more than he had hoped for. Park stumbled across the path of Bully Ray in his search, and the two got into a feud for a while. Following his feud with Bully Ray, the question of where Joseph's brother was continued.
Park would return after a brief absence in order to help out IMPACT GM, Hulk Hogan. Hogan hired Park to reveal the Aces and Eights for who they truly are. Park was well on his way to cracking the case until he was kidnapped by the group.
Since then, Park has voluntarily stepped into the line of fire to fight the Aces and Eights. As he says, he may not be a wrestler, but he is a man.
He's the self proclaimed "It Factor" of all professional wrestling.
In 2012, Bobby Roode has really evolved into one of the most "must see" personas on TNA TV. He's the "Leader of the Selfish Generation" and will do whatever it takes to get what he wants.
He's screwed over a few friends along the way, cheated to victory numerous times and made countless enemies throughout the year.
From January to July, Bobby Roode was IMPACT Wrestling.
Sipping appletinis and dancing Gangnam style has—like Bobby Roode—caused Daniels to become a must see personality in TNA.
Daniels has been in TNA for years, but has never shown as much personality as he does now. This is a new side of Daniels. He's a carefree heel who believes he's doing the right thing. Most of the time, what Daniels does is only to his benefit.
Appletinis, Gangnam style and the obsession with pelvic thrusts has made Daniels one of my favorite characters this year. And in my opinion, it's only a matter of time before this character wins the proverbial "big one."
He's your typical bully. There's nothing more to it, and there doesn't need to be. Bully Ray doesn't dance around with apple-tinis or use excessive amounts of hairspray, he's more of an in-your-face, do as he pleases kind of heel.
Since splitting apart from Devon in what feels like decades ago, Bully Ray has been one of TNA's greatest heels.
He'll push people around, and do what he wants. Do you know who he is?! He's BULLY Ray.
Zema Ion's use of a character really turned his TNA career around, if you think about it.
Last July, Zema was nothing but an ordinary face. He was a relatively unknown wrestler who showed up to TNA in hopes of earning a contract at Destination X 2011. Through an impressive performance, Zema Ion landed a job in IMPACT Wrestling.
However, Ion would hardly appear on TV shortly after earning a contract. X-Division stars such as Brian Kendrick, Austin Aries, Alex Shelley, Kid Kash, and Jesse Sorensen would be showcased over the star from the Philippines. The thing that caused Ion to stand out was his character.
Zema Ion debuted his arrogant, pretty-boy gimmick earlier this year. Since then, Ion's character has only expanded. Can of hairspray in hand, Zema has become one of the hottest stars in the X-Division all year.
Jessie Godderz & Tara
Jessie seems to be using his reality TV past in IMPACT Wrestling.
Of Big Brother fame, Jessie Godderz made his TNA debut at Bound For Glory. Unfortunately, the Phoenix crowd weren't fans of Big Brother as they greeted Mr. PEC-Tacular with a "Who are you?!" chant.
Because of his reality TV and TMZ past, Godderz is a self-centered, overly arrogant star. Together, he and Tara claim to be "Hollywood's Hottest Couple."
Feud of the Year
With wrestling, there must be feuds and rivalries. TNA has presented some great feuds in the past, but which was the greatest this year?
Bobby Roode vs. James Storm
This feud was an instant classic between two former tag team partners. Originally fueled by jealousy, Bobby Roode threw away four years of friendship with James Storm in order to become TNA World Heavyweight Champion.
The methods in which Roode achieved his championship status would ultimately cause for James Storm to seek revenge. Four years of friendship had been broken by one beer bottle and the desire to be a champion.
James Storm would get his shot at revenge on April 15, 2012, at TNA Lockdown.
Everything was in Storm's favor that night. But one simple mistake would cost him everything. Storm super kicked Bobby Roode out of the cage, thus losing the match.
Storm had no one to blame but himself. Storm couldn't live with the failure and decided to take a break from the wrestling ring.
About three months later, "The Cowboy" returned with the same goal: become World Champion and kick Bobby Roode's ass.
Storm mowed through the BFG Series however, along the way, Bobby Roode lost his World Championship. Storm's revenge wouldn't be as sweet if he beat Bobby in a non-title match. Regardless, Storm's No. 1 goal was to become World Champion.
James Storm's road to the TNA World title would be cut short at No Surrender. Bobby Roode would crack a beer bottle over The Cowboy's skull and screw him out of the World title hunt.
This led to a shift in Storm's "bucket list." Kicking Bobby Roode's ass immediately became the No. 1 priority for "The Cowboy."
On TNA's biggest stage, Bound For Glory, James Storm put an end to the feud between these former tag partners. James Storm, in a bloodbath of a fight, closed the book on the Storm/Roode rivalry after one beer bottle and a Last Call super kick.
Bully Ray vs. Joseph Park
It's hard to believe that this feud started with TNA's Immortal faction. Abyss wasn't performing as the group had wanted him to, and Bully Ray couldn't deal with it anymore.
Abyss was removed from the faction, and by doing so, reignited "The Monster." Abyss chalked up a series of wins over his former allies, and Immortal started to regret kicking "The Monster" from the group.
All efforts in having Abyss back in Immortal failed. Eventually, Bully Ray got tired of pandering to Abyss and challenged him to a Monster's Ball at Genesis. If Bully won, Abyss would be forced back into the group. If Abyss won, he's free to do what he wants.
At Genesis, Abyss defeated Bully Ray and earned his freedom from the group. However, later in the night, Abyss would go missing backstage.
The Monster's absence would go unnoticed for months until Abyss' brother, a Chicago lawyer named Joseph Park, arrived.
Park searched high and low for his brother Abyss, and even asked around the IMPACT Zone. Hell, he even joined the live IMPACT audience and ate popcorn while enjoying a night of quality action.
Eventually, Park gathered up enough info to know who was last in contact with Abyss. All of the evidence traced back to Bully Ray.
Bully Ray denied all of the allegations Park threw his way. Bully got frustrated with Park and even attacked him one night. This attack led to a match between the two at Slammiversary. An anything goes, no disqualification hardcore match.
With an assist from his brother, Abyss, Joseph Park actually defeated Bully Ray. The following Thursday, Bully Ray wouldn't accept his defeat and issued a rematch.
In their rematch, Bully Ray beat Park after using his chain as a weapon. Joseph Park would become paranoid at the sight of his own blood and nailed Bully Ray with a picture-perfect Black Hole Slam. Whether Joseph found "The Monster" or not, is still a question to this day.
AJ Styles vs. Daniels
This is a feud almost as old as TNA itself. Dating back to 2005, the feud between AJ Styles and Daniels has been one of the most personal rivalries in TNA history.
It's dubbed as the feud in which TNA was built. Styles vs. Daniels, even seven years later, would still be a red-hot feud.
The story between them reignited over one year ago. Daniels made his triumphant return to TNA by helping Fortune in their war against Immortal. Daniels filled in for an injured Styles in the Lethal Lockdown match that Fortune won.
Everything seemed fine. AJ and Daniels were the best of friends that they're known to be, and nothing really went wrong. In the spirit of competition, and for the X-Division, Daniels challenged Styles to one more match between the two for Destination X in 2011.
AJ defeated his friend on the night where X-Division mattered most. The defeat would set off a different side of Daniels. A paranoid side who felt he had something to prove.
Daniels would interject himself into AJ's matches. All Daniels wanted was one more match, one more chance to prove himself against AJ. They agreed to a rematch, which Daniels finally won.
The victory over AJ would boost Daniels confidence to a new level. He didn't shake the hand of his good friend after the match, and he didn't reward AJ with a rematch that the "Phenomenal One" wanted.
Daniels' ego would grow and he'd separate himself from AJ and Fortune.
AJ was eventually granted a rematch at Bound For Glory 2011, where he defeated Daniels in an "I Quit" match.
Daniels would move onto a feud with RVD as AJ Styles and Kazarian would be paired up in the Wild Card Tag Team Tournament going into the new year.
Daniels would hold something over Kazarian and cause tension between the two in the tag tournament. Daniels claimed to know a secret about AJ, and Kazarian was working with Daniels in order to keep it at that: a secret.
Kazarian grew tired of protecting AJ, and the dastardly duo revealed what they've been hiding. They accused AJ Styles of having an affair with TNA President, Dixie Carter.
As time wore on it was revealed that AJ and Dixie were not having an affair, but rather helping a recovering addict. This is where Claire Lynch comes in.
Claire is pregnant, AJ is the father of her baby, Daniels & Kazarian torment AJ, all of that stuff. Claire vanishes from TNA and admits to the whole thing being a hoax. She wasn't really pregnant, AJ did nothing wrong and the team of Daniels and Kazarian were pulling strings all along.
All throughout that story, the characters in it (AJ Styles, Daniels, Kazarian, and Kurt Angle at times) would have awesome matches. Awesome matches at pay-per-views such as Sacrifice, Slammiversary, Destination X, Hardcore Justice, No Surrender and Bound For Glory.
TNA's Bad Influence and AJ Styles would both end up as losers following the Turning Point pay-per-view. Daniels and Kazarian lost their championship rematch for the tag titles, and AJ is ousted from competing for the TNA World title for 11 months.
As AJ Styles was admitting to how terrible of a year 2012 has been to him, the Bad Influence came back. Daniels and Kazarian poked fun at AJ and provoked one final match between TNA's oldest rivals.
At Final Resolution in "One Last Match," Daniels was able to defeat Styles with his very own finishing move, thus causing 2012 to worsen even more for The Phenomenal One.
TNA vs. Aces and Eights
This all began the IMPACT following Slammiversary. When Sting was speaking about the honor of being the first inductee into TNA's Hall of Fame, he was brutally attacked by several masked men.
In the weeks that followed, the attacks only worsened. Kurt Angle, Hulk Hogan, Austin Aries, Bobby Roode and The Pope had been attacked. Nobody was safe from this group, and nobody knew who they were or why they were in TNA.
A big turning point in this war happened on TNA's grandest stage, Bound For Glory. The Aces and Eights won full access to the IMPACT Zone, but their night wouldn't end there.
One of the members was unmasked in the center of the ring, and it was former TV Champion, Devon. Following the reveal, Devon stated his purpose for falling in with the gang.
It all boiled down to Hulk Hogan and Devon's release from TNA over the summer. Nobody stood up for—or helped—Devon. Nobody in TNA that is. Devon felt comfort with the Aces and Eights and has since become their "Sgt. In Arms."
Devon's reveal wouldn't be the only one the gang would suffer. Joseph Park unmasked former WWE Superstar Luke Gallows as another member in the midst of an all-out brawl on IMPACT. Known as DOC (Director of Chaos), the former WWE Superstar has been known for his bad attitude and use of a ballpoint hammer.
DOC brutally beat "The Icon" Sting with said hammer and hospitalized the TNA Hall of Famer.
The war between Aces and Eights only continues to heat up as A&8's Sgt. in Arms, Devon, has recently captured the Television Championship, and the gang targets multi-time World Champion, Kurt Angle.
Bobby Roode vs. Sting
This was your classic feud against authority. Reigning TNA World Champion, Bobby Roode, thought that the IMPACT GM, Sting, was out to get him.
Roode thought that Sting was pulling out all the stops to take the World title off of him. He even thought "The Icon" was jealous of himself.
Bobby Roode would be a pain, and Sting didn't like the fact that he was representing the company as World Champion. "The Icon" could only take so much of Bobby Roode's BS before he snapped. And Sting snapped just days after the Against All Odds pay-per-view.
Sting announced that he would finally get his hands on Bobby Roode in a one-on-one, no disqualification match in the main event of Victory Road.
The Stinger looked to have the match won, but after a Scorpion Deathdrop to Roode, Sting came down head first on a steel chair. Sting knocked himself out cold, lost the match and got a concussion as a result.
Roode would terrorize TNA President, Dixie Carter, in the closing minutes of the pay-per-view as a knocked out Icon laid in the ring.
Bobby Roode then moved on as Sting was placed on the shelf. Roode successfully defended his title against James Storm and Rob Van Dam. Going into TNA's 10-year anniversary show, Slammiversary, Bobby Roode ran out of competition for his title.
Just when the champ thought there was nobody left, Sting returned. "The Icon" would get a rematch from Victory Road; this time with the World title on the line.
Bobby Roode would cheat in order to retain his title, but that didn't stop Sting from destroying the champ. A frustrated Icon hit Roode with a Scorpion Deathdrop off the stage, thus ending their feud as both guys went their separate ways.
Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode
A significant amount of this feud has already been covered leading up to this award. Austin Aries, then X-Division Champion, wasn't satisfied and wanted more championship gold.
Hulk Hogan offered a proposition to "A Double," and it was time to put up or shut up. Aries relinquished the X-Division Championship and did the unthinkable at Destination X. Austin Aries defeated Bobby Roode in order to become TNA World Heavyweight Champion.
Roode would explode with anger and claim Aries' win was a fluke. Aries would prove otherwise in their rematch at Hardcore Justice as he, once again, beat the "It Factor."
Their feud wasn't as long and/or personal as other feuds, but it did involve two of the most complete wrestlers today and TNA's top prize, the World Heavyweight Championship.
Joey Ryan vs. Al Snow
This feud has been so long that I've decided to include it on this list, even if you don't think it belongs!
Joey Ryan, denied a TNA contract on Gut Check, wouldn't accept no for an answer. He took to social media in order to spew his anti-Gut Check rants and remarks.
YouTube, Twitter, et cetera. Joey Ryan was slandering TNA's Gut Check and all judges involved. He had earned an 87 percent yes vote from the IMPACT crowd yet was still denied a contract.
Months following his denial, Joey Ryan would appear in the IMPACT crowd. He'd make his presence known during other unsigned wrestler's Gut Checks.
Joey Ryan threw cups of beer and even punched Al Snow. He carried a megaphone into the ringside area with him. Al Snow got sick of Joey Ryan and wanted a fight.
The two would meet at Bound For Glory, and if Joey Ryan won, he'd get that TNA contract he had wanted since May. If Al Snow won, however, Joey Ryan was done. Never to be seen again from TNA.
On the company's biggest night, Matt Morgan got involved in this Gut Check match and helped Joey Ryan win and achieve his ultimate goal: joining the TNA roster.
Knockouts Match of the Year
This year I want to give some more recognition to the ladies of TNA. Not only is there a, "Knockout of the Year" award, but I've decided to include a "Knockouts Match of the Year" award as well.
The TNA Knockouts work just as hard as the men, and these matches prove that.
Weeks prior to Against All Odds, Tara earned her No. 1 contender spot by winning a triple threat match also featuring Velvet Sky and Mickie James.
These two wrestling veterans would meet at Against All Odds, and in a rare turn of events, Gail Kim cleanly retained her title. The match between these two was definitely great considering their years of experience and the fact that they're two of the best Knockouts ever.
The match itself is linked above, so you could check it out for yourself.
Velvet Sky finally became Knockouts Champion at Bound For Glory 2011. Three or four short weeks later, Gail Kim returned to TNA and took the belt from her.
April 2012, Lockdown was when Velvet Sky was finally given a proper rematch. Gail, playing the witty veteran heel, was again able to weasel out of a title match with her championship intact.
Velvet did put on a solid showing, and in my opinion, it may have been one of her best.
Brooke Tessmacher earned a title shot simply because she had the champ's number. For three consecutive weeks going into Sacrifice, Brooke Tessmacher secured a clean pin over then Knockouts Champion, Gail Kim.
When Tess received her first title opportunity, Gail weaseled out similar to her Lockdown match one month ago.
At Slammiversary, Gail's antics didn't work and Brooke Tessmacher picked up the win in her home state of Texas, thus becoming Knockouts Champion for the first time.
The student versus teacher got a bit too serious in this match.
Tessmacher, reigning champ at the time, wanted to prove herself against her teacher, Tara, on Open Fight Night in late August.
Tara defeated her student and earned a title opportunity for TNA's No Surrender event. There, Tessmacher upset the teacher when the title was on the line and remained Knockouts Champion.
On the next episode of IMPACT, Tara congratulated Tessmacher before knocking her out with a Widow's Peak. Tara claimed to be the best female wrestling going today and proved so at Bound For Glory when she became new Knockouts Champion.
Knockout of the Year
Since 2007, TNA has kept a very loaded female roster. Some of the best female wrestlers have come and gone in TNA, and they've proven to be more than just pretty faces.
Which woman proved to be the best this year? Who is TNA's "Knockout of the Year"?
She reigned supreme over the Knockouts division from October 2011 to June 2012. She was unbeatable throughout that time span and set a new record for longest reigning Knockouts Champion.
Gail Kim has defeated just about every challenger and every obstacle that came in her path this year. With a title reign of 200 plus days, it's hard to rule Gail Kim out of the running for "TNA Knockout of the Year."
Mostly viewed as the lackey of Gail Kim, 2012 has been too bad of a year for the former "Queen Bee" of the Knockouts division.
Madison shared a Knockouts Tag Team Championship reign with Kim and even had a brief taste of Knockouts singles gold this year as well.
After an odd relationship with senior referee,Earl Hebner, Madison Rayne captured the TNA Knockouts Championship for a fourth time at Hardcore Justice this past August.
Despite spending the first five months of 2012 off TV, Brooke Tessmacher also has a strong case for the Knockout of the Year award.
She may have missed those five months, but she did what no other Knockout could do. She beat the unbeatable Gail Kim for the Knockouts Championship. To make the accomplishment even better, she did so on TNA's 10-year anniversary. To make the win even sweeter than that, it was in her home state of Texas.
Brooke Tessmacher quickly became the top face of the Knockouts division and picked up two championship reigns during that time.
She's had the honor of competing on TNA's biggest stages (Slammiversary and Bound For Glory) with some of the greatest Knockouts ever (Gail Kim and Tara).
Tara started 2012 off on the right foot while trying to capture Knockouts gold in February, but she quickly became lost in the shuffle.
What got Tara back in the title hunt was, ironically, her student Brooke Tessmacher. Tess, champ at the time, wanted to prove herself by defeating her teacher. The teacher won, thus granting her a future title shot.
After the student upset the teacher when it mattered most, Tara got a bit jealous. Tara said that she's the best female wrestler there is and wanted another match.
On TNA's biggest show of the year, Bound For Glory, Tara was able to back up that statement by becoming Knockouts Champion for a record-tieing fifth time.
ODB has had a pretty hot and cold 2012 thus far. A partnership between her and Eric Young started late last year during the Wild Card Tag Team Tournament, and that partnership eventually grew into more than just that.
EY and ODB eventually became an on-screen couple, and were even married inside a TNA ring on the final episode of IMPACT before Lockdown.
The duo won the Knockouts Tag Team Championships, before both of them would vanish from our TV screens. It was because of Eric Young's new TV show, Off the Hook on the Discovery Channel, that he would be gone.
Shortly after Mr. PEC-Tacular's debut, EY returned just as his wife picked up a brief rivalry with the Hollywood couple.
ODB was capable of beating the Hollywood couple with and without the help of her husband, but nothing really came of it.
ODB started the year by getting married, and finished by securing some nice non-title victories over the reigning Knockouts Champion, Tara, and even against her boyfriend, Jessie. Not too bad, ODB.
X-Division Wrestler of the Year
TNA was built on the X-Division. It's the very foundation in which TNA stands and guys like AJ Styles, Daniels, Samoa Joe, Chris Sabin, Petey Williams, Kazarian and countless others have put their bodies on the line for the division in the past.
Which one wrestler was the best in TNA's coveted X-Division this year?
I don't even have to say anything about Austin Aries, yet I know he'll win this award by a landslide.
Aries was X-Division Champion from September 2011 to June 2012 and never actually lost the championship. He relinquished it to move onto bigger feats.
He was champ for a record-setting 298 days and defeated every single competitor in the X-Division. Brian Kendrick, Kid Kash, Zema Ion, Jesse Sorensen, Tony Nese, Mark Haskins, Alex Shelley and Samoa Joe have all attempted to dethrone "A Double" during his reign. All of them failed.
Having already beaten every possible challenger, Aries became the champion of nothing basically. He was so high on a pedestal in the X-Division that it was impossible for anyone else to reach him.
He conquered the X-Division only two months after earning a contract and reigned supreme until he milked his reign for all it was worth (turned out it'd be worth a World title shot).
Ion has tried several times at X-Division gold but never really accomplished it. After Austin Aries vacated the title and moved on, the task just got a whole lot easier.
Zema Ion participated in the X-Division Championship Tournament at Destination X. Two wins in one night would make him the new champion.
Ion made very quick work of his opponent in his first match on the night. In no more than five minutes, Zema Ion squashed Flip Casanova. After that, Ion qualified for the Ultimate X.
Zema Ion ascended the X structure and used a can of hairspray to his advantage while battling Sonjay Dutt high above the ring. Exactly one year after earning a TNA contract, Zema Ion became X-Division Champion.
He may have cheated to win the belt, but he didn't need to cheat to retain it. Zema Ion had a solid reign as champion.
Zema defended the title against all challengers. Ranging from Dakota Darsow and Kenny King and Sonjay Dutt to Douglas Williams, Zema Ion beat them all cleanly.
Zema's toughest challenge came on TNA's biggest night. At Bound For Glory, Rob Van Dam was able to end Ion's dominant run on top.
Sonjay Dutt was an immediate favorite when he entered the X-Division Championship Tournament. With his skill and move set, it's hard to believe that he's never been X-Division Champion before.
Dutt wowed the crowd with his variety of flashy moves and quickly found himself in a championship match.
During the Ultimate X, Sonjay separated his shoulder and was actually removed from the contest for sometime. Moments later, Sonjay re-emerged with his shoulder taped up proving that an injury won't stop his quest for gold.
Instead, it was Zema Ion's hairspray which stopped Dutt. Since July, Sonjay has taken time off to tend to his injuries but still promises to return and become champion.
Sonjay made his return to TNA at the No Surrender event but failed to take the belt off Ion. The following night, Dutt was granted a rematch, but it wouldn't end well. Ion targeted Dutt's previously injured shoulder and re-injured the "Playa from the Himalaya."
Kenny King had originally competed under the TNA banner in 2005, but things didn't tend to work out, and both parties went their separate ways.
In July of this year, Kenny King—who honed his craft in Ring of Honor Wrestling—returned to TNA during the X-Division Championship Tournament. With King's past experiences in ROH, it was easy to see why so many fans instantly favored the X-Division star.
King had some impressive performances whenever he's in the ring. He's been on the brink of winning the X-Division Championship like we've seen at Destination X, Hardcore Justice and Final Resolution. It's only a matter of time before King finally wins the big one, and 2013 definitely has potential of being the year of Kenny King in TNA.
Admittedly, it's pretty weird seeing RVD listed among smaller-name stars such as Sonjay Dutt or Zema Ion.
RVD is still new to the X-Division scene in TNA, but he's definitely no stranger to their high-risk antics.
Originally left off the Bound For Glory card, Hulk Hogan granted Van Dam the power to select his own opponent. RVD handpicked the X-Division Champion, Zema Ion.
RVD would make history in Phoenix, Arizona when he defeated Zema to become the new X-Division Champion. Van Dam would then successfully defend his title against Zema Ion once more and against Joey Ryan at TNA Turning Point.
RVD's reign over the X-Division continues as we head into the new year, and he's already successfully retained the belt over the likes of Zema Ion, Joey Ryan and Kenny King.
Tag Team of the Year
TNA was once well-known for their spotlight on tag team wrestling. Despite that spotlight being toned down in recent years, who was the best tag team this year?
Crimson & Matt Morgan
These two bonded together due to their love of competition. Crimson, undefeated at the time, was in the middle of a rivalry with "The Blueprint" Matt Morgan.
The two had previously beaten the hell out of each other at Bound For Glory 2011 on IMPACT and at Turning Point 2011.
While the tag division was going through a rough time, Mexican America complained about having no competition for their tag team championships. Sting— the general manager at the time—decided to band Crimson and Morgan together to form a team.
The two giants made quick work of Mexican America, and despite their rivalry with each other, became TNA Tag Team Champions.
The duo's reign lasted until February, and during their rematch at Victory Road, Crimson turned on Morgan and broke the team in the process.
Samoa Joe & Magnus
They were the, "ones who weren't going to last." Nobody expected these two to co-exist as a team, but they did. Nobody expected these two to become Tag Team Champions, but they did.
Samoa Joe and Magnus were randomly paired together during the Wild Card Tag Team Tournament last year, and they took that opportunity and ran with it. Shortly after their alliance formed, they became a very popular duo.
This unlikely alliance beat the team of Crimson and Matt Morgan at Against All Odds. They beat them again at Victory Road, and even successfully defended their gold against the Motorcity Machine Guns at Lockdown.
Samoa Joe and Magnus did everything they could to prove people wrong.
Daniels and Kazarian would get a run with tag team gold next. However, after defeating Joe & Magnus, their reign didn't last long at all. They lost their titles at the very next pay-per-view, Slammiversary, to the team of AJ Styles and Kurt Angle.
The duo would be quick in using their rematch clause and regaining their belts. From there, the "World Tag Team Champions of the World" would reign over TNA's tag division for about four months.
The "#WTTCOTW" would do anything in their power to keep the belts around their waists. When Hulk Hogan booked a three-way tag team match at Bound For Glory, Daniels and Kazarian ran out of tricks. There was no way out of this one, and they left Phoenix, Arizona without their coveted tag team belts.
AJ Styles & Kurt Angle
Somewhat of an unlike duo given their history together, Styles and Angle would actually partner up based on the actions of Bad Influence.
Along the line of the Claire Lynch story, Kurt Angle and his spirit of competition got mixed into things, where "Team Phenomenal AmazeBalls" got its start.
Two of the best wrestlers in the world, Styles and Angle, would surprisingly coexist and become TNA Tag Team Champions this year as well.
While this alliance felt like a one-time thing, it was definitely a cool moment seeing these guys share a Tag Team Championship reign.
Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez
Despite only existing for half the year, this team has already found a way of capturing tag team gold in IMPACT Wrestling.
Chavo and Hernandez would provide a blend similar to LAX (but a lot less cooler than LAX), with their skill set. Chavo provides the experience, heritage and X-Division style while Hernandez brings all the muscle into this duo.
Face of the Year
In wrestling, there's two key things: a face and a heel. Every organization has them, but only one can be declared the best. Who was the top face in TNA for 2012?
"The Tennessee Cowboy" James Storm has quickly become one of the top babyface wrestlers in all of TNA, in this year alone.
Storm's ability to sway fan's opinion and rally them into his corner is one of his strong suits, and his mic work is a shining example of this.
Storm isn't some kind of outlandish character. He's just a country man that enjoys drinking, fighting and spending time with his family. To some fans, that's easily relatable and the reason why they love this guy.
Despite all the disappointments this year, James Storm has continued to hold his head high and promise to capitalize on whatever opportunity comes his way next.
It's been a rough year for AJ Styles, but the fans never stopped supporting him. Through thick and thin, the fans have always been in his corner and cheering him on.
He's generally labeled as the face of TNA, the backbone of TNA or the poster boy of the brand, and how can you argue that? AJ Styles has been with TNA since the very first day the company came into existence and never abandoned them.
AJ generally lets his actions speak louder than his words, and those in-ring action definitely live up to his moniker of "The Phenomenal One."
Austin Aries has had an interesting ride in TNA this year. He started 2012 as an arrogant, unbeatable X-Division Champion. Somewhere down the line, a bully stepped in Aries' path and ushered for a little face turn from the self-prclaimed "Greatest Man That Ever Lived."
A Double would defeat Bully Ray and eventually cash in his X-Division title for an opportunity at the World title where he'd shock the world.
From Destination X to the IMPACT before BFG, Austin Aries was the face of TNA IMPACT Wrestling.
What's there to say about The Stinger? The man is an icon, and his legendary presence inside a wrestling ring will always generate a response.
Sting quit his general manager job within TNA in order to finally get his hands on Bobby Roode in an excellent feud between the two. Since then, Sting has been announced as the inaugural member to the TNA Hall of Fame and a key figure in the war against Aces and Eights.
Sting will forever be an icon but will he be awarded as the top babyface of TNA in 2012?
Looking to write the story of his redemption, Jeff Hardy has flown under the radar of most from Sacrifice to No Surrender.
Jeff Hardy's reemergence on the top of TNA came on their biggest stage, Bound For Glory, and Hardy's run as the man in TNA officially started again.
In any organization he's been to, Jeff Hardy has always been one of the most popular wrestlers on the roster. The fans love him for his high-risk antics, and he's quickly become the top merchandise seller for IMPACT Wrestling.
Heel of the Year
In wrestling, there's two key things: a hero and a villain, otherwise referred to as face and heel. Every organization has them, but only one could be declared the best. Who was the top heel in TNA for 2012?
Having the nickname "The It Factor of Professional Wrestling" should say enough about Bobby Roode's heel character.
For majority of 2012, IMPACT Wrestling was Bobby Roode's show. It was his stage, and he'd perform in anyone he knew how.
As the World Heavyweight Champion, Bobby Roode did whatever it took to keep the championship around his waist. He got himself intentionally disqualified, cheated, spit in the face of authority, attacked authority figures and injured wrestlers and simply did the most low-down despicable things you could think of.
Bobby Roode cemented himself as a top heel not only in TNA but all of pro wrestling in 2012 alone.
He's a bully. Simple enough. He will do what he wants, when he wants and how he wants. If anyone attempts to prevent him from doing so, they're in for a fight.
The big bad bully of TNA has pushed around Austin Aries, James Storm and even Joseph Park this year. He'd mock them for their size or appearance and even spit in their face.
2012 was just another year of bullying and pushing people around for Bully Ray. Regardless of the award or not, "DO YOU KNOW WHO HE IS?!"
It felt weird involving one without the other on this list of nominees, so I made them a package deal. When you talk about low-down tactics, nothing got lower than Daniels and Kazarian, Bad Influence.
The duo accused AJ Styles of having an affair with TNA President, Dixie Carter. If that wasn't enough, they had all sorts of evidence. When proven wrong, the duo would—once again—flip the script on Styles.
After being proven wrong about AJ and Dixie, Bad Influence accused AJ of getting Claire Lynch pregnant. To sum up their year, Daniels and Kazarian were just harassing AJ Styles at every turn.
Is it weird seeing him as a nominee for "Face of the Year" and now "Heel of the Year"? Imagine how much weirder it'd be if he won both.
Before his face turn in the Spring, Austin Aries was the most arrogant man in TNA. He was his own biggest fan like Bobby Roode only with the X-Division Championship. He'd lie and cheat his way to victory and wouldn't care about what others thought. A win is a win for A Double.
Going into BFG, the arrogant side of Aries came back as he was ready to face Jeff Hardy in the main event. Aries is doing whatever it takes to get back the World title, and if it requires some controversy between the Hogans and Bully Ray, so be it.
Does Zema Ion feel out of place while on this list? Not to me, I love this guy!
Zema's true rise as a heel came as result of a seriously tragic event. After breaking Jesse Sorensen's neck at the Against All Odds pay-per-view, Zema Ion became one of the most hated men on the roster.
Ion would prance around with his hair done like a Japanese anime character, carry around his hair spray and just be one arrogant, smug pretty boy.
He cheated to become X-Division Champion and even began to refer to himself as "SeX-Division ChampION."
Still fairly new to TNA, Ion has really evolved into his own heel character.
Promo of the Year
This award seems simple enough, right? Just watch (more realistically, listen) to each of these promos/segments and decide which is best of the bunch.
Pay-Per-View of the Year
For this award, I'll just give quick re-cap results from each pay-per-view. It's up to you to vote which was the best. It's the coveted Pay-Per-View of the Year Award.
- Team Garett Bischoff def. Team Eric Bischoff
- Samoa Joe and Magnus retained the Tag Team titles against the Motor City Machine Guns
- Devon retained the TV title against Robbie E
- Gail Kim retained the Knockouts title against Velvet Sky
- Crimson def. Matt Morgan
- Jeff Hardy def. Kurt Angle
- ODB & EY def. Sarita & Rosita
- Bobby Roode retained the TNA World title against James Storm
- Daniels & Kazarian def. Samoa Joe & Magnus to become NEW TNA Tag Team Champions
- Gail Kim retained the Knockouts Championship against Brooke Tessmacher
- Devon retained the TV title against Robbie E & Rob Terry
- Mr. Anderson def. Jeff Hardy
- Crimson def. Eric Young w/ODB
- Austin Aries def. Bully Ray
- Kurt Angle def. AJ Styles
- Bobby Roode retained the TNA World Heavyweight Championship against RVD in a Ladder Match
- Austin Aries retained the X-Division Championship against Samoa Joe
- Hernandez def. Kid Kash
- Devon & Garett Bischoff def. Robbie E & Rob Terry
- Mr. Anderson def. Jeff Hardy & RVD in a No. 1 Contender's Match
- James Storm def. Crimson
- Brooke Tessmacher def. Gail Kim to become NEW Knockouts Champion
- Joseph Park def. Bully Ray in a Hardcore Match
- AJ Styles & Kurt Angle def. Bad Influence to become NEW Tag Team Champions
- Bobby Roode retained the TNA Heavyweight Championship against Sting
- Mason Andrews def. Rubix, Dakota Darsow, & Lars Only
- Mason Andrews def. Kid Kash
- Kenny King def. Douglas Williams
- Sonjay Dutt def. Rashad Cameron
- Appearance & promo from Jesse Sorensen
- Zema Ion def. Flip Cassanova
- Samoa Joe def. Kurt Angle in a BFG Series Match
- AJ Styles def. Daniels in a Last Man Standing Match
- Zema Ion def. Kenny King, Mason Andrews, & Sonjay Dutt in Ultimate X to become NEW X-Division Champion
- Austin Aries def. Bobby Roode to become NEW TNA World Heavyweight Champion
Bound For Glory
- RVD def. Zema Ion to become NEW X-Division Champion
- Samoa Joe retained the TV title against Magnus
- James Storm def. Bobby Roode in a Street Fight
- Joey Ryan def. Al Snow
- Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez def. Bad Influence and AJ Styles & Kurt Angle to become NEW Tag Team Champions
- Tara def. Brooke Tessmacher to become NEW Knockouts Champion, and Jessie Godderz made his TNA debut
- Aces and Eights def. Sting & Bully Ray in a No DQ Match
- Jeff Hardy def. Austin Aries to become NEW TNA World Heavyweight Champion
- Samoa Joe retained the TV title against Magnus in a No DQ Match
- ODB & Eric Young def. Tara & Jessie
- RVD retained the X-Division title against Joey Ryan
- DOC def. Joseph Park
- Chavo & Hernandez retained the Tag Team titles against Bad Influence
- James Storm def. Bobby Roode and AJ Styles in a No. 1 Contender Match
- Kurt Angle def. Devon
- Jeff Hardy retained the TNA Heavyweight title against Austin Aries in a Ladder Match
Match of the Year
The following is a very long list of "Match of the Year" nominees. Feel free to re-watch any matches if need be and vote on which was the best match of 2012.
X-Division Championship: Alex Shelley vs. Austin Aries at Against All Odds
TNA World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match: RVD vs. Bobby Roode at Sacrifice
X-Division Championship: Austin Aries vs. Samoa Joe at Slammiversary
No. 1 Contenders Match: Mr. Anderson vs. RVD vs. Jeff Hardy at Slammiversary
TNA Tag Team Championships: AJ Styles & Kurt Angle vs. Daniels & Kazarian at Slammiversary
BFG Series Match: Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle at Destination X
Last Man Standing Match: AJ Styles vs. Daniels at Destination X
TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode at Destination X
BFG Series Ladder Match: AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe vs. Daniels vs. Kurt Angle at Hardcore Justice
TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode at Hardcore Justice
TNA Tag Team Championships: AJ Styles & Kurt Angle vs. Daniels & Kazarian at No Surrender
Street Fight: James Storm vs. Bobby Roode at Bound For Glory
TNA Tag Team Championships: AJ Styles & Kurt Angle vs. Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez vs. Daniels & Kazarian at Bound For Glory
TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Aries at Bound For Glory
Television Championship: Magnus vs. Samoa Joe at Turning Point
No. 1 Contender Match: James Storm vs. AJ Styles vs. Bobby Roode at Turning Point
TNA World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match: Austin Aries vs. Jeff Hardy at Turning Point
One Last Match: Daniels vs. AJ Styles at Final Resolution
TNA Superstar of the Year
Which one wrestler shined above the rest and made 2012 their year? Who is the MVP of TNA? Who is Mr. TNA 2012? Who is the TNA Superstar of the Year?
He was voted the 2011 TNA Superstar of the Year, and as result, is the poster boy for this year's awards.
Bobby Roode, in 2012, was a dominant figure in the main event for half the year. He set a record as longest reigning TNA World Heavyweight Champion of all-time and defeated almost every challenger put in his path.
Bobby Roode had successfully defended his World title against the likes of James Storm on several occasions, AJ Styles, Bully Ray, Jeff Hardy a few times, Rob Van Dam, Sting and Mr. Anderson.
Bobby Roode had a very strong showing in 2012, and the "It Factor" will be tough to beat when it comes to winning the TNA Superstar of the Year award.
From one record-setting champion to the next. Austin Aries held the X-Division Championship for nearly 300 days before relinquishing it for a shot at the big times.
As X-Division Champion, Aries absolutely dominated the division. There was nobody available who could dethrone this man during his reign. Brian Kendrick, Jesse Sorensen, Kid Kash, Zema Ion, Alex Shelley, Tony Nese, Mark Haskins and even Samoa Joe fell short of beating Aries.
When Aries took the biggest risk of his career and traded in the X-Division title, he made the best of it. "A Double" did the nearly impossible and knocked Bobby Roode off the pedestal on which he stood so high.
Aries shocked the wrestling world on that night and became the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion.
As they say, becoming champion is only half the battle. You won it now you must keep it. Austin Aries did a fine job of keeping his World title as his reign lasted a little less than 100 days.
Austin Aries now has the ability to say that he main evented TNA's biggest show of the year as the World Champion. He also has the ability to say that he won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship within one year's time of his return to the organization: a feat that not many people could say.
What's there to say about the "Phenomenal One"? He is the life of TNA. He's the backbone, and the man who crafted Total Nonstop Action throughout the company's earliest years.
AJ, though, has had a pretty rough 2012. Majority of his time was spent focusing on Daniels and Kazarian and trying to prove them wrong at every turn.
The duo, Daniels and Kazarian, had some wild accusations thrown at AJ this year. They said he was having an affair with TNA President, Dixie Carter. They then said he was the father of recovering drug addict, Claire Lynch's baby.
AJ dealt with all of this and more throughout the year, and he kept coming out clean. He proved Daniels and Kazarian wrong, plus got to kick their asses a lot.
Just when things were looking up for AJ as he chased championship gold, he lost at Turning Point. The stipulation being, the man who gets pinned (AJ) is incapable of earning another TNA World title opportunity until October of 2013.
2012 has been a wild ride for TNA's Tennessee Cowboy. It's been like the "Curious Case of James Storm."
Storm has been so close to achieving World Championship gold but always seems to get screwed at the last minute.
At Lockdown, Storm super kicked Bobby Roode through the cage door, thus causing himself to lose the match. That loss sent Storm spiraling down, and he eventually left TNA for about two months. When he came back, he maintained the same goal: become World Champion.
Storm crushed everyone in the BFG Series and held a strong lead fresh out of the starting gate. But when it came to No Surrender, Storm was screwed again. Bobby Roode busted a beer bottle over Storm's head, thus eliminating him from the Series.
Roode's actions at No Surrender would reignite the feud between these former partners, and they'd battle once more. This time, however, on TNA's biggest stage.
Storm emerged victorious and set his sights back on the World title. It appeared as if Storm finally caught a break when he won a title shot at Turning Point, but no. The following IMPACT, Bobby Roode persuaded Storm into a match.
In that match, Bobby Roode cheated in order to steal Storm's No. 1 contendership for TNA Final Resolution. "The Cowboy" was screwed yet again.
2012 has been all about redemption for Jeff Hardy. Since returning to TNA late last year, Hardy has been on a quest to right his wrongs and turn all of his non-believers into believers.
Month by month, Hardy kept getting closer to making his dream a reality. After several failed attempts at the World title, Jeff Hardy beat Kurt Angle in a two-month feud. Not long after, the BFG Series kicked into place, and Hardy had his chance.
Jeff Hardy maintained a decent spot in the BFG Series, until stepping it up near the Series end. Hardy clinched a final four spot and won his two matches at No Surrender to earn his guaranteed World title match at Bound For Glory.
Jeff Hardy achieved his redemption in Phoenix, Arizona when he defeated Austin Aries to become TNA World Champion for a third time.
Bully Ray started 2012 off in a great way, as he was constantly in the main event and the World title hunt. Shortly after Victory Road, Bully Ray picked Austin Aries as his newest victim.
After weeks of bullying Aries, the two met in a one-on-one match at Sacrifice, which Aries won. All while his feud with Aries was underway, Bully was also in a storyline with Joseph Park.
After months of anticipation, Joseph Park and Bully Ray faced off in two hardcore matches.
As the BFG Series went underway, Bully Ray found a prominent spot in the leader board. Bully Ray picked up a major victory at Hardcore Justice and earned his spot in the final four of the BFG Series for the second consecutive year.
Bully would fall short in the finals, however, that didn't prevent him from wrestling at BFG. Bully Ray teamed with Sting to fend off Aces and Eights from TNA forever.
Team TNA may have lost the match, but they did win when unmasking one of the A&8s members, which turned out to be Devon.
Since then, Bully Ray has had a bone to pick with Austin Aries, all while attempting to earn Hulk Hogan's respect.
2012 has been a busy year for Bully Ray as he worked as one of TNA's top heels and now as a face trying to earn respect.
Sting has wrestled no more than 10 matches this year, however I still consider him eligible for this award. Sting provided a great managerial role in late 2011 and early 2012.
Even after his reign as GM ended, Sting provided some great feuds and elevated Bobby Roode to a new level. His feud with Roode would become an instant classic and in my opinion, one of the more underrated feuds of the year.
Sting has been a prominent player in TNA for so long, and nothing changed in 2012. The Stinger continues to bring "it" with each and every performance, even after being named the inaugural member of the TNA Wrestling Hall of Fame this year.
Another Year in the Books
There it is. Your 2012 IMPACT Wrestling Awards slideshow.
As mentioned in the very first slide, voting will cease to continue on January 1st, and I'm hoping to get the results out, maybe, by January 7.
These award shows are always loads of fun, so thanks to everyone who votes in them. I'll be sure to do them again in 2013, and I have to wonder, especially after such a great year this year, what TNA has in store for us in 2013.
Thanks for reading, thanks for voting (which closes on January 1. Let's just say at 8AM EST) and have some happy holidays.
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