TNA IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week 1.17.13
By Neil Borenstein
Each week here at 1wrestling.com, I will select three of the top wrestlers from TNA’s IMPACT Wrestling and present them to you in inverse order as the show’s Wrestlers of the Week. In choosing the show’s top three superstars, performances from that week’s IMPACT Wrestling and any relevant preceding programming – such as Pay-Per-Views – will be taken into consideration.
TNA IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week for January 17, 2013
3. Kenny King – for avenging his loss to Christian York at Genesis with a victory, albeit cheap, over the veteran on IMPACT Wrestling:
Kenny King has grand ambitions of earning another shot the TNA X-Division Championship on Sunday when a title shot against Rob Van Dam was just one match away. At Genesis, King only needed to get past Christian York in a tournament finals match that would determine RVD’s challenger in the subsequent championship bout. Unfortunately, King failed and instead had to sit on the sideline while he watched York also fail to take the belt away from Van Dam.
King played a small role in York’s loss, as he did attack him with a Royal Flush following their contest. And because both of them still had on-going heat stemming from what took place four nights earlier, they were given some time in the ring on this week’s IMPACT Wrestling.
That match was far more underwhelming than the one at Genesis, however, it presented King with an opportunity at retribution and to get back in the running for a future X-Division Title shot. He made good on that opportunity this time, even if his method of victory won’t impress too many people.
With York coming at him hard with a near fall and several counters, King was faced with an interesting situation when it appeared his own move was about to be used against him. As humiliating as that can be for a wrestler, one would assume they would have the best idea of how to get out of it. So, when York looked to be starting out a Royal Flush with King on his shoulders, King countered with an eye rake and rolled up York. With tights in hand, King was able to keep York pinned down for the three-count.
It’s not the first time King has gone the cheap route to score a victory, but it’s a victory nonetheless. His confidence is booming and he certainly has a chip on his shoulder in the X-Division. It’s just a matter of time before RVD and he go at it again for the championship.
2. Jeff Hardy and James Storm – for teaming up to get at Bad Influence a week before Christopher Daniels gets a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship:
The Genesis pay-per-view turned out to be a successful evening for both TNA World Heavyweight Champion Jeff Hardy and “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels. Hardy retained his title by getting past both Bobby Roode and Austin Aries in the three-way main event, while Daniels earned a shot at the heavyweight gold by defeating James Storm.
Those two are now on a crash course for next week’s IMPACT Wrestling, where Hardy will defend his title against Daniels. They apparently weren’t prepared to wait another week to get at each other, though, and ended up meeting up this week in tag team action.
That match actually took place when Bad Influence decided to interrupt a show-opening promo from Hardy. Naturally, they predicted Daniels would win the title next week and a fight ensued, which left Hardy outnumbered. Storm came out to save Hardy and called upon Bad Influence to get back in the ring if they wanted a fight. And thus, Storm teamed with Hardy to take on Daniels and Kazarian.
Hardy ended up alone in the ring with Kazarian late in the match after Storm took both himself and Daniels out of the equation on the outside. Hardy, who had just been put down with an STO from Daniels, was lifted up off the mat by Kaz. Hardy shrugged him off with hopes of hitting a Twist of Fate, but Kaz countered and raked Hardy’s eyes before rolling up with an inside cradle for a two-count.
Kaz hesitated off the failed pin attempt and stumbled into a Twist of Fate that connected this time. Hardy immediately covered up and collected the three-count to deliver a hard-earned victory for Storm and himself.
The celebration was somewhat short-lived, as Daniels attacked Hardy from behind and delivered the Angel’s Wings to the champion onto one of the belts. That’s enough of a message for Hardy to remember to take Daniels seriously next week.
But, there’s a difference between nailing a guy from behind and going face-to-face with him. Daniels has the experience, ability and “backup” in Kaz to unseat Hardy, but he doesn’t quite have the momentum, recent victories or backup in Storm that Hardy does.
1. Velvet Sky – for officially becoming the new No. 1 Contender for the TNA Knockouts Title after controversially garnering that status at Genesis:
At Genesis, five Knockouts competed in a gauntlet match to determine the next No. 1 Contender for the Knockouts Championship currently held by Tara. The competitors were Gail Kim, Miss Tessmacher, ODB, Mickie James and Velvet Sky.
Kim had the most impressive showing of all five Knockouts, considering she started out the gauntlet match against Tessmacher and made it through to the final two with Sky. However, she was left unfulfilled when she took a pinfall that should not have been since she moved her leg underneath the bottom rope prior to referee Taryn Terrell counting to three.
As a result, a one-on-one bout was scheduled for this week’s IMPACT Wrestling between Kim and Sky, in which the winner would receive the No. 1 Contender crown. Kim found Terrell backstage prior to the match and warned her to get it right this time.
Terrell took that advice and actually did a fine job refereeing the match. For Kim, it still didn’t net the result she was hoping for.
In fact, the predicament that caused her loss at Genesis came up again in this match – it just went the other way. Kim nailed Sky with an Eat Defeat and then covered up in hopes of getting the pinfall. When Sky got her leg underneath the ropes, however, Terrell caught it this time and stopped counting at two.
Kim chose to argue with Terrell instead of staying on Sky, who was able to get back up and hit Kim with a bulldog. Some closelines and a head scissors takedown followed before Sky set up for the In Yo’ Face!, which connected in the middle of the ring and allowed for a pinfall without any controversy.
She may have stepped out of Genesis as No. 1 Contender with an asterisk, but there is no doubt now that Sky is next in line for a match with Tara for the Knockouts Championship. When that does take place, she’ll have the opportunity to make good on her goal upon returning to TNA to wear that gold once again.