TNA IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week 2.21.13
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 February 21, 2013
3. Aces and Eights (Devon, Doc and Mr. Anderson) – for utilizing their numbers advantage to outsmart Bully Ray and Sting in the six-man tag team main event:
The war against Aces and Eights rages on and there’s just over two weeks separating the Sting-led Team TNA from its Lethal Lockdown showdown with the gang at Lockdown on March 10. A big coup for TNA, which has yet to take shape, is the fact that Bully Ray is back in the fold, fighting the good fight alongside his partner, Sting, and father-in-law, Hulk Hogan.
Hogan shocked the world a bit when he opened up IMPACT Wrestling this week to render the eight-man showcase last week essentially pointless when he announced that Ray would receive the TNA World Heavyweight Championship opportunity against Jeff Hardy at Lockdown. That move takes Ray out of the running to be a part of Sting’s team in that Lethal Lockdown Match, but it does show Hogan’s confidence in his son-in-law’s value as both a member of the TNA roster and the husband of his daughter, Brooke.
With Lockdown still some time away, Ray wanted to play a role in weakening Aces and Eights this Thursday and offered up a main event proposal that consisted of three members of the gang going up against Ray, Sting and Hogan himself. The Hulkster, who hasn’t wrestled since Bound For Glory in 2011, agreed and made the match happen.
It was happy times for Ray, Sting and Hogan, but perhaps they got a little ahead of themselves. They didn’t take into account that Aces and Eights has found several ways to stay a couple of steps ahead and they did just that again during the main event.
Hogan never did show up at the start of this match. While never officially being declared a handicap match, Ray and Sting were on the wrong end of a 3-on-2 bout against Devon, Doc and Mr. Anderson. They managed to hold their own and even get into a rhythm that could have netted them a victory, until both Hulk and Brooke were dragged out of the back by other members of Aces and Eights.
Ray abandoned the trademark headbutt to the groin off the top rope to save his wife and father-in-law, but he left Sting alone in the ring in the process. That not only allowed Doc to drill Sting in the face with a boot to lead into a pinfall for Aces and Eights’ victory, but it also opened up the opportunity for the gang to deliver a beatdown to “The Icon” after the match while Ray and Brooke could do nothing more than look on as they attended to Hulk.
This whole situation still seems fishy and we’re pretty obviously heading down the road to either Ray or Hogan joining up with Aces and Eights. But, while Ray, Sting and Hogan were celebrating their cohesion at least for the time being, they were soon delivered a stark reminder on IMPACT Wrestling that Aces and Eights remains a dangerous, unified and focused group capable of getting what they want at any cost.
2. Rockstar Spud – for defeating Robbie E. in front of his hometown crowd thanks to some help from another native and Robbie E.’s own manager, Robbie T.:
Rockstar Spud significantly advanced his career a few weeks ago when he was announced as the winner of TNA’s British Boot Camp. He also made an instant enemy out of Robbie E., who has a knack for sticking his nose in business that has nothing to do with him. He interrupted Spud’s introduction as the winner two weeks ago and got knocked out of the ring just before Spud had a bit of a moment with Robbie T.
That led to a match during this week’s IMPACT Wrestling, where Spud and Robbie E. went one-on-one to settle this score. Spud was still riding the high of winning British Boot Camp and would look to make an impression during his debut matchup as a member of the TNA roster.
Spud made an impact in his initial in-ring performance, but it was largely because of further friction developing between the Robbies. Spud missed a leg drop off the top rope that was made possible by dumping Robbie E. with a nice tilt-a-whirl DDT. Instead of capitalizing on this miss, Robbie E. tried to go the underhanded route by making a move for the clipboard held by Robbie T. on the outside.
Much to his surprise, Robbie E. was unable to snatch the clipboard away, as Robbie T. refused to let it go. After a bit of a tug-of-war, Robbie E. turned around into a victory roll from Spud that kept him pinned for the three-count.
While things remained heated between the Robbies after the match, which was not helped by Robbie E. slapping Robbie T. across the face, Spud left feeling good with a win under his belt in his debut matchup with the company he worked hard to become a member of.
1. Velvet Sky – for outlasting Tara, Miss Tessmacher and Gail Kim to become the new TNA Knockouts Champion:
The No. 1 Contender scene for the TNA Knockouts Championship that Gail Kim wanted all to herself got a lot more crowded last week. When Kim essentially demanded a shot at the title from Brooke Hogan, her request was granted. Unfortunately, it was granted in the form of a four-way elimination match for this week’s IMPACT Wrestling, where Tara would defend the belt against Kim, Miss Tessmacher and Velvet Sky.
Kim was not entirely thrilled with that call, but she did get what she wanted in the end and this would be a match that Hogan wanted a front row seat for, as witnessed by her sitting ringside for it.
Tara was the first one eliminated, rendering the rest of the match a search for a new Knockouts Champion. She was taken out of the equation when Sky hit the In Yo’ Face and Kim stole the pinfall to narrow the field down to three.
Tessmacher was the next one booted from the match after Sky countered a rollup and held on for a pin of her own to get the three-count, making it a one-on-one final between Kim and Sky.
Kim and Sky are no strangers, as Sky was the one to end Kim’s impressive run during the gauntlet match at Genesis and then won the one-on-one bout on the following IMPACT Wrestling to determine the No. 1 Contender for a Jan. 24 episode title match against Tara.
With the title on the line, Kim attempted to take any advantage she could. First, she held onto the ropes while stacking Sky’s legs during a pin attempt, which referee Taryn Terrell cut short when she realized what Kim was doing. Kim once again went for the ropes as a way to block a sunset flip rollup from Sky, but Terrell was quick to pull Kim off and effectively shove her down to the mat. Sky then took advantage by going right at Kim with the In Yo’ Face, which netted her a three-count and the Knockouts Championship.
That was pretty controversial and its likely Sky will have to deal with Kim sooner than later as a result of that finish. However, Sky just made the most of the opportunity afforded her and became the unlikely new titleholder of the Knockouts Championship. She promised to get to that point upon her return to TNA and she made good on that promise on Thursday night.