TNA IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week 5.23.13
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 May 23, 2013
3. Mr. Anderson – for making use of a distraction to pick up a win over Kurt Angle:
While D’Lo Brown has become a disappointment to Aces and Eights over the past few weeks, Mr. Anderson has stood out as a real asset for the club. He seems to have the confidence and direction that Aces and Eights needs to continue pushing their agenda in TNA, becoming one of Bully Ray’s most trusted members. He felt really confident in his ability to deliver the biggest shock to TNA by getting AJ Styles on board with Aces and Eights.
He seemed to have completed that mission, with it appearing that Aces and Eights was getting closer to becoming “phenomenal” by the end of this week’s IMPACT Wrestling broadcast. Before an initiation at the end of the show, there was a match scheduled between Anderson and Kurt Angle. There is history between those, and they also just so happen to be the biggest players in this Styles situation.
The two met up in the middle of the ring with Anderson hoping to do what Brown could not — defeat the Olympic Gold Medalist. That’s a tall order for anybody and it didn’t seem to be going Anderson’s way when, after countering an Angle Slam with a fireman’s carry roll and covering up for a two-count, he was still hit with the three German Suplexes off a Mic Check reversal and almost slapped into an Ankle Lock. Anderson was able to kick Angle off him, though, and he delivered a Mic Check that enabled him to cover up and just miss a three-count.
Dismayed, Anderson stayed on the attack by going up top, but Angle met him on the second rope for the belly-to-belly suplex back down to the mat. Angle seemed ready to close the match out by yanking down the straps, but he was distracted as Styles appeared at ringside and hugged Taz near the announce table. With Angle’s attention diverted, Anderson was able to recoup, dish out a low blow to Angle and roll him up for the three-count.
That victory earned Anderson some props from Ray during the final segment, just before turning toward the induction of Styles into the club. That part didn’t go exactly as planned, as Styles once again proved himself to be a lone wolf by both attacking Angle and turning on the crew that just previously put a kutte on him.
Anderson may very well catch some flak for that next week and it could become a situation that he needs to prove himself to the club much like Brown. However, Anderson should have an opportunity to get at Styles if that’s the case and he might have a better chance of righting this mistake as witnessed by his ability to actually defeat Angle.
2. Mickie James – for making good on her second attempt at the Knockouts Title against Velvet Sky to become the new champion:
Velvet Sky took pride in being a fighting champion, even if it wasn’t in her best interest. She refused to let a nagging knee injury stand in her way of defending the TNA Knockouts Championship and she consistently accepted the risk that comes along with having a big bullseye for opponents to focus on.
Sky had the ability to delay a championship match on IMPACT Wrestling this week when her challenger, Mickie James, offered to speak with Brooke Hogan about postponing the contest. Sky appreciated the offer, but she insisted that the match go on. And so it did. Unfortunately for Sky, she would have been better off accepting James’ generous proposal.
James wasn’t able to take advantage of Sky’s injury the last time they met for the championship, but she would certainly incorporate it into her attack this go around. That didn’t really come until late in the contest, when Sky really seemed to be favoring the knee following a several-revolution tilt-a-whirl head scissors takedown. When James smelled blood, she clipped Sky’s knee and followed with a DDT to secure the pinfall and become new Knockouts Champion for the third time in her career.
James did what she needed to do in order to avoid two failed attempts at claiming the title from Sky. With the belt in hand, it seems like she’ll either have another go against Sky or face the winner of the Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell match at Slammiversary.
1. Suicide – for making a successful return to TNA by earning a spot in the X-Division Championship match at Slammiversary:
Born from a video game, the character of Suicide made an instant impact in the X-Division when his real-life persona came into TNA. He was an unorthodox and mysterious character, and even broke through relatively quick to hold the X-Division Championship. But he went absent for about two years and was thus hyped for a return on this week’s IMPACT Wrestling.
Suicide competed against Petey Williams and Joey Ryan, who was replacing an injured Zema Ion, to determine who would be the third man in the three-way Ultimate X, X-Division Championship Match against Kenny King and Chris Sabin at Slammiversary.
Suicide provided the most surprise and spark in this contest, and it was little surprise that he walked away with the victory even after such a long time away a TNA ring. From generating a simultaneous submission hold on both his opponents, to delivering high-flying attacks and using his ring awareness, Suicide was at the top of his game.
That doesn’t mean he didn’t receive some assistance, as witnessed by Ryan saving him from a Canadian Destroyer by Williams. Suicide responded by dodging a charge in the corner and dropping Ryan with a neckbreaker. He then waited for Ryan to get up so he could deliver an innovative finisher that combined a front tiger suplex and gutbuster to finish off Ryan. With the three-count, Suicide moved on to the title match at Slammiversary.
He will have a tougher go of things against King, who sat ringside at the commentary table during the IMPACT Wrestling match, and Sabin, but Suicide looks ready to go. He’s hard to predict and game plan for, so he should stand an equal shot at winning the X-Division Title as Sabin has of taking it and King has at retaining.