TNA IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week 5.30.13
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 30, 2013
3. Gunner – for proving his worth just three days ahead of Slammiversary by picking up the win in an eight man tag team match:
When James Storm announced the TNA World Tag Team Championship Match for Slammiversary and that he would have a mystery partner of his choosing, it was clear he wanted to make a big splash. There were plenty of possibilities, but the return of Gunner a week ago, demolishing both Robbie E. and Shark Boy, put all the rumors to rest and gave Storm a wrecking machine to stand next to as he chases another tag team title.
The match at Slammiversary isn’t going to be easy. It’s a four-team elimination tag match against top level duos — Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez (champions), Bobby Roode and Austin Aries, and Christopher Daniels and Kazarian. But having perhaps the most imposing team in that match, despite their lack of experience working as a team, Storm and Gunner appear to stand a strong shot at claiming the World Tag Team Titles.
They received a shot at working on their chemistry this week on IMPACT Wrestling, when they competed in an eight-man tag match with the three other teams they will face on Sunday. Storm and Gunner were sided with Guerrero and Hernandez, while Roode, Aries, Daniels and Kazarian formed the opposition on the other side of the ring.
While other wrestlers had some moments to shine in this match, it was Gunner that looked the most impressive en route to picking up the pinfall. He looked strong at the start at the match against Daniels and continued when Roode went against him in the ring. He stood on the apron for a good portion of the match thereafter when Guerrero was tagged in, but he made his presence known in the concluding moments of the bout when he tagged himself in following a brainbuster reversal by Hernandez.
Gunner entered the ring and dared Aries to come at him. Aries ducked a closeline from Gunner and came back with a discus closeline. It had little physical effect on Gunner, who seemed angered by the move, and he delivered a crushing backbreaker to Aries before finishing him off with the torture rack.
The matchup at Slammiversary was destined to be an entertaining one, and it’s also one that really any of these four teams can come out on top of. Based on the dominance exhibited by Gunner and the capabilities of Storm, it’s hard to argue their abilities of becoming the new tag team champions.
2. Sting and Joseph Park – for utilizing a distraction caused by Abyss’ theme music to get a win over Team 3D in IMPACT Wrestling’s opening matchup:
The two men in TNA doing their best to fight against Aces and Eights are Sting and Joseph Park. Sting will fight Bully Ray for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship in a No Holds Barred Match, and Park battles Devon for the Television Title at Slammiversary. Sting and Ray have each other all sized and seem ready to do battle in Boston; however, Park is trying to manage what’s going on with his brother, Abyss, and that could play a role in is bout on Sunday.
Regardless of what takes place on Sunday, these four men did battle in a show-opening tag team match on IMPACT Wrestling. Sting and Park teamed up to face one of the industry’s most dominant duos in Ray and Devon. This is a match, for all of Sting’s accomplishments and the improvements made by Park since his introduction into TNA, that definitely benefited Team 3D, which has far more history and experience teaming up.
That experience was paying off for Ray and Devon in the latter stages of the match, as they had Park set up for the top rope headbutt to the groin. They couldn’t execute the move because Abyss’ theme music and entrance video played throughout the arena, causing a distraction that prompted Ray to let go of Park’s legs and stand on the ramp to cut off Abyss should he come out. Sting hopped onto the apron and shoved Devon off the top rope, as Park watched the entranceway in hopes that his brother would appear.
Sting nailed Devon across the back and then dropped him in the middle of the ring with a Scorpion Death Drop. He covered up as Abyss’ music stopped playing and Ray turned around, unable to halt the pinfall as Park cut him off from re-entering the ring. Sting stared Ray down before Team 3D eventually walked off pretty peeved.
Sting’s night didn’t end nearly that swell, as he ate a 3D at the conclusion of another TNA vs. Aces and Eights brawl that does call into question his status for Slammiversary in three days.
However, Sting has plenty of motivation to suck it up with his ability to ever fight for a heavyweight championship on the line, as well as the title itself. And while it’s still not certain where Abyss falls into all of this, there are plenty of signs pointing to Park getting some sort of assistance should his match against Devon become compromised.
1. Chris Sabin and Taryn Terrell – for picking up a tag team victory against their Slammiversary opponents, Kenny King and Gail Kim:
Chris Sabin and Taryn Terrell both have something to prove at Slammiversary. Sabin looks to add a fifth X-Division Championship to his résumé when he competes against current titleholder Kenny King and Suicide in a three-way Ultimate X Match, while Terrell seeks retribution against Gail Kim for wrapping her knee around a steel ring post in a Last Knockouts Standing Match.
Sabin and Terrell would combine their efforts on IMPACT Wrestling when they squared off against their foes in mixed tag team action. They faced King and Kim in hopes of gaining a leg up on their competition just three days before the pay-per-view.
Things got heated just prior to that bout when Kim interrupted a discussion between new Knockouts Champion Mickie James and the woman she defeated for the belt, Velvet Sky. Kim staked her claim to being next in line for a title shot, which Sky took exception to. Kim kicked Sky’s knee and looked to apply the figure four around the ring post until Terrell came down for the save to get the female participants in the evening’s tag team match out to the ring. The male counterparts followed soon thereafter to get the match started.
The match really picked up when Sabin was setting King up for a move and Kim grabbed his hair from the apron. That prompted Terrell to drop from the apron and chase Kim around the ringside area while King nailed Sabin in the back. Kim rolled back into the ring and King stepped in front of Terrell when she followed, allowing Sabin to nail him in the back. Kim then went to kick Sabin, but he caught her boot and spun her around for a healthy spear by Terrell.
King darted in at Sabin with a roundhouse kick, but Sabin ducked it and countered with an enziguri. Sabin followed with his new finisher to get the pinfall.
Sabin grabbed the microphone after the match and promised to get retribution by winning his fifth X-Division Championship. King then attacked him from behind, and Suicide ran down to make the save before King could do more damage. Suicide picked up the belt, and he got locked in a staredown with Sabin.
Sabin and King do come across as the main players in the Ultimate X Match and it’s easy to figure one of them is coming out on top with the title in Boston. Based on his performance on Thursday, Sabin appears to stand a strong shot at making good on his postmatch proclamation. As for Terrell, she definitely has the mindset to destroy Kim; she just has to be careful to temper of rage and not make a mistake against somebody that can take advantage of it.