TNA IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week 6.6.13
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 June 6, 2013
3. Samoa Joe – for making easy work out of Robbie E. to qualify for the Bound for Glory Series:
Now that Slammiversary had passed, focus turns toward TNA’s next big pay-per-view event, Bound For Glory. The event itself may be over four months away, but the qualifying stage for the Bound for Glory Series kicked off this week. A total of 12 TNA superstars will be a part of the Series, and they will duke it out in the coming months for the right to earn a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Bound For Glory.
The full list of participants will be revealed on next week’s broadcast, but three of them were already known by the end of Thursday night’s program. Jay Bradley already earned his spot in the Series by defeating Sam Shaw at Slammiversary, and two qualifying matches would take place on IMPACT Wrestling to determine two next two participants.
Samoa Joe and Robbie E. squared off in one of those qualifying bouts. They were both a part of last year’s Series and had fairly opposite results. Joe finished in the top four and competed in a semifinals match at No Surrender, while Robbie E. accumulated a total of 12 points for 11th place — just five points ahead of last place D’Angelo Dinero, who pulled out of the tournament early with an injury.
Robbie E. went into this match fairly confident and was of the belief that he was the MVP of last year’s tournament. If he truly believes that, then he should be just as happy with how his night went on Thursday, as he was demolished by Joe in rather quick fashion.
Robbie E.’s one push for offense was immediately thwarted when Joe sidestepped a crossbody attempt out of the corner. Joe then charged at him with a knee in the other corner before snapmaring him into the center of the ring for a chop to the back of the neck, kick to the face and kneedrop to the back.
Joe began the process of closing the match out by sitting Robbie E. on the top turnbuckle for a Muscle Buster, which led to a rear naked choke that Robbie E. tapped out of right away.
It serves Joe well to put up such a dominating performance in his qualifying matchup, which will serve notice the rest of the field that he is looking to make a similar impact during the competition as he did a year ago.
2. Hernandez – for defeating his tag team partner, Chavo Guerrero, to earn a spot in the Bound for Glory Series:
The first qualifying match for the Bound For Glory Series on IMPACT Wrestling was far more competitive and personal than the one between Samoa Joe and Robbie E. Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez, who failed to hold onto their TNA World Tag Team Championships at Slammiversary, were selected to face each other in Thursday’s opening matchup.
Prior to the match, Hernandez and Guerrero were shown backstage with a sharing of appreciation over their partnership. Hernandez was especially grateful for his partner showing him the Guerrero way. Chavo, however, enlightened Hernandez that while he may have taught him a lot, he didn’t teach him everything.
With a shot at fighting for the World Heavyweight Title hanging in the balance, all allegiance goes out the window and both combatants certainly put their all into this match. The fact that they did work together for so long, and therefore understand their opponents’ tendencies, would come into play with a number of counters during the bout.
Guerrero, who failed to finish off a Three Amigos when Hernandez blocked the third, reversed a whip into the corner and drilled Hernandez in the side of the head to set him up for a Frog Splash. Hernandez caught him with knees to the gut on his way down and called for a Border Toss. Guerrero rolled threw to counter the move, but Hernandez went right back at him and stacked the legs for a cover that got the three count.
Guerrero was not happy about taking that loss, while Hernandez seemed pretty pleased with himself. There were a number of momentum swings, especially late, that proved just how well these teammates knew each other. But it was Hernandez that got the win, and he is a strong contender going into the Bound for Glory Series.
1. Chris Sabin, James Storm and Gunner – for following championship wins at Slammiversary with a six-man tag team victory over their primary rivals:
There were a number of title changes at Slammiversary, including the ones involving the X-Division Championship and the World Tag Team Championships. Chris Sabin outlasted Kenny King and Suicide to grab the X-Division belt for the fifth time in his career in the show-opening Ultimate X Match, and James Storm and Gunner found immediate success as a new tag team by winning their four-team elimination contest.
Sabin now has the ability to cash in his X-Division Title for a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship at Destination X, which Hulk Hogan announced immediately following Sabin’s win. Storm and Gunner have the thrill of defending their titles against the best duos TNA has to offer now. On IMPACT Wrestling, though, they combined their efforts for six-man tag team competition against King, Bobby Roode and Austin Aries.
King is the former X-Division titleholder, while Roode and Aries were the final team Storm and Gunner had to get through in order to claim the tag straps. It’s logical to assume they represent the immediate challengers the new champions will need to deal with.
Storm found himself in a little trouble when Aries took him to the corner and made a tag to Roode, setting up for a double team move. When they sent Storm to the ropes, he kicked Roode and sent Aries right into his partner’s groin region. Storm then connected on a tag with Gunner, while King became the legal man on the other side.
Gunner drilled King with a couple closelines before headbutting Aries. King then got sent into Aries in the corner, while Gunner followed close behind with a charge against the turnbuckles. Gunner tried to close the match out with a slingshot suplex to King, but Roode and Aries broke the pin up just in time to avoid the three.
Roode and Aries sent Gunner into the corner and Roode whipped Aries toward him from the opposite corner. Gunner lifted Aries all the way to the floor, though, and Roode got a boot to the face as he moved in on Gunner. Gunner suffered a setback when he walked into a Double R Spinebuster, but Storm came in with a neckbreaker for Roode to slow him down. Aries launched himself off the top rope with a missile dropkick to Storm, and then Sabin snuck in from behind to intercept Aries as he was attempting a suicide dive.
Sabin nailed Aries with a kick and then an enziguri. Sabin ducked a kick from King and came back with a springboard DDT. Sabin immediately followed up on King with the Hail Sabin and held on for the three count to bring his team the victory.
Sabin, Storm and Gunner all had impressive showings at Slammiversary and they made sure to follow that up in strong fashion against the people they won their championships over. It’s a good start for all three of them and they should have good title runs if what occurred over the past week is any indication.