TNA IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week 6.27.13
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 27, 2013
3. Mickie James – for retaining the Knockouts Championship by forcing Velvet Sky into submission during the rematch:
Mickie James has successfully delayed the Knockouts Championship rematch guaranteed to Velvet Sky, on the guise that she was doing so for the protection of Sky’s injured knee. Sky has been medically cleared, however, and was biting at the bit to get a crack at winning back her title. That moment would come this week on IMPACT Wrestling.
Even though she was medically cleared, that did not mean Sky’s knee wasn’t still a point of vulnerability. It might be in good enough shape to compete, but it would remain the area of focus for James during this match. Ultimately, it was the reason Sky failed to regain the Knockouts strap.
Even though James made it a point to work over the leg during the match, she almost put Sky away with a DDT instead after catching the former-champion with a kick as she re-entered the ring. A kickout at two kept Sky in the match, though, and she was able to counter a jumping DDT from James with a kick to the side of the head and neckbreaker after coming off the ropes.
Sky could only come up with a two count of her own when she covered up on James. She was shoved into the turnbuckles by James when trying to follow up, and then she botched a head scissors takedown (or maybe what was supposed to be a tilt-a-whirl into a side Russian leg sweep) when coming of the corner. James caught her with a kick to the knee and, after collecting her breath, she applied an interesting new submission that applied a heavy dose of pressure on the knee. Sky held on as long as she could, but the tapout was inevitable and James was able to retain the Knockouts Title.
Sky was distraught over the loss, but James was pretty jubilant after getting past the rematch against Sky she was pushing off for so long. Now we await the next challenger from the Knockouts Division to step up and give it her best against the champion.
2. Magnus – for remaining in the lead of the Bound for Glory Series by defeating Bobby Roode for seven points:
It’s still extremely early to pick favorites in the Bound for Glory Series, but Magnus put himself in terrific position to kick things off last week by defeating Kazarian via submission in his first bout of the competition. With a victory in that fashion, Magnus leapt to the top of the leaderboard with 10 important points and cemented himself as somebody to watch in this year’s Series.
He even added to that total off television when a win over Hernandez at a live event pushed his total up to 17 points prior to this week’s show.
Magnus looked to keep rolling and accumulating points when he was slated to face Bobby Roode on this week’s show. Roode was coming off a disappointing loss to Jeff Hardy in the main event last Thursday, and the 2011 Series winner was looking for some redemption as he tried to get back in the game against one of TNA’s top rising stars.
Now, before this match kicked off, there was a little backstage segment possibly teasing toward Roode joining the Main Event Mafia. Sting and Kurt Angle were present backstage as Roode was walking toward the arena, and he even stopped to smile as if to signal is was possible he would join in their crusade to reform a faction capable of stopping Aces and Eights. We would soon learn that Samoa Joe was actually the newest recruit of the Main Event Mafia, but the idea of Roode joining up with them (which is still possible) was intriguing, to say the least.
Still, Roode needed to shake off any of those possibilities and focus on the task at hand. It would be a very poor start for the longest reigning World Heavyweight Champion in TNA history to start off the Series going 0-2. Unfortunately, he fell just short of stopping that from happening and the promising Magnus added seven points to his pot.
Roode almost had things put away when, after recovering from an elbow by Magnus out of the corner, he came right back with a Double R spinebuster. But when he tried to follow up with a fisherman’s suplex, Magnus reversed and hit a driver to collect the three count, moving his point total to 24.
Magnus is the guy to watch now in the Series just three matches in. It’s safe to say he stands a great shot at finishing in the top four and maybe even winning the whole thing should he keep wrestling as he has. A win over Roode is no small feat and it should put all 11 other guys in the Series on notice.
1. Austin Aries – for sneaking his way into becoming X-Division Champion for a shot at cashing it in for another World Heavyweight Title shot:
With the Bound for Glory Series in the works, Austin Aries’ focus turns from teaming up with Bobby Roode to taking part in the 12-man competition that could net him another shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Aries, while certainly capable of winning the Series, sought another avenue for getting a much earlier shot at that championship, however.
There was a big X-Division Championship Match slated for the show, pitting the titleholder, Chris Sabin, against Kenny King and Suicide. More than the title being at stake was the opportunity to cash in that strap at Destination X for a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship. That point was made especially clear when Bully Ray, Mr. Anderson and Doc ambushed Sabin prior to the match, pointing out that it would be a bad idea for him to trade in his X-Division Title for a shot at Ray and the World Heavyweight Championship.
Sabin wouldn’t have to worry about making that decision. In an upset of sorts, Suicide managed to come out with the win, utilizing the ropes on a pinfall over King. Many things were screwy about that ending, but not the least of which was the fact that Hulk Hogan came out immediately after with T.J. Perkins, who is the actual Suicide, and demanded to know who was wearing his attire.
The man in the mask refused to reveal himself and ran off like a thief in the night with the championship. But the hunt was on, as both Hogan and Ray wanted to know who took out Perkins and played the role of Suicide on this night.
It all came down to a showdown at the end of IMPACT Wrestling, where both Hogan and Ray essentially demanded that the man reveal himself. He made a Suicide-type speech before dropping some hints as to who he actually was, the most damning being that he had already beaten Ray. After stating that, the mask came off and Aries made the bold declaration that he would do just as he did last year and cash in the X-Division Title for a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship.
Sneaky and underhanded, Aries made a bold move to get himself a heavyweight championship opportunity in the near future. It’s not known how this will impact his standing in the Bound for Glory Series, and if Hogan will even allow this situation to go through. Either way, things got pretty interesting heading into Destination X.