TNA IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week 7.11.13
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 July 11, 2013
3. Kazarian – for getting a pinfall against his Bad Influence tag team partner, Christopher Daniels, in a Joker’s Wild Match of mixed up tag teams:
There were 25 big points at stake in the Joker’s Wild Gauntlet Match at the end of IMPACT Wrestling, so it was important for each of the random teams put together for qualification purposes to work well enough with each other and advance to the main event. When the final tag team match would involve Christopher Daniels, Kazarian, Bobby Roode and Austin Aries, it seemed only convenient that two actual tag teams could battle for the remaining two spots in the gauntlet match. That would have perhaps been too convenient, though.
Instead of Bad Influence going up against the duo of Aries and Roode, the luck of the draw pit Daniels and Aries against Kazarian and Roode. While Roode and Aries did manage to faceoff a bit during this contest, Daniels and Kazarian didn’t get into it physically for the most part. They did, however, play a key role at the end.
When Aries missed a corner dropkick too Roode in the corner, Kazarian tagged himself in and delivered a slingshot DDT to Aries. Kazarian covered, but Daniels ran in to break up the pin. Daniels then elbowed Roode to the floor and jawed a little with Kaz. In that time, Aries was able to recover enough to rake Kazarian in the eyes and deliver a corner dropkick. When Aries tried to follow with a brainbuster, Daniels tagged himself in and forced Aries to abort the move. As Daniels approached a groggy Kazarian, he was caught in a small package that kept his shoulders to the mat for a three count.
Kazarian realized after the fact that it was Daniels he pinned, and The Fallen Angel wasn’t exactly thrilled with the result. The Bad Influence members made up, though, and all seems to be good between them. Neither Kaz nor Roode were able to land the 25 points in the gauntlet match at the end, but there was certainly some pride taken in their victory over their respective tag team partners, made courtesy of Kazarian.
2. Magnus – for getting 25 points in the Bound for Glory Series from a Joker’s Wild Gauntlet win after basically single-handedly winning his team match alongside Mr. Anderson:
Magnus seems to be the growing favorite in this year’s Bound for Glory Series. The newest member of the Main Event Mafia already entered this week with a five point lead on the 24 points he was able to attain on a 3-0 record against Series opponents. He could really separate himself from the pack if he was able to land the 25 points available in the Joker’s Wild attraction on IMPACT Wrestling.
The first order of business was to take a tag team victory that could advance him into the gauntlet match. Magnus’ partner was perhaps the one man out of the 12 that there was no chance he could get along with — Aces and Eights’ new vice president, Mr. Anderson. Luckily, there was facing a team of combatants that went at it just a week ago in Hernandez and Jay Bradley, so there was no love lost between the opposition. It also helped that Magnus did all the heavy lifting in this match.
Other than doing a little circling around at the top of the bout, Anderson could be found strictly hanging around on the ring apron. Actually, he jumped off that apron when Magnus tried to make a tag after catching Bradley with a boot that put both men down on the mat. Hernandez was able to tag into the match for his squad, but he was drilled with a couple of closelines from Magnus.
Magnus sent Hernandez to the ropes, but he received a kick to the chest for his troubles. Hernandez hit the ropes again and Magnus followed, but Bradley drilled Magnus with a kick to the back. Magnus nailed Bradley with a right hand that dropped him to the floor, but Hernandez hit him from behind with some double axe handles. Hernandez went for an Irish Whip, but Magnus reversed and Bradley ended up grabbing Super Mex’ leg from the outside by mistake.
As Hernandez yelled at his partner, Magnus shot in for a rollup. He kept the cover for the three count and advanced Anderson and himself into the gauntlet at the end of the night.
Anderson’s time in the match ended when he was closelined to the outside by Samoa Joe, who also took himself out of the equation with the move. This left Magnus and Roode in as the final two members fighting it out for 25 points.
Magnus wanted to close out the match when he leapt off the top rope with an elbow drop, but Roode rolled out of the way. Roode was looking for a fisherman’s suplex to follow up, but a series of counters led to Roode charging Magnus into the ropes so he could roll through for a pin attempt. Magnus not only kicked out at two, but he reversed the cover and kept Roode’s shoulders on the mat for the three.
Magnus couldn’t have had a better night. Pretty much on his lonesome, he was able to advance into the gauntlet match with a tag team win. Then he was able to add 25 points to his already top point total for a sum of 49 points, which puts him 30 points ahead of Joe in second place. There is still a lot of time left before the Series is over, but Magnus is getting work done here and is the early favorite to win the whole thing.
1. Gail Kim – for snatching the contract and earning a Knockouts Title Match in a Ladder Match victory over Taryn Terrell:
In an unexpected twist to the Slammiversary pay-per-view on June 2, Taryn Terrell and Gail Kim basically stole the night in their Last Knockouts Standing Match. It was easily the match of the night, and Terrell came out on top of a hard-fought contest between the two bitter rivals.
The impressiveness of that matchup made the sequel, a Ladder Match for a shot at the Knockouts Championship on this week’s IMPACT Wrestling, something to look forward to. It could even be argued that this was the true main event of the program this week, despite going on second-to-last to the Joker’s Wild Gauntlet Match.
Terrell and Kim once again stole the show, putting forth an excellent effort that reasonably could have gone either way. With even more than pride on the line, as in a Knockouts Championship bout against Mickie James waiting in the wings, they were certainly going to put forth just as much a fight as they did at Slammiversary.
Despite how hard the actual fight was between the two ladies, it was an ingenious move from Kim that brought us toward the conclusion. Terrell was incredibly close to grabbing the contract at one point late in the match, but a knee that had been damaged by a figure four leg lock around the ladder hindered her ability to reach for the clipboard. Instead, she leapt off the ladder for a crossbody onto Kim.
Terrell and Kim worked their way toward the ladder and fought atop one that had been setup between the rung of the first ladder and the ropes. Terrell tried to take Kim off with a cutter, but she was shoved off to the mat instead. Kim moved toward Terrell and attempted an Eat Defeat, but Terrell countered out and slapped on a dragon sleeper.
Kim was in a bad spot, but she had great ring awareness and could sense they were near the ropes. Kim grabbed Terrell’s hair and tied it up around the middle rope, leaving Terrell connected to the rope while Kim broke free and headed back toward the ladder. While Terrell untangled herself, Kim was able to ascend the rungs and snatch the contract, earning the victory and a shot at the Knockouts Title vs. James.
It wasn’t the most honorable way to win a match, but Kim got what she wanted. She avenged her loss to Terrell at Slammiversary and is next in line for a crack at the Knockouts Title. It’s a bit disappointing that Kim and Terrell are seemingly over for the foreseeable future, but the match between James and Kim for the title should be fun, too.