TNA IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week 8.8.13
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 August 8, 2013
3. Jeff Hardy — for taking advantage of a distracted Samoa Joe to pick up a win and seven points in the Bound for Glory Series:
The Bound for Glory Series rolls on and points are becoming more important as Bound for Glory approaches in just a couple months. It’s imperative for those sitting near the bottom of the standings to kick it into high gear and string some wins together, while those near the top just need to keep up their pace and make sure they don’t slip on the scoreboard.
Samoa Joe and Jeff Hardy are fortunate enough to fall into the latter of those categories. They are still behind points leader Magnus, who suffered a significant dent to his lead thanks to interference in his match by Bobby Roode, but they had the opportunity to get a bit closer when they squared off against each other in a fan picked match near the top of Thursday’s IMPACT Wrestling broadcast.
This match would offer an interesting contrast of styles and strengths, but none of that would matter in the end considering a particular adversary happened to be sitting ringside at the announce table.
Due to the fact that Taz had been locked out of the building in recent weeks, he forced his way in to provide color commentary. Mike Tenay was told to beat it, and Taz brought Mr. Anderson with him to present the first Aces and Eights dominated announce crew on IMPACT Wrestling (Jeremy Borash was there for play-by-play). Aside from offering his opinion, Anderson also served as a distraction to Joe late in the bout.
Joe actually had Hardy pretty well put away when he countered a Twist of Fate into a rear naked choke. That’s when Anderson decided to stand up, though, and it caused the Main Event Mafia member to take notice. Hardy capitalized by breaking the hold with a jawbreaker before stacking the legs for a three count that garnered the Charismatic Enigma seven points.
That was pretty costly for Joe, who could have been in a tie for first place with Mangus by the end of the night had he gotten a pinfall, or even sole possession of the lead should Hardy have tapped out. Unfortunately, he remains in second place and Hardy sits in a tie for third with Anderson, both carrying 24 points.
2. James Storm, Gunner and ODB — for looking strong in a mixed six-person tag team match against the Bro Mans and Mickie James:
With Jesse Godderz and Robbie E. deciding to join forces for one of the more entertaining tag teams in TNA, it only makes sense to showcase them from time to time on IMPACT Wrestling. This week’s show would provide a tryout of sorts to see just what they could bring the table when going face-to-face with the TNA World Tag Team Champions, James Storm and Gunner.
This wouldn’t be a straight tag team match, though. Knockouts Champion Mickie James would join up with the Bro Mans to tackle ODB and the tag team champions in six-person mixed tag team action. Needless to say, it didn’t work out too well for them.
The clearly more drunk combination of Storm, Gunner and ODB were running on all cylinders in this one, and the tag champs continued prove their dominance as the top dogs in the tag team ranks.
After working over Storm, Godderz made a tag to a feisty Robbie E., whose offense against the Tennessee Cowboy didn’t last too long when he caught a backstabber from Storm after coming off the ropes. That’s when Gunner got tagged in and the big man went to work. He dropped Robbie E. with a hard closeline and then knocked Godderz off the apron before turning back to Robbie E. with a back elbow. Gunner tried charging Robbie E. in the corner, but he stopped when his opponent moved out of the way and headed for the ropes instead. Gunner caught him and delivered a devastating backbreaker to put Robbie E. on the mat.
While Gunner waited for Robbie E. to get back up, James thought that would be a good opportunity to get in the ring and jump on his back. ODB stopped that real quick, coming into the ring herself and dragging James off him. ODB then took James down with a shoulder block, leaving Gunner to go back to taking care of business.
He lifted Robbie E. up in the Gun Rack, which Godderz put a stop to and started pounding away on him. Bro Mans looked to go for a double team maneuver, but Storm cut that off when he Last Call Superkicked Godderz in the face. Gunner then caught Robbie E. flying off the ropes and he combined with Storm to deliver their powerslam/neck breaker finisher to pick up the pinfall.
Gail Kim and James both delivered sneak attacks to ODB after the match, kind of ruining her celebration of the win. But the tag team champions did a fine job securing that victory and putting down one of the teams in TNA that could at some point vie for their titles.
1. Chris Sabin — for getting important momentum by picking up the pinfall in a main event tag team match against Team 3D:
The big TNA World Heavyweight Championship rematch between titleholder Chris Sabin and the man who lost the strap at Destination X, Bully Ray, is slated for next week’s “Hardcore Justice” edition of IMPACT Wrestling. Not only will these two men battle it out for the gold, but they will do so inside the confines of a Steel Cage.
Another wrench was thrown into the mix on this week’s program, when Brooke Hogan filled in for her father during the contract signing and informed Ray that should he lose the match next week, he will never be in line for another crack at the heavyweight title. Ray was goaded into accepting that term when Brooke put Ray’s manhood into question, and both champion and challenger signed on the dotted line to make it official.
As a means of gaining some momentum for that bout, a tag team match involving both parties took place as the main event of IMPACT Wrestling this week. Sabin and a mystery partner from the Main Event Mafia would go up against Ray and his Team 3D partner, Devon.
Sabin did make Team 3D wait until the very last minute to find out who his partner was. At first, he was met at the top of the ramp by Sting. But as the two walked toward the ring, Kurt Angle attacked Ray and Devon from behind, and Sabin’s official partner turned out to be the Olympic Gold Medalist.
There was a lot at stake in this contest, as not only would Sabin and Ray look to wear each other out, but Devon and Angle would look to send a message for their bout next week, in which one member of the losing team in the match between the Main Event Mafia and Aces and Eights will be banned from TNA.
It was Sabin who gained the most from this match, though, as he put the finishing touches on a victory for his team. After Angle was taken out with a 3D, Sabin was essentially left by his lonesome to go up against Ray and Devon.
Ray dragged Sabin in from the ramp while Devon brought in a chair from underneath the ring. The table was set up in the corner, and Sabin was placed against it for Ray to charge at him in hopes of putting the champion through it. Sabin moved out of the way just in time, though, and Ray went smashing through the table instead. Sabin then pulled the top rope down when Devon ran at him, sending him all the way to the floor.
Ray started getting back to his feet and Sabin ascended the turnbuckles to go up top. Just as Ray made it to his feet and turned around, Sabin leapt off with a cross body and hooked the legs for a three count to score the pinfall victory.
Should that result occur in seven days, Sabin would remain TNA World Heavyweight Champion and Ray would never see another heavyweight title shot again. There’s a lot at stake inside that Steel Cage, and Sabin’s win on this week’s program will give him an edge mentally going into that important title matchup at Hardcore Justice.