TNA IMPACT Wrestling: Hardcore Justice Wrestlers of the Week 8.15.13
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: Hardcore Justice Wrestlers of the Week for August 15, 2013
3. ODB — for beating both Gail Kim and Knockouts Champion Mickie James in a three-way Hardcore Match:
No longer confined to the role of officiating, ODB is free to wreak havoc across the Knockouts Division as an active competitor. Naturally, that makes her a suitable option for an eventual Knockouts Championship, and she was offered an opportunity to prove her worth against two of the best the division has to offer right now.
As a part of this week’s “Hardcore Justice” edition of IMPACT Wrestling, ODB squared off against Gail Kim and Knockouts Champion Mickie James in a three-way Hardcore Match. With the ability to use weapons as a result of that stipulation, this match was far more in ODB’s wheelhouse than that of her opposition. She did not disappoint.
While a chair and kendo stick made their way into the match, it was the use of a secondary bra from ODB that might have caused the most damage. After ripping the thing in half as she pulled it out of her top, ODB wrapped it around James’ throat to toss her across the ring. Then she put it around Kim’s throat and hung her through the ropes with it.
James broke that up with a kick to the back of ODB’s head before tossing her shoulder-first into the steel ring post. The champion headed outside to look underneath the ring for more paraphernalia. Meanwhile, Kim took advantage of ODB’s position and wrapped her into a figure four leg lock around the ring post. James even returned to the ring to make the hold all that much worse by stretching ODB’s arms.
Kim was not a particularly big fan of James’ assistance and relinquished the hold to give her a shove. As James and Kim jawed at each other, ODB got a little liquid courage from her flask and spit it right in James’ face. ODB caught a kick from Kim and closelined her to the mat before kicking James and lifting her up in a fireman’s carry. Kim nailed ODB with the kendo stick to force her to drop James, but a second swing of the stick was dodged and ODB delivered a boot to the midsection.
ODB then grabbed a chair that was stick in between the turnbuckles for a good portion of the match and placed it in the middle of the ring. She then planted Kim onto the chair with a Bam and covered up for the three count.
This should put ODB in line for a shot at the Knockouts Title, and James is probably well aware of it considering the way she kicked and screamed in the ring after the match.
2. Bobby Roode and Kazarian — for earning 20-point Bound for Glory Series victories thanks to their new alliance:
In forming a downsized version of Fortune, Bobby Roode, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian made it clear that they were determined to have one of the three of them become the victors of this year’s Bound for Glory Series. And that would be by any means necessary.
None of them were in the best position to contend for the Bound for Glory Series lead heading into this week’s show, but Kazarian and Bobby Roode would both significantly enhance their chances by the end of the night. Kazarian participated in a show-opening four-way Ladder Match for 20 points, while Roode would vie for the same amount of points in a four-way Tables Match later on the card.
They both stood as underdogs in their respective match, and therefore each used the same underhanded tactic from Daniels to come out on top.
In the Ladder Match, Jeff Hardy seemed well on his way to grabbing the clipboard after hitting Kazarian with a Twist of Fate and setting up a ladder. However, Daniels distracted the referee so that Roode could swing in from behind and pull Hardy down. Hardy delivered a kick to Roode to buy himself another opportunity at climbing the ladder. But Kazarian made his way up the ladder to meet Hardy and tossed Daniels’ appletini in the Charismatic Enigma’s face. Hardy dropped to the canvas after eating a punch from Kazarian, who continued his climb up and grabbed the clipboard for 20 points. By night’s end, that victory would place Kazarian in a seventh-place tie with AJ Styles at 22 points.
Roode got a much bigger boost in his Tables Match win. Roode seemed prepared to drive Magnus through a table with some aerial maneuver, but Samoa Joe put a halt to that with some knife edge chops. Kazarian interfered on Roode’s behalf and stole Joe’s attention. Meanwhile, Magnus got himself off the table and met Roode up top, seemingly to go for a superplex. That’s when Daniels made his presence felt again by throwing his drink in Magnus’ face, enabling Roode to jump down and powerbomb Magnus through the table for the win. That bumped Roode right into second with 27 points, 12 shy of Magnus’ leading 39-point tally.
Apparently, Bad Influence and Roode were very serious when they proclaimed they would change the course of the Series. In just one night, all three men managed to situate themselves in solid positioning to contend for a top spot in the competition.
1. Bully Ray — for taking back the TNA World Heavyweight Champion with some backhanded tactics involving Tito Ortiz:
The past few weeks have not been the most endearing for Bully Ray. He lost the World Heavyweight Championship at Destination X to Chris Sabin, and has seemed almost like the underdog ever since. He would have the chance to win back the heavyweight title in his rematch scheduled for Hardcore Justice, but the bout would take place inside a Steel Cage — not exactly the ideal situation to receive assistance from Aces and Eights.
Perhaps Ray shines best under that kind of adversity, because he had something up his sleeve.
When Aces and Eights made the Main Event Mafia regret having Kurt Angle out of the equation because of his stint in rehab, Sting knew he needed to even the odds and add a fifth man in Angle’s place for next week’s bout. Austin Aries refused Sting’s invitation, but “Rampage” Jackson believed he had a backup plan.
With Samoa Joe at his side, Jackson went to the ring and pleaded with Tito Ortiz to join the Main Event Mafia’s cause against Aces and Eights. Ortiz didn’t seem entirely onboard with the idea until Ray made his way out and threatened him. Ortiz lost it and had to be held back from going after Ray. That’s where all signs pointed to Ortiz accepting the Mafia’s invitation.
Looks are not always as they seem.
With the referee down and out, Sabin tried to escape the Cage. He was met with the door being slammed into him by Mr. Anderson. Anderson stood by the door and blocked it so Sabin could not attempt to escape again. Jackson and Ortiz ran down to lend a hand, starting with Jackson throwing Anderson off the ramp. Right after, though, Ortiz pulled out a hammer and nailed Jackson in the head with it.
Sabin was stunned and Ray took advantage. He sent Sabin into the Cage before grabbing a hold of him and putting him down with a powerbomb. Ray stacked the legs as the referee came to and counted to three, giving Ray the victory and his World Heavyweight Title back.
Ray, Taz and Ortiz celebrated the championship victory as the show came to close, officially signaling that the Mafia’s plan to add Ortiz to the mix was a complete misfire and Ray knew what he was doing all along. Just when it seemed like Ray and Aces and Eights were losing their grasp of control over TNA, the simple swing of a hammer by an MMA superstar got it right back for them.