TNA IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week 7.10.14
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.
TNA IMPACT Wrestling Wrestlers of the Week for July 10, 2014
3. The Wolves — for retaining the TNA World Tag Team Championships in a hard-fought bout against Magnus and Bram:
Wanting to continue making a splash as the new director of wrestling operations, Kurt Angle turned this week’s episode of IMPACT Wrestling into a Champions Showcase. Every title would be on the line, and that included The Wolves defending their TNA World Tag Team Championships against the devastating team of Magnus and Bram, who defeated Abyss and Willow just two weeks earlier in a Monster’s Ball Match.
In that Monster’s Ball Match, Magnus and Bram proved they were willing to go to any level in upping the violence and physicality to score a victory. The match against Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards wouldn’t necessarily include the added accessories the main event did two weeks ago, but the champions would still have a tough go of it against the hard-hitting Brits.
The Wolves met that challenge head-on and were able to use their speed and high-flying ability to come out on top. After dumping both Magnus and Bram to the floor, they hit dual suicide dives. They then tried to further pound away on the challengers, which enabled Richards to get Bram back in the ring. Richards went to the top turnbuckle and attempted a double-foot stomp, but Bram moved out of the way and caught Richards charging back at him with a boot. Bram lifted Richards up with a gutwrench, but Richards countered with a backslide that enabled Edwards to run in for a more effective jackknife cover that got the pinfall.
Before the loss had time to really settle in, Bram immediately attacked The Wolves and had to be pulled away by Magnus, meaning it’s likely another title encounter will take place between the two teams. Regardless of the beatdown, The Wolves still held onto their championships against a pretty intimating team.
2. Jeff Hardy — for at least temporarily shedding the Willow persona to win a battle royal for No. 1 Contendership for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship:
Kurt Angle’s way of determining a new No. 1 Contender for Lashley’s TNA World Heavyweight Championship was to book a 20-man battle royal for this week’s IMPACT Wrestling. A field filled with contenders was highlighted by Jeff Hardy, who shed the Willow persona at the request of Angle to bring back the Charismatic Enigma for this opportunity.
As Hardy, he had one of the best chances of coming out on top of the battle royal, and it boiled down to him and the former titleholder, Eric Young. They shook hands as a sign of respect and then went to work, struggling in a lockup before Hardy took control on a side headlock. Young got him off by sending him to the ropes, but Hardy put Young down with a shoulder block. Hardy hit the ropes again, but he got caught and a series of hip toss blocks ensued until Young was able to deliver one that put Hardy on the apron.
Hardy dropped Young throat-first onto the top rope and moved back into the ring, sending Young head-first into a couple of turnbuckles. Hardy whipped Young hard enough to the opposite corner that Young flipped over and landed on the apron, strutting when he got there to show he was still in this thing. Young called for Hardy to come at him, but Hardy was met with a shoulder to the midsection. Young then slid back into the ring through Hardy’s legs and hit him with a closeline that put him against the ropes. Young ran to the opposite ropes in hopes of delivering another closeline to put Hardy over, but Hardy dropped the top rope to send Young back on the apron. As Young stood back up, Hardy ascended the turnbuckles and came off with a dropkick that sent Young down to the floor.
The new No. 1 Contender, Hardy promised to become the next World Heavyweight Champion when he faces Lashley next week from New York, and the show ended with a staredown between the champion and challenger.
Hardy’s been to the top of the mountain before and knows what it takes to be champion. It won’t be easy this go around, though, considering the dominating force he has to face in one week’s time in Lashley.
1. Austin Aries — for winning his title rematch against Sanada to reclaim the TNA X Division Championship in time to possibly be in position to utilize “Option C”:
As Destination X fast approaches, it serves as a constant reminder of “Option C.” The holder of the X Division Championship has the ability to trade in that title for a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Champion. And the originator of that is Austin Aries.
Last week, Aries met up with Angle and requested the rematch against Sanada for the X Division Championship that he never received while MVP was in charge. Angle didn’t up an ounce of fight on that request and granted Aries his wish for this week’s show.
This was a great contest that boiled down to some very close calls at the end. Sanada — who has been having some intriguing backstage interactions with James Storm in a situation that deserves keeping a close eye on — thought he had Aries put away when he countered a brainbuster into a tiger suplex, but it only resulted in a two count. Sanada slammed Aries down and headed up top for a moonsault, but that too also received just a two count. Sanada repeated that sequence, but Aries moved out of the way of the moonsault and drilled Sanada with a discus forearm. Aries followed with a knee buster into a backdrop before running at a Sanada with a corner dropkick. Aries pulled Sanada in and hit a brainbuster, but he only got a two count again. With little hesitation, Aries went to the top turnbuckle and pulled out the 450 Splash, which finally got him the pinfall to reclaim the X Division Title.
A five-time X Division Champion, Aries is now in position to utilize “Option C” once again if he is able to keep the title in his possession through Destination X.