WWE and TNA Week In Review
Week of June 24-28
There is always a lot going on in WWE and TNA, and the week of June 24 was no exception. There were matches fought, promos cut, sneak attacks executed, turns made and championship titles defended.
Sometimes it is almost too much to take in. So, let this be a run through at what happened this past week, and who ended up as the ultimate winners.
The Usos earned the right to lose to The Shield at Money in the Bank with the Tag Team Championship on the line. At least it pays the bills.
Jessie Godderz and Robbie E have teamed up to be the most brotastic jobbers in TNA. I, for one, love everything there is about this duo.
Adam Ohriner defeated Ryan Howe, and will most likely gain a TNA contract. "The Big O" has to look to be a major player down the line. It is just a question of does he have the ability and perseverance.
We saw the return of Christian to the ring. And there was much rejoice.
Mickie James retained the Knockouts Championship against Velvet Sky, proving to be not just a pretty face.
AJ Lee and Kaitlyn continued their beef, with the former friends taking turns to imitate each other. While the two delivered some very unladylike insults, it still remains the most entertaining Divas feud we have seen in a long time.
The World Heavyweight Championship picture has become one of WWE's best angles. Alberto Del Rio and Chris Jericho stole the show with their match on Monday's Raw, while Dolph Ziggler reminded "The Mexican Aristocrat" he is aiming for revenge come Money in the Bank.
The Bound For Glory Series rolls on, with Magnus continuing to hold his early lead. This is still any ones contest, and all 12 wrestlers are within shot of becoming the Number One Contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
Samoa Joe was revealed to be the newest member of the Main Event Mafia, defeating Mr. Anderson with the help of Sting and Kurt Angle. TNA continues to prove it doesn't know how to handle a stable.
The Rock was unveiled as the cover Superstar of WWE 2K14, 2KSports' first offering of the new WWE 2K line. I would have gone with Brad Maddox, but I understand why "The Most Electrifying Man in ALL of Sports Entertainment" got the nod.
Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton's rivalry heated up, giving us round three -- and four -- of this exciting feud. Bryan managed to earn a hard fought victory, and looks to be on the precipice of greatness.
It was announced that the Money in the Bank Ladder Match will be filled with former WWE Champions. CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Randy Orton, Christian, Kane and Rob Van Dam all have the chance to become the next WWE Champion. The only question remains is who will rise to the occasion.
Austin Aries took on Suicide's mask to win the X Division Championship. He now has the decision to exchange the belt for a chance take on Bully Ray. Will "A Double" repeat last year's feat when he defeated Jeff Hardy for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship?
John Cena continued to tell the world that he is WWE Champion. But Mark Henry continued to be an absolute hoss and master of the microphone. These two are on a collision course for their match at Money in the Bank, and this feud is far more exciting than it has any right to be.
So much has happened these past few days. But who in pro wrestling had the best week?
You will just have to read on to find out.
The manger may not have laced up the boots and did battle in the squared circle, but he continues to be one of -- if not the -- most influential figures in pro wrestling.
Paul Heyman is working both sides of the CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar feud, and it is hard to tell where he stands. Heyman seems to have complete control over his client Lesnar, telling him when and who to attack.
Then he flips the script and tells Punk he loves "The Straight Edge Savior," and they will always remain best friends.
On top of that, Heyman has Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel under his wing.
What game is Heyman playing, and what will he do next? These questions remain in the air, but one thing is certain.
He is a powerful force in WWE, and has his fingerprints all over the promotion.
Former WWE Champions
If winning the WWE Championship is seen as the high point of one's career, losing the strap must be the lowest. To go from being on top of the world to just another wrestler has to be a heartbreaking experience.
Luckily for those who have tasted glory, retribution is right around the corner.
This year's Money in the Bank Match will be filled out by Punk, Bryan, Sheamus, Orton, Christian, Kane and RVD. These men have proven to be the best of the best. Now they will have a chance to reach that point again.
The Money in the Bank winner has a long history of winning the WWE Championship, with only John Cena failing in his quest. The seven men entered into the match are now inches away from greatness.
All that stands in their way is a 20-foot ladder, a hanging briefcase and each other.
While having a shot at the Money in the Bank briefcase is a huge victory, actually being the Number One Contender to the WWE Championship is even better.
It doesn't hurt things that Mark Henry is killing it on the mic.
Henry shocked the WWE Universe by giving a fake retirement speech, only to delivery a World's Strongest Slam to WWE Champion John Cena. He came back again this week to tell the fans we are nothing but puppets to him. He sounded strong, merciless and a real threat to Cena's reign.
Time will only tell whether or not he can back up his promise.
As for now, though, Henry proves to be entertaining as hell to watch. That is a huge win in and of itself.
Austin Aries AKA "Fake Suicide"
"The Greatest Man That Ever Lived" has positioned himself in getting two shots at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship by being, well, the greatest man that ever lived.
Austin Aries is currently tied for third in the Bound For Glory Series with seven points. He has the talent to win the whole thing, and challenge for the strap at Bound For Glory on Oct. 30.
Not content to leave things up to chance, though, Aries took matters into his own hands.
He competed as Suicide in a Triple Threat Match against Chris Sabin and Kenny King, winning the X Division Championship. After Hogan brought out the "real" Suicide, Aries revealed himself to be the impostor.
Now as X Division Champion, he has the ability to challenge Bully Ray for the TNA Championship on July 18.
It was a sneaky move, but we should expect nothing less from "A Double." He gave up the X Division Championship last year at Destination X and defeated Jeff Hardy for the promotion's highest title. Aries is now in position to repeat the achievement.
One one hand, it's hard to say Daniel Bryan was the week's biggest winner when he only won a single match.
On the other, it may have been the biggest victory of his career.
That is a big thing to say about Bryan, who was a former World Heavyweight Champion, former Money in the Bank winner and former Tag Team Champion. But this was no ordinary victory. Bryan was able to submit Randy Orton in a vicious Street Fight, earning a respectful handshake to close Monday Night Raw. Bryan is no longer being poised as a "weak link", but as a real threat within WWE.
The Indy darling is now on the very short list to be the next WWE Champion.
While it is up in the air whether Bryan will win Money in the Bank again, there can be no doubt the man will be on top of WWE sooner than later. He has connected with the fans in a way few wrestlers can ever dream of. His wrestling ability is almost unparalleled. He can play face, heel, tweener or a type of character that has no traditional name. This is someone who is reaching the top of his game.
Bryan's victory this week was not proving all those things to the fans, but a sign WWE's top brass believes it as well.