Impact: 10 Best Matches (So Far) for the TNA/Impact World Championship

Established on May 13, 2007, to succeed the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, which was defended in TNA for the first five years of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA)’s existence due to an agreement with the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), the then called the TNA World Championship gave the company a world title of its own. In 2017, when TNA changed its name to Impact Wrestling, the title was renamed Impact World Championship. With Kurt Angle as the first holder, the belt spent 256 days in the possession of Bobby Roode and most recently, Moose who lost the Impact World Championship to Josh Alexander at Impact Rebellion;

Angle, six-five conquests, is also the record holder for the number of reigns. Tessa Blanchard was the lightest (57 kg) and youngest fighter to win the title (24 years and 170 days), while Moose was the heaviest (136 kg) to become champion and Sting was the heaviest. old (52 years and 113 days). So it’s worth checking out our list of the ten best matches ever for the TNA/Impact World Championship, in chronological order.

Slammiversary 2007 King of the Mountain match for the vacant TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles vs. Christian Cage vs. Chris Harris

At Sacrifice in May, Kurt Angle beat Sting and Christian Cage to be crowned champion, by making Sting fold…while he was laying down in Cage. The controversial ending to the match led to Cage and Sting reclaiming the title and director Jim Cornette stripping Angle of the belt. To determine the new TNA World Heavyweight Championship holder, Cornette announced that a King of the Mountain match would be played at  Slammiversary. The five contestants were determined in qualifying matches: Angle beat Rhino, Samoa Joe beat Sting, AJ Styles beat Tomko, and Christian Cage got the better of Abyss. Chris Harris, who had not gone beyond a double disqualification in a match against James Storm, was chosen by Cornette to participate in the title match.

Lockdown 2008: Six Sides of Steel Cage match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Kurt Angle (c) vs. Samoa Joe

After The Unlikely Alliance ( Christian Cage , Kevin Nash, and Samoa Joe) defeated The Angle Alliance ( AJ Styles , Kurt Angle , and Tomko) at Destination X 2008, a Six Sides of Steel Cage match was scheduled for Lockdown 2008 between champion Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship during the March 13 episode of TNA Impact! In the same episode, Joe stated that he would leave TNA if he didn’t win the title. However, Joe was not seen on TNA’s weekly schedule for several weeks, as he was training specifically for the match. On the April 10 episode, the contract was signed for the match between Angle and Joe, who had previously faced off at Genesis and Turning Point in 2006 and at Final Resolution and Hard Justice in 2007.

Turning Point 2009: TNA World Heavyweight Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. Daniels vs. Samoa Joe

At Bound for Glory 2009, AJ Styles beat Sting to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, putting an end to The Icon‘s unbeaten run in the company’s biggest event of the year. In the weeks that followed, Styles was attacked by an anonymous attacker backstage, which led him to believe that it was Samoa Joe or Christopher Daniels who attacked him, which led to a match between the three, with the title in play to the Turning Point. On the November 5th episode of Impact!, Daniels confronted Styles and said that he was as good a wrestler as he was, but that he was not given the same opportunities.

Final Resolution 2009: TNA World Heavyweight Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. Daniels

At Turning Point 2009, everything seemed on track for Daniels to become champion after landing the Best Moonsault Ever on Samoa Joe, but AJ Styles executed a Springboard 450 Splash that hit Daniels’ back and advanced to the settlement on Joe, thus retaining the belt. However, on the November 19 episode of Impact! , Daniels teamed up with Desmond Wolfe and gave his team the victory in a match against Styles and Kurt Angle, by making the world champion’s seat, which led to the booking of a match between Styles and Daniels for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship for the Final Resolution. In between, Styles successfully retained the title in a match against Desmond Wolfe on the December 10 episode of Impact!

Destination X 2012; TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Bobby Roode (c) vs. Austin Aries

At a time when he had become the longest-reigning X Division champion in history, Austin Aries asked General Manager Hulk Hogan for a TNA World Heavyweight Championship match against world champion Bobby Roode at Destination X.Hogan gave Aries a week to decide on the proposal to relinquish the X Division Championship if he wanted to fight for the world title, as the Hulkster did not want a fighter with two belts. A week later, Aries agreed, with the caveat that all future X Division champions would have the same opportunity every year at Destination X, a proposal Hogan accepted.

Turning Point 2012; Ladder match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Jeff Hardy (c) vs. Austin Aries

At the No Surrender pay-per-view, Jeff Hardy beat Bully Ray in the finals of the Bound for Glory Series tournament to become the leading contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Bound For Glory. On the following episode of Impact Wrestling, Hardy again faced Ray , who claimed that Hardy was lucky, in a match where the main contender position was at stake, and won again. However, Austin Aries began to demand envy for the way Jeff Hardy was loved by fans.A week later, Aries was defeated by Bully Ray in a non-title match and was helped by Jeff Hardy after the match, as Ray prepared to hit him with the belt.

After that, Hardy even held the belt, but it was furiously taken from him by Aries.In the weeks that followed, the Aries and Hardy continued to argue amongst themselves, with fans siding with Hardy , who went on to win the title at Bound For Glory .Austin Aries appeared at Hardy ‘s victory celebration on the October 18 episode of Impact Wrestling , and gave an account of his intention to trigger the rematch clause when appropriate. That said, Hardy referred to the face drawn on his belt drawn as the face Aries couldn’t beat, and Aries responded by spitting on the title, leading to a brawl between the two.

The following week, after a successful title defense by Hardy in a match with Kurt Angle , Aries attacked Hardy and announced that he would fight for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Turning Point. A week later, Aries stated that Hardy had dropped him from the top of the company after struggling to get there and that he was going to retake his position at the top. However, Hardy responded by fetching a ladder and climbing to the top of it, challenging Aries to a ladder match on the pay-per-view.

Slammiversary XVI  (2018); Impact World Championship: Austin Aries (c) vs. Moose

At the Under Pressure event, broadcast on May 31, Austin Aries turned heel for the first time in two years and used a low blow to defeat Pentagón Jr. and become Impact’s world champion for the third time. However, Moose beat Eli Drake at the House of Hardcore 43 event and became the leading contender for the title. 

Slammiversary XVII  (2019); Impact World Championship: Brian Cage (c) vs. Michael Elgin

Michael Elgin debuted in Impact Wrestling at the Rebellion pay-per-view in late April, having confronted and attacked Brian Cage moments after he became world champion. On the May 3 episode of Impact, at a time when Cage was still recovering from the attack he had been targeted, Elgin defeated Johnny Impact and Pentagón Jr. to become the leading contender for the title.

Rebellion 2021; Winner Takes All match for Impact World Championship and AEW World Championship: Rich Swann (Impact) vs. Kenny Omega (AEW)

During the special episode of All Elite Wrestling’s Dynamite Winter Is Coming on December 2, 2020, Impact Executive Vice President Don Callis helped Kenny Omega win the AEW World Championship, which belonged to Jon Moxley. In the following episode of Impact, Callis and Omega discussed a 27-year plan to control the entire pro wrestling industry, with Callis encouraging Omega to fight for the Impact titles.

After several appearances on Impact, Omega made his debut wrestling with the company at the Hard to Kill event, teaming up with tag team champions The Good Brothers (Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson) to defeat Impact World Champion Chris Sabin, Rich Swann, and TNA World Champion Moose. On the March 9 episode of Impact, Impact Executive Vice President Scott D’Amore announced that Omega would fight in the Rebellion main event in a match where both Impact and AEW’s world titles would be on the line. Prior to the pay-per-view at Sacrifice, Rich Swann beat Moose in a unification match for the Impact and TNA world titles, which meant Swann would face Omega at Rebellion.

Slammiversary 2021; No disqualification match for Impact World Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs. Sami Callihan

On the episode of Impact! prior to Against All Odds in June 2012, it was announced by Impact Executive Vice President Scott D’Amore and AEW President Tony Khan that the winner of the Impact World Championship match between Kenny Omega and Moose would defend the title against Sami Callihan at Slammiversary. At Against All Odds, Omega retained the title by beating Moose, but after the duel, his allies Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson were attacked by Callihan. When Callihan was about to attack Omega, Don Callis fired him, which angered D’Amore. On the next episode of Impact!, Anthem Sports & Entertainment Board of Director’s spokesperson Tommy Dreamer announced that Callihan has been reinstated and Callis has been fired as Executive Vice President, having also made official the duel between Omega and Callihan. On July 13, it was announced that the title match would be without disqualifications.

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