On the final episode of TNA Impact before going live for the summer, Bobby Roode broke the record for longest heavyweight title reign in the 10-year history of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.
It was one of those nights where fate and the wrestling gods and time itself all seemed to align to give TNA another chance for a wrestling reset. And trust me when I tell you, I wasn’t sure that Bobby Roode would escape the night with his championship.
Bobby Roode had four potential opponents going into the final taped Impact: AJ Style, Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy and Bully Ray.
Hulk Hogan chose AJ Styles.
And there you had it—in the ring for the final taped edition of Impact, the man who held the longest TNA title reign in the company’s first 10 years, challenger, AJ Styles, and his opponent, the man who was one victory away from becoming TNA’s longest-reigning champion, Bobby Roode.
The match was combative. Both men brought their best. Have you heard the saying, "Leave it all on the floor"? There was a moment when Bobby Roode literally left it all on the ring steps, delivering a nasty hip toss, spilling the challenger all over the unforgiving steel.
An AJ Pele and the challenger seemed poised to defend the longest title reign in TNA history and become champion again.
Unfortunately for AJ Styles, he was distracted by Christopher Daniels and Kazarian.
A split second—that’s all the distraction needed to cost him. All the time AJ Styles spent as world champion in the former longest title reign and he lost that record in a split, distracted second.
That is the thing about time, I suppose—it is your best friend or worst enemy depending on how you play it.
Bobby Roode found himself victorious and in the seat of history, taking the record in becoming the longest TNA Heavyweight champion in the week going into the first live Impact of the summer.
It was the right move. It was the move I watched all of Impact to see.
It was a chance to reset history going forward.
Diehard fans can still recount TNA history. But what about the ones who seldom watch? What about the ones who may not be too crazy about the history of TNA?
They are able to link to TNA from this starting point: The World champion is Bobby Roode; he is the longest-reigning champion.
History, in a sense, starts here.
Bobby Roode, who was both the enforcer of Team Canada and a tag wrestler in Beer Money, has risen organically into a main-event fixture in TNA. A cross between Rick Rude and Mr. Perfect, he has the look and the talent too.
If anything, he could use a manager and mouthpiece.
But that is for another conversation. For today, Bobby Roode has set a record. And when TNA goes live at 8 p.m. on May 31st, Bobby Roode will be featured in the first match, as he defends against Sting in a lumberjack match.
And win, lose or draw, it won’t be his last.
Far from it.
The one thing Bobby Roode has in common with TNA right now is neither is concerned with records now set, as Bobby Roode and TNA are now hoping to perform for new eyes and new fans.
And hopefully to make and break new records.
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