Number of Times Title Defended at PPV: 6
Number of Times Title Successfully Defended: 4
After winning the TNA World Heavyweight Championship last fall, Bobby Roode became one of the most dominant champions in TNA history. Defeating the likes of AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy, Sting and James Storm, there seemed to be no stopping the It Factor of professional wrestling.
He wasn’t the only champion being talked about, though. Austin Aries would win the X-Division Championship in September and became a dominant champion his own right as well.
Aries would never be beaten for his title as he gave it up for a shot at Roode and the world title. At Destination X, it proved to be a wise decision as the Greatest Man That Ever Lived defeated Roode to win the title.
Roode would call the victory a fluke, though, and demanded his rematch which Sting made for the PPV. With the stipulation of no rematches for either wrestler after Hardcore Justice, this match could go either way.
History gives Aries the advantage as world champions have successfully defended their title in four out of the past six Hardcore Justice title defenses. History may not factor in at all here, though, as the stipulation makes this anyone’s game.
A part of me thinks that Roode will win the title back so that James Storm can win the Bound for Glory Series, thus setting up the big match between them at Bound for Glory.
The other part thinks that TNA would be stupid to take the title off of Aries now. If he loses, he’s out of the title picture until Roode loses the belt. That could be a month from now or even sometime next year.
Personally, I don’t think a Roode/Storm match needs the title. The feud itself is so personal that it doesn’t need the belt to fuel it.
This match is an incredibly hard choice, but I’m going to give it to Austin Aries.
Winner and Still Champion: Austin Aries