Professional wrestling fans are often involved in conversations referring to "the greatest of all time." Fortunately for those uncertain few, TNA decided to put an end to that debate with a tournament.
The winner would be crowned as the greatest TNA World Heavyweight Champion in company history.
There was one notable absence from this tournament. Not only is he the man who carried TNA to where it is today, but he's one of the most popular wrestlers in the world.
"The Phenomenal" AJ Styles.
With that being said, we witnessed some of the best wrestlers in the company go at it. In the end, we had an answer to who truly is the best TNA World Heavyweight Champion ever.
Participants included Austin Aries, Bobby Roode, Bully Ray, James Storm, Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, Mr. Anderson, Samoa Joe and Sting.
Preliminary Round: James Storm defeats Mr. Anderson
In a battle between faction-related rivals, Mr. Anderson took on James Storm. After receiving a great push early in his tenure, Anderson fell from a two-time world champion to a role player, of sorts.
Unfortunately for those—you know what you're called—out there, Anderson was unable to pick up the win against a game Storm.
The two have been embroiled in the Aces & Eights storyline, which appears to have built up to this. With the chance to go down as TNA's greatest world champion ever, Storm was able to exact revenge.
So far, so good for "The Cowboy."
Quarterfinals: Samoa Joe defeats Jeff Hardy
In a battle between two of TNA's more decorated wrestlers, Samoa Joe took on Jeff Hardy. The way these two have seen opposite-direction pushes suggested that Hardy would win this one.
Samoa Joe, a one-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion, took down Hardy, a three-time champ. This comes as a surprise, as Joe had been undervalued in recent months.
Perhaps this is the start of what Joe deserves—a world title push.
Austin Aries defeats Kurt Angle
In a battle between two of the biggest names in the wrestling world, Austin Aries took on Kurt Angle. This was your quintessential battle of a mega heel and a legendary face.
Surprisingly, it wasn't Angle—a five-time TNA World Heavyweight champion—that prevailed. It was Aries who emerged victorious.
The push continues—is anyone debating why?
Quarterfinals: James Storm defeats Bully Ray via DQ
For the second time this evening, James Storm hit the ring. This time around, he took on Aces & Eights leader and reigning TNA World Heavyweight champion Bully Ray.
It was an ugly ending for Storm.
Bully Ray and Aces & Eights have developed a gang mentality and tend to pick on outnumbered individuals. Unfortunately for "The Cowboy" James Storm, that appears to be what transpired here.
Devon interfered and caused a disqualification to protect his tag team partner from losing this game.
Quarterfinals: Bobby Roode defeats Sting
Bobby Roode is one of the fastest rising stars in the professional wrestling world. After years of being groomed to be a world champion, Roode had one of the longest tenures atop TNA in company history.
On this momentous occasion, however, he had the daunting task of defeating four-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion Sting. Roode would succeed in that attempt, taking down The Icon.
Nothing short of a marvelous moment in Roode's decorated and budding career.
Semifinals: Samoa Joe defeats Austin Aries
In a match Ring of Honor Fans were certain to be drooling over, Samoa Joe took on Austin Aries. Both men have become fan favorites among wrestling purists and neither has a fan base willing to accept their potential defeat.
In contrast to their famed X-Division championship battle from Slammiversary 2012, it was Joe that took down Aries.
This will likely go down as one of the more memorable matches of the evening. Both men have a history of putting on "Match of the Year" contenders, so why wouldn't they on this grand stage?
Joe takes this one home.
Semifinals: Bobby Roode defeats James Storm
For the third time this evening, we see James Storm hit the ring. After two hard-fought victories, however, we saw Storm lose.
A disappointing end for "The Cowboy."
Storm and Roode are best known for teaming together in the fan favorite, yet heel-billed tag team Beer Money, Inc. On this evening, however, the two went to battle with the right to be named the greatest TNA World Champion ever.
Roode emerged victorious in this one, marking his second win of the night.
Finals: Bobby Roode defeats Samoa Joe
In the finals of the "Greatest TNA World Heavyweight Champion" Tournament, Bobby Roode took on Samoa Joe. These two TNA mainstays went to war, knowing exactly what was at stake after having gone through two brutal matches earlier.
When it was all said and done, it was Roode who emerged victorious.
Roode has come a long way since making his TNA debut in May of 2004. He got his start as the enforcer for Petey Williams, Scott D'Amore and Team Canada, winning the NWA World Tag Team championships twice with stable-mate Eric Young.
Roode is currently a TNA World Tag Team champion with partner Austin Aries, which marks his fifth reign with said titles.
Now, Roode is known by TNA as the greatest world champion it has had since switching over from the NWA belts. Whether or not AJ Styles will let that slide is unclear.
Do you agree? Is Roode the greatest TNA World Heavyweight champion ever?
Hit the comments section and let us know.
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