After beating Jeff Hardy in the finals of the tournament for the vacant TNA World Heavyweight Championship at Final Resolution on Thursday, Dec. 19 (pre-taped), Magnus became the first British wrestler to win a major American title in the 108-year history of the sport.
According to ImpactWrestling.com, the match between Russian George Hackenschmidt and American Tom Jenkins on May 4, 1905, was the first widely regarded title fight, and the English have failed to win since that time.
Now, Magnus has finally ended the 108-year winless streak and brought home a championship for his native land.
He spoke to the company’s website about what his victory means:
It is truly an honour and a privilege to be the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion. I'm looking forward to bringing the title belt back to where it all started for me. It's something I've always dreamed of doing. It's also important to represent all the people in the UK wrestling business that helped me get to this point, and hopefully show the young British talent that there is no glass ceiling; you can be a top guy!
Not only will Magnus serve as an inspiration for English wrestlers trying to get into the business, but he has also cemented his spot in history after accomplishing what no other English man has ever done.
The victory goes deeper than just wrestling. Magnus has put himself alongside British sporting giants who brought home significant victories for the nation, such as Wimbledon winner Andy Murray, Tour De France victor Bradley Wiggins and former boxing champion Lennox Lewis.
With TNA doing its best to build home-grown superstars that it can use as the keystones for the future of the company, putting Magnus over as the new champion was a great move. The mainstream international notoriety his victory has brought to Impact Wrestling will be worth the risk of giving the belt to an unproven main event talent.
There is no question Magnus is a top dog in TNA now, but how he went about winning the title has many fans across the world trying to understand why he would align himself with Dixie Carter and Impact Wrestling’s authority.
The company has played Magnus’ heel turn perfectly over the last several months. There have been subtle teases along the way, but the company has done enough to veil it from the casual fans.
Whether it was throwing Sting out of the battle royal to get into the tournament initially or leaving Kurt Angle’s team in the middle of a four-on-four match, it became clearer each week that Magnus was teasing a turn.
That was until Final Resolution.
The TNA creative team gets plenty of criticism, but the booking leading up to the tournament final was great. With Magnus pointing the finger at Hardy and asking where his allegiance was heading into the final, few thought to question the intentions of the English star.
After a well-worked in-ring match, the interference of Ethan Carter III, Dixie Carter and Rockstar Spud on behalf of Magnus proved that he had aligned himself with the bad guys. A clean finish would have been ideal to further cement his spot on top of the company, but this was an easy way to get Magnus instant heat with the fans.
The win at Final Resolution likely indicates a long-term feud against returning champion AJ Styles that will eventually unify the titles. As the heel in the TNA’s top angle, Magnus will have ample opportunities to prove his worth as the future face of the company.
With history on his side and England standing behind him, the new world champion will be looking for an extended reign as the top star in TNA.
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