Matt Hardy relinquishes title, so TNA Wrestling starts World Title Series

Following days of shocking events and litigation that led to the vacating of the TNA World Title, TNA executives announced an unprecedented World Title Series that began Wednesday, Oct. 7 on IMPACT WRESTLING at 9 p.m. EST on Destination America to crown a new undisputed World Champion.

The Events Leading To Announcement

The signature event every year for TNA Wrestling is Bound For Glory, which occurred live on Pay-Per-View on Sunday, Oct. 4 in Charlotte, N.C., and ended with Matt Hardy achieving a lifelong dream of becoming the TNA World Champion for the first time. Yet, Matt’s victory was mired in controversy given many believe the actions of his brother, Jeff Hardy, who was serving as guest referee, led to Matt’s victory and crowning as the new TNA World Champion.

On Monday, Oct. 5, the man who lost the TNA World Title at Bound For Glory, former champion Ethan Carter III (EC3) filed an injunction preventing the new TNA World Champion Matt Hardy from appearing on television until the controversy was settled. Matt Hardy, learning that the first court date for the injunction would not be until December, refused to let this become a political affair and relinquished the title just two days after winning it at Bound For Glory. This left TNA executives with a decision to make regarding the future of the World Championship.

The Crowning of A New Undisputed TNA World Champion

TNA President Dixie Carter met with her senior staff, including Senior Producer Billy Corgan, to determine a resolution to the situation. They announced that they have accepted Matt Hardy’s request to relinquish the title, which nullifies the injunction filed by EC3.

“Although we were prepared to fight the injunction, we understood the process would hold up the World Title for weeks, if not months. We respect the honorable decision that Matt Hardy made not only for IMPACT WRESTLING, but for this business itself,” said Carter. “His unselfish act led us to create an opportunity to do something truly special.”

The World Title Series Began

TNA announced that on Destination America’s broadcast of IMPACT WRESTLING, the World Title Series will begin to crown a new undisputed World Champion.

“We don’t have a champion right now, so we worked strategically and creatively to turn this misfortune into an exciting new format that allows us a true, fair way to determine who is the best of the best,” said Corgan. “We believe this World Title Series will bring the prestige and legitimacy of the Championship to another level.”

The World Title Series will feature a format very similar to soccer’s World Cup, with 32 members of the IMPACT WRESTLING roster competing for the TNA World Championship. The wrestlers will be divided into eight groups to begin round-robin group play. Winners receive three points, a draw receives one point and a loss earns zero points. The top two point-getters from each group will advance to the field of 16 and a single elimination tournament where the competitor who wins advances and the loser goes home. The ultimate winner of the World Title Series will have survived the most grueling test in the history of wrestling and will be crowned the true and undisputed TNA World Champion.

The complete World Title Series will broadcast weekly on Wednesdays on Destination America at 9 p.m. EST. The show will feature advancements in the presentation of professional wrestling offering new features like a virtual set where hosts Josh Mathews and Pope will update viewers on the World Title Series leaderboard, incorporate social media interactions from fans and wrestlers, and make predictions. After the matches, cameras are waiting backstage to capture instant reactions from the competitors leaving the ring.


TNA Entertainment, LLC, is a privately held sports entertainment company represented by United Talent Agency and based in Nashville, Tenn., specializing in television properties, events, products, merchandise and music, as well as the management and promotion of professional wrestlers.

The roster features such greats as Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, EC3, Matt Hardy, Lashley, Bobby Roode, the high-flying X-Division including Tigre Uno, and Gail Kim and the lovely and lethal Knockouts, through its highly successful flagship IMPACT WRESTLING weekly broadcast, which airs Wednesdays at 9e/p on Destination America. The product is the world’s most innovative experience in professional wrestling and is broadcast in more than 120 countries.

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