Jeff Hardy and Magnus will clash for the World Heavyweight Championship at Final Resolution, after they eliminated Bobby Roode and Kurt Angle in their respective Title Tournament semi-finals.
Three-time Champion Hardy shocked heavy favourite Roode in a table’s match, while Magnus – the only man in the tournament never to have won the title – defeated his former Main Event Mafia colleague Angle in a controversial Last Man Standing Contest.
The two results bring to an end the expectations of a Roode / Angle final, which has been widely speculated since the start of the tournament.
However, the pair’s recent feud, which began at Bound for Glory, is likely to be far from over, after Roode’s intervention cost Angle his match against Magnus, and his chance of claiming a record sixth World Title.
Roode dominated much of his match with Hardy, and looked to be on the verge of victory with the pair battling on the ring apron. But as the It-Factor sent the Charismatic Enigma tumbling into a table set up on the outside of the ring, he to fell – prompting the match to continue after the dead heat.
Hardy worked his way steadily back into contention, pulling off his iconic twist of fate move only for Roode to roll off of the table he had fallen onto, but not broken. But Hardy did grab his victory moments later: with the pair again battling on the ring apron, Hardy struck Roode with a knee to the head to set him wobbling, before kicking his unbalanced opponent through another table set up outside of the ring.
In the second semi-final, Magnus fought bravely against his far more experienced opponent, landing an elbow to the chest from the ring apron that prompted Angle to be counted to eight before he hauled himself to his feet.
The Olympic Gold Medallist responded by tossing the Brit spectacularly from the top rope, that saw Magnus counted to nine. Angle attempted to follow up his attack, again from the ropes, but Magnus cleverly rolled under that attack and both men wearily made their way to their feet.
But the decisive moment came when Magnus, in attempting to take out Angle, instead clipped referee Brian Hebner. Angle dumped Magnus on the canvas moment later, but with the referee unable to count – Kurt was denied what would have undoubtedly been his moment of victory.
Instead, an enraged Roode hurtled into the ring and attacked Angle, determined to prevent his fiercest rival from reaching the World Final. Hebner returned to find both men flat out, and began the double count-out. Magnus, who had received at least an additional 60 seconds to revive himself, staggered to his feet at nine while Angle remained out cold.
Roode re-emerged to attack Angle again after the bell sounded, but Hardy intervened to haul the two defeated semi-finalists apart, before shaking hands with final opponent – Magnus.
Elsewhere, three matches were announced for next week’s show: an X-Division title match between defending champion Chris Sabin, and Austin Aries; a tag team match between Joseph Park and Eric Young, and Bad Influence, and Dixie Carter’s own Feast or Fired Match.
This match, the first of its kind since 2009, will offer participants the chance to win one of four briefcases. Upon opening the briefcase they will discover which of four prizes they have won: a World Championship shot, an X-Division Title shot, a Tag Team title shot, or the pink slip – which results in the recipient being fired from the company.
In the remaining matches this week, Ethan Carter III won a bizarre match against referee Earl Hebner, in which he instructed the official to lie down so that he could pin him, before insisting Earl’s son Brian counted out his own father. The Bro Mans won another foul-tempered match against James Storm and Gunner, with the latter duo disqualified, while Gail Kim won the latest of her open challenges against Canadian Laura Dennis.
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