Eric Young defended the TNA World Heavyweight Championship for the third time in just three weeks, as he defeated his former Team Canada associate Bobby Roode on last Thursday’s edition of Impact.
After winning the title for the first time on the 10th April, Young has since made successful title defences against Abyss, in a monster’s ball match, Magnus – in a rematch of his title victory – at Sacrifice, and now against his fellow countryman.
Following Young’s request for a title match, director of wrestling operations MVP engineered a mini-tournament to determine who would earn the right to challenge the 34-year-old, involving EY’s three fellow match winners at Sacrifice: Mr. Anderson, Gunner and Roode.
The trio drew cards, with the two lowest card holders facing each other.
The winner of that match earned the right to face the holder of the highest card, and the overall victor was then handed a title shot. The concept was based on the fact that Young won his title as a result of endurance, winning a ten man gauntlet before defeating Magnus.
In the first match, between Gunner and Anderson, the victor was determined by the intervention of James Storm, who has been feuding with Gunner for several months.
The Cowboy attempted to hit Gunner from behind with the Last Call Super Kick, but accidentally struck Anderson instead. Gunner completed the pin to grab the win, without noticing the actions of his long-standing rival.
Later in the evening, Anderson gained revenge over Storm, attacking him on the ramp during his match with Willow.
Roode proved too strong for Gunner in the second match, winning via pin-fall. Gunner had his moments during the match, connecting with a slingshot suplex, but the It Factor grabbed the win when he rolled away from a headbutt and hit the Roode Bomb.
Young and Roode came to TNA at the same time in early 2004, partnering each other many times during their two and half year run as part of Team Canada. Twice the pair won the NWA World Tag Team Championship, and after a decade together in TNA neither wrestler was short on knowledge about the other.
With tiredness perhaps playing its part, Young dominated the second-half of the match, hitting a pile-driver for a near fall after dodging one Roode attack. The pair went punch for punch on the ropes until Young knocked his opponent to the canvas, and hit the top rope elbow for the win.
After his victory, Young requested for another World Title defence next week, and reiterated his promise to continue defending his belt at every possible opportunity.
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