There must have been a sense of disappointment from wrestling fans when Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, and the rest of Immortal introduced TNA’s new Heavyweight Championship belt. The cartoon-like belt cast in purple and silver metal was created solely for the face of Immortal, Jeff Hardy. When Booker T’s Legends Title (currently the Television belt) looks more prestigious than the TNA Championship, it makes you wonder who would actually want to challenge for it? [Click for Picture]
If anything, wrestlers would be more apt to gun after AJ Styles for his Television title, seeing as he was the longest reigning TNA World Champion and the only TNA Grand Slam Champion. He is also the leader of Ric Flair’s Fortune, which pretty much makes him second only to the World Champion. But again, who would want it?
There was high hopes that Rob Van Dam would finally seek revenge on his former-friend Jeff Hardy and take back his title, but Rhino made himself known as the mole for Bischoff. So any promise of a Hardy-Van Dam feud has been put on hold.
Personally, keeping the two apart is a perfect strategy because it allows Jeff to delve into his new-found heel persona while allowing others to step up to the plate as a top face.
Currently Matt Morgan is filling in that role as he subbed for Mr. Anderson, concussed by a reckless Hardy, at Turning Point. Morgan strangely enough is a better face than a heel as evidence to his Eddie Brock gimmick. Pairing these two up will be interesting to see how Hardy handles himself against a power-based wrestler; considering as how Hardy played rag doll for the Batistas throughout his WWE stints.
Coming back to the belt, the silver center plate with a mask design was contrived after one of Jeff’s paintings. Engraved in circles near the cheeks of the mask are the words Enigmatic Champion. There are four irregular dodecagonal side plates on the belt, shaped like stars with rounded edges. The two side plates nearest the center plate features a front view graphic of Hardy’s face with his signature face paint.
As for who would want it, whether it’s Matt Morgan, RVD, Mr. Anderson, or even Samoa Joe or Kurt Angle, its safe to speculate that the belt will revert back once a new champion is crowned.
Final Thoughts: The TNA championship receiving a custom design is nothing new to the wrestling business. WWE has been introducing custom belts for years, most notable are Steve Austin’s Smokin’ Skull belt, and John Cena’s Spinner Belt. However, many seem to forget the short-lived Modified “Rated-R Superstar” Spinner belt worn by Edge during his second reign. Seeing as how Edge’s belt reverted back to the Spinner belt design as soon as he lost it back to Cena, is reason enough to believe Hardy’s Immortal belt will revert back as soon as he loses it.
When Immortal dumped the championship in the trash, Bischoff’s “creative” stench was all over it. What many recall now as the Madusa Stunt, Miceli showed up on WCW Monday Nitro and trashed the WWF Women’s title on live television. Many credit Madusa and Bischoff for setting Women’s wrestling back. Which is not a wonder why TNA’s Knockouts division has plummeted since Bischoff came onto the scene.
It was one thing to throw the competition’s championship in the trash, which seriously struck a cord with Vince McMahon, but to do it to your own championship is just stupid.