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Most of us tend to watch professional wrestling as a form of escape in order to step away from the problems of the world and our own personal lives for a couple of hours, however things that occur in the real world have often affected pro wrestling in more ways than one just look at how Covid-19 changed everything for all the promotions across the globe.

That said, the outcomes of the real world have also seen championships change hands and whether it's the result of tragedy, pandemic, backstage politics, injures etc. the repercussions and happy accidents that came out of these title changes have affected Impact Wrestling both in the long and short term.

So with all that said, here are the 10 Impact Title Changes Due To Real World Events


10. Two Departures Leads To Two Vacancies 

The Knockouts Tag Team Titles has had quite a unique history in the grand scheme of things, there have a number of great tag teams to hold the belts like Decay, and Fire N' Flava but it's also seen terrible reigns under teams like Winter and Angelina Love, Sarita and Rosita and the less said about Eric Young and ODB the better...just kidding.

However, the early stages of the tag belts have seen the titles changed hands simply because the previous champions were let go or left the company as a whole. such was the case in the early and late part of 2010.

awesome kong hamada ko tag champions

In January of 2010, the makeshift team of Awesome Kong and Ayako Hamada defeated Sarita and Taylor Wilde to become the second ever team to hold the Knockouts Tag Team titles since the belts were first introduced in September of 2009.

The reign wouldn't last long however as Awesome Kong was let go from the company in March after an altercation with Radio personality and best friend to Hulk Hogan, Bubba The Love Sponge; On the March 8th edition of Impact, the belts were stripped away from the champions with the kayfabe explanation being that they hadn't defend the belts in the last 30 days.

Then a few months later, Hamada would team with Taylor Wilde to defeat the Beautiful People to become the new tag champions in July but much like the reign with Awesome Kong this one didn't last long either with Hamada being the one to depart after asking for her release in October of 2010, leading to the Knockouts Tag Titles being vacated for the second time in the span of only a few months.



9. Kazarian Wins Gold At Lockdown 2010

Douglas Williams is best known to Impact fans of a certain age for two things: 1. His time as part of the British Invasion alongside Magnus and Rob Terry and 2. his run as X Division Champion for which the seasoned veteran lambasted the rest of the X Division as being nothing more than flying monkeys and acrobats who should be jumping around in the circus and not the wrestling ring.

This angle coupled with the fact that Williams is an amazing worker made him one of the better X Division champions at a time when the belt would see wrestlers have a passable or meh title reigns.

Lockdown 2010

That all changed in April of 2010 as the cunning Brit was unable to make it to the Lockdown pay per view to defend his title against Kazarian and Shannon Moore in a triple threat match. Williams you see was in Europe at the time when the Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption took place and thus all air travel within Europe was halted.

The company went on to make the four way X Division match between Brian Kendrick, Homicide, Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley a number one contender's match for which Homicide won but failed to win the championship as Frankie Kazarian was the one to pick up the win and the gold in the triple threat.

By time Doug Williams did return to TV in May, a match was made between Kazarian and Williams for the X Division title at the Sacrifice pay per view which saw Williams become X Division champion again for the second time.

Allie Wins The KO Championship

8. Allie's Second Title Win

Laura Dennis aka Allie aka The Bunny in AEW, was one of the most over personalities in Impact Wrestling in the late 2010's and her work with names like Maria Kanellis-Bennett, Su Yung and Rosemary further made the blonde haired Canadian a beloved babyface.

Her face turn was a result of the bullying she suffered at the hands of Maria and her 'Lady Squad' which consisted of Sienna (Allysin Kay) and Laurel Van Ness (Chelsea Green) and of course that time when Allie was forced to literally laid down for Maria, which led to the former ROH star becoming the new Knockouts Champion or else she would been in big kayfabe trouble.

In 2017, Gail Kim had announced that she would ending her wrestling career towards the end of the year, and she wanted to become the Knockouts Champion one last time as a nice closing chapter in her career as she became the first Knockouts champion at BFG all the way back in 2007.


Upon retiring from in ring competition (at least until 2019) Gail Kim vacated the Knockouts Championship thus leading to a small tournament being made to crown a new champion which came in the form of Laurel Van Ness during her crazy hot mess gimmick. 

The win was set to be a great moment as LVN wasn't known to most wrestling fans until she showed up in Impact and one year after debuting for the company, she was the champion...or at least this would've been a great moment until it was revealed that Chelsea Green was leaving the company to go and join the WWE and since the episodes for which the tournament occurred were pre-taped and Green didn't let the company know until after the episodes began to air, Impact were left in an awkward situation.

This led to the company revisiting the feud between Laurel and Allie with The Bunny being the one to beat LVN to become the new Knockouts Champion in early 2018 writing off Green from the company and giving Allie a chance to have a Knockouts title reign that mattered.

The Wolves TNA Tag Champs

7. Back-To-Back Tag Team Injuries

Gosh...March to May of 2015 was not a good time to hold the TNA World Tag Team titles as this next entry proves.

The duo of Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards aka The Wolves in TNA/Impact were one of the most dynamic tag teams within the promotion at the time with Eddie and Davey racking up five TNA tag team title reigns during their time as a team. 

However, it's their third reign as tag champions that will be focusing on for this entry; On the One Night Only X-Travaganza event in 2015, Eddie Edwards suffered a broken heel in a match which led to The Wolves vacating the belt in March although the belt stripping was aired on the April 3rd edition of Impact and Eddie needing to get surgery.

The Hardys TNA Tag Champs

In response to this, an multi tag team Ultimate X match occurred on the April 17th edition of Impact which saw Matt and Jeff Hardy become the new tag team champions and winning the TNA World Tag Team Titles for the first time in their careers.

Unfortunately, the injury bug struck again after Jeff Hardy suffered a leg injury following a dirt bike accident which led to the tag belts being vacated on the May 8th episode of Impact meaning that the second time in a row due to injury the TNA Tag Titles were held up for grabs.

In a bit of irony, the team to win those tag titles after the Hardy's relinquished them was The Wolves, who defeated the team of Austin Aries and Bobby Roode in a best of five series to become four time TNA Tag Team Champions.

Jordynne Grace Re-Signs With Impact

6. Jordynne Grace Wins Gold & Re-Signs Soon After

Okay, so this has not been verified by Jordynne Grace or Impact Wrestling themselves but the timing in which these circumstances line up is what gets it on this list.

Jordynne Grace who has become one of Impact's breakout stars in the 2020's saw her then contract with Impact Wrestling coming to an end in early to mid 2021 and on the go home episode of Impact before the Rebellion pay per view, Grace was saved by a returning Rachael Ellering from the Knockouts Tag Team Champions of Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz aka Fire N' Flava with a title match between Ellering and Grace vs. Fire N' Flava being made at Rebellion just three days later.

Now considering Hogan and Steelz won the tag belts not too long ago, plus the fact that Ellering wasn't signed to an Impact contract while Grace's contract was running out, you'd think it would be a forgone conclusion that Fire N' Flava would retain the belts...except what happened instead was Grace and Ellering won the Knockouts tag team titles at Rebellion in a shocking upset.

Just a few days after winning the tag titles with Ellering, Impact would confirm that Jordynne Grace had indeed re-signed with them and no less than a few days after that announcement was made, Fire N' Flava defeat Grace and Ellering at the Under Siege event to regain their Knockouts tag team titles.

While Jordynne Grace has mentioned in interviews her reasoning for staying with Impact was being able to have an easy working schedule, you have to wonder if winning the Knockouts Tag Team Titles was the icing on the cake to get Thick Mama Pump to re-sign with Impact.


5. Alberto El Patron's Suspension 

The former Alberto Del Rio has certainly been in the headlines over the years since his departure from WWE and later Impact but his actions in 2017 that certainly got the most attention.

After beating Bobby Lashley in a unification title bout in the main event of Slammiversary 2017, hopes were high that the' Pride of Mexico' would go on to have a very success reign but alas, problems that arose within El Patron's personal life led to him getting taken off of TV with a suspension and being stripped of the title and ending his 43 days as champion. 

Eli Drake Wins The GFW Championship

As a result of the fallout, on the August 24th edition of Impact, a 20 man over the top rope gauntlet match was made to crown a new champion which saw rising star Eli Drake finally winning the world title.

However due to 2017 being a mess of a year, Drake's title reign was decent in places but really could have been so much more. Nevertheless, if El Patron hadn't been taken off of TV and stripped of the title, 'The Namer of Dummies' would've never become the top guy in the company never mind how short it was.

Rhino Wins The NWA Championship

4. The War Machine Wins Gold At BFG

At the inaugural Bound For Glory pay per view in 2005, Rhino took part in a classic monster's ball match with Abyss, Jeff Hardy and Sabu before defeating nine other wrestlers to become the number one contender to Jeff Jarrett's NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

"The War Machine" would defeat Double J in the impromptu main event to become the new NWA World Champion, however for those unaware you might be surprised to hear that this wasn't the original plan.

You see, the reasons behind Rhino's mega push at BFG 2005 stems from the fact that the original main event was scrapped due to the challenger suffering health concerns, so plans had changed. 

The original plans were to see 'Big Sexy' Kevin Nash taking on Jeff Jarrett for the NWA title, however after Nash had to be rushed to the hospital to due to chest pains later revealed to be a mild cardiac episode and so a contender's match was booked with the War Machine reaping the benefits.

Su Wins The KO Title

3. Su Yung Replaces Smiley Kylie

From one unexpected title change at Bound For Glory to another...'The Undead Bride' Su Yung made her shocking return to Impact at BFG 2020 to take on Deonna Purrazzo and win the Knockouts Championship.

The match that was originally scheduled to take place was Deonna Purrazzo putting her Knockouts Championship on the line against Kylie Rae in a highly anticipated match but of course as we know that didn't happen.

kylie rae slammiversary

Kylie Rae at the was struggling with anxiety and her own mental health which led to her brief retirement from wrestling, and she no showed the event, while it's unknown when Impact officials knew that Smiley Kylie wouldn't arrive for her championship match, the decision was made to have Su Yung (who's alter ego Susie had been battling Deonna for weeks) take Kylie's place in the match.

It's also unknown if Kylie Rae was supposed to win this match had she appeared or if the title change was made as an audible choice to end the match in a positive way.

Considering that less than a month later at the Turning Point event Deonna regained the title back from Su, it's really difficult to know what the original plans were going to be but nevertheless the Knockouts title did changed hands on that night.

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2. Kurt Angle "Wins" The NWA World Championship

At Sacrifice 2007, Kurt Angle "won" the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in a screwy finish during his triple threat world title match against Sting and then champion, Christian Cage.

Hours before the pay per view, news broke that the National Wrestling Alliance or the NWA for short had ended their working relationship with TNA Wrestling, but the promotion still had possession of the belts. 

The company went on with the pay per view as if not much had changed but in the weeks that followed on Impact, Kurt Angle would be stripped of the NWA Title making his time as champion a phantom title reign.

Kurt Angle would end up becoming the newly crowned TNA World Heavyweight Champion following a king of the mountain match at that year's Slammiversary event making Kurt the first TNA World Champion in company history.

COVID-19 Logo

1. Covid-19 Changes The Impact World Title Picture

The Covid-19 pandemic really put the kybosh on the state of professional wrestling for everyone: the fans, the promoters and the wrestlers themselves but in the case of Impact Wrestling it was their world title picture that was mostly affected.

In April of 2020, Impact was set to have its Rebellion event take place on pay per view at the Terminal 5 venue in New York, however once Coronavirus made its way into the States those plans and so much more were changed.

Among other things, the company broke their Rebellion show into a two-week event with no fans in attendance and moving the show to Skyward Studios in Nashville Tennessee. 

Tessa Blanchard Impact World Champion

Another big problem that emerged due to the pandemic involved the Impact World Championship as Tessa Blanchard, who became the first woman to win the Impact World Title was scheduled to defend her belt against Eddie Edwards and Michael Elgin in a three way bout.

But, due to Edwards being stuck in his home state of Boston and Tessa being stuck in Mexico as she was set to get married to fellow pro wrestler, Daga with no way of coming back, the three way match with Elgin occurred but with Hernandez and Moose with the latter proclaiming himself the TNA World Champion despite the belt being inactive since 2016.

Due to Tessa being stuck in Mexico as well as a host of other reasons with some claiming that she didn't want to do business with the company despite being their world champion led to Impact stripping the belt off of Tessa and releasing her even though her contract was set to expire in a matter of days.

impact wrestling slammiversary 2020 world title match

This news came around the same time Impact Wrestling was going to have its Slammiversary event take place on pay per view but with the championship now vacated the company decided to make the following contenders: Eddie Edwards, Trey Miguel, Ace Austin and a mystery opponent who was a former world champion fight for the belt in the main event at Slammiversary.

By the way that former world champion was none other than a returning Eric Young and oh yeah Rich Swann returned and was involved in the match...for some reason.

In the end, Eddie Edwards became a two time world champion, a feud between EY and Swann was set in stone for the rest of the year and a series of events including the title vacancy of Tessa Blanchard, all occurred because of the real world event that was the Covid-19 Pandemic.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to follow me on Twitter @hakeemfullerton and for more wrestling related content, be sure to follow Wrestling News World on Twitter @wnwnews.

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