Updated: Apr 12
Impact Wrestling has had some ups and many, MANY downs. Thankfully it looks like their fortunes have turned around, but it was a rocky road for a long time.
No matter what was going on in the company, they could always rely on the X-Division. Its original premise being for people who could do things that no one else could do. This allowed for champions like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels and Austin Aries among others, wrestling a style that would be all over the independent scene in the years to come, and is now in WWE; especially in NXT.
However, with a belt that’s been around since 2002 and has had been held by 40 separate people, it’s hard to remember everyone who’s been champion. So, I’m here with 5 people who held the belt that you probably forgot about.
I say probably because there’s a chance you do remember some of these. If you do, well done.
5. Rob Van Dam
On Paper, this should have been great; RVD’s style is a perfect fit for the X-Division. In reality, it felt like a demotion because RVD had been pushed as a main-eventer since he arrived in the company. Got to make the most of that big contract I guess.
RVD took the title from Zema Ion (now DJZ) at Bound for Glory 2012, probably because they had nothing else for him. Instead of elevating the division however, RVD was just sort of there as champion, losing it on a random Impact to Kenny King. As soon as he lost it, he was out of the company without even bothering to get his rematch.
4. Syxx Pac
Another former WWE star whose style fits the division.
Pac was fresh off being let go by the WWE, and TNA was still in its infancy so desperate to bring in anyone with some name value.
It made sense why they would want the former WWF Light Heavyweight and WCW Cruiserweight Champion for the Division. Although they showed their desperation by giving him the title almost immediately, winning it in a ladder match. However, He would only hold it for 2 weeks, dropping it to AJ Styles.
3. Bobby Lashley
Since Lashley came back to the WWE, you’ve probably heard a number people saying he was good in TNA - it's things like this that make them say that!
While TNA Heavyweight Champion Lashley won the X-Division and King of the Mountain titles just because he could, he then threw it and the King of The Mountain titles down, because he’d proved his point, instead of having someone from the division take the belt back from the monster.
It didn’t help the belt and when you think of great X-Division champions, Lashley likely won’t be the first person you think of.
This happened during the Hogan/Bischoff era of the company, which tells you all you need to know about this reign, with the monster Abyss tasked by Bischoff and Hogan to kill the X-Division.
Really it was a way for the then regime to show how little they valued the division, despite it being a cornerstone of the company. The reign ended at Destination-X when Brian Kendrick took a stand for the division, dethroning the monster and we, and TNA, quickly tried to forget about this reign.
1. Kurt Angle
Yes, that’s right, Kurt Angle was X-Division champion.
It happened in confusing fashion as was typical for the company at this time - Try to follow this:
Angle, who was World Champion, and Samoa Joe, who was X-Division Champion, beat the tag team champions, Team 3D in a Winners Take All Match. Joe took position of both tag belts and fought Angle in the main event of a PPV for all the titles. Angle won and was therefore crowned World, Tag and X-Division Champion at the same time.
The benefits of being a former WWE star in TNA!
Angle wouldn’t hold on to the belt for long however, losing it the following month to Jay Lethal.