Because of the sneak attack done by Abyss to Rob Van Dam at last week’s special Impact, “The Whole F’n Show”, Van Dam was forced to vacate his title due to sustained injuries. As the cameras cut away from the ring to backstage, a beaten and bloody Rob Van Dam is shown laying in a pool of his blood, with Abyss standing tall. Though it was never shown, we all assume that Abyss used that weapon that he calls “Janice” to injure RVD and try to take him out for good. Abyss’ plan seems to have worked, as RVD will now be out of action for at least a few months.
Eric Bischoff made the announcement this week on Impact that the world title will become vacant and a single-elimination tournament will happen with the remaining eight contenders in the top 10 rankings battling it out to see who will be the last one standing and be crowned the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Bischoff also announced that Van Dam suffered multiple injuries due to the attack by Abyss, including head trauma, over 100 stitches, and possibly punctured organs, wishing him a speedy recovery and saying that the show must go on.
The first round of matches in the single-elimination tournament kicked off this week on Thursday Night Impact. The first match in the World Title Tournament saw Jeff Hardy going up against big and powerful Rob Terry. The finish of the match saw Terry go for his running powerslam finisher, but Hardy hit the Twist of Fate, followed by the Swanton Bomb for the pinfall victory. The second match of the tournament was Jay Lethal versus Mr. Anderson. This was a very good match between the two bright young stars and the finish happened when Anderson dodged a springboard dropkick and countered with his Mic Check for the win. The third match put X-Division Champ Douglas Williams one-on-one with Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle. Angle picked up the victory by anklelock submission to advance. The final match of the night saw Matt Morgan going up against “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero. Pope gains the pinfall victory with the D’Angelo Dinero Express finisher.
The semi-finals of the tournament will take place at the “No Surrender” Pay-Per-View on September 5th. The two matches that have already been announced to take place on that PPV will be Kurt Angle facing off against Jeff Hardy and Mr. Anderson going against “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero. The winners of those two matches will face off in the finals for the vacant TNA World Heavyweight Title at the biggest TNA PPV at the year, “Bound for Glory” on October 10th.