Reliving A Title Run #16: Bobby Roode As TNA World Champion ’11 – ’12
Bobby Roode made his debut in Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling way back in May 2004 as part of the heel stable Team Canada. For almost three years, Roode remained one of the top performers for the group winning the tag team championships on several occasions with partner Eric Young. Once Team Canada went their separate ways, Roode ventured off into singles wrestling competing in feuds with the likes of Eric Young, Petey Williams, Samoa and Jeff Jarrett throughout 2007.
By the time 2008 came around Roode was involved in a feud with Booker T involving Booker’s wife Sharmel. While Roode wouldn’t win the feud, he did defeat Booker at Destination X that year and competed in the King of the Mountain match, but was unable to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. His singles career would stall and he formed one of the greatest tag teams not only in TNA history, but in pro wrestling history when he teamed with James Storm to be known as Beer Money Inc.
From August 2008 to August 2011, Beer Money would hold the titles four times and had several classic matches including a best of five series against the Motor City Machine Guns. By the fall of 2011, many fans, including myself, were ready for Bobby Roode to breakthrough and win the TNA World Championship when he got his shot at Bound For Glory 2011.
Going into the event, I was almost certain that Roode was going to walkout as the new champion. It needed to happen. TNA World Champion Kurt Angle had been a good champion, but this was an opportunity to establish Roode as a TNA homegrown talent and fans were behind Roode completely as a babyface. He should have won.
But, he didn’t.
Instead, Angle retained the title by holding the ropes for leverage after hitting the Olympic Slam. I remember reading that Hulk Hogan didn’t feel that Roode was “ready” for the top spot. Instead, four days later James Storm won the championship from Kurt Angle on Impact. While it was a huge victory for Storm, the victory should have been Roode’s at the biggest pay per view of the year for the company.
November 3rd, 2011 in Macon, Georgia, Bobby Roode competed in a title match against TNA World Champion James Storm. They went in as friends competing for the gold, but by the end, Roode tossed friendship aside in order to realize his dream of being the TNA World Champion. Roode smashed a beer bottle over Storm’s head and walked out of Macon as the new TNA World Champion.
Roode’s first pay per view defense was against AJ Styles at Turning Point on November 13th. Styles is the franchise wrestler for the company and Roode was able to retain the title by countering the Styles Clash and rolling AJ up using a handful of tights. However, the issues with Styles wouldn’t come to an end with the victory.
Styles would get another shot at the gold the following month at Final Resolution with the stipulation being a thirty minute ironman match. The person that got the most falls or submissions within the time limit would walk out as the champion. The first fifteen minutes saw Roode have a 2-0 advantage, but within five minutes, Styles had it all tied at two. By the twenty three minute mark, Styles was up three to two with only seven minutes left. However, Roode tied the match up with five minutes left and neither man was able to get the final pin fall causing the match to end in a draw.
Heading into 2012, Jeff Hardy was on a path of redemption. Back in February of 2011, Hardy embarrassed himself and the company when he showed up to Victory Road intoxicated and not in the proper mindset to perform in front of the fans. Since that time, Hardy got himself clean and earned himself a title match at Genesis on January 8th. Hardy would come close to winning the title, but Roode would get himself disqualified on purpose in order to retain the championship.
Hardy would get a rematch on the next Impact, but was unable to win the title thanks to Bully Ray getting involved and causing yet another disqualification. The following week, James Storm and Jeff Hardy competed in a number one contenders match despite Storm beating Kurt Angle the previous week to have that spot. Roode would attack both men with the championship and proclaimed himself to be the most dominate champion in TNA history.
Roode and Bully Ray teamed up on the January 26th edition of Impact losing a tables match to James Storm and Jeff Hardy. The following week, Roode managed to retain the championship against James Storm thanks to Ray getting involved again. On the February 9th Impact, Roode teamed with Ray again this time against Storm and Sting. However, Ray didn’t help Roode when he was in the Scorpion Death Lock and instead bailed on the champion saying he would see him in three days at Against All Odds.
At Against All Odds, Roode would defend the championship against Bully Ray, James Storm and Jeff Hardy. Roode would manage to sneak away with the championship when special referee Sting accidentally hit Jeff Hardy with the championship allowing Roode to get the pin fall. It was evident that this was setting up a showdown between Sting and Roode on pay per view.
Roode continued to be a fighting champion as he defended the championship in a no disqualification match on the February 16th edition of Impact against Jeff Hardy. Kurt Angle made an appearance and sent Hardy into the ring steps allowing Roode to retain the title following a spear. Roode has been a dominating champion, but has had plenty of help.
On the February 23rd edition of Impact, Sting revealed to Bobby Roode that he was tired of being the nice guy around TNA and that he was going to kick Roode’s ass at Victory Road. They would have a contract signing on the March 15th edition of Impact. During the signing, Roode told Sting that he is better than Sting ever was and thinks Sting is afraid to be forgotten. As per usual with contract signings, Sting went nuts and attacked Roode on the last show before the pay per view.
Sting and Roode competed in a no holds barred match at Victory Road. Sting would hit the Scorpion Death Drop, which should have led to a victory, but he hit his head on a chair and Roode took advantage of the situation to win the match. The finish didn’t exactly help Roode since it came across much more like a fluke of a victory. Following the victory, Roode would tape Sting to the ropes and threaten to use a chair and even shoved Dixie Carter to the canvas and rubbed some of Sting’s paint onto her face as well.
Managing to get past Sting was one obstacle overcame by Roode, but next up was his highly anticipated steel cage match with James Storm at Lockdown on April 15th. On the March 22nd edition of Impact, Storm made promises that he would be the next champion and called out Roode. Instead, a lawyer for Roode came out and revealed that Roode would be staying at home in Canada due to TNA providing an unsafe working environment.
Roode returned to Impact the following week with a police escort to not protect himself, but rather to protect James Storm. Roode would team with Bully Ray against James Storm and Austin Aries on the program, with Storm pinning Ray and taunting Roode making his intentions clear that he was coming for the TNA World Championship. They would have a seriously intense confrontation on April 12th Impact, and here is the video to give it proper credit.
At Lockdown, Roode and Storm competed in a memorable brutal and bloody cage match that lasted nearly twenty minutes. Storm seemed to be destined to win the title and overcome his former friend and now hated rival. However, Roode would retain the championship by fluke, once again, due to Storm super kicking Roode out the cage door and the champion hit the floor. The fans were not thrilled with the finish as they were 100% behind a title change. Nevertheless, the title reign for Bobby Roode continues.
On the following Impact, Roode came out with a new and as of August 2015, his current haircut ditching the longhair look for a shorter buzz cut look. He would put himself over during the promo about how he is the greatest and would soon be cut off by Mr. Anderson and Jeff Hardy, who would compete in a number one contenders match with the winner meeting Roode at Sacrifice in May. Later in the program, Hogan puts Rob Van Dam in the match to make it a triple threat match to say thanks for Van Dam teaming with Garrett Bischoff’s team at Lockdown in Lethal Lockdown. Rob Van Dam would become the number one contender pinning Jeff Hardy by countering the Twist of Fate.
May 3rd Impact saw Van Dam and Roode choose each others opponents for the show. Van Dam would be victorious over Jeff Hardy while Roode got a win over Mr. Anderson in a non-title no disqualification match. At the end of the show, Van Dam tried to save Anderson from a beating but Roode would plant RVD on a chair with a DDT.
The May 10th episode of Impact saw a four way match involving Roode, Van Dam, Anderson and Hardy taking place. Each wrestler had something to fight for. If Roode won, he would be able to choose his opponent at Sacrifice. If Van Dam won, he would choose a stipulation for his match with Roode. If Anderson or Hardy won, they would replace Van Dam in the main event at the pay per view. Van Dam would win the match by pinning Roode with the Five Star frog splash and opted to have a ladder match at Sacrifice for the championship!
At Sacrifice, Roode was able to knock Van Dam off the ladder sending Van Dam face first into a steel chair which allowed Roode to retrieve the TNA World Championship to continue his dominance as champion for TNA. The next night, Roode cut a promo about how he constantly overcomes the odds and declared there would “The It Factor’s Celebration Of Dominance” on Impact. That wouldn’t happen as Hulk Hogan revealed that Roode would be defending the title instead.
The following week Roode would defend the championship against AJ Styles, who failed to defeat Roode earlier in the title reign. After a lengthy back and forth match, Roode pinned Stlyes following the Payoff and with the victory it officially made Roode the longest reigning TNA World Champion in history. However, the victory would be short-lived.
Roode started to celebrate with confetti dropping from the ceiling, but the lights would go out and when they came back on, Sting appeared from behind and attacked Roode. Sting clotheslined Roode over the top to the floor and a lumberjack match between the two was announced for next weeks show. The match would kick off the show and Sting was able to get a submission victory by locking in the Scorpion Death Lock. With the victory, Hogan announced that Sting would challenge Roode for the TNA World Championship at Slammiversary.
Sting would team with AJ Styles and Kurt Angle on the June 7th Impact in a six man tag match against Bobby Roode, Kazarian and Christopher Daniels. Sting prevailed again in this encounter by making Roode submit to the Scorpion Death Lock. With two submission victories over Roode, it was looking pretty good that Sting would walkout of Slammiversary with the TNA World Championship.
At Slammiversary, Roode would find a way to retain the championship by smashing Sting over the head with a beer bottle that was at ringside following James Storm returning to the company earlier in the event. Sting would recover and attack Roode hitting a Scorpion Death Drop off the ramp!
Roode would have no time to celebrate as he defended the championship on Impact against the number one contender, Mr. Anderson. Roode continued to his winning ways by making Anderson submit to a Crossface. Roode has defeated all the top challengers including Storm, Styles, Van Dam and Sting. Who could possibly step up and dethrone Bobby Roode?
On the June 21st edition of Impact a new challenger was revealed. TNA X-Division Champion Austin Aries took advantage of vacating the championship in order to get a title match with the TNA World Champion, which would take place at Destination X on July 8th. On the July 5th edition of Impact, Roode cut off Chris Sabin, who was out with injury, and talked down about the X-Division saying the division didn’t mean anything and wasn’t on his level. Roode would get a few cheap shots on Sabin’s injured knee until Aries ran down to make the save.
At the end of the July 5th show, Aries ducked a TNA World Championship strike from Roode and decked Roode with the X-Division Championship. Aries officially handed over the championship to Hulk Hogan and raised the TNA World Championship in the air while declaring there would be a new champion at Destination X.
After 256 days as champion, the reign of the If Factor would come to an end on July 8th after over twenty minutes of action. Aries planted Roode with the brain buster and won his first (and only thus far) TNA World Championship.
The reign of Bobby Roode may go down as the best one in TNA history. Roode was made a credible main event act and he really grew into the role and was a believable star for the company, and still is despite the ups and downs TNA has experience in recent years. Roode had some great matches during his run and was able to get the best he could out of Sting during the tail end of his career.
I’d say this was a very successful and very entertaining title reign in TNA history. While James Storm perhaps should have won the title at Lockdown, the end result of Austin Aries winning the gold made yet another main event act for the company since Storm had already reached that level.
This was one of my favorite title reigns to relive and I forgot that the main event scene in TNA in 2011/2012 was actually a lot of fun to watch.
What are your memories of Bobby Roode’s reign as TNA World Champion during this time?
Thanks for reading.