Monday, March 16, 2015

One Man Left Standing


The word impact is described as having a strong effect on someone or something. And for over a decade, making an impact has become a way of life for the athletes of IMPACT Wrestling. In this TNAsylum exclusive series, we'll take a look at some of the most impactful moments from TNA's past and present product, all in an attempt to preview what has yet to come.

This week's INSTANT IMPACT will take an in-depth look at the over decade long friendship of Bobby Roode and Eric Young, and how it turned into a bitter rivalry that came to close in a Last Man Standing Match on this past edition of Friday Night IMPACT on Destination America.

OVER A DECADE OF FRIENDSHIP

In 2004, Scott D'Amore came to TNA Wrestling for the X-Cup. His job was to form a team to represent his country of Canada for this international extravaganza. Initially, Teddy Hart, Jack Evans, Johnny Devine, and Petey Williams were the team's four members. But soon, two additions were made to the team that strengthened it significantly: Bobby Roode and Eric Young.

These two would become increasingly intregal parts in the well-oiled machine that was Team Canada. In fact, they'd bring home two of the three championships the stable won over their two year run, by being the NWA Tag Team Champions on two separate occasions. The other one was Petey Williams, who captured the X-Division Championship.

Nonetheless, upon Team Canada's implosion, the members of the team went their separate ways. Many of the members would fade into obscurity, while others went onto have nice midcard careers. However, Bobby Roode and Eric Young went much farther than that.

For a decade, Eric Young was a jack of all trades for TNA. He was an X-Division Champion, a Tag Team champion, a Television Champion, and throughout all this time, was a fun-loving, comedic babyface. In 2014, EY would transform into a legitimate threat through his feud with Abyss, and quite suddenly became the TNA World Heavyweight Champion—a reign that lasted 70 days.

Meanwhile, Bobby Roode was one-half of one of the greatest, most successful tag teams in TNA history alongside James Storm as Beer Money. They were a record four time TNA Tag Team Champions, holding the titles for both the longest days cumulatively, and possessing the longest reign in history.

In November 2011, though, the two found themselves in a match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Roode would betray Storm to become champion, thus the It Factor was born. Roode went onto have the longest reign in the title's history, at 256 days, and slowly won the crowd's respect thereafter.

Through the course of this time, through their career highs and lows, Bobby Roode and Eric Young remained great friends. They'd traveled the roads together and shared a bond as tight as brothers. And through the latter stages of 2014, their friendship would be increasingly highlighted on-screen, largely due to their common enemies. At one stage, EY even defended his title against Roode, in a match that EY would win.

Bobby Roode, however, maintained a lazer focus on the TNA World Heavyweight Championship—since his initial loss of the title at the hands of Austin Aries, and after his unsuccessful challenge of Eric Young. His life centered around regaining the most coveted prize in IMPACT Wrestling, until he finally did it against Lashley in October.

In January, on the debut of IMPACT Wrestling on Destination America, Lashley would receive his championship rematch. And it was an unlikely source that caused Roode's world title to once again slip from his grasp.

A BROTHERLY BOND BROKEN

During the highly anticipated Roode/Lashley III on January 7, MVP, Kenny King and two masked men made their way to ringside. You see, following a confrontation backstage with Lashley, MVP claimed he was going to look towards family to align himself with now that his alliance with Lashley was on shaken ground.

The two masked men would jump onto the apron and reveal themselves to be Samoa Joe and Low Ki. With this distraction came Eric Young to fend them off with a steel chair... or so we thought, anyway. Instead of fending off the yet-to-be named Beatdown Clan (BDC), EY nailed Roode with the chair, ultimately costing him the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.

The following week Eric Young explained his actions by saying that while he would've done anything for Roode, and did, that Roode was never willing to do anything for him. When Young was in the hospital, because he had come to Roode's aid, Roode didn't pay him a visit or even a phone call. No, he just texted him. 10 years they had been friends, yet all Roode could muster when his supposed best friend was hospitalized was a text.

When Young was champion, he gave Roode a title shot. Yet, when Roode won the title for a second time, he never offered to return the favor to EY.

You know who did give EY a call, though? MVP. And in EY's mind, MVP spoke the truth. Now, MVP may not have been his friend, but he never tried to be. Therefore, this is when this plan came together. This is when Eric Young knew that his next mission was to spill Bobby Roode's blood.
In their first encounter, in a street fight, EY piledrove Roode onto a steel chair. Their second, Roode won inside a steel cage, only to be attacked the next week by Young. And this time, Young piledrove him twice—once in the ring, once on the steel stage.

It was weeks before we saw Bobby Roode again, after his former best friend had attempted to end his career. Alas, though, we did. We did when Roode thwarted EY's interference in the Lashley vs. MVP world title match. Not longer after, it was announced that the next week on Friday Night IMPACT, this simmering rivalry was going to come a head: it was going to be Bobby Roode vs. Eric Young in a Last Man Standing Match.


Brotherhoods mutated into hate, the best of friends now the fiercest of foes: this is what the March 13th edition of Friday Night IMPACT was all about. This is what Eric Young vs. Bobby Roode was all about, hence why their Last Man Standing Match set the pace for said edition of IMPACT.

This wasn't a scientific wrestling match that can be summarized with a move-by-move play-by-play. No, it was instead a wild brawl fueled by emotion, hatred and betrayal. This was the final encounter of two former friends looking to prove that they were the better man.

Punches, forearms, back rakes, eye rakes, clotheslines, using sorroundings to one's advantage: nothing fancy, but all of which were incredibly effect for the It Factor and EY for the vast majority of this match. However, in the latter stages, the offense ratcheted up from both men in an attempt to end this thing once and for all.

That perhaps began when Eric Young positioned Bobby Roode for a piledriver onto steel steps. Not only in an attempt to end the match, but perhaps another blatant attempt to end the career of Roode. After all, EY seemingly felt he had been in Roode's shadow for too long. Roode's world title reign was the longest in history, while EY's barely crept over two months.

Luckily, Roode reversed the piledriver into a back body drop onto the thinly paded floor. Young's body shivered in agony, so predictably, it look him longer to recover than it did for Bobby Roode.
Nonetheless, both men grabbed steel chairs upon getting to their feet, and cracked them against each other. Bad vibrations caused them to drop the chairs, favoring their hands for a moment before colliding with a double clothesline. We were back to square one as the referee began his count.

It took until nine, but both utilized the ring to get back to their feet to break the count, then rest atop the ring's canvas. And once they got back to their feet, they both had seemingly gained their second wind. They were suddenly re-energized, remotivated to put this chapter behind them.

The two traded blows, until EY quickly nailed Roode with his Piledriver. Taz noted how hard it was to do a Piledriver "on the run" as the referee began his count. EY celebrated with boos cascading down at him from rafters of Wembley Arena. Roode seemed to be done, not moving until the count of eight, and only reaching his feet with no time to spare.

A look a shock and horror was etched across the face of EY. He hit Bobby Roode with his finishing move, a move so dangerous that some companies have banned its use, yet it wasn't enough to put Roode away? The already off EY seemed peeved. He rushed to the outside to grab a steel chair, which he teased hitting a little girl in the crowd with. He took that chair and cracked Roode in the gut with it, then over the back, very reminscent of how he betrayed Roode in the first place.

EY lifted Roode to his feet, but Roode countered and nailed EY with his own Piledriver onto the steel chair. Young trembled on the canvas, seemingly unconcious. However, he got to his feet at eight and stumbled into position for a Roode Bomb, but he fought out a rake of the eyes.

EY lifted Roode up and over, onto the apron beside him, then sent him to his knees with a kick. He was ready to Piledrive Roode through the table, but Roode countered with a Roode Bomb!
EY crashed through the wood, onto the concrete floor.

Roode stumbled to his feet just in time, while EY did not. Therefore, your winner, Bobby Roode.
Roode finally had gotten his revenge on the former friend that cost him the ultimate prize on two occassions. Now, Roode's focus can go back to that prize. It can go back to the one reason he laces up his boots on a nightly basis: the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.