Since returning to IMPACT Wrestling at Slammiversary, Eric Young has been on a maniacal mission. Taking part in the match to declare a new IMPACT world champion, it seemed Young was the returning former champion IMPACT had touted leading up to the event. And he was, but he wasn’t the only one as Rich Swann made his triumphant return from injury in the same match.
Eric Young started off strong and picked up the first elimination, taking out Trey, before Swann eliminated Young second. Refusing to take his elimination lying down, Young brutally attacked Swann’s healed leg with a steel chair, leaving him in no position to continue. Swann tried to fight back but the damage was done allowing Ace Austin the chance to eliminate him. With the finish coming down to Austin and Eddie Edwards, it was ultimately, Edwards who won the match. A fighting champion through and through, Edwards went on to defend his title every week since, while Young lurked in the shadows. He wasn’t done, not by a long shot.
"I was elite before being elite was cool."
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) August 19, 2020
A few weeks after Slammiversary, Rich Swann stood in the middle of the ring and expertly blurred the lines between kayfabe and reality as he announced his retirement due to the damage Young had inflicted. For much of the speech, it seemed Swann’s retirement was legitimate, but then, as he went to leave the stage, Eric Young attacked him again with his own crutches, showing no remorse and no regret. The following week, Young was set for a match with Swann’s friend and tag team partner, Willie Mack. Mack got his hands on Young backstage, starting the match with a brawl before it finally made its way to the ring. When it did, the two continued to lay into each other until Young took advantage of a hesitation by Mack, hitting his opponent with a piledriver to get the win.
At Emergence, a video package of Eric Young aired showing him challenging Edwards to a match, but not on Edwards’ clock, rather on Young’s. Suggesting that this version of him was his purest form, Young made sure people knew he didn’t come back to IMPACT to be anything less than the first option and the second option. Following Edwards’ win over RVD last week, Young attacked Edwards and announced that he was answering the next open challenge because the world title was going to run through him. Later in the show, the two needed to be separated as tensions heated up and an altercation ensued.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) August 26, 2020
That led to the September 1st episode of the show. On a night that was eventful for several reasons including the return of Tenille Dashwood and the return of the WrestleHouse competitors to the IMPACT universe, Eric Young perhaps had the biggest moment of all. Using everything in his arsenal, Young hit his lethal piledriver after a brutal match to put an end to Edwards’ fairytale. As Young said after the match, it was “all by design. His design.”
One of the TNA Originals, Eric Young first joined TNA/IMPACT Wrestling in 2004 and remained with the company for the next 12 years before leaving to join WWE. Young’s time in IMPACT was marked by a lot of success and accolades as he is one of the most decorated wrestlers in the company’s history, capturing a variety of different titles in his career. He won the tag team championship four times, the TNA Global Championship, King of the Mountain Championship three times, TNA Television Championship twice, the women’s tag team championship once alongside ODB, and of course the world championship, which he held for a brief period in 2014. This made Young one of just five grand slam champions in TNA/IMPACT history.
.@TheEricYoung is the NEW IMPACT World Champion.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) September 2, 2020
Young’s first title reign lasted just 70 days but given how he’s returned to IMPACT with the strength of the company behind him, it seems this one will go much longer than that. In just a few months, Young has already made more of an impact than he had in the four years prior and it will be interesting to see what comes next for the World Class Maniac.
Stay tuned to Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch IMPACT Wrestling Tuesday nights at 8 PM ET on AXS TV and Twitch.TV.
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