Where Are They Now?
Since winning the Television Championship at Main Attraction XV, Hernandez has enjoyed a long reign at the top of the mid-card. But it hasn't come without obstacles.
The bane of the Mexican Monster's existence has been none other than the very man he took the TV title from, Eric Young. Young felt that he was a more deserving Champion, and that he would still be Champ had it not been for Kurt Angle. But with Kurt Angle moving on to the Tag Team division, Young had no choice but to blame Hernandez.
And Hernandez welcomed the challenge. For weeks, Young made attempts to get the best of the TV Champ, but Hernandez made easy work of the Canadian star. Week in and week out, surprise attack after surprise attack was met with nothing but pain and defeat at the hands of Hernandez.
Finally, the tables turned. While all this was going on and Hernandez and Eric Young were doing battle, Abyss had stepped out of the picture, or so we thought. Deep in the heart of the Universal Studios Arena, Abyss had locked himself in isolation, refusing to leave the building. This continued for some time, and we only saw glimpses of Abyss moaning, screaming, or talking to himself.
When Hernandez and Eric Young finally met one-on-one in the ring with the Television Championship on the line, Young knocked out the referee and brought a steel chair into the ring. Enter Abyss, who finally emerged from the darkness, ripped the steel chair out of Eric Young's hands...
...and drilled Hernandez right in the skull. When the referee came to, Eric Young once again became the Television Champion.
To this day, we are unsure of Abyss' motives for turning against Hernandez after a long run as supposed allies. It's anyone's guess what will happen, but one thing is for sure: the blood feud between Hernandez and Abyss has been reborn in a big way. And this time, Eric Young is caught in the middle, whether he realizes it or not.
Where Are They Now?
The World Heavyweight Championship tournament kicked off just 10 days after Main Attraction XV. 16 men began their quest to climb atop the company and take it into the uncertain future, no easy task for any competitor, specifically Jeff Hardy.
The self-proclaimed "Guardian Angel" had his first obstacle, Matt Morgan. Whether fortunate or not, Hardy and Morgan found themselves on opposite sides of the tournament bracket, and opposite sides in an internal war that had begun in the company. This was not the intention of either man, which they found a common bond in, but it wasn't near strong enough to stop the rivalry from becoming heated almost immediately.
When the spots were filled, the tournament began immediately. Jeff Hardy's first opponent was a returning Shannon Moore, the first of many surprise members in the tournament. Jeff Hardy had the match in his hands, until Matt Morgan appeared from nowhere and annihilated Hardy with a Carbon Footprint. Hardy moved on due to a win by Disqualification, but the damage was done and Morgan's statement had been sent.
Hardy would get revenge however, when Matt Morgan stepped into the ring later that same evening against Kazarian. Hardy would plant Morgan with the Twist of Fate, sending him into the 2nd round with a DQ as well.
The two were warned that their actions would not be tolerated for the rest of the tournament by Dixie Carter, who told that if either man interfered in any other match again, they would be disqualified from contention. But that didn't stop the mind games. Both men appeared at ringside for the other's respective matches all the way through the tournament. It became a game to both of them, a game that neither man could stand to lose.
The semi-finals of the tournament saw Matt Morgan facing Samoa Joe, who was a heavy favourite by Bischoff and Hogan since being picked. Morgan took this to heart, and couldn't bear the thought of missing out on his chance to face Jeff Hardy in the final, and in a match that lasted almost 30 minutes, Morgan defeated Samoa Joe to move on. Jeff Hardy, who was perched in the rafters for the entire match, descended to the ring after the finish and applauded Morgan, knowing his task was far from over as well.
Hardy faced Rob Van Dam in his semi-final, and the two put on a clinic for the fans in attendance. Another match that neared the 30 minute mark saw both men put everything on the line in a match that will be talked about for months to come. The match ended with RVD raising Hardy's arm, and Morgan returning the applause from ringside.
Finally, the two met in the ring with the newly unveiled World Heavyweight Championship up for grabs. Jeff Hardy winning would mean that Edge would hand over Manager duties to his selection, Jeff Jarrett, while Matt Morgan winning would mean that Manager duties would go back to Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff. But that all took a backseat to the match as both men put on yet another amazing match to end the tournament. When it was all said and done, Jeff Hardy reigned supreme to a tremendous ovation, having climbed back to the top of the company, aptly renamed TNA almost immediately by new manager, Jeff Jarrett.
As Hardy, Jarrett and Edge celebrated in the ring, a large TNA banner unfurled from the ceiling, and the TNA World Heavyweight Champion welled up with tears of joy. The future finally looked bright for TNA with its Guardian Angel at the top.
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