|TNA World Heavyweight Championship|
The TNA World Heavyweight Championship belt
(November 2006 — April 2007)
|Promotion||WWE for Extreme (WWEFE)|
|Date introduced||November 16, 2006|
|Date retired||April 12, 2007|
The TNA World Heavyweight Championship was a professional wrestling world heavyweight championship owned by WWE for Extreme (WWEFE, or just WWE). It was currently the highest ranked championship in their iMPACT! brand, and was primarily defended in their heavyweight division. It was unveiled on November 30, 2006 at the taping of WWE's first airing of iMPACT. The inaugural champion was Jeff Jarrett.
Like most professional wrestling championships, the title is won via the result of a scripted match. Before the TNA World Heavyweight Championship was created, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) held control over the NWA World Heavyweight Championship due to an agreement between TNA and the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), the organization which owned the NWA Championship. In 2006, WWE purchased TNA and terminated the agreement with the NWA, leading to the creation of the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. There were been a total of eight reigns among four different wrestlers. The title is currently retired.
The Total Nonstop Action Wrestling promotion formed in May 2002. Later that same year TNA was granted control over the NWA World Heavyweight and World Tag Team Championships by the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) governing body; subsequently becoming an official NWA territory as NWA–TNA. On June 19, 2002, NWA–TNA held its first show; a weekly pay-per-view (PPV) event. The main event of the telecast was a twenty–man Gauntlet for the Gold match—involves all twenty men trying to throw each other over the top rope and down to the floor in order to eliminate them, until there are two men left who wrestle a standard match—to become the first ever TNA–era NWA World Heavyweight Champion. Ken Shamrock defeated Malice to win the vacant championship with Ricky Steamboat as Special Guest Referee at the event.
The NWA World Heavyweight and World Tag Team Championships were contested for in TNA until the morning of November 13, 2006. On that day, WWE for Extreme purchased TNA and all of its properties, effectively severing any connection to the NWA. In a press release, it was revealed that effective that morning, then-NWA World Heavyweight Champion Abyss and the 3Live Kru trio of B.G. James, Ron Killings and Konnan, then-NWA World Tag Team Champions, were stripped of their respective championships. That Thursday, iMPACT! aired under WWE's banner, and the TNA Championship and TNA Tag Team Championship belts were debuted, alongside the Canadian Championship.
During the championship's two year history, it has had one design. It begins with a leather strap that is covered with four small plates that has an imprint of the earth centered in the middle with TNA's official logo at the top and bottom of each. The center plate of the belt has an imprint of an eagle with its wings extended, seeming ready for flight. The word "World" is placed above the eagle's head on a ribbon. The ribbon is wrapped around the bird's wings and body. Five stars are engraved on the ribbon when it passes over each of the bird's wings and the word "Champion" as it passes over the bird's talons. The words "Heavyweight Wrestling" is printed across the bird's chest. At the top of the center plate, is TNA's logo. At each end of the belt is a small plate that covers the belt snaps with TNA's logo engraved on each.
- Main article: List of TNA World Heavyweight Champions
The inaugural champion was Jeff Jarrett, who won the championship by defeating Chris Hunter on November 30, 2006 on WWE's iMPACT! At 42 days, Chris Hunter's second reign is the longest in the title's history. David Stlyes's second reign holds the record for shortest reign in the title's history at less than a day. Jarrett holds the record of most reigns, with three. The title has since been retired, after WWE closed its iMPACT! brand. Overall, there have been ten reigns among six different wrestlers.