X Division: Honoring Innovation With 50 TNA/Impact Wrestling Champions

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 “It’s not about weight limits, it’s about no limits!”

Hi folks! Today, I bring you an extensive list of all TNA/Impact Wrestling X Division Champions in the company’s history. It has been a little over 20 years since the promotion opened its doors, and one of its biggest assets has been the innovative X Division.

Often praised as a division without limits, the X Division has paved the way for a style of wrestling that has been emulated many times elsewhere. Although high spots have commonly occurred in matches, this isn’t a cruiserweight division. Anyone can challenge in the X Division, including heavyweights and women.

Speaking of which, three women have stepped up to challenge for the X Division title. Athena & Trinity did this in the early days. More recently, Jordynne Grace won an open challenge and was announced as the new champion. However, the champion at the time, Rohit Raju, clarified that the decision was void because the referee never declared it a title match.

Impact placed a weight limit on the division for a short while, and I’ll let you know when that was. Also, the title has changed its name over the years. Before we look at the champions, here are the names the title was/is referred to:


  • NWA X Championship (the title originally belonged to the NWA) in 2002.
  • NWA-TNA X Championship (not long after the promotion started) in 2002.
  • NWA-TNA X Division Championship (unsure when it changed) in 2003.
  • TNA X Division Championship (NWA officially passed it down to TNA) from 2003 – March 1, 2017.
  • Impact Wrestling X Division Championship (when the company name changed) from March 2, 2017 – August 17, 2017.
  • GFW X Division Championship (when the merger with GFW began) from August 17, 2017 – September 18, 2017.
  • Impact X Division Championship (after the GFW merger fell through) from September 18, 2017 – present.

Impact


#1. AJ Styles — 6 Reigns, 272 days

“1st X Division Champion” – While Styles only just creeps onto the list of the top 10 longest reigning title holders, many fans will agree (me included) that he is the greatest X Division Champion of all time. As the first, he set the bar, and he continued setting that bar higher with each new reign.

AJ Styles was the first to use the title as a stepping stone to the World Championship. Not only that, but he helped to elevate the X Division to be equal to the main event scene. At one point, you could say the X Division Championship almost held as much importance as the World title.

In 2005, at Unbreakable, AJ won a triple threat title match against Christopher Daniels (c) and Samoa Joe. To this day, it is regarded as the greatest match in company history.


What makes AJ’s reigns special were the rivals he shared the ring with. Jerry Lynn. Low Ki. Chris Sabin. Petey Williams. Christopher Daniels. Samoa Joe. Just to name a few! AJ didn’t need to be the World Champion because he elevated the X Division into relevancy. And we could say that he did this so well, that it has been difficult for anyone to repeat the feat. AJ Styles may not be one of the longest-reigning of all time, but he made the X Division phenomenal.


Where Is He Now? – Despite leaving TNA Wrestling on bad terms, Styles looked like he would return to the company following a stint in New Japan. Instead, AJ signed with WWE and remains there to this day.


X Division

#2. Low Ki/Senshi  5 Reigns, 312 days

“Longest Time Between Reigns” – Low Ki is the 5th longest reigning overall and is unlucky to never reach the next level. WWE fans may remember him as Kaval, the winner of the second season of NXT. When he returned to Impact for the fourth time and won the X Division title, he set a record for the longest time between reigns. Nobody can say they won this championship close to 15 years apart.

He came close to getting his big match for the World Championship, which would have happened at Bound For Glory against Alberto El Patron (Del Rio). However, circumstances out of his control lead to his match falling through. What is safe to say about Low Ki is that he helped to form the X Division in its early days, and continued to do so when he had the opportunity.

Where Is He Now? – In 2018, the year after leaving Impact, he debuted for Major League Wrestling and worked there until 2021. During this run, he won the MLW World Heavyweight Championship and held it for 205 days. Since late-2021, he worked for House Of Glory and has since won and lost the Crown Jewel title.



Impact

#3. Jerry Lynn — 2 Reigns, 84 days

“The Original Veteran” – I think Jerry Lynn’s contribution to the X Division often goes understated. He was a veteran and known name by the time NWA: TNA started and having his expertise proved valuable. When you think of the best singles match wrestlers of the late-90s/early 2000s in the United States, Jerry Lynn has to be in anyone’s top 5.

His feud with Rob Van Dam in ECW meant he was already used to pushing limits and working with high flyers. He didn’t get the big break he was looking for in WWE, so this was his time to pass the torch on to the new blood. I’m sure that AJ Styles, Low Ki, and others are eternally grateful he was there as a mentor.


Where Is He Now? – Lynn is currently signed to All Elite Wrestling as a producer and coach.


X Division

#4. Vacant 12 Reigns

“Now. Then. Forever.” – This guy gets everywhere! Whenever a title needs it, vacant is there to pick up the pieces. Yes, technically there are 49 X Division Champions… and I’m using “Vacant” to bump it up to 50. Want to fight about it?! I’ll send Vacant right on over. But yeah, if you’re more interested in knowing when Vacant made a name for itself, here’s a list of his reigns:


– Jerry Lynn vacated the title on October 9, 2002, because of injury. TNA crowned a new champion on the same night.

– Chris Sabin vacated the title on March 31, 2004, because of injury. TNA crowned a new champion on the same night.

– Eric Young controversially won a title match on December 7, 2008, so Jim Cornette stripped him of it. TNA crowned a new champion at the next PPV, which was a little over a month later.

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