Continuing with the angle heard around the internet, TNA today announced a tournament to crown a new World champion following yesterday's news that Matt Hardy would vacate the title he won at Sunday's Bound for Glory pay-per-view (PPV) due to the injunction filed by attorneys representing previous champ Ethan Carter III.
President Dixie Carter & Creative team member Billy Corgan announced a World Title series to begin on tonight's episode of Impact Wrestling on Destination America to determine who will claim the company's top prize:
The matches in the series will almost certainly consist of the unaired bouts that were filmed over the last couple marathon taping sessions that TNA held, and are designed to get the company's flagship weekly show through the next month or so of television.
CORRECTION: I incorrectly assumed TNA was Tweeting a picture of the belt because it was a new design, but as Cagesider Chris Vannini points out, this is the existing design:
UPDATE: They've released details on how the round robin tournament will play out. It's a World Cup-style scoring system that will culminate in the top two wrestlers in each group advancing into a bracket to determine the winner. Dixie also announced that Knockouts will make up one of the eight groups competing in the preliminary rounds:
The World Title Series will feature a format very similar to soccer's World Cup, with thirty-two members of the IMPACT WRESTLING roster competing for the TNA World Championship. The wrestlers will be divided into eight groups to begin round-robin group play. Winners receive three points, a draw receives one point and a loss earns zero points. The top two point-getters from each group will advance to the field of 16 and a single elimination tournament where the competitor who wins advances and the loser goes home. The ultimate winner of the World Title Series will have survived the most grueling test in the history of wrestling and will be crowned the true and undisputed TNA World Champion. The complete World Title Series will broadcast weekly on Wednesdays on Destination America at 9e/p. The show will feature advancements in the presentation of professional wrestling offering new features like a virtual set where hosts Josh Mathews and Pope will update viewers on the World Title Series leaderboard, incorporate social media interactions from fans and wrestlers, and make predictions. After the matches, cameras are waiting backstage to capture instant reactions from the competitors leaving the ring.