When AJ Styles took his championship belt and ran, a tournament was set to crown who was going to be the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion. The finals of the tournament came down to Jeff Hardy against Magnus in a DixieLand match. How a DixieLand match works is you need to escape the cage then walk over to the stage and climb the ladder to retrieve the title. Jeff Hardy escaped the cage, furthest from the stage, with Magnus on the side closest to the stage coming down shortly after. Both wrestlers met with Hardy about to walk up the ramp to retrieve the title. EC3 grabbed Magnus and was about to hurt him. He suddenly had Jeff Hardy’s attention, which made Hardy attack EC3. Hardy didn’t want any help and delivered a twist of fate to him. When Magnus was going up the ramp, Hardy hit the twist of fate on Magnus. Dixie Carter was in front of the ladder at the stage. She said “Over my dead body” to Hardy, very much not wanting Hardy to be the champion. Hardy threw his sweat in Dixie’s face and climbed to the top of the ladder. Out from the back, Rockstar Spud comes and pushes the ladder. Hardy goes flying off the ladder. Spud repositioned the ladder and yelled out to Magnus, “It’s yours! It’s yours!” Magnus got up and walked over to the ladder. He quickly climbed the ladder and retrieved the championship, becoming the TNA World Heavyweight Champion and aligning himself with Dixie Carter, Rockstar Spud and Ethan Carter III.
Now that Magnus was the face of Team Dixie, people from Team Dixie would interfere in his matches however they could to keep him the champion. The number one priority was now having Magnus stay the TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Three weeks after Magnus won the championship, AJ Styles crashed his party. A match was made between the two champions the following week. In this match, one person (Sting) was on AJ Styles’ side while eight wrestlers interfered on the side of Team Dixie. Bobby Roode hit the Roode Bomb on AJ Styles three times before Magnus pinned Styles. Since AJ Styles lost, he was now out of TNA. The next week, Magnus faced off against Sting in a World Title vs. Contract mach. Two people interfered for Sting while eight people interfered for Magnus. Once again, the last person that came in to help Magnus was Bobby Roode. Magnus defeated Sting.
Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle challenged Magnus and EC3. If either Joe or Angle were to pine Magnus, that person would receive a TNA World Heavyweight Championship title shot at Lockdown. That person turned out to be Samoa Joe. Over this time, Samoa Joe delivered many intense promos. Everything looked as though Joe was going to defeat Magnus. While this was happening, Magnus was starting to break away from Team Dixie. During Lockdown, Magnus gave a promo saying that he was going into the match alone. The match that night would prove that he is a credible champion. At the end of the match, Abyss came out from underneath the ring. He surfaced from a hole in the ring and attacked Samoa Joe with his board filled with nails named Janice. The following Impact Wrestling, we learned that Magnus bought Abyss. Abyss was no longer a wrestler under Impact Wrestling but was now contracted by Magnus. One thing I had never been able to figure out is why Abyss would become obsessed with money. I guess TNA never thought about that. Nevertheless, Magnus still had others doing his dirty work for him.
Ever since Magnus became champion, he was always called a champion that was a fake. He was a phony champion. He did not deserve to be the champion. When AJ Styles came back to confront him, he called Magnus a farce. The fans chanted, “Your a farce.” Styles also said, “These people are going to doubt you were ever a world champion anyway.” I am not sure anyone knew at the time how accurate that statement would be. Over his tenure as the champion, wrestlers and fans would continually call Magnus a “paper champion.” With Magnus being portrayed as a paper champion and being the face of TNA Wrestling, he didn’t have heel heat the way TNA Wrestling had hoped for. We didn’t legitimately dislike Magnus for his character but disliked that Magnus always had others do all of the dirty work for him while the World Heavyweight Champion scored the pin at the end. Do you really want to have the face of your company be a puppet of Dixie Carter? Magnus went from someone who had very much potential in being a star if he had stayed a face. Instead, he was transformed into someone that TNA gave the title to but never had faith in. In conclusion, Magnus’ title reign can be considered a failure.