The following was issued by TNA Impact Wrestling on Thursday night.

Lashley Defeats Eric Young to Win First TNA World Heavyweight Championship

TNA Superstar, MMA fighter, three-time amateur wrestling Collegiate National Champion and former Army man Bobby Lashley (twitter: @fightbobby) tonight became the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion, defeating reigning champion “Showtime” Eric Young during an explosive episode of IMPACT WRESTLING (Spike TV, 9/8c) broadcast live to millions around the globe from Bethlehem, Penn.

lashley1This is the first time the behemoth Lashley has held the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Ranked by “Pro Wrestling Illustrator” as Rookie of the Year in 2005, Lashley has spent nearly a decade dominating the squared circle with his rare mix of size and athleticism. Lashley originally joined TNA in 2009 and after a hiatus returned to the promotion at the “Lockdown” Pay-Per-View event earlier this year. In recent weeks Lashley has joined forces with Director of Wrestling Operations MVP to wreak havoc on the TNA locker room.

Lashley is a decorated amateur and professional wrestler, including:

* NAIA Collegiate National Championship (1996 – 1998)
* NAIA All-American (1995 – 1998)
* CISM Armed Forces Championships Senior Freestyle Medalist – Gold (2003), Silver (2002)
* Pro Wrestling Illustrated Rookie of the Year (2005)
* Two-time ECW World Champion
* WWE United States Champion
* TNA World Heavyweight Champion