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Is the NWA World Heavyweight championship still a legitimate world title?
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Old 09 Sep 2010, 09:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is the NWA World Heavyweight championship still a legitimate world title?

The NWA World Heavyweight Title used to be the pre-eminent wrestling title anywhere. Over time, however, it has been devalued more and more. Despite a stint in TNA a few years back, it is once again being at a pretty much indy-level status.

However, considering all the tradition, doesn't the belt still mean something? Isn't it still a very important championship in the wrestling world? Perhaps the belt most representing the tradition of the sport?


- George Hackenschmidt becomes recognized as the first world heavyweight champion of wrestling in Europe in 1904, in North America in 1905

- The NWA appoints Orville Brown the first NWA World Heavyweight champion. Brown is injured in a car accident shortly thereafter, and the belt is awarded to Lou Thesz. Eventually, Thesz is considered the undisputed world heavyweight champion of wrestling after defeating all major claimants. Effectively, the NWA World Heavyweight Title is an undisputed world heavyweight title.

- In 1960, Verne Gagne's American Wrestling Association (AWA) breaks away from the NWA.

- 1963, Lou Thesz defeated Natureboy Buddy Rogers for the NWA title in a one-fall match instead of the standard 2/3-falls match. As a result, Vince McMahon Sr's Capitol Wrestling promotion breaks away from the NWA, becomes the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF), and recognizes Buddy Rogers as the first WWWF World Heavyweight Champion.

- In 1982, NWA World Heavyweight champion The Natureboy Ric Flair wrestles WWF champion Bob Backlund to a double-disqualification.

- In 1983, NWA World Heavyweight champion Ric Flair is defeated by World Wrestling Council (WWC) World Heavyweight champion Carlos Colón in a match to determine the undisputed champion of the universe. As a result, the WWC World Heavyweight Title is renamed the WWC Universal Heavyweight Title. Despite the loss, Ric Flair continues holding the NWA World Heavyweight Title.

- In 1988, Ted Turner purchases Jim Crockett Promotions, a major portion of the NWA. Turner's promotion, now called World Championship Wrestling (WCW), continues to work within the NWA while also building itself into a separate entity.

- In 1991, The Natureboy Ric Flair defeats Sting for not only the NWA World Heavyweight title, but also to become the first WCW World Heavyweight champion. A couple months later, Tatsumi Fujinami defeated Flair for the NWA title, but not the WCW title. Eventually Flair defeated Fujinami to once again be both the NWA WCW champion. Following a dispute with WCW President Jim Herd, Flair leaves the NWA WCW with the title belt, which he brings onto WWF programming.

- Lex Luger wins the vacant WCW belt in July 1991. Masahiro Chono finally wins the vacant NWA belt in August 1992.

- In 1993, WCW and the NWA fully part ways. The current NWA World Heavyweight champion, Ric Flair, is stripped of the belt.

- In 1994, a tournament for the NWA title is held and won by Eastern Championship Wrestling champion Shane Douglas. However, after winning the NWA title, Douglas throws it away, proclaiming the ECW belt (now Extreme Championship Wrestling) is a better world heavyweight title. Another tournament is held and won by Chris Candido, who is the new NWA World Heavyweight champion.

- In 1995, the NWA title is won by UFC fighter Dan Severn, who holds the belt for over 4 years.

- In 2002, following the collapse of ECW and the purchase of WCW by the WWF, a new promotion begins called Total Nonstop Action (TNA), which partners with the NWA. When NWA champion Dan Severn refuses to defend the belt in TNA, a tournament is held and won by Severn's UFC rival, Ken Shamrock, who becomes the new NWA World Heavyweight champion.

- In 2003, the NWA title is unified with the World Wrestling All-Stars (WWA) World Heavyweight Title after NWA champion Jeff Jarrett defeated WWA champion Sting. WWA had been another company founded in the wake of the ECW/WCW collapse, which featured many big-name stars.

- In 2007, the NWA and TNA part ways. Current NWA champion Christian Cage is stripped of the NWA title. Adam Pearce wins a tournament in Puerto Rico to become the new NWA World Heavyweight champion.

- In 2008, the Blue Demon Jr. becomes the first Mexican to ever win the NWA World Heavyweight Title. He holds the belt for two-and-a-half years.

- Current NWA World Heavyweight champion: Adam Pearce (since March 14, 2010)

But, yeah, so... What do you think? Does the NWA belt still mean something important in the business?

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Old 09 Sep 2010, 09:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Of course it is the longest reiging title in professional wrestling.

It is currently circuiting through ROH.
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Old 09 Sep 2010, 09:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Definitly and thank you for showing that the belt has respect.

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Old 09 Sep 2010, 09:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think it is nowhere as important as it was in the past but the story is still there. It is still a legitimate world title and it is an honor for any indy wrestler to become the NWA Champion. If a guy like Ric Flair hold that title it has to be valuable.
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Old 09 Sep 2010, 09:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It's possible that the NWA World Title is more prestigious and respected than the WWE Title and yet Vince has the nerve to ignore some people's reign as NWA World Champion (for example Christian). But yeah...he won it while in TNA so i kinda understand.
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