The National Wrestling Alliance was the top promotion in the United States at one point and it’s history was decorated with some of the best champions to ever step into a ring. Lou Thez, Karl Gotch, Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Harley Race, and Terry Funk were just some of the competitors that wore the historic NWA world title. So, what happened? How did an organization that was once at the top of the wrestling world plummet to mostly independent promoters leeching off the history of the promotion? For those that are unaware, there has been a recent shift in power in the NWA, as a result of a lawsuit where former president, Bob Trobich was being sued for insurance fraud. Other NWA board members brought the suit to Trobich and as a settlement, they will take control of the NWA with board member, Bruce Thrape leading the group. So, leeching off the history will continue and the name of the National Wrestling Alliance will be tarnished, just as its been tarnished for nearly two decades.
That being said, the legitimate National Wrestling Alliance closed when Jim Crockett sold his promotion to Ted Turner and the name was changed to World Championship Wrestling. Since the sell to Turner, the remaining board members have leeched off of anything they could in an attempt to rebuild the NWA. In my opinion, the “NWA” has lacked credibility and legitimacy since Turner bought Jim Crockett promotions and there has been a pattern of the “NWA” trying to leech off of other promotions than trying to rebuild itself. Perhaps the most famous example is when ECW was gaining momentum in 1994 and the NWA board attempted to use the platform for a tournament to decide a new champion. Shane Douglas threw down the belt, did one of the more memorable promos in wrestling history, and it showed that the NWA was still irrelevant. When Total Nonstop Action debuted in 2002, the promotion used the NWA title as a way get the product recognized by the fans, but when they decided to create their own titles a few years later, it actually helped the company in my opinion because they were no longer scene as a company trying to use the NWA legacy and at the same time, the NWA couldn’t claim to have a national presence leeching off of TNA exposure. The trend continued in recent years as Adam Pearce, who made a noble attempt to reestablish the title, revealed the title at a Ring Of Honor show in 2008 but ROH has struggled itself in the past few years so it wasn’t a launching pad for the NWA title. Don’t get me wrong, some promoters have tried to showcase the title, but after the world title tournament generated some talk last year, Joey Machete, who uses a rip off Sheik gimmick, refused to drop the title to Adam Pearce and was subsequently stripped of the belt.
The point being here, the legitimate NWA closed two decades ago and the current “NWA” is not only irrelevant, but also a joke considering the recent lawsuit for insurance fraud. The ONLY places that the NWA titles have any credibility are Japan and Mexico, which is more so because of their respect for the history of pro wrestling than the credibility of the modern NWA. The legitimate NWA that was Jim Crockett promotions had some of the best wrestling in the history of the sport so enjoy the old VHS tapes or DVDs of the classic Terry Funk, Ricky Steamboat, Midnight Express, and other matches, but the modern “NWA” is a completely different entity, despite using the same letters so don’t let it tarnish the classic legacy.
Until next week
That’s My Story and I’m Sticking To It
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