A Dinosaur Among The Living
In the world of professional wrestling championships have become, more or less, insignificant. The reason for this is simple, the fans; the millions of, as I like to call them, educated idiots, around the world that don’t seem to realize that the man holding the title belt is the top dog in the promotion he represents. Instead they give their allegiance to those wrestlers that they wish were champions. In doing so they ignore the fact that the man at the top is the man whom a promotion believes has the ability to draw, meaning make them money. If the man at the top can not draw then, inevitably, the promotion with put the belt on another who they feel can make them money.
Not only is it the man at the top but also the opponent he is facing that will, in the end, draw fans to purchase tickets to events and buy the merchandise that keeps the promotion profitable. This is true for professional wrestling and all other professional sports; as the old saying goes, if it don’t make money it don’t make sense.
For the last 20 years, one championship has been overlooked by the “fans”, the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. In the 1990’s, after Turner Sports bought Jim Crockett Promotions and renamed it World Championship Wrestling, WCW, the NWA World Heavyweight Championship became the WCW World Championship. The former title was dropped as a part of a major promotion for many years, however it was not dead.
The NWA World Heavyweight Championship became the fodder of disdain and was relegated to, what many educated idiots felt, a dinosaur among the living. Something that lie at the bottom of a dry ravine and should be left to die. Still, just as in Jurassic Park, there were those who would not allow the most iconic championship to have ever existed to die. The question is why? Why would the NWA World Championship never truly die? Simply put, it was the history, the lineage, if you will.
So many legends have been NWA World Heavyweight Champion; Lou Thesz, Ed ‘The Strangler’ Lewis, ‘Nature Boy’ Buddy Rogers, Gene Kiniski, Dusty Rhodes, and last, but certainly not least, ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair. Flair would become, what many consider the greatest NWA World Heavyweight Champion of all time with not less than 9 championship runs.
It was not only the champions, but the challengers that made the title so coveted. The storied title history, one that even the WWE attempts to perpetrate holding, is the reason that the NWA World Heavyweight Championship has existed, in one form or another, since 1948. Wrestling historians would suggest that this title has been in existance since 1905 when George Hackenschmidt was crowed the first World Wrestling Champion. It is the matches these men had that would lead to the NWA World Heavyweight Championship becoming the most iconic championship in wrestling history.
Today the NWA World Heavyweight Championship is seeing somewhat of a revival. With the purchase of the NWA brand by Smashing Pumpkins lead singer Billy Corrigan, the NWA World Heavyweight Championship has now become the focus of the singularly most important PPV event in wrestling history, ALL IN. At this event the NWA World Heavyweight Championship once again takes center stage as the most coveted championship in wrestling history.