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NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title confusion

Including NWAssociation (formerly NBA), the current version of NWA founded by Pinkie George, and other previous versions of NWAlliance, such as Des Moines and Kansas. Topics on regional territories may be moved to more appopriate board.

NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title confusion

Postby Hisaharu Tanabe » 2002/05/07 Tue 12:38 pm

I posted this on WrestlingClassics.com in reply to a question about the title, so I decided to post here for your info as well:

I don't know when McGuirk actually retired, but his promotion closed in '82. He controlled the title throughout the 50s-70s at least until '80 (could be '82 when his promotion closed).

Nelson Royal was awarded the title on 79/07/28 when the champion Al Madril was too ill for the match. However, Royal became pretty much inactive and retired in December of that year. This is when the confusion starts.

Between Dec., '79 and the summer of '82, there were two different versions of the title.

- Main version controlled (formerly?) by McGuirk
<a href='http://www.puroresu.com/titles/nwa/world/nwa-j.html' target='_blank'>http://www.puroresu.com/titles/nwa/world/nwa-j.html</a>

- What's later called "international version", recognized by New Japan and Los Angeles (and possibly Florida as well)
<a href='http://www.puroresu.com/alljapan/titles/int-j.html' target='_blank'>http://www.puroresu.com/alljapan/titles/int-j.html</a>

On 79/12/10, Steve Keirn defeated Chavo Guerrero in Los Angeles to be recognized as "NWA World Junior Heavyweight champion" at least by New Japan, Los Angeles, and possibly Florida. I don't even know if this match really took place because at the time, Chavo was the top star of Los Angeles, and I don't see any reason why Keirn suddenly comes in and defeats Chavo for the world title. Anyway, that's how it was explained in New Japan. Later Fujinami wins the title from Keirn, and the title stays in Japan until '80. While the title was defended on New Japan cards, it was called simply "NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title." However, when it was defended in Florida, the program said "International Junior Heavyweight Title."

On 80/10/03, Chavo defeats then-champ Kengo Kimura for the title. However, Chavo leaves Los Angeles (which had a working relationship with New Japan) for Texas (or Mid South?). Later, he jumps to All Japan with the belt and loses the title to Atsushi Ohnita in Charlotte on 82/03/07. I believe this was around the time when All Japan started referring to the title as "NWA World Junior Heavyweight International Title."

On 82/05/25, Tiger Mask defeats Les Thornton for the main version.

On 82/07/30, the international version was declared held-up after a match between Ohnita and Chavo.

In the following month (82/08), NWA annual meeting was held, and two different reports were made by New Japan and All Japan regarding the decision made by the NWA Board:
All Japan: "World Junior Heavyweight Title" is now vacant. As the replacement, "International Junior Heavyweight Title" will be created, and the total control of the title will be given to All Japan.
New Japan: Tiger Mask is still recognized as the World Junior Heavyweight champion. NWA VP Jim Barnette was proud of Tiger Mask as the champ.

In spite of New Japan's claim, the recognition was withdrawn by some of North American promoters around this time. Wrestling Title Histories" says that it was when Tiger Mask defeded WWF Junior Heavyweight title on the WWF cards, but I believe this had more to do with Baba's political influence within NWA. Ohnita becomes the first International Junior Heavyweight champion by defeating Chavo on 82/11/04 in All Japan while Tiger Mask continues to defend the World Junior Heavyweight title until his retirement in 83/08. Even though his recognition was dropped by some promoters, he was the only world champion until his retirement.


Between 83/11 and 85/08, there were again two different versions of the title.

- Main? version controlled by New Japan
<a href='http://www.puroresu.com/titles/nwa/world/nwa-j.html' target='_blank'>http://www.puroresu.com/titles/nwa/world/nwa-j.html</a>

- JCP version
(see the same page with italicized letters around 83/11)

After Tiger Mask vacated the title in 83/08 upon retirement, The Cobra defeats Davey Boy Smith on 83/11/03 to win the vacant title. Later in the same month, Les Thornton starts defending his version (JCP) of the title by claiming that he won the title in a tournament in Phillippines.

On 85/08/01, The Cobra vacates the title. At the time, JCP version of the title was held by Denny Brown, and NWA VP Shohei Baba declared that because of forfeit by The Cobra, Brown is the undisputed champion.

Nelson Royal, who held the title in 87, leaves(or retires) JCP/WCW in '88. However, he continues to defend the titles on indy cards such as USA in Knoxville and ACW in the Carolinas. (I checked some of the old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, and the reports clearly states that it was billed as NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title).

On the other hand, after Royal left WCW in 88, Masanobu Fuchi, who held a world title in All Japan (not billed as NWA title when it was created), was briefly billed as NWA World Junior Heavyweight champ in 88 or 89. For a very short time, though.

Also, Denny Brown was billed as the champ in some indy cards around (or soon after) this time.

The title was revived in '95 and is once again a board-controlled title.
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Postby Rubio MHS » 2002/07/28 Sun 11:26 am

Interesting. I've never seen the NWA Jr. Heavyweight Championship dissected thus. The NWA was rather odd in the way that it imposed titles. The only titles they ever universally recognized (before 1992) were the Heavyweight and Jr. Heavyweight titles. It seems that ever promotion had its own US/American/North American/National/United National, tag and regional titles.
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Postby Dan Poutsma » 2002/07/28 Sun 5:05 pm

Originally posted by Rubio MHS
Interesting.  I've never seen the NWA Jr. Heavyweight Championship dissected thus.  The NWA was rather odd in the way that it imposed titles.  The only titles they ever universally recognized (before 1992) were the Heavyweight and Jr. Heavyweight titles.  It seems that ever promotion had its own US/American/North American/National/United National, tag and regional titles.


In addition to the World heavyweight and World Jr. heavyweight titles, the NWA also recognized the World Light heavyweight title, which was controlled by the Lutteroths in Mexico. I've also been told that the U.S. championship held by Buddy Rogers in the 50s and 60s was board recognized as well.

All of the other so-called "NWA" titles were recognized and controlled strictly by the individual member promoters/offices, including the NWA World tag team title that was unified with the WCW tag title in 1992. From what I understand, they took full control over all world titles starting in October 1996, the same month that they elected to re-structure from a non-profit Iowa based corporation (National Wrestling Alliance, Inc.) into a North Carolina based limited liability company (Pro Wrestling Organization, LLC).
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Postby Rubio MHS » 2002/07/29 Mon 12:04 am

There were a ton of smaller NWA weight divisions, but most of them were specific to a particular federation. The NWA World Welterweight Championship, the NWA World Middleweight Championship and theNWA World Light Heavyweight Championship were completely controled by EMLL.

The other Mexican promotions weren't affiliated with the NWA and the NWA wanted to exert its presence in Mexico by promoting three World Championships there.

My original point was that those other titles were not controled by the NWA Board, as the Heavyweight and Jr. Heavyweight Championships were.
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Postby Dan Poutsma » 2002/07/29 Mon 3:56 pm

Originally posted by Rubio MHS
There were a ton of smaller NWA weight divisions, but most of them were specific to a particular federation.  The NWA World Welterweight Championship, the NWA World Middleweight Championship and theNWA World Light Heavyweight Championship were completely controled by EMLL.

The other Mexican promotions weren't affiliated with the NWA and the NWA wanted to exert its presence in Mexico by promoting three World Championships there.

My original point was that those other titles were not controled by the NWA Board, as the Heavyweight and Jr. Heavyweight Championships were.


I'm aware of the fact that the "NWA" World Middleweight and "NWA" World Welterweight titles were strictly EMLL company championships.

However, the NWA itself officially sanctioned world titles in only three weight divisions: Heavyweight, Jr. heavyweight, and Light heayvweight. While it's true that the World Light heavyweight title was controlled by EMLL, my point is that, even so, it was still recognized and sanctioned by the NWA Board of Directors. Just like the World Jr. title was also sanctioned by the board, but controlled by Leroy McGuirk.
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Postby StrongStyleKid » 2003/05/14 Wed 10:07 pm

I always knew that the NWA World Junior Title was messed up as far as history goes, but I didn't know it was that bad...yeesh :confused:
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Postby Antonia_Inoki » 2003/09/17 Wed 4:11 pm

i thought nwa was formed in 49. those titles have been around longer...
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Postby Dan Poutsma » 2003/09/17 Wed 10:12 pm

[QUOTE=Antonia_Inoki]i thought nwa was formed in 49. those titles have been around longer...[/QUOTE]

The National Wrestling Alliance (as it exists in it's present form as an association of promoters from different areas) was established in 1948. However, EMLL as a promotion has been in existence since 1933. That's why the World Middleweight and Welterweight titles (which were nothing more than EMLL company controlled titles anyway) pre-date the formation of the Alliance. EMLL eventually joined the NWA sometime in the 1950s.

Fwiw, there was also another NWA called the National Wrestling Association that was recognized as the dominant governing body before the Alliance came on board and was composed of various athletic commissions as opposed to promoters. It was on it's way out within a year or two of the Alliance's formation (even "unifying" some of their world titles with Alliance world titles). at which point the new NWA became recognized as the dominant governing body.
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Postby Antonia_Inoki » 2003/09/18 Thu 8:06 am

i might be wrong, but didnt the NWAssociation have something to do with the NBA (boxing, not hoops)?
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Postby Dan Poutsma » 2003/09/18 Thu 1:54 pm

Yeah. It was originally part of the NBA.
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NWA Welter, Middle and Junior Heavyweight belts

Postby 10lbs of Gold » 2004/03/07 Sun 10:25 pm

Does anyone here have any good pics of these 3 belts? They would be the DG version of each belt.

Thanks in advance.

John
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Postby Black_Flag_Of_Ulster » 2004/10/17 Sun 6:57 am

i remember reading that nelson royal, when he was the champ, wouldn't job to dynamite kid because, well, he thought he was too green or not respected enough or whatever. if royal retired not long afterwards, why not pass the belt on? i don't get it. also, was stampede in the alliance?
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Postby edgehead1984 » 2004/10/17 Sun 9:26 am

Yes they were in the alliance until 1981 i believe
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Postby Dan Poutsma » 2004/10/17 Sun 2:14 pm

I have a couple of NWA membership listings post 1981 that have Stampede, under their legal name Foothills Athletic Club, Ltd., as a member. They're on as late as 1984. It seems like they might have been in the Alliance until Vince bought them out.
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Postby dragonkingkarl » 2004/11/02 Tue 7:44 pm

Glad to see the history kept up with here credits Jerry Stubbs 1981 win, I have a tape of his only TV appearence as champion and it always bugged me that he was never listed in most title histories.
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