Introduction - Symbols
Just to clear up how British/European/World titles work.
Promoters do not "own" the old-school titles. The titles in British Wrestling, along with the British rules system, were all set up independently by the semi-mark Mountevans Committee in 1947 (consisting of peer Lord Mountevans, MP Maurice Webb, radio personality 'Commander' Campbell and promoter Norman Morrell.) The advent of TV coverage on the ITV network also encouraged standardisation of titles.
In some cases existing major version of titles became the official versions, in other cases, multiple versions of titles were unified in tounaments to produce standardised versions of British titles. European titles were quickly merged with version from other countries to produce undisputed versions of these, and likewise Euro versions of World titles.
The biggest success story in this regard being Mountevans World Lightweight Champion George Kidd, who in 1950 beat Rudi Quarez in Mexico City for the NWA World Lightweight title, jobbed and regained with French World Lightweight champion René Ben Chemouel and finally mopped up the Spanish version held by Catchera I in 1955 to become Undisputed World Lightweight Champion (which is to say, his was the only version in existence on the planet, as there was only enough worldwide demand for a single World Lightweight Champion ) until the UWA formed in the mid '70s. By this point, the World Welterweight title (NWA version in Mexico) and the World Heavymiddleweight title (in continental Europe until Mark Rocco's 1981 win over Joel de Fremery brought it to the UK) were also undisputed.
As the titles were set up independently, wrestlers could take their titles with them if they switched promotions (or, if with European and World titles, wrestled abroad) and promoters, even including Joint Promotions just had to accept the situation!!! The only title to suffer from any serious disputed branches was the British Heavyweight title (see other thread). When other champions switched to rival promotions such as All-Star, then Joint and ITV had to gamely accept loss of control of the title to a rival.
By and large this remains the case with the titles to this day. The TWA may have revived the British Welterweight and British Middleweight titles, but other promotions generally recognise the TWA versions (except heavyweight) as the official undisputed versions. For example, earlier this year, Brian Maxine, the last old-time holder of the British Middleweight title, defended his belt against Johnny Kidd on a Premier Promotions Show. However, the match was promoted by Premier as being strictly for the belt only as a material possesion. No attempt was made to dispute the current version of the title, at that point held by Mal Sanders - not least as Sanders also regularly wrestled bouts for Premier! Even now that TWA promoter Scott Conway is moving to Thailand, there is nothing to stop welterweight champ Storm and current Middleweight champion Steve Grey defending their titles on All-Star or Premier shows.
There is also the little issue of All Star's Middleweight title, held for over a year now by Robbie Dynamite. All-Star themselves aren't too sure about this, but the consensus is that this title is supposed to be a revival of the British Heavy-Middleweight title, last held by Danny Collins in 1990.
The "British Commonwealth" Junior Heavyweight Title had something to do with Great Britain in its beginnings, but not anymore. It was a Michinoku championship put on Ian "Doc" Dean and then Stevie J (no idea who he is) and Danny Collins to ultimately job to Dick Togo and Sasuke. It was later part of New Japan's J-Crown. In about 2000 or 1 Sasuke gave it to Toryumon by jobbing it to Masaaki Mochizuki. The belt has UK flags all over it, but in the middle there's the Michinoku insignia.
The original BC title concept was a tribute to the old BC Mid-Heavyweight title out of Calgary Stampede, but this one was later also resurrected I think when the Harts reactivated the promotion.
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There were definitely Empire titles set up by the Mountevans Committee, some of which eventually morphed into Commonwealth titles - I think the idea was that champions could defend these titles on tour in tours to colonies and later ex-colonies.
No doubt some of the original titles are probably still knocking around in obscure corners of the Third World. However, the Empire/Commonwealth titles faded out of the UK scene around the late '60s, (along with most of the network of regional Area titles - I stongly believe that these should be revived by the small 'new-school' trainee promotions.)
In 1968, Billy Robinson, then holder of the British and European Heavyweight titles, was interviewed (genuine albeit heavily kayfabed) by TVTimes and he said "I haven't taken the Empire Championship because it's not really worth bothering about."
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