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NWA, WCW, and RAW World Heavyweight Titles

Pre-1990 topics only.

Postby oknazevad » 2003/12/27 Sat 12:46 pm

Two things.

First, Mattitude, there definately was at least one other replica of the Big Gold Belt made during the 90s/WCW era. It is now in the possession of Hulk Hogan, who walked out with it during the infamous Bash at the Beach incident. It can be seen amongst his collection of belts in the Hulkamania magazine special from a couple of years ago. It even still has Jeff Jarrett's nameplate on it! I also think another one was in use for some time before that, and that Ric Flair actually has the original these days, but I could be wrong about that.

Secondly, as per Dan's post, from my understanding of it, the only reason it took the NWA so long to strip Flair in 91 was because that September meeting was already schedualed, and nobody felt it was worth rushing to officially strip him. Which, in my opinion, shows just how little everyone cared about the NWA at the time. The story also goes that they actually gave recognition to Luger at the meeting originally, but decided there was money to be made in having a tourney to fill the vacancy, and so recinded recognition. (Pro Wrestling Titile Histories mentions it, if I'm not mistaken.)
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Postby Dan Poutsma » 2003/12/27 Sat 7:06 pm

oknazevad wrote:Secondly, as per Dan's post, from my understanding of it, the only reason it took the NWA so long to strip Flair in 91 was because that September meeting was already schedualed, and nobody felt it was worth rushing to officially strip him. Which, in my opinion, shows just how little everyone cared about the NWA at the time. The story also goes that they actually gave recognition to Luger at the meeting originally, but decided there was money to be made in having a tourney to fill the vacancy, and so recinded recognition. (Pro Wrestling Titile Histories mentions it, if I'm not mistaken.)


I don't know if there is truth to any of these rumors, but here's a few reasons I've heard as to why the NWA didn't immediately strip Flair of the title:

1) Some of the smaller promoters like Don Owen were hoping to possibly book him for a few dates before he did the inevitable and signed with Vince.

2) They were hoping to get the WWF to rejoin or come to some sort of agreement that would enable them to promote NWA vs. WWF title matches.

3) WCW Executive Vice President Jim Herd wasn't even aware that the NWA continued to recognize Flair as the champion until the meeting in September. When he found out, he convinced the Board to elect him President, at which point he immediately stripped Flair of the title and awarded recognition to WCW World champ Lex Luger.

As it pertains to the latter, the NWA did in fact recogize Luger as champ under Herd, and from what I understand, the original plan was for the Turner organization to simply switch the names of all of their titles from 'WCW' back to 'NWA' again. However, they ultimately decided not to on the grounds that it would confuse the heck out of the fans (and also probably because they figured it would be a total waste to get rid of the WCW brand name since they had spent a lot of time, money, and effort marketing it over the last couple of years), so they decided to bring back the NWA World heavyweight title and NWA World tag team titles independently of the WCW championships. Plus, Flair was still in possession of the physical 'NWA' world championship belt at the time anyway and they probably were of the opinion that they couldn't crown a "real" NWA champ until they got it back.
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Postby oknazevad » 2003/12/28 Sun 11:56 am

The net result sounds the same, so your details are probably more accurate. Either way, it shows how little anyone cared about the NWA at the time.
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Postby mattitude » 2003/12/28 Sun 10:41 pm

oknazevad wrote:Two things.

First, Mattitude, there definately was at least one other replica of the Big Gold Belt made during the 90s/WCW era. It is now in the possession of Hulk Hogan, who walked out with it during the infamous Bash at the Beach incident. It can be seen amongst his collection of belts in the Hulkamania magazine special from a couple of years ago. It even still has Jeff Jarrett's nameplate on it! I also think another one was in use for some time before that, and that Ric Flair actually has the original these days, but I could be wrong about that.

Secondly, as per Dan's post, from my understanding of it, the only reason it took the NWA so long to strip Flair in 91 was because that September meeting was already schedualed, and nobody felt it was worth rushing to officially strip him. Which, in my opinion, shows just how little everyone cared about the NWA at the time. The story also goes that they actually gave recognition to Luger at the meeting originally, but decided there was money to be made in having a tourney to fill the vacancy, and so recinded recognition. (Pro Wrestling Titile Histories mentions it, if I'm not mistaken.)

You make some awesome points regarding the Big Gold.. so there are about 2 or 3 copies of the belt before vince and two after am it right? so about 4 or 5.. by the looks of it Vince changed the shade of gold and added the promotional logos. I had no clue that Vince Russo acutally let Hogan Keep that belt. I thought that was just for the show and then took it from him and gave it back to Jeff in the back before the match vs Booker T. Intresting.
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Postby edgehead1984 » 2003/12/29 Mon 9:30 am

Dan Poutsma wrote:Also, you stated that the NWA was on the verge of bankruptcy. Maybe you don't know this, but WCW lost millions of dollars itself the first few years of it's existence and only stayed alive because Turner had a soft spot for wrestling since it always drew high ratings for TBS and played a significant role in bringing him and his empire to the dance. In fact, their goal in the early days wasn't so much trying to actually make money and turn a profit as it was trying to limit how much money they anticipated they were going to LOSE. So even though the NWA was in bad shape in terms of it's rather minute membership, that doesn't necessarily mean they were on the verge of bankruptcy. Unless you have documentation that will actually prove your claim to be true, don't state it as "fact".


In the same light, WCW was sold over Turner's pleas to keep it. The merger of AOL and Time Warner was one of the top causes for WCW's downfall. Turner could no longer will it to continue, because WCW's fate was no longer in his hands.
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Postby oknazevad » 2003/12/30 Tue 1:22 am

As far as I can tell, there have been 4 of the Big Golds made:

1) The original, it was actually gold inlaid in silver. Made circe 1985. It first represented the NWA title, and later the WCW title. Was the one that appeared on WWF TV in 91. I belive Flair has it now, and if he doesn't he should!

2) A slightly smaller, all gold version made before 96, as the original was gettingworn. This is the one that the nWo spray painted, that Goldberg hoisted & that Booker brought to the WWF during the Invasion. It's been around the block a few times, and is in storage at WWE HQ.

3) As the 2nd one got used more and more, it became harder to keep track of backstage. In fact, one night in 2000, they simply couldn't find it for a good hour. Subsequently, a duplicate was created by the WCW prop department to have on hand for situations like that. This is the one that Russo let Hogan have.

4) Now that the Big Gold is WWE property, and it's RAW's World Heavyweight Championship, Vince commissioned a new copy of the belt that incorporates the WWE scratch logo. Triple H now has it, again!
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Postby Dan Poutsma » 2003/12/30 Tue 1:56 am

According to someone in contact with the old WCW prop guy (who was with the company going all the way back to the days of Jim Crockett Promotions), the belt used during the Invasion and all the way up until earlier this year when it was replaced in favor of the new version bearing the WWE logo was in fact the original Big Gold, just replated and releathered. From what I understand, it's still used on house shows and at press conferences.

I read that Titan also had an identical replica Big Gold made in 1991 as a way to try and get around the NWA and/or WCW taking them to court for using the original, but they were ultimately prevented from using that one as well.
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Postby The Crowbar King » 2004/01/23 Fri 5:38 am

Chris Jericho is a 3-time World champion:

10/21/01; St. Louis, MO; defeated The Rock to become WCW World heavyweight title.

12/09/01; San Diego, CA; defeated The Rock to win the "former WCW" World heavyweight title.

12/09/01; San Diego, CA; defeated Steve Austin to become the WWF World heavyweight champ, thus unifying the WWF World title with the "former WCW" World heavyweight title. Jericho becomes known as the "Undisputed champion."


That is... THREE... Count 'em, three World title reigns...It just confuses a lot of people for two reasons:

1. He defeated The Rock TWICE within two months to win TWO titles that were indeed tha SAME World title, albeit with two different names in that 2-month span. Huh? Read that to me again?

2. Chris Jericho can claim something no one can claim in the entire greco-knuckle fortitude era (I mean ever)... No one has ever won TWO World titles in THE SAME NIGHT!
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Postby Hisaharu Tanabe » 2004/06/25 Fri 7:14 pm

I will close this endless thread but keep it for a future reference.
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