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[FAQ] NWA and WCW

Pre-1990 topics only.

[FAQ] NWA and WCW

Postby Hisaharu Tanabe » 2002/02/01 Fri 6:33 pm

This is NOT a thread starter. Rather, this is the answer to a FAQ. WCW World heavyweight title and NWA world heavyweight title are NOT the same title. Unfortunately, both WCW and WWF have been confusing the fans that those were actually same title. I copied this from this thread on another message board and made some corrections. Please use this for your reference.


1] The National Wrestling Alliance is formed in 1948. It is incorporated in Iowa as NWA, Inc. in 1952. The members of NWA, Inc. (non-profit Iowa corp) voted to transfer all accounts over to that particular entity (formed in North Carolina) in November 1996.

2] In 1985, Jim Crockett Promotions, Inc. commissions a new giant gold belt ("Big Goldy") to represent the NWA World heavyweight championship. The belt is the physical property of JCP, Inc. and not the NWA.

3] In late 1988, Turner Broadcasting purchases the key assets of Jim Crockett Promotions and forms its own wrestling company, first called the Universal Wrestling Corporation, then World Championship Wrestling, Inc. This new group continues to advertise matches as being for "the NWA World heavyweight championship;" however, after Sting wins the title in 1990, complaint was made by NWA against WCW that Turner Broadcasting/WCW was not an NWA member although JCP was. WCW joined NWA but eventually recognizes its own WCW World title. The NWA World title and the WCW World title are clearly separate entities, often times defended on the same shows, in separate matches, by separate champions.

4] In 1993, WCW, Inc. tries to switch the NWA World title from Ric Flair to Rick Rude without NWA approval (even taping matches with Rude wearing the belt before the "switch"). The NWA takes WCW, Inc. to court and a judge rules in favor of the NWA, ordering WCW, Inc. to cease in its advertising of NWA title matches without permission and ordering WCW, Inc. to read a statement disavowing any link to the physical belt (which they owned) and the NWA title itself.

5] Tony Schiavone reads a statement on WCW Saturday Night disavowing any link between the physical belt which formerly represented the NWA World title and the NWA World title itself, thus ending any lineage.

6] The physical belt in question is then "renamed" the "WCW International" World heavyweight championship. That title is eventually unified with the WCW World heavyweight championship, with "Big Goldy" used as the symbol.

7] The NWA World title continues on with members throughout the U.S., Canada, England, and Japan.

8] The WWF brings Dan Severn in and bills him as the NWA World heavyweight champion. The WWF doesn't rejoin the NWA and stakes no claim to owning the NWA trademark. The WCW World title, meanwhile, is being defended on a rival show, on another network, at the same exact time.

9] In 2001, World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. purchases key assets from Time-Warner/AOL, which owns WCW, Inc., including the "WCW" trademark and the physical belt known as "Big Goldy."

10] In order to stress the importance of "Big Goldy," and thus market it as a viable commercial property, the WWF begins a campaign to create confusion in the marketplace, blatantly mentioning the names of Frank Gotch, Lou Thesz, Dory Funk Jr., Jack Brisco, and Ricky Steamboat as "former WCW champions." None of the names mentioned ever held the WCW title. Only Steamboat held the physical belt, and that was when it represented the completely separate NWA World title.
Last edited by Hisaharu Tanabe on 2005/04/13 Wed 6:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby DangerousBD » 2002/02/03 Sun 9:41 pm

Up until the WCW was sold...they were claiming Flair to be 14 or 15 time world heavyweight champion (I forget the exact number)
Are these combinations of NWA and WCW title reigns?
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Postby Peru-Yakuza » 2002/02/04 Mon 9:42 am

Yes. His first 8 title reigns (from 1981 to 1991) were NWA. Plus there was a NWA-only title switch in New Japan in March 1991, and then the rest of World title reigns were WCW.
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Ric Flair's correct (?) title lineage

Postby samoth » 2002/02/04 Mon 7:52 pm

I've been working on collecting titles of every member of the current WWF roster, so here's what I have for Flair.

NWA Missouri Heavyweight Title
NWA World Heavyweight Title [11] ... sometimes recognized as [9]
NWA World Tag Team Title [3] w/ Greg Valentine [2], Blackjack Mulligan
NWA United States Heavyweight Title [5]
WCW United States Heavyweight Title
WCW International World Heavyweight Title [2]
WCW World Heavyweight Title [8] ... recognized as first WCW Champion while he was NWA Champion, so he only actually won it [7] times
WWF World Heavyweight Title [2]

So he is technically a 21 time champion, or 20, or 19 or 18, depending on how you read it.
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That wasn't the point of the first post.

Postby Hisaharu Tanabe » 2002/02/08 Fri 5:56 pm

I only wanted to point out that WCW title is not and never was NWA title just because I get email from many people with the same question. I only listed the facts, not my or anybody's perspective. If you would like to believe Flair was the world champion after WCW left NWA, that's fine with me. However, NWA title didn't have a direct lineage to Hackenschmidt's title, either. There's no title today that has such lineage.

Maybe I should prepare some more FAQs:
- Who is the real world champion today?
or,
- Who can claim the direct lineage to Frank Gotch's title today?

Answer is "nobody" for both. :D
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Is There a lineal champ?

Postby benny4real » 2002/02/09 Sat 10:18 am

I agree that the NWA title is linked to the WCW title in some way (specifically Flair being NWA & WCW champion at the same time) but that doesn't mean the titles are the same lineage. Flair didn't lose the NWA title when he went to WWF but that does not mean the WWF title is joined to the NWA title because flair won the WWF title. I also agree that the NWA title is not directly linked to the Hackenschmidt/Gotch World Title either. None of the titles are diectly linked to any other title, the world heavyweight titles have splintered off and been unified so many times that it is extremely hard to recognize atrue lineal champion. I guess the controversy is just the nature of the sport or specticle as it so often referred to.

I just thaught I would ad my two cents worth

Thank You
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Re: wcw title lineage

Postby ZEKE » 2002/02/09 Sat 5:02 pm

I would like to put my 2 cents in as well...

[QUOTE]Originally posted by redspasm
[B]In response to the first post here, if you trace the "world's championship" that started with George Hackenshmidt and then Frank Gotch you will see that the WCW title has direct lineage to these first world champions.

<<<No world title that exists today can actually claim a straight line of successions to Frank Gotch. Yes there are very indirect lines going through 5 titles in the 20-30's but it is too branched out to claim a straight line; The 1905 line of NWA champions was prepetuated by the NWA in 1948, when Orville Brown who was recognized as world champ couldnt defend the belt; The title was then given to Thesz and it was voted to recognize the tline of title successions that brought Thesz to be champion. The current NWA does not recognize any champion before 1948 as an NWA champion anymore.



I have noticed a problem and it is that fans today get to hung up on names and fed initials. For example, the real world title Frank Gotch held was not the NWA title or WCW title but it doesn't mean that it doesn't share direct lineage with those titles.

<<<Like i said, there is no direct line; it was made up by the NWa boars and later continued by WCW announcers

And as far as the NWA and WCW titles being separate, ther are. However, when the WCW withdrew from the NWA in 93 and the NWA stopped recognizing Flair as champion, it didn't matter. The NWA as an organization at that time was all but dead and Ric Flair was still champion whether or not the NWA wanted to agree or not.

>>>Oh i will disagree, as it was the NWA who took WCW to court in North Carolina for trying to change the title without the NWA's approval. The judge ruled that the NWA would control the NWA title and not WCW. Doesnt sound like a dead organization to me. Taking on the mighty AOL Time Warner and winning?


That version of the title known as the "WCW International" world title, in all actuality represented the NWA title and when it was unified with the WCW title that became the real worlds title with direct lineage to George Hackenshmidt himself.

>>>Yeah it did on TV however leaglly it didnt. Most of us realize now what is said on TV isnt really always factual now that the business is out in the open. It did not "become" the real worlds title. That is rediculous. They unified a title that meant nothing. How can you have an "WCW International" world title and basically a "WCW US" World title?


That is why the NWA title today has no legitimate claim to the "real" world's title. They only have the NWA name which doesn't mean it shares the same lineage.

Well its got my vote; how can you sit there and say it isnt a world title? It has been in Japan, Canada, England, and the US and its defended against persons from those countries members; The WWf doesnt do that; if they go to Europe its Jericho v. Rock; You use the NWA and its Steele v. Corino and Corino v. Juggernaught and Ogawa v. Severn. You arent going to give me that they arent on TV crap so they arent a world title are you? That is a moot point as people like Thesz were champion without national TV. And yes they do have legal right to the lineage as they had it awarded to them in their lawsuit against WCW/Turner.


>>>The key point to look at is in 93. Look at the title histories on this website and you will see why they consider the NWA and WCW titles to be the same.

Thats is because there is a definite point at which the modern NWA and the NWA of old had to be seperated. Am I saying the Florida title is Graham's title of the 80's, no. But it is the NWA Florida title. Am I saying the tag titles of today are the Mid Atlantic NWA tag titles that became WCW titles? no. They were owned by the company that bought Mid Atlantic, and that was Turner. But am I saying that the title around Hasimoto is the same as Thesz's title? Yes I am. The reason behind Hisa's 1993 split in the NWA is because even he was fooled into thinking the NWA was dead in 1993. I had tried to convince him otherwise that the NWA one their lawsuit and had kleagel right to the lineage. If they didnt, dont you think WCW would have stopped this "NWA" from stepping on their toes talking about thrier champions?

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Postby samoth » 2002/02/10 Sun 1:12 pm

No one can say the NWA title is what it ues to be. Look at some of the guys to hold it since 1993: Chris Candido, Sabu, Gary Steele, Mike Rapada -- none of which are exactly "World Champion" material. Compare that to the only black eyes of the old NWA in Ronnie Garven and Tommy Rich, and you hopefully see my point.
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Postby Famine » 2002/03/28 Thu 11:47 pm

A point not brought up yet. It isn't exactly the samething, but somewhere along the same lines. When Shane Douglas won the NWA World Title in 1994, he it threw down, and raised the up the ECW title as the World Title instead. With what is being said about the WCW title being linked with the NWA, it can also be said that the ECW title can be linked to the NWA title.

In my opinion, at the time of the split between the WCW and the NWA, the WCW was the NWA. The only reason the NWA was in business was because the WCW kept it there.

Also, the NWA title that George Hackenschmidt held is not the same as the NWA title in question. One is the National Wrestling Alliance, while the other is the National Wrestling Association.
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Postby Hisaharu Tanabe » 2002/03/29 Fri 2:26 am

Natioal Wrestling Association started in 1920s. Hackenschmidt's title wasn't the N.W.Association title, either.
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Postby Famine » 2002/03/29 Fri 11:11 pm

I could be wrong, but the PWI Almanac gives Hackenschmidt credit for being the first N.W.Association champion.

Wrestling is unlike any sport, including boxing. Even with boxing, the titles can be traced back to when there was one single title (i.e. Heavyweight).

Wrestling is based more on the individual organizations than the sports as a whole. Even with boxing, there is atleast common ground between the big three (IBF, WBO, WBA) as well as the smaller promotions. WCW as a whole, as well as the WWF can be linked back to being members of the NWA, but their respective titles are their own, and theirs alone.
"When I die, I want to die like my grandmother who died peacefully in <br>her sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in her car." <br> <br>"If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten." <br>George Carlin
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Postby Hisaharu Tanabe » 2003/07/26 Sat 10:16 am

The original post was just a collection of the facts, not my personal opinion.

This thread is closed and continued here.
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