Introduction - Symbols
The Atlanta-based organization owned by Turner Broadcasting.
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This has been covered in the other threads, but long story short, the NWA was a world wide organization of promoters while WCW was a member of that organization.
The confusion began when Jim Crockett Promotions started to distance itself from the regional Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling brand and began promoting as just "the NWA" in an attempt to go national. With most of the other NWA territories going out of business and/or being swallowed up by Crockett Promotions, the NWA became identified with the Crockett organization itself even thouigh there were still other members who were no longer visible. Turner's World Championship Wrestling continued to promote as "the NWA" after buying out Crockett and basically made the two names interchangeable (they even made at least one reference to the NWA as a "division" of WCW) until late 1990 when the former was eventually dropped for legal reasons and all TV shows and titles were officially converted from "NWA" to "WCW".
In 1992, the NWA was reintroduced and they returned to the concept that it was a world wide organization that WCW was a part of. Tournaments were held to establish an NWA Heavyweight and NWA Tag Team Champions separate from the WCW World Champions and to emphasize the organization's world wide reach, they worked closely with New Japan and also brought in other international talent. The NWA tag team tournament was won by the WCW World Champions, who "unified" the titles, while the NWA heavyweight tournament was won by Masahiro Chono of New Japan. Once Barry Windham won the title, the global stigma began to disappear because the relationship with New Japan tapered off and the title became exclusive to WCW.
WCW eventually dropped their membership in Sept. 1993 . They continued using the belt, now held by Ric Flair, but dropped the NWA name and just began calling it the "World Heavyweight Title". Not long after Rick Rude won the title from Flair a few weeks later, they started calling it "the gold belt" and it was announced that they didn't recognize any organization or world champion other than the WCW World Champion Vader. This was only brief, however, as it was later announced that the "WCW International Board of Directors", supposedly made up of international promoters world wide (an inside dig at the NWA, which didn't approve of any of this), recognized the belt as a world title. It became known as the "WCW International World Title" and some of the global stigma returned as both Rude and Sting defended the title in New Japan until it was eventually unified with the WCW World Title.
In the meantime, the NWA went on without WCW and continues to exist today as a world wide group of mostly independent promoters who don't have very much exposure.
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