National Wrestling Alliance

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

National Wrestling Alliance
Trade name
  • Professional wrestling
  • Sports entertainment
  • Streaming media
FoundedJuly 18, 1948; 73 years ago (July 18, 1948) in Waterloo, Iowa, United States
FoundersPinkie George
Orville Brown
Al Haft
Harry Light
Sam Muchnick
Don Owen
Tony Stecher
Los Angeles, California
United States
Area served
Key people
  • Billy Corgan (President)[1]
  • Pat Kenney (Executive Producer)
  • Billy Trask (Director of Television)
  • Krista Wayner (Accountant of Lightning One)
  • Television
  • Merchandise
  • Home video
  • Live events
OwnerLightning One, Inc.[2]
SubsidiariesHouston Wrestling (video library)

The National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) is an American professional wrestling promotion and former governing body operating via its parent company Lightning One, Inc.[2]

Founded in 1948, the NWA began as a governing body for a group of independent professional wrestling promotions, the heads of which made up the Board of Directors. The group operated a territory system which sanctioned various championships, recognized one world champion, participated in talent exchanges, and collectively protected the territorial integrity of member promotions. Prior to the 1960s it acted as the sole governing body for most of professional wrestling. It remained the largest and most influential body in wrestling until the mid-1980s by which time most of the original member promotions went out of business as a result of the World Wrestling Federation's (WWF, now WWE) national expansion.

In September 1993, the largest remaining member promotion, World Championship Wrestling (WCW), left the NWA for the second and final time.[3] The NWA would continue as a loose coalition of independent promotions,[4] with NWA: Total Nonstop Action (NWA:TNA) given exclusivity over its World Heavyweight and Tag Team championships from June 2002 to May 2007.[5]

In August 2012, the NWA discontinued its memberships and started licensing its brand to wrestling promotions.[6] By 2019, the NWA would transition to become a singular, independent promotion.[7][8][9]


1948–1950: Formation[]

The extinct NWA territory system in North America

In 1948, Paul "Pinkie" George, a promoter from the Midwest, founded the National Wrestling Alliance with the backing of five other promoters: Al Haft, Tony Stecher, Harry Light, Orville Brown, and Sam Muchnick. The concept of the NWA was to consolidate the championships of these regional companies into one true world championship of professional wrestling, whose holder would be recognized worldwide. This newly formed NWA Board of Directors decided on Brown to be the first-ever NWA World Heavyweight Champion.[10]

Governing body[]

Lou Thesz


In 1950, Sam Muchnick, one of the original promoters of the NWA and Thesz’s booker, was named the new NWA President, a position to which he was unanimously re-elected and held until 1960, making him one of the longest-tenured presidents in the organization’s history.[citation needed] Following the advent of television, professional wrestling matches began to be aired nationally during this time, reaching a larger audience than ever before. Rising demand and national expansion made wrestling a much more and lucrative form of entertainment than in decades previous. This would be known as the "Golden Age" for the wrestling industry.[11][12] From 1948 to 1955, each of the three major television networks broadcast wrestling shows; the largest supporter being the DuMont Television Network.[12]

In 1956, allegations were made that the NWA was an illegal monopoly blocking competition. An investigation led by the US Department of Justice resulted in the "NWA Consent Decree of 1956" (The U.S. v. National Wrestling Alliance).[13] Several promoters would leave the organization during this time, with some managing to find niches in the United States. In 1957, Montreal promoter Eddie Quinn walked out of the August NWA meeting in St. Louis, having fallen out with Muchnick over a number of issues. At the time Quinn walked out, a wrestler of his named Édouard Carpentier was involved in an angle where he and Lou Thesz were both being presented around the NWA as world champion after Carpentier had a disputed win over Thesz on June 14, 1957.[14]

As the 1950s came to an close, professional wrestling was losing television ratings, and soon TV stations dropped most wrestling shows from their lineups.[15] The remaining televised wrestling promoters had small, local syndicated shows, which aired as late-night filler programming.[16] Promoters started using localized television by purchasing airtime from rival territories, at the consequence of putting some of them out of business.[17]

Verne Gagne

On January 24, 1963, at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Lou Thesz defeated Buddy Rogers in a one-fall match and was declared NWA World Heavyweight Champion for the third and final time (official).[citation needed] However, after the event, Vincent J. McMahon and Toots Mondt from the Capital Wrestling Corporation promotion in the Northeast territory refused to recognize the title change since Thesz as the NWA World Heavyweight Champion was not a strong draw in their territory. They then withdrew CWC from the NWA.[18] As a result, McMahon and Mondt formed the World Wide Wrestling Federation (later to be known as WWE) with Rogers as its first world champion in April 1963. Although both Gagne and McMahon promoted their own world champions, their promotions continued to have representatives on the NWA Board of Directors and regularly exchanged talent with NWA promotions during this time.[citation needed]

Gordon Solie

Wrestling's popularity continued to declined in the 1970s. The WWWF quietly rejoined the NWA in 1971 after their biggest draw, Bruno Sammartino, left the promotion. While still an NWA member in 1979, they changed their name from World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) to World Wrestling Federation (WWF). At some point during the decade, Muchnick reportedly declared Atlanta, Georgia as the “leading wrestling city” for its “drawing capacity and near-capacity crowds at the City Auditorium or the Omni every Friday.”[19] While the American Wrestling Association (AWA) and World Wide Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling Federation (WWWF/WWF) both faltered during the 1970s, the NWA once again took over as the top promotion and gained huge dominance with their program, Georgia Championship Wrestling, which would become the first nationally broadcast wrestling program on cable television through then-superstation TBS in 1979. They brought in Gordon Solie, dubbed “The Walter Cronkite of Professional Wrestling,” from former NWA President Eddie Graham’s Championship Wrestling from Florida territory to be lead commentator and host.[19]


Ric Flair

Videotape trading and cable television paved the way for the decline of the NWA's inter-regional business model, as viewers could now see plot holes and inconsistencies between each territories' storylines. The presence of stars like Ric Flair on TV every week made their special appearances in each region less of a draw.[20]

The WWF left the NWA for good in 1983, as Vincent K. McMahon, who bought the WWF from his father in 1982, worked to get WWF programming on syndicated television all across the United States.[citation needed] That same year, Jim Crockett Promotions and the NWA created its primary supercard, Starrcade, the first to be broadcast via closed-circuit networks and was regarded as their flagship event.

Ted Turner

On Saturday, July 14, 1984, in what would become known as Black Saturday, McMahon bought NWA member Georgia Championship Wrestling (GCW) and merged it into the WWF. The WWF would take over GCW's TV slot on TBS, which had been home to GCW’s World Championship Wrestling program for 12 years.[21] This move proved disastrous as ratings would plummet, and the WWF would end up losing money on the deal. Then-NWA President Jim Crockett, Jr., the owner of Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP), would buy the World Championship Wrestling program from McMahon for $1 million (US) and returned NWA programming to TBS. By 1985, Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP) would become the flagship of the NWA by acquiring more time slots on TBS and merging with other NWA terrories in attempt to compete with the WWF.[22]

With the success of WrestleMania III in 1987, the WWF would schedule another pay-per-view, Survivor Series, on Thanksgiving night to compete directly with NWA’s Starrcade event, and demanded exclusivity from cable providers on carriage of the event. As a result, Starrcade was moved to December the following year, with the show now held around Christmas Day beginning in 1988.[citation needed] The WWF then scheduled their first Royal Rumble event in January 1988 to counterprogram against the NWA’s Bunkhouse Stampede.[23] The NWA responded by creating Clash of the Champions on TBS to counterprogram WrestleMania IV.[citation needed]

By 1988, Jim Crockett Promotions was facing bankruptcy. On October 11, under the direction of owner Ted Turner, TBS bought the assets of JCP and renamed it World Championship Wrestling (WCW) after the TV show of the same name.[24] Originally incorporated by TBS as the Universal Wrestling Corporation, Turner promised fans that WCW would retain the athlete-oriented style of the NWA. The sale was completed on November 2, 1988, with a television taping of NWA World Championship Wrestling that very same date in WCW's hometown of Atlanta.[25] By September 1993, WCW would withdraw completely from the NWA.


In 1998, the World Wrestling Federation reached an agreement to use the likeness of the NWA titles, branding, and its history, to create a storyline.[26] It would be later claimed that WWE still owned the rights.[27][28] Despite The NWA receiving international television publicity during the angle, it was considered a failure due to low viewer interests.[29][30]

In June 2002, Jeff and Jerry Jarrett launched a new promotion called NWA: Total Nonstop Action (NWA:TNA) (now known as Impact Wrestling). Despite not actually being an official NWA member, NWA:TNA was given creative control over the NWA World Heavyweight and World Tag Team championships through an agreement with the NWA.[citation needed] In August 2005, the presidency of the NWA was dissolved and the duties of the office assumed by the Board of Directors, following the resignation of Ernie Todd (NWA: Canadian Wrestling Federation).[citation needed]


It was announced on the NWA's website on Monday, October 10, 2005, that NWA legal counsel Bob Trobich would become its new Executive Director. In 2007, NWA terminated its agreement with TNA, this would cause TNA to lose control over the NWA World Heavyweight and World Tag Team championships.

In January 2008, Colours TV on Dish Network and the NWA announced that they would begin airing an hour-long show entitled NWA Wrestling Showcase, featuring the NWA's current lineup of stars in action. The show was hosted by David Marquez (with Rob Conway co-hosting the first four episodes) with match commentary by announcers Todd Kenneley, Kris Kloss and Rick Otazu. Ten episodes were shown before re-runs began. All the matches were taped at the Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. In January 2009, NWA Wrestling Showcase started airing new episodes, this time the tapings took place in Hollywood California.

On July 12, 2010, NWA Pro Wrestling, Inc. and KDOC-TV Los Angeles announced a partnership in producing National Wrestling Alliance branded television programming beginning September 2010. NWA: Championship Wrestling from Hollywood (CWFH) would premiered on September 17, 2010.

In April 2012, North Carolina businessman and NWA Carolinas promoter David Baucom took over as the Executive Director after the resignation of Trobich.

R. Bruce Tharpe and International Wrestling Corp. (2012–2017)[]

In August 2012, International Wrestling Corp, LLC, a holding company run by Houston-based attorney and wrestling promoter R. Bruce Tharpe, sued Trobich, Baucom, the NWA, and its then-parent company, Trobich's Pro Wrestling Organization LLC, claiming insurance fraud regarding the NWA's liability insurance policy. A settlement was negotiated that transferred the rights to the NWA name and trademarks from Trobich's company to Tharpe's.[6] The new organization moved from a membership model to a licensing model,[31] which caused many promotions to immediately cut ties with the NWA, including Championship Wrestling from Hollywood. On September 9, 2012, Championship Wrestling from Hollywood announced it had left the NWA.[32] CWF Hollywood was the unofficial home promotion of both the then-current NWA champion (Adam Pearce) and the most recent previous champion (Colt Cabana), both of whom publicly left the NWA, with Pearce vacating the NWA World Title while exiting.[33] Other major NWA territories like NWA Pro/NWA Pro West, NWA Georgia, NWA Pro East, NWA Southwest and NWA Midwest folded.

In 2013, the NWA re-established a relationship with New Japan Pro-Wrestling, where Bruce Tharpe became an on-screen character, portraying a villainous manager of wrestlers representing the NWA. Over the next two years, the NWA World Heavyweight, World Tag Team and World Junior Heavyweight Championships all changed hands at NJPW events.[34][35][36]

In September 2016, NWA signed a deal with the new Japanese Diamond Stars Wrestling (DSW) promotion to promote shows in not only Japan, but also other parts of Asia. As part of the deal, DSW chairman Hideo Shimada was appointed the NWA Vice President of the Asian Pacific region while Jimmy Suzuki was appointed senior NWA consultant.[37]

Billy Corgan and Lightning One Inc. (2017–present)[]

2017–2019: Acquisition and relaunch[]

On May 1, 2017, it was reported that Billy Corgan, lead singer of the Smashing Pumpkins, had agreed to purchase the NWA, including its name, rights, trademarks and championship belts.[31] The report was confirmed by Tharpe that same day.[38] Over the following weeks, the NWA trademarks were moved from Tharpe's International Wrestling Corp. over to Corgan's Lightning One, Inc. production company.[28] According to multiple sources, as part of his acquisition of the NWA, Corgan would also purchase Tharpe's stake in the NWA's "On Demand" VOD service and licensing of the Paul Boesch wrestling library.[39] Corgan's ownership of the NWA took effect on October 1, 2017. All licenses granted by Tharpe to use the NWA branding expired the previous day, putting Corgan in complete control of both the brand and its championships. Corgan forms the organization's new leadership alongside Dave Lagana.[40][2][1]

Aldis as the NWA World Heavyweight Champion in April 2018

On September 23, 2017, Nick Aldis made his debut for Championship Wrestling from Hollywood defeating Will Roode. Later on after the match, Aldis challenged Tim Storm for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.[41] The match took place on November 12 and saw Storm retain the title. This was the first title match under the new NWA regime headed by Billy Corgan.[42] On December 9, Aldis defeated Storm in a rematch at Cage of Death 19 to become the new NWA World Heavyweight Champion, making him the second British-born champion after Gary Steele.[43]

In 2018, the NWA briefly allied with Impact Wrestling (the former NWA: Total Nonstop Action) to hold an Empty Arena match at the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando in Orlando, Florida. It was contested by Tim Storm and Jocephus and served as a qualifier to challenge then-NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis. The match was recorded on January 14, 2018 and uploaded to YouTube the next day.[44][45]

Starting in 2018, NWA allied with Ring of Honor (ROH). NWA wrestlers such as Aldis, James Storm, and Eli Drake appeared at several ROH events, with ROH-contracted talent even winning NWA titles.[46][47] This partnership would last until July 2019, when the NWA subsequentially announced the following month they would host tapings in Atlanta on September 30 and October 1 for a new television series, later revealed to be titled NWA Power.[48][49][50]

On September 1, 2018, the NWA World Heavyweight Championship was featured at All In, with Cody defeating Aldis for the title.[51] After All In, the NWA would return to hosting its own events. The NWA 70th Anniversary Show, which took place on October 21, 2018, was the first to be produced directly under Corgan's ownership.[52][31] The event was co-produced with Global Force Entertainment and was streamed live on FITE TV.[53] The main event saw Aldis defeat Cody to recapture the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and Willie Mack winning a tournament for the vacant NWA National Championship. The Crockett Cup, an eight-team, single-elimination tournament took place on April 27, 2019, as another collaboration between the NWA and ROH.

2020–present: COVID-19 pandemic and restructuring[]

In January 2020, Marty Scurll, and other Ring of Honor talent, began to appear at NWA events once again as part of an inter-promotional angle. In addition to re-signing with ROH, Scurll would join the company's booking team, enabling him to appear for both the NWA and ROH.[54][55] However, in the fallout of the Speaking Out Movement, Scurll was accused of taking advantage of a 16-year-old girl who was inebriated.[56] After an investigation, Scurll would removed from his position as booker, and by the following January in 2021, would be no longer under contract.[57] [58]

Nick Aldis was scheduled to face PCO at Supercard of Honor XIV on April 4, 2020 before the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[59] On June 18, 2020, Dave Lagana resigned as Vice President of the NWA after allegations of sexual assault were made public.[60] The promotion would go into hiatus as a result of this and the pandemic. During this time, several wrestlers would also leave the NWA, including former Tag team Champions James Storm[61] and Eli Drake,[62] Marti Belle,[63] former women's champion Allysin Kay,[64] former Tag Team Champion Royce Isaacs,[65] and former Television Champion Zicky Dice.[66]

NWA World Women's Champion Thunder Rosa would also make appearances for All Elite Wrestling (AEW) while under contract with the NWA. On September 5, 2020, Rosa unsuccessfully challenged AEW Women's World Championship Hikaru Shida at All Out.[67] On October 27, 2020, Serena Deeb defeated Rosa during the United Wrestling Network's Primetime Live event to become the new NWA World Women's Champion.[68]

On March 2, 2021, the NWA announced their return to promoting events, with the NWA Back For The Attack pay-per-view and new NWA Power episodes as part of a new distribution agreement with FITE TV.[69][70] As part of this agreement, the NWA would remove content from their YouTube channel.[71]



All held the title of President except where footnoted.

# Name Term Home Promotion
1 Paul "Pinkie" George 1948–1950 NWA Iowa
2 Sam Muchnick 1950–1960 Sam Muchnick Sports Attractions /
St. Louis Wrestling Club
3 Frank Tunney 1960–1961 Maple Leaf Wrestling
4 Fred Kohler 1961–1962 Fred Kohler Enterprises
5 Karl Sarpolis 1962–1963 Western States Sports
6 Sam Muchnick 1963–1975 St. Louis Wrestling Club
7 Fritz Von Erich 1975–1976 World Class Championship Wrestling
8 Eddie Graham 1976–1978 Championship Wrestling from Florida
9 Bob Geigel 1978–1980 Central States Wrestling
10 Jim Crockett, Jr. 1980–1982 Jim Crockett Promotions
11 Bob Geigel 1982–1985 Central States Wrestling
12 Jim Crockett, Jr. 1985–1986 Jim Crockett Promotions
13 Bob Geigel 1986–1987 Central States Wrestling
14 Jim Crockett, Jr. 1987–1991 Jim Crockett Promotions /
World Championship Wrestling
15 Jim Herd 1991–1992 World Championship Wrestling
16 Seiji Sakaguchi 1992–1993 New Japan Pro-Wrestling
17 Howard Brody 1993–1995 NWA Florida
Dennis Coralluzzo Championship Wrestling America
Steve Rickard All Star Pro Wrestling
18 Steve Rickard 1995–1996 All Star Pro Wrestling
19 Howard Brody 1996–2001 NWA Florida
20 Jim Miller 2001–2002 NWA East /
Pro Wrestling eXpress
21 Richard Arpin 2002–2003 NWA Tri-State
22 Bill Behrens 2003–2004 NWA Wildside
23 Ernie Todd 2004–2005 Canadian Wrestling Federation
24 Robert Trobich[a] 2005–2012 N/A
25 David Baucom[a] 2012 NWA Carolinas
26 R. Bruce Tharpe 2012–2017 NWA World Class
27 Billy Corgan 2017–present N/A

Programming and events[]

NWA Power[]

NWA Power (stylized as NWA Powerrr) is a web television program that airs Tuesdays at 6:05 pm ET on FITE TV.[72] The series debuted on October 8, 2019, originally airing on the NWA's YouTube channel.[73] A companion series, titled Power Surge (stylized as NWA Powerrr Surge), premiered on April 13, 2021 and features wrestler interviews, unseen matches, and Power recaps.[74]

NWA Shockwave[]

NWA Shockwave was a web television program that aired on the NWA's YouTube channel and Facebook page.[75] The series debuted on December 1, 2020. On August 10, 2020, it was announced that the NWA will partner with the United Wrestling Network (UWN) to produce a live, weekly pay-per-view (PPV) series named UWN Primetime Live.[76] Matches from this series would also be featured as part of Shockwave.

Ten Pounds of Gold[]

Ten Pounds of Gold is a documentary series chronicling the journey and career of the current NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion as well as others in the division. Debuting on October 20, 2017, on the NWA's YouTube channel, it was the first series to be produced after the organization's acquisition.[77]


This is a list of NWA pay-per-view events produced while under the ownership of Lightning One, Inc. (2017–present)

Event Date Location Venue Main event Ref(s)
70th Anniversary Show[b] October 21, 2018 Nashville, TN Tennessee State Fairground Sports Arena Cody (c) (with Brandi Rhodes) vs. Nick Aldis (with Kamilla Kaine) for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship.
New Years Clash[c] January 5, 2019 Clarksville, TN Wilma Rudolph Event Center Nick Aldis (c) (with Kamille) vs. James Storm for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship. [78]
Crockett Cup 2019[d] April 27, 2019 Concord, NC Cabarrus Arena Nick Aldis (c) (with Kamille) vs. Marty Scurll for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship. [79][80]
Into the Fire[e] December 14, 2019 Atlanta, GA GPB Studios Nick Aldis (c) vs. James Storm in a two-out-of-three falls match for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship. [81]
Hard Times January 24, 2020 Atlanta, GA GPB Studios Ricky Starks vs. Trevor Murdoch in a tournament final match for the NWA World Television Championship. [82]
Back For The Attack March 21, 2021 Atlanta, GA GPB Studios Nick Aldis (c) vs. Aron Stevens for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship
When Our Shadows Fall June 6, 2021 Atlanta, GA GPB Studios Nick Aldis (c) vs. Trevor Murdoch for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship
EmPowerrr August 28, 2021 St. Louis, MO Chase's Khorassan Ballroom Chelsea Green defeated Bianca Carrelli, Debbie Malenko, Lady Frost, Jamie Senegal (with Pollo Del Mar), Jennacide (with Taryn Terrell), Kiera Hogan, Masha Slamovich, Thunder Kitty, and Tootie Lynn in a NWA Women's Invitational Cup Gauntlet
73rd Anniversary Show August 29, 2021 St. Louis, MO Chase's Khorassan Ballroom Trevor Murdoch defeated Nick Aldis (c) in a Title vs. Career match for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship
By Any Means Necessary October 24, 2021 Oak Grove, KY Valor Hall
Hard Times December 4, 2021 Atlanta, GA GPB Studios

Championships and accomplishments[]


As of September 18, 2021.

Championship Current champion(s) Reign Date won Days held Location Notes Ref(s).
NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship Trevor Murdoch 1 August 29, 2021 20+ St. Louis, MO Defeated Nick Aldis at the 73rd Anniversary Show. [82]
NWA World Women's Championship Kamille 1 June 6, 2021 104+ Atlanta, GA Defeated Serena Deeb at When Our Shadows Fall. [82]
NWA World Television Championship Tyrus 1 August 6, 2021 43+ Atlanta, GA Defeated Da Pope on ExtraPowerrr.


NWA World Tag Team Championship La Rebelión (Bestia 666 and Mecha Wolf 450) 1
(1, 1)
August 29, 2021 20+ St. Louis, MO Defeated Aron Stevens and JR Kratos at the 73rd Anniversary Show. [82]
NWA World Women's Tag Team Championship The Hex (Allysin Kay and Marti Belle) 1
(1, 1)
August 28, 2021 21+ St. Louis, MO Defeated Red Velvet and KiLynn King in the tournament final for the vacant title at EmPowerrr. [82]
NWA National Championship Chris Adonis 2 July 6, 2021 74+ Atlanta, GA Defeated JTG in the tournament final for the vacant title on Power.


This is a list of NWA accomplishments under the ownership of Lightning One, Inc. (2017–present)

Accomplishment Latest winner Date won Location Notes Ref.
Crockett Cup Villain Enterprises (Brody King & PCO) April 27, 2019 Concord, North Carolina Defeated Royce Isaacs and Thom Latimer (with Madusa) [84]


  1. ^ Jump up to: a b Held title of Executive Director.
  2. ^ This event was co-produced with Global Force Entertainment.
  3. ^ This event was co-produced with Tried-N-True Pro Wrestling (TNT) and was the inaugural NWA Pop-Up Event.
  4. ^ This event was co-produced with Ring of Honor (ROH).
  5. ^ This event was the first PPV to be produced exclusively by the NWA since its acquisition by Billy Corgan and Lightning One Inc.

See also[]


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  10. ^ Shaun Assael. Sex, Lies, & Headlocks (p.8)
  11. ^ Thesz, Lou. Hooker. p. 101.
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