Recently, I looked into various championships and figuring out various top 10 lists and I started with the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Though for the better part of twenty years the National Wrestling Alliance was very far away from the limelight mostly being featured on small independent events and overseas. Even with that being the case though it didn't change the fact that the champions during that time were not bad choices, but more not covered so fans didn't know who the champion was at one time or another. Fact is once the NWA brand was paired together with TNA it was the first time that the Alliance was back in the spotlight since the days of Jim Crockett Promotions.
As fas as the list that I put together I tried to construct a list based on longevity and overall impact of their title reign. In my opinion names like Kerry Von Erich, Buddy Rogers, Nick Aldis, Dory Funk Jr, Whipper Watson, and others didn't have the impact or longevity of a run to make the list. I do feel like though that I constructed a fair list including some of the greatest champions to ever hold the "ten pounds of gold."
Now it is clear that the first champion does have to be included in any list when talking about the top ten champions. I do understand there could be a difference between the impact of the first champions had on establishing the status of their newly created championship. It is also fair to say that upon the creation of the NWA championship & Orville Brown holding the title. The reality is that the NWA Worlds Championship didn't really start gaining a ton of prestige until Lou Thesz won the gold and started traveling with the championship. Overall i don't think that the National Wrestling Alliance could've selected two better names to help set the foundation of the oldest championship in wrestling.
I don't know how hype I will be able to build over the next week, but I will attempt to build some as this is a major event. One thing that the WWE never does is run an anniversary event, though some might point to the age of the company as the reason why the NWA proves it's not age... it's desire. The reality is the NWA has always found ways to honor tradition and never loose sight of the past or those who paved the way. Fact is this anniversary event is happening at the height of a rebirth for the National Wrestling Alliance. Even though I do agree with Jim Cornette that there is a variety of reasons that the NWA never truly disappeared and just really went to sleep.
In my opinion the reason that the NWA was able to survive was because of someone always wanting to keep history alive. The "Ten Pounds of Gold" represents the most prestigious Worlds Championship in the history of professional wrestling and look no further then the lineage of the title to see all the proof you need. Though for the better part of a decade most wrestling didn't even know that the brand still existed as it was truly under the radar. This doesn't mean that anything has changed because year to year has always been celebrated as much as the last, but this year will be even bigger then usual.
On September the first we saw the most highly anticipated independent wrestling event in history when the NWA went All In. This will be the first major event since the All In show and will be a big test for the National Wrestling Alliance to see if they can continue building momentum from All In. Since his victory Cody has really got long road ahead of him due to the historical significance of his title win. At this point there are a number of other matches set for the event but for all things having to do with the 70th Anniversary event visit: Here
At one point Impact Wrestling had a perfect roster that could set them up for the future, but as we know now things changed and didn't go as planned. The company had a good balance between veterans and talent that could be future stars. During this period of time TNA had one of the best tag team divisions and once again a very talented roster in general. One of the tag teams on the roster at the time was British Invasion which included Magnus, Doug Williams, and Rob Terry.
Following the end of British Invasion we would see Magnus attempt a run as a good guy, but that run only showed how comfortable he was as a heel. The highlight of his run with TNA came in December 2013 when captured the TNA World Title defeating Jeff Hardy in the tournament finals. Though Magnus would go onto have a solid run as champion it was clear that something was missing, but maybe just maybe his run proved that timing is indeed everything. I don't think his run was bad as champion, but just at a time when fans were more interested in what was going on behind the camera as opposed to what was in the ring.
His departure from Impact Wrestling was seen as a failure, because a number of fans believed that Magnus had a lot of untapped potential. Surprisingly we would see the freshly named Nick Aldis appear at Championship Wrestling from Hollywood officially joining the NWA. Within three months Nick would defeat then NWA Worlds Champion Tim Storm at Cage of Death 19. Though this might not seem like a big deal for some the recovery of the NWA has been happening since the height of Tim Storm's run and Aldis just continued the success. Think about this the most talked about & hyped Independent wrestling event of the last decade saw the NWA World Title match be the most anticipated match on the entire event.
Overall seeing the man that he became after winning the title he truly did look like a champion. It was also extremely interesting seeing the short partnership that we saw early on between Nick Aldis and Memphis legend Austin Idol. In my opinion this reign as World Champion came at a much better time helping the brand gain more attention and Aldis seem like more of a star. It will be interesting though to see what Cody can do to help bring more attention to the oldest championship in wrestling.