The NWA. National Wrestling Alliance. The wrestling organization that, literally, started it all in North America. The NWA has birthed many organizations, including the WWE, WCW, Impact. But for a long time, the NWA was somewhat irrelevant and had vanished for a long, long time.
But now, thanks to new leadership, and what I believe to be the great comeback of wrestling, the NWA has returned to the spotlight with a show called NWA Powerr. This is all thanks to the leadership of Billie Corgan and Dave Lagana. Under them, the NWA has enjoyed a huge comeback, and it seems all of wrestling has enjoyed a comeback.
We’re going to dive into some history of the NWA, where it’s been, what it’s doing, and who’s who in the new wrestling world.
First, a brief history. By brief I mean very brief, or we’ll be here for hours on end. The NWA started in 1948. This makes it the longest standing wrestling organization still around to date. Most of the members of the NWA had gone under by the late 1980’s, which allowed for the WWE to expand. The last member of the NWA, WCW, left in 1993, leaving the NWA to stand alone. The NWA then leased it’s titles to then TNA wrestling in 2002 to 2007, making it NWA/TNA. This brought the NWA back into the spotlight for five years, until they discontinued and Impact stood alone. In 2012 the NWA stopped memberships and changed to licensing instead. The last step in this evolution was in 2017 when the NWA discontinued to be a governing body, and stood alone as the NWA we now know today.
Now, we’re going to look at the resurrection of NWA back to television.
Starting on May 1, 2017, Billie Corgan, who was fresh off the mess with Impact (Which I am not covering in this article), took over the NWA. All the rights and licenses of previous owner Tharpe has expired the day before the takeover, giving him complete control of the NWA. In the next few weeks the NWA became the sub company of Corgan’s Lighting One Inc production company. For the first time ever, the NWA was the sub-company and not the parent company. Corgan recruited Dave Lagana and formed a new partnership together, and the NWA was back. The road to TV had begun, and here’s how it happened.
September 23, 2017, Nick Aldis debuted for NWA, then under Championship Wrestling from Hollywood (CWH) defeating Will Roode. Later on, he challenged Tim Storm, the then NWA champion and oldest man to hold the NWA title, to a match on November 12. Aldis lost this match, but would win at Cage of Death 19.
2018: The NWA briefly allied once again with now Impact wrestling, and had an empty arena match featuring Tim Storm and Jocephus which would lead up to a match against the NWA champion Aldis.
The next step after this was the NWA partnering with Ring of Honor. Several RoH talents even went on to win a few NWA titles themselves. Still with me? Home stretch. All this led up to the big match that we all know. All In.
The NWA partnered with All Elite Wrestling, the brand new “T-Shirt Company” as it was once mockingly called, to launch their first ever event, All In. All In saw Cody Rhodes fight Nick Aldis in a spectacular match, and the NWA used the best strategy to promote this, Youtube. The series Ten Pounds of Gold debuted with Episode 1, “Meet Tim Storm” on October 20, 2017, and continues to follow the most prestigious belt in wrestling history, and was used to build up the Rhodes/Aldis match. Rhodes ultimately won the match, but then lost it almost right away to Aldis at the NWA 70th anniversary show. The NWA then brought back the National title, and the return of the Crocket Cup.
I want to touch briefly on the Crockett Cup as well, since it plays into the return of the NWA to TV.
The Crockett Cup was originally started in 1986 in the NWA by Jim Crockett Productions, JCP. The NWA was then under the leadership of Jim Crockett Jr, and the tournament was in honor of his father, Jim Crockett Sr. At the time the NWA was still splintered into territories, so this was sort of a big deal, bringing these territories together into one large tournament held over 2 days. The tournament consisted of over 20 teams (it varied from year to year so for the sake of continuity we’re going to say over 20). The cup was held in 1986 and again in 1987 and finally in 1988 before JCP was purchased by Billionaire Ted. It was not held again until the NWA brought it back. Not with the NWA at least. In July of 2017 the Crockett Foundation held the Crockett Foundation Cup Tag Team Tournament, which was held by Classic Pro Wrestling.
The cup was a single elimination tag tournament with the storyline prize of One Million dollars given to the winning team. The cup was announced again in October of 2018 during the NWA 70th Anniversery Show.
As the Crockett Cup is such a prestige and NWA exclusive at this point, I felt the need to sidetrack a bit and talk about it.
Finally, in 2019, the NWA once again stood alone, as they cut partnership with RoH in July. In August they announced the comeback of television tapings. On September 30 and October 1, the NWA recorded the first episode of NWA Powerrr.
Originally this article was going to include an interview with Dave Lagana, but unfortunately due to scheduling and the NWA’s recent major, I suppose the right term is PPV, I have not heard back from him. Regardless, the NWA is now a major force to be reckoned with, and with Nick Aldis at the helm for the relaunch as the champion, bringing prestige back to the Ten Pounds of Gold (Check out the YouTube show too), the NWA is in good hands once more. Here’s to a long reign of the NWA being back!
Questions? Comments? Complaints? At me on twitter, @laurencr3 . Lets discuss.