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NWA World Heavyweight Title History

Champion Won From Date City/Event
George Hackenschmidt Tom Jenkins 5/5/1904 New York, NY[1]
Frank Gotch George Hackenschmidt 4/3/1908 Chicago, IL[2]
Joe Stecher Charlie Cutler 7/4/1915 Omaha, NE[3]
Earl Caddock Joe Stecher 4/9/1917 Omaha, NE[4]
Joe Stecher (2) Earl Caddock 1/30/1920 New York, NY
Joe Stecher 12/13/1920 New York, NY
Stanislaus Zbyszko Ed
5/6/1921 New York, NY
Ed “Strangler” Lewis (2) Stanislaus Zbyszko 3/3/1922 Wichita, KS
Wayne Munn Ed
1/8/1925 Kansas City, MO
Stanislaus Zbyszko (2) Wayne Munn 4/15/1925 Philadelphia, PA
Joe Stecher (3) Stanislaus Zbyszko 5/30/1925 St. Louis, MO
Joe Stecher 2/20/1928 St. Louis, MO
Gus Sonnenberg Ed
1/4/1929 Boston, MA
Dick Shikat Jim Londos 8/23/1929 Philadelphia, PA[5]
Jim Londos Dick Shikat 6/6/1930 Philadelphia, PA
Ed Don George Gus Sonnenberg 12/10/1930 Los Angeles, CA
Ed Don George 4/13/1931 Los Angeles, CA
Henry DeGlane Ed
5/4/1931 Montreal, Quebec[6]
Dick Shikat 6/9/1932 New York, NY[7]
Ed Don George (2) Henry DeGlane 2/9/1933 Boston, MA
Jim Browning Ed
2/20/1933 New York, NY
Jim Londos (2) Jim Browning 6/25/1934 New York, NY
Danno O’Mahony Jim Londos 6/27/1935 Boston, MA
O’Mahony (2)
Ed Don George 6/30/1935 Boston, MA
O’Mahony (3)
7/30/1935 Boston, MA[8]
Dick Shikat (2) Danno O’Mahony 3/2/1936 New York, NY
Ali Baba Dick Shikat 4/24/1936 Detroit, MI[9]
Everett Marshall Ali Baba 6/26/1936 Columbus, OH
Lou Thesz Everett Marshall 12/29/1937 St. Louis, MO
Lou Thesz 2/11/1938 Boston, MA
Marshall (2)
9/38 [10]
Lou Thesz (2) Everett Marshall 2/23/1939 St. Louis, MO
Bronko Nagurski Lou Thesz 6/23/1939 Houston, TX
Ray Steele Bronko Nagurski 3/7/1940 St. Louis, MO
Nagurski (2)
Ray Steele 3/11/1941 Minneapolis, MN
Sandor Szabo Bronko Nagurski 6/5/1941 St. Louis, MO
Bill Longson Sandor Szabo 2/19/1942 St. Louis, MO
Yvon Robert Bill Longson 10/7/1942 Montreal, Quebec
Bobby Managoff Yvon Robert 11/17/1942 Houston, TX
Bill Longson (2) Bobby Managoff 2/19/1943 St. Louis, MO
Billy Watson
Bill Longson 2/21/1947 St. Louis, MO
Lou Thesz (3) Whipper
Billy Watson
4/25/1947 St. Louis, MO
Bill Longson (3) Lou Thesz 11/21/1947 St. Louis, MO
Lou Thesz (4) Bill Longson 7/20/1948 Indianapolis, IN[11]
Billy Watson (2)
Lou Thesz 3/15/1956 Toronto, Ontario
Lou Thesz (5) Whipper
Billy Watson
11/9/1956 St. Louis, MO
Dick Hutton Lou Thesz 11/14/1957 Toronto, Ontario
Pat O’Connor Dick Hutton 1/9/1959 St. Louis, MO
Buddy Rogers Pat O’Connor 6/30/1961 Chicago, IL
Lou Thesz (6) Buddy Rogers 1/24/1963 Toronto, Ontario
Gene Kiniski Lou Thesz 1/7/1966 St. Louis, MO
Dory Funk Jr. Gene Kiniski 2/11/1969 Tampa, FL
Harley Race Dory Funk Jr. 5/24/1973 Kansas City, MO
Jack Brisco Harley Race 7/20/1973 Houston, TX
Giant Baba Jack Brisco 12/2/1974 Japan
Jack Brisco (2) Giant Baba 12/9/1974 Japan
Terry Funk Jack Brisco 12/10/1975 Miami, FL
Harley Race (2) Terry Funk 2/6/1977 Toronto, Ontario
Dusty Rhodes Harley Race 8/21/1979 Tampa, FL
Harley Race (3) Dusty Rhodes 8/26/1979 Orlando, FL
Giant Baba (2) Harley Race 10/31/1979 Japan
Harley Race (4) Giant Baba 11/7/1979 Japan
Giant Baba (3) Harley Race 9/4/1980 Japan
Harley Race (5) Giant Baba 9/10/1980 Japan
Tommy Rich Harley Race 4/27/1981 Augusta, GA
Harley Race (6) Tommy Rich 5/1/1981 Gainesville, GA
Dusty Rhodes (2) Harley Race 6/21/1981 Atlanta, GA
Ric Flair Dusty Rhodes 9/17/1981 Kansas City, MO
Harley Race (7) Ric Flair 6/10/1983 St. Louis, MO
Ric Flair (2) Harley Race 11/24/1983 Starrcade
Harley Race (8) Ric Flair 3/21/1984 New Zealand
Ric Flair (3) Harley Race 3/23/1984 Singapore
Kerry Von Erich Ric Flair 5/6/1984 Irving, TX
Ric Flair (4) Kerry Von Erich 5/24/1984 Japan
Dusty Rhodes (3) Ric Flair 7/26/1986 Greensboro, NC
Ric Flair (5) Dusty Rhodes 8/9/1986 St. Louis, MO
Ronnie Garvin Ric Flair 9/25/1987 Detroit, MI
Ric Flair (6) Ronnie Garvin 11/26/1987 Starrcade
Ricky Steamboat Ric Flair 2/20/1989 Chi-Town Rumble
Ric Flair (7) Ricky Steamboat 5/7/1989 Wrestle War
Sting Ric Flair 7/7/1990 Great
American Bash
Ric Flair (8) Sting 1/11/1991 East
Rutherford, NJ[12]
Masa Chono Rick Rude 8/12/1992 Japan[13]
Great Muta Masa Chono 1/4/1993 Japan
Barry Windham Great Muta 2/21/1993 Superbrawl III
Ric Flair (9) Barry Windham 7/18/1993 Beach Blast[14]
WCW withdraws from the NWA in September 1993.
Shane Douglas Too Cold Scorpio 8/27/1994 Philadelphia, PA[15]
Chris Candido Tracy Smothers 11/19/1994 Cherry Hill, NJ[16]
Dan Severn Chris Candido 2/24/1995 Erlanger, KY
Naoya Ogawa Dan Severn 3/14/1999 Japan
Gary Steele Naoya Ogawa 9/25/1999 Charlotte, NC[17]
Naoya Ogawa (2) Gary Steele 10/2/1999 Thomaston, CT
Mike Rapada Jerry Flynn 9/19/2000 Tampa, FL[18]
Sabu Mike Rapada 11/14/2000 Tampa, FL
Mike Rapada (2) Sabu 12/22/2000 Nashville, TN
Steve Corino Mike Rapada 4/24/2001 Tampa, FL[19]
Shinya Hashimoto 12/15/2001 McKeesport, PA[20]
Dan Severn (2) Shinya Hashimoto 3/9/2002 Japan
The NWA World Heavyweight title becomes exclusive to TNA.
Ken Shamrock 6/19/2002 TNA PPV #1[21]
Ron Killings Ken Shamrock 8/7/2002 TNA PPV #8
Jeff Jarrett Ron Killings 11/20/2002 TNA PPV #21
AJ Styles Jeff Jarrett 6/11/2003 TNA PPV #48[22]
Jeff Jarrett (2) AJ Styles 10/22/2003 TNA PPV #66
AJ Styles (2) Jeff Jarrett 4/21/2004 TNA PPV #90
Ron Killings (2) AJ Styles 5/19/2004 TNA PPV #94[23]
Jeff Jarrett (3) Ron Killings 6/2/2004 TNA PPV #96[24]
AJ Styles (3) Jeff Jarrett 5/15/2005 Hard Justice
Raven AJ Styles 6/19/2005 Slammiversary[25]
Jeff Jarrett (4) Raven 9/15/2005 Oldcastle, Ontario
Rhino Jeff Jarrett 10/23/2005 Bound for Glory
Jeff Jarrett (5) Rhino 10/25/2005 iMPACT![26]
Christian Cage Jeff Jarrett 2/12/2006 Against All Odds
Jeff Jarrett (6) Christian Cage 6/18/2006 Slammiversary[27]
Sting (2) Jeff Jarrett 10/22/2006 Bound for Glory
Abyss Sting 11/19/2006 Genesis
Christian Cage (2) Abyss 1/14/2007 Final Resolution[28]
The NWA cuts all ties with TNA on May 13, 2007.
Adam Pearce Brent Albright 9/1/2007 Puerto Rico[29]
Brent Albright Adam Pearce 8/2/2008 ROH: Death Before Dishonor VI
Adam Pearce (2) Brent Albright 9/20/2008 ROH: Glory by Honor VII
Blue Demon Jr. Adam Pearce 10/25/2008 Mexico City, MX

[1]: During the first few years of the century, George Hackenschmidt had won world championship tournaments in Italy, Germany, and England. As a result of this match, by defeating American champion Tom Jenkins in two straight falls, he became recognized as the top champion in North America.
[2]: George Hackenschmidt left the ring, refusing to return, and the referee awarded the title to Gotch, who retired in 1913; his last match was a victory over George Lurich on April 9.
[3]: Charlie Cutler had defeated Henry Ordeman and Jesse Westegard in a tournament, and had laid claim to the world title.
[4]: Earl Caddock was awarded the title by the referee when Joe Stecher refused to return to the ring after the second fall.
[5]: As a result of this match, Dick Shikat became recognized as the first champion of the National Wrestling Association (NWA), a division of the National Boxing Association.
[6]: Henry DeGlane won the title by disqualification.
[7]: This match on Long Island, New York, was billed as a world championship match, and was designed to halt the controversy that was splitting the sport at the time. Jim Londos was subsequently stripped of the title for refusing to meet the winner of this bout. Ed “Strangler” Lewis later affirmed his claim on the title with an October 10, 1932 victory over Jack Sherry.
[8]: Ed Don George had been claiming rights to the world title ever since he defeated Henry DeGlane in Boston in 1933. Danno O’Mahony, because of his victories over Jim Londos, Ed Don George and Ed “Strangler” Lewis, became the closest thing to undisputed world champion at the time, representing a unification of sorts of the splintering of the world title that had taken place for several years.
[9]: During his title reign, Ali Baba was disqualified in a match against Dave Lewin held in Newark, New Jersey. The State Athletic Commission reversed the match decision and allowed Ali Baba to keep the title. Soon thereafter, however, a rule change was made which stated that the title cannot change hands on a disqualification.
[10]: The NWA decided to recognize Everett Marshall as champion because Steve Crusher Casey was out of the country and failed to defend the title on a regular basis.
[11]: The National Wrestling Alliance was organized in July 1948. At that particular time, Orville Brown was recognized as champion. Forced to retire due to injuries received in a November 11, 1949 auto accident, Brown relinguished his claim on the title. Lou Thesz was scheduled to meet Brown in a title match in St. Louis on November 25, 1949.
[12]: Time of the match: 20:38. Ric Flair is (according to WCW officials in April 1992) the first WCW World champion; Sting, therefore, as of April 1992, is a one-time NWA and one-time WCW World champion. In September 1991, Ric Flair signed with the WWF and the NWA title was declared vacant.
[13]: This was a tournament final.
[14]: The title was declared vacant in September 1993 when WCW withdrew from the NWA. It was renamed the WCW International title, held in the year that followed by Rick Rude, Hiroshi Hase, Rude again, Sting, then Flair again, but was finally abandoned when it was unified with the WCW World title at Clash of the Champions 27 on June 23, 1994.
[15]: This was a tournament final. Douglas refused the NWA world title in favor of the ECW title, which is the belt he was already the possessor of at the time. Therefore, the NWA world title was made vacant once again.
[16]: This was a tournament final.
[17]: This was a three-way match involving Brian Anthony.
[18]: This was a tournament final. Previous champ Naoya Ogawa voluntarily gave up the title.
[19]: The title was held up following the bout between Steve Corino and Shinya Hashimoto on October 13 in St. Petersburg, Florida, which was stopped when it was ruled Corino could no longer properly defend himself.
[20]: Hashimoto defeated Steve Corino and Gary Steele in a three-way bout to fill the vacant title.
[21]: Shamrock won a 20-man battle royal to claim the title, which became vacant when the NWA stripped previous champion Dan Severn. Severn had previously announced he would be unable to appear and defend the title at the first-ever NWA-TNA PPV on June 19.
[22]:This was a three-way match which also included Raven.
[23]: This was a four-way match which also included Chris Harris and Raven.
[24]: This was a King of the Mountain match which also included Chris Harris, AJ Styles and Raven.
[25]: This was a King of the Mountain match which also included Abyss, Monty Brown and Sean Waltman.
[26]: Match aired on TV on November 3, 2005.
[27]: This was a King of the Mountain match which also included Abyss, Ron Killings and Sting.
[28]: This was a three-way elimination match which also included Sting.
[29]: This was a tournament final. Even though Adam Pearce had lost to Bryan Danielson earlier in the semifinals, Danielson had to withdraw from competing in the tournament finals because of a detached retina. Pearce went to the finals as a substitution and won the title.

Credit goes to: PWI Almanac,, and

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