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This Sunday, the National Wrestling Alliance will celebrate its 70th anniversary. It’s amazing to some that this promotion is still around, but if you dig deeper you’ll understand exactly why. The National Wrestling Alliance is an idea, a philosophy, and as long as there are those who still believe in the core principle of an idea or philosophy, it can prosper forever. The core philosophy of the National Wrestling Alliance has always been that a singular Champion making the rounds to all of the separate territories, or independent promotions in today’s case, is more prestigious than trying to market and promote the value of one promotion’s champion over another. Jerry Lawler was the Southern Heavyweight Champion 40 times, but what really mattered was when the NWA Champion came to town and Jerry had an opportunity to show why Memphis was the best in the world. The same can still be held true today. If the NWA Champion loses to somebody from Ring Of Honor, that just makes Ring Of Honor more prestigious which just makes the Ring Of Honor Championship more prestigious. When formatted and practiced properly, a true argument can be made that this is the best way to present Pro Wrestling, and not just in promotions presented as an alternative to WWE. In a conference call not so long ago, Triple H admitted that he liked the idea of a traveling champion and would consider implementing that into his NXT system.
Ever since Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan took the reins of this promotion, we’ve seen nothing but steady progress from the NWA. The NWA’s Ten Pounds Of Gold web series is a true highlight proves just how progressive the brand is. If you look at the NWA World’s Heavyweight Championship Match at All In you will see a match that was almost entirely built through this web show, and yet had more authenticity and genuine hype surrounding it then a lot of matches which get weeks upon weeks of television time.
I believe that the confusion comes into play when people think that all wrestling promotions have to be one single company. That’s why for some, the NWA died when Jim Crockett sold to Ted Turner. For others, it died when Shane Douglas dropped the NWA Championship in the ring in 1994 and began what is now considered the birthplace of Hardcore with ECW. For many, it died when WWE bought out both WCW and ECW. However, for those that feel that way, they clearly have missed the bigger picture. The NWA has survived all of these blows and many others because The NWA will never be tied to a single entity.
Yes, the NWA is alive and well and it’s because of men like Billy Corgan, Dave Lagana, and David Marquez. These men are men who understand and believe in the idea and philosophy of the National Wrestling Alliance and the traveling World Champion, and also understand that throughout time ideas evolve to fit the time period they are working within. The NWA is also alive and well because of wrestlers like Nick Aldis and Cody Rhodes. These men understand the history of what it means to be the NWA Champion and also the allure of the extra exposure that being the traveling World Champion affords you as a performer.
As we gear up for NWA 70, it’s important to keep all of these things in mind. The Asylum in Nashville Tennessee, the home of some more NWA memories from the TNA era, is in for a massive celebration of past, present, and future. However, I have no doubt that when the dust settles, all eyes will be on the future.
On The Next Page, NWA 70 Predictions Begin…