NWA/TNA Affiliation Over by Sunday?


As we noted in this news story, based on a report from Pro Wrestling Insider’s Mike Johnson and now confirmed by Wade Keller and James Caldwell at Pro Wrestling Torch, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and the National Wrestling Alliance are going their separate ways.

As reported by the Torch:

Bob Trobich, head of legal for the NWA, and Steve Campbell, head of legal for Panda Energy as representative of TNA, have negotiated to terminate the working agreement between the NWA and TNA. NWA will take back possession of the NWA Hvt. Title and NWA Tag Titles with a storyline to be set up at the Destination X PPV … Jeff Jarrett has been the third party representing TNA during the negotiations to cease the working relationship.

TNA, which originally went by the name NWA: Total Nonstop Action, using the “NWA” World Heavyweight and World Tag Team Championships to establish credibility with hardcore wrestling fans, has used the NWA title lineage (the World Heavyweight belt is said to go back as far as 1904) as a positive in marketing efforts for the nearly five years since the company was formed. In its current incarnation, however, TNA doesn’t agree with certain NWA rules such as notifying NWA when title changes were about to occur and paying fees when shows were to be run in the same markets as other NWA territories.

Some sort of storyline explanation is expected to take place as soon as this Sunday’s Destination X pay-per-view in Orlando, Florida, where the “NWA” will be dropped from the titles, renaming them the “TNA” championships. With former Ring of Honor Champion Bryan Danielson already saying he wants a shot at the “NWA” title, it seems that the National Wrestling Alliance already has a champion in mind to build around after the split.

UPDATE:To add to the above, Pro Wrestling Insider’s Mike Johnson is reporting that “Jeff Jarrett was involved with discussions at one point before Campbell and Trobich took the reigns of the negotiations. The NWA side felt at one point that Jarrett was dragging his feet in rectifying the situation, paving the way for Trobich and Campbell to work out agreements.” Johnson goes on to state that Danielson is indeed “believed to be” the eventual NWA World Heavyweight Champion, and implies that the American Dragon spoke with NWA officials at the recent PRIDE event in Las Vegas.

This won’t be the first time an organization felt it was bigger than the NWA and broke off from the organization that calls itself the longest-lasting sanctioning body in the world of professional wrestling. As can be seen in the NWA World Heavyweight Title history at Wrestling-Titles.com, the WWWF (now WWE), WCW and ECW have all withdrawn from the NWA, bringing the current champion with them:

  • NWA World Heavyweight Champion Buddy Rogers loses to Lou Thesz on January 24, 1963, but promoters in the northeast refuse to recognize the loss, and form the WWWF with Rogers as their first champion.
  • WCW withdraws from the NWA in September 1993, causing the NWA to no longer recognize Ric Flair as its champion and instead hold a tournament to crown a new champ. Flair’s title is then named the “WCW International World Heavyweight Championship” for a short while.
  • Shane Douglas defeats Too Cold Scorpio to win a tournament for the vacant NWA title on August 27, 1994, and then refuses the belt to mark ECW’s withdrawal from the NWA.

Pro wrestling kayfabe fun fact: Once TNA follows the lead from the above three promotions, “World Champions” in every major U.S. wrestling promotion/TV show (RAW, Smackdown, ECW and TNA) will have SOME sort of claim to the NWA World Heavyweight Championship’s lineage!

Matthew Michaels is editor emeritus of Pulse Wrestling, and has been since the site launched.