October 9, 2018
GFW Staff (65 articles)

The Legacy Of The NWA – Chapter Three: Former NWA Champs Bring The Legacy To Life

Former NWA Champs Bring the Legacy to Life

One of the biggest features of the NWA’s 70th anniversary show will be celebrations of the lineage of the world heavyweight title. As part of this, many former NWA world title-holders will be in attendance, with some taking part in VIP meet-and-greets. These men come from diverse backgrounds and exhibit different styles in the ring, but they all carried the belt with pride, defending it all over the world in many different promotions. Each champion brought something to the table, and all are deserving of honor and respect.

Below is a little history behind several of those who will be appearing at #NWA70:

Dory Funk, Jr.

The Funks are one of the true first families of wrestling. Dory Funk, Sr. was an accomplished amateur wrestler in Indiana before turning pro after serving in World War II. During his career, he competed against fellow legends such as “Iron” Mike DiBiase, Danny Hodge, and Verne Gagne. He passed his love for the business to his sons Dory, Jr. and Terry. A true wild man in the ring and known as a hardcore icon, Terry may have gotten the lion’s share of the attention, but no one can deny that Dory, Jr. is one of the most technically proficient NWA champions of all time. A true master of his craft, Junior won the the title from Gene Kiniski in 1969 with his patented spinning toe hold. He went on to hold the title for four and a half years, the second-longest uninterrupted NWA heavyweight title reign in history, defending the strap against all comers.

Beyond his accolades inside the ring as an active competitor, Dory, Jr. has also made a name for himself as a celebrated trainer. His famed “Funkin’ Dojo” and “Funking Conservatory” training facilities have shaped the careers of some of wrestling’s best, including the Hardys, Edge, Christian, Lita, Mickie James, Kurt Angle, and others. To this day, Dory Funk, Jr. and Terry Funk remain the only brothers ever to both hold the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

Jeff Jarrett

One of the few grapplers to enjoy as much success outside the squared circle as inside it, Jeff Jarrett is a true force of nature in the world of professional wrestling. A 3rd generation member of a wrestling family, Jarrett held multiple titles in both the WWF and WCW during his in-ring career. Counted amongst his titles are the WWF Intercontinental, European, and tag team titles, as well as the WCW Heavyweight and U.S. championships.

In 2002, along with his father Jerry, Jeff founded TNA, where he would go on to lay claim to the NWA heavyweight title on six separate occasions in the 2000s, adding his pedigree to its historic lineage. Several of wrestling’s best would fall at his hands with the title on the line, including A.J. Styles, Raven, Rhyno, and Christian. One of the few wrestlers to be in both the TNA and WWE Halls of Fame, no one can deny that Jeff Jarrett has carved out an incredible career that anyone in the industry would be glad to claim as their own.

Blue Demon, Jr.

The son of legendary a Lucha Libre competitor, Blue Demon, Jr. started his own acclaimed career in 1996. He climbed the ranks to become a star in the AAA promotion, teaming with the sons of other luchador legends such as La Parka, Mascara Sagrada, and Perro Aguayo. In 2008, Blue Demon, Jr. began to compete for the NWA, and on October 25th of that year, he became the first Mexico native as well as the first masked luchador to win the NWA heavyweight belt when he defeated Adam Pearce.

Blue Demon, Jr. held the NWA title for an incredible 505 days before losing it back to Pearce, garnering a new level of respect for his accomplishments in the process.

Colt Cabana

One of the most well-known personalities in wrestling today, Colt Cabana is a two-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion. Interestingly, he defeated the well-respected “Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce both times to win the belt. Cabana’s mat skills and charismatic personality have kept him in high demand, and he’s wrestled all over the world, including during his reigns as NWA champ.

Cabana’s second NWA title win came against Pearce on April 8, 2012. What followed was a highly-anticipated series of matches between the two competitors called the “Seven Levels of Hate,” a best-of-seven series. In the end, “Scrap Iron” came away with the championship, but Cabana had cemented his legacy by becoming one of several multiple-time NWA title-holders.

At the NWA’s 70th anniversary show in Nashville, Tennessee on October 21st, Cabana will get a chance to once again make wrestling history. It was recently announced that he will be part of a field of eight competitors that will be vying for the newly-reactivated NWA National Heavyweight title. If he’s able to come away with the belt, Cabana will join Jack Brisco, Dusty Rhodes, Tommy Rich, and a few others who have held both the NWA Heavyweight and National titles.

Tim Storm

Some wrestlers go their entire careers without a signature win. Some simply don’t stay in the game long enough to make the impact they intended to. No one can make either statement about Tim Storm. On October 21, 2016, Storm, at 51 years old, became the oldest wrestler ever to win the NWA Heavyweight Championship. At that point, Storm had been a professional wrestler for 21 years. He would go on to defend the title against the likes of the legendary Jerry “The King” Lawler, as well as the man that would eventually take the title from him, Nick Aldis.

Storm will also be wrestling at #NWA70, as he rematches Peter Avalon, who has beaten him two straight times. Can he finally get the W against the guy who seems to have his number? Regardless, Storm will also always be remembered for being the first NWA champ to be featured on the popular “Ten Pounds of Gold” YouTube series. Originally built around the story of Storm’s career and his travels as the NWA standard-bearer, the series helped bring the strap back to the prominence it is enjoying now. No matter the outcome of his match at #NWA70, Tim Storm can always be proud of being part of that climb back up the mountaintop.

No Walls, No Fear | 10 Pounds of Gold 37
The Legacy Of The NWA – Chapter Two: The History Of The "Ten Pounds Of Gold"