In Funk's Corner

History of NWA World Championship 


Wrestling School Information

Following is the most complete accounting of the history of the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Compiled by Dory Funk Jr. and Bob Ryder.

1905 - Frank Gotch defeated George Hackenschmidt
1906 Fred Beel defeated Gotch
1996 Gotch defeated Beel
1913 Gotch retired as world heavyweight champion.

1914 Charley Cutler defeated Henry Ordeman and Jesse Westegard in a tournament to fill the vacant title.
1915 Joe Stecher defeated Cutler.
1917 Earl Caddock defeated Stecher.
1920 Stecher defeated Caddock.
1921 Ed (Strangler) Lewis defeated Stecher.
1922 Stanislaus Zbyszko defeated Lewis.
1922 Lewis defeated Zbyszko.
1925 Wayne Munn defeated Lewis.
1925 Zbyszko defeated Munn.
1925 Stecher defeated Zbyszko on a match at the old Federal League field on St. Louis, Missouri.
1928 Lewis defeated Stecher at the Coliseum in St. Louis, Missouri.
1929 Gus Sonnenberg defeated Lewis in Boston, Massachusetts.
1931 Ed Don George defeated Sonnenberg in Boston, Massachusetts.
1931 Lewis defeated George in Los Angeles, California.
1931 Henry DeGlane defeated Lewis in Montreal, Canada.
1931 George defeated DeGlane in Boston, Mass.

In the meantime, Dick Shikat had defeated Jim Londos in Pennsylvania in a 1929 bout and had claimed the title. 

1930 June 6th, Londos defeated Shikat in Philadelphia, Penn. Then in 1932, Lewis pinned Shikat in a match billed as the "world championship" in New York, New York.
1933 Jim Browning defeated Lewis in New York, New York.
1934 Londos defeated Browning in New York, NY.
1935 June 27 - Danno O'Mahoney defeated Londos in Boston, Mass.

1935 June 30 - O'Mahoney defeated Ed Don George in Boston, Mass. The latter had been claiming the title since his 1931 defeat of DeGlane. By his victories, O'Mahoney became the undisputed world champion.

1936 Shikat defeated O'Mahoney in New York, NY.
1936 Ali Baba defeated Shikat in Detroit, Michigan.
1936 Ali Baba was disqualified in a New Jersey bout against Dave Levin, but the state athletic commission reversed the decision and permitted Ale Baba to keep the title.

1936 June 25 Everett Marshall defeated Ali Baba in Columbus, Ohio.
1937 De. 29 Lou Thesz defeated Marshall in St. Louis, Missouri. 
1938 Feb. 11 Steve Crusher Casey defeated Thesz in Boston, Mass.

1938 The National Wrestling Association, at its convention in Montreal, recognized Marshall as the champion for two reasons: Casey, the erstwhile champ, was out ot the country; and Marshall had been disqualified in his bout with Casey because Casey had been thrown out of the ring. The decision was reversed because as Marshall's manager, Billy Sandow, pointed out, "the action was not deliberate."

1939 Feb. 23 - Thesz defeated Marshall in St. Louis, Missouri.
1939 June 23 - Bronco Nagurski defeated Thesz in Houston, Texas.
1940 March 7 - Ray Steele defeated Nagurski in St. Louts, Missouri.
1941 March 11 - Nagurski defeated Steel in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
1941 June 5 - Sandor Szabo defeated Nagurski in St. Louis, Missouri.
1942 Feb. 19 - Bill Longson defeated Szabo in St. Louis, Missouri.
1942 Oct. 7 - Yvon Robert defeated Longson in Montreal, Canada.
1942 Nov. 27 - Bobby Managoff defeated Robert in Houston, Texas.
1942 Feb 19 - Longson defeated Managoff in St. Louis, Missouri.
1947 Feb 21 - Whipper Billy Watson defeated Longson in St. Louis, Missouri.
1947 Apr. 25 - Thesz defeated Watson in St. Louis, Missouri.
1947 Nove 21 - Longson defeated Thesz in St. Louis, Missouri.
1948 July 20 - Thesz defeated Longson in Indianapolis, Indiana.

1949 - The National Wrestling Alliance at its St. Louis convention, recognized Thesz as its world champion. Orville Brown, who had been recognized by the NWA since its organization in July, 1948, relinquished his claim because he was forced to retire from the ring due to injuries received in an automobile accident. He had 


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been macthed with Thesz in a title bout.

1956 Mar. 15 - Watson defeated Thesz in Toronto, Canada.
Lou Thesz  defeated Watson November 9, 1956 Saint Louis, Missouri
Dick Hutton  defeated Thesz November 14, 1957 Toronto, Ontario, Canada 
Pat O'Connor defeated Hutton  January 9, 1959 Saint Louis, Missouri 
Buddy Rogers  defeated O'Connor June 30, 1961 Chicago, Illinois 
Lou Thesz defeated Rogers  January 24, 1963 Toronto, Ontario, Canada 
Gene Kiniski  defeated  Thesz  January 7, 1966 Saint Louis, Missouri 
Dory Funk Jr.  defeated Kiniski February 11, 1969 Tampa, Florida 
Harley Race  defeated Dory Funk Jr. March 24, 1973 Kansas City, Missouri 
Jack Brisco  defeated Race July 20, 1973 Houston, Texas 
Giant Baba  defeated  Brisco December 2, 1974 Kagoshima, Japan 
Jack Brisco  defeated  Baba December 9, 1974 Toyohashi, Japan 
Terry Funk  defeated  Brisco December 10, 1975 Miami, Florida 
Harley Race  defeated  Terry Funk February 6, 1977 Toronto, Ontario, Canada 
Dusty Rhodes  defeated  Harley Race August 21, 1979 Tampa, Florida 
Harley Race  defeated  Rhodes August 26, 1979 Orlando, Florida 
Giant Baba  defeated  Race October 31, 1979 Nagoya, Japan 
Harley Race  defeated  Baba November 7, 1979 Amagasaki, Japan 
Giant Baba  defeated  Harley Race  September 4, 1980 Saga, Japan 
Harley Race defeated  Giant Baba   September 9, 1980 Ohtsu, Japan 
Tommy Rich defeated  Harley Race  April 27, 1981 Augusta, Georgia 
Harley Race defeated  Tommy Rich  May 1, 1981 Gainsville, Georgia 
Dusty Rhodes  defeated Harley Race  June 21, 1981 Atlanta, Georgia 
Ric Flair  defeated Dusty Rhodes   September 17, 1981 Kansas City, Missouri 
Jack Veneno  defeated  Ric Flair 1983 Dominica
Ric Flair  defeated  Jack Veneno  1983 Dominica
Victor Jovica  defeated  Ric Flair 1983 Trinidad
Ric Flair  defeated  Victor Jovica  1983 Trinidad
Harley Race defeated  Ric Flair  February 10, 1983 Saint Louis, Missouri 
Ric Flair  defeated  Harley Race November 24, 1983 Greensboro, North Carolina 
Harley Race  defeated  Ric Flair  March 21, 1984 Wellington, New Zealand 
Ric Flair defeated  Harley Race March  23, 1984 Kallang, Singapore 
Kerry Von Erich  defeated  Ric Flair May 6, 1984 Irving, Texas 
Ric Flair  defeated  Kerry Von Erich May 24, 1984 Yokosuka, Japan
Dusty Rhodes  defeated  Ric Flair  July 25, 1986 Greensboro, North Carolina 
Ric Flair  defeated  Dusty Rhodes  August 7, 1986 Saint Louis, Missouri 
Ronnie Garvin defeated  Ric Flair   September 25, 1987 Detroit, Michigan 
Ric Flair  defeated  Ronnie Garvin November 26, 1987 Chicago, Illinois 
Ricky Steamboat defeated  Ric Flair   February 20, 1989 Chicago, Illinois 
Ric Flair  defeated  Ricky Steamboat May 7, 1989 Nashville, Tennessee 
Sting  defeated  Ric Flair  July 7, 1990 Baltimore, Maryland 
Ric Flair defeated  Sting   January 11, 1991 East Rutherford, New Jersey 

Ric Flair is Stripped of the NWA title on 91/09/08 when Flair signs with WWF, where he claims the "Real World Heavyweight Title"; NWA World Heavyweight Title is vacant for the first time in its history; Flair wins WWF World Heavyweight Title on 92/01/19 in Albany, NY; some reports say Lex Luger, who has won the
vacant WCW World Heavyweight Title by defeating Barry Windham on 91/07/14 in Baltimore, MD, is
briefly given recognition as NWA World champion by the NWA board, controlled by WCW Vice              President Jim Herd; Luger is not recognized by NWA as a former champion. 

When Ric Flair jumped to the WWF in 1991.  He and WCW's Jim Herd had a dispute over contract renewal terms and Flair left with the belt.  The title was declared vacant, and Flair showed up on WWF television as the "Real World Champion" and carried the belt to the ring with him.  A legal dispute forced the WWF to blur the image of the belt.  The NWA Title was won by Masahiro Chono in a tournament in Japan (beating Rick Rude).

Masahiro Chono 92/08/12 Tokyo, JAPAN Defeats Rick Rude in tournament final to win the vacant title. 
Great Muta defeate Chono 93/01/04 Tokyo, JAPAN 
Barry Windham defeats Great Muta 93/02/21 Ashville, NC
Ric Flair defeats Barry Windom 93/07/18 Biloxi, MS

Recognition dropped by NWA in 93/09 after WCW withdraws from NWA; WCW continues to              recognize "WCW International" World Heavyweight title with Flair as the champion. 

Shane Douglass defeats Too Cold Scorpio in a tournament to declare a new champion then threw down the belt saying the real world champion was the ECW Champion. That was the change from Eastern Championship Wrestling to Extreme Championship Wrestling. ECW immediately withdraws from the NWA. 

The NWA title then remained vacant until Chris Candido wins another tournament in Cherry Hill New Jersey on 11/19/94 defeating Tracy Smothers in the finals of the tournament.

Dan Severn  defeated  Chris Candido February 24, 1995 Erlanger, Kentucky 
Naoya Ogawa  defeated  Dan Severn  March 14, 1999 Yokohama, Japan (Referee, Dory Funk Jr.)
Gary Steele  defeated  Naoya Ogawa and September 25, 1999 Charlotte North Carolina
Naoya Ogawa  defeated  Gary Steele, Brian Anthony (Three Way) October 2, 1999 Thomaston, Connecticut
Naoya Ogawa vacates the title on 7/2/00

Mike Rapada  wins an eight man tournament on  September 19, 2000 Tampa, Florida
Sabu  defeated  Mike Rapada  November 14, 2000 Tampa, Florida 
Mike Rapada  defeated Sabu   December 22, 2000 Nashville, Tennessee 
Steve Corino  defeated Mike Rapada   April 24, 2001 Tampa, Florida

Title held-up after a match against Shin'ya Hashimoto on 01/10/13 in St. Petersburg, FL when Corino is unable to continue due to injury. 

Shin’ya Hashimoto Defeats Corino and Gary Steele in a round-robin triangle match December 15, 2001 McKeesport, Pennsylvania.
Dan Severn  defeated Shin’ya Hashimoto  March 9, 2002 Tokyo, Japan

Dan Severn stripped of the title on 5/7/02, Failure to schedule a title defence on 6/19 in Huntsville, Al.

Ken Shamrock defeats Malice (aka The Wall) Finals of a battle royal, Nashville, Tennessee 06/19/02.
Ron Killings  defeated Ken Shamrock August 7, 2002 Nashville, Tennessee 
Jeff Jarrett  defeated  Ron Killings  November 20, 2002 Nashville, Tennessee 
A.J. Styles  defeated Jeff Jarrett  June 11, 2003 Nashville, Tennessee 
Jeff Jarrett defeated  A.J. Styles October 22, 2003 Nashville, Tennessee

Christian Cage defeated Jeff Jarrett February 12, 2006 in Orlando, Florida

February 11, 1969 in Tampa, Florida was a day that changed my life as I won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship from Gene Kiniski. Only one day later in the year 2006, February 12 and a 100 miles away in Orlando, Florida, I watched as Christian Cage won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship from Jeff Jarrett. I was his Coach in the "Dory Funk Method" for one year 1998 - 1999.



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Sunday January 25th 2004 in Ocala, Florida at the Dory Funk Arena.
Dory Funk Jr. vs Jeff Jarrett - World Title Match - Sanctioned by NWA

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