National Wrestling Alliance
World Heavyweight Title Holders
Champions
Date
Circumstances
Orville Brown
July 1940
Brown was the holder of the Midwest Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title. He was later recognized as a World Champion by Pinkie George who founded the NWA in 1948.
Ed Virag
May 9th, 1943
Virag defeated John Grandovich on October 26th, 1942, to become the NWA Heavyweight Champion. He was recognized as the NWA Champion by Pinkie George between May 1943 and August 1943.
Bill Longson
August 1943
Longson was said to have defeated Virag, but Pinkie George withdrew recognition when Longson would not defend the title in Des Moines.
Ray Steele
November 3rd, 1943
Steele was awarded the championship after Longson's recognition was withdrawn.
Dave Levin
May 10th, 1944
 
Orville Brown(2nd)
July 6th, 1944
Brown was billed as having defeated Ed Virag for the title. He defeated Lee Wykoff on August 16th, 1944 for the Midwest Wrestling Association Heavyweight Title.
Sonny Myers
November 3rd, 1947
 
Orville Brown(3rd)
January 5th, 1948
The current version of the National Wrestling Alliance was founded in July 1948 with six promoters. Brown was the first recognized champion.
Lou Thesz
November 27th, 1949
Thesz unified two NWA World Heavyweight Titles, the AWA World Heavyweight Title, and the Los Angeles Olympic Auditorium World Title.
Whipper Billy Watson
March 15th, 1956
 
Lou Thesz(2nd)
November 9th, 1956
 
Dick Hutton
November 14th, 1957
 
Pat O'Connor
January 9th, 1959
 
Buddy Rogers
June 30th, 1961
 
Lou Thesz(3rd)
January 24th, 1963
Northeast promoters do not recognize Rogers' loss of the belt, and started the WWWF with Rogers as the first champion.
Gene Kiniski
January 7th, 1966
 
Dory Funk Jr
February 11th, 1969
 
Harley Race
March 24th, 1973
 
Jack Brisco
July 20th, 1973
 
Giant Baba
December 2nd, 1974
 
Jack Brisco(2nd)
December 9th, 1974
 
Terry Funk
December 10th, 1975
 
Harley Race(2nd)
February 6th, 1977
 
Dusty Rhodes
August 21st, 1979
 
Harley Race(3rd)
August 26th, 1979
 
Giant Baba(2nd)
October 31st, 1979
 
Harley Race(4th)
November 7th, 1979
 
Giant Baba(3rd)
September 4th, 1980
 
Harley Race(5th)
September 9th, 1980
 
Tommy Rich
April 27th, 1981
 
Harley Race(6th)
May 1st, 1981
 
Dusty Rhodes(2nd)
June 21st, 1981
 
Ric Flair
September 17th, 1981
 
Carlos Colon
January 6th, 1983
This championship change is not recognized by the National Wrestling Alliance.
Ric Flair
January 23rd, 1983
This championship change is not recognized by the National Wrestling Alliance. The title was returned to Flair.
Harley Race(7th)
June 10th, 1983
 
Ric Flair(2nd)
November 24th, 1983
 
Harley Race(8th)
March 21st, 1984
 
Ric Flair(3rd)
March 23rd, 1984
 
Kerry Von Erich
May 6th, 1984
 
Ric Flair(4th)
May 24th, 1984
 
Dusty Rhodes(3rd)
July 26th, 1986
 
Ric Flair(5th)
August 7th, 1986
 
Ronnie Garvin
September 25th, 1987
 
Ric Flair(6th)
November 26th, 1987
 
Ricky Steamboat
February 20th, 1989
 
Ric Flair(7th)
May 7th, 1989
 
Sting
July 7th, 1990
 
Ric Flair(8th)
January 11th, 1991
 
Tatsumi Fujinami
March 21st, 1991
 
Ric Flair(9th)
May 19th, 1991
Flair was forced to vacate the championship in September 1991, due to Flair signing with the World Wrestling Federation.
Masahiro Chono
August 12th, 1992
Chono became the new champion by defeating Rick Rude in the tournament finals.
The Great Muta
January 4th, 1993
 
Barry Windham
February 21st, 1993
 
Ric Flair(10th)
August 18th, 1993
Flair became champion when he returned to World Championship Wrestling. The title was vacated when WCW withdrew from the NWA in September 1993.
Shane Douglas
August 27th, 1994
Douglas won over Too Cold Scorpio in the tournament finals, but then refused the championship, claiming the new ECW World Heavyweight Title instead. ECW then withdrew from the NWA.
Chris Candido
November 19th, 1994
Candido became the new champion by defeating Tracy Smothers in the tournament finals.
Dan Severn
February 24th, 1995
 
Naoya Ogawa
March 14th, 1999
 
Gary Steele
September 25th, 1999
Steele became the champion by winning a "Three-Way" Match over Brian Anthony and Naoya Ogawa.
Naoya Ogawa(2nd)
October 2nd, 1999
Ogaya was forced to vacate the championship on July 2nd, 2000, due to his schedule not allowing for title defenses while he concentrated on Rickson Gracie.
Mike Rapada
September 19th, 2000
Rapada became the new champion by winning an Eight-Man Tournament Final, taking down Jerry Flynn.
Sabu
November 14th, 2000
 
Mike Rapada(2nd)
December 22nd, 2000
 
Steve Corino
April 24th, 2001
The championship held up after a match with Shinya Hashimoto on October 13th, 2001, due to injury.
Shinya Hashimoto
December 15th, 2001
Hashimoto became the new champion by winning a "Triangle" Match over Steve Corino and Gary Steele.
Dan Severn(2nd)
March 9th, 2002
Severn was stripped of the championship on May 28th, 2002, after failing to defend the title in NWA - Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. NWA-TNA is named the exclusive holder of the NWA World Title.
Ken Shamrock
June 19th, 2002
Shamrock became the new champion by defeating Malice in a singles match, after the two were the final wrestlers standing after the TNA Gauntlet For The Gold Battle Royal.
Ron Killings
August 7th, 2002
 
Jeff Jarrett
November 20th, 2002
 
A.J. Styles
June 11th, 2003
 
Jeff Jarrett(2nd)
October 22nd, 2003
 
A.J. Styles(2nd)
April 21st, 2004
 
Ron Killings(2nd)
May 19th, 2004
 
Jeff Jarrett(3rd)
June 2nd, 2004
Jarrett became champion by winning a "King of the Mountain" Match over Ron Killings, A.J. Styles, Chris Harris, and Raven. Jarrett lost to Ron Killings on June 23rd, 2004, but the title was returned due to Killings' use of Jarrett's guitar in the match.
A.J. Styles(3rd)
May 15th, 2005
 
Raven
June 19th, 2005
 
Jeff Jarrett(4th)
September 15th, 2005
Jarrett became champion by defeating Raven at a Border City Wrestling show.
Rhino
October 23rd, 2005
 
Jeff Jarrett(5th)
October 25th, 2005
The Jarrett vs. Rhino match was aired on the TNA Impact Prime-Time Special on November 3rd, 2005.
Christian Cage
February 12th, 2006
 
Jeff Jarrett(6th)
June 18th, 2006
Jarrett, through aid from Earl Hebner & Larry Zbyszko, won a "King of the Mountain" Match over Christian Cage, Abyss, Ron Killings, and Sting. After the match, Jim Cornette took the title away due to the controversy, but eventually did award it to Jarrett.
Sting(2nd)
October 22nd, 2006
 
Abyss
November 19th, 2006
Abyss won, via DQ, over Sting. Due to NWA World Title rules, the championship changed hands.
Christian Cage(2nd)
January 14th, 2007
Cage became champion by winning a "Three-Way Elimination" Match over Abyss and Sting. Cage was stripped of the title on May 13th, 2007, by the NWA. The title was put up once more by TNA on that date, with Kurt Angle winning the title in a "Triple Threat" Match over Christian Cage and Sting. The NWA does not recognize this title reign, as it had broken ties with TNA.
Adam Pearce
September 1st, 2007
Pearce was eliminated in the NWA World Title Tournament by Bryan Danielson. However, after Danielson was injured, Pearce took his place in the finals, defeating Brent Albright to win the vacated championship.
Brent Albright
August 2nd, 2008
 
Adam Pearce(2nd)
September 20th, 2008
 
Blue Demon Jr
October 25th, 2008
 
Adam Pearce(3rd)
March 14th, 2010
Pearce became the champion by winning a "Three-Way Elimination" Match over Blue Demon Jr and Phill Shatter.
Colt Cabana
March 6th, 2011
 
The Sheik
April 23rd, 2011
The Sheik was stripped of the championship on July 31st, 2011, when he supposedly refused to defend it against Adam Pearce
Adam Pearce(4th)
July 31st, 2011
Pearce became the new champion by winning a Four-Way Match over Chance Prophet, Jimmy Rave, and Shaun Tempers.
Colt Cabana(2nd)
April 8th, 2012