Thursday, April 16, 2015

NWA World Champion Tommy "Wildfire" Rich, 1981 (WWE.com)
Scott Bowden made us aware of a photo on WWE.com featuring Tommy Rich with the NWA world championship belt over his left shoulder.

"I had never seen it before," Scott wrote me, "but from the look on Rich's face, it appears as if he was just told he'd be dropping the belt back to Race on Friday."

I love that line.

Rich won the NWA title on a Monday 4/27 in Augusta, GA, and dropped back to Race on Friday 5/1 in Gainesville, GA. He is part of a short list of guys in the 1970s and 1980s who were "cup of coffee" champions, as in - - they hardly held it long enough to have a cup of coffee.

Other WWE.com content regarding Tommy Rich -

The match that inspired Hell in a Cell: 
Tommy Rich, Buzz Sawyer and The Last Battle of Atlanta
(includes some video)

Rich was one of the biggest stars in pro-wrestling at the time he won the NWA title. He was huge box office in George Championship Wrestling and the Memphis, TN territory.

Scott Bowden actually managed Rich in Memphis in the 1990s, and has written about him occasionally on his excellent blog "Kentucky Fried Wrestling" site ( "A Wrestling Perspective That's Both Original and Extra Crispy" - - I love that line, too.)

Somebody Say Something 'bout Hollywood?
by Scott Bowden

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Tommy Rich winning the NWA title from Harley Race
Poor video quality, but historically worth seeing.
Commentary by Gordon Solie, Jim Crockett, Jr., and Tommy Rich.




Thursday, March 26, 2015

Terry Funk Letter to Jack Adkisson (1975)

Terry Funk letter to Jim Barnett (1975) (Click to Enlarge)

Another wonderful piece of historical memorabilia:

This is a letter written by Terry Funk to the NWA secretary-treasurer Jim Barnett in the days following Funk's victory over Jack Brisco for the NWA world heavyweight championship. Funk won the title December 10, 1975, in Miami, FL. The letter is dated December 15, 1975.

It is basically formal documentation of:

(1) Funk's request that the NWA, through Barnett, be his booker for appearances as long as he is NWA champion.
(2) Funk acknowledges he is in possession of the gold belt which remains the property of the NWA.
(3) He will only lose the title when instructed to do so by the NWA.
(4) He agrees to be booked for at least one rematch with the person who takes the title from him.

Fascinating stuff indeed.

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Special thanks to Yuhki Kihara and Atsushi Kanie for providing this and other images on the Domed Globe blog.




Historic Telegram to Sam Muchnick (1975)

1975 Telegram Announcing a new NWA World Champion (click to enlarge)

What an amazing piece of historical memorabilia! This is an actual telegram from then NWA president Jack Adkisson (aka Fritz Von Erich) to former longtime NWA president Sam Muchnick informing him that a new NWA world heavyweight champion had been crowned in Miami, FL. 

On December 10, 1975, Terry Funk defeated Jack Brisco for the world's most prestigious wrestling championship.

"Terry Funk defeated Jack Brisco with a cradle hold in 28 minutes tonight December 10th in Miami, Florida and is now recognized as the new world's heavyweight champion by the National Wrestling Alliance."

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Special thanks to Yuhki Kihara and Atsushi Kanie for providing this and other images on the Domed Globe blog.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Japan Wrestling Stickers

Click Image to Enlarge

Japanese magazines occasionally included sheets of stickers within their pages. This particular sticker sheet featured several U.S. stars including NWA world heavyweight champion Terry Funk wearing the "ten pounds of gold."

Others featured include Ricky Steamboat, Dick Slater, Bruno Sammartino, and Fritz Von Erich.

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Special thanks to Yuhki Kihara and Atsushi Kanie for providing this and other images on the Domed Globe blog. 


Friday, March 6, 2015

Ric Flair Wins #1


Ric Flair defeats Dusty Rhodes for the NWA world heavyweight championship in Kansas City, KS, September 17, 1981. The special referee is former 6-times NWA champion Lou Thesz.


NWA President Jim Crockett, Jr. shakes the hand of world champion Dusty Rhodes before the title match. Referee Lou Thesz looks on.


Lou Thesz holds up the "Ten Pounds of Gold" before the match in Kansas City's Memorial Hall.


From “Wrestling at the Chase” in St. Louis, hosted by Larry Matysik.



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Champions Ric Flair and Jumbo Tsuruta

NWA champion Ric Flair and AWA champion Jumbo Tsuruta
(Verne Gagne is behind them left.)
Ric Flair and Jumbo Tsuruta's world title reigns overlapped in the spring of 1984. Tsuruta defeated Nick Bockwinkle for the AWA championship on 2/23/84 in Japan and lost the title three months later to Rick Martel on 5/13/84 in Minnesota.

Flair was NWA champion most of that time, losing the title briefly to Kerry Von Erich in Texas on 5/6/84 and regaining on 5/24/84 in Japan.

The photo above (from a Japanese magazine) was not taken in Japan, since Flair's only known appearance during that time (when he regained the the title from Von Erich) was roughly a week after Tsuruta lost the AWA title to Martel.

It was likely taken 3/10/84 in St. Louis, MO when Flair and Tsuruta were on the same card at the Kiel:

St. Louis, MO  3/10/84
NWA champion Ric Flair vs. King Kong Brody
Wahoo McDaniel vs. Harley Race (Indian Strap Match non-title)
Greg Gagne and Ted Oates vs. AWA champion Jumbo Tsuruta and Genichiro Tenyru
Blackjack Mulligan vs. Ox Baker
Kimala vs. Bulldog Bob Brown and Buck Zumhofe
Blackjack Lanza vs. Roger Kirby
Luke Graham vs. Jay Wolfe
Buzz Tyler and Ron Ritchie vs. The Grapplers

The two never had a NWA title vs. AWA title match. But it certainly was a busy few months for these two major championships in the spring of 1984.

Monday, February 23, 2015

News of Jack Brisco in Japan (1973)

Tiger Conway, Sr. straps the brand new NWA world championship belt around the waist of Jack Brisco moments after he defeated Harley Race in Houston, July 20, 1973.