Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Domed-Globe Version Chart

The domed-globe NWA world heavyweight title belt was actually a series of four belts that all had a connection to one another. 

In the book Ten Pounds of Gold, there is a detailed chart (a thumbnail version seen below) that graphically demonstrates how each version of the belt was connected to the pervious version and the characteristics that made them different. 

The exclusive version chart from the book.
The chart also illustrates the configurations of the four nation flags that appeared on the side plates of the belt, which were different on each belt.

The belt was not all one piece. It was hundreds of small pieces attached together by a jeweler. Over the years, many of the pieces were replaced or repaired. But in the end, parts of the final belt (seen in the photos of the book) were on the original belt first worn by Harley Race (technically) and then Jack Brisco in 1973.

Ten Pounds of Gold is available in a gorgeous full color version as well as an inexpensive classic black and white edition, both with full color covers. Both contain all the same information and beautiful exclusive photos of the belt and the champions that wore them.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Behind the Scenes with Mr. McMahon

Photo by Dave Millican. Genius by Scott Bowden.

We have a confirmed report from a source inside the company that the WWE is indeed now in possession of the 1973-1986 NWA world title belt (the "ten pounds of gold.") I reported in the final chapter of the book that they were rumored to have it, that it was on display during Wrestlemania weekend in 2012. No details available on the arrangement, whether it was purchased from Ric Flair or it is just on loan to them, but regardless I am pleased they have it. I was worried that some collector or fan would wind up with the thing at some point and the belt would not be treated with the respect it deserves. The plans are, apparently, for the belt to be on display under glass in the WWE Hall of Fame Museum when it is built in Orlando, FL. Updates as we get them.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ric Flair and the Ten Pounds of Gold

Photograph by Sheree Spivey
NWA World Champion Ric Flair with the famous ten pounds of gold. A great shot of the belt (and Ric's rolex as well!)

Photograph by Sheree Spivey
Update: On August 16, 2012, this photo by Sheree Spivey was the featured "Classic Photo" on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Check out the book with all the details on wrestling's most famous title belt on the official Ten Pounds of Gold website:

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Harley Race on Japan Cover

Harley Race is seen here on the cover of a Japanese wrestling magazine. The photo is from July 20, 1973 in Houston, Texas. Only moments before this photo was taken, Harley was presented the brand new $10,000 NWA world championship belt. He briefly posed with it around his waist before handing it to the official and defending it against Jack Brisco. Brisco won the title that night.

For all the details about that night in Houston, and all the back story leading up to that night, check out the revised and expanded 2nd edition of the Ten Pounds of Gold. On sale now!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Night One for the Domed-Globe

This rare photo is of the NWA belt on the night it was first presented. It sits on the mat of the ring in the Sam Houston Coliseum on Friday, July 20, 1973.

This was the first version of the belt known as "the ten pounds of gold". It was on a wide leather strap encased in red velvet fabric. You will notice that the belt does not yet have the "Jack Brisco" name plate on it, which would be attached to the belt just below the word "WRESTLING." Brisco defeated Harley Race for the title that night in Houston.

The belt as you see it here was used until early 1974 when the wide velvet-covered strap was replaced by a black leather strap cut very close to the shape of the main plate of the belt.

These, and hundreds of other details about the belt itself and how it evolved over the years it was in service, are a part of the book "Ten Pounds of Gold", available now in its second edition.

What's New in the Second Edition?

NWA Champs in the Mid-Atlantic Era

The years 1973-1986 are wonderful years for me in pro-wrestling. Not only were these the years that Jim Crockett promotions identified their company as "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling", they were also the years that the domed-globe version of the NWA world heavyweight championship belt was defended in the ring. They were also, not so coincidentally, my favorite years to follow professional wrestling

The two eras overlap almost perfectly. These, more or less, are the appropriate dates:

Mid-Atlantic Wrestling:
Date began: 9/6/1973 - Eastern Heavyweight Champion Jerry Brisco presented with the first Mid-Atlantic championship belt in Greensboro NC. (See "The Origin and Evolution of the Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship")

Date ended: 12/27/1986 - Ron Garvin surrenders the Mid-Atlantic belt in Atlanta GA after winning the U.S. tag team championship with Barry Windham. The title is retired.

NWA "Domed-Globe" Belt:
Date first defended: 7/20/1973 - The "Thesz" version of the NWA belt is retired and the new "domed-globe" belt is presented to NWA champion Harley Race in Houston, TX.

Date retired: 2/14/1986 - Ric Flair debuts the new "bog gold" version of the NWA belt before a title match in Orlando, FL.

Below are photos of the NWA champions during the "Mid-Atlantic" era.

Images from the Mid-Atlantic Gateway Archives: NWA Champs in the Mid-Atlantic Era

For more information, visit "NWA Champions During the Mid-Atlantic Era" and "What's in a Name? Defining the Mid-Atlantic Era as 1973-1976"

For info on the "Ten Pounds of Gold" book, visit