Sunday, September 30, 2012

Slam! Wrestling posts great review of "Ten Pounds of Gold"

NWA World title book worth its weight in gold
By GREG OLIVER - Producer, SLAM! Wrestling

It's page 14, and I'm already deeply sucked into Ten Pounds of Gold, the wonderful historical book about the NWA World Championship title worn by the likes of Jack Brisco, Harley Race, Terry Funk and Ric Flair. Quite honestly, not being a belt mark, I didn't think a belt would hold my attention for an entire volume ... but it did, and then some.

In many ways, Ten Pounds of Gold, written by Dick Bourne with beltmaker Dave Millican, is a love letter to championship belts, ones that have deep meaning and stand for something. The belt doesn't spin or light up, but instead it represents greatness and the pinnacle on the professional wrestling profession.

How original.

How lamented.

Read the entire review at Canoe Slam! Sports - Wrestling

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Flair vs Steamboat in Japan 1982

One of the classic Flair/Steamboat matches was their battle in Japan on June 4, 1982. Flair was in the middle of his first reign as NWA world heavyweight champion.

I love the way the NWA belt was treated with such respect in Japan, and how "over" it was with the fans. In the video of this match the crowd has the wonderful reaction when Flair opens his robe and when the All Japan Wrestling official holds the belt up for display before the match. 

And the match was another masterpiece between the two, who had more classic matches over a 17 year period than you can count.

Edit: We originally linked to the video of this match on YouTube, but that video has subsequently been removed.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Jack Brisco joins the NWA Champion Action Figures

Having too much fun with these things. Never liked the figures until I figured out I could put NWA belts on them!

Included here are likenesses of Jack Brisco, Harley Race, Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, and Kerry Von Erich.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Yellow Rose of Texas

In 1984, Kerry Von Erich defeated Ric Flair for the NWA world championship in Texas Stadium in a match he dedicated to his late brother David. This action figure commemorates that day, with the NWA title belt, Kerry's ring jacket, and a yellow rose.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

NWA Champ Kerry Von Erich in Florida

When Kerry Von Erich won the NWA world title in 1984, he fulfilled the appearance contracts of the previous champion Ric Flair, which included dates in the state of Florida for Championship Wrestling from Florida. 

NWA Champ Kerry with Coach John Heath on the set
of Championship Wrestling from Florida

The magazine from Japan seen below features a photo on the cover taken during that Florida tour of Kerry sporting the Ten Pounds of Gold with Florida heavyweight champion Billy Jack Haynes.  

Thanks to Brian Rogers for providing the cover image.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tommy Rich with The Belt

NWA Champion Tommy "Wildfire" Rich

     Photographs of Tommy Rich with the NWA belt are hard to come by since Rich only held the title for 96 hours. Three that we've found include on the cover of "The Wrestler" magazine (cover date September 1981), a cover of "The Ringsider" which was the official program of Georgia Championship Wrestling, and a posed photo that appeared in several of the news stand magazines back in the day. We are always looking for more.

     The Ringsider cover is featured in the book "Ten Pounds of Gold." I treasure that issue; it was given to me many years ago by Ms. Rose Ogle, daughter of longtime Columbus/Macon/Albany Georgia promoter Fred Ward.

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Update on 10/4/12: More photos found and posted here: Tommy Rich With The Belt: Part 2

The Classic Look: Terry Funk

NWA World Heavyweight Champion Terry Funk

This photo was taken not long before Terry Funk lost the title to Harley Race in Toronto. (Video of that match here.) You can tell by the almost complete absence of paint in the side panels beside the globe which were almost completely gold (no paint) before the belt was refurbished. Funk lost the title right after the belt was repaired. When the belt is presented to Harley Race in Toronto, check out the brand new onyx panels and the new globe. The belt is really sparkling that night.

You can also see the badly dented globe in this photo. The globe would soon be replaced, but it soon would be dented as well, but in different places. 

All the little nitty gritty details about the evolution of the physical belt and all of its four "stages" can be discovered in the book "Ten Pounds of Gold." Get your copy today!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Family on Night One

A nice look back to September 17, 1981.

Featured in this photo are Jim Crockett, Jr., Dr. Richard Fliehr (Ric's Dad), former NWA champion Pat O'Conner, brand new NWA champion Ric Flair, and Ric's mother Kay Fliehr.

The caption accompanying the photo was incorrect on the date and the location. People often get the state wrong though. The title change took place in Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas, not Missouri. Memorial Hall was just west of the Missouri River which separates the two cities.

Japanese Magazine Posters

An assortment of fold out posters from various Japanese wrestling magazines featuring many of the NWA champions that held the Ten Pounds of Gold.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Great Pretenders

...pretenders to the throne, that is.

Here are some interesting photographs of some great wrestlers who came close to getting the gold, but in the end fell short. These photos show, however, that they left the ring with the ten pounds of gold for at least a brief moment in time, and no doubt the fans in the building where this took place thought they had seen the title change hands.

Bruiser Brody

Bruiser Brody had fans in St. Louis thinking he had won the title from Ric Flair, and fans  in Japan likely thought so momentarily when they saw this magazine on their news stands.

Mr. Wrestling II

Mr. Wrestling II holds the NWA belt over his head in the crowd in Atlanta when it appeared he had defeated Harley Race for the championship. (Photo by Bill Christmas.)

Wahoo McDaniel

Wahoo McDaniel pinned Ric Flair in Charlotte and left the ring with the belt. The decision was later over turned.

Jerry "The King" Lawler

This is my favorite; Jerry Lawler not only left the ring at the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis with the NWA belt after battling Terry Funk, he posed for a photo wearing it that appeared on the cover of "City of Memphis" magazine. The man is a genius. No wonder they call him The King. (Thanks to Dave Millican and Scott Bowden.)

After this article was originally posted, Scott Bowden sent along this photo of Buddy Landel with the NWA belt, which was also a part of an article he had written on his blog "Kentucky Fried Rasslin." 

"Nature Boy" Buddy Landel

Buddy Landel holds the Ten Pounds of Gold high over his head after pinning Ric Flair in Greensboro in July 1985.

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See more posts with other photos featuring great pretenders to the NWA title:

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I know there have to be more photos like this out there. If you have a photo similar to these of someone who came close to winning the NWA title (1973-1986) and want to forward it to us, please do so using the mail link on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway or send to us via Facebook.

Check out Ten Pounds of Gold, the book that takes a close look 
at the 1973-1986 NWA title belt:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ten Pounds of Gold: The Action Figures

I would have become interested in wrestling action figures a long time ago if I had realized earlier I could do this.....

Yes, I turned 51 and finally started playing with dolls. But these are pretty cool! Shown here are Harley Race (love the 70s robe!), Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, and Kerry Von Erich. A little work to be done for Kerry, will be outfitting him for Texas Stadium, and will update with that photo later.

Four down, four to go. I still need Jack Brisco (rare and expensive), Giant Baba (rare, and Japan only I think), Terry Funk (no figure available that looks like he did back in the 1970s as champion), and Tommy Rich (no figure period, would have to have one custom made.)

Visit the official website for our book at

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Terry Funk Q&A Excerpt

In 2010, Slam Wrestling's Marshall Ward conducted a Q&A with former NWA champ Terry Funk, and the Ten Pounds of Gold book was mentioned in one of the questions by Alan O'Melia.

It's a good short Q&A and Terry's off-beat sense of humor shines through.

Q: I have recently read the book Ten Pounds of Gold: A Close Look at the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, and in it -- if I remember correctly -- the night you won the title, it's mentioned that it was your brother Dory that was supposed to have the shot that night. I was just wondering how that came about? (Alan O'Melia, Halifax, NS)

That is correct and it was a ploy to get the better part of Jack Brisco. It worked very fine and it worked well with the fans down there in Miami too. One thing I'd like to say about the ten pounds of gold -- it's gone. Where'd it go -- all the gold? All of a sudden they got the belt back, the belt that had ten pounds of gold in it, and the gold is not in it anymore. That's a mystery. Ask somebody out there where'd the gold go? Ten pounds of gold. Where is it? Where'd it go? I want to know.

Follow this link to Slam! Wrestling: