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: