Friday, September 26, 2014

Another Great Pretender

Mil Mascaras and NWA World Champion Terry Funk

Another wrestler who thought he might carry the Ten Pounds of Gold. The legendary Mil Mascaras looks as if he is attempting to pull the NWA title belt away from champion Terry Funk.

This photo appeared in a Japanese wrestling magazine. (Thanks to Scott Bowden.)

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

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

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Domed Globe at Titan Towers

The Original 1973-1986 NWA World Championship Belt (Pinterest Photo)

This photo shows the original domed-globe NWA world title belt in a frame especially designed for the belt. The frame now hangs on the office wall of Paul Levesque (aka, Triple H) at Titan Towers, the corporate HQ for World Wrestling Entertainment in Stamford, CT.

The case was custom made for Ric Flair in the early 1990s by Linda Ostrow at her frame shop and art gallery in Charlotte, NC. Flair displayed the belt at various locations over the years he maintained possession of the belt, most notably at one of his "Ric Flair's World's Gym" locations in Charlotte. It also hung on the wall at his home for a period years in the 1990s.

The belt suddenly showed up in the case at a WWE fan event in the days leading up to Wrestlemania in 2012 in Miami, which fueled rumors that the belt was now in the possession of the WWE. That was confirmed in 2013 when Conrad Thompson and Dave Millican toured Titan Towers and spotted the famous belt still in the Ostrow custom-frame in the office of Paul Levesque.

The only change that had been made was the replacement of the engraved plate in the case. The original plate in the case (seen in the photo below) read "Ric Flair, National Wrestling Alliance Worlds Heavyweight Champion 1981-1991."

Photograph by Dick Bourne / Mid-Atlantic Gateway

The new plate in the case reads "The National Wrestling Alliance Champions, 1973-1986" and then lists each of the eight men who wore the Ten Pounds of Gold: Jack Brisco, Terry Funk, Harley Race, Giant Baba, Dusty Rhodes, Tommy Rich, Ric Flair, and Kerry Von Erich. But everything else about the case appears to be just as Linda Ostrow made it in the early 1990s.

Edit from Pinterest Photo

The WWE continues loose plans to eventually build a brick-and-mortar Hall of Fame facility and it is hoped that the Ten Pounds of Gold might eventually wind up on permanent display there. It deserves to be seen by wrestling fans so that fathers can tell their sons that this belt was the belt worn by true world champions of that era, champions that defended the championship for dozens of promoters, offices, and territories around the world.

(The photo of the belt in the case at the top of the page is from the Pinterest page of Al Kennon, although it is not known who actually took this photo or where it was taken. )

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