Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Brody with the Ten Pounds of Gold

You may be familiar with our "Great Pretender" photo series on this site, wrestlers with the domed-globe NWA World Heavyweight title belt who never actually held the title.

I recently saw this photo of Bruiser Brody float across Twitter and thought I'd include it here. It is the second photo of Brody with the belt, the first one is featured here.

I don't know the origin of the photo, although I'm guessing it was from a Japanese magazine, taken after one of Brody's classic battles with Ric Flair in St. Louis. But that's just a guess.

Here are links to our other pages:

* Dory Funk, Jr. could never be called a pretender to anything. He was NWA World champion for four years. But he held a different version of the belt, so I decided to include this photo in the series.

** Dusty of course held the domed-globe belt on a couple of occasions, and was a 3-time NWA champion. But he tried to steal it from Ric Flair under a mask as the Midnight Rider. Thank heavens the well known law-and-order NWA President (and special referee) Bob Geigel prevented such a travesty from taking place.

Monday, March 4, 2019

"Handsome" Harley Race with Pure Gold

This image is of a poster from a Japanese magazine in 1977, not long after Race won the NWA title in Toronto from Terry Funk. Most of the Japanese magazines featured really nice photography and fold out or centerfold posters.

One of the tell-tale signs that dates this photo is the condition of the belt. It is the third configuration, or version, of the domed-globe belt.

Not long before Funk dropped the title to Race, the NWA had the title belt refurbished. It had taken an awful beeating during Funk's reign. The globe had been badly dented and much of the black paint on the belt had come off.

The key identifier that this was the third configuration of the belt was that Canada is to the left of the main plate, the only version of the four to have that distinction. (In fact, Canada was in a different position on all four versions of the belt.)

Other notable identifiers on the belt in this picture peg it to early-mid 1977:
  • cream-colored fabric backing on the leather
  • black onyx panels replacing the black-painted areas on either side of the main plate
  • new globe (with curved "NWA" letters)

Not long after Race won the title in 1977, one additional refurbishment took place. The leather was replaced (with a slightly different cut) and the creme-colored fabric backing on the belt (seen in this photo) was removed, leaving the leather on the back of the belt exposed. The fact that the cream-colored backing is visible in this photo means it was taken sometime in the months following Race's victory over Funk.

If little details like that interest you, check out my book on the domed globe belt titled Ten Pounds of Gold. Almost every possible detail is discussed in a chapter that outlines all four versions of the belt.