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Nwa worlds heavyweight championship

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The NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship is a world heavyweight championship owned and promoted by the American professional wrestling promotion National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). The current champion is Nick Aldis, who is in his second reign.

Although formally established in 1948, its lineage has been traditionally traced back to the first World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship, which traces its lineage to the title first awarded to George Hackenschmidt in 1905. This effectively makes it the oldest surviving wrestling championship in the world.[2]

The title began as a governing body's world championship and has been competed for in multiple major promotions across the world, including Capitol Wrestling Corporation (which seceded from the NWA and became World Wide Wrestling Federation, now WWE), New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA, now Impact Wrestling), Ring of Honor (ROH), Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) and the now-defunct Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Eastern Championship Wrestling (ECW, later Extreme Championship Wrestling) and World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW). In October 2017, the NWA ceased being a governing body and gradually evolved into a singular wrestling promotion with the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship as its premier title.[3][4][5]

With many territorial promotions appearing across the United States, the NWA was formed in 1948 as a professional wrestling governing body. The NWA World Heavyweight Championship was created that same year. Like franchises, these territories had the option of NWA membership. Member promotions had to recognize the NWA World Heavyweight Champion as world champion while retaining ownership of their own promotion and its own top championship. Every year, the NWA World Heavyweight Champion would travel to each territory and defend the title against the territories' top contender or champion. The purpose of the world champion was to make the top contender look good and still hold the title. The NWA Board of Directors, composed mostly of territory owners, decided when the title changed hands via a vote.

By the late 1950s, however, the system began to break down. As Lou Thesz continued to hold the title, other popular wrestlers such as Verne Gagne became frustrated over the lack of change. There were also disputes over the number of appearances the champion would make in different regions.

On June 14, 1957 in Chicago, Thesz defended the world title against Canadian wrestler Édouard Carpentier in a two out of three falls match. Thesz and Carpentier split the first two falls. In the third fall, Thesz was disqualified by referee Ed Whalen who raised Carpentier's hand in victory. The NWA later voided the title change based on the disqualification. Thesz defeated Carpentier by disqualification in a Montreal rematch on July 24. It had been planned that the NWA would present Thesz and Carpentier as rival champions in different cities following a similar pattern to the successful title dispute matches between Thesz and Leo Nomellini. Carpentier would also be able to make appearances in the US as champion while Thesz was on an overseas tour. However, as a result of various disputes within the NWA, Carpentier's manager, wrestling promoter Eddie Quinn, left the organization in August making Carpentier unavailable to the NWA. The organization dealt with the situation by announcing 71 days after Carpentier's win in Chicago that it did not recognize Carpentier's win and had never recognized it. Quinn started promoting Carpentier as the true NWA world champion based on the match with Thesz. In 1958, Quinn started shopping Carpentier around to promoters interested in leaving the NWA. A victory over Carpentier could give a local champion a credible claim to the world championship of wrestling.

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