History of the NWA World Heavyweight Championship
Orville Brown # 40 *
Recognized locally by Iowa promoter Pinkie George as "National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight champion"; said to have held the title for seven years before losing to Sonny Myers; some reports say Ronnie Etchison defeats Brown for the title in Montana in either 47 or 48.
Sonny Myers # 47/11/03 Des Moines, IA
Orville Brown  # 48/01/05 Des Moines, IA
Also wins Midwest Wrestling Association World Heavyweight title for the 5th time, defeating Bobby Bruns on 48/05/04 in Kansas City, KS; in 48/07, Pinkie George founds the current version of National Wrestling Alliance in Waterloo, IA with 5 other promoters and recognizes Brown as the first NWA World champion.
Lou Thesz 49/11/27
Unifies following titles to become the Undisputed World Heavyweight champion :
National Wrestling Association World Heavyweight title, having defeated Bill Longson on 48/07/20 in Indianapolis, IN
National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight title, awarded on 49/11/27 when champion Orville Brown is injured in an automobile accident on 49/11/01 before a unification match scheduled on 49/11/25 in St. Louis, MO
Also defeats American Wrestling Association World Heavyweight (Boston) champion Gorgeous George on 50/07/27 in Chicago, IL (AWA title not on line).
Los Angeles Olympic Auditorium version of the world title, defeating Baron Michele Leone on 52/05/21 in Los Angeles, CA.
Whipper Billy Watson 56/03/15 Toronto, ON
Wins by count out.
Lou Thesz  56/11/09 St. Louis, MO
Edouard Carpentier # 57/06/14 Chicago, IL
Wins when Thesz cannot continue due to a back injury; recognized as World champion in Omaha and by World Wrestling Association in Los Angeles to legitimate the lineages of their world titles.
Lou Thesz # 57/07/24 Montreal, QC
Defeats Carpentier by disqualification; NWA initially continues to recognize Carpentier as the champion; however, Carpentier withdraws his claim to the title when Montreal promoter Eddie Quinn leaves NWA; NWA voids all recognition of Carpentier as champion.
Dick Hutton 57/11/14 Toronto, ON
Pat O'Connor 59/01/09 St. Louis, MO
Buddy Rogers 61/06/30 Chicago, IL
Bobo Brazil # 62/08/18 Newark, NJ
Wins when Rogers claims a groin injury; Brazil refuses the victory; however, it is announced on 62/09/06 that Brazil is the new champion because nothing has been found wrong with Rogers by the doctor.
Buddy Rogers # 62/10/30 Toledo, OH
Killer Kowalski defeats Rogers on 62/11/21 in Montreal, QC after Rogers' ankle is broken in first fall; Kowalski is recognized as champion in some places including Texas; Rogers defeats Kowalski on 63/01/21 in New York, NY, but Kowalski claims the match is not for the title.
Lou Thesz  63/01/24 Toronto, ON
Promoters in northeast refuse to recognize Rogers's one-fall loss to Thesz and start World Wide Wrestling Federation with Rogers as the first WWWF World Heavyweight champion; Thesz defeats Rogers in a two-out-of-three-falls rematch on 63/02/07 in Toronto, ON; defeats Kowalski on 63/02/01 in Houston, TX.
Gene Kiniski 66/01/07 St. Louis, MO
Dory Funk Jr. 69/02/11 Tampa, FL
Harley Race 73/03/24 Kansas City, MO
Jack Brisco 73/07/20 Houston, TX
Giant Baba 74/12/02 Kagoshima, JAPAN
Jack Brisco  74/12/09 Toyohashi, JAPAN
Terry Funk 75/12/10 Miami, FL
Harley Race  77/02/06 Toronto, ON
Dusty Rhodes 79/08/21 Tampa, FL
Harley Race  79/08/26 Orlando, FL
Giant Baba  79/10/31 Nagoya, JAPAN
Harley Race  79/11/07 Amagasaki, JAPAN
Giant Baba  80/09/04 Saga, JAPAN
Harley Race  80/09/09 Ohtsu, JAPAN
Tommy Rich 81/04/27 Augusta, GA
Harley Race  81/05/01 Gainsville, GA
Dusty Rhodes  81/06/21 Atlanta, GA
Ric Flair 81/09/17 Kansas City, MO
Wrestles to a double count-out against WWF Heavyweight champion Bob Backlund on 82/07/04 in Atlanta, GA; around 82 in DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, Flair allows himself to be pinned by Jack Veneno to avoid the riot from the audience, but the title is returned to Flair; Midnight Rider (Dusty Rhodes under mask) defeats Flair on 83/02/09 in Miami, FL but returns the belt when asked to indentify himself by NWA president Bob Geigel.
Carlos Colon * 83/01/06 San Juan, PR
Ric Flair * 83/01/23<
Harley Race  83/06/10 St. Louis, MO
Ric Flair  83/11/24 Greensboro, NC
Harley Race  84/03/21 Wellington, NEW ZEALAND
Ric Flair  84/03/23 Kallang, SINGAPORE
Kerry Von Erich 84/05/06 Irving, TX
Ric Flair  84/05/24 Yokosuka, JAPAN
Wrestles to a double count-out against AWA World heavyweight champion Rick Martel on 85/10/02 in Tokyo, JAPAN.
Dusty Rhodes  86/07/26 Greensboro, NC
Ric Flair  86/08/07 St. Louis, MO
Ronnie Garvin 87/09/25 Detroit, MI
Ric Flair  87/11/26 Chicago, IL
Ricky Steamboat 89/02/20 Chicago, IL
Ric Flair  89/05/07 Nashville, TN
Sting 90/07/07 Baltimore, MD
Ric Flair  91/01/11 East Rutherford, NJ
Tatsumi Fujinami 91/03/21 Tokyo, JAPAN
Ric Flair  91/05/19 St. Petersburg, FL
Stripped on 91/09/08 when Flair signs with WWF, where he claims the "Real World Heavyweight Title"; NWA World Heavyweight Title is vacant for the first time in its history; Flair wins WWF World Heavyweight Title on 92/01/19 in Albany, NY; some reports say Lex Luger, who has won the vacant WCW World Heavyweight Title by defeating Barry Windham on 91/07/14 in Baltimore, MD, is briefly given recognition as NWA World champion by the NWA board, controlled by WCW Vice President Jim Herd; Luger is not recognized by NWA as a former champion.
Masahiro Chono 92/08/12 Tokyo, JAPAN
Defeats Rick Rude in tournament final to win the vacant title.
Great Muta 93/01/04 Tokyo, JAPAN
Barry Windham 93/02/21 Ashville, NC
Ric Flair  93/07/18 Biloxi, MS
Recognition dropped by NWA in 93/09 after WCW withdraws from NWA; WCW continues to recognize "WCW International" World Heavyweight title with Flair as the champion.
Shane Douglas 94/08/27 Phiadelphia, PA
Defeats Too Cold Scorpio in tournament final but refuses the belt; ECW immediately announces their withdrawal from the NWA.
Chris Candido 94/11/19 Cherry Hill, NJ
Defeats Tracy Smothers in tournament final.
Dan Severn 95/02/24 Erlanger, KY
Naoya Ogawa 99/03/14 Yokohama, JAPAN
Gary Steele 99/09/25 Charlotte, NC
Defeats Ogawa and Brian Anthony in a three way dance.
Naoya Ogawa  99/10/02 Thomaston, CT
Vacates on 00/07/02.
Mike Rapada 00/09/19 Tampa, FL
Defeats Jerry Flynn in 8-man tournament final.
Sabu 00/11/14 Tampa, FL
Mike Rapada  00/12/22 Nashville, TN
Steve Corino 01/04/24 Tampa, FL
Title held-up after a match against Shin'ya Hashimoto on 01/10/13 in St. Petersburg, FL when Corino is unable to continue due to injury.
12/15/01 Shin'ya Hashimoto McKeesport, PA
Defeats Corino and Gary Steele in a round-robin triangle match.
03/09/02 Dan Severn  Tokyo, JAPAN
NWA Senior official Fred Richards gives a "fast count";
05/28/02 TITLE VACANT
* Severn stripped by unanimous vote of the NWA Board of Directors for not being able to schedule a title defense on 06/19/02 in Huntsville, AL.
06/19/02 Ken Shamrock Huntsville, AL
Defeats Malice after the two become the finalists of a battle royal.
08/07/02 Ron Killings Nashville, TN
11/2/02 Jeff Jarrett Nashville, TN
Defeats Sting 05/25/03 in Auckland, NEW ZEALAND to unify World Wrestling All-Stars World Heavyweight Title.
06/03/11 A. J. Styles Nashville, TN
10/22/03 Jeff Jarrett  Nashville, TN
05/19/04 Ron Killings  Nashville, TN
* beat AJ Styles, Chris Harris & Raven for title.
10/23/05 Rhino Orlando, FL
02/12/06 Christian Cage Orlando, FL
06/18/06 Jeff Jarrett Orlando, FL
* beat Abyss, Christian Cage, Sting, & Ron Killings in King of the Mountain Match
10/22/06 Sting  Plymouth, MI
11/19/06 Abyss Orlando, FL