“Ah camera man, I’m glad you are here,” said by the then independent wrestler who is synonymous with excellence, Bryan Danielson. He would continue with “I have a message for the NWA and all of the NWA fans. I have beaten all of the best wrestlers in the World; I’ve beaten Samoa Joe, Jushin Liger, Minoru Tanaka. I have beaten everyone, everywhere. I am the best. And now I am coming after the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.” It all started off so innocently. The NWA World Heavyweight Championship along with the NWA World Tag Team Championships had become somewhat exclusive to Total Non-Stop Action. TNA Wrestling and come to an agreement to lease the NWA Properties. Was this the lament of a man with bravado or was this the beginning to something none of us were expecting. Only on NWA Anniversary Shows and a rare NWA event the World Title on occasion would be defended outside of a TNA venue. But even then, the World Titles became increasingly more difficult for NWA Promoters to book. Around the same time there was speculation that TNA was growing frustrated by the demands of the NWA and even stopped referring to the Legendary 10lbs of Gold as the NWA Worlds Title and simply would call it the TNA World Title. Things changed dramatically on on this date, four years ago. The NWA Titles would appear for the last time on TNA and the NWA would regain its freedom.
May 13th 2007. Prior to the TNA pay per view Sacrifice, via a YouTube video, the Executive Director for the National Wrestling Alliance Robert K. Trobich announces that the NWA and TNA have ended their 5 year professional relationship and that the NWA has officially striped both Christian Cage and Team 3D of the NWA Worlds Heavyweight and Tag Team Champions, respectively.
The fallout of this announcement would launch dozens of videos on YouTube of wrestlers from around the world asking for their opportunity to be included into the tournament to crown a new NWA Worlds Champion. Danielson would echo his sentiments about his desire to be champion in a second video. “I want, the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. There are some who say it doesn’t mean much anymore. That’s a lie. That belt has more history than any belt in the history of pro-wrestling.”
Canadians Nelson Creed and Dru Onyx, Australia’s Bobby Jo Marshall, Mexico’s Nicho El Millonare along with names across the United States; Damien Wayne out of the Mid-Atlantic, Chad Pharam out of Georgia, Chance Prophet out of West Virgina, Aaron Aguilera and Adam Pearce out of Southern California, Karl Anderson out of the Midwest, and even Awesome Kong, the dominant woman’s wrestler out of Japan.
The finals of the tournament would come down to four men, Adam Pearce, Brent Albright, Claudio Castagnoli, and Bryan Danielson. After a career threatening injury Danielson was replaced by Pearce. And Pearce would go on to defeat Albright and go on to defend the title 33 times in a twelve month period. Many would believe that this would be the return of NWA.