The NWA and it’s History with Australia
The NWA has had quite a unique relationship with the country of Australia. Although it was closely affiliated with the NWA in much of late 60s and 70s the Worlds Heavyweight Championship hasn’t been featured as much as you’d think. Even in recent years the NWA affiliates of the previous ownership groups really didn’t focus on bringing in the World Champion. Next week, House of Hardcore take the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship as part of the HOH Tour.
Melbourne Australia was the headquarters of the original World Championship Wrestling which ran from 1964 until 1978. In that time the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship was recognized by WCW and champions like Jack Brisco and Harley Race. Many of these matches were accompanied by stops in New Zealand. However the title wouldn’t be defended again in Australia for nearly 35 years. According to Wrestling-Titles.com; Brisco in 1972 defended the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship against Spiros Arios in Melbourne and in Sydney, Race would defend the title in Australia against Ron Miller in 1977
Gold Coast Native Nathan Jones would challenge for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship twice. Once in ZERO1 against Shinya Hashimoto in 2001. And a second time , five years later for Australian based wrestling promotion, World Wrestling All Stars. Interestingly enough, in 2003, the WWA Championship would be unified with the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion, in Auckland New Zealand when Jeff Jarrett defeated Sting. Jarret was the reigning NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion and Sting was the WWA Champion.
In 2005, the Vice President of Operations for New Japan USA and head of the Inoki Dojo, David Marquez became the gate keeper of Australian Talent. As I wrote for SoCalUncensored, I chronicled the pipeline between talent from Western Australia entering NWA affiliated promotions in Southern California. In October, 2008 in Oceanside California, WWE’s Shane Thorne (then known as Shane Haste) challenged former Champion Scrap Iron Adam Pearce for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship. And although NWA membership had a presence in Australia both in Sydney and in Perth, the title wouldn’t return to Australia until “Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce.
Without being connected to the NWA offices in Australia, the five time NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion, Pearce would defend the title in Rowville against Daniel Swagger, Blacktown against TNT, and in Berwick against Mike Peterson. In 2012 Pearce would return to Australia for on more defense against Matt Bailey. The last time the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship would last be seen in the Outback at the conclusion of the Seven Levels of Hate. It was during the change in ownership that the NWA would deny the fans of Australian wrestling the conclusion of one of the best the feuds in 2012. The previous NWA ownership would withdraw sanctioning of the steel cage match between Pearce and Colt “Boom Boom” Cabana, resulting in the title being vacated at the end of the match.
With the continuation of the Aldis Crusade kicking off July 11th in Perth, Nick Aldis will bring the title back to Australia, for the first time in nearly six years. The House of Hardcore was initially set to have five shows during this tour. Which would have bested the record of title defenses Pearce held during his reigns as champion. However, Aldis will have to settle for a tie. Aldis will face Mark Cometti in Perth on the 11th, Jonah Rock in Melbourne on the 13th, Robbie Eagles on the 14th in Sydney, and on the final stretch of the tour against Bonza in Brisbane. Rock will be the second member of The Mighty Don’t Kneel who will challenge the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion.