NWA Mid-America

NWA Mid-America
Founded 1940s[1]
Defunct 1981
Style Rasslin' / Southern Style
Headquarters Dyersburg, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Knoxville, Tennessee
Birmingham, Alabama
Founder(s) Nick Gulas
Roy Welch[1]
Owner(s) Nick Gulas (1940s–1981)
Roy Welch (1940s–1977)
John Cazana (1953–1974)
Joe Gunther (1940–1970s)
Parent Gulas Wrestling Enterprises Inc.
Formerly Gulas-Welch Enterprisees Inc.

NWA Mid-America was a professional wrestling promotion territory under the umbrella of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) that promoted shows in Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama from the 1940s until 1981. The company was founded in the 1940s by Nick Gulas and Roy Welch and was one of the first promotions to join the NWA after it was founded in 1948. From 1953 until late 1974 John Cazana promoted the Knoxville area and Joe Gunther promoted the Birmingham area from around 1940 until some point in the 1970s. In 1977 promoter Jerry Jarrett and wrestler Jerry Lawler broke away from NWA Mid-America, breaking the Memphis area off to start on the own under the name the Continental Wrestling Association (CWA). Mid-America stopped promoting in 1981 and the CWA took over most of their territory as well as some of the championships promoted by NWA Mid-America

History

In the 1940s wrestling promoter Roy Welch started promoting shows on a regular basis in and around Memphis, Tennessee and would later be joined by Nick Gulas who had been promoting shows in Florida between 1945 and 1947 before joining with Welch to create the Gulas Welch Enterprises Inc. company in the mid 1940s as they began promoting shows primarily in Memphis and Nashville with occasional shows in Chattanooga, Jackson, Louisville, Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, Bowling Green, Kentucky. They also worked with Joe Gunther, a promoter working out of Birmingham, Alabama to expand their promotion into Alabama as well as occasional shows in Mississippi, Ohio, West Virginia, Missouri, Georgia and North Carolina. In 1949 The group joined the National Wrestling Alliance, a national sanctioning body that divided the US into territories.[1] The promotion became known as the NWA Mid-America.[2] In 1953 they added Knoxville, Tennessee to their territory as promoter John Cazana joined the group. The group recognized a number of NWA "World" Championships that were shared across the territories as well as promoting their own NWA branded championships that were mainly defended in the Mid-America territory.[2]

Over the years tag team wrestling became very popular in the Mid-America territory leading to seven different tag team championships being recognized at the same time in the 1970s by NWA Mid-America: NWA World Tag Team Championship, NWA United States Tag Team Championship, NWA Southern Tag Team Championship, NWA Mid-America Tag Team Championship, NWA Tennessee Tag Team Championship, NWA Kentucky Tag Team Championship and the NWA Tri-State Tag Team Championship. This also meant that a host of well known tag teams either worked in NWA Mid-America on a regular basis or passed through the territory at one point, teams such as The Von Brauners, The Interns, The Infernos, The Bounty Hunters, Tojo Yamamoto and Jerry Jarrett, The Heavenly Bodies (Don and Al Green), Bobby Hart and Lorenzo Parente, The Fabulous Kangaroos, Jerry Lawler and Jim White, The Fabulous Fargos, and a host of other teams were regulars.[3]

In the mid-1970s the territory was split as Memphis promoter Jerry Jarrett broke away from the Mid-America territory due to disagreements over how Gulas was promoting his son George Gulas, pushing him as one of the top names in the promotion despite not being very talented in the ring.[4] Many of the wrestlers in the promotion were upset at Nick Gulas for over booking Nick’s son George Gulas in the extremely profitable Memphis half of the territory. At this point Roy Welch retired from promotion, leaving Nick Gulas as the man in charge of a dwindling territory. With Gulas' insistence on pushing his son and Jarrett's Continental Wrestling Association (CWA) becoming very popular led to a drop in ticket sales and by 1981 Gulas closed the promotion and sold the territory and its championships to the CWA.

Last show

These are the results of the last known NWA Mid-America show held on September 13, 1980.[5]

No. Results[5] Stipulations Times
1 Bobby Eaton (c) wrestled Jerry Barber to a no-contest Singles match for the NWA Mid-America Heavyweight Championship  
2 Roger Howell and Robert Gibson defeated The Manchurians (Tio and Tapu) by disqualification Tag team match  
3 Bobby Eaton defeated Mike Miller Singles match  
4 Ginger the wrestling bear defeated Terry Sawyer Bear Wrestling match  
5 Larry Latham wrestled Ken Lucas to a no-contest Singles match  
  • (c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match

Championships

Championship Last Recognized Champion From Until Notes
NWA World Heavyweight ChampionshipHarley RaceJanuary 5, 1948Still ActiveChampion when Mid-America closed.[6]
NWA World Junior Heavyweight ChampionshipTerry Taylor/Les ThorntonMay 1945Still ActiveChampion when Mid-America closed.[7]
NWA World Women's ChampionshipThe Fabulous Moolah1935Still ActiveChampion when Mid-America closed.[8]
NWA World Tag Team ChampionshipMike Graham and Kevin SullivanFebruary 5, 19571977[9]
NWA World Six-Man Tag Team ChampionshipGeorge Gulas, Rocky Brewer and Mystery ManNovember 14, 19741981Championship later used by Jim Crockett Promotions.[10]
NWA World Brass Knuckles ChampionshipDon FargoNovember 15, 19781981[11]
NWA United States Junior Heavyweight ChampionshipDon GreeneFebruary, 1959July, 1974CWA brought the championship back in 1981.[12]
NWA United States Tag Team ChampionshipDennis Condrey and Phil HickersonMarch, 1962April, 1974[13]
NWA Southern Heavyweight ChampionshipRocky JohnsonJuly 27, 1974March 20, 1977Moved to the CWA.[14]
NWA Southern Junior Heavyweight ChampionshipJerry LawlerApril 19, 1952July 27, 1974Became the Southern Heavyweight Championship.[15]
NWA Southern Tag Team ChampionshipThe Bicentennial Kings (Dennis Condrey and Phil Hickerson)November, 1945March 20, 1977Moved to the CWA.[16]
NWA Mid-America Heavyweight ChampionshipJohnny JusticeApril, 1957Still ActiveLater revivewed by the CWA.[17]
NWA Mid-America Junior Heavyweight ChampionshipDick Steinborn19801980[18]
NWA Mid-America Tag Team ChampionshipRob Conway and Josh LewisJanuary, 1972Still Active[19]
NWA Mid-America Television ChampionshipKevin SullivanNovember 8, 19801981[20]
NWA Tennessee Heavyweight ChampionshipSputnik MonroeJune 29, 1959March 28, 1960[21]
NWA Tennessee Tag Team ChampionshipDon Greene and Joey RossiJuly 10, 1956May, 1977[22]
NWA Kentucky Heavyweight ChampionshipBuck Moore1950s1950s[23]
NWA Kentucky Tag Team ChampionshipThe Masked SuperstarsMarch, 1975February, 1979[24]
NWA Tri-State Tag Team Championship (Alabama version)Tojo Yamamoto and George GulasOctober, 1971August, 1977[25]
NWA Tri-State Heavyweight Championship (Tri-State version)Dennis CondreySeptember 12, 1960October, 1970[26]

Further reading

NWA Mid-America in Memphis
  • James, Mark (November 6, 2012). Memphis Wrestling History Presents: the 1950s. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 1-4801145-5-3. 
  • James, Mark (June 29, 2011). Memphis Wrestling History Presents: the 1960s. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 1-4636503-1-0. 
  • James, Mark (January 20, 2012). Memphis Wrestling History Presents: the 1970s. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 1-4699345-9-0. 
  • James, Mark (October 1, 2013). Memphis Wrestling History: Cards, Matches and Results 1970-1985. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 1-4935686-6-3. 
NWA Mid-America in Tennessee
  • James, Mark (June 26, 2014). Memphis Wrestling History: Tennessee Record Book 1960-1972. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ASIN B00N4IZVMM. 
  • James, Mark (December 7, 2013). Memphis Wrestling History: Tennessee Record Book 1973-1979. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 1-4937025-3-X. 
  • James, Mark (November 29, 2013). Memphis Wrestling History: Tennessee Record Book 1980-1989. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 1-4943258-1-0. 
NWA Mid-America in Nashville
  • James, Mark (November 1, 2013). Memphis Wrestling History: Nashville Programs 1951-1952. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 1-4936550-8-6. 

See also

References

  1. 1 2 3 "NWA Membership Rosters: 1949". Retrieved 2014-01-06.
  2. 1 2 Hornbaker, Tim (2007). National Wrestling Alliance: The Untold Story of the Monopoly That Strangled Professional Wrestling. ECW Press. ISBN 9781554902743.
  3. Greg Oliver and Steve Johnson (2005). "Replace from list". The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams. ECW Press. ISBN 978-1-5502-2683-6.
  4. James, Mark (June 5, 2015). "Foreword". Memphis Wrestling History Presents: 1977 The War For Memphis. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. pp. 13–16. ISBN 1-4781347-2-0.
  5. 1 2 James, Mark (October 1, 2013). "September, 1980". Memphis Wrestling History: Cards, Matches and Results 1970-1985. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 1-4935686-6-3.
  6. Will, Gary; Royal Duncan (1994). "United States: 19th century and widely defended titles - NWA, WWF, AWA, IWA, ECW, NWA: National Wrestling Alliance Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4 ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-1-1.
  7. Will, Gary; Royal Duncan (1994). "United States: 19th century and widely defended titles - NWA, WWF, AWA, IWA, ECW, NWA: National Wrestling Alliance Junior Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4 ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-1-1.
  8. Will, Gary; Royal Duncan (1994). "United States: 19th century and widely defended titles - NWA, WWF, AWA, IWA, ECW, NWA: National Wrestling Alliance Women's Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4 ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-1-1.
  9. Will, Gary; Royal Duncan (1994). "(Memphis, Nashville) Tennessee: NWA World Tag Team Title [Nick Gulas & Roy Welsch]". Wrestling Title Histories (4 ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 191–193. ISBN 0-9698161-1-1.
  10. Will, Gary; Royal Duncan (1994). "(Memphis, Nashville) Tennessee: NWA Six-Man Tag Team Title [Nick Gulas & Roy Welsch]". Wrestling Title Histories (4 ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-1-1.
  11. Will, Gary; Royal Duncan (1994). "(Memphis, Nashville) Tennessee: NWA World Brass Knuckles Title [Nick Gulas & Roy Welsch]". Wrestling Title Histories (4 ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-1-1.
  12. Will, Gary; Royal Duncan (1994). "(Memphis, Nashville) Tennessee: NWA United States Junior Heavyweight Title [Nick Gulas & Roy Welsch]". Wrestling Title Histories (4 ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-1-1.
  13. Will, Gary; Royal Duncan (1994). "(Memphis, Nashville) Tennessee: NWA United States Tag Team Title [Nick Gulas & Roy Welsch]". Wrestling Title Histories (4 ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 194. ISBN 0-9698161-1-1.
  14. Will, Gary; Royal Duncan (1994). "(Memphis, Nashville) Tennessee: NWA Southern Heavyweight Title [Nick Gulas & Roy Welsch]". Wrestling Title Histories (4 ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-1-1.
  15. Will, Gary; Royal Duncan (1994). "(Memphis, Nashville) Tennessee: NWA Southern Junior Heavyweight Title [Nick Gulas & Roy Welsch]". Wrestling Title Histories (4 ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-1-1.
  16. Will, Gary; Royal Duncan (1994). "Tennessee: Southern Tag Team Title [Roy Welch & Nick Gulas; Jerry Jarrett from 1977]". Wrestling Title Histories (4 ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 185–189. ISBN 0-9698161-1-1.
  17. Will, Gary; Royal Duncan (1994). "(Memphis, Nashville) Tennessee: NWA Mid-America Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4 ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-1-1.
  18. Will, Gary; Royal Duncan (1994). "(Memphis, Nashville) Tennessee: NWA Mid-America Junior Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4 ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-1-1.
  19. Will, Gary; Royal Duncan (1994). "(Memphis, Nashville) Tennessee: NWA Mid-America Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4 ed.). Archeus Communications. pp. 194–195. ISBN 0-9698161-1-1.
  20. Will, Gary; Royal Duncan (1994). "(Memphis, Nashville) Tennessee: NWA Mid-America Television Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4 ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-1-1.
  21. Will, Gary; Royal Duncan (1994). "Tennessee: National Wrestling Alliance Tennessee Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4 ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-1-1.
  22. Will, Gary; Royal Duncan (1994). "Tennessee: NWA Tennessee Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4 ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-1-1.
  23. Will, Gary; Royal Duncan (1994). "Kentucky: NWA Kentucky Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4 ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-1-1.
  24. Will, Gary; Royal Duncan (1994). "Kentucky: NWA Kentucky Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4 ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-1-1.
  25. Will, Gary; Royal Duncan (1994). "Alabama: NWA Tri-State Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4 ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-1-1.
  26. Will, Gary; Royal Duncan (1994). "Alabama: NWA Tri-State Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Title Histories (4 ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-1-1.
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