Photo via slam.canoe.ca
Ah, the territory days.
All across the country, there were regional wrestling promotions who stuck to the little area they carved out for themselves. Then they decided that more money could be made if they banded together, formed an alliance -- nudge, nudge -- and operated under the same banner.
Thus the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) was born and all was well.
That is until Vince McMahon Sr. had beef with them.
McMahon wanted to keep Buddy Rogers as champion since he was so dang popular in his territory but the NWA had different plans. Rogers dropped the belt to Lou Thesz and McMahon pulled Capitol Wrestling Corporation, turned it into World Wide Wrestling Federation and awarded the new title to Rogers on April 29, 1963.
Like Pat Patterson and the Intercontinental title, it was claimed "Nature Boy" had won the strap in a tournament in Rio De Janeiro. What is with that city and fake tournament?
He held the belt for less than a month due to a heart attack and dropped it to Bruno Sammartino who would reign as champion for seven years. And you thought Triple H was bad.
From Rogers to Punk... and it all started today, 49 years ago.