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The Indie Corner: Will the Last Guy Left in the NWA Turn Out the Lights?

Lately, the NWA World Championship has changed hands more by title vacancy than by pinfall in the ring. It's high time the governing body pulls the plug on itself.

Colt Cabana wanted to be NWA Champion so badly he left the title laying in a ring in Australia.
Colt Cabana wanted to be NWA Champion so badly he left the title laying in a ring in Australia.
Scott Finkelstein

Adam Pearce and Colt Cabana spent the better part of the summer feuding over the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) World Heavyweight Championship. Their feud, which has been bubbling over in some respects for over a year now, was supposed to culminate in a Best-of-Seven series for the title.

The personal nature of the feud led the series to be called "Seven Levels of Hate." Predictably, it went all seven matches, with the seventh taking place Saturday (Oct. 26) in Australia. The only problem was that the new NWA management refused to sanction said match for the title.

Okay, let's back up here. Awhile back, R. Bruce Tharpe staged what amounted to be a hostile takeover of the NWA from Director Robert Trobich. When Tharpe assumed control of the company, he started ruffling feathers. Depending who you believe, either he kicked NWA Hollywood (Now Championship Wrestling from Hollywood) out of the group; or that group, headed by David Marquez, seceded. Either way, there was a major reshuffling, and not everyone in the Alliance was happy about it.

The funny thing is that both Pearce and Cabana have been regulars on the former NWA Hollywood for a long time. In fact, their feud has played out extensively on their weekly televised serial. It's quite curious that the governing body would refuse to sanction the culmination of a heated feud over their title that involved two guys close to the high-visibility promotion with which ties were recently severed.

Could this somehow be political in nature?

Anyway, as Dot Net reported, the match still went on, Cabana won, and then he and Pearce both refused the title, leaving it lay in the ring. So of course, the title was proclaimed vacant. For the second time in two years, the NWA Title was declared vacant rather than changing hands in the middle of the ring.

This could be one of two things, obviously.

First, it could be an elaborate work, with Pearce and Cabana returning to take out the winner of the 8-man elimination match happening under the NWA DAWG banner. Everyone else is going viral nowadays, why not the NWA? Then again, with all the political posturing happening in the NWA in the last year-plus, can we really believe that all these egos would to get together to do this kind of story across two continents and an entire swath of promotions?

It's possible, but highly skeptical.

So now, we have a governing body still trying to control the diverse bookings of satellite promotions with its iron fist, using the bait of a title that hasn't been relevant since 1990, trying to keep itself relevant.

When the Alliance sold a seven match series as the thing in 2012, and then that same body goes and says the whole thing doesn't matter (by not sanctioning the final match in it) it no longer retains what it tries to claim - continuity. The only person who believes the NWA has power is Tharpe himself.

Promoters often scoff at fans, using the word "mark" to describe them (us), but people like Tharpe are the biggest marks of them all if they believe they can hold together a group of satellite promoters all with their own agendas. It's clear the NWA is outmoded. I don't know how being affiliated with the brand name helps the satellites right now.

That being said, if NWA keeps alienating wrestlers with name recognition, like Pearce and Cabana, will fans even care what those letters stand for anymore? If you can't win the title in the ring and you also have to wait for the Alliance to fall out of favor with the Champion, then what's the goddamn point?

The truth is, the NWA is a carton of milk long past its expiration date. It should have been thrown out when WCW withdrew from it, but it's been festering and souring in the refrigerator, looking all deceptively appealing for the people who want to have cereal or bake a cake. Then, everyone starts to get a whiff when they open it, and less and less people want to be tainted by it.

Clearly, it should be thrown out and replenished with something fresh.

But as long as men like Tharpe can continue to fool people of it's relevancy, then it'll continue to stick around permeating the place. I feel bad for the wrestlers who get into it without knowing the curdling associated with the name. As they'll only end up like Cabana and Pearce this year, or guys like Sheik and Craig Classic last year -

- dropping titles because they're tired of dealing with the rancidity associated with those three outdated letters.

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