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WCW World Heavyweight Title
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WCW World Heavyweight Title

The NWA World Heavywieght Championship was, considered by many in the wrestling industry, to be the only legitimate world title belt in professional wrestling. It was governed by an organization called the National Wrestling Alliance. Federations like World Championship Wrestling, American Wrestling Association, Extreme Championship Wrestling, United States Wrestling Association, and now World Wrestling Entertainment have, or had, world title belts that were legitimated by a claimed lineage to the NWA World Heavywieght Championship.

Table of contents
1 Pre NWA History
2 NWA World Heavywieght Championship
3 WCW World Heavywieght Championship
4 In World Wrestling Entertainment
5 ECW World Heavywieght Championship
6 AWA World Title
7 USWA Unified Title

Pre NWA History

NWA World Heavywieght Championship

WCW World Heavywieght Championship

Created in January 1991, by Ted Turner's World Championship Wrestling. After buying Jim Crockett Promotions, Turner changed the promotion to his vision of professional wrestling. While it remained a part of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), Turner phased out the NWA name. Title was created, but used the NWA belt for its championship. Ric Flair won the title from Sting (Steve Borden)and was declared the first WCW World Champion. However, the NWA still existed and kept Flair as the NWA World Champion. In spite of this being a new title, WCW commentator Tony Schiavone regularly claimed the lineage of the NWA World Heavywieght Title.

After a fall out with WCW Executive Vice-President Jim Herd, Flair left WCW for Vince McMahon Jr's. WWF/WWE. However, Flair still had his $25,000 deposit on the belt, plus the belt still belonged to the NWA. When Herd and WCW refused to give Flair his deposit, plus interest, Flair left with the NWA belt and WCW created it's own belt. This belt was won by Lex Luger (Larry Pohl) over Barry Windham.

In 1992, WCW gave Flair $35,000 and the NWA got it's belt back. Still retaining membership in the NWA, WCW allowed the NWA to defend it's title on WCW television. By September 1993, WCW pulled out of the NWA and kept the NWA belt, because it purchased it from Flair. The belt was name the WCW International Title and Sting became champion by defeating Rick Rude.

At this time Flair returned to WCW and won the WCW title, by defeating Vader (Leon White). WCW decided to unify the WCW and International Title, by having Flair wrestle Sting in 1994. Flair won and the International Title replaced the old WCW belt. Hulk Hogan entered WCW and won the WCW title from Flair. Holding the title off and on until 2000, Hogan helped WCW become the top wrestling company in the USA. Hogan's biggest gimmick was the New World Order (nWo), where he painted N-W-O on the belt. As 2000 came and went WCW went broke, because of no way to top the NWO storyline and creator Vince Russo's failures.

In World Wrestling Entertainment

In March of 2001, Vince McMahon bought WCW for $5,000,000 and tried reviving the company. After the company's failure, McMahon decided to unify the WCW and WWE World Titles.

Chris Jericho unfied the belts, by pinning The Rock and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin in 2002. The belts stayed unified, until won by WWE rookie Brock Lesnar. When Lesner decided to wrestle only for WWE Smackdown, WWE RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff created a new World Championship. Bischoff brought back the WCW title, but renamed it the World Heavyweight Title. He gave the belt to Triple H and named him the first Champion. To simplify matters, magazine Pro-Wrestling Illistrated named the old WCW title the RAW World Title and the WWE Unified Title the Smackdown! World Title.

ECW World Heavywieght Championship

AWA World Title

The AWA separated over a dispute with the NWA, justified by the question of who the real world champion was.

USWA Unified Title

During the AWA's second Pro Wrestling USA disaster, the AWA Title was merged with the CWA and WCCW Heavywieght titles.