Abandoned: The History of the AWA World Heavyweight Championship

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Abandoned: The History of the AWA World Heavyweight Championship
photo from prowrestling.wikia.com

For this very special edition of Abandoned, I present the AWA World Heavyweight Championship!

The American Wrestling Association was founded in 1960, but before that, they were a part of the National Wrestling Alliance much like WWE was in the early days. Known as NWA Minneapolis, the top star in the territory was Verne Gagne.

The NWA was all about territories back then with the NWA World Heavyweight champion travelling from territory to territory defending the title. Minneapolis wanted Gagne to be the champion, but the NWA would not agree. In response, Gagne and Wally Karbo, who ran the territory, broke ties with the NWA to form the AWA.

For 30 years, the AWA sold itself on technical wrestling and expanded to cities like Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas and San Francisco, while also up in Canada. The AWA also saw the rise of Hulk Hogan in the early 1980s, but after he and many other top talent like Adrian Adonis and Bobby Heenan jumped to the WWF, now WWE, the AWA began to decline.

Throughout the 1980s, the WWF ditched being a northeastern region and started to become the national entity that it is today.  When WCW was officially formed, the AWA fell behind further and became inactive in 1990.

The company would close its doors in 1991, and is now owned by WWE.

The AWA World Heavyweight Championship was established when the company formed with then-NWA champion Pat O’Connor being recognized as champion. The title has seen a total 38 champions throughout its 30 years of existence, so let’s get started!

I know I said that the ROH World Tag Team and Television Championships would be next, but the tag titles are taking a lot of time to do.

Due to some teams only being together for a short time, their career highlights are very short, so I had to go back to the old way of doing the series so the slides aren’t bare. It’s taking time, but as soon as it’s finished, it’ll be online.

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