Wrestling: The 5 Worst NWA Champions from 1980-1995

David Levin@@davidlevin71Senior Writer IIJune 26, 2011

Wrestling: The 5 Worst NWA Champions from 1980-1995

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    Back in the day (I just love saying that), the NWA (National Wrestling Alliance) made its reputation on larger-than-life champions that defended the world heavyweight title night after night in arenas across the country, sometimes twice on the weekends in almost carny style.

    The champions were decided by nine members who fought for "their" guy to carry gold and represent the organization in Texas, Florida, the Carolinas, Portland and the mecca, St. Louis. Sure there were other cities and promotions and towns that filled with fans to see a Harley Race/Jack Brisco match or Yojo Yamamoto take on Terry Funk (before he went hardcore).

    There were "real" matches, with holds, drop kicks, sleep holds and figure-four leg locks. Wrestling started here. And while the champions were thought of in high regard, there have been champions who were given a shot to carry the tradition started by Lou Thesz, Orville Brown and Eddie Graham and could not carry their end of the deal.

    For every great champion (Harley Race, Giant Baba) there were these five that pretty much stunk up the joint.

Tommy Rich

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    "Wild Fire" held the title for a total of four days back in 1981.

    He defeated Harley Race for the title and then lost to Race in record time.

    Rich was a popular wrestler from the Georgia and mid-South areas. He was also an accomplished tag team champion, having won titles with Eddie Gilbert in Jerry Jarrett's promotion.

Carlos Colon

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    A favorite in Puerto Rico and is still viewed as an icon in Puerto Rico.

    Colon hard the title for four days and dropped the title to Ric Flair in his hometown.

    Colon's status as a Hall of Famer is magnified by his sons Carlito and Primo wrestling in the WWE.

Kerry Von Erich

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    He was chosen to win the title in honor of his brother, David. He beat Ric Flair with a back slide in Texas Stadium to the delight of the fans, and the "Modern Day Warrior" had the gold that was supposed to belong to David.

    Kerry lost the title to Flair 18 days later in Japan and never climbed back to title status. His chisled body and discus punch was a crowd pleaser, but his rumored drug use cost him dearly.

    He later went to the WWE as the "Texas Tornado" and won the Intercontinental Title.

Ronnie Garvin

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    His finishing move is right to the face and then the "Garvin Stomp."

    He beat Ric Flair, held the title for two months and then dropped the title to Flair in Chicago.

    He was as rugged as they come, but his persona as a world champion just did not work. He could not sell like past champions, and fans in Chicago rooted for Flair more so than the face.

Shane Douglas

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    Won the title in 1994 and immediately announced he would rather support ECW (Paul Heyman).

    This would not be the last time a champion does this sort of thing.

    Chris Benoit refused to work with his wife's (Nancy) former husband, Kevin Sullivan and dropped the title, walked out the door and wrestled for WWE.