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Cody Rhodes: The Savior of the National Wrestling Alliance?

PWP Nation’s Nick Eden talks about how Cody Rhodes can save the National Wrestling Alliance from obscurity. 

There is, perhaps no organization in pro wrestling that rivals the WWE like the once juggernaut NWA (that’s National Wrestling Alliance for you millennials). Since 1948, the NWA has been the mainstay governing body of the majority of pro wrestling companies.

Despite what the WWE Network may have you to believe, the NWA didn’t die along with Jim Crockett Promotions and WCW. In fact, the NWA World’s Heavyweight Title has been used by nearly every major company as its de-facto world title in order to give that organization credibility. Over the years with the rise of WWF/E and the demise of WCW, the organization’s status has seriously waned largely due the its somewhat antiquated territory system of champions defending.

In fact, the last time the title itself had any major progress was during the early days of TNA, until a dispute ended the relationship. As guaranteed TV contracts have become the norm, companies have opted to declare their own world champions and not deal with licensing from the NWA.

Times have definitely changed and the NWA is adjusting.

In 2012, International Wrestling Corp., LLC acquired the full rights to the National Wrestling Alliance. Under the leadership of Bruce Tharpe, the NWA has revived a relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling, and placed notable indy wrestlers as champion such as former world champion Rob Conway, and the current world champion Jax Dane. Now is the time for the NWA to make a statement to the thriving indy wrestling scene. The territory system as Dusty Rhodes, Harley Race and Ric Flair made famous can still be a working system.

We saw it done most notably in AJ Styles‘ last run as TNA World champion. The fact that such a high profile wrestler AND current world champion of a major company  was showing up at indy shows to defend that title started a buzz around the industry that continued once Styles left TNA. He continued on the same path as IWGP Champion.

Using this same formula, the NWA can revive it’s prominence with one young man: Cody Rhodes.

Rhodes made a serious statement earlier this year by requesting his release from the WWE. Surely one of pro wrestling’s favorite sons would spend out the rest of his days in the comfort of a company so closely associated with his lineage. To shake things up even more, Rhodes hasn’t attempted to go the way of TNA or NJPW. Instead he has been steadily booking indy dates. This is where opportunity knocks.


Cody Rhodes is tailor made to hold the belt that his father Dusty helped make so famous. Its a win/win situation. The NWA should partner with Cody Rhodes in some form of equity that will see him as champion for a lengthy time. Don’t get me wrong, Jax Dane is a beast and an amazing champion. That being said, you cannot let the star power of Cody Rhodes go to waste. A lengthy run as NWA World’s Champion now adds a bigger “fight feel” to his independent bookings. Now those matches are just that much more important. Here you have the rightful heir to the NWA title going from indy promotion to indy promotion, putting on a hell of a show night after night. He’s an international star.

So now you have the UK, Japan, Mexico, Canada, and so many more places. This gives Rhodes the MUCH deserved world title reign he should have had years ago. This also makes the NWA highly important in the eyes of the fans again. If I could paint a picture for you, it would be something along the lines of New Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom at the Tokyo Dome. For the first time in history 3 major world titles will be defended under one roof.

Forty-thousand people in attendance will see the IWGP, Ring of Honor, and NWA World Titles defended all in the same night. It’s just the tip of the iceberg. The relationships are there, and it could set the trend to bring indy wrestling as a whole to heights never before seen.

So Bruce Tharpe…..Cody Rhodes…….the ball is in your court. Are you going to be the ones to change wrestling forever? Or will you just continue with the status quo?

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About Nick Eden