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Posts Tagged ‘“Nature Boy” Ric Flair’

The Return of the NWA World’s Heavyweight title to Des Moines— By Midnight Guthrie

Posted by flairwhoooooo on January 21, 2012

By Midnight Guthrie

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I’m sure you’ve read the hype for the upcoming NWA World’s Heavyweight title match between champion “Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce and “The Rebel” Jeremy Wyatt at 3XW Divide & Conquer 2 on Jan. 27 in Des Moines.

You understand it’s a big deal because you may recognize the initials “NWA,” attributing it to names like Flair and Rhodes. Maybe when the subject of wrestling comes up, an uncle recounts for you the hundredth time about seeing the National Wrestling Alli-ance and “Handsome” Harley Race in Des Moines, years before he was called “King” in the WWF.

But, I’m guessing very few current 3XWrestling fans truly understand the history of the NWA in Des Moines.

This may come as a shock to many of you, but at one time Des Moines was one of the most important cities for professional wres-tling in the entire world.

Yes, the entire world. In fact, the first NWA World’s Heavyweight champion was crowned right here in Des Moines in 1948.

And on January 27, it will be defended in Des Moines for the first time in over a quarter century – 25 years!

The Origins of the NWA

To give you a little more history, we’ll start by looking back 104 years ago. In 1908 — 40 years prior to the founding of the NWA— Frank Gotch defeated George Hackenschmidt after over two hours of wrestling to become recognized as the undisputed World Heavyweight champion. Gotch, a farmer from Humboldt, Iowa, became one of the top sports stars in the world, amassing a for-tune rumored to be worth approximately $500,000 – which would be over $11 million dollars adjusted to today’s money!

Gotch, who never moved away from Humboldt despite his fame, retired as a champion in 1912.

Shortly after his retirement, the lineage of the World Heavyweight title became a total mess, with different promoters recognizing different champions all over the United States. By 1938, a minimum of six wrestlers were staking claim to the World Heavyweight championship. This led to frustration amongst fans and the popularity of pro wrestling as a whole started to suffer.

This continued until 1948, when Pinkie George, a Des Moines-based wrestling promoter, spearheaded the formation of an alli-ance of promoters to recognize one World’s Heavyweight champion, a champion who would travel to each of the different territo-ries throughout the country and face the best wrestlers available. George met with five other promoters from around the country in Waterloo, Iowa to share his vision and this group founded the National Wrestling Alliance. Eventually, upwards of 100 promoters joined the organization, covering almost the entire wrestling world.

Orville Brown was declared the first NWA World’s Heavyweight champion in Des Moines in 1948. Brown’s last defense of the championship came in Des Moines on Oct. 31, 1949, one day before injuries from an automobile accident would force Brown to retire.

Crowds of approximately 4,000 fans would pack the Des Moines Coliseum on Monday nights in the 1940s or the KRNT Theater on Wednesday evenings in the 50s for the wrestling matches promoted by George with the NWA title, now wrestling’s top champi-onship, being vied for in Des Moines upwards of five times a year.

George stopped promoting bouts in 1959, but the championship was still defended in Des Moines regularly through the late 1970s, including being fought for in the Coliseum prior to the arena being destroyed by fire. The Coliseum was located only a few blocks south of the current location of the Barratta’s@Forte Center, where Wyatt and Pearce will battle for the title on January 27.

It will be the first match for the title in Des Moines since “Nature Boy” Ric Flair defended against “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes on Oct. 2, 1986. The last defense of the championship in Iowa at all was Flair facing El Gigante in Sioux City, Iowa on May 21, 1991.

Still recognized in Japan, Mexico and Europe as one of the top Heavyweight championships in the world, the NWA World’s title has gone through some dramatic developments in the last 20 years here in the United States. Once featured as the top champi-onship in World Championship Wrestling (WCW), WCW broke off their NWA affiliation in 1993.

The NWA continued on through the 90s with the help of its many member territories. Former UFC star Dan Severn proved a dominate champion, winning the title in 1995 and holding it until 1999.

TNA Wrestling signed on with the NWA upon its formation in 2002, and the NWA World’s Heavyweight championship was featured as the top championship of the company until 2007, when they broke away from the alliance.

Enter Adam Pearce

In June 2007, “Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce entered a tournament to crown a new NWA World’s Heavyweight champion. The star-studded competition included current WWE World champion Daniel Bryan, recent WWE signee and former Ring of Honor star Claudio Castagnoli, former WWE stars Aaron Aguilera (Jesus) and Brent Albright (Gunner Scott), British star Fergal Devitt and Japanese star Osamu Nishimura, among others.

Pearce outlasted the 15 other entrants over the course of four months to win his first NWA World’s Heavyweight championship, ce-menting his status as one of the best talents in the world.

Now a four-time NWA champion, Pearce has battled a “who’s who” of wrestling stars for the title all around the world over the past five years.

On January 27, he flies in from San Diego, California to battle “The Rebel” Jeremy Wyatt for the first time. Many fans consider Wyatt to be one of the best wrestlers in the Midwest today.

After years of dominating the Midwest, this is Wyatt’s first world championship match. Pearce, a 15-year veteran who’s known as one of the best speakers in all of wrestling, currently stars on the NWA Championship Wrestling from Hollywood television show.

Wyatt is no stranger to championships himself. Also known as “The Belt Collector” for the number of titles he’s won during his 10-year career, he is a two-time 3XW Heavyweight champion and recognized as the current NWA Central States champion, among many others.

Wyatt was recently awarded the 2011 Match of the Year award by MissouriWrestlingRevival.com for his phenomenal 73-minute Iron-man match – a match length unheard of in the modern-era of wrestling – with current 3XW Heavyweight champion Mark Sterling at 3XW’s Divide & Conquer in January 2011. Incredibly, this is the fourth straight year a match involving Wyatt has won the award.

And so the stage is set for another classic Wyatt match, perhaps the most historic of all. It’s his first-ever World’s title opportunity and it’s against a nationally-recognized opponent he’s never faced.

Quite frankly, I don’t have the words to describe the excitement I feel to have the NWA title back in Des Moines for the first time since 1986.

But on January 27 at Divide & Conquer 2, with decades of wrestling history in his rearview mirror, Jeremy Wyatt has the chance to do the once unimaginable;

Bring the NWA World’s Heavyweight title back home and make Des Moines one of professional wrestling’s most important cities once again.

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My thanks to Tim Hornbaker at http://www.legacyofwrestling.com/and http://www.wrestling-titles.com/for assistance with researching the details for this article. Lots of phenomenal wrestling history at both sites, definitely check them out!

 

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MWR Spotlight: Edmund “Livewire” McGuire

Posted by Admin on April 11, 2008

Missouri Wrestling Revival Spotlight:
Edmund “Livewire” McGuire

By “Your Trip to Space Mountain” writer Brian “Flair” Kelley


Editor’s Note: After this interview was conducted, “Thunderbolt” Brandon Walker was injured and will be unable to face Edmund “Livewire” McGuire tomorrow. AAPW and MWR wish Mr. Walker a speedy recovery!

Height: 5’9”

Entrance Music: “How Many Wanna” by Ja Rule [Instrumental]

Experience: 5

Promotions: All-American Pro Wrestling (AAPW), National Wrestling Coalition (NWC), IWA Productions, United States Championship Wrestling , New Focus Wrestling

Biggest Match: Versus “Homicidal” Steven Davis in Carbondale, IL on 8/19/07 [AAPW Heavyweight Championship Tournament Finals to crown the 1st EVER AAPW Heavyweight Champion]. I was unsuccessful thanks to “Thunderbolt” Brandon Walker’s outside interference.

Signature Move: The Livewire Legdrop (top rope legdrop), Superkick

Edmund, what attracted me to you for the interview was seeing you in action with All American Pro Wrestling. I had taken the time to search for you on Myspace, and what stood out to me was the fact that you are such a student of the sport. You have quite a passion for wrestling. What drew you to wrestling and who did you look up to?

Well, it was really easy for me to get caught up in the wrestling craze thanks to my family being huge fans. Ever since I can remember, I have been a die-hard wrestling fan. I grew up on 80’s NWA, WCCW, WWF, WCW, AWA, and USWA Memphis. I, till this very day, remain a fan of the old-school era of wrestling, and study it relentlessly in preparation of matches. I have so many wrestlers that I idolized and looked up to, and who I saw as inspirations for me to get into this business: “Cowboy” Bob Orton, Jr., Harley Race, Dory Funk, Jr., “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, Nick Bockwinkel, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, “Superstar” Bill Dundee, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Dean Malenko, Chris Benoit, “Flyin” Brian Pillman, The Undertaker, and “Diamond” Dallas Page are some of the most notable ones that I remember idolizing.

Who trained you and was it what you expected?

“Homicidal” Steven Davis & “Dangerous” Donny Sixx trained me. I really can’t say it’s what I expected, but I went in with a positive attitude, kept my eyes and ears open and my mouth shut, and gave my very best efforts to learning the craft of pro wrestling. I am grateful for all of the knowledge and time these gentlemen put into training me and molding me into who I am today.

Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, Kid Kash, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, Koko B. Ware, The Naturals, “Showtime” Eric Young, “Tennessee Cowboy” James Storm, Abyss, and Traci Brooks have all wrestled for AAPW, which must be a thrill for an up and coming wrestler such as yourself. Out of these Superstars which ones impressed you the most and really went that extra mile to work with the stars of tomorrow?

Koko B. Ware, hands down. Koko went out of his way to encourage me and to explain to me the art of promos. You know, how to make them believable. I made it a point to pick his brain regarding certain aspects of this business, and he was gracious enough to lend his ear and his time to me. For that, I’m fortunate as well as grateful.

It seems these days that all you hear about are the negative aspects of the sport when wrestling or wrestlers are the topic of conversation, but I must say that my experience with wrestlers on the Independent scene has been only positive. When doing research about you, a story came up about you attending a boys birthday party. Please tell the readers about how this came about and what were the results?

Well, the young man whose birthday party I was the surprise guest for attends most of AAPW’s area events. His mother asked me days prior to that whether I was available and if I could be a surprise guest for her son’s birthday party because he’s a huge fan of mine. I looked at it as a chance to do something for someone that wasn’t done for me when I was young, so it wasn’t at all a problem for me. I jumped at the opportunity. It’s not everyday that a kid has a wrestler for a birthday party guest! We all had a blast, and the young man and his family and friends attended that night’s event in West Frankfort, IL.

My Girlfriend and I took the 250-mile road trip to Carbondale, IL some time ago to see AAPW and what the promotion had to offer, and really had a good time. The show was very well run, and we look forward to coming back. How would you describe AAPW to a fan that wants to see some wrestling action?

I would describe All-American Pro Wrestling as a very family and fan-friendly wrestling organization that prides itself on providing good, clean entertainment. We do our best to emphasize the term ‘pro wrestling’, and in-ring action is strongly emphasized. I agree with you when you say that anytime pro wrestling is discussed, it’s usually referred to in a negative light. AAPW does it’s best to bring some class and respectability to professional wrestling. We sort of have an old school atmosphere to our events. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a little pizzazz in independent wrestling, but when it all boils down, it’s spelled w-r-e-s-t-l-i-n-g. We do our best to contribute to that philosophy. We want people to feel at home when attending our events, and we want to be a wrestling promotion they can call their own and be proud of.

With your quick moves you can electrify a crowd, which makes you very popular with the fans. You have won some big matches in AAPW but it seems as if Brandon “Thunderbolt” Walker has been a thorn in your side since nearly the beginning. In West Frankfort, IL in January after beating Chocolate Thunder (who substituted for a missing-in-action Brandon Walker), you made a challenge to “Thunderbolt” Brandon Walker for April 12, 2008 in West Frankfort for a No Countout No Disqualification match, yet once again in Mt Vernon, IL you were taking on Mike Masters when Thunderbolt pushed you off the top rope to allow Masters to take advantage and get the pin. Later in the evening, you decided to get some payback on Walker by heading to ringside, distracting Walker in order for “The All American” J.T. Calhoun to secure a victory in their match. This leads us to April 12th in West Frankfort, IL at the New Beginnings Assembly. Doors open at 6PM with a bell time of 7PM. You will finally have a chance to get a payback win off Thunderbolt. How do you feel going into this?

You’re absolutely correct, Brandon Walker has indeed been a thorn in my side for the longest time now, dating back to August when he cost me the opportunity to become the very first AAPW Heavyweight Champion. There seems to be an underlying bitterness in Brandon. Since returning to Southern Illinois after a lengthy absence (following a stint of being on top in this area for years), Brandon sees that there’s a new crop of young lions on the prowl. I guess he chose me to target. I, being one to never back away from a fight, embraced the competition and after a while it turned personal after a series of back and forth battles. We’ve each got a victory over one another, and on April 12th I plan to settle this score with Brandon once and for all!!!

What goals do you have for yourself in wrestling?

To have fun. Plain and simple. Not too many people in this lifetime can say they lived their dreams, and I am blessed to be able to say that I have. I feel as though I have yet to reach the tip of the iceberg, and I’m going to continue to give it my all and entertain audiences to the best of my abilities. As far as particular goals, I’d like to tour the U.S. & foreign countries in pursuit of pro wrestling experience. WWE is always an option…

Now it is time for the Space Mountain Free Fall where you can give your thoughts on the wrestlers that are scheduled for April 12 with AAPW:

“Thunderbolt” Brandon Walker:

Officially exterminated after April 12th courtesy of Edmund “Livewire” McGuire.

Shawn Shultz:

Arrogant, obnoxious, super-talented athlete who I’ve waged war with once… and won!

Carnage:

Diabolical, mysterious and savvy…

Keith Knox:

Hmmm… I feel sorry for Shawn Schultz on April 12th.

“Homicidal” Steven Davis:

One of the toughest competitors I’ve ever stepped into any ring with. I have welts on my back and chest that will last me a lifetime thanks to this guy.

Ax Stevens:

Wily and dangerous. He’s been on a hot streak like none other here in AAPW lately. We’ve battled all over IL, IN, MO and AR, and I consider him to be one of my fiercest rivals. We have a score that has yet to be settled, and one day, we’ll get the chance to close the book on our storied rivalry.

“The All American” JT Calhoun:

For a man his size, it’s astonishing to see someone with that kind of speed, strength and agility. Much props to JT.

Vulcan:

I’ve never had a chance to cross paths with Vulcan, but I’ve worked with him in other companies. From what I’ve seen, it’s all about brute force with Vulcan. His smashmouth style has earned him championships and he’s got a reputation for throwing the rulebook out the window. Let’s just see how he tests his mettle against the competition here in AAPW.

Mike Masters:

As good an athlete as Mike Masters is, I must admit that I’ve lost respect for him. I know wrestling’s all about wins and losses, and as hard as the reality of it may be, I can accept losing to a better competitor. Mike proved in Mt. Vernon, IL back in February that he’s willing to stoop to any level necessary to gain respect. It takes a very respectable individual to steal a cheap victory from me after Brandon Walker interfered… at least in Mike’s eyes it does! I proved to him in Carbondale, IL last month that that deed doesn’t come without a heavy price Believe me, he got his receipt tenfold in the form of him having his shoulders pinned to the mat… one. two, three!

Playboy Paul Rose:

What a character this guy is! He’s another in a long line of wrestlers who’ve tried to take me down and have been proven unsuccessful. I’m still trying to figure out what kind of gall this guy has for coming out in pink feather boas, pink Speedos, and bleach-blond hair.

“The Future” Donavan Ruddick:

He’s making his AAPW return on April 12th, and is looking to destroy any and everyone in his path, I’m quite sure. I’m going to be sure to keep my eye on this individual closely.

“The Serial Thriller” Shane Rich:

A class act in every sense of the term. He’s gone through a lot of trials and tribulations to get to where he is in AAPW, and I commend him for never giving up and never giving in. It’s paid off for him by him winning the AAPW Heavyweight Championship. Don’t let my respect for him lead you to believe that I won’t be chasing him down for that title someday.

Brandon Espinosa:

I’ve been in the ring with this tremendously talented athlete only once, and he emerged the better man that night. If given the opportunity, I’d like to believe that the results would be a bit different… unfortunately for Mr. Espinosa…

J.C. Blade:

One of the hungriest young competitors that we have here in AAPW. He’s looking to make a way for himself. I encourage him to keep up the good work and never lose faith, no matter how rough the competition may be.

In Altamont, IL a new promotion IWA is having a Fund Raiser to benefit the Blue Knights. Their charity is the SAFE Program. What can you tell us about this new promotion?

I can safely say that IWA is going to be an experience like none other. I am looking to carve out a path in IWA just like I have in AAPW and many other promotions that I work for.

It is also scheduled for AAPW to bring hot wrestling action to Chester, IL on May 7, 2008. At this point are there any more dates where we can see Live wire McGuire in action?

Well, I’m booked all the way through June. I am getting booked in advance, and it’s possible that by then I’ll be booked up another few months. I’m going to be all over Illinois and Indiana and I’m working on bookings in Michigan and Ohio, so I encourage any and all to contact me via my Myspace page (www.myspace.com/livewire_mcguire) and inquire.

Any last words for your fans?

I am so eternally grateful for the encouragement and support that you’ve shown me, and I thank you all so much! Your continued support would be greatly appreciated as I continue making a way for myself in this lovely sport of professional wrestling. Thank you and I hope to see and meet you at the events! God bless!

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