The Heartland Wrestling Association was a Midwestern independent professional wrestling promotion based in Cincinnati, Ohio. A former developmental territory for both World Championship Wrestling and the World Wrestling Federation during the 1990s, it was listed as one of the top independent promotions in the United States by The Professional Wrestlers' Workout & Instructional Guide by Harley Race, Ricky Steamboat and Les Thatcher in 2005.
The HWA produced a one-hour weekly television series, HWA Adrenaline, which was available on the America One and select CW networks.
The Heartland Wrestling Association was started in 1995 by Les Thatcher and Brady Laber, in association with his wrestling school Main Event Pro Wrestling Camp, and held the first annual Brian Pillman Memorial Show in 1998.
The promotion served as the developmental territory for both World Championship Wrestling and World Wrestling Entertainment whose former roster including wrestlers such as Mike Sanders, Shannon Moore, Victoria the Hardy Boyz and brothers Charlie Haas and Russ Haas as well as former WCW veterans Bill DeMott and Elix Skipper Among the top independent wrestlers to have competed in the promotion include Nigel McGuinness, BJ Whitmer, Matt Stryker, Sharkboy, Cody Hawk and Chad Collyer.
Although WWE pulled out of the HWA to cut their budget, HWA continues to have a working relationship with the promotion. The HWA was once featured in an episode of MTV's True Life ("True Life: I'm A Professional Wrestler").
HWA airs a weekly TV program "Adrenaline" nationally on the America One television network. "Adrenaline" can also be viewed online on YouTube (keyword: hwaonline) via a link on the HWA website (see below).
As of early-2007, HWA has produced three online pay-per-view events: "CyberClash" from the HWA Arena in Evendale, Ohio, on March 17, 2006, "Road to Destiny" from the Dayton Gym Club in Dayton, Ohio on June 10, 2006, and "CyberClash 2.0" from the HWA Arena in Evendale, Ohio on March 10, 2007.
In August 2007, the HWA seemed to be shut down, with Cody Hawk launching a new promotion called EGO Pro Wrestling. However, it wound up being a split, as the HWA found new investors and began running live events and producing new episodes of "HWA Adrenaline." The first "HWA Reborn" event occurred on November 9, 2007, with subsequent live events being announced through 2008.
In August 2009, Jake Crist became the longest reigning heavyweight champion in HWA history.