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NWA Mid-America

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The NWA Mid-America was a professional wrestling promotion territory under the umbrella of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) that promoted shows in Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama from the 1940s until 1981. The company was founded in the 1940s by Nick Gulas and Roy Welch and was one of the first promotions to join the NWA after it was founded in 1948. From 1953 until late 1974 John Cazana promoted the Knoxville area and Joe Gunther promoted the Birmingham area from around 1940 until some point in the 1970s. In 1977 promoter Jerry Jarrett and wrestler Jerry Lawler broke away from NWA Mid-America, breaking the Memphis area off to start on the own under the name the Continental Wrestling Association (CWA). Mid-America stopped promoting in 1981 and the CWA took over most of their territory as well as some of the championships promoted by NWA Mid-America


In the 1940s wrestling promoter Roy Welch started promoting shows on a regular basis in and around Memphis, Tennessee and would later be joined by Nick Gulas who had been promoting shows in Florida between 1945 and 1947 before joining with Welch to create the Gulas Welch Enterprises Inc. company in the mid 1940s as they began promoting shows primarily in Memphis and Nashville with occasional shows in Chattanooga, Jackson, Louisville, Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, Bowling Green, Kentucky. They also worked with Joe Gunther, a promoter working out of Birmingham, Alabama to expand their promotion into Alabama as well as occasional shows in Mississippi, Ohio, West Virginia, Missouri, Georgia and North Carolina. In 1949 The group joined the National Wrestling Alliance, a national sanctioning body that divided the US into territories. The promotion became known as the NWA Mid-America. In 1953 they added Knoxville, Tennessee to their territory as promoter John Cazana joined the group. The group recognized a number of NWA "World" Championships that were shared across the territories as well as promoting their own NWA branded championships that were mainly defended in the Mid-America territory.

Over the years tag team wrestling became very popular in the Mid-America territory leading to seven different tag team championships being recognized at the same time in the 1970s by NWA Mid-America: NWA World Tag Team Championship, NWA United States Tag Team Championship, NWA Southern Tag Team Championship, NWA Mid-America Tag Team Championship, NWA Tennessee Tag Team Championship, NWA Kentucky Tag Team Championship and the NWA Tri-State Tag Team Championship. This also meant that a host of well known tag teams either worked in NWA Mid-America on a regular basis or passed through the territory at one point, teams such as The Von Brauners, The Interns, The Infernos, The Bounty Hunters, Tojo Yamamoto and Jerry Jarrett, The Heavenly Bodies (Don and Al Green), Bobby Hart and Lorenzo Parente, The Fabulous Kangaroos, Jerry Lawler and Jim White, The Fabulous Fargos, and a host of other teams were regulars.

In the mid-1970s the territory was split as Memphis promoter Jerry Jarrett broke away from the Mid-America territory due to disagreements over how Gulas was promoting his son George Gulas, pushing him as one of the top names in the promotion despite not being very talented in the ring. Many of the wrestlers in the promotion were upset at Nick Gulas for over booking Nick’s son George Gulas in the extremely profitable Memphis half of the territory. At this point Roy Welch retired from promotion, leaving Nick Gulas as the man in charge of a dwindling territory. With Gulas' insistence on pushing his son and Jarrett's Continental Wrestling Association (CWA) becoming very popular led to a drop in ticket sales and by 1981 Gulas closed the promotion and sold the territory and its championships to the CWA.


Championship Last Recognized Champion From Until Notes
NWA World Heavyweight Championship Harley Race January 5, 1948 Still Active Champion when Mid-America closed.
NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship Terry Taylor/Les Thornton May 1945 Still Active Champion when Mid-America closed.
NWA World Women's Championship The Fabulous Moolah 1935 Still Active Champion when Mid-America closed.
NWA World Tag Team Championship Mike Graham and Kevin Sullivan February 5, 1957 1977
NWA World Six-Man Tag Team Championship George Gulas, Rocky Brewer and Mystery Man November 14, 1974 1981 Championship later used by Jim Crockett Promotions.
NWA World Brass Knuckles Championship Don Fargo November 15, 1978 1981
NWA United States Junior Heavyweight Championship Don Greene February, 1959 July, 1974 CWA brought the championship back in 1981.
NWA United States Tag Team Championship Dennis Condrey and Phil Hickerson March, 1962 April, 1974
NWA Southern Heavyweight Championship Rocky Johnson July 27, 1974 March 20, 1977 Moved to the CWA.
NWA Southern Junior Heavyweight Championship Jerry Lawler April 19, 1952 July 27, 1974 Became the Southern Heavyweight Championship.
NWA Southern Tag Team Championship The Bicentennial Kings (Dennis Condrey and Phil Hickerson) November, 1945 March 20, 1977 Moved to the CWA.
NWA Mid-America Heavyweight Championship Johnny Justice April, 1957 Still Active Later revived by the CWA.
NWA Mid-America Junior Heavyweight Championship Dick Steinborn 1980 1980
NWA Mid-America Tag Team Championship Eric Draven and Josh Lewis January, 1972 Still Active
NWA Mid-America Television Championship Kevin Sullivan November 8, 1980 1981
NWA Tennessee Heavyweight Championship Sputnik Monroe June 29, 1959 March 28, 1960
NWA Tennessee Tag Team Championship Don Greene and Joey Rossi July 10, 1956 May, 1977
NWA Kentucky Heavyweight Championship Buck Moore 1950s 1950s
NWA Kentucky Tag Team Championship The Masked Superstars March, 1975 February, 1979
NWA Tri-State Tag Team Championship (Alabama version) Tojo Yamamoto and George Gulas October, 1971 August, 1977
NWA Tri-State Heavyweight Championship (Tri-State version) Dennis Condrey September 12, 1960 October, 1970

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