National Wrestling Alliance
The National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) is a group of independent professional wrestling promotions, in operation since 1948. Prior to the 1980s, it acted as a governing body for pro wrestling, operating the 'franchise'-like "territory" system. During its heyday, all the member promotions of the NWA had a monopoly over their given territory; the members of the NWA would all recognize the NWA World Heavyweight Championship as their highest title. Wrestlers, like Ric Flair, who held the NWA Title, could also go on tours of member promotions. What this meant is that any member territory who broke the NWA's rules faced expulsion, and thus risked missing out on having wrestlers with household names appear in their territories. Similarly, if another promoter began performing shows in an NWA's territory, all the NWA members were obligated to send their best talent across to fend off the threat. Reportedly, threats of violence or physical retaliation were used against promoters who disregarded the territory system. Thus the NWA used a "carrot and stick" approach to maintaining the territory system. For most promoters under the NWA umbrella, the benefits of membership were well worth the dues. Video tape trading and cable television paved the way for the eventual death of the NWA's regional business, as fans could now see for themselves the plot holes and inconsistencies between the different regional storylines, and the presence of stars like Ric Flair on TV every week made their special appearances in each region less of a draw. To hold off the threat of the WWF, NWA promoter Jim Crockett Promotions decided to unify parts of the NWA, and create a national federation, by buying out some of the member promotions (or, in some cases, allowing them to quietly die out and simply absorbing their rosters.) However, by 1988 this led him to bankruptcy, and he sold off the promotion to Ted Turner as World Championship Wrestling (WCW). In 1991, the flagship WCW realized the NWA needed it more than it needed the NWA, and left. WCW continued, however, to claim certain aspects of the NWA's lineage. To make matters even more confusing, WCW spent much of 1992 and 1993 recognizing its own WCW World Champions in addition to the resurrected NWA Titles. In September of 1993, WCW severed its NWA connections for good, due to a lawsuit over whether or not WCW had the right to select NWA champions without supervision. After Eastern Championship Wrestling seceded from the NWA to become Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), the NWA was a shell of its former self. Through the mid to late '90s, the all-but-forgotten organization was left with a small collection of independent federations during the peak of the Monday night ratings wars between the WCW and WWF. There is still a group of promoters which hold membership in the NWA and continue to use the NWA name, although no members are holdovers from the membership of the promotion's "glory days" of the 1940s-1980s, except for Steve Rickard who is based in New Zealand. In order to join the NWA, a promoter must have been operating for at least one year in a territory uncontested by any other NWA member, and their application must be approved by a majority vote of the Board of Directors, although there are numerous exceptions to this bylaw currently within the organization. Total Non-Stop Action (TNA) began in 2002 and signed an agreement to have complete control over the NWA World Heavyweight Title and the NWA World Tag Team Titles until 2014. However, TNA and NWA parted ways in May of 2007. NWA once again has complete control over the NWA World Heavyweight Title and the NWA World Tag Team Titles and they allow their members and affiliates to book their champions. Pictured or listed below are wrestlers that have Oklahoma ties that have held either the NWA World Heavyweight Title, the NWA World Women's Title, or the NWA World Tag Team Titles.