World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship (original version)

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World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship
Original wrestling championship.png
One of the title belts used to represent the original World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship in the early 20th century
Details
Date established May 4, 1905
Date retired July 24, 1957

The World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship was the first recognized professional wrestling world heavyweight championship created in 1905 to identify the best catch as catch can wrestler in the world.

The subsequent legacy of the championship is not linear, with the champion being disputed among various promotions until the formation of National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) in 1948. The last several reigns are recognized by the NWA under the NWA World Heavyweight Championship's lineage.[1] As such, the lineage of WWE's world championship can also be traced back to it.

The first recognized World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion was George Hackenschmidt, who officially won the championship on May 4, 1905 by defeating Tom Jenkins in New York City.[2] The championship remained active for the next 51 years, with the last recognized reign being disputed between Lou Thesz and Édouard Carpentier after a match between the two ended in a disqualification. Their rematch on July 24, 1957 had the same result and that is therefore considered[by whom?] when the championship was unofficially retired.

History[edit]

Frank Gotch and George Hackenschmidt were the first two champions

George Hackenschmidt won a world championship tournament to become the first champion. Hackenschmidt won several other tournaments in Paris, France; Hamburg, Germany; Saint Petersburg, Russia; Elberfeld, Germany; and Berlin, Germany in the same year. He also won the European Greco-Roman Heavyweight Championship title from Tom Cannon on September 4, 1902 in Liverpool, England. He won the recognition of being the World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion on January 30, 1904 in London, England by defeating Ahmed Madrali. Hackenschmidt defeated American Heavyweight Champion Tom Jenkins on May 4, 1905 in New York City to become the recognized world champion in North America.[3]

Frank Gotch won the title from Hackenschmidt on April 3, 1908 and he held the title for five years until his retirement on April 1, 1913. He was the sixth longest reigning world heavyweight champion in history behind Bruno Sammartino, Jim Londos, Lou Thesz, Verne Gagne (who all held their world titles for over seven years) and Bob Backlund (who held his for nearly six years).[4]

Joe Stecher defeated American Heavyweight Champion Charlie Cutler to become the first widely recognized world heavyweight champion after the retirement of Frank Gotch.[5]

On April 15, 1925, Stanislaus Zbyszko defeated previous champion Wayne Munn to win the championship. However, Munn continued to be recognized as the World Heavyweight Champion in Michigan and in Illinois.[6] Ed Lewis defeated Wayne Munn on February 2, 1928 in Michigan City, Indiana for the Michigan/Illinois World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship version. Joe Stetcher then defeated Zbyszko to become widely recognized champion. The dispute ended when Lewis defeated Stetcher on February 21, 1928.[7]

Gus Sonnenburg won the title from Lewis on January 4, 1929, but the recognition of being the world champion by the wrestling section of the National Boxing Association was withdrawn from Sonnenberg for failing to meet real title contenders.[8]

Lewis won the title again on April 13, 1931. Lewis was also AWA World Heavyweight Champion in Boston at the time, but lost that title by disqualification to Henri Deglane on May 4, 1931 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. However, Lewis was still recognized as the World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion in Illinois. Lewis then defeated Wladek Zbyszko (who was widely considered the World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion) on November 2, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois, ending the dispute. Lewis then continued by winning the New York State Athletic Commission World Heavyweight Championship by defeating Jack Sherry on October 10, 1932 for the vacant title.[9] but lost it to Jim Browning.[10]

Danno O'Mahony won the title from Lewis on July 30, 1935. O'Mahony defeated Londos to win the New York State Athletic Commission world title. O'Mahony also won the AWA world title by defeating Ed Don George on July 30, 1935 in Boston, Massachusetts to become the undisputed World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion.[11] On March 2, 1936, Dick Shikat beat O'Mahony in New York, but the AWA continued to recognize O'Mahony as champion, splintering the "undisputed" nature of the title once again.

Ali Baba won the title on April 25, 1936. Four days later it was announced by The New York Times that Baba would not be recognized as the World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion in New York State by the New York Athletic Commission. However, it was announced that Baba and Shikat would face each other on May 5, 1936 at the Madison Square Garden for the world title. Baba went on to win the bout and thus be recognized as the World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion.[12][13][14]

Bronko Nagurski won the title on June 29, 1937. Nagurski was recognized as the undisputed World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion by The Ring magazine.[15]

Londos won the title again on November 18, 1938 and retired as the World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion on January 28, 1946.[16] Londos wrestled his last match on this date by defeating Lord Albert Mills.

Lou Thesz was the final champion

Lou Thesz won the title on May 21, 1952. Thesz unified three championships to become the undisputed world heavyweight champion in wrestling: the National Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Championship (which he won on July 20, 1948 by defeating Bill Longson),[17] the National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship (which was awarded to him on November 27, 1949)[18] and the Los Angeles version of the world title (the Los Angeles Olympic Auditorium World Heavyweight Championship, which he won on May 21, 1952 by defeating Baron Michele Leone).[19]

Whipper Billy Watson won the title on March 15, 1956 by defeating Thesz by countout.[20]

Thesz won the title back from Watson on November 9, 1956. Édouard Carpentier defeated Lou Thesz by disqualification on June 14, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois once Thesz could not continue the match due to a back injury. The NWA rules stated that a title could not change on a disqualification and Carpentier awarded the NWA world title back to Thesz. Carpentier was still recognized as the World Heavyweight Champion in Omaha, Nebraska and in Boston, Massachusetts. He was then later recognized as the World Heavyweight Champion by Worldwide Wrestling Associates in Los Angeles, California. This ended the last time the World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship was unified and to date has never been fully unified again. The Omaha version of the World Heavyweight Championship was later unified with the AWA World Heavyweight Championship. Thesz defeated Carpentier in a rematch by disqualification on July 24, 1957 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada for the title.

The title was unofficially retired on July 24, 1957[citation needed] and its lineage continued over to the National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship.

Reigns[edit]

There were a total of 25 reigns and two vacancies. The first recognized World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion was George Hackenschmidt, who officially won the championship on May 4, 1905 by defeating Tom Jenkins in New York City, New York,[4] the championship remained active for the next 51 years with the last recognized reign beginning on November 9, 1956.

Ed Lewis holds the record for most reigns as the World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion with four. Lewis also holds the record for most combined days as champion with 3,073 days, while Jim Londos holds the record for longest reign at 2,628 days. Stanislaus Zbyszko holds the record for shortest reign at 45 days and is also the oldest champion, winning at the age of 46 years, 15 days, while Joe Stecher is the youngest champion, winning at the age of 22 years, 103 days.

The final reign was disputed between Ed Lewis and Edouard Carpentier and the latter was in his first and therefore only reign. All matches were held at house shows.

Key
No. The overall championship reign
Reign The reign number for the specific champion listed
Days The number of the days that the champion held the title for
No. Champion Championship change Reign statistics Notes Ref.
Date Event Location Reign Days
1 George Hackenschmidt May 4, 1905 House show New York, New York 1 1,065 Hackenschmidt won a world championship tournament to become the first champion, as well as several other tournaments in Paris, Saint Petersburg, Hamburg, Elberfeld, Germany and Berlin in the same year. He also won the European Greco-Roman Heavyweight Championship title from Tom Cannon on September 4, 1902 in Liverpool, England. He won the recognition of being the World Heavyweight Champion on January 30, 1904 in London by defeating Ahmed Madrali. Hackenschmidt defeated American Heavyweight Champion, Tom Jenkins, on May 4, 1905 in New York City to become the recognized World Heavyweight Champion in North America.[3]
2 Frank Gotch April 3, 1908 House show Chicago, Illinois 1 1,824 Gotch held the title for five years until April 1, 1913. He was the sixth longest reigning world heavyweight champion in history behind Bruno Sammartino, Jim Londos, Lou Thesz, Verne Gagne (who all held their world titles for over seven years) and Bob Backlund (who held his for nearly six years).[4][21]
Vacated April 1, 1913 House show Kansas City, Missouri Vacated due to Gotch's retirement.
3 Joe Stecher July 5, 1915 House show Omaha, Nebraska 1 644 Stecher defeated Charlie Cutler to become the first widely recognized World Heavyweight Champion after the retirement of Frank Gotch.[5]
4 Earl Caddock April 9, 1917 House show Omaha, Nebraska 1 1,026 [22]
5 Joe Stecher January 30, 1920 House show New York, New York 2 318 [23]
6 Ed Lewis December 13, 1920 House show New York, New York 1 144 [24][25]
7 Stanislaus Zbyszko May 6, 1921 House show New York, New York 1 301 [26][27]
8 Ed Lewis March 3, 1922 House show Wichita, Kansas 2 1,042 [28]
9 Wayne Munn January 8, 1925 House show Wichita, Kansas 1 97 [29]
10 Stanislaus Zbyszko April 15, 1925 House show Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2 45 Though Zbyszko defeated Munn to win the championship, Munn continued to be recognized as World Heavyweight Champion in Michigan and in Illinois.[6]
11 Joe Stecher May 30, 1925 House show St. Louis, Missouri 3 997 [30]
12 Ed Lewis February 21, 1928 House show St. Louis, Missouri 3 318 Lewis defeated Wayne Munn on February 2, 1928 in Michigan City, Indiana for the Michigan/Illinois World Heavyweight Championship version. Lewis defeated Stecher on February 21, 1928 to end the dispute.[7]
13 Gus Sonnenberg January 4, 1929 House show Boston, Massachusetts 1 705 The recognition of being the World Heavyweight Champion was withdrawn from Gus Sonnenberg by the wrestling section of the National Boxing Association in 1929 for failing to meet real title contenders.[8]
14 Ed Don George December 10, 1930 House show Los Angeles, California 1 124
15 Ed Lewis April 13, 1931 House show Los Angeles, California 4 1,569 Lewis lost the AWA World Heavyweight Championship by disqualification to Henri Deglane on May 4, 1931 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, but still recognized as World Heavyweight Champion in Illinois. Lewis also defeated the title claimer, Wladek Zbyszko, on November 2, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois for the title. Lewis continued to win the New York State Athletic Commission World Heavyweight Championship by defeating Jack Sherry on October 10, 1932.[9]
16 Danno O'Mahoney July 30, 1935 House show Boston, Massachusetts 1 216 O'Mahoney defeated Jim Londos to win the New York State Athletic Commission World Heavyweight Championship. Mahoney continues to win the AWA World Heavyweight Championship (Boston version) by defeating Ed Don George (who had beat Deglane on February 9, 1933) on July 30, 1935 in Boston, Massachusetts to become the undisputed World Heavyweight Champion.[11]
17 Dick Shikat March 2, 1936 House show New York, New York 1 54 [31]
18 Ali Baba April 25, 1936 House show Detroit, Michigan 1 48 On April 29, 1936 it was announced by the New York Times that Ali Baba would not be recognized as World Heavyweight Champion in the New York State by The New York Athletic Commission; however, it was announced that Ali Baba and Dick Shikat would face each other on May 5, 1936 at Madison Square Garden for the World Heavyweight Championship. Baba went on to win the professional wrestling bout and thus be recognized as the World Heavyweight Champion.[12][13][14]
19 Dave Levin June 12, 1936 House show Newark, New Jersey 1 109 [32]
20 Dean Detton September 29, 1936 House show Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1 273 [33]
21 Bronko Nagurski June 29, 1937 House show Minneapolis, Minnesota 1 507 Nagurski was recognized as the undisputed World Heavyweight Champion by The Ring magazine.[15]
22 Jim Londos November 18, 1938 House show Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1 2,628 Londos retired as World Heavyweight Champion in 1946.[16]
Vacated January 28, 1946 House show Denver, Colorado Londos wrestled his last match on this date, defeating Lord Albert Mills.
23 Lou Thesz May 21, 1952 House show Los Angeles, California 1 1,394 Thesz unified three championships to become the undisputed world heavyweight champion, the National Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Championship which he won on July 20, 1948 by defeating Bill Longson,[17] the National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship which was awarded to him on November 27, 1949[18] and the Los Angeles Olympic Auditorium World Heavyweight Championship which he won on May 21, 1952, by defeating Baron Michele Leone.[19]
24 Whipper Billy Watson March 15, 1956 House show Toronto, Ontario, Canada 1 239 Watson defeated Lou Thesz by countout to win the world title.[20]
25 Lou Thesz November 9, 1956 House show St. Louis, Missouri 2 257 Édouard Carpentier defeated Lou Thesz by disqualification on June 14, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois when Thesz could not continue the match due to a back injury. The NWA rules stated that a title could not change on a disqualification, and Carpentier gave the title back to Thesz. Carpentier was then recognized as World Heavyweight Champion in Omaha, Nebraska and in Boston, Massachusetts. He was then later recognized as the World Heavyweight Champion by the World Wrestling Association in Los Angeles, California. This was the last time the World Heavyweight Championship has been unified and to date has never been fully unified again. The Omaha version of the World Heavyweight Championship was later unified with the AWA World Heavyweight Championship. Thesz defeated Carpentier in a rematch by disqualification on July 24, 1957 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada for the title.
Deactivated July 24, 1957 House show Montreal, Quebec Lineage continued over to the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.
Ed Lewis had the longest combined reign

List of combined reigns[edit]

Rank Wrestler No. of reigns Combined days
1 Ed Lewis 4 3,073
2 Jim Londos 1 2,628
3 Joe Stecher 3 1,959
4 Frank Gotch 1 1,824
5 Lou Thesz 2 1,651
6 George Hackenschmidt 1 1,065
7 Earl Caddock 1 1,026
8 Gus Sonnenberg 1 705
9 Bronko Nagurski 1 507
10 Stanislaus Zbyszko 2 346
11 Dean Detton 1 273
12 Whipper Billy Watson 1 239
13 Danno O'Mahoney 1 216
14 Ed Don George 1 124
15 Dave Levin 1 109
16 Wayne Munn 1 97
17 Dick Shikat 1 54
18 Ali Baba 1 48

Legacy[edit]

This diagram traces the lineage of the World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship to some modern world championships

Various promotions have been home to world heavyweight championships with origins that can also be traced back to the World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship.

NWA World Heavyweight Championship[edit]

The National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship assumed the original world championship's position as the preeminent wrestling championship, and claimed its lineage. Most of the following championships, all based in North America, arose out of the NWA championship. "World" heavyweight championships in Japan Mexico, and the US Independent circuit were created ex novo after promotions started.

AWA World Heavyweight Championship[edit]

The AWA World Heavyweight Championship was established in May 1960, after the NWA's Minnesota member territory withdrew from the NEA and established the American Wrestling Association. The first champion was Pat O'Connor, who was recognized upon the AWA's secession from the NWA as O'Connor held the NWA World Heavyweight Championship as well, which he won on January 9, 1959. The creation of the AWA World Heavyweight Championship along with the NWA World Heavyweight Championship would pave the way for the creation of many other world championships in other wrestling promotions. The American Wrestling Association and the title became inactive in 1990 and the organization officially closed down in 1991 with the title also being decommissioned.

WWE Championship[edit]

The WWE Championship's origin can be traced back to the NWA World Heavyweight Championship after an incident in which the Capitol Wrestling Corporation at the time left the NWA to become the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF). This was after the WWWF refused to recognize Lou Thesz as the NWA World Heavyweight Champion after he beat Buddy Rogers in a one fall match – the NWA World Heavyweight Championship title matches usually followed a best-of-three fall format – Vincent J. McMahon, the WWWF's owner created the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship and awarded Rogers the championship belt proclaiming he won it in a (apocryphal) tournament in Brazil.[34]

WCW World Heavyweight Championship[edit]

In WCW, the WCW World Heavyweight Championships origin is traced back to a match which took place on January 11, 1991, where Ric Flair defeated Sting for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. When WCW pulled out of the NWA in early 1991, Flair was recognized as the first WCW World Heavyweight Champion.[35][36] The WCW International World Heavyweight Championship can be traced back to an incident in WCW's final split with the NWA in 1993, when Flair's NWA World Heavyweight Championship reign continued to be recognized as the WCW International World Heavyweight Championship.[37] The two titles were unified in June 1994. The title was briefly defended in WWF following WWF's purchase of WCW in 2001 before being unified into the WWF Championship and retired.

ECW World Heavyweight Championship[edit]

In ECW, the ECW World Heavyweight Championship's origin is attributed to a tournament which was held to crown a new NWA World Heavyweight Champion in 1994 in NWA Eastern Championship Wrestling.[38] On August 27, 1994, Shane Douglas participated and won the tournament and discarded the NWA World Heavyweight Championship proclaiming himself the new Extreme Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion. After this event ECW withdrew from the NWA and renamed itself Extreme Championship Wrestling. The title was decommissioned after ECW's bankruptcy in 2001 and subsequent purchase by WWE, then reactivated and competed for on the ECW brand of WWE from 2006 to 2010 when it was retired for the final time.[38][39]

WWE's World Heavyweight Championship[edit]

WWE created a new World Heavyweight Championship following its first brand split, when then-WWE "Undisputed" Champion Brock Lesnar became exclusive to the SmackDown brand, refusing to face designated number one contender Triple H, who was a member of the Raw brand. Triple H was awarded the newly established title. This championship was a successor to the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, split via the WWE Championship. It was represented by the same Big Gold Belt once used for the WCW and NWA championships, and was awarded by Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff, the former President of WCW.[40][41][42] WWE asserts its legacy extends back to the title created in 1905.[43] Like the original World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship, the title was not prefixed with the name of a promotion, though the physical belt had the WWE logo on it. It would be reunified with the WWE Championship in December 2013.

Impact World Championship[edit]

The Impact World Championship of Impact Wrestling, formerly Total Non-stop Action Wrestling (TNA), can also be traced back to the World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship. TNA formed in May 2002 and established a partnership with the NWA, allowing TNA control of the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and NWA World Tag Team Championship. On June 19, 2002, TNA crowned the first NWA World Heavyweight Champion under their banner after Ken Shamrock won a Gauntlet for the Gold match at TNA's first weekly pay-per-view.[18] On May 13, 2007, the NWA severed ties with TNA after the then-current NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Christian Cage, refused to defend the NWA World Heavyweight Championship against wrestlers from other NWA territories.[44] The TNA World Heavyweight Championship was first won by Kurt Angle who won it at the 2007 edition of Sacrifice by defeating Cage and Sting.[45] After a series of name changes of the promotion, the title assumed its current name in 2018 while still retaining the lineage from the TNA days.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NWA World Heavyweight Championship". National Wrestling Alliance. Retrieved 2009-06-15. 
  2. ^ "Champion Wrestler Quits, Exhausted" (PDF). New York Times. 1908-04-04. Retrieved 2009-05-24.
  3. ^ a b "Hackenschmidt Is Wrestling Champion" (PDF). New York Times. 1905-05-05. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  4. ^ a b c "Champion Wrestler Quits, Exhausted" (PDF). New York Times. 1908-04-04. Retrieved 2009-05-24. 
  5. ^ a b "Stecher beats Cutler in Teo Straight Falls". The Chicago Tribune. 1915-07-05. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  6. ^ a b "S. Zbyszko Defeats Munn For Mat Title". New York Times. 1925-05-16. Retrieved 2006-06-12. 
  7. ^ a b "Lewis Wins Crown, Gets 2 Of 3 Falls". The Associated Press. 1928-02-21. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  8. ^ a b "Gus Sonnenberg Captures World Wrestling Championship From Strangler Lewis". The Hartford Courant. 1929-05-01. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  9. ^ a b "Wrestling Bulletin". Los Angeles Times. 1931-04-14. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  10. ^ http://www.wrestling-titles.com/us/ny/nysac-h.html Jim Londos stripped on 32/09/30 of Ed Lewis vs. Dick Shikat match, Ed "Strangler" Lewis defeats Jack Sherry
  11. ^ a b "O'Mahoney Wins Over Jim Londos". The Hartford Courant. 1935-06-27. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  12. ^ a b "Ali Baba Pins Shikat to Win Claim on Title". Chicago Daily Tribune. 1936-04-25. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  13. ^ a b "Shikat Recognized As Champion Here". New York Times. 1936-04-29. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  14. ^ a b Nichols, Joseph C. (1936-05-06). "Triumph Over Shikat Gains World Mat Championship for Ali Baba". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  15. ^ a b "SLAM! Wrestling Canadian Hall of Fame: Bronko Nagurski profile". SLAM! Sports. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  16. ^ a b "Londos Pins Nagurski; Captures Wrestling Title From Chicago Rival Before 10,000". New York Times. 1938-11-19. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  17. ^ a b Will, Gary; Duncan, Royal; Benaka, Matt. "National Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Championship". Solie.org. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  18. ^ a b c Will, Gary; Duncan, Royal; Benaka, Matt; Oliver, Earl; Westcott, Brian; Sullivan, Richard; Zadarnowski, Andrew; Dean, Joe; Fitzgerald, Jason; Gonzalez, Manual. "National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship History". Solie.org. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  19. ^ a b Geyer, Jack (1952-05-12). "Thesz Defeats Leone for World Mat Crown". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  20. ^ a b Oliver, Greg (2000-02-04). "Remembering Whipper Billy Watson". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-06-12. Thesz lost the title to Watson on March 15, 1956 in Toronto via a count out 
  21. ^ F4W Staff (April 3, 2015). "ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING TITLE CHANGE HISTORY: GOTCH VS. HACKENSCHMIDT, INOKI VS. HANSEN, GUERRERO VS. JERICHO". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved February 10, 2017. 
  22. ^ "Stecher Tells "Inside Facts."". Los Angeles Times. 1917-04-10. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  23. ^ "Caddock Defeated In Fast Mat Bout" (PDF). New York Times. 1920-01-31. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  24. ^ "Lewis Captures Wrestling Title" (PDF). New York Times. 1920-12-14. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  25. ^ ""Strangler" Lewis Regains His Title". Hartford Courant. 1920-12-14. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  26. ^ "Zbyszko Wrests Title From Lewis" (PDF). New York Times. 1921-05-06. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  27. ^ F4W Staff (May 6, 2015). "On this day in pro wrestling history (May 6): Verne Gagne Vs. Danny Hodge, 1st Annual Von Erich Parade of Champions show". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved February 10, 2017. 
  28. ^ "Lewis Regains His Wrestling Title" (PDF). New York Times. 1922-04-22. Retrieved 2009-05-25. 
  29. ^ ""Strangler" Lewis Loses Mat Crown". Los Angeles Times. 1925-01-09. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  30. ^ "Wrestling Title Is Won By Joe Stecher; Lewis Defeats Munn". The Victoria Advocate. Prescott, Arizona: Victoria Advocate Publishing Co. 1 June 1925. p. 1. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  31. ^ "Dick Shikat Beats Danno O'Mahoney In First American Defeat For Irish Matman". Hartford Courant. 1936-03-03. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  32. ^ "Ali Baba Loses, Kicks Opponent". The Evening Independent. St Petersburg, Florida: St. Petersburg Times. 13 June 1936. p. 8. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  33. ^ "Dean Dutton Wins Title From Levin". Prescott Evening Courier. Prescott, Arizona: Prescott Courier, Inc. 29 September 1936. p. 5. OCLC 15262241. Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  34. ^ Will, Gary; Benaka, Matt; Oliver, Earl; Zadarnowski, Andrew; Fitzgerald, Jason; Dean, Joe. "WWWF/WWF/WWE Heavyweight Title History". Solie.org. Retrieved June 23, 2016. 
  35. ^ "Ric Flair's first WCW title reign". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  36. ^ Will, Gary; Duncan, Royal; Benaka, Matt; Oliver, Earl; Zadarnowski, Andrew; Fitzgerald, Jason; Solo, John; Dean, Joe. "WCW World Heavyweight Championship". Solie.org. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  37. ^ "International World Heavyweight Championship". Solie.org. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  38. ^ a b Will, Gary; Duncan, Royal; Benaka, Matt; Westcott, Brian; Roelfsema, Eric; Dean, Joe; Fitzgerald, Jason. "ECW - Eastern Championship Wrestling/Extreme Championship Wrestling Title History". Solie.org. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  39. ^ "Shane Douglas' first ECW Championship reign". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved June 15, 2009. 
  40. ^ "World Heavyweight Championship turns five years old". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved April 13, 2009. 
  41. ^ "Triple H's first World Heavyweight Championship Reign". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved June 11, 2009. 
  42. ^ Nemer, Paul (February 9, 2002). "Full WWE RAW Results - 9/2/02". Wrestle View. Retrieved June 12, 2009. 
  43. ^ http://prowrestling.about.com/od/reviews/fr/worldchampionshipdvdreview.htm (accessed August 20, 2015)
  44. ^ "NWA/Trobich strips TNA/Cage/Team 3D of NWA branded Championships". National Wrestling Alliance. Retrieved June 26, 2009. 
  45. ^ Sokol, Chris (May 14, 2007). "World title picture muddied after good Sacrifice". Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved July 23, 2009.