So, the National Wrestling Alliance,is running an event again this year at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus. Last year the NWA name was promoted on the show after much controversy, and was reported to only draw 500 fans (although I was told that number was about five times the actual attendance).
In the time period since the NWA Heavyweight Championship was stripped from Flair in 1990 the title has unquestionably been devalued. However, even throughout the 1990s the championship still meant something; but it was up for to debate how much it actually meant. It may no longer have been a major championship, but it had history and served a purpose. Wrestling fans knew what championship it was when Shane Douglas threw it down in ECW Arena. Dan Severn taking it to the ring at early UFC cards was a big deal. The stuff with Severn, Steve Corino, and Shinya Hashimoto kept it in the eye of wrestling fans as an important independent championship, if not on the same level as the WCW/WWF/ECW championships.
The NWA sold their most valuable asset - the Heavyweight Championship, to TNA Wrestling, but wasn't even on the same page enough to broker a deal where they got anything for it substantial. When they tried to pull the championships back from TNA, it just made the NWA look like an incompetent joke once again.
The NWA actually managed to get some good publicity for the championship when Blue Demon won the championship and defended it in Mexico, Southern California, and even Europe, but a "groundswell" of pressure from US based NWA promoters soon caused the championship to be back in the United States
When Colt Cabana recently won the championship, it was seen as a great chance for the championship to regain a bit of prestige, as Cabana is a popular wrestler among the diehard wrestling fanbase. However, soon a wrestler using the name "the Sheik" upset Cabana.
Sheik wrestled in numerous promotions around the US and beyond. I have been told by some people I know in the Florida area that Sheik is a helluva nice guy, but that he is only an okay hand in the ring. I have been told that he is able to get high-profile bookings because he (or perhaps a family member) work for an airline, and he is willing to travel long distances for little to no payment. I do not know how true this is. I have alos heard the rumor that Sheik purchased the NWA Midwest and NWA FLorida Championship belts, after Ed Chuman and Joe Price, the respective promoters in those areas, died.
Now, the Sheik is being stripped of the NWA Heavyweight Championship, allegedly, because he will be unable to wrestle on July 31st at the 2011 Ohio State Fair. Sheik's family members have already started claiming that Sheik was never booked for the event, and that he will not relinquish the championship. Honestly, it wouldn't shock me if he has another booking and was told after the fact he was booked on this by the NWA. It also wouldn't shock me if he just refused the booking because he didn't want to lose it.
Hopefully they give Chance Prophet a shot with the belt, but I am guessing it is just going back to Dave Marquez's NWA Hollywood promotion.