The NWA ALT Heavyweight Championship
Given that the National Wrestling Alliance dates back to 1948, some wrestling championships require weeks of work in order to curate a detailed and accurate biography due to the amount of information that needs to be gone through. With others, one works with what one is given.
NWA-A-L-T (alternatively NWA Ark-La-Tx, or NWA Arkansas-Louisiana-Texas) ran as a National Wrestling Alliance promotion between 2012 and 2014. Beginning life in 2012 as the Ark-La-Tx Wrestling Association, it ran primarily out of Gilmer Texas, a city roughly triangulated between – you guessed it – Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. The promotion often featured NWA North American Championship matches and hosted such talent as Lance Archer, Ricky Starks, Scott Putski, and former NWA Worlds Champion Kahagas.
Although Ark-La-Tx champions have been promoted in the NWA as far back as 1962, details on the now-defunct NWA-ALT Heavyweight Championship are scarce at best. Though NWA GOLD was unable to reach former promoter Phillip Sullivan, now of the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame (an organization which this author once interviewed then-President Tony Vellano about for SLAM! Wrestling decades ago), records show that Ark-La-Tx Wrestling Association first promoted under the NWA banner in June 2012 during the Bruce Tharpe franchisee era.
The first NWA-ALT Heavyweight Championship match on common record appears to be in June of 2013, however, where challenger Scott Putski overcame champion Von Hess. Though Putski would go on to defeat several challengers on subsequent cards, and while ALT champions certainly existed before the use of the National Wrestling Alliance name, the NWA-ALT championship records seem to disappear at an indeterminate point in 2014. To be fair, the regular featuring of the NWA North American Championship seemed to dominate almost all events during their NWA era.
Mike Drake, NWA belt collector and friend of NWA GOLD, kindly provided photos of his NWA-ALT championship replica for this piece. The three-plate belt includes a scenter plate with the NWA logo over a red ring, all within a red circle that with the geographical dividing lines of the Ark-La-Tx area. The two side plates depict two wrestlers engaged in a combative cloverleaf position. All three plates sit on a black leather strap. The replica lacks the black inlays within the red circles on all three plates that are found on the original.
Though NWA GOLD intends to update this quick piece when more information becomes available, this is currently our understanding of the full extent of the NWA-A-L-T presence during their time in the National Wrestling Alliance. While active for a short time, the NWA-ALT Heavyweight Championship nevertheless holds a small place in the annals of NWA history.
[NOTES AND SOURCES]
NWA GOLD thanks Mike Drake for the photos of his rare replica championship. Wrestling fans like Mike are invaluable to making the smaller pieces like this possible: while the long legacy titles of the NWA take more time to curate, collecting information on the short-lived titles during this era are quite often the hardest due to lack of information and photos. We encourage our readers to reach out with uniue versions of either.
NWA ALT Heavyweight Championship title history: https://www.cagematch.net/?id=5&nr=2026
NWA Ark-La-Tx (NWA A-L-T) general data: https://www.cagematch.net/?id=8&nr=1018
Royal Belts (replica maker): https://www.facebook.com/groups/2118622321579980
NWA-ALT Championship (red background): Pinterest. Original uploader TBD. https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/760686193304874781/
NWA-ALT Heavyweight Championship artwork and photos: Mike Drake. Used with permission.
NWA ALT event poster, NWA ALT logo: Alliance Wrestling. http://alliance-wrestling.com/nwa-alt-pro-wrestling-feb-22nd/. Used with permission.