The original version of the NWA National Heavyweight Championship was the major singles title in the NWA-affiliated Georgia Championship Wrestling from 1980 until 1986. In spite of its name, the championship was never defended on a national basis but, rather, it was used only within the territorial region in which Georgia Championship Wrestling ran its operations.
In 1984, Vince McMahon's Titan Sports, Inc. (which operated under the World Wrestling Federation brand name) bought Georgia Championship Wrestling, Inc. The National champion at the time of the sale was The Spoiler (Don Jardine). Spoiler went to work for the WWF and was briefly recognized by that company as National Heavyweight Champion.
Meanwhile, a rival group with NWA sanctioning began in Georgia. This group was called Championship Wrestling from Georgia. They awarded the NWA National Heavyweight Championship to Ted DiBiase (proclaiming that he had won the title from The Spoiler, which actually wasn't the case except for storyline purposes).
In 1985, Jim Crockett Promotions purchased the TBS Saturday night and Sunday night television slots from the WWF and began production on a new era of "World Championship Wrestling." JCP essentially consolidated Championship Wrestling from Georgia (taking over that group's Saturday morning time slot as well) and began to recognize their championships.
Eventually Crockett held a unification match between his company's United States champion and the National champion. The U.S. champ won and that version of the National title was abandoned.
Beginning in 1997, the NWA Board of Directors reactivated the NWA National Heavyweight Championship. Unlike the original version, the current NWA National Heavyweight Championship is defended in various NWA affiliated promotions throughout the United States.
The current NWA National title belt design is intended to hearken back to the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship belt design used by Jim Crockett Promotions between 1975 and 1982 and The Sheik's version in Detroit.
- National Wrestling Alliance
- Jim Crockett Promotions
- Champion history - History of the wrestlers who have held the belt.
- Title matches - Matches in which the title was defended.
- Champion Gallery - A gallery of all champions.