The NWA World Welterweight Championship is a professional wrestling championship governed by the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). For the majority of its existence, the title has been promoted by Mexican promotion Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL), where it was known as the Campeonato Mundial Welter de NWA. It has also been used by New Japan Pro Wrestling, and was part of its J-Crown Championship. After the J-Crown was discontinued the title remained in Japan being promoted by the Toryumon promotion up until 2007 where it returned to Mexico and CMLL. As with the NWA World Light Heavyweight Championship and NWA World Middleweight Championship, it is not currently recognized by the National Wrestling Alliance, having ceased to acknowledge it when CMLL withdrew from the NWA in the late-1980s. Being a professional wrestling championship, it is not won legitimately; it is instead won via a scripted ending to matches. The official definition of the Welterweight weight class in Mexico is between 150 lbs (70 kg) and 170 lbs (78 kg), but is not always strictly enforced.
The championship predates the creation of the National Wrestling Alliance in 1948 and was initually just known as the "World Welterweight Championship", promoted by Empressa Mexicana de Lucha Libre (EMLL). When EMLL joined the National Wrestling Alliance in 1952, the title was given the prefix "NWA". In the late 1980s EMLL withdrew from the NWA, changing their name to Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) at the same time, to create a clean break from their past NWA association. CMLL retained three NWA-labeled titles, the Welterweight championship, the NWA World Middleweight Championship and the NWA World Light Heavyweight Championship, despite none of them being officially recognized by the NWA. In 1992 the then-champion Misterioso left CMLL to join the newly formed Asistencia Asesoría y Administración, vacating the championship. CMLL had recently created their own Welterweight Title and thus decided not to use the NWA championship for the time being. It would be three years before the NWA Welterweight title was used again, when Negro Casas won the title. A few months later Casas lost the title to Shinjiro Ohtani in the first round of the J-Crown Unification tournament. The title would switch hands in each round of the tournament as Último Dragón won it the next night and then Great Sasuke, who won the tournament. In 1996 and 1997 the title was defended as part of the J-Crown until the J-Crown was broken up into the original individual titles and vacated by the end of 1997. Just over a year later the championship resurfaced in Toryumon where Dragon Kid won it. For the next several years the title became the exclusive property of Toryumon, being defended mainly in Japan and occasionally in Torymon's Mexican branch. It was not until November 27, 2007 that the title returned to its country of origin as La Sombra won the title from Hajime Ohara and brought it back to CMLL. In March 2010 Blue Demon, Jr., the president of NWA Mexico, sent letters to CMLL, telling them to stop promoting the NWA-branded championships since they were not part of the NWA. NWA Mexico has previously tried to reclaim the three NWA-branded championships promoted by CMLL, but was ignored by CMLL. The promotion did not directly respond to the latest claim either; the NWA Welterweight Champion, Mephisto, commented, simply stating that the titles belonged to CMLL. On August 12, 2010, CMLL debuted the new NWA World Historic Welterweight Championship and returned the old belt to NWA.
El Santo became the first Welterweight Champion on March 15, 1946 by winning an eight-man tournament. Karloff Lagarde holds the record for both the most title reigns, with three, and the longest individual title reign, 2,742 days. Two men have held the title for just one day: Shinjiro Otani and Último Dragón.