The NWA World’s Heavyweight Championship is one of the most prestigious title belts in wrestling history. From it’s start in the post-war era of wrestling all the way up to the legendary Super Bowl-appearing reign of wrestling icon Tyrus, it has been a constant in the world of professional wrestling.
All the all-time greats have belt the 10 pounds of gold over the past 70 years or so. In this article, we’ll examine which wrestlers have won the NWA World’s Heavyweight Championship the most times and detail their reigns with the famous belt.
NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship Most Reigns
Ric Flair (10 Times)
Ric Flair has the most recognised NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship reigns, holding the title 10 times. However, the real number is actually disputed by Flair and could be as high as 14.
This is because of unsanctioned title changes where Flair would lose the belt at the start of a tour then win it back from the hometown hero at the end of the tour. These were unknown to most people and unsanctioned by the NWA, so technically do not count.
He is regarded as the greatest NWA Champion of all time, with many calling Ric Flair the greatest wrestler of all time. His career spanned multiple decades and endless title defences, with him being famous for his nightly 60 minute draws against the hometown challengers. He spent over 3000 days as the world champion, almost double that of his closest competitor.
Harley Race (8 Times)
The man who Ric Flair won his first title from is narrowly behind the Nature Boy in the list of the most NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship reigns. Harley Race, the legendary tough guy from Missouri, lands in at number two with an impressive 8 reigns with the 10 pounds of Gold.
Race was a huge star in his day and the face of the NWA for many years. He inspired many wrestlers, like Ric Flair and Triple H with his in-ring style and the way he carried himself as champion. His star was recognised as such by the NWA, who made him their champion 8 times for a combined total of 1801 days.
He is also famous for inventing one of the most dangerous wrestling moves. Harley Race invented the diving headbutt, the move that caused so much damage to stars like Dynamite Kid, Chris Benoit and Daniel Bryan.
Jeff Jarrett (6 Times)
Jeff Jarrett won all of his NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championships during his time in TNA. He founded the company with his father, Jerry Jarrett, and booked himself as the top star in the company for many years. As a former WCW Champion, he was the most recognisable face in the brand for many years and could still work at a very high level.
At the time, the NWA alligned themselves with TNA and allowed their title belts to be used as the official belts for Total Nonstop Action. This allowed other stars in the promotion like Christian Cage, AJ Styles, Sting and Kurt Angle to win the NWA World’s Heavyweight Championship, although neither managed the match the six times Jeff Jarrett held the famous belt.
He also won four WCW Championships in his career, making him an astonishing ten time world champion in Jeff Jarrett’s impressive career.
Adam Pearce (5 Times)
One name on this list that may surprise you is Adam Pearce. He currently appears on WWE as the authority figure on Raw and Smackdown, a position he has held alongside Sonya Deville for a number of years. However, before he joined the WWE as backstage personell he was a pro-wrestler in his own right and held the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion 5 times – the fourth most in the titles history.
Sadly, his title reigns came during some of the darker days of the belts history. On August 30, 2012, a court settlement transferred NWA ownership to International Wrestling Corp. The NWA no longer had memberships but instead began licensing the NWA brand to wrestling promotions. This led to a number of small indepedent shows booking title matches and some lower-card indie wrestlers held the belt during this period.
He won the title five times, most notably during a best of seven series with Colt Cabana. The governing body did not let the pair finish the series for the championship, leading to both men refusing to hold the title and the belt being vacated. This is similar to how Pearce won the belt, as it was vacated by Kurt Angle when the NWA cut ties with TNA.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.