“Did you see it?”
“What,” I responded with little idea of what my friend was speaking. Before I could hit send, another message window popped up… “Congrats, you finally got the NWA back in California.” Now I was completely perplexed. Then a text message, a phone call, and about a dozen or so message and email filled my mail box, shortly after the announcement that matches sanctioned by the National Wrestling Alliance will return to California. Something I had speculated on nearly a year ago had come to pass; Vendetta Pro Wrestling had joined the NWA. It is no secret that over the past seven years or so I have been an avid supporter of the National Wrestling Alliance and even run a website dedicated to the NWA. The NWA boasts of being the longest reigning sanctioning body in professional, 66 years to be exact. Its current home base is Houston Texas with the majority of the licensees located in Texas with members in Tennessee, the South East, the Midwest, and as of Tuesday, California. The reigning World Heavyweight Champion is former WWE Superstar Rob Conway who spent most of the year feuding with New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Satoshi Kojima over the “Legendary 10lbs of Gold and Leather.” The World Championship has changed hands in Japan and recently in Las Vegas as part of the Cauliflower Alley Convention. The current NWA World Tag Team Champions are Kojima and Hiroshi Tenzan, World Junior Heavyweight Champion Chase Owens, and Woman’s Champion is Barbi Hayden who formerly competed for WOW as Abilene Maverick. However, the NWA under its current ownership has only existed for roughly two years.
For five years, Billy Blade and Company has created a one of a kind experience on the Central Coast packing venues in and around Santa Maria with a very loyal fan base. They’ve brought in some of the top names in professional wrestling, partnered with Dragon Gate, and promoted unique events like “Lost Boys on the Beach” and the homage to “The Last Dragon” Summer Sizzle V: “Vendetta Versary” will be the first NWA Sanctioned show promoted by Vendetta Pro Wrestling, taking place at the Elks Rodeo Event Center in Santa Maria on Saturday August 2nd. The Main Event that night will be the Father Son Duo of Chavo “Classic” Guerrero and Chavo Guerrero Jr. to face Damian 666 and his son Bestia 666. The nights wrestling will also feature a Battle Royal for a shot at the Vendetta Pro Championship, Six Man Tag Team Action and SoCal Crazy and Kitana Vera vs Tyler Bateman and Hudson Envy. The Vendetta Tag Titles will be defended in a Steel Cage when The Ballard Bros. defended against Sunami & Kadin Anthony (SUKA). A “House of Horror” match, featuring Sledge challenging his old partner JD Horror.
For several years the NWA was meant with apathy in California. “The LeBelle’s are long gone,” a SCU member posted years ago when the first announcement of the NWA was returning to California. That was Car Consumer Pro, an off shot of then wildly popular Revolution Pro. Active for roughly 18 months, Car Consumer Pro wasn’t meant long for this world when a Northern California group tried to benefit from the NWA (who at that time was working with TNA.) PCW aka NWA California too was short lived. Then there was the NWA Pro Wrestling group, who successfully promoted NWA Events through out Southern California. I was in attendance, nearly two years ago when David Marquez stood tall in Glendale Television Studio and in a serious manner, spent some time talking about his time with the NWA. That was the day that Marquez announced that CWFH would no longer be associated with the National Wrestling Alliance. Prior to that moment, the NWA World Heavyweight Championship would regularly be defended through out Southern California; Adam Pearce, Blue Demon, and even Colt Cabana had several title defenses. All of what were distinguished as “Board Controlled Championships” had too been defended in Southern California at one time or another. While associated with the NWA, David Marquez and company worked very diligently to add value with the historic sanctioning body and its biggest star, the domed globe. None withstanding, it’s been more than two years since the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship was last seen in Southern California, when Colt Cabana defeated “Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce in the First Level of the Seven Levels of Hate. It has been two years since the National Wrestling Alliance carried any relevance in Southern California, so why now?
This move would have made a lot more sense had Vendetta joined two years ago, when Vendetta could have benefited from the hard work that CWFH had put into the NWA name and perhaps even poached some of the the local NWA fans in Southern California. Marquez and Company put in a ton of work into making the NWA mean something here. For many the NWA had died when WCW dropped affiliation, or some gave up when Shane Douglas threw the World Title down in efforts to launch ECW. And now the NWA has more or less spent two years out of the Southern California conscientiousness. Had Billy & Company joined the NWA sooner, “Striking while the iron is hot” if you will, then I think it would have caused a stir. There are wrestling fans today who still refer to CWFH as NWA Hollywood, Vendetta Pro could have benefited from this confusion and could have drawn a different fan base to their Simi Valley shows or could have helped usher in a southern expansion, perhaps even running a show at the Glendale Studios, that would have been a bold move. Vendetta Pro Wrestling boasts of some of the highest attendance numbers when they run shows in Santa Maria. The new relationship with the NWA will probably have no impact in Santa Maria as they are already having sell out (or near sell out) crowds. Those fans who still remember NWA Hollywood, who miss the show since they’ve relocated to Point Hueneme, could take interest in the shows in Simi Valley. If Vendetta’s southern expansion reached to Glendale, Hollywood, or even Santa Ana then it certainly could rally a fan base who don’t make their way out to the Oceanview Pavilion. It would have been more opportune to join the NWA two years ago. I’m not sure what the NWA does for Vendetta at this point. The NWA name has been devalued in SoCal since the split from CWFH. And with this NWA being radically different from the previous ownership group, you won’t be seeing the same NWA. Don’t hold your breath for Pearce and Cabana. The NWA has benefited from a relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling, which has seen several top stars wrestling in New Japan. Most notably Conway and his tag team partner Jax Dane, as well as Byron Wilcot and former WWE/NXT Star Michael Tarver. Vendetta has already announced they’ll be making their own NWA title (NWA Western States Championship,) which one can conclude that Vendetta might not be willing to bring the NWA’s cavalcade of traveling Champions to a show near you. Although I believe they have plans to bring in Conway to defend his World Title.
Clearly perception is reality and the National Wrestling Alliance is always looking for licensees to carry the NWA Banner into new areas (a sanctioning body is only as good as the members make it). It makes perfect sense for the NWA. Vendetta has a roster of full of talented men and woman. Time will tell how this new partnership will impact Vendetta, but with a little research you can see that they have increased views for their youtube channel, more follows on twitter and more likes on facebook. Does this equate more business for Vendetta? Is this a good thing? Is this a bad thing? I think as proof with Championship Wrestling from Hollywood, the NWA name is only as valuable as you make it. Vendetta Pro Wrestling will be responsible for making the NWA Mean something again in California. With Billy Blade’s track record, I expect big things.