Classic Wrestling Images from the National Wrestling Alliance
The National Wrestling Alliance started out as a loose confederation of a number of independents throughout North America in 1948 under the leadership of P.L. "Pinky" George and Sam Muchnick. With the help of equipment financing it grew to encompass "Indies" around the world. The main branch was run by the Crockett family in the mid-to-late 80's until Ted Turner bought the franchise and turned it into World Championship Wrestling (WCW).
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The Minnesota Wrecking Crew (II) consisting of Ole Andersen and his son-in-law Arn (the original team was Ole and his brother Gene) were the NWA National Tag Team Champions when this photo was taken in 1985. Shortly after this, they joined with Ric Flair and Tully Blanchard to form the first incarnation of the Four Horsemen (see The History of the Four Horsemen)
Dory Funk Jr., brother of Terry and son of Dory Sr., controls Jumbo Tsuruta with his signature spinning toe hold.
Magnum TA is my personal favorite wrestler. Tragically he was involved in an automobile accident which cut short his wrestling career. Some of his matches were true classics, including his "I Quit" cage-match with Tully Blanchard for the NWA US Championship. Here is another image from that match. BabyDoll (the wife of Sam Houston) was Tully's valet. The match ended when Magnum demanded that Tully submit while he ground the pointed end of a broken chair leg into a cut in Tully's forehead. Blanchard screamed "Yes!" over and over.
One of Magnum's first Title defenses was against the Ugandan giant Kamala. Here is another image from that match. In this scene, Magnum displays surprising power as he bodyslams the nearly 400 lbs. giant.
This scene took place during Magnum's match with Chief Wahoo McDaniels in which he won the US title.
Another of my personal favorites is Ronnie Garvin. Known as the "Hands of Stone", here is his follow through at the expense of "Beautiful Bobby" Eaton.
Fire has no place in a wrestling match in my opinion. This scene shows James E. Cornette unleashing the furies on Road Warrior Animal.
Barry Windham the son of "Blackjack" Mulligan, is seen almost winning the NWA Heavyweight Title from "Nature Boy" Rick Flair in this image. He later wrestled in the WWF as the "Widowmaker", the "Stalker" and "Blackjack" Windham. Most recently he has been wrestling for the revived NWA. On September 12, 1998 he won the NWA World Tag Team Titles with his partner Tully Blanchard.
A very rotund Dusty Rhodes was amazingly agile in his heyday. In this scene he is shown holding the 1987 Crockett Memorial Tagteam Tournament Cup which he had just won with his "Super Powers" partner Nikita Koloff.
Ricky Steamboat holds "the Russian Bear" Ivan Koloff in a reverse chinlock in this shot.
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