The National Wrestling Association Is Established

by Mark Long

The National Wrestling Association, professional wrestling’s first recognized sanctioning body, is established. The NWA was an outgrowth of the National Boxing Association and, like the NBA, it was a collection of state athletic commissioners who oversaw the sport. However, unlike future sanctioning bodies, the National Wrestling Association was a regulatory entity that dealt with administration, as opposed to being a specific booking office or promotion. By the time the National Wrestling Alliance was formed in 1948, the original NWA had lost much of its power and purpose, although its championship maintained all of its prestige. On November 27, 1949, the National Wrestling Association championship was vacated and forever abandoned when its titleholder, Lou Thesz, became the National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight champion and the two championships were unified.