A look back through history: The Original & NWA World Women's Championship, Part Five
In the penultimate article of the series, Paul looks through the modern day history of the title!
Welcome to part five of our look back in history at the Original and NWA World Women’s Championships. It’s been a pretty amazing journey to go back and research this subject for me personally and I hope you, the readers, have got as much out of it as I have.
It’s strange to think about the women’s wrestling scene we have now given how it all started. It almost seems to have gone full circle. While once the women were considered on an almost equal footing to the men, this quickly died away and the scene became something of a seedy sideshow.
But now, thankfully, we have a thriving women’s scene with some truly amazing workers coming through and proving that they are every bit as skilled and talented as the men’s scene. People like Clara Mortenson, Mildred Burke, Fabulous Moolah and more recently MsChif (who I have to give a big shout out to for her lovely comments on last week's article!) all paved the way for the women of today's wrestling scene to go out there and do what they love to do.
When we left off, MsChif was in the midst of a modern-day record breaking 818-day reign as NWA World Women’s Champion, and it is from there that we will pick up today.
So, lets bust open the history books and once again look back through history.
Having won the title on 27th April, 2008, MsChif would embark on a modern-day record-breaking run, taking in multiple title defences across America, beating the likes of Cheerleader Melissa, Nicole Matthews and AEW’s Melanie Cruise among others, but as with all good things, sadly her reign had to end.
After close to two and a half years as Champion, MsChif would lose the title to Tasha Simone at an NWA Top Rope event on 24th July, 2010, in Tennessee.
Starting her career in 1992, Tasha was trained by “Gentleman” Chris Adams.
If that name sounds familiar to you, it’s because he is the man responsible for training a certain Texas Rattlesnake...
Tasha wrestled all over America for the NWA, USWA, and other organisations, as well as stints in Puerto Rico and Mexico. She wrestler for USWA during the Smokey Mountain Wrestling feud in the mid-nineties, winning two USWA women’s Titles.
During her career she notched up three NWA World Women’s Championships, but has previously stated that she does not like to talk about championships as she feels they are devalued with people being able to buy replicas (given my status as a belt collector, I cannot agree!)
Tasha had been involved in the title scene beforehand though, as she was part of the three-way match with Lexie Fyfe and Christie Ricci on 8th October, 2005 when Ricci won the title.
Details on Tasha’s career are somewhat hard to come by, but what did surprise me when doing my research was that the belt Tasha held was very different to what we have seen previously.
This belt appeared to be huge. A massive centreplate with side plates depicting flags of various countries. It was a massive bit of kit. Getting that one through customs would have been tricky.
Tasha’s first reign was a short one though, as 70 days later she would lose to the youngest Champion in the title’s history, La Reina de Corazones, who was just 21 at the time she would win it. Bear in mind, this is the NWA Title, not the Original World Title that Clara Mortensen won at 16 years old.
La Reina de Corazones, or Erica Torres as she goes by now, was born into wrestling. Her father, Rick Russo, was a wrestler himself, so it is only natural that she would follow in her father's footsteps.
Since her debut around 2009, Torres has worked for several companies including SHINE, Empire Pro Wrestling, All Star Pro, and many, many more. However, she has gained the most success in Impact Zone Wrestling, where she is a seven-time IZW Women’s Champion.
In fact, her Championship resumé is very impressive;
At time of writing, Erica is currently in her second reign as All Star Pro All Time Champion, having won the title on 9th May in a game of musical chairs.
No, really, she did. The All-Time title is a 24/7 rules Championship, and it seems there are some internal power struggles going on within All Star Pro currently which led to this, but that’s another story altogether.
In any case, at just 32 years old, Erica has plenty of time left in the tank, so could easily go on to win more Championships and potentially add to her NWA World Women’s crown. In my opinion, I truly hope she does, because her sole reign thus far ended when she was stripped of the title just 35 days after winning it, for allegedly refusing to defend it.
At this point, Vacant was the record holding seven-time NWA World Women’s Champion. Surely, vacant will one day be inducted into the hall of fame...
Joking aside, with the title vacated, a new Champion was once again needed, and so on 6th November 2010, up stepped Tasha Simone to regain the title for a second time. This time, she would hold the title for exactly one year before losing it on 6th November, 2011, to Tiffany Roxx.
Trained by Rick Justice and Johnny Rokk and debuting in 2004, Tiffany, much like her predecessors, would wrestle all over the independent scene in America, facing all manner of opponents. Unfortunately, information on her career has proven difficult to find, as her documented career seems to stop around 2017.
In terms of Championships, it seems that the NWA World Women’s Championship is her only one, and given that she would hold the title for just 49 days before dropping it back to Tasha Simone, it seems it was only ever meant to be a transitional reign. Though, considering she lost the title back to the same person she won it from, that is questionable at best. On the plus side, hers is not the shortest reign as we know, but whether you hold the title for one day or one thousand, it is still something that cannot be taken away from you.
So, with Tasha holding the abnormally large belt again having won it back inside a steel cage, she would embark on another lengthy reign as Champion, holding the title for 300 days. Her final reign as Champion would end on 20th October, 2012, when the title was wrestled away from her by a lady named Kacee Carlisle.
Hardcore fans may remember her from appearances on TNA Gut Check, though you would be forgiven for not knowing this considering that Gut Check was a series of short segments on TNA programming.
From the age of eight, Kacee knew she wanted to be a professional wrestler. Growing up in a time where big name stars such as Sherri Martel, who Kacee idolised, as well as Moolah and Leilani Kai were prominent names, when the opportunity to train came about, she didn’t think twice.
After debuting as a manager in 1998, she would work occasionally until 2003, when she was signed and subsequently debuted for the National Wrestling League. From here, Kacee’s career took off, and she would travel all over America for companies such as Adrenaline Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Entertainment and World Xtreme Wrestling.
Her title record is fantastic too, as she has won titles pretty much wherever she’s gone;
- Adrenaline Championship Wrestling Women's Champion (2 time, current)
- Brew City Wrestling Women's Champion (1 time, current)
- Bruiser Wrestling Federation Ladies Championship (3 times)
- Dangerous Adrenaline Wrestling Gladiators Women's Champion (1 time, current)
- Dynamite Championship Wrestling Divas of Dynamite Women's Champion (2 times)
- DCW Divas of Dynamite Tournament (2014)
- Dynamite Championship Wrestling Heavyweight Champion (1 time)
- First State Championship Wrestling Women's Champion (1 time)
- Elite Pro Wrestling Alliance Women's Champion (2 times, current)
- Lucha Pride Pro Wrestling Women's Champion (1 time, current; inaugural)
- Modern Vintage Wrestling Women's Champion (1 time, current)
- NWA World Women's Champion (1 time)
- National Wrestling League Women's Champion (1 time)
- Professional Girl Wrestling Association’s Newcomer of the Year (2007)
- Pro Wrestling Entertainment Ladies Championship (1 time)
- Ranked No. 7 of the best 50 female singles wrestlers in the PWI Female 50 in 2013
- Ultimate Championship Wrestling Women's Champion (1 time)
- Valkyrie Women's Professional Wrestling Queen of Valkyrie (1 time, current)
- World Xtreme Wrestling Women's Champion (1 time)
- World Xtreme Wrestling Diamond Division Champion (1 time)
At time of writing, she currently holds seven different championships! While she may never have been picked up by the likes of WWE or TNA, it’s safe to say that she’s a pretty big deal on the indies.
Kacee’s reign was a great one at 462 days, and with the recent trend of Champions holding the belt for long periods of time and getting in good quality defences, the prestige of the championship which had been somewhat lacking was suddenly on the up again. By 2014, the NWA World Women’s Title was once again atop the list of desirable Championships outside of the bigger companies. The hard work and graft by people such as Christie Ricci, Awesome Kong, MsChif, Tasha Simone and Kacee Carlisle had put the NWA back on the map after what appeared at least on the surface to be a significant period of time in the shadows.
25th January, 2014, saw the title change hands again, and this time it would wind up in the hands of the supremely talented and dependable Barbi Hayden.
Now sadly for all us grappling fans, Barbi retired in 2019 to focus on working in Las Vegas stage shows. But thanks to the internet, there are plenty of opportunities to witness her in action.
Having debuted in 2010, it took Hayden just four years to win the NWA World Women’s Championship. During her reign, she would defend the title successfully eleven times, with wins over people such as Nevaeh, Mia Yim and Veda Scott.
While she would lose her title in 2015, she would go on to make history that year by becoming one of the first two women to have a professional wrestling match aired on television in China, when she faced former Impact Wrestling World Champion, Tessa Blanchard.
Despite having a relatively short career by wrestling standards, she won her fair share of titles, as seen below;
- Anarchy Championship Wrestling American Joshi Championship (1 time)
- Anarchy Championship Wrestling Televised Championship (1 time)
- NWA World Women's Championship (1 time)
- NWA Lonestar Women's Championship (4 times)
- NWA Texoma Women's Championship (1 time)
- Ranked No. 12 of the best 50 female singles wrestlers in the PWI Female 50 in 2014
Prior to her retirement she would make appearances for TNA/Impact Wrestling at a One Night Only PPV, as well as appearing for SHINE, and Women of Wrestling (WoW). While it is a shame to see talented workers such as Hayden retire, she no doubt is absolutely killing it on the Las Vegas stage, and hey, wrestling will always be there. Just ask Terry Funk...
After holding the title for just over a year at 378 days, Hayden’s time at the top would be ended by a lady who now resides in Orlando, Florida, at the WWE Performance Centre. While she has not been seen on TV for some time, her talent cannot be denied. It is here that we will pick up next time...
Thank you once again for joining me this week. Next week will be the finale of this series as we bring the NWA World Women’s Championship right up to date.
Until then, thank you for supporting us and reading our articles, and I hope to see you next week for our final look back in history for this series!