I can remember when World Championship Wrestling was around, and one of the championship title that intrigued me the most in that promotion WASN’T the World Heavyweight Title. To be honest, it was the World TELEVISION Championship, and part of was made me curious about it was it’s name, purpose, and how the belt was treated and represented in the company. Sure, it wasn’t the primary heavyweight championship, nor was it dedicated to a class, group or weight class of talent, but the WCW World Television Title is to be recognized and remembered as one of the important titles in wrestling history.
The story of the championship begins on February 27th, 1974, when it was created by Mid-Atlantic Wrestling promotion as one of its secondary titles. While used there, it was known as the Mid-Atlantic TV Championship, later getting the good-old name change a few years later to the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) TV Championship. As the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling promotion (later to be known as Jim Crockett Promotions) grew in size and influence, the belt was again renamed to the NWA World TV Championship. Years later — when Mid-Atlantic was sold to Ted Turner and renamed WCW, followed by WCW’s future withdrawal from the NWA — the title became known as the WCW World TV Championship until its retirement on April 10, 2000 when all the titles in WCW were vacated by Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff.
The WCW World TV Championship was defended in matches that commonly had 10-15 minute time limits, and the matches often resulted in time limit draws — more than the other titles — which allowed the champion to retain the belt. This match-making strategy was often utilized as a heat-building device so the the heel (or “villain”) could retain their championship and help the heel get over with the fans.
Many legendary wrestler had both carried and have some interesting factoids regarding the TV Championship. The longest NWA TV Title reign belongs to Tully Blanchard (353 days), while the record for longest NWA World TV Title reign goes to Arn Anderson (336 days). Booker T had the most reigns (six total) as World Television Champion (as Mid-Altantic, NWA, or WCW), while Arn Anderson — there he is again — holds the record for most days as champion (870 days across four reigns). The last wrestler to hold the WCW World Television Championship was Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who defeated Scott Hall after finding the title in the garbage (Hall was the one who originally threw it away). It’s a shame that a title with so much history was just — literally — treated like trash near the end of its run, but thanks to the history of that belt, I can always fondly look back at it.