News: NWA Strips Sheik Of NWA Title
This is not puro-related yet but it is a development that I think bears monitoring: The Sheik, who recently won the ZERO1/AWA World Heavyweight Title from Ryouji Sai in Japan in a match also for his NWA World Heavyweight Title, has been stripped of the NWA Title. According to a report I read on a US website, he pulled out of an upcoming defense. Here’s the NWA press release:
CHARLOTTE, NC: The NWA has been informed that The Sheik has pulled out of his scheduled title defense on July 31st at the Ohio St. Fair against 3-time champion Adam Pearce. It is not clear at this time as to the reasons behind The Sheik’s refusal to go through with this bout. The NWA first received an inkling of the issue when it was noted that the long-awaited showdown was no longer on The Sheik’s calendar. When contacted, The Sheik’s camp confirmed that he would not be appearing for the eagerly-anticipated battle.
Faced with this refusal, the NWA Board of Directors held an emergency teleconference, with the result being that The Sheik has been stripped of the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, effective immediately. “This is not something the NWA does lightly”, said Executive Director, Robert K. Trobich. “We prefer that the title be settled in the ring”.
The vacant title will be filled by the new main event for the July 31st show: A three-way match between the man who was promised the shot, 3-Time Champ, Scrap Iron Adam Pearce, and the holders of the two other most prestigious belts in the NWA, National Champion, Chance Prophet, and North American Champion, Shaun Tempers!
Don’t forget that ZERO1 is once again a member of the NWA, so in that sense it’s worth watching to see what might happen with the ZERO1/AWA Title, if anything. Also should be noted that NWA World Jr. Heavyweight Champion Craig Classic, who sometimes competes as just Craig in Big Japan, vacated his title in protest of the move. The Sheik is not scheduled to defend the ZERO1 Title anytime soon as the promotion is now focusing on Fire Festival, which begins in a couple weeks, but it’s a situation I will continue to monitor for developments. The Sheik is not scheduled to be part of the tournament-there is a ZERO1 event on 7/31 (Osaka World Hall) but it’s not known yet if he’ll be on the card.
More as it becomes available.