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 Posted: Thu Nov 18th, 2021 06:05 pm
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srossi
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What recognized World championship did Ernie Ladd hold? 

PWInsider:

Impact Wrestling issued the following:


MOOSE JOINS VERY EXCLUSIVE CLUB AS A PRO WRESTLING WORLD CHAMPION


 The IMPACT Wrestling World Champion Is The Best Former NFL Player Of The Modern Era To Become World Champion Of A Pro Wrestling Company


By capturing the IMPACT Wrestling World Championship on October 23rd, Moose solidified himself as the best former NFL player of the modern era to have gone on to be a World Champion in professional wrestling.
 
Quinn Ojinnaka, the real-life Moose, played for four teams over seven seasons in the National Football League, including the New England Patriots, where he was teammates with NFL legend Tom Brady while playing for one of the best NFL head coaches in history, Bill Belichick. An offensive tackle/guard, Ojinnaka played in 62 NFL games, with 20 starts, after playing at Syracuse University.  He was selected in the fifth-round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.
 
The only other former NFL player from the modern era to have transitioned into pro wrestling and became a World Champion is Bill Goldberg, whose three-year NFL career included appearances in 14 games (1 start).
 
There are only four others who have ever gone from the NFL to World Championship glory:
 
Bronko Nagurski
Played his NFL career for the Chicago Bears from 1930-37, and 1943. Was a 3-time NFL Champion and 4-time All-Pro, landing in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a charter member, inducted in 1963.  He was a multi-time World Heavyweight Champion.
 
Ernie Ladd
Played his pro football career in the AFL from 1961-68, including an AFL Champion season for the San Diego Chargers in 1963. The AFL operated for 10 seasons, from 1960 until 1970, before it merged with the older National Football League (NFL) and became the American Football Conference. A defensive tackle, Ladd was inducted into the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame and the WWE Hall of Fame.
 
Dick The Bruiser
Played for the Green Bay Packers from 1951-54 as a lineman, appearing in all 48 regular-season games that the Packers played in those years. Drafted by Green Bay from his alma mater, Purdue University.  He was a multi-time World Champion, including a run with the prestigious AWA World Heavyweight Championship.
 
Gus Sonnenberg
Played in the NFL from 1923-1930 for such teams as the Buffalo All-Americans, Columbus Tigers, Detroit Panthers, and Providence Steam Roller.  He was a member of the 1928 NFL championship team.  He was the as National Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Champion.
 
IMPACT Wrestling Executive Vice-President Scott D’Amore said: “There are so many former NFL players who had notable pro wrestling careers, including Brian Pillman, Steve McMichael, Monte Brown, Leo Nomellini, Wahoo McDaniel and Russ Francis, among others – but none of them became World Champion.
 
“Moose is among an exclusive list of only six former NFL players, including a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, to have become a pro wrestling World Champion.”
 
D’Amore helped train Moose during his transition from the NFL to wrestling. He added: “The term ‘generational talent’ is overused, but it is very apt for Moose. He would have been a formidable presence in wrestling just by being a 6-foot-5, 300-pound athlete, but the way he moves inside the ring, his freakish agility for a big man … he’s the next level of super-athlete.”
 
Sports Illustrated on November 17th spotlighted Moose and his record-setting journey from the NFL to IMPACT World Champion:  https://tinyurl.com/r8hdutuy.
 
Moose defends the IMPACT World Championship against Eddie Edwards this Saturday night, November 20th at Turning Point, airing LIVE on the IMPACT Plus app and for Ultimate Insider Members on IMPACT’s YouTube Channel.  Turning Point will originate from Sam’s Town Live! in Las Vegas and tickets are still available: https://bit.ly/IMPACTVegas.



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 Posted: Thu Nov 18th, 2021 06:24 pm
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Superstar
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The only thing I can think of is that Watts maybe "upgraded" the North American title to the UWF World Title and anybody that was the NA Champ ended up being a retroactive World Champ. Because I don't think Ladd held any version of a World Belt, not even tag team, in any of the big feds. No NWA, AWA, WWF, WWA, etc.



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 Posted: Thu Nov 18th, 2021 06:27 pm
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srossi
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Superstar wrote: The only thing I can think of is that Watts maybe "upgraded" the North American title to the UWF World Title and anybody that was the NA Champ ended up being a retroactive World Champ. Because I don't think Ladd held any version of a World Belt, not even tag team, in any of the big feds. No NWA, AWA, WWF, WWA, etc.
I've never considered Ladd a World champion, and if you start to get into regional belts that the promoter may have wanted to be considered World titles, you'll have a long list.  It's strange Impact included him if the point is exclusivity.  Moose himself is a dubious claim since really only WWE, AEW, and NJPW really should have a claim to being a World title in 2021, but I understand they're putting themselves over, and it's borderline enough that it's not outrageous. 



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 Posted: Thu Nov 18th, 2021 06:32 pm
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Superstar
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One more thing - how did they not put Bill Goldberg in this? He did play in the NFL. As did Leon White. It's not like Ron Simmons or Lex Luger who went to camp, got cut, and played in the USFL or the CFL. These guys actually played football and won the title. I'm not 100% sure Vader played in the regular season but I do know he was on injured reserve for the Rams.



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 Posted: Thu Nov 18th, 2021 06:34 pm
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srossi
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Superstar wrote: One more thing - how did they not put Bill Goldberg in this? He did play in the NFL. As did Leon White. It's not like Ron Simmons or Lex Luger who went to camp, got cut, and played in the USFL or the CFL. These guys actually played football and won the title. I'm not 100% sure Vader played in the regular season but I do know he was on injured reserve for the Rams.
They put Goldberg, for some reason he doesn't get his own bolded section though, but he's there:

"The only other former NFL player from the modern era to have transitioned into pro wrestling and became a World Champion is Bill Goldberg, whose three-year NFL career included appearances in 14 games (1 start)."

On Vader, from Wikipedia he never played in a game and spent the year on injured reserve:

"In the 1978 NFL Draft, White was drafted as a center by the Los Angeles Rams with the 24th pick of the 3rd Round (80th overall).[10][11] White's first season saw the Rams go to the Super Bowl and earned White an NFC championship ring. White spent the season on the injured reserve list due to knee problems. He did not play a single down and registered no statistics. Unfortunately, White would be forced into retirement by a ruptured patella.[12]"



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 Posted: Thu Nov 18th, 2021 07:23 pm
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Superstar
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srossi wrote: Superstar wrote: One more thing - how did they not put Bill Goldberg in this? He did play in the NFL. As did Leon White. It's not like Ron Simmons or Lex Luger who went to camp, got cut, and played in the USFL or the CFL. These guys actually played football and won the title. I'm not 100% sure Vader played in the regular season but I do know he was on injured reserve for the Rams.
They put Goldberg, for some reason he doesn't get his own bolded section though, but he's there:

"The only other former NFL player from the modern era to have transitioned into pro wrestling and became a World Champion is Bill Goldberg, whose three-year NFL career included appearances in 14 games (1 start)."

On Vader, from Wikipedia he never played in a game and spent the year on injured reserve:

"In the 1978 NFL Draft, White was drafted as a center by the Los Angeles Rams with the 24th pick of the 3rd Round (80th overall).[10][11] White's first season saw the Rams go to the Super Bowl and earned White an NFC championship ring. White spent the season on the injured reserve list due to knee problems. He did not play a single down and registered no statistics. Unfortunately, White would be forced into retirement by a ruptured patella.[12]"
I knew he spent the Super Bowl year on IR but didn't know that he didn't play at all.  So that does make sense.  And they probably didn't bold Goldberg because he's still with WWE.



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 Posted: Thu Nov 18th, 2021 08:21 pm
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Kriss
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Ernie Ladd had short reigns as the NWF World Heavyweight Champion in 1972 and as the WWA World Heavyweight Champion (Dick the Bruiser's version in Indiana) in 1980.



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 Posted: Thu Nov 18th, 2021 08:38 pm
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Superstar
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Kriss wrote: Ernie Ladd had short reigns as the NWF World Heavyweight Champion in 1972 and as the WWA World Heavyweight Champion (Dick the Bruiser's version in Indiana) in 1980.I didn't realize he got the WWA belt, I was looking in the '70s not 1980.  And I didn't even think about the NWF but I'll accept both.



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 Posted: Thu Nov 18th, 2021 09:02 pm
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GregOliver

 

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I already sent my complaints to Ross Forman, Impact's PR guy, about this. By their criteria, Joe Savoldi absolutely, definitely belongs on the list.

Uniformly dismissing the CFL or USFL I understand, even if it's wrong. Guys like Gene Kiniski went north because it paid better.

And putting out a press release about an African-American and not mentioning Ron Simmons? Strange. He didn't have NFL success but he's in the frickin' College Hall of Fame!



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 Posted: Thu Nov 18th, 2021 11:34 pm
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What about Leo Nomellini? He's in the HOF. He won many times the NWA tag belts many times (SF version). Then went to AWA and won the Tag belts with Wilbur Snyder.



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 Posted: Fri Nov 19th, 2021 01:38 pm
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GregOliver

 

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They are only talking about singles World heavyweight titles.

Leo Nomellini was never recognized officially as NWA World champion, though he did beat Lou Thesz in a schmozz finish.



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