NWA VP Dave Lagana Talks Unique NWA Championship Belt, All In, NWA Title Defenses, Cody's Victory

As seen at All In, Cody Rhodes defeated Nick Aldis to become the new NWA World Heavyweight Champion. NWA Vice President and producer, Dave Lagana, recently appeared on X–Pac's podcast, XPac 12360 to talk about the success of All In and where the NWA Heavyweight title will be defended next, among other things.

About the reaction Cody received after winning the NWA title and the build up to the match, Dave said, "We all knew what we wanted. And I think that was the goal of this whole project - and Nick talks about it, and Cody talks about it; we wanted to create the big fight feel — the UFC, boxing event — and every decision we made was to execute that. Even from the walks, and you know, the aftermath. Everybody who was there was a part of this story.

"Everybody that was involved in this project from soup to nuts, as far as our inclusion had a part in being there. And it's the weird cliché of everybody involved in that match too, at one point or another, decided to say 'screw the tradition, we're going to bet on ourselves'. Everyone! From Billy and I, from leaving TNA, to Nick leaving TNA and basically being out of the business, to Cody leaving WWE, we all had something to prove. And everyone's like, 'Oh, what a moment when Cody won!' The moment to us I think as a team felt the strongest was when the bell rung. For whatever it was, 45 seconds, the crowd simply honoured that moment of 'here's this dead brand'. Deadspin (wrote) 'Billy Corgan buys oldest and deadest brand in pro wrestling', you know, like, to have it be literally 11 months in to get that reaction for a title match — it just, it was so overwhelming. That to me was the greatest success point of the match. Cody winning - yes, the crowd was going to go crazy. But, for them to be that excited for the bell, that was amazing!"

Lagana also said that the NWA World title belt will "have a not to the past of NWA."

"We're going to bring back the National Championship with the belt," Lagana stated. "The belt will have a nod to the past of the NWA and we are going to reveal it till the week of the show if not that night. Because there's one thing I've learned from wrestling fans, they may or not have a lot of hot takes on things (laughs) so we're gonna have the new championship that week, I look forward to everyone's hot takes cause there will be them. The people who do know already have hot takes, everyone's got an opinion on it which means I know it's gonna work as far as what people want. I'll say this, there's nothing like it right now in pro wrestling.

Lagana then went into great detail about where the NWA Heavyweight title could be defended next.

"We did a 10 Pounds (of Gold) when Billy sold out the (Madison Square) Garden and we would love the NWA World's Heavyweight Championship to be available and defended on any stage imaginable. So if it's Madison Square Garden, if it's the Barclays Center, if it's WrestleMania, if it's the Tokyo Dome… we have put zero limits on how and where, and I think each time we can have that, we are proving our value to be on that stage. Because I remember when the announcement happened at All In, everyone was like, 'Oh, Aldis versus Cody, I mean I guess the moment when Cody wins, I guess it will be something' and we over delivered in that moment and I know we can over deliver on any stage. Because I think our success at what we've been able to do has proven that.

"We're not a traditional wrestling company with 50 guys under contract, running all these live events were a promotion more like a Money Mayweather promotion or De La Hoya, you know what I mean? We promote fights and have successfully now promoted I would say two really big ones. Like the first was the Tim Storm fight with Nick (Aldis), we got the attention on two people that they didn't expect they wanted to see and now with the Cody one we're a promotional machine. And in reality entertainment is not defined. Go look at traditional entertainment right now and the shifts going on, a sitcom in 1998 had a lot more value than a sitcom in 2010, 2018. So it's all about what the audience wants to watch and how they want to watch it. And the fact that there are a lot of wrestling companies producing a lot of content that people aren't paying attention to and we've been able to succeed by producing less content, making the content more important."


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