The NWA Missouri Heavyweight Championship was the secondary singles championship in the National Wrestling Alliance's St. Louis Wrestling Club and Central States Wrestling promotions in the 1970s and 1980s. It was usually dominated by the area's top star, Harley Race, and as such it was considered a "stepping stone" to the NWA World Heavyweight Championship (although only Race, Terry Funk, Kerry Von Erich and Ric Flair made it; Gene Kiniski and Dory Funk, Jr. were already former World Champions upon winning the Missouri title).
Previous versions existed in 1899, 1921, 1933 to 1934, 1937, 1947, 1950, and 1954 to 1955, but it was only in 1972 that a serious championship was established. It was shelved in 1986, as the Central States promotion was being consolidated under Jim Crockett Promotions in order to counter the World Wrestling Federation's national expansion. NWA Midwest revived the title in 2002 and it existed until 2012.
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“Then they seen it, the old Missouri River shinin in the moon and across it the lights of St. Louis.”
—Dudley Nichols (18951960)