This is fascinating news for professional wrestling fans of the Rio Grande Valley. IWF promoter and Brownsville lawyer R. Bruce Tharpe looks to have now taken over the National Wrestling Alliance. Here's the initial report from Dave Meltzer:
Those who stated that the lawsuit filed by former Championship Wrestling from Florida ring announcer and now Brownsville, TX, attorney Bruce Tharpe was a way to garner control of the NWA were right. But those who predicted he had no case appear to have been wrong.
The lawsuit was settled this week, and as part of the settlement, the NWA name and intellectual property has been transfered from Pro Wrestling Organization, LLC, headed by Bob Trobich, to a new company headed by Tharpe. Trobich had resigned as head of the NWA as a result of the suit, which charged the NWA as committing insurance fraud by having insurance for shows that would draw 100 fans or less when many shows drew more tha that. Tharpe claimed the NWA was able to garner new members by the promise of having their house shows insured if they joined.
Trobich appears to be the only major player out as the other members of the board will stay on with the new company headed by Tharpe.Hopefully this will be a positive for the local wrestling community here in the Valley. Lately, it seems that Tharpe has only been running shows out of the Cameron County market, I would like to see him have shows throughout the Valley in the near future. When IWF was on television in the past, it wasn't the greatest pro wrestling show by any means. I was critical of some stuff here and there, but it felt like an actual professional wrestling show with actual veteran workers and I really appreciated the entertainment they brought me on the weekends. The McAllen promotion Wrestling Revolution doesn't feel like a pro wrestling show to me. Tharpe has a much better and deeper understanding of professional wrestling than the Wrestling Revolution crew. Tharpe grew up in the business, he was around when Florida wrestling was at its peak, he refereed and worked as a ring announcer around guys like Terry Funk and Dusty Rhodes. You can ask Tharpe about Eddie Graham's booking and promoting in the Florida territory and he'll be able to discuss it with you from an insiders point of view since he worked under Graham. So at the very least, Tharpe "gets" wrestling better than some 25 year old kids pretending to wrestle in McAllen on 17th street. No offense to the WR crew, they seem like nice people and they seem like they're having a lot of fun (and I know they have a lot of supporters), but I'll take Tharpe (and the great Golden King) over them any day of the week. Also, Tharpe understands how important lucha libre is to a market like this (he's brought up many luchadores before, including El Hijo Del Santo, whose iconic "tope de cristo" was replayed many times during Tharpe's IWF show run).
So will Colt Cabana be making another appearance soon to defend his NWA crown? Will Tharpe be running more in the McAllen market? Will we be seeing more of the Golden King, who I think is probably the best worker here? I just hope this means more solid, quality professional wrestling for all of us here in the Valley. Huge congratulations to R. Bruce Tharpe, I wish him the best of luck in handling the NWA. Genuinely happy for Mr. Tharpe.