Monday, November 09, 2020

Bruce Prichard Talks "Crown Jewel" on Something to Wrestle

On a recent episode of the enormously popular "Something to Wrestle" podcast (the King Kong Bundy Episode, No. 239), Bruce Prichard and co-host Conrad Thompson discuss our recent book Crown Jewel, a look at the famous belt and the history of the NWA World Championship from 1959-1973. The discussion takes place at 14:42 into the podcast.


BRUCE PRICHARD: Okay, I'm going to do something very uncharacteristic for me. I've been doing a lot of uncharacteristic sh*t.


BRUCE: (Holds up book) Can you see what that is?

CONRAD: Yeah, that looks like our man Dick Bourne's new book "Crown Jewel", the story of the NWA World Title from 1959-1973.

BRUCE: Yeah, and you need to send me Dick's number so I can thank him personally because this is my favorite championship belt of all time, the NWA World Heavyweight Championship from, as you said, 1959 to 1973. This is the belt worn by Pat O'Connor, Gene Kiniski, Buddy Rogers, Dory Funk, Jr. Harley Race wore it for a few short weeks or months before he dropped it on July 20, 1973 in Houston, TX, to Jack Brisco in the third fall with a Lou Thesz press. But, it's interesting, as I look back at some of the pictures he has of this particular belt - - you know as a kid, you fantasize - - like I got to hold this belt when, on July 20, 1973 in Houston Texas at the Sam Houston Coliseum, I was sitting in Section 5, Row 12, Seat 8 - - and Jack Adkisson, Fritz Von Erich, was holding this particular belt and I asked him if I could look at it and hold it, and did for a second. But to me it was always...

CONRAD: The belt.

BRUCE: ... thick gold, and heavy, and it just appears to be very thin in real life, and that's bothering me a little bit. 

CONRAD: When you're a kid, everything seems bigger and larger than life. And then you become an adult and your like, well, maybe not so much. But this belt, I know you've told me for years and years, it was your favorite of all the NWA world titles. You grew up on this one, and of course it was replaced by what we now know as the "ten pounds of gold" and then of course "big gold." But this was like your one. So when Dick told me he was doing a book on this, he sent me a copy of it, and I said "hey, can you send one to Bruce?" ... and you got a special one. But everybody can grab their own right now at or you can just look for it on Amazon. It's called "Crown Jewel: The NWA World Championship from 1959 -1973" and our old pal Dick Bourne, who did the Horsemen book, the Big Gold book, he did the Ten Pounds of Gold book, his belt series continues, and I thought this would be right up your alley. So I'm glad, (a) you got it, and (b) you remembered to put it over here for Dick.

BRUCE: It is. Well, because I've damn near read almost half of it, just in bits and pieces, the parts that I wanted to read about, and the part about Salvadore Lutteroth, Jr. and getting the jeweler in Mexico City to do the championship, which I had told you guys about and some people poo-poo'd me. But it's an interesting, very interesting read if your in to that kind of thing, it's the holy grail. It's funny because I had always noticed that there were two different straps on this belt, two different leathers, but I always thought, ah man, you know in the old days maybe their just touching up the picture, making the strap look bigger, and different parts. But the leather that Dory had on his was much softer leather than the normal championship belts at that time, and I always thought that was cool as hell. Don't know why. But, you know Thesz taking the belt - - and the fact that the globe! -- the world globe on the one when Dory got it, it came off. And for years I always thought it was all just one piece, and it wasn't. And that's freaking me out, too.

CONRAD: Really cool book, check it out over at or Shout out to Dick Bourne, one of the best rasslin' book writers around.

BRUCE: Yes sir! I highly recommend it. 



Check out the King Kong Bundy episode, No. 239, over at the Westwood One site for Something to Wrestle, on, or download the show from anywhere you get your podcasts. 

Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard is co-hosted and produced by Conrad Thompson and is presented by the Westwood One Podcast Network. 

 Follow Bruce Prichard (@bruceprichard), Conrad Thompson (@heyheyitsconrad), and the show (@PrichardShow) on Twitter.