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Wrestling Superstars Live
Acronym WSL
Founded 1996
Style American Wrestling
Headquarters Rochester, Minnesota
Chicago, Illinois (1996 - current)
Founder(s) Dale Gagner
Jonnie Stewart
Owner(s) Dale Gagner
Jonnie Stewart (1996 - present)
Formerly AWA Superstars of Wrestling

Wrestling Superstars Live is a governing body for a group of independent professional wrestling promotions and sanctions various championships. It was founded in 1996 by Dale Gagner and Jonnie Stewart.



In 1996, Dale Gagner and his associate Jonnie Stewart, former American Wrestling Association (AWA) employees, began using the AWA name in the state of Minnesota and formed an organization known as AWA Superstars of Wrestling, infringing on the AWA name. They began trading off the organization as something of a continuation of the American Wrestling Association, which closed down in 1991. Dale Gagner even began using the pseudonym "Dale Gagne", (removing the letter "r" from his name). This was in reference to Verne Gagne, the original owner of the American Wrestling Association.

By 2005, the organization began to franchise the AWA Superstars of Wrestling name, selling memberships to existing independent promotions around the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Japan. Several members of AWA Superstars of Wrestling were former members of the National Wrestling Alliance. In 2007, most of the memberships were terminated, and Gagner and Stewart began co-promoting shows with a small number of regional promoters instead.


Lawsuit and renaming

In April 2007 World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) filed a lawsuit against Dale Gagner and Jonnie Stewart, citing trademark infringement, as WWE owned all American Wrestling Association properties due to their purchase after the AWA's closure.[1][2][3] In a move to sidestep WWE, Jonnie Stewart attempted to trademark the name "American Wrestling Alliance" instead. However, The United States Patent and Trademark Office later indicated that the request was abandoned in February 2008.

In October 2008, the court ruled in favor of WWE. The court ruling prohibits Gagner and his associate from exploiting or trading on the AWA name or any other derivatives.[4] As a result, the organization was renamed to Wrestling Superstars Live.


When the organization was formed in 1996, Wrestling Superstars Live claimed the lineages and names of original American Wrestling Association championships. However, following WWE's filed lawsuit against Gagner and Stewart, Wrestling Superstars Live's references to the AWA became prohibited. Due to there being no connection to the American Wrestling Association, Wrestling Superstars Live championship reigns are recognized from 1996 and forward.

Championship Champion Date won Location Previous holder
World Heavyweight Championship Keith Walker February 21, 2009 Michigan City, Indiana Ricky Landell
World Light Heavyweight Championship Kirby Mack January 7, 2007 Pottstown, Pennsylvania T.J. Mack
World Tag Team Championship Vacant Titles vacated in late 2008 Statesville, North Carolina Team Vision
(Chasyn Rance and Mister Saint Laurent)
Fighting World Championship Keith Walker September 13, 2008 Waukesha, Wisconsin Ricky Landell


In a press release sent out October 30, 2007, the organization announced that it will no longer sanction independent territories. Gagner and Stewart noted that each of the remaining territories would be individually assessed.[5]

In December 2007, Pro Wrestling Zero1 left AWA Superstars of Wrestling. Due to being contracted to Zero1, then-champion Masato Tanaka was stripped of AWA Superstars of Wrestling's Championship.

On May 1, 2009, a group of some remaining territories broke away to form the new international sanctioning body "Platinum Wrestling WorldWide".

See also


External links


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