Wrestling Superstars Live
StyleAmerican wrestling
HeadquartersRochester, Minnesota
Founder(s)Dale Gagne
Jonnie Stewart
Owner(s)Dale Gagne
FormerlyAWA Superstars of Wrestling
American Wrestling Association

Wrestling Superstars Live (WSL), previously known as AWA Superstars of Wrestling (AWA), was a governing body for a group of independent professional wrestling promotions that sanctioned various championships. It was founded in 1996 by Dale Gagne and Jonnie Stewart and closed in 2009.


Early history

In 1996, Dale Gagner, billing himself as "Dale Gagne", and his associate Jonnie Stewart, former American Wrestling Association (AWA) employees, began using the AWA name in the state of Minnesota, falsely claiming authorization from the Minnesota Secretary of State, and formed an organization known as AWA Superstars of Wrestling. They billed the organization as a continuation of the American Wrestling Association, which closed in 1991.

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 a press release sent out on October 30, 2007, the organization announced that it would no longer sanction independent promotions. Gagner and Stewart noted that each of the remaining territories would be individually assessed.[1]

Lawsuit, renaming, reorganization, and closure

On April 26, 2007 World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) filed a lawsuit against Dale Gagner, citing trademark infringement, as WWE owned some American Wrestling Association properties due to their purchase of AWA from Verne Gagne.[2][3][4] In a move to sidestep WWE, Jonnie Stewart, with the help of a Chicago-based copyright law firm, attempted to trademark the name "American Wrestling Alliance" instead.

On October 29, 2008, a settlement was reached between Gagner and WWE. The court ruling prohibits Gagner from use of the AWA name or any other derivatives.[5] As a result, the organization was renamed to Wrestling Superstars Live (WSL). In 2009, WSL went out of business.


When the organization was formed in 1996, Wrestling Superstars Live claimed the lineages and names of the original American Wrestling Association (AWA) championships. However, following WWE's lawsuit against Gagner and Stewart, Wrestling Superstars Live ignored the AWA championship reigns and only the reigns from 1996 and forward were recognized.

Championship Final champion(s) Date won Location Previous holder
World Heavyweight Championship Keith Walker February 21, 2009 Michigan City, Indiana Ricky Landell
World Fighting Championship Keith Walker September 13, 2008 Waukesha, Wisconsin Ricky Landell
World Light Heavyweight Championship Kirby Mack January 7, 2007 Pottstown, Pennsylvania T.J. Mack
World Tag Team Championship Team Vision
(Chasyn Rance and Mister Saint Laurent)
April 18, 2008 Fayetteville, West Virginia The championship was vacant; Team Vision won the 2008 Mountain Mayhem tournament by defeating Team Macktion (Kirby Mack and T.J. Mack) in the finals

Four championships were retired prior to WSL's closure:

Championship history

International Heavyweight Championship

Title history

Wrestler: Times: Date: Location: Notes:
Title created by AWA Superstars of Wrestling, with the promotion claiming lineage to the original AWA International Heavyweight Championship.
Jonnie Stewart 1 April 23, 1999 Stewart defeated George Petroski to become the inaugural champion.[6][7][8]
Title vacated on April 14, 2000 after Stewart failed to make a defense.[6][7][8]
Danny Dominion 1 April 14, 2000 Blythe, California Dominion defeated Navajo Warrior to win the vacant championship.[6][7][8]
Title vacated in 2002.[6][7][8]
Erik Watts 1 February 4, 2005 Tucson, Arizona Watts defeated Diamond Dallas Page to win the vacant championship.[7][8]
The championship was retired in 2005 following a declaration of the AWA Board of Directors.[8]


Wrestling Superstars Live had members in the United States, Canada, England, Japan, and Australia.[9]

Promotion Location Years
All Action Wrestling Western Australia November 2007 – 2009
AWA Florida Florida 2005 – 2009
AWA Rush Minnesota 2007
AWA United Kingdom England 2005 – 2006
Brew City Wrestling Wisconsin 2005 – 2008
Canadian Wrestling Federation Manitoba August 2005 – April 2007
Carolina Wrestling Federation North Carolina 2005 – 2007
Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling British Columbia 2006
Hawai'i Championship Wrestling Hawaii 2006 – 2007
Millennium Wrestling Federation Massachusetts March 2005 – 2007
Mountaineer Wrestling Association West Virginia 2005 – 2008
National Championship Wrestling Tennessee 2007 -
Pinnacle Pro Wrestling Washington 2005 – 2007
Platinum Pro Wrestling Indiana 2009
Pro-Wrestling World-1 Pennsylvania 2005 – 2007
Pro Wrestling Zero1-Max Japan 2005 – December 2007
Rocky Mountain Championship Wrestling Colorado January 2005 – 2008
Spinebuster/World-1 South Georgia July 2005 – 2008
Supreme Championship Wrestling Indiana 2005 – 2007
Ultra Championship Wrestling-Zero Utah February 2005 – 2007
West Coast Wrestling Connection Oregon 2007 – 2008


  1. ^ Gerweck, Steve. "AWA Discontinues Sanctioning". Gerweck.net. Archived from the original on 2007-11-01. Retrieved 2007-10-30. For Immediate Release.
  2. ^ Browning, Dan (2007-04-28). "World Wrestling sues promoter". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on 2007-04-28.
  3. ^ "News and Notes, May 4, 2007". GeorgiaWrestlingHistory.com. 2007-05-04.
  4. ^ Ryder, Bob (2007-04-26). "WWE Files Lawsuit Against Gagne For Trademark Violations Associated With AWA". 1wrestling.com.
  5. ^ "WWE wins trademark infringement lawsuit over AWA". wrestleview.com. 2008-10-28.
  6. ^ a b c d "AWA International Heavyweight Championship". Cagematch.net. Retrieved March 16, 2023.
  7. ^ a b c d e "AWA Superstars of Wrestling International Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved March 16, 2023.
  8. ^ a b c d e f "AWA INTERNATIONAL HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE HISTORY". Solie's Vintage Wrestling. Retrieved March 16, 2023.
  9. ^ "AWA Superstars / Wrestling Superstars Live!".