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Spiritual Successor / Professional Wrestling

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  • The "Professional Girl Wrestling Association"(PGWA) was founded in 1992 to be one to the 1960s "American Girl Wrestling Association"(AGWA).
  • The NWA Canadian Heavyweight Title established in 1993 and defended in ECCW is the successor to the belt established in 1946 that was defended in the Calgary Territory that preceded the Hart Family's Stampede.
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  • The New World Order angle in WCW was preceded by an executive veto to a SMW invasion. WCW's farm league, The Heartland Wrestling Association, was also preceded by a WCW-Smoky Mountain talent exchange, Heartland starting in 1996, one year after Smoky Mountain Closed down.
  • Through 1997 through the mid 2010s, Fabulous Frank acted as the spiritual successor of 1980s Jim Cornette in Future of Wrestling, he even hits people with a tennis racket.
  • After the American Wrestling Association stopped operating, former employees got together AWA Superstars Of Wrestling and started licensing the AWA name to other wrestling promotions as far away as the UK and Australia. When WWE bought the rights to the AWA the AWA SOW company changed their name to Wrestling Superstars Live but WWE still sued them into closure. After WSL closed, Carolina Wrestling Federation Mid-Atlantic is the closest thing to a direct AWA successor the folks up north didn't manage to kill. Pro Wrestling International can kind of be seen as a successor to the post AWA "alliance", given CWF Mid-Atlantic's membership.
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  • Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling got three unofficial successors. ECW in the U.S, Big Japan Pro Wrestling and Xtrem Mexican Wrestling. Officially, World Entertainment Wrestling, Wrestling Marvelous Future, USO and Onita Pro, which all launched to fill the void left by FMW and employ its roster. These four companies then joined together to form The Apache Army, until FMW's revival.
  • Pro Wrestling NOAH is the spiritual successor of All Japan Pro Wrestling of the 1990s before the passing of Giant Baba while Wrestle-1 is the spiritual successor of All Japan's eleven year rebuilding period under The Great Muta.
  • ECW was so great it needed two promotions to fill the void it left. Ring of Honor is the successor to the technical wrestling and Combat Zone Wrestling is the successor to hardcore wrestling. Both promotions run most of their shows in ECW's home venues such as The Arena in Philadelphia and The Manhattan Center in New York. However, they didn't belong to the NWA (though CZW tried and NWA went to ROH for it's "Reclaiming The Glory" angle) and out of these two, only ROH enjoyed any lasting television deals.
  • TNA is WCW, had WCW not been bought out by Vince McMahon.
    • In particular, TNA in 2010-2011 was almost exactly the same as WCW in 1996-1997. Heel turn by Hulk Hogan and his emergence as the leader of a dictatorial faction (New World Order in WCW, Immortal in TNA), Eric Bischoff as his sycophant, and Sting as the Robin Hood figure who leads a crusade to defeat them both.
    • Interestingly, TNA usually refuses to acknowledge WWE by name (references are often highly elliptical) even though WWE took on all of WCW's canon as part of its own continuity when it incorporated it.
    • As TNA was a splinter from the NWA and a successor to WCW, Fortune was to be a successor to The Four Horsemen, which was prominently featured in both promotions, even being spelled "Fourtune" before it expanded to six members.
  • WCW got another spiritual successor in 2019 with the debut of All Elite Wrestling. Let us count the ways...
    • Based in the American South? Check.note 
    • A Rhodes holding the book? Check.note 
    • A weekly show on TNT? Check, though AEW's show hasn't started yet.
    • A popular faction of real-life close friends up front and center? Check.note 
    • International agreements that grant access to cutting-edge talent? Check.note 
    • A billionaire backing it all? Check.note 
  • The UFC is considered by most to be the successor to Pro Wrestling in general, since it follows the same exact model, although lately they have been trying to move away from that structure.
  • WWE's World Heavyweight Championship is this to WCW's top title of a similar name and design, which was unified into the WWE Championship months after the company's purchase of WCW.
  • Tongue in cheek all women's promotion GLOW spawned a number of spiritual successors, such as POWW, the LPWA, CRUSH, Women Of Wrestling and Wrestlicious. Despite their names and premises, SHIMMER and SHINE are not examples, instead being recurring showcases of the best and the future of the business. The names are slightly coincidental but GLOW is an acronym, the latter two's abbreviations are SWA and SW.
  • SHIMMER is more so the spiritual successor to IWA Mid-South's Volcano Girls tournaments, another project in Ian Rotten's quest to show his promotion was not just for garbage wrestlers and an early step in Dave Prazak's catering to wrestling fans who wanted to see more from the women involved in the sport. It also featured several wrestlers who would later be in SHIMMER, co founder Allison Danger not the least of them.
  • Chigusa Nagayo's GAEA promotion has two spiritual successors. Sendai Girls Pro Wrestling, founded by Nagayo's student Meiko Satomura the year GAEA closed down, and Marvelous, another promotion founded by Nagayo herself nine years later. Of the two Sendai Girls is a little less so, starting with the fact it didn't have the global aspirations of its predecessor until Satomura beat STARDOM's then top wrestler Kairi Hojo and started using that promotion's world title belt to legitimize Sendai Girls as a "world" promotion. Also, the W-Fix team of KAORU and DASH Chisako that has done double duty in Sendai Girls and Marvelous at least started as a spiritual successor to the D-Fix team of GAEA, which was Mayumi Ozaki and that very same KAORU.
  • A humorous case happened in the 2000s to early 2010s when the NWA launched a spiritual successor to CWF Florida called Championship Wrestling from Hollywood (in Hollywood, California; the older one operated in Hollywood, Florida) and the WWE launched a revival of Florida Championship Wrestling. For those who don't get it, they both ran revivals/successors of the same company at once. Championship Wrestling from Florida had been erroneously called "Florida Championship Wrestling" for years and was forced to temporarily change its name to the latter name in 1988 when Mike Graham wanted to return to promoting but found someone else had the "Championship Wrestling from..." rights. The NWA would require these CWF rights in 2003, so WWE themselves fell back on the FCW designation.
  • Nanae Takahashi's World Wonder Ring STARDOM's is a spiritual successor to All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling, it's two top singles titles being deliberately molded after the WWWA titles that Zenjo held in highest esteem. It's also a successor to NEO Women's Pro Wrestling, having Neo's "High Speed" title belt. It's also a spiritual successor to JDStar, former promoter Hiroshi Ogawa also being a founder, one of the final wrestlers to come out of JDStar's "Athtress" program, Fuka, being the third founder and general manager. The resulting product is sight to behold.
  • The NWA Historic titles created in 2010 are successors to the three belts of the same name that used to be exclusive to CMLL. In fact, CMLL treats them as if they are the same exact belts, except the historic title belts are still exclusive while the originals are defended wherever the NWA wants them to be.
  • The Texas Tornado Kerry Von Erich received two in 2011, the Texas Tornadoes tag team of Galan Ramirez and Jacob Kilgore.
  • SHINE Wrestling Trio Made In Sin (Allysin Kay, Taylor Made and April Hunter) are a mix between spiritual successor and alternate company equivalent to the second incarnation of The Midwest Militia as seen in WSU and SHIMMER (Allysin Kay, Sassy Stephie and Mademoiselle Rachelle-the fallout between Allysin Kay and Jessicka Havok happened elsewhere). Made In Sin later joined together with Radiant Rain and Ivelisse Vélez to form Valkyrie, a spiritual successor to Rain's Army whom the original Midwest Militia split off from (thanks to Jessicka Havok, whom they unsurprisingly targeted before long). After Rain's retirement and Velez's expulsion forced Valkyrie to reorganize, SoCal Val, recognizing a winning formula when she saw it, started a group called Valifornia, an expy of the original Valkyrie, minus an Ivelisse analog. Velez for her part, started her own Valkyrie like group, Las Sicarias, partially for protection from what was left of the original only to see Val's group merge with that enemy to create the most powerful version of Valkyrie yet, threatening to swallow everything. The Good Counterpart, Las Sicarias, did win in the end, only to be beaten down by yet another Valkyrie like group called C4, whom LuFisto had brought together almost out of the blue.
  • After joining the NWA in 2013, All Action Wrestling declared they would be to Australian wrestling what NWA World Championship Wrestling used to be in the 60s-70s.
  • Shayna Baszler clearly stated she approached SHIMMER Champion Mercedes Martinez and Heart Of SHIMMER Nicole Savoy for the purpose of forming The Trifecta because that's what she did in mixed martial arts with Ronda Rousey, Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke to form The Four Horsewomen. Considering the first two pro wrestlers Baszler supposedly approached were Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly, who not only became reDRagon but were assisted by Baszler in retaining the Ring of Honor Tag Team Titles there might be more entries in the series than she's letting on...

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