On the July 17 TNA pay-per-view, Killings delivered an angry promo in which he implied that he had been held back as a result of his race. He then stated that he was to be referred to as "The Truth". Killings eventually began using his own name, referring to himself as Ron "The Truth" Killings. Killings defeated Ken Shamrock for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship at NWA-TNA 8 on August 7, thus becoming the first-ever, and to date only, recognized African-American NWA World Heavyweight Champion in history, and the fourth African American in professional wrestling history to win a World Heavyweight title. He successfully defended the title in matches with Monty Brown, Jerry Lynn, Low Ki, Curt Hennig, and Scott Hall before losing on November 20 to Jeff Jarrett who had the help of Vince Russo. As a result of Russo's involvement, Killings turned into a face. In subsequent months, Killings feuded with Sports Entertainment Xtreme before turning into a heel once again by attacking Jarrett on March 19. He later introduced Nelson Knight as his bodyguard.