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Best Looking Championships

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thundarr2000 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote thundarr2000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Best Looking Championships
    Posted: 14/October/2010 at 21:30

Since the debut of the new WWE Tag Team Championship belts, I thought about how dull the big bronze belts look.  There are rodeo championship belt buckles that are more inspired in their design.  Monochromatic, with an over-simplified design… looks like these were designed to minimize replica cost and get those plastic belts out to the kids ASAP.

 

Within wrestling’s scripted nature, it’s important that the championship belts look worthy of being highly sought after.  This is supposed to be the promotions top prize within whatever division… it should look like something everyone should be working hard to obtain.  After all, every wrestler wants to be able to hold their championship belt proudly.

 

 

So after much thought, here is my “Top 10: Best Looking Championship Belts.”

 

Honorable mention:

 

 

NWA “Dome Earth” World Heavyweight Championship.

Also known as the “Ten Pounds of Gold.” Last seen by most people in NWA: TNA, the Dome Earth belt is the same design that pre-dated the Big Gold Belt.  The red strapped version was awarded to Harley Race. The belt’s design was simple; a raised globe in the middle and flags on the side plates.  This belt design became the basis for numerous other titles in the NWA.  However this belt looks very dated now.  Overall the entire piece is rather small.  But what the belt is large on is history. 

 

 

10.  WWE: ECW “Phoenix” (World) Championship. 

The “Phoenix” belt with its black and silver design was meant to reflect Mark Henry’s heel run as the “Silverback.”  But the belt looked even better around Jack Swagger and Christian.  Silver belts had been done before, and bird images were nothing new.  While it lacked the history of the original ECW Championship, this title’s sleek modern design was new and refined and a visual statement on the break with the historic ECW.

 

 

9.  TNA Television Championship. 

With its red strap and finely detailed plate… the Legends/ Global/Television title is a beautiful strap that has yet to be used properly.  Someone at TNA has a great eye for belt designs as nearly all of their championships are works of art.  Too bad they just don’t do a better job of showcasing all their championship.

 

8.  WWE Diva Championship. 

Oh sure, this might be one of the least meaningful titles in all of wrestling.  But the actual butterfly belt design?  That is truly inspired.  This was the first women’s title with a uniquely feminine design.  Sure the WWE Women’s Champion has all the tradition and legacy attached to it.  But the actual belt is so uninspired (a gold plate with big red lettering) that this belt looks even better by comparison.  When you look at it, there’s simply no mistaking it for anything but a women’s belt.

 

 

7.  AAA “Mega-campeon” World Heavyweight Championship. 

This is a design that has been growing on me since its introduction a couple of years ago.  The size of the belt shows the influence of the Big Gold Belt. But the octagon shaped center plate and the Aztec-influenced accent details give the belt a unique flavor to it.  It also marks a design break from the previous AAA titles that were influenced by NWA designs.

 

 

6.  WWF “Classic” Intercontinental Championship. 

It was fitting that the Classic IC belt was so well designed.  At the time most of the IC champions were all guys that had been title holders for other companies.  Rick Rude, Ricky Steamboat, and Curt Hennig were guys that were used to being world champions outside the WWF… so at least they were given a great looking substitute.  The design was so solid that it was only slightly tweaked over the years (unlike the WWF World title.)  The belt showed incredibly well next to the WWF World title.

 

 

5.  TNA X-Division Championship. 

I’ve heard it called a “hubcap on a strap.”  But when NWA affiliates began to re-title their Cruiserweight and Light Heavyweight titles as X-Divisions and belts had those big bold red X across them… this title became one of the most frequently copied designs of all time.  For a belt that shows so well, it’s a shame it isn’t better used.

 

 

4.  WWE United States Championship. 

The previous versions of the NWA and WCW United States title belts have always been so-so designs.  The NWA version was just a copy of the world title with a flat outline of the continental US in place of the” Dome Earth,” it was also nicknamed the “Ten Pounds of Silver.”

But the WWE version is a well-designed belt.  Did you notice how quickly WWE returned to this design after John Cena’s US spinner belt?  What really makes it pop is the use of color.  There have been belts that have blue or red accent pieces… but this is practically a full color championship.  The flag elements are solidly incorporated to be patriotic without being cheesy.

 

 

3.  TNA World Heavyweight Championship.

When I see the TNA World Heavyweight Championship… I see the offspring of the Big Gold Belt and the Winged Eagle.  The size is similar to the Big Gold Belt.  And the massive eagle design is clearly an update of the Winged Eagle.  It’s the combination of those elements that make the belt look like a world title.  With its subtle blend of silver and gold, this has “prestige” practically stamped into it.  This is a modern classic with numerous fine details that only appear upon close inspection.

 

 

2.  WWF “Winged Eagle” [World (Heavyweight)] Championship. 

The Winged Eagle had a certain style of grandeur to it.  It had a sense of style.  Eagles and other large birds had been featured on other belts prior.  But there was something about the way the eagle seemed to be encircling the Earth… maybe it symbolized Vince McMahon’s intentions of circling the world.  After this title, a ton of regional promotional belts would all suddenly be emblazed with large eagle designs. 

 

 

1.  NWA/WCW/WWE “Big Gold Belt” World Heavyweight Championship. 

The Big Gold Belt just looks massive.  It screams prestige.  It looks valuable.  The belt also had the gimmick of the nameplate that would change with the title holder.  The nameplate feature was quickly adopted by the WWE for their other belts.  This single design as endured through 3 promotions and still holds up.  WWE only added a small logo to the very top to identify it as their championship.



Edited by thundarr2000 - 14/October/2010 at 21:38
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Steven Nyte Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15/October/2010 at 00:46
hm, I think the "pre-Cena" WWE Championship/Undisputed Championship Title also deserves a place on this list. My personal opinion is that it is a very well designed belt.
 
 
 


Edited by Steven Nyte - 15/October/2010 at 00:47
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ozwwefan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15/October/2010 at 01:18
        Fantastic post Thundarr. The Big Gold Belt from NWA/WCW/WWE would have to be me favourite - classic, simple and elegant design, and as you say screams prestige. It's size also means it doesn't look like a kids toy (like the other titles) when worn by monsters like Kane and Taker.  
       I'm really hoping that if WWE merge the HWC and WWE straps that they go with this one. The WWE title looks like so much bling.
                             &n
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote bigfloridapimp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15/October/2010 at 01:28
My top 3 would actually be WCW Big Gold Belt at 1, TNA World Title at 2, and the WWE Undisputed title at 3. I love big, yet simple. Unlike that bull shit spinner belt.

Wonderful post thundarr, theres a blatant reason why your PB.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kondor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15/October/2010 at 08:49
I concur; great post, Thundarr. I'll have to agree that the classic "Big Gold Belt" deserves to be at number one; and I also like most of the placement of most of the others on your list. When I think of what I perceive to be the best looking Championship belts, I believe the worth and prestige of the Title does have a major effect on how I would rank them; hence why I like both of the major World Titles at the top and also like the inclusion of the WWF Intercontinental Title belt.

But I must add one to this thread. It is probably what I'd consider to be the best designed Championship belt ever; the old WWWF Women's World Title belt, long held by the legendary Fabulous Moolah, that actually had her photograph on it. I think how highly regarded this belt was at one time and the dignity with which Moolah carried it had a lot to do with why I was so unhappy over the WWE recently opting to go with the of little value "Diva's" World Title instead.  Anyway a good picture of the belt is hard to find but I did find a good look of the belt on an old cover of Wrestling Revue.




Edited by Kondor - 15/October/2010 at 08:52


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John The Baptist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15/October/2010 at 13:05
Ahem.......



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kondor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24/February/2011 at 08:45
I found a couple of older belt designs that I had to share. 





This is "The Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers' old NWA United States Heavyweight Title. It is a very articulate design, with wheat stalks on the sides and with the front plate shaped into a map of the United States. It is a lot better than a similar, but more plain, version of the map the U.S. Title would later have that thundarr referred to above. 








Here are the Fargo Brothers, Jackie Fargo & Donnie Fargo, with their World Tag Team Championship. I actually don't know which Tag Team Championship it is; it could be the one in the old Tennessee/Mid America territory (what would eventually became the USWA), or it could be that of the NWA Chicago territory. They held both at about the same time in the late 1950's. Either way, another cool and eloquent design with the eagle protruding out of the top of the front plate, almost as if in flight. They don't make them like that anymore.






thundarr listed the "winged eagle" WWF World Championship belt above; but I have always liked the Ultimate Warrior's blue version of it myself. LOL






Finally, here is another picture of Fabulous Moolah's Women's World Title with her picture on it; which I still consider to be the greatest belt design ever. 


In the golden age (the 50's & 60's) they paid more attention to detail of the belts and they were overall more elaborately decorated, which made for more beautiful belts. In a way it is one more lost art of wrestling. I think any of the old school belt designs would own even the best of them today. 



Edited by Kondor - 24/February/2011 at 08:51


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Darth Shizzel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13/June/2011 at 21:49
That smoking skull belt was pretty good as well
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kondor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14/June/2011 at 03:59
Originally posted by Darth Shizzel Darth Shizzel wrote:

That smoking skull belt was pretty good as well

This one.





Wink




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote candido316 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27/December/2011 at 20:25
Odd that you complain about the new tag belts being so rodeo looking yet you pick a rodeo belt buckle as the best looking wrestling belt. The WCW Big Gold belt was litereally a Championship Rodea belt buckle that was designed and presented in 1982 by the Crumrine Belt Buckle Company. They simply changed the words and changed the steers to wrestlers on the plates and called it a wrestling title.
 
Also, the NWA belt is widely known as the Domed Globe belt.
 
The ECW Phoenix belt is probably the worst made belt by a major company ever used. The leatherwork is barf worthy, the plates are horrible. The outline of the belt doesnt match up well top to bottom and left to right and doesnt fit with the side paltes. Also, the details of the belt are so poorly executed it isnt even worth mentioning to be honest.
 
The TNA TV is a very well put together belt, but what about it says it is a TV title? With the big crown, the bright red colors, and about a 100 jewels, it resembles something that would be a womans title. I guess it fits with a best looking, but it complately fails as a good design for a TV belt.
 
BTW, the Diva's belt is far from unique. There have been 3 butterfly shaped belts used in wrestling, going back to the 1970's.
 
The NWA Big Gold belt is nearly 12 inches tall, the AAA belt is just 7 inches tall, how did the AAA belt get any size inspiration from the BG belt? Also, the shape and design inside the shape is so simple a 10 year old kid could have designed better, and they have.  How does this fit as a best design?
 
The WWE US belt fails in comparison to the NWA US belt from 1986. This belt screams lack of ability to design something patriotic. They simply use the whole flag as a background and throw a "flashy"(NOT big basic black banner in the middle.  BTW, this design was already in use by a british company for several years before WWE stole the idea from them.
 
The problem with the TNA belt is the problem with 90% of belts being made today. They are not unique. The TNA belt is a direct copy of the NWA TV title as far as the outline goes. The banners on the TNA belt were directly lifted form the NWA World Tag team title belts used in 1986. The dual plating and background "ish" had been put on over 25 belts made by MidWest Championship Belts over the previous 3 years and was nothing new or unique. If you go to their website you can see dozens of belts that at 10 feet look just like this one.
 
You couldnt be further wrong with your ideas of the WWF WE belt. So many belts had already featured a large eagle over a large globe that they cannot be counted. The twisted bars was already used over 2 years earlier on a well known World Title, and the WE was a belt made smaller than the WWF IC belt, so it surely didnt look like a World Title when compared to the NWA world title that was 35% bigger or as important as the AWA World Title which had more elements that were unique to it as well as being dual plated and offering twisted bars long before WWF did. They were playing catch up and failed.
 
This leaves the NWA BG belt. As already stated, it is a pretty belt, but it isnt a wrestling belt as much as it is a reworded well known rodeo belt.
 
Where is the NWA TV title on red leather, the Andre WWF WM belt, The NWA 1986 US belt, the Hogan 86 WWF World title, the AWA Inmate belt, and the AWA World tag Team titles? Those are some of the best looking titles ever made.
 
The Mid Atlantic US belt is so much more detailed than this one it isnt funny. When the Buddy Rogers version was replicated, it took less than 2 hours to draw the artwork to replicate it. It took nearly 3 days to draw the MWA Mid Atlantic US shaped US belt. The one Buddy Rogers had on was a very simple trophy shop belt. It has a piece of brass cut out into the US shape. Then the two wrestlers are cut out shapes of aluminium but have no detail other than the outline. No facial features, muscle features, trunks, NOTHING. And then it has 4 trophy shop cast pieces screwed to the plate to finish it out. The Mid Atlantic version has over 100 different details in the belt and the wrestlers in the center are not only in 3-d instead of a simple cut out, they even are fully detailed wrestlers. The wrestlers in the MA US alone are more detailed then the whole of the Buddy Rogers US belt.
 
Again, the Fargo brothers are wearing what is probably the single most simple belts ever made. They are also a piece of brass cut to shape with stickers making up the wording. The eagle is also a brass cast trophy piece screwed to the top of the plate. I made belts that detailed when i was 10-11 years old in my garage with a pair of tin snips.
 
Nothing bad to say about the WWF WE belt.
 
Lastly, Moolah's belt is also very simple in design. It is a cut out shape from very thing trophy shop brass(though I do like the shape). The top center crown is a very simple designed crown from a jewlery shop screwed to the main plate. The center is a simple plastic piece with her picture glued to it and there are two jewels(not even in jewled bezzels I might add) also glued to the plate. At the bottom is rope painted gold and arranged and glued in a pattern. Not a very detailed belt by any means.
 
 
 
 


Edited by thundarr2000 - 27/December/2011 at 20:55
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