Championship belts, more often than not referred to as titles by World Wrestling Entertainment, have been part of the professional wrestling, pro boxing and mixed martial arts worlds for as long as can be remembered. Rather than carry a trophy or some other prize around to show the world who is the best of the best in their particular professions, champions merely wear what are supposed to be impressive and coveted belts. In some wrestling and boxing organizations, competitors are able to win and hold multiple belts at the same time. Ultimo Dragon, as an example, used to haul around a group of belts while working for World Championship Wrestling.
The championship belts that are the most beloved among fans are so well-known that they have their own names. Replica “Winged Eagle” WWE championship belts are manufactured and sold online to this day, even though the WWF moved on from it nearly two decades ago. “The Big Gold Belt” which was used in WCW and later in the WWE is arguably the most famous in the history of North American pro wrestling. That title was held by all-time legends of the business such as Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Goldberg, Shawn Michaels and Triple H.
Not every championship belt, however, is so pleasing to the eye. Some have been downright ugly to the point that fans, let alone the performers who work inside of rings and of fighting venues, would never dream of spending a dollar to own them. Included in the list is what was apparently supposed to be a reboot of a wrestling division, belts that look more like fake currency than they resemble titles. First on the list is likely easy to guess for those who are diehard wrestling fans, as it was one that was desired by an enigmatic performer who has quite the wild imagination.
10 1992 WCW Championship Belt
One can only blame WCW so much for this championship. Ric Flair had gotten into a dispute with the company over the loss of the “Big Gold Belt,” and thus he left the company and took what he referred to on-air as the “real world's championship” to WWE television. This left WCW without a world title, and the company responded by creating a stripped-down version of the Winged Eagle championship belt use by the competition. The belt's small size was only accentuated when it was held by massive performers such as Big Van Vader. Thankfully for the company, this championship belt did not last long.
9 WWE US Championship Spinner Belt
Fans who are nostalgic for the days when John Cena was the “Doctor of Thuganomics” and not the heroic “Super Cena” character may remember this belt fondly. It is funny how our memories trick us like that. The face of this title looked like an actual belt buckle, the type of thing that the WWE had tried to avoid for championships since the late 1980s. Those who are sensitive about the matter could have been offended by the fact that the United States flag could be made to spin upside down. This was a gimmick, not a championship, and it is a positive thing that this belt has since been retired.
8 1985 WWE Championship Belt
This could maybe be the cheapest-looking WWE Championship belt that the company has had in the past 30 years. For starters, it looks like a slimmed-down version of what was the famous National Wrestling Alliance championship belt. The belt had next to no color on it except for on the side plates, and nothing about the face of the title pops to those seeing it. One thing that the WWE has pushed to fans is that a belt is something that holds your pants up, while a title is something that is earned. The 1985 WWE Championship very much so looks like a belt, especially when put around the waist of a man such as Hulk Hogan.
7 WWE Championship Spinner Belt
Everything about the WWE Championship “Spinner Belt” was wrong. John Cena was playing a watered-down version of his rap character when he introduced the belt to the masses, and then different versions of that personalized title were held by other performers such as The Miz (with the WWE logo turned upside-down). The thing looked downright ridiculous on the arm of “Straightedge Superstar” CM Punk. WWE pushed this championship belt down the throats of fans for years in an attempt to sell replicas, and the company has since put that title to bed for good.
6 KOMA King of Martial Artists
If it was not for the wonder that is the Internet, I would not be completely convinced that this Muay Thai belt is actually real. Everything about this championship is a disaster. The large “KOMA” on the face of the belt is straight out of an early 1990s video game, and the face itself is clear. Who has ever heard of a clear face for a championship belt? Is it plastic?? Last but not least is the “King of Martial Arts-G-P” medal that appears to be a gold chain hanging off of the “KOMA” logo. Any artist with $50, a week and a little imagination could probably create a better championship belt.
5 WWE ECW Championship
Conspiracy theorists wanting to believe that WWE went out of the way to bury that history and legacy had by the original Extreme Championship Wrestling when it brought the ECW brand back have a legitimate argument for several reasons, including the massive gray belt that was given to the champion of that portion of the company. Of course the words “World Wrestling Entertainment” had to be plastered on the top of the face of the gaudy and over-sized championship belt, just one final reminder that the true ECW had no chance against the media giant that is the WWE.
4 WWE Hardcore Title
I completely understand what the company was shooting for in the creation of the WWE Hardcore Championship belt. It was essentially the old Winged Eagle belt that had been smashed apart, put back together and then held intact with a strip of tape that had the word “Hardcore” written on it. Rather than serve as a tribute to the men (and women) who put their bodies on the line in some brutal matches, this belt instead looked like something dragged out of the trash by a backyard wrestling promoter who didn't want to spend money on a championship.
3 WWE Divas Title
This belt is often referred to by fans and wrestling insiders as the “Butterfly Title” because the face of the championship looks, well, like a butterfly. It has been widely reported that the WWE is about to, to steal the social media phrase, “give Divas a chance” and provide the company's women's performers with more time inside of the ring during television programs such as Raw. The first move the company could take toward being more respectful to this division of workers would be to take that belt to a very hot oven, burn it down and then pretend that it never actually existed. We'd all be better off.
2 WWE Tag Team Championship
The only positive thing that can be said about the current WWE Tag Team Championship belts is that they are at least identical to each other. The face of the belt looks like a warped penny that has the heads of two Roman gladiators on it for reasons that would have to be explained to the casual observer, and the “Tag Team Champions” script on the bottom of the belt's face resembles the type of font one would expect to see in children's video games meant for ages 7 and under. Give WWE credit for trying something different, but this idea should have been abandoned before the public ever saw it on television.
1 Jeff Hardy TNA Championship
Who could have possibly guessed that a championship belt designed by Jeff Hardy of all people would have had a hideous look to it? Oh, that's right: Anybody but those who were working for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling at the time. Hardy's old championship belt was way more freaky than it was glorious, and it has a Halloween mask feel to it, in that the face on the top of it resembled something that would come out of a Legend of Zelda game. Hardy is not the first nor will he be the last champion to have a belt designed to his liking, but both he and TNA swung and missed badly with this design.