The Five Best Looking Championships in WWE History
Pro-Wrestling Championships have become a part of pop-culture in and of itself. When a team wins a Championship in their respective sport, the WWE sends them a replica WWE Championship with the team emblem as the side plates to commemorate the team for reaching the top of their field. As a Green Bay Packer fan, I fondly remember Aaron Rodgers holding the Lombardi Trophy in one hand, and the classic Ric Flair “Big Gold Belt” over his other shoulder after Super Bowl XLV. In fact, Rodgers often imitated touchdown celebration is to pantomime strapping a championship belt across his waist. Seeing how it is also Fantasy Football season here at Full Press Coverage, many Fantasy Leagues will offer the winner a Championship Belt instead of the classic trophy.
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Yes, Pro-Wrestling is responsible for the admiration of Championship Belts. We see championship titles in UFC and Boxing because of Pro-Wrestling. In today’s world, the look and appearance of a Title can be incredibly scrutinized and judged if it is not initially aesthetically pleasing. In recent memory, the debut of the new AEW World Title was met with mixed reviews, and the new WWE 24/7 Title was bashed online for its look. Even the great match between Finn Balor and Seth Rollins to crown the first ever Universal Champion was overshadowed by the horrendous debut and reveal of the Universal Title. The fans in Brooklyn at SummerSlam 2016 were more interested in the look of the title than they were the actual Championship match.
Championship Titles can be remembered for over the top designs, but the Titles that are absolutely designed perfect are remembered fondly by fans. The WWE Championship for example is often remembered for its beautiful designs, whether it be the Winged Eagle or the Attitude Era “Big Blue”, fans will forever remember theses title designs. My personal favorite is the Undisputed Championship often associated with Brock Lesnar and Eddie Guerrero. While it would be easy to mention these WWE Titles as the “Best Looking”, WWE did create some other memorable Championships too. While the current crop of WWE Title designs have become generic and cookie cutter (except for NXT & NXTUK) at one time WWE had some of the best looking championships in the world. Let’s take a look at five of the Best Looking Championships in WWE History.
WWF Light Heavyweight Championship (1997-2001)
Back in 1997, The WWF was being beaten into submission by rival promotion WCW. The nWo was in full effect, and the WWF was struggling to compete. WCW also toted one of the greatest Cruiserweight divisions of all time. It included the likes of Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero and Ultimo Dragon just to name a few. WWF tried to match what WCW was doing with high flying technical wrestlers, but could never get their Light Heavyweight Division up to the same quality. The WWF did however create a beautiful Championship.
The Light Heavyweight Championship debuted at In Your House: D-Generation X. While it would go through some facelifts over its short time in the WWF, the debut of the title was beautiful. The center plate was shaped like Home Plate from a baseball diamond with Light Heavyweight Champion etched on golden banners. The side plates featured the old school WWF logo, and the strap was a beautiful red leather. While the division itself may have been forgettable, this Championship will forever be remembered.
WWF European Championship (1997-2002)
Another Attitude Era creation, this Championship is remembered fondly by fans for being held by greats like the British Bulldog, Shawn Michaels, and…. D-Lo Brown. The title was beautiful, a center gold plate with an image of Earth focused on Europe. The colors of different European flags graced the center plate, along with a red banner that read “European Champion”. The leather was black, and at times the interior leather was green, a unique touch. This will forever be a fondly praised title for the men who represented it, and its unique look.
WWF Women’s Championship
The original WWF Women’s Championship was commissioned in 1956 and was retired in order to become the ‘Butterfly’ Divas Title in 2010. Let’s just say that one won’t make this list. However, in the mid 90’s the Championship made one particular woman famous. Alundra Blayze was WWF Women’s Champion in December of 1995, but that did not stop her from showing up on rival promotion WCW to throw the WWF Women’s Championship in the trash. The moment has defined her career, and was an early “shot” in the Monday Night Wars. While the incident will forever live on in Wrestling history, the Title itself is often forgotten.
This Women’s Championship was very unique in design. The center plate was a unique shape with an image of the Globe on it (typical for WWF in the 90’s). The old school WWF logo at the top of the title adds to the nostalgia , and the pink leather strap put the title over the top. The two side plates feature four countries flags (USA, Mexico, Canada and Japan) and the bold Women’s Wrestling Champion on black and gold banners make this a very colorful title.
The current Women’s Championships for Raw and SmackDown are about the same size as the Men’s Championship. However, this Women’s Title from the mid-90’s was smaller and more feminine, adding to the belts unique appeal. In the late 90’s the Women’s Championship would return for competitors like Sable, Lita and Trish Stratus and would go on to become the title most fans remember. Yet it is the “Alundra Blayze” Women’s Title that is one of the best looking championships of all time.
WWF World Tag Team Championships (1985-1998)
The Tag Team Championships have had different looks over the years. But from 1985-1998 the WWF World Tag Team Championship set the standard for great wrestling Titles. A square-ish center plate with a giant Eagle spreading its wings over the expanded globe with the word ‘World’ etched in red grab the eye of any Wrestling Fan. Two Crowns on the center plate representing the Kings of the Tag Division was a nice touch. The gold threaded outline on top of the black leather belt make this the definition of Tag Team legacy. Arguably the most memorable Tag Title design of all time, these represented teams like The Hart Foundation, Demolition and The Legion of Doom. I prefer this over the current ‘Spartan’ center plate, and any time the WWE wants to go back to this design, count me in.
The Intercontinental Championship (1979-Present)
My favorite Championship in Pro-Wrestling. The design, the prestige, the aura of the title. The way Howard Finkel announces “Inter-con-ti-nen-tal Championship” over the drop mic at Madison Square Garden. Everything about this Title is class. Throughout the years the Intercontinental Championship has had many looks and designs, but the current model stands out the most. Similar to the Intercontinental Championship design from the 80’s and 90’s, the tall rectangular center plate with successive plates “behind” the center plate gives the title an almost 3-D look to it. The black banner on top of the gold plate with Intercontinental Heavyweight Wrestling Champion etched in gold immediately draws the eyes attention. The current leather is white, but has seen different colors throughout the years, looking spectacular everytime. Whether the leather strap was Ultimate Warrior Yellow, Shawn Michaels Teal or Razor Ramon Black, this Championship stands out from all the rest.
It would be incredibly easy to list other good-looking titles.Big Blue, Big Gold, the Winged Eagle or even the NXT UK championships to name a few, but these titles often get lost in the mix of Best Looking Title conversation. To name a few non-WWE championships that I love, would be any New Japan IWGP Title (especially the Intercontinental and United States), The Gift of the Gods from Lucha Underground and the NWA National Heavyweight Championship. Add any of your favorites in the comments below.