WWE Belts: A Guide to Pro Wrestling’s Championship Titles

WWE titles are far more than mere decorative accessories; they signify the ultimate accomplishment in the realm of professional wrestling. Each wrestler enters the ring aiming to secure an iconic championship belt, be it the esteemed WWE Championship or the striking Universal Title, around their waist. These championship belts are a badge of honor, denoting a wrestler’s standing at the zenith of their career, acknowledging their talent, charm, and capacity to enchant fans across the globe.

Exploring the world of WWE belts, you’ll encounter a rich history of design changes, unforgettable moments, and the extreme dedication it takes to earn one.

History of WWE Belts

Origin and Evolution

WWE Belts have transformed significantly since the company’s inception. The WWE Championship, introduced on April 25, 1963, as the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship, has seen numerous iterations and designs. Initially just a simple, striking accessory, these belts have evolved into elaborate symbols of victory, each with its own story and legacy.

  • The ’60s Era:
    • Basic, gold-centric designs
    • Introduced as the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship
  • The ’80s Boom:
    • Designs became more flamboyant during the WWF Golden Age
    • Featured more intricate details and iconic eagles
WWF title belt
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  • The Attitude Era:
    • Belts reflected the edginess of the ’90s wrestling scene
    • Introduced more custom designs for individual wrestlers
WWF title belt
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  • Modern Day:
    • Sleek, heavily branded with the WWE logo
    • Use of customizable side plates for champions
WWE Belts of the champion
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Retired Championships

Over the years, certain WWE Belts have been retired as the organization’s structure and titles evolved. Wrestling history enthusiasts might recall championships such as:

  • WWF Light Heavyweight Championship – focused on smaller, more agile competitors
  • World Tag Team Championship – once a premier title for tag teams
  • WWF European Championship – offered a nod to the brand’s global reach

Each retired championship carries its own history of iconic matches and storied champions who once proudly carried these now-defunct WWE Belts.

Current Title Belts

WWE belts symbolize the pinnacle of success in the world of professional wrestling. Here’s a glimpse into the prestigious titles that wrestlers strive to claim.

Men’s Championships

  • WWE Championship: Currently one of the most prestigious titles, this belt is contested by the top superstars on RAW.
WWE championship
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  • Universal Championship: The premier title of the SmackDown brand, often defended in high-profile matches.
WWE universal championship
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Women’s Championships

  • RAW Women’s Championship: Established in 2016, Charlotte Flair was the first to secure this title after its transition from the Divas Title.
Boat Interior Design Raw Woman Championship belt
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  • SmackDown Women’s Championship: This belt represents the pinnacle of the women’s division on SmackDown.
Smackdown Woman Championship belt
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Tag Team Championships

  • RAW Tag Team Championship: Teams from RAW compete for this coveted title, showcasing the best in tandem wrestling.
Raw Tag Team Championship belt
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  • SmackDown Tag Team Championship: This title is the goal of every duo on SmackDown aiming for tag team glory.
Smackdow Tag Team Championship belt
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Design and Craftsmanship

When you think of WWE belts, you’re invoking images of iconic symbols that represents wrestling. These belts aren’t just accessories; they’re a blend of art and durability, a testament to the wrestler’s skill and the creator’s expertise.

Materials and Creation

The production of WWE Belts involves a meticulous process, using high-quality materials to ensure both longevity and aesthetic appeal. Leathers are sourced carefully to form the strap, providing a sturdy yet flexible base for the rest of the belt. Metals, often gold or silver-plated, are crafted with precision to create the centerpiece and side plates. The combination of materials gives these belts their distinctively regal look and feel.

Customization for Champions

For a truly personalized touch, champions can have their WWE Belts customized. This customization ranges from engraved names to custom side plates that reflect the persona or branding of the wrestler. Fine details are added, such as decorative studs or embossed patterns, bringing the personality of the champion to the forefront.

  • Engraving: Names and accolades
  • Side Plates: Reflect champion’s brand
  • Details: Studs, embossed patterns for individuality

Crafting a WWE belt is an art that celebrates the wrestler’s journey and status—where every stitch and engraving tells the story of their triumphs.

Custom Championship belt
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Symbolism of Achievements

Each time a WWE performer is awarded a championship belt, it’s an unmistakable symbol of their proficiency and prowess in the ring. The WWE Championship belt, for instance, isn’t merely a decorative item—it’s an accolade representing the holder’s current position as the pinnacle performer of the roster. Winning a belt like the WWE Intercontinental Championship often marks a significant milestone in a wrestler’s career, highlighting their evolution and success in sports entertainment, like 1997 as The Rock (at this time known as Rocky Maivia) won the Intercontinental Championship

The Rock as Intercontinental Champion
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Storyline Elements

WWE belts also play a critical role in progressing storylines. When you see the championship belt held high, it’s not just a trophy; it’s a narrative device that drives rivalries, creates tension, and develops characters within WWE programming. The pursuit of these iconic belts can turn allies into rivals, shed light on underdogs, and build up the anticipation of major events where title defenses are a centerpiece.

Notable Title Reigns

When you explore the history of WWE belts, certain champions and their reigns stand out for their longevity and the number of times they’ve claimed victory.

Longest Reigns

  • Bruno Sammartino: His first reign lasted an unprecedented 2,803 days, setting a record for the longest tenure as WWE Champion.
  • Bob Backlund: Following closely, Backlund held the WWE Championship for 2,135 days in his first reign.

Most Reigns

  • John Cena: A name synonymous with the WWE, Cena has captured the WWE Championship a record-tying 16 times.
  • Ric Flair: Known for his flair and panache, Flair also stands at a 16-time world champion, sharing the record with Cena for the most reigns.

FAQ

How many belts does WWE have?

There are currently 15 championships in WWE divided among the three brands.

Are the WWE belts real gold?

TV” belts are used at TV and PPVs and are the highest quality. They’re usually made of tooled top grain leather with real gold plating, real cubic zirconia gems, and the bolts heads on the back are usually covered for the performer’s comfort.

How many belts Roman Reigns won?

Reigns is a six-time world champion in WWE, having held the WWE Championship four times and the WWE Universal Championship twice.

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Dominik Weiss
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