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10 Pounds of Gold.”
Most Prestigious Prize in Sports Today!”
are a lot of names and phrases used to describe them and they are
probably the most recognizable item used in professional wrestling over
the years other than the ring. They
are championship belts and over the years they have become more than
just a symbol of the person holding a promotion or alliance’s
championship, they have become a symbol of the business itself.
some people in wrestling, belts are simply “just another prop” and
nothing more. To others,
they are true prizes which can be “won”, even if not always in a
“legit contest” (or “shoot”), although many have been rumored to
have been won in shoots over the years.
Those that think of titles as “just props” are perhaps the
most unfortunate in the business, in my opinion.
All of the great champions have stressed their pride over the
years in winning major titles and holding particular belts and most
either still have those belts or replicas of those titles in their
possession. A recent
example would be the “The Game” magazine recently published by the
WWF prior to HHH’s return to the ring.
One photo of Levesque’s home showed a framed and mounted WWF
Heavyweight Championship Belt and a replica of the WWF Intercontinental
Title that he also held. (Note:
The WWF title in that photo is a “real” belt, made and designed by
Joe Marshall of J-Mar. The
“old” WWF IC title belt is a design that was made for the WWF by
Reggie Parks, but the belt in the photo is also done by J-Mar.)
example is the famous NWA “Dome Globe” World Championship Belt that
was used over the years by Ric Flair, Terry Funk, Harley Race and
others. That belt is on
display at Flair’s Gold’s Gym in Charlotte, NC.
That belt even made a reappearance with Flair, along with a
replica of the belt called the “Big Gold” on one of the last WCW
Nitros before the end of that promotion.
one long-time wrestler told me, “Whoever says that belts don’t mean
anything has no sense of history and little appreciation for this
business. The person that
holds a strap is the top person in that promotion or either is the ‘go
to’ guy at that point. Regardless
of the set-up that gets you there, you’re the person that the
promotion believes can put (butts) in seats by being the champion and
that’s what’s important.” Mick
Foley, in his first book “Mankind: Have A Nice Day” and his second
book, “Foley is Good”, referred to a promotion’s biggest title as
being similar to the “Best Actor” award in the Oscars.
I can’t see many actors (outside of Marlon Brando) treating the
little gold statue with the sword as “just a prop.”