I admit it. I’ve been a fan of belt designs for as long as I can remember. I have vivid images of the early 80s WWWF gold belt with the green strap, an image familiar if you’ve ever seen the Iron Shiek and Hulk Hogan’s title victories.
I even remember seeing pictures of a young Bruno Sammartino holding the WWWF championship during his first title reign and being amazed that such a simple design could have such a great look.
I have always associated a great belt design with the meaning behind the title that the belt represented. Take, for instance, the United States tag titles and the World Tag titles, circa 80′s NWA.
When you see these belts, you knew they were important, but they were a step behind belts like this:
Belts had that important feeling. But you don’t have to take my word for it (Guy Fieri reference intentional). Take a look a the important belts of the WWF from the 80s and 90s:
Both of these belts were gorgeous, and yet despite the winged eagle appearing smaller in design, you knew just by looking at it that it had more value than the IC belt (which of course is proving to be such a timeless design that it was brought back to glory in 2011).
Nowadays, it seems that belt designs, at least on the national level, have fallen by the wayside. In the past few years alone, TNA has changed their world title at least three times, including an awful Jeff Hardy belt:
At least the tag belts look like the belts of World Champions.
Of course, now the WWE is stuck with some awful designs. I’ve always hated the US Title since they redesigned it. Same with the giant penny Tag Team Belts. I know they’ve changed the belts over the years numerous times, but even the version that the US Express and Shiek and Nicolai Volkoff held looked important (and rightfully so, as they were designed like the old Domed Globe NWA title).
I don’t mind the Divas Title as much, because, well, that’s what the division has become.
But seriously, would it hurt to go back to some fantastic designs? Maybe if the belts looked important people would treat them as such. At least until they’re buried again in a few months. Wouldn’t you respect this more?
And don’t even get Eddie started on the WWE Spinner.