Someone asked me the other day "Hey Crofty, just where exactly do the WWE belts come from?" Funnily enough, I knew the answer.
This isn't a lesson in the origins of title belts, but instead a little piece on who actually makes the WWE title belts, how they're made and where these marvels are crafted.
I'm a graphic designer in a rather niche market, and one of the products I produce are tap tops (Those beer logos on the tops of beer taps).
One of my clients is a cast metal manufacturer in Tasmania, Australia who has some large beer companies as his clients. One day he contacts me and asks if I could do some prototypes for him. I didn't think much of it because I quite often do digital print prototypes for him and his clients.
So, he sends me an email of the World Boxing Championship title belt and the artwork to go with it.
Needless to say, my interest was piqued.
The problem for him was he could not keep up with demand for producing the WBC title belts.
All the art detail on the belt is hand painted, section by section, colour by colour, and it takes over a month to produce one. Admittedly, he produces numerous belts at once (much like an episode of The Simpsons takes 12 months to produce so they make many at the same time).
The problem with the WBC belts is the WBC replica belts which are sold to fans are identical to the official title belts (unlike replica WWE belts which are cheap Chinese junk—some are even plastic. So he was unable to keep up with demand.
What he had me do was digitally print the flag ring around the outside and apply my lens coating over the top to give it a 3D effect. Then, he submitted that to the International Boxing Federation for approval.
It looked fantastic and would have cut his production time down to a matter of days as appose to weeks. Unfortunately, the Boxing Federation wanted to keep the title belts hand-painted for true authenticity.
At any rate, we got to talking and it turns out he not only makes the WBC title belts, he also makes the UFC belts and the WWE belts.
But, as I said earlier, the replica WWE belts are cheap knock offs so he doesn't have to supply them in great quantity.
And for those of you wondering...No, there isnt just one belt (eg: one WWE belt, one WHC belt, etc). There are the belts used for the shows and then there are the "real" ones. The real title belts are given to the superstar when they become champion to place in their trophy room at home.
1. I'm not telling you who the company is, as I'm sure they don't want to be flooded with calls from fans wanting belts.
2. No, I can't get you a belt.
3. No, I'm not telling you which superstar is next to have a belt made for them.