Ranking Every WWE Championship Design from the Last 20 Years
What do the terms winged-eagle, spinner and smoking skull all have in common? They are terms used to identify a specific version of the WWE Championship.
Since the inception of the WWWF through the present-day WWE, we have seen the company's top title go through numerous design changes.
Some designs are made to specifically reflect the person holding the title, while others are general designs which stand the test of time for years.
The overall design has been the same for a few decades; one large center plate with two smaller plates on each side of the strap with snaps to hold the title around the holder's waist.
In this slideshow, I will take a look back at every design from the past 20 years and rank them based purely on design and aesthetic value.
John Cena had a spinning US Championship made after winning the title from Big Show. He carried that design with him through to the WWE title when this gaudy, overly-decorated title made its appearance.
The spinner design became hugely popular among kids, but it has been a sore subject for wrestling purists almost since its introduction.
The title no longer has an actual spinning mechanism, but rather has the logo fixed in one place so it is not upside down while the champion is walking to the ring.
We have seen this belt changed a little two times; once for Edge when he made the center piece a Rated-R symbol and another time when Miz turned the WWE logo upside down to make it look like an M.
This design will hopefully see the end of its life some time in the near future.
This is where the list gets a bit harder to rank as all the following titles are similar in many ways.
The Attitude Era championship, as it is most widely referred to, was one that did not see as long of a run as some of the other title designs.
It is widely associated with The Rock because it is the title he most often held as WWE Champion.
This design is a bit more simple than some of the other ones, which is probably why it is so low on the list.
Stone Cold carried this title with him to show his dominance over WWE during the Attitude Era.
Many fans may remember this belt from a famous segment where Rocky through the belt over a bridge, prompting Stone Cold to meet him on the bridge for a fight.
Austin ended up in the water with his belt that night, but video games have been bringing the belt back for years as a way for fans to feel nostalgic about Stone Cold.
This belt is one that did not carry on to other superstars like Cena's spinner design did, because it is way more obvious by the skull in the center that this was specific for Stone Cold.
The Undisputed Championship eventually became one new title belt instead of the two belts the champions had been carrying around.
When Brock Lesnar refused to defend the title on Raw, it became the WWE title design after the undisputed part was taken out of the design.
The final person to hold the belt before the John Cena won it and changed it to the spinner was JBL, when he reigned supreme over WWE as a wrestling god.
This title is one that should have reverted to the main design after Cena lost the WWE title, but because kids like the spinner, WWE decided to keep it.
This is the belt that lasted the longest out of any of the designs from the last 20 years.
It is the belt that was held by such greats as Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart and Sgt. Slaughter.
When I look at this belt, I am flooded with memories of all the great champions who held it from my childhood through the time it was changed to a new design.
When Cody Rhodes brought back the classic IC title, I thought there was a minor chance we would see this belt make a return as well. Those hopes were dashed when it became clear WWE was fully invested in the non-spinning spinner design.
This title tops the list because its design is iconic and unforgettable. The eagle with its wings spread and the globe in the center are very recognizable.
This image leaked as a possible design for a new WWE title, but there is no confirmation that this simplistic design will in fact be the one to replace the spinner.
This design was instantly criticized for being so bare-bones, but seeing it on a strap with accompanying gems and side plates could make it look a bit better.
Hopefully we find out sooner than later what the new WWE title will look like, but in the meantime you have to just enjoy that CM Punk is champion and not care what the title looks like.
Thanks for reading, and please feel free to share your own rankings for the title designs spanning the last 20 years.