Analyzing the State of Championship Belts in Today's WWE

Anthony Mango@@ToeKneeManGoFeatured ColumnistNovember 26, 2019

Credit: WWE.com

Over the past few weeks, WWE changed two of its title belts, unveiling a blue-strapped Universal Championship and a fully redesigned Intercontinental Championship.

Naturally, just as many people seem to love and hate both of them for a variety of reasons. To some, they're just ugly or uninspired; others think they're a refreshing change of pace, if only because they're new.

Whether you're fond of them or not is a subjective issue.

For yours truly, these two new titles represent the best and worst of what is going on in WWE today with the designs of the championship belts.

The blue Universal Championship makes sense. No SmackDown titles should reflect Raw's red coloring. But these colorful straps are eyesores that look like toys instead of prestigious awards to hold.

Credit: WWE.com

It's often said that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon dislikes the word "belt" and prefers "title" because it feels more special, yet having belts that reflect every color of the rainbow goes against that.

As a fan of the WWE Championship design, it would have been nice to see the new Universal Championship be the same, but with a blue swoosh instead of a red one. That subtle difference would be less gaudy.

It would also be cool if the sweater-wearing Bray Wyatt had the colorful blue belt while The Fiend sported some twisted looking wretch of a belt to reflect the different personalities of the character.

Customized titles are fun ways to express the unique nature of each Superstar, like how Daniel Bryan had his eco-friendly title and John Cena had his spinner belts. It would be a shame if WWE didn't capitalize on that with The Fiend.

This is one ugly title, but that worked very well with the gimmick.
This is one ugly title, but that worked very well with the gimmick.Credit: WWE.com

Those likely also sell well for collectors and children, which might be WWE's goal with the other candy-coated looking belts such as the purple Cruiserweight Championship and green 24/7 title.

In an ideal world, those would have black leather straps, too, but that might be asking too much for this team with a different agenda in mind.

What isn't egregious to ask for, though, is some uniformity, and there are three titles that are behind the times.

Both the Raw and SmackDown Tag Team Championships and the United States title are the only belts in WWE anymore that lack the customizable side plates that reflect who the current champion is.

Technically, the 24/7 title is also missing this feature, but the belt changes hands too often to replace those anyway, so that one has an excuse.

The side plates of the 24/7 title will probably always stay blank.
The side plates of the 24/7 title will probably always stay blank.Credit: WWE.com

The current United States Championship has the Statue of Liberty and an eagle on its side plates, which go with the theme, but they lack the personalization that side plates offer for each new champion.

The Women's Tag Team Championships brought a new idea into the mix of having one logo of each title-holder featured, which should carry over into the men's tag team titles.

Those belts have been hideous from the start and need more than just side plates, though. The sentinel heads were a major mistake from the onset and changing the color from copper to silver just made them look like quarters instead of pennies.

These needed to go from day one.
These needed to go from day one.Credit: WWE.com

It's long past overdue to replace those three belts to catch up to something like the new Intercontinental Championship, which fits better in 2019 WWE.

Admittedly, it's sad to see the classic intercontinental title go away. That is one of the best belts in this company's history that fans will always hold dear, just like the "winged eagle" WWF Championship.

But this new one has its charm, too. It's a nice blend of being not too simple or overly detailed. The ring diamond in a great touch.

It could use a bit more color, perhaps by making the globes a blue hue and the center WWE logo the silver and red instead of just gold like everything else, but at least the black strap keeps it regal and not chintzy.

Credit: WWE.com

Beyond that, WWE has some solid designs. NXT and NXT UK have amazing belts that need no tweaks, for instance.

While the WWE Championship and Raw and SmackDown women's titles can be criticized for just being giant WWE logos, it does make sense the top titles would advertise the company like that.

Overall, WWE's titles are great. A few could use some adjustments and the United States and men's tag team titles need to be redone completely as soon as possible, but the new Intercontinental Championship design is a beautiful belt and the blue universal title at least follows the brand's coloring.

WWE could do better, but it has also done far worse, so the current crop of belts is mostly great and whenever the next one is redesigned, it will likely be another success.

        

Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.

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