Sunday, April 14

10 Ugliest Wrestling Championship Belts Of The 2000s

When it comes to wrestling championships, fans will debate what exactly makes a title belt so prestigious. The caliber of talent, the length of a reign, and the overall quality of matches/feuds contested over a championship belt are all valid factors for establishing its value.


Related

Every Major Wrestling Promotion’s Ugliest Championship Design Ever

Let’s take a look at notable wrestling promotions and some of their worst-looking belts, which include undercard and world titles.

But another crucial aspect is the appearance of a championship belt. The likes of Reggie Parks and Charles Crumrine designed some of the most beautiful championship belts for WWE and the NWA respectively. Unfortunately, not all belt designs have been successful, and the 2000s produced their share of atrocious designs.


10 All The XWF Championship Belts

The XWF Ran From November 2001 To Spring 2002

  • The XWF Women’s Title existed for just over a month before being retired.
  • The Cruiserweight Championship had the most XWF title changes during TV tapings.
  • A fifth championship for the mid-card scene may have been created had the XWF prevailed.

The Xcitement Wrestling Federation was a short-lived promotion that launched in November 2001; intended to be a family-friendly alternative to WWE after WCW folded. The promotion was a decent product that featured various all-stars of wrestling, but the XWF sadly never secured a TV deal and ultimately folded.

In the short time that the XWF was operating, they had title belts for their World Heavyweight, Tag Team, Cruiserweight and Women’s Champions. These have been forgotten about due to the XWF’s short lifespan, but the designs were all hideous. In their attempt to look edgy, the title belts looked like flaccid leather with tacky plates attached, with the proportions being all wrong.

9 WCW Hardcore Championship Was Too Grungy

The title Was Deactivated A Week After The Final Champion Meng Left For WWE

  • The WCW Hardcore Title was established on July 11, 1999 as an unofficial trophy.
  • On November 21, 1999, Norman Smiley became the first official champion.
  • The WCW Hardcore Championship was deactivated January 21, 2001.

With hardcore wrestling growing in popularity in the 90s, WCW tried to mirror WWE’s success by creating a Hardcore Title of their own. WCW’s Hardcore division lacked the fun and excitement of WWE’s Hardcore antics, and the physical prize itself left a lot to be desired.

Related

10 WCW Wrestlers You Forgot Won The Hardcore Title

WCW’s Hardcore Title had a short-lived run, which means many stars who held the belt have been forgotten over time.

In contrast to the WWE Hardcore Belt – which was deliberately made ugly & grungy to perfectly reflect the nature of Hardcore Wrestling – this WCW design was just a blatant rip-off of the ECW World Championship. The WCW Hardcore Championship isn’t remembered anywhere near as much as its WWE counterpart, and was unceremoniously retired two months before WCW folded.

8 First TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship Were An Eyesore

In 2013, The Knockouts Tag Team Titles Were Deactivated For Seven Years

  • Titles were established August 20, 2009.
  • Although initially retired on June 20, 2013, the titles were reactivated on January 16, 2021.
  • Eric Young is the only male to hold the KO Tag Team Championship (with ODB as his partner).

The success of TNA’s Knockouts Division led to Gail Kim becoming the first-ever Knockouts Champion in 2007. Because the women’s division was stacked with talent, the creation of Tag Team Titles for the Knockouts seemed a great idea.

But as much as the Knockouts Division justified having Tag Team Championships, the initial belts were hideous to behold in 2009. Whilst the gold plates looked nice, the leather straps were too small, and the red was a poor choice for color.

7 Edge’s Rated-R Spinner WWE Championship

Edge Had Originally Pitched His Own Design For The Rated-R WWE Title Belt

  • Rated-R Spinner Belt was unveiled the night after SummerSlam 2006.
  • Edge’s original pitch for the Rated-R WWE Title was meant to resemble the classic Intercontinental Championship.
  • The Rated-R Spinner belt was never seen again following Edge’s loss at Unforgiven 2006.

The spinner championship belts were always controversial in WWE, with fans & critics being fiercely divided over John Cena’s customized belts for the WWE and United States Titles. But regardless of how fans felt about John Cena and his belts, Edge’s own spinner championship was hardly an improvement.

In 2006, the Rated R-Superstar’s second reign as WWE Champion saw Edge replace Cena’s spinner belt with exactly the same design, only for the WWE Logo to be replaced with the Rated-R Superstar emblem. The effort came across as lazy, and made Edge’s unveiling feel anti-climatic as a result.

6 Tommy Dreamer’s New York Hardcore Championship

The Hardcore Championship Was Retired On The August 26, 2002 Episode Of Raw

  • Tommy Dreamer was a 14-time WWE Hardcore Champion.
  • Dreamer lost the belt to Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam in winner-takes-all bout.
  • The infamous 24/7 rule had been deactivated a week prior to the Hardcore Title’s retirement.

In the final days of the WWE Hardcore Championship in 2002, the original belt had become so damaged that it couldn’t be used anymore. After Tommy Dreamer became champion, he began wearing his customized version of the Hardcore Title.

Dreamer’s Hardcore belt was a replica of the defunct European Championship, with a New York license plate as the centerpiece. This belt’s aesthetic deviated even further from the perfect grungy look of the original Hardcore Title, was very forgettable and hardly missed.

5 Bradshaw’s Texas Hardcore Championship

Bradshaw Held The Hardcore Title On Seventeen Occasions

  • Bradshaw first won the Hardcore Titke on June 3, 2002.
  • Many of Bradshaw’s wins & losses took place on Raw and at house shows.
  • Bradshaw’s final Hardcore Championship reign came on August 19, 2002.

As uninspired as Tommy Dreamer’s customized Hardcore Title was, Bradshaw’s unveiled design after he won the championship was even worse. Bradshaw wore a replica of Steve Austin’s Smoking Skull belt; customized with a Texas flag sticker, bullhorns and bullrope.

The original WWE Hardcore belt may have been ugly, but it was popular with audiences. For it to have been replaced with this lazy, unfamiliar & forgettable effort was a sign that the championship’s days were numbered.

4 ECW World Heavyweight Championship (WWE Version)

The WWE-ECW Title Was Retired Along With The Brand On February 16, 2010

  • The ECW World Title was originally created on April 25, 1992.
  • Fourteen wrestlers held the belt under the WWE banner.
  • Ezekiel Jackson was the last wrestler to hold the ECW Title.

Shortly after the 2006 revival of ECW, it wasn’t long until WWE began altering it to such an extent that it no longer resembled the ECW that fans loved throughout the nineties. Then, on July 22, 2008, WWE insulted fans even further when they unveiled their design for the new ECW Championship.

Instead of a beautiful gold belt that looked extreme, this bland, black leather strap boasted platinum plates, with the centerpiece featuring a phoenix, rays of light and the ECW letters. It was so far removed from ECW, it was beyond belief.

3 TNA Legends/Global/Television/King Of The Mountain Championship

This Title Belt Was Rebranded Four Times And Deactivated Twice Before Being Retired

  • Legends Title originally unveiled by Booker T on October 23, 2008.
  • Eric Young renamed it the Global Championship on October 29, 2009.
  • It became the Television Championship on July 29, 2010, then King Of The Mountain Title on June 25, 2015.

Although originally an unofficial title, this Legends Championship became sanctioned by TNA management when AJ Styles defeated Booker T for the belt at Destination X 2009. Although TNA created some beautiful championship belts for their product, the Legends Title wasn’t one of them.

A hideous red strap and ghastly side-plates suffered more due to the centerpiece being an overkill of jewels and gold. The Legends Title was renamed, deactivated and reactivated several times over, until it was mercifully retired forever in 2016.

2 LayCool’s Split WWE Women’s Championship

The Original Women’s Title Was Unified With The Divas Championship At Night Of Champions 2010

  • Layla is officially recognized as the sole & final champion of the original WWE Women’s Title.
  • The belt was unified with the Divas Championship at Night of Champions 2010.
  • LayCool are the only duo to hold replicas of both the original Women’s and Divas Titles.

The original WWE Women’s Championship (from 1956 to 2010) was a prestigious prize worthy of legends like Trish Stratus, Lita, Jacqueline, Beth Phoenix, Molly Holly and Mickie James. With its somewhat petite, yet flattering design, the original Women’s Title was a thing of beauty.

When Layla won the title on the May 14, 2010 episode of SmackDown, she initially defended the Women’s Title by herself, then Michelle McCool started defending the belt on Layla’s behalf. To spite Theodore Long’s orders that only one of them could be Women’s Champion, LayCool split the championship in half. As great an act as LayCool was, this act of sacrilege ultimately killed off the original Women’s Title.

1 WWE Divas Championship Is Rightfully Still Criticized

The Butterfly Belt That Fans Hated

  • Michelle McCool became the first champion on July 20, 2008.
  • Nikki Bella has the longest reign at 301 days.
  • Charlotte Flair retired the Divas Title after winning the new WWE Women’s Title at WrestleMania 32.

When the WWE Brand Extension launched in 2002, the Women’s Championship became exclusive to the Raw brand. The Divas on SmackDown had no championship of their own to compete for, until Vickie Guerrero announced the creation of the Diva’s Championship on June 6, 2008.

Related

5 Great WWE Divas Champions (& 5 Who Were Terrible)

The Divas Title may not be a championship with an iconic legacy but there were some great women to hold t and some who didn’t do much with it.

Shaped like a butterfly, with silver & metallic pink plates, the Divas Championship was loathed by fans and critics alike. Looking like a cheap Barbie accessory, the Divas Title appeared demeaning to skilled female wrestlers on WWE’s roster. After eight years, the Divas Championship was finally retired at WrestleMania 32 and hasn’t been missed.

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