Top 5 Best-Looking Wrestling Championship Belts

WWE superstar Batista holding the World Heavyweight championship belt

In the world of professional wrestling, the top stars don't get medals...they get belts with giant gold plates that scream "This person is the mightiest warrior ever."

As a wrestling fan, title matches have been some of my fondest memories of the entertainment sport, and whoever got to raise the championship belt high in victory was the coolest person in the world for me. Through the years, championship belts have gone through many design iterations, and to me the look of the belt makes or breaks the champion. An ugly belt design makes the champion look weak, while a beautifully-designed belt sells the prestige and the stakes of the battle to own it. Let me share with you my top 5 favorite championship belt designs of all time.

Close up of 2019 WWE Intercontinental Championship belt
I admit I'm a sucker for nostalgia. But once in a while, modern wrestling belt design gets it right. The new WWE Intercontinental Championship belt is a wild departure from its predecessors with its geometric design aesthetic and no-nonsense black-and-gold motif, but its classy look brings new relevance to the IC championship and firmly brings the title to modern times. It looks so illustrious and important, it looks more like the World Championship than the actual WWE World Championship belt

Close up of WWE's Winged Eagle championship belt
Bret Hart. "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Hulk Hogan. The Undertaker. The biggest names of WWF (now the WWE) all had one thing in common: winning the legendary "Winged Eagle" belt. The eagle in the middle defiantly spreads its wings beyond the center plate, tastefully designed in art deco glamour along with its side plates, and it looks so exuberant you'd be surprised that half-naked men in shorts fight over this. When fans think about classic WWE, they think about this belt, and for good reason: it's timeless prestige.

Close up of AEW World Championship belt
People would call it garish, gaudy. And they may be right. But damn if the All Elite Wrestling Heavyweight Championship isn't a sight to behold. The new wrestling promotion on the block has been making waves and making heads turn, and their belt is one of the reasons why. The superfluous amount of plates, all encrusted in diamonds and gold, positively shine in the spotlights of the ring, and the belt's design itself is so over the top, it's like AEW wanted to make a statement with their belt, and it shows.

Close up of IWGP Heavyweight Champion belt
Leave it to the Japanese to take professional wrestling to a whole new level. New Japan Pro Wrestling is home to some of the most insane and most talented pro wrestlers that side of the planet, and the belt they all aspire to wear around their waist is a true work of art. The latest iteration of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship belt used by NJPW has a regal yet heavy-duty design that's oozing with so much prestige, people would go through grueling hour-long matches to attain it.

Close up of WWE 'Big Gold' belt
To me, the sign of a good championship belt is that it elevates the status of anyone just by holding it. And nothing says "I am the world champion" than the "Big Gold" itself. Huge, ostentatious, ornately detailed, and appropriately awe-inspiring, the Big Gold belt has bestowed honor and glory to multitudes of wrestlers in some of the most prestigious wrestling promotions, from the NWA to the WWE.

It's the belt that got me hooked on its storylines during the 2000s: from Batista defying Triple H and Evolution at Wrestlemania 21, to Edge cashing in his Money in the Bank and stealing the title from The Undertaker, to Rey Mysterio against all odds winning a title not even in his weight class. From there I went back and was floored by the wars fought over this belt from Sting to Hogan to Goldberg. And every time someone lifts that belt up in triumph, whoever it was, it looks and feels like they were the greatest, most powerful wrestler of them all.

What is your favorite pro wrestling belt design? Let's talk in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

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