10 Custom WWE Championship designs for classic Superstars
The number of Superstars who have gotten to customize sports-entertainment’s supreme accolade — the WWE Championship — can likely be counted on one hand. With the advent of the new WWE Championship, however, any Superstar fortunate enough to reach the proverbial brass ring can now put his own personal spin on it.
Since its introduction by The Rock in February, the fresh-faced championship has sported two variations of its removable strap plates, most recently a pair of "RKO" snake insignias for newly crowned champion Randy Orton. With new custom gold adorning The Viper's waist, WWE.com delved into sports-entertainment’s hallowed history and came up with 10 potential new-school designs for 10 old-school WWE Champions. So “strap” yourselves in and take a look at this championship game of “What If?”
The late Eddie Guerrero’s WWE Championship Title victory over Brock Lesnar at No Way Out 2004 still ranks among the biggest upsets, and most heartwarming celebrations, in WWE history. Guerrero’s passing the next year sadly robbed him of his prime, and the WWE Universe of one of its greatest heroes. If this WWE Hall of Famer were still with us today, though, we’d like to think his version of the WWE Title would bear the signature flame that embodied “Latino Heat” and his undying competitive fire. Granted, he probably would have lied, cheated and stole to get it, but the WWE Universe wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
If not for a lingering injury issue that forced him into retirement, it’s likely that The Ultimate Opportunist would still find his way to championship glory even as we speak. And if that were the case, his custom WWE Title would be something of a no-brainer: The big, bold “R” that defined Edge’s tawdry, underhanded, manipulative rise to elite Superstardom (and once adorned the face of the “Spinner” WWE Title, to boot) would have made a very fitting addition to the newly customized championship.
Mick Foley’s three stints with the WWE Championship were short in length but long in their influence. The Hardcore Legend’s initial victory over The Rock for the supreme prize was an underdog win on par with Rocky Balboa, and his later clashes for the title with Triple H under the guise of Cactus Jack represented The Attitude Era at its limit-pushing peak. Although the WWE Hall of Famer has worn many faces in the ring, WWE.com adorns Mankind with a custom championship sporting his signature masked smiley face. Have a nice day.
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If there was ever a Superstar who spoke softly and carried a big stick, it would be Bret “Hit Man” Hart. Throughout his storied career, The Excellence of Execution wasn’t known much for his talk, but his walk — i.e. his work in the ring — was near unparalleled. Hart reached the mountaintop through sheer skill and superior training, and let’s be honest, he just looked so cool doing it. To honor the “Hit Man’s” style and one of his longest-enduring traditions, WWE.com selects his signature shades as the custom element for a Bret Hart WWE Championship.
WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels left hearts and bodies — including his own — broken in his wake over a near unmatched career that stretched through several ups and downs, comebacks and retirements until his final bout at WrestleMania XXVI. Although The Showstopper stops by sporadically these days, in another life we’d see him in the hunt for the WWE Championship more often than not. And if he were to win this WWE Title … well, what could be more fitting for The Heartbreak Kid than a mock-up of shattered core that bears his name? Oh, Shawn…
The Ultimate Warrior
Superstars far and wide felt the wrath of Ultimate Warrior throughout the career of this furious enigma. Apart from a legendary rivalry with Hulk Hogan, he also achieved the rare feat of being a WWE Champion and Intercontinental Champion simultaneously. The man from Parts Unknown has long since abdicated the halls of WWE, but imagine, if you will, Warrior sprinting down the ramp with a WWE Title adorned with the likeness of his signature face paint. That would be a formidable sight, indeed.
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Anyone who manages to defeat Bob Backlund in mere seconds for the WWE Championship is not a Superstar to be trifled with. From his earliest days as HBK’s heavy to his final rivalry with Triple H, Kevin Nash made a nefarious name for himself as one of the most dangerous Superstars to compete in WWE. Nash competed under several aliases and flew many flags during his years in the ring, but he’s remembered most fondly as Diesel. Therefore, WWE.com hereby selects the grill of an 18-wheeler for Big Daddy Cool’s strap.
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin
Like there was ever any question what The Texas Rattlesnake’s title would look like. For “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, WWE.com stamps his iconic skull logo on the plates of the WWE Championship. Besides, he’d most likely have a Stunner and a “Steveweiser” shower waiting for anyone who thought differently. Oh, hell yeah!
"Macho Man" Randy Savage
Step into the Danger Zone, WWE Universe: The late “Macho Man” Randy Savage’s skill was second only to his trademark eccentricities, so how best to honor the man who gave the WWE Universe some of its most memorable moments both in and out of the ring? Well, there’s really only one symbol for a potential WWE Title that best describes him: The troika of stars that adorned Savage’s tights; a minimalistic yet iconic design that is so synonymous with in-ring greatness that even CM Punk paid homage to them.
There are few men in or out of the wrestling ring quite as remarkable as Bruno Sammartino. An immigrant from Abruzzi, Italy, who escaped the Nazis and arrived in America a sickly, undersized child, Sammartino became one of the strongest men in the world. He etched his name into the annals of sports legend with an unprecedented near eight-year run as WWE Champion, followed by a second reign that lasted four years. With few heroes that loom as large for the Italian-American population as Sammartino, WWE.com thinks it’s only appropriate that The Living Legend’s WWE Championship would be adorned with the colors of his home country. Salut’, Mr. Sammartino.