Seven rare championships from the WWE vault

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin's "Smoking Skull" WWE Championship

Long before John Cena introduced his contentious “spinner” redesign of the WWE Title, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin gave the coveted championship a “Texas Rattlesnake” makeover when he revealed what would become known as his “Smoking Skull” belt. On the July 27, 1998, edition of Monday Night Raw, Austin stomped to the ring for a confrontation with The Undertaker and brought with him his personalized WWE Title, which wagged a middle finger in the face of WWE history by replacing the classic WWE eagle design with rattlesnakes, barbed wire and a human skull. (PHOTOS)

It wasn’t the first time the WWE Title had been modified. During his 1977 reign as champion, the flamboyant “Superstar” Billy Graham embellished his title with a flashy red leather strap. More than a decade later, Ultimate Warrior did the same thing, accessorizing the championship with purple, blue and white straps. But in Austin’s case, the revamp wasn’t approved by management. According to WWE archivist Benjamin Brown, “The Texas Rattlesnake” shelled out his own money for the title and shocked everyone when he debuted it in the ring. (FULL WWE TITLE HISTORY)