The making of the new WWE Title: How the WWE Championship was reinvented in 540 days

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February 19, 2013

It was the guys from “American Chopper” who really made it happen. Without Paul Teutul Sr. and his team over at Orange County Choppers, there’s a chance the WWE creative department’s concept for the new WWE Title would never have worked.

But maybe we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

Let’s start at the beginning. Some 18 months ago on the second floor of WWE’s corporate offices in Stamford, Conn., WWE’s Senior Vice President of Creative Services Stan Stanski received a request. WWE was ditching the “spinner” version of the WWE Title that had polarized WWE fans since John Cena introduced it back in April 2005. In its place? Well, something new. What that meant was up to Stanski and company to figure out, but where do you start when you’re about to remake sports-entertainment’s most vital piece of hardware?

Photos of the new WWE Title | Watch the title's unveiling

“The first thing we do is exhale,” Stanski told WWE.com. “Then we think: What are we really up against and what are we looking to do?”

During our conversation, a prototype version of the new WWE Championship was splayed out on the desk in front of Stanski like a cherished newborn. But a year and a half ago, the Senior Vice President and his creative team only had opinions. There was talk of a red leather strap and even a title affixed with door hinges on both sides, but one thing was certain — they were going to turn wrestling tradition on its cauliflower ear.

Photos of the WWE Title's evolution

“Our idea was never to take a step back or do something predictable or expected,” Stanski said. “We wanted to evolve the brand and create something that’s never been done before.”

The group wasn’t necessarily looking to reinvent the wheel — the championship would look like a championship — but the globes, eagles and whatever else WWE fans had grown accustomed to seeing in bronze on a title would be replaced by new ideas.

“You don’t always know what a traditional title might represent,” Stanski pointed out. “We wanted you to know immediately that this was the WWE Championship.”

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