wrestling / Columns

Top 7 Disgraces Towards Championship Belts

March 27, 2022 | Posted by Steve Cook
Madusa Image Credit: WWE Network

I was just sitting here like a normal person watching AEW Dynamite. Then Sammy Guevara & Tay Conti wanted to be whatever they are right now. They let Dan Lambert know that the TNT Championship belt he was wearing had been around Sammy while…well, you know.

There’s been many different opinions surrounding this whole situation. I tend to side with the folks that think spreading seed on title belts is pretty gross. However, I might be in a minority, as people tell me that previous wrestling champions were all about blowing loads on their title belts. I don’t want to delve too much into to the issue, but maybe some people find it all right.

Let’s go into some other circumstances where wrestlers decided they needed to disrespect title belts. The Top 7 disrespecting of title belts, if you will.

7. Graham tears the WWF Championship apart

“Superstar” Billy Graham had lost the championship to Bob Backlund back in 1978. It was a tough thing for Graham to handle, so he left the territory and toured the country before going on a hiatus in 1980. He resurfaced in Japan, where he learned some martial arts to add to his moveset and serve as a way to modify his persona.

Graham came back to the WWF in 1982 as a new man. No hair, no multi-colored tights, much leaner than he had been before. Backlund was still the champion, and Graham targeted him right away. Graham also targeted the belt, saying that if he couldn’t be champion nobody could, and tore the main plate off of the belt. Backlund’s gutteral dismay over the incident showed a side of the man that would become more evident in 1994. Graham was unsuccessful in regaining the championship from Backlund and would leave a few months later. You could tell he was still in a bad place because he went to Florida and joined up with Kevin Sullivan’s Army of Darkness.

6. Mr. Perfect takes a hammer to the WWF Championship

Quite simply, Mr. Perfect was a flawless wrestler. Nobody could top his technical wrestling ability. Nobody could out-think him in the ring. It was obvious that Mr. Perfect was the best wrestler in the world, and to think that anybody else could be was quite foolish. The idea of somebody carrying a title belt around and claiming to be a champion was insulting to Mr. Perfect. How dare somebody claim to be the best when Mr. Perfect is around?

That’s why Perfect decided he needed to destroy Hulk Hogan’s WWF Championship with a hammer. Hogan wasn’t the best wrestler in the world, so why should he have a belt declaring he was so? This led to a series of matches between Hogan & Perfect on the house show loop, and the mistaken belief that they used the belt that Perfect destroyed as the Hardcore Championship.

5. The Franchise throws down the NWA Championship

The National Wrestling Alliance was in pretty dire straits in 1994. World Championship Wrestling had left the group in 1993, leaving a number of smaller promotions to carry the NWA banner. One of them was Eastern Championship Wrestling, a promotion in Philadelphia run by Tod Gordon & booked by Paul Heyman. Jim Crockett Jr., former president of the NWA, had gotten back into promoting and was also working with Heyman. He arranged to hold a tournament at an ECW show for the vacant NWA World Championship.

This made then-current NWA president Dennis Coralluzzo upset, as he thought that Crockett, Gordon & Heyman would use their pull to monopolize the championship. Crockett had done the same thing in the 1980s, so it’s not like the fear was totally unfounded. Coralluzzo wasn’t exactly an angel though, as he had gotten several ECW shows cancelled by informing venues about some of their adult-themed content. Planned champion Shane Douglas wasn’t a favorite of Coralluzzo’s either, as he’d told other NWA promoters not to book Douglas out of fear of no-shows in the past. The backstage heat combined with Gordon & Heyman’s desire to put ECW on the map as something new & different led to what in hindsight seems like the obvious conclusion.

After Douglas defeated 2 Cold Scorpio in the finals of the tournament, he gave a speech about the legacy of the NWA & their former champions, then proclaimed that they could all kiss his ass & threw the belt down to the mat. He grabbed the ECW Championship and proclaimed that to be the only world championship that mattered. Extreme Championship Wrestling was born, and the NWA was in the mud. Where they would stay for most of the next eight years.

4. Austin tosses the Intercontinental Championship into the river

Late 1997 saw Stone Cold Steve Austin & “The Rock” Rocky Maivia feuding over the Intercontinental Championship. Maivia stole the belt from Austin after a beatdown, which is a pretty good way to ensure you get a title match. After a match that involved Austin driving his pickup truck down to the ring and repeatedly tossing Nation of Domination members into it, Vince McMahon ordered Austin to defend the title against Rock the next night. Austin didn’t feel like it, so he forfeited the championship. It wasn’t so much that Austin didn’t want to wrestle, he just didn’t like being ordered around by Vince McMahon.

So he took the Intercontinental Championship to a bridge and chucked it into a river. Not sure if Rock retreived the belt at the bottom of the river or not. Companies didn’t make new title belts as often as they do these days. The Austin/Rock hostilities died down for a bit while Austin targeted another title, but they would flare up again…

3. Rock returns the favor with Austin’s Smoking Skull WWF Championship

The Rock had a pretty long memory. Short in-ring career in the grand scheme of things, but long memory. He didn’t forget the things people did to him, and he didn’t forgive easily. Some wrestlers would have glossed over the whole “he threw my title belt into the river” thing and happily stood aside Stone Cold Steve Austin against Mr. McMahon and his evil Corporation. Not The Rock. Rock remembered what Stone Cold did to him, and how that outweighed anything that Vince or any of his allies ever did. Oh, and Rock also got beat by Austin at WrestleMania XV for the WWF Championship, so that was a pretty fresh wound.

You might recall that I mentioned how companies didn’t make many belts back in these days. Well, one belt that did get made was Austin’s design. The Smoking Skull belt that Austin designed replaced the WWF Championship belt for a period of time. When Austin lost the title to Undertaker & Kane, Vince took possession of that Smoking Skull belt. We kind of overlooked that part of the proceedings until Austin regained the WWE Championship at WrestleMania XV and wanted his belt back.

Rock had it, and got Austin to the bridge, whooped his monkeyass and sent him into the water below. I was an Austin fan, he’s still my FOAT, but years removed I can smell what the Rock was cookin’. A brilliant bit of booking to make Austin’s disrespect of the Intercontinental Championship come full circle.

2. Madusa trashes the WWF Women’s Championship

To be honest, the WWF didn’t really give a hoot about their Women’s Championship in the mid-1990s. They had a tournament final at WrestleMania X that Allundra Blayze won. Blayze had a few fun matches on television against the likes of Bull Nakano & Bertha Faye, but if we’re still being honest, it wasn’t a great time for women’s wrestling to thrive. That would come later.

Also, if we’re still being honest, which I always try to be in my columns, Blayze jumping back to WCW and reassuming her Madusa persona didn’t really mean much to the WWF. Except…she still happened to be the WWF Women’s Champion. Maybe that didn’t matter to the WWF brass, but it gave WCW a great wrestling moment when they signed her away. Once Madusa signed with WCW and still had the WWF Women’s Championship belt in her possession, it was pretty easy for her to appear on WCW Monday Nitro and put that belt in the bin.

It got Madusa blacklisted with the WWF for a time…but did that really matter? Not unless you think she could drag ***** matches out of Sable & Jackie Moore three years later. Probably not. It was a great moment for WCW though, even if they didn’t have a follow up.

1. Hogan spraypaints the WCW Championship

Sometimes it’s the simplest disrespect that works. We’ve already talked about people throwing belts into rivers & smashing belts with hammers and things like that. We haven’t talked about people spraypainting initials onto belts, which was a pretty big deal back in the day.

Younger fans don’t understand. These days, wrestlers get nameplates put on the sides of their title belts like it isn’t a thing. Everybody gets to personalize their title belts. That wasn’t the case back in 1996. Championship belts were still respected. Spray-painting them felt like a crime. That’s why the NWO spray painted title belts still get sold to belt marks today. Those of us that felt disrespected don’t matter now.

Let me know on Twitter or down in the comment section if you’ve ever felt more disrespected.

article topics :

WCW, WWE, Steve Cook