(if you missed part 1 of this article, click here to Read it) Where Is The Big Gold Belt Today?
In late 2000 while WCW champion, a few insiders have alleged that Scott Steiner swapped his cast copy out with the original. Many of us in the belt community believe this story is true and Steiner has the authentic Crumrine original at home, while WWE inherited his cast copy from the WCW buyout. This is one of those urban legends, that have many people curious. There has been many topics on the forum about it, which have included comparison pictures, insider information and other details about specific employees’ private belt collections. The only 100% way to know for sure, would to have someone check out the belts by hand, in person.
How Did We Learn So Much About It’s Origins?
As I mentioned earlier, most of this information came about when a forum member, started investigating having an exact copy made. Just about every belt maker has their own version of the belt. But Teddy wanted one, exactly like the original. Crumrine never copyrighted/trademarked the design, although elements of the belt such as the wrestlers and floral design are standard features in all Crumrine buckles.
To get one like the original today, would cost around $14,000 as it is all hand made. Unfortunately, after all the work Teddy did working with Crumrine, they have agreed to never replicate this belt again, in the traditional hand engraved style. To those interested in having a Big Gold belt as close to the original as possible, there is good news; An agreement was reached between all parties involved, and cast copies of the hand engraved belt are available for purchase through Dave Millican.
The Big Gold Belt in WWF
Another belt sometimes confused with the original, is referred to the “Vegas” Big Gold. It was introduced by Ric Flair doing a promo in a casino referring to himself as the “real world’s champion”. This belt was used on WWF programming while WCW sued Ric Flair to get the original belt back. This was due to Flair and Bobby Heenan using the belt on WWF programming. WCW received the original Big Gold back after the lawsuit and Flair received his deposit back. In those days, the champion had to put a deposit on the belt for various reasons.
WWF had the “Vegas” Big Gold created by Reggie Parks during this legal battle. For a few weeks while this new belt was being made, Flair used an old WWF tag team belt in place of the Big Gold. In Ric Flair’s book, he mentioned giving Triple H a belt, saying he wished he could have dropped it to him a decade ago.
Many people believe he is referring to the “Vegas” Big Gold belt, despite what many casual fans assume is the original Big Gold or original Domed Globe. Part of the WCW lawsuit settlement was that WWF could not use a similar looking belt either which is why the “Vegas” Big Gold did not last long.
The Big Gold Belt in WWE
After the WCW buyout, what many believe is a cast copy of the original belt, was used by WWE during the Invasion angle, leading up to the Undisputed Unification Championship. It is also believed the same belt was re-introduced by Eric Bischoff, and presented to Triple H as the “World Heavyweight Championship”, exclusive to the Raw brand. That belt was later replaced by a Big Gold belt featuring a WWE logo on the top.
The current Big Gold used on WWE TV is made by Joe Marshall (J-Mar), using a 3d engraving machine, Remember you can get a high quality replica belt at pocket friendly prices. Click here to view our merchandise.