Meet the Man Who Makes WWE's Official Championship Belts in His Garage

Illustration for article titled Meet the Man Who Makes WWE's Official Championship Belts in His Garage

In pro wrestling, the moves may be fake choreographed, but the glittering gold-and-leather championship belts are very real. And while most of what happens at the WWE comes out of an enormously wealthy corporate powerhouse, CNN Money shows us the humble origins of those testosterone-cherished waist trophies: Dave Millican's house in Tony, Alabama.


Though they're often used as impromptu grappling weapons and concussion delivery devices, these championship belts involve a whole lot of intricate craftsmanship. Millican, who began making belts as a childhood hobby and never really gave it up, has been supplying WWE with these torso prizes for the past six years—all of them built by hand in his garage, and polished to perfection on his kitchen counter.

Once you get an up-close look at the craftsmanship that goes into these belts, you'll cringe the next time you see one used as a bludgeon. But Dave doesn't mind—when the belts get beat beyond recognition, they get sent back to him for rehabilitation.

From the looks of it, Dave assembles the belts in his garage, and does the final polishing in the kitchen. Hopefully, the neighbors can't smell what Dave's cooking.

I'll see myself out. [CNN Money]


Organized Chaos

The video footage is fairly outdated because none of the belts they show him making are current WWE belts. Unless you count the photo of Kane & Daniel Bryan as Tag champs, but even that was back in 2012 to early 2013. And technically the large World Heavyweight Champion belt that he referred to as the "big gold belt" is still in use. That used to be the primary belt for the WCW champ. He refers to that one separately from the WWE championship, but they've since been combined into the WWE World Heavyweight Championship (even though the title holder still carries around both belts). The World Tag Team Championship belt seen at :20 and at the end of the video is quite old, having, I believe, two iterations since that one. All of the WWE Heavyweight Champion belts shown are several years old. There's been another version between the one in the video and the current one.