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The FTW Championship & 9 More Belts That Were Props

Given that pro-wrestling is a pre-determined sport, pretty much every championship belt is a prop, a MacGuffin for characters to fight over, not unlike Thanos’ Infinity Stones or the Ark of the Covenant. But in the kayfabe world, there are some titles that are props in the storyline, usually unsanctioned titles or other dubious accolades often created by the wrestlers carrying them.

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Since the 1980s, televised pro wrestling has offered a number of these kinds of championship belts, from WWE all the way to All Elite Wrestling. Let’s take a look at 10 of these prop titles, starting with one that’s appeared in multiple promotions.

10 FTW Championship (ECW, AEW)

Introduced in 1998, the FTW Championship — short for “F— The World” — was brought into Extreme Championship Wrestling by Taz for himself, after Shane Douglas was too injured to defend the “real” ECW World Title. After Taz lost the belt to Sabu in 1998 and went on to actually capture the official ECW Championship, the two had a unification match at Living Dangerously, which Taz won. Dormant ever since, the FTW belt resurfaced with Taz’s debut in AEW, where he awarded the belt to Brian Cage. Several defenses of the belt ensued in this era as well, until Cage turned face and lost the belt to Ricky Starks, who in turn, recently lost it to Taz’s son, Hook.

9 World Beer Drinking Championship (Impact Wrestling)

Impact Wrestling legend “Cowboy” James Storm is a beer-drinking outlaw type, so it only makes sense that he’d have an unsanctioned championship of his own that was centered around one of his interests. The World Beer Drinking Championship was created as part of a 2007 rivalry between Storm and Eric Young, with many of their encounters involving beer drinking.

Hilariously, Young would not only win the belt, but also hold the title for over 100 days before Storm won it back. The belt’s lineage would come to an end in early 2008 when it was destroyed by Rhino.


8 Brass Knuckles Championship (AWA/CWA)

A precursor to various Hardcore-style titles, Brass Knuckles Championships were not uncommon in old school pro wrestling—even if words like “hardcore” had yet to be employed—with competitors taping up their fists and competing in No DQ matches. The AWA Brass Knuckles Championship, however, was pretty much a prop championship created to promote one specific wrestler.

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The wrestler in question was the forgotten legend Don Fargo, who debuted in Memphis-based Continental Wrestling Association in 1979 carrying the newly created AWA Brass Knuckles Championship to signify just how tough he was. The title would go dormant after Fargo left the territory.

7 Yolo County Tag Team Championship

Easily the most dubious prop title in all of pro wrestling, the Yolo County Tag Team Championship was introduced in WWE in June 2019 as being held by AJ Kirsh and Dave Dutra, the jobbers du jour of this particular episode of SmackDown.

Initially slated to “defend” the belts in a unification match against SmackDown Tag Champs Daniel Bryan and Erick Rowan, circumstances resulted in Heavy Machinery challenging for the Yolo County belts, which they won in two minutes. Despite splitting up Otis and Tucker never lost the belts, so their reign — currently exceeding 1,100 days, quietly continues to this day.

6 The Real World Championship (WWE)

Disagreements with controversial WCW boss Jim Herd resulted in NWA World Champion Ric Flair jumping ship to WWE in 1991. While that alone was pretty remarkable, even more notable was the fact that he took the NWA World Title belt — the iconic “Big Gold Belt” — with him, brandishing it on WWE television as “The Real World Championship.”

Because Herd refused to return Flair’s $25,000 deposit on the belt, The Nature Boy paraded around with the belt in WWE until a deal was reached to pay Flair back with interest.

5 Internet Championship (WWE, GCW)

Now known as Matt Cardona, in WWE Zack Ryder gained a lot of grassroots support from fans on the Internet thanks to his YouTube show, Z! True Long Island Story. As part of this newfound popularity, Ryder appropriately got his own prop belt in the Internet Championship, which was emblazoned with an image of Zack Ryder’s sunglasses and spiked hair.

Following his 2020 release from WWE, the Internet Championship resurfaced while Ryder was performing for Game Changer Wrestling, where he briefly lost the belt to Effy.

4 Knockouts Tag Team Championship (Impact Wrestling)

As Impact Wrestling fans know, the Knockouts Tag Team Championship didn’t start off as a prop. Ahead of its time when it was introduced in 2009 — questionable booking of the division aside — whatever legitimacy it had, went down the drain when it was won by ODB and Eric Young, the latter of whom is a man.

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Eric Young and ODB defended the belts three times in the early months, but spent the rest of their 478-day reign just carrying them around as props. It was obvious that the belts only existed anymore for the sake of the gag of Eric Young being a Knockouts Champion, and they were stripped and retired in 2013. They’d be reinstated in 2021, but would no longer be props.

3 O-40 Championship (DDT)

Japanese promotion DDT Pro-Wrestling is no stranger to absurdism and belts with absurd rules, but even titles like the Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship are defended on the regular. The same can’t be said of DDT’s more recent joke title, the O-40 Championship.

A parody of New Japan’s long-defunct U-30 Championship, instead of highlighting competitors under the age of 30 the O-40 belt focuses on wrestlers over the age of 40. Title defenses are few and far between for this joke belt, with champions including DDT co-founder Sanshiro Takagi and veteran Toru Owashi.

two Million Dollar Championship (WWE, NXT)

WWE solved the paradox of the occupational wrestler way back in 1989 with “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, who was so rich he didn’t have any real reason to wrestle. When he couldn’t win the WWE Championship, he simply paid for his own belt, The Million Dollar Championship, and awarded it to himself.

Others would hold the belt over the years, either by winning it from DiBiase or receiving it from him, but the belt would return on NXT in 2021 as an angle with DiBiase and the recently wealthy Cameron Grimes would result in Grimes and LA Knight feuding over the dubious championship.

1 TNA World Heavyweight Championship (Impact Wrestling)

While it might sound insane to call the TNA World Title a prop, this isn’t the “official” belt. In 2020, years after the company had rebranded from TNA to Impact Wrestling, Moose found a TNA World Heavyweight Championship belt circa 2011-2017 in storage and began carrying it around, declaring himself the champion as he’d never captured the official World Title at the time.

A strictly renegade prop championship, eventually Impact boss Scott D’Amore sanctioned the title, so they could have a unification match with the real Impact World Champion, Rich Swann, which Swann won.

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