Bygone Belts: Exploring The Obscure Wrestling Championships You’ll Be Surprised Existed

WWF/WCW/ECW Promotional Images

This Sunday marks the return of Clash of Champions, a night when every Raw title will be defended, so what better time to shine a light on some of wrestling’s lesser-known titles? We’re all well-acquainted the major WWE championships, and you may have a soft spot in your heart for retired belts like the WCW Cruiserweight or WWF Hardcore Championships, but what about the truly obscure titles? The slightly strange titles? The ones nobody remembers?

Here’s a few titles that were defended in major U.S. promotions that you’ve probably never heard of, or possibly thought you just imagined …

WWF International Heavyweight Championship

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Years Active: 1959 – 1985

The WWF International Heavyweight Championship actually predates the main WWE Heavyweight Championship, as it was first won by Antonino Rocca back in 1959 when WWE was still known as the Capitol Wrestling Corporation. The belt served as a top title for CWC for a while, until they officially broke away from the NWA, became the WWWF and crowned their first WWWF World Heavyweight Champion in Buddy Rogers.

The WWF International Heavyweight Championship would be put on ice for years, but would mysteriously resurface in 1982. From then on, the title would mainly be defended in Japan as part of a partnership between WWF and New Japan Pro Wrestling. Japanese legends like Tatsumi Fujinami and Riki Choshu held the belt, but when WWF and NJPW ended their partnership, the title disappeared for good.

NWA World Midget’s Championship

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Classic Promotional Image

Lord Littlebrook with the somewhat less than 10 pounds of gold.

Years Active: 1949 – 2009

Hoo boy. Okay, so the NWA World Midget’s Championship may no longer be terribly politically correct, but we’ll get through this together. Little person wrestlers have been a staple of the business since the beginning, and were legit draws in the ’40s and ’50s, so they certainly deserved their own belt. The NWA World Midget’s Championship is actually one of the oldest and most prestigious belts on this list, having been active on and off since 1949 and held by legendary short-statured stars like Sky Low Low and Lord Littlebrook.

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