The new Big Gold World Heavyweight Championship replica by the WWE Shop is highly detailed, dual plated, and has a tarnished matte appearance. See it in all its glory here.
The Big Gold World Heavyweight Championship belt first debuted on February 22, 1986. Ric Flair brought it and gave a magnificent promo on WCW Saturday Night, with Tony Schiavone holding the mic. The belt was used all the way until 2001 when the WWF bought the WCW and unified the WCW and WWF titles.
Various official WCW World Heavyweight Championship replicas have been available since 1998, though most have been incredibly cheap copies that are all gold in color, completely flat, and lacking much of the detail present on the real big gold belt. That was until WrestleMania weekend in 2023. The WWE Shop surprised everyone by releasing this new Big Gold World Heavyweight Championship replica at the WrestleMania Super Store. They didn’t sell out there, probably because there were many other new belts available, but once it hit the online shop a few months later it sold out within a few days.
This new Big Gold replica is dual plated gold and silver colored, though the real metal is a zinc alloy. Unlike all the other replicas from the WWE Shop, this Big Gold replica does not have a mirror finish. The gold has a cloudy matte finish, giving it an almost tarnished appearance. Some of the shine can be seen coming through on the edges of the plates, however.
The main plate is 11.5in tall by 13.5in wide. The side plates are 4in tall by 5in wide. In total, the belt weighs 6lbs and 9oz or 2985g. All three plates have a slight curve to them. The curve isn’t as pronounced as the Fandu Luxe, but it is much more noticeable than the original WWE Shop replica of the WCW Championship.
The rope border surrounding each of the three plates looks more realistic than any other replica I’ve ever seen. These curve all the way around the edges of the plates, but there is a small seam in the metal that can also be seen on the very edge of the plates.
All the leaf designs etched throughout the plates hold incredibly detail. The etchings actually look as if a jeweler pushed some metal around to create the design. There are even a few scratch marks around the plates to replicate the original belt.
The silver-colored metal behind some of the gold-colored leaf designs has a textured appearance. This texturing is pretty good, though not great. It does not look natural, but it isn’t overly artificial either. However, a lot of the silver-colored metal between the gold leaf etching and the rope borders looks machine-made because of its dotted appearance. It would have been a million times better if they were able to give a textured appearance throughout the entire design.
Four wrestler pieces are attached to the three plates–two on the main plate and one on each side plate. These are separate pieces that are attached to the main plate, most likely screwed onto the back. These wrestlers have far more detail than the previous WWE Shop release, and possibly even more than the older Figures Toy Company version. The singlet, wrestling shoes, hair, and even fingers and facial features can be seen. All of the wrestler pieces are identical, gold-colored, and set on a silver-colored textured background.
The “WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT WRESTLING CHAMPION” lettering at the top of the main plate has a recessed outline and textured appearance in the middle. The texturing is like a diamond steel plate or hash texturing, but it is so precise that it is obviously machine made. Furthermore, many collectors that stare at these belts have also noticed that the “ION” at the end of “CHAMPION” appears to be smaller than all the other letters.
The crown beneath the WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT WRESTLING CHAMPION lettering is a separate relief piece that has been attached to the main plate. The crown is also dual plated, with each of the four faux diamonds and the inner faux ruby sitting on top of silver metal. The texturing on this silver-colored metal is incredible and looks hand-made, but the dotted texturing on the gold-colored metal is machine made and reminds me of an old school pencil sharpener.
The globe beneath the crown is a separate relief piece that has been attached to the main plate. The continents have beautiful texturing, and there are three etched lines throughout the globe making up nine sets of longitude lines.
Both the globe and the crown are improvements compared to the WWE Shop’s previous WCW Championship replica, but they are still too large and pronounced when compared to the original design. The real belt’s crown and globe appear to be etched into the metal like all the other leaf etching. Even the Figures Toy Company version of the WCW Championship has flatter globe and crown relief pieces.
Below the globe is a dual-plated name plate. The inside is silver and textured while the outside is gold and etched with precise detail. This nameplate can be swapped out by removing the two screws from the back of the belt. All other screws will be covered by the faux leather.
The faux leather is the same type of polyurethane as all other WWE Shop replicas. The belt strap is pretty stiff and cheap, but the brown coloring with darker brown splotches make it appear more realistic. The strap is 54 inches long and 12 inches tall at the main plate.
Finally, a total of 18 large faux rubies are set throughout the three plates. The faux rubies are dark red and surrounded by gold-colored etched designs. Most replicas have button jewels here that screw onto the main plate, but the etching in the plates around the jewels looks far more genuine. In fact, all of the faux jewels on this Big Gold World Heavyweight Championship replica sparkle and shine far more than any previous replica released by the WWE Shop.
The Big Gold World Heavyweight Championship replica by the WWE Shop is in the running for the best Big Gold replica available, and it is only $450. This belt has so much detail with realistic designs, though there are a few short comings such as the faux leather strap and some of the dotted etchings that give the belt a machine-made appearance. It would also be great if the crown and globe were etched into the plate like the designs around the faux rubies, or at least make these relief pieces flatter than they are now. But even with the negative aspects, I highly recommend picking up this Big Gold replica if you are a collector and fan or pro wrestling.