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    Saturday, October 24, 2015

    #SGQ (10/24/15): The GFW Championship Belt Review

    So Global Force Wrestling (GFW) is holding tapings for "Amped" tonight in Las Vegas to crown their first-ever champions. 

    And in true millennial fashion, took to the Twitter machine to unveil their brand-spanking-new championship belts. 

    Let's check them out one by one. 

    Here are the GFW tag team belts. 

    Those are some nice-looking belts. We were worried at first that GFW's trademark volt green would look tacky on a championship belt, but just like the NBA's Atlanta Hawks, they made it work against the chrome. There's some intricate acid-etching going on with the plates, but they don't look very deep, suggesting that the plates themselves aren't as thick as, say, the WWE InterContinental Championship. 

    What interests us is how each belt is slightly different from its companion belt; you have a right-hand version and a left-hand version, which we thought was a nice, subtle touch to show that tag team champions need to work as a unit, but with each member needing to play a unique complementary part for the team. Nice touch as well with each belt showing a different side of the globe. GFW could have easily just said "Nah, give us two of the same. Nobody cares about tag wrestling, hurr hurr," but went the extra mile for some differentiation within the pair. Good job by you, GFW. 

    Up next is the GFW answer to TNA's X-Division Championship, the NEX*GEN belt. 

    There's some interesting design langage with this particular belt, as it takes a more squared-off approach to a championship belt that we haven't seen done very often. This looks like a huge belt that will ride high on its wearer's waist, making it obvious who the king of the division is.

    The matte gunmetal finish works nicely with the volt green accents to make sure the belt doesn't look too gaudy—it reminds us of the WWECW Championship in that regard. It also sets a clear pecking order between the World Champion and all other champions.

    There's some simple hand-tooling along the leather strap's edges, and as with the tag championships, the shallow etching on the plates suggest some flimsiness, but what jumps out at us is the use of the hexagonal ring as a recurring design element where the WWE would use jewels instead. Combined with the matte metal treatment, it declares whoever wears this belt is a workhorse champion with no time for fancy bling.

    Let's move on to the Womens Championship.

    This is probably the weakest belt among the bunch. We love the hawk-head icon up on top that vaguely reminds us of PWR's PHX Championship, but the rest of the design just doesn't carry a story the way the preceding belts do. What's the deal with the tribal flourishes and cutesy stars, for instance? It certainly doesn't look anywhere near as trashy as the WWE's Butterfly Belt that looks like it was designed by Lisa Frank, but neither does it tell any sort of narrative about the champion. Unless maybe that story is that she likes to get hammered every weekend and get a cheap tramp stamp tattoo she'll be regretting by Tuesday. 

    From trash to flash, let's move on to the piece de resistance in GFW's Championship lineup, its world championship belt. 


    This is an excellent belt, let us tell you. Apart from being the only gold championship belt in GFW's line-up, there are a bazillion levels of intricate etching going on all over the main plate—we don't want to know how long it took to get that scale pattern up on top done. The feathering on the twin griffins at the bottom is very well done, and extends throughout the lower half of the plate as the main motif. Etching is one of the key things that tells you whether a belt is expensive or not, and is what differentiates something like the Big Gold Belt, which is very intricate, versus, say, the PWR Championship, which is very plain and basic. 

    Whereas the NEX*GEN Championship took a more squared-off approach, this one goes all out with its verticality. This is a belt that's going to ride extremely high on its wearer—think WWE Undisputed Championship levels, AKA "The Eddie Belt—and that's a good thing. No point in being modest when you're World Champion, is there? 

    Thankfully, GFW decided to exercise a more restrained touch with the volt green on this belt. Whereas it was used as a solid coloring element in the other belts, it's reduced to an accent role in this one, running along the boundaries of key design elements to create a more tasteful, polished look. The hexagons are in full force on this one, not just as flourishes on the main belt, but as standalone mini-plates beside the sideplates. Jeff Jarrett is going all out to claim the six-sided ring as his own, it seems. 

    If there's one weak spot on this belt, it's that the GFW logo itself seems to recede too much, as compared to the other belts. Maybe some judicious green highlights could have helped. 

    Overall, it's a strong batch of belts that represent a pretty respectable investment by GFW management. It saddens us that none of the belts allow for any kind of customization by their wearer, but we get understand why not. Customization is a nice-to-have for a startup like GFW, and given their global revolving cast of characters, probably not a very practical move. 

    What do you think of the GFW Championship belts, Henrichichos? Do you think they're at the same level as the WWE titles? Let us know in the comments below. 
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    Item Reviewed: #SGQ (10/24/15): The GFW Championship Belt Review Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Unknown
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