Original WWWF Title Belt Discovered
Article By: Kevin Resendes | Posted on: August 15, 2012, 1:21am
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Slam Wrestling featured an article about the original WWWF title (the one that Buddy Rogers dropped to Bruno Sammartino to start the WWWF in 1963) recently being discovered in wrestler Johnny Barend's attic.
His widow was going through stuff in their house and found two title belts (the other being a US Tag Team title belt) wrapped in a towel. The world title had a picture of Barend in the center. She had no idea what the belts were but it was confirmed by beltmaker Dave Millican that it had to be the United States title belt that Rogers bought from Ohio to New York, which was used when Vince McMahon Sr. decided to create a new world title.
Sammartino, when asked, commented that he never knew what happened to that belt but the office didn't like the look of the belt, and made him a new one that he wore during his first run as champion. He has that one in his possession currently, given to him by Gorilla Monsoon and Phil Zacko years later.
It was assumed that the belt was given back to Rogers, and because of his friendship with Barend, he must have given him the belt, although it's not clear if he got it before or after Rogers passed away. There was no idea why Barend's picture was on the belt.
Millican has possession of both belts at the moment.
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