TNT Championship Belt Maker Confirms Reason For Delay Of Final Design
Photo Credit: Lee South / All Elite Wrestling
More details on the TNT Championship that almost was — and still can be.
The AEW TNT Championship belt was presented prior to the tournament finals match between Cody Rhodes and Lance Archer at Saturday’s AEW Double or Nothing PPV event. Rhodes went over to become the inaugural champion and there was some criticism from fans after the match, but it was in response to the lackluster design of the belt, not the match itself. It turns out that due to the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, the belt design wasn’t finished.
Ron Edwardson of RED Leather, who produced the belt, took to Facebook to confirm more details behind the delay of the final title belt design.
“Accurate image of the TNT belt made by myself. Unfortunately due to Covid-19 the platers I used are working on skeleton crews and can only work on respirators/emergency equipment. Once regular business resumes this belt will get some much-needed highlights in nickel and gold as well as a relief TNT logo.
They announced it would be done for Double or nothing. I was asked if I could get it done by then and I said yes. Then Covid19 happened and it made nickel plating impossible so I was told to do the best I could and while it’s not what the end result will be it’s still a reminder of Cody’s accomplishment and a testimony that even during a pandemic we will not stop doing the best we can with what we have.”
Ron later added in the comment section, “I drew a base from scratch pulling inspiration of the main plate of the WCW World. Then Cody said he wanted bars so I made them and added sideplates to contour the bars. They wanted something classic but not the same as what’s been seen before.”
Accurate image of the TNT belt made by myself. Unfortunately due to Covid-19 the platers I used are working on skeleton…
The news of the belt’s delay shouldn’t come as a shock to those who saw the pay-per-view on Saturday. Tony Schiavone mentioned that this title is not the final design, which Cody Rhodes also spoke about it in his AEW Double or Nothing post-show media scrum as well as what makes the title special.
“Well the part that is the most special is the mansion. It’s Ted’s. If you have driven by Techwood and saw the studios, it has Sam Linsky and Bret and Kevin Riley and all of these wonderful individuals who have believed in us and have given us this new home. The guy handpainted it.”
“I know Tony has already told you all this already so it’s not breaking news but this isn’t even the final belt. The actual silver-plated title which has the shine finish and the extra details, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we don’t have it here. We will have it, maybe as soon as this week’s Dynamite.”
Cody also said he was emotional and thought it is the coolest thing he has ever seen, and had thoughts about perhaps keeping the one he was presented instead of the final one.