Bray Wyatt's new custom WWE Universal Championship has been heavily talked about recently, with opinions seemingly divided on the title design.
During last week's episode of SmackDown, Wyatt revealed a new Universal Title belt with a theme of The Fiend, featuring his face covering the front of the belt with "HURT" and "HEAL" on the top and bottom corners.
"Its cool," Graves said. "I think it's very, very cool. I am a big fan of Tom Savini, one of the greatest special effect artists to ever work in the motion picture industry, I think it's cool that our worlds have collided. The championship is very cool visually but I have a problem with these customized championships. I always have. I hated when Stone Cold had the smoking skull belt. Yeah it was cool, but all of a sudden the WWE Championship with all its history now is customized to one guy."
"I didn't have a problem with the blue Universal Championship because it's now on FOX, SmackDown and the blue brand, so it kind of made sense, it still looks like the WWE Championship."
"I didn't hate when The Ultimate Warrior would change the strap on his WWE Championship to the different colors I thought that was kind of an OK customization, but all of a sudden The Fiend will defend a title which is just his face - I'm not a huge fan of it."
Graves went on to explain that he thinks it devalues the championship and compares it to other sports where trophies or championships have never really changed designs.
"I think it devalues the championship as a whole," Graves explained. "In our business everything is fluid, it's constantly evolving, the one thing that we've always kind of got is history, revisionist as it is, but the WWE Championship to me personally is still the championship despite the positioning of the Universal title.
"The WWE Championship is the one that I grew up wanting to hold when I was a kid. That was the one that Hulk Hogan had, Macho Man and all of the greats had. Understandably different brand, you need new championships, the Universal title comes into effect - it is what it is. But the more you change the design of the championships, to me, the more it devalues it. Could you imagine in the NHL if the team that won the Stanley Cup got to redesign the Stanley Cup trophy? That thing is iconic. If the penguins win the Stanley Cup and all of a sudden they're presented with a giant trophy of a penguin I think it loses a lot of its luster, it seems kind of weird.
"You get custom Super Bowl rings specified to the team but the overall trophy, the goal of the team in that sport, is always the same. I'm cool with customizable plates on the sides of the titles but the championship being The Fiend's face, I'm unsure. Either way it's cool and if I had $6,500 laying around that I didn't need I would certainly buy one, but I don't love my kids that much."
The new Fiend-stye custom handcrafted title belt was produced by Tom Savini Studios, who has worked on most of The Fiend's creative items, and the Firefly segments. The title belt will be produced at a limited run for WWE Shop, and the limited quantity will be available for pre-order beginning tomorrow.
Each title will be handcrafted at Tom Savini Studios, and will be individually numbered. The title is now up for sale at this link and it's going for $6,499.99.
If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit After The Bell with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.